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Festive events and things to do this December in Hampshire - Christmas 2014

PUBLISHED: 11:04 15 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:04 15 December 2014

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market

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Entertain yourself in the lead up to the big day with our pick of the best festive events

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December 15 - Grand Bauble Hunt

In conjunction with The Mayflower Theatre’s Christmas Pantomime Cinderella, bring your family and rummage around Harold Hillier Gardens on the hunt for baubles – suitable for all ages.

• Where: Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, Jermyns Lane, Romsey, SO51 0QA, 01794 369318, www3.hants.gov.uk/hilliergardens

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December 16 - Christmas at Marwell

Guaranteed to create some wonderful festive memories! Join the elves at Marwell and celebrate Christmas with a few special friends. Visitors are invited to take a journey through Santa’s home within the magnificent magical Marwell Hall. Enjoy storytime with Mrs Claus, make your own festive cracker and meet Santa in his sparkling grotto to receive a special gift. Don’t forget to check out the zoo, it’s included in the price!

• Where: Marwell Wildlife, Thompsons Lane, Colden Common, Winchester, SO21 1JH, 01962 777407, www.marwell.org.uk

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December 17 - Christmas Walking Safari

Christmas is the perfect time of year to wrap up warm, get out and explore the New Forest. To truly appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the forest, leave the confines of your car, get out there on foot and join a knowledgeable Forest Ranger. This gentle meander is a pleasant way to get into the Christmas Spirit and find out about the traditions, customs and wildlife of the Forest. Plus enjoy a glass of mulled wine!

• When: 10am-1pm
• Where: Bolderwood Car Park, New Forest, Map reference: SU 286084, 03000 680400, www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry?INFD-9G8JYZ

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December 18 - Rat Pack Live Christmas Party

They were the definition of cool during their 50s and 60s heyday, combining big band swing with charisma, panache and swagger, and now the UK’s best Rat Pack trio are bringing their talents to The Haymarket. Hear all the hits, including Mr Bojangles, That’s Life, Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, I’ve Got You Under My Skin, and more, in this sensational live show.

• When: 7.30pm
• Where: The Haymarket, Wote Street, Basingstoke, RG21 7NW, 01256 844244, www.anvilarts.org.uk

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December 19 - The Case of the Christmas Carol

A festive Victorian theatrical treat. Experience a magical mix of Dickens and Doyle in this seasonal tale for ages 8 years and above. After failed attempts by Dr Watson to cheer Sherlock Holmes into celebrating the holiday season, the unrepentant, ill-tempered detective is forced to deduce the facts and solve the most important mystery of his life – past, present and future.

• When: 1.30pm & 7pm
• Where: The Lights, West Street, Andover, SP10 1AH, 01264 368368, www.thelights.org.uk

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December 20 - Festive Baking

There’s nothing more Christmassy than the aroma of warm spices and baking, so pop along to Winchester City Mill’s festive baking demonstrations and find out how its freshly milled flour can be combined with locally sourced Hampshire produce to make delicious seasonal treats for you to sample. Don’t forget to collect your free recipe cards.

• When: 11am – 3pm
• Where: Winchester City Mill, Bridge Street, Winchester, SO23 0EJ, 01962 870057, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/winchester-city-mill

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December 21 - Christmas Celebrations

Christmas at Beaulieu is a time of magic. Marvel at the Palace House with its magnificent Victorian-style decorations and witness the largest Christmas trees in the New Forest. Talk to Victorian characters and enjoy carol singing and musical entertainment, plus children can delve into the dressing up box. Why not warm yourself in front of the Yule log in the great fireplace while enjoying a glass of hot fruit punch?

• Where: Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, SO42 7ZN, 01590 612345, www.beaulieu.co.uk

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December 22 - Get Your Skates On

Experience an exhilarating skate under the stars on a real open-air ice rink! Suitable for all ages and abilities, ice skating sessions last for 1 hour – this includes time to fit your skates so expect to have approximately 50 minutes on the ice. With a team of trained ice stewards to ensure that the rink is safe and well maintained. Free skate hire is included!

• Where: Winchester Cathedral, 9 The Close, Winchester, SO23 9LS, 01962 857275, www.winchester-cathedral.org.uk

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December 23 - It’s A Wonderful Life

Treat yourself to the ‘greatest gift of all time’ with a Christmas screening of ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’. Arguably the ultimate feel good festive film, watch as an angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he never existed. Starring James Stewart and directed by Oscar-winner Frank Capra. Free tea or coffee and biscuits during the interval!

• When: 1.45 pm
• Where: The Spring Arts & Heritage, 56 East Street, Havant, PO9 1BS, 02392 472700, www.thespring.co.uk

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Christmas Eve - Santa Specials

See Santa on a steam train as you take a magical one hour round trip through the scenic Hampshire countryside. There’s no queuing to see Santa as he visits every child at their seat with a special gift. With white wine and mince pies for the grown-ups and soft drinks for the children.

• Where: Midhants Railway Watercress Line, The Railway Station, Station Road, Alresford, SO24 9JG, 01962 733810, www.watercressline.co.uk

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Christmas Day - Christmas at Careys Manor

Experience a cosy country Manor in the heart of the New Forest, a roaring fire and a traditionally delicious feast at this quintessential hideaway. Offering the perfect setting for your Christmas Break, you’ll feel right at home with its relaxed and cosy atmosphere and exquisite Christmas tree. Guaranteeing a hassle free hotel stay, let them do the organizing, including a winter wander or pampering spa day!

• Where: Careys Manor Hotel & SenSpa, Lyndhurst Road, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RH, 01590 624467, www.careysmanor.com

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