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Christmas events in Hampshire throughout December

Christmas at Paulton's Park. Image: Paulton's Park
Christmas at Paulton's Park. Image: Paulton's Park

This month’s What’s On rounds up a host of Christmassy events taking place all over Hampshire – one for every day of advent – to get you and the family feeling festive

 

DECEMBER 1

WINCHESTER CATHEDRAL CHRISTMAS MARKET

The approach of Advent and Christmas is a unique time to visit Winchester Cathedral. Enjoy one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe, and while you're there, don’t forget to step inside the cathedral to explore over 1,000 years of history and attend Advent and Christmas services sung by an internationally acclaimed choir.

Until December 21, open Sunday to Thursday 10am–6pm and Friday to Saturday 10am–8pm, admission is free.

DECEMBER 2

CHOCOLATE MAKING WORKSHOP

Get festive gift ready with this two-hour workshop hosted by award-winning chocolatier Kerry Witt at her kitchen in Sway. After welcome drinks and chocolate, Kerry will demonstrate the truffle-making process, before attendees have a go themselves to fill two gifts boxes and 12 mini Christmas crackers. You'll also learn how to pipe chocolate into moulds to make Christmas trees and other chocolate novelties.

December 2 only, 2.30-4.30pm, £60 per person, chocolatebymisswitt

DECEMBER 3

CHRISTMAS AT PAULTON'S PARK

The ever-popular Celebration of Christmas returns to Paulton's Park, with the attraction transformed into a winter wonderland on selected dates. Peppa Pig herself welcomes friends in her special jolly outfits while, throughout the park, illuminations including a light show at Paultons Park’s giant Music Christmas Tree, deliver the spirit of Christmas and immerse visitors in the seasonal festivities.

Meet Father Christmas in his very own grotto full and enjoy Santa’s Christmas Wish Show! featuring singing, dancing, special effects and fun with Billy and Belinda the elves, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Reindeer and guest starring the man himself - Father Christmas!

Tickets can be pre-booked online Santa’s Grotto is an add on experience, and park tickets will need to be booked separately.

Until December 23, advance tickets from £37, children under one metre tall go free, paultonspark.co.uk

Great British Life: Cinderella at Theatre Royal, Winchester. Image :Theatre Royal WinchesterCinderella at Theatre Royal, Winchester. Image :Theatre Royal Winchester

DECEMBER 4

CINDERELLA

This year's panto at the Theatre Royal, Winchester is a magical retelling of the greatest fairytale of them all. From the same team behind the record-breaking production of The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella promises to be our greatest Christmas production ever! With original songs, loads of corny gags, audience participation and some surprising twists to the tale, the whole family is bound to have a ball!

Until January 1, tickets from £10.50, theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

DECEMBER 5

FOREST CHRISTMAS WREATH WORKSHOP

Create a beautiful, eco-friendly Christmas wreath to hang at home with this workshop at Moors Valley Country Park and Forest near Ringwood. Enjoy the crisp winter morning, and forage for all the natural foliage and winter treasures to create an eco-friendly Christmas wreath. Peacock and Gilt will supply the moss, ring and all the other sundries you need along with help and guidance to produce a beautiful natural door ring you can take home.

December 5 only, 10.30am-1.30pm, £10, moors-valley.co.uk

DECEMBER 6

MEDIAEVAL BAEBES, ISLE OF WIGHT

This year’s Mediaeval Baebes tour ‘The Procession’ will be more than just a series of concerts – join them in the opening ceremony for the evening and join the musical procession as they advance to the venue. This immersive, interactive experience, one of pomp, ceremony and pageantry, will set the tone for the evening and the magical revelry to come. Bring a drum, or a lantern, dress up and frolic as the procession culminates in a grand entrance into the performance space.

All Saints Church, Ryde, isle of Wight, adults £27.50, children £12.50, mediaevalbaebes.com/live

DECEMBER 7

A MEAT FREE CHRISTMAS

Perfect for those seeking delectable alternatives to traditional Christmas dishes, this full-day class experience at The Cookery School, Chewton Glen, will guide you through the art of creating a sumptuous, plant-based spread that caters to everyone's tastes. Discover alternative festive dishes that are completely meat-free, plant-based and packed with flavour that will be enjoyed by the entire party. Embark on a journey of flavours, textures, and creativity that will redefine your holiday cooking traditions.

December 7 only, £210 per person, chewtonglen.com/the-kitchen-cookery-school

DECEMBER 8

ALADDIN

Widow Twankey wants a husband, evil Abanazaar wants the magic lamp, Aladdin wants adventure and Wishee Washee wants some Spiderman pants! – can the Genie grant their wishes? Don’t miss this fabulous festive family treat at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth, that promises to be a stunning pantomime guaranteed to make all your wishes come true!

BSL signed performance 3pm, December 17, relaxed performance 11am, December 31.

Until December 31, tickets from £10, newtheatreroyal.com

Great British Life: Snow White at the Mayflower Theatre. Image: Mayflower TheatreSnow White at the Mayflower Theatre. Image: Mayflower Theatre

DECEMBER 9

SNOW WHITE

Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre is staging the fairest pantomime of them all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The 2023 pantomime will star Britain’s Got Talent winners and street dance sensations, Ashley Banjo and Diversity, as well as pantomime royalty, the one-and-only Christopher Biggins. For three weeks only, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will bring all the laughter, spectacle, special effects and glittering festive magic audiences have come to expect each year from the Mayflower Theatre’s spectacular Christmas panto.

Until December 31, mayflower.org.uk

Great British Life: FESTIVE SENSATION SPA EXPERIENCE - Four Seasons Hotel, Hook. Image: Four SeasonsFESTIVE SENSATION SPA EXPERIENCE - Four Seasons Hotel, Hook. Image: Four Seasons

DECEMBER 10

FESTIVE SENSATION SPA EXPERIENCE

Experience a 50-minute hot stone massage carefully designed to de-stress this festive season, with a specially tailored treatment at the Four Seasons Hotel near Hook. The sensory treatment begins in a cosy treatment room filled with cinnamon scents, where therapists use warm Kundalini oils infused with jasmine and rose to complete a warming hot stone massage. A rejuvenating Rose Gold Brightening facial mask is then applied before the treatment is completed with a festive winter spiced tea to sip.

Until December 31, fourseasons.com/hampshire

DECEMBER 11

A CHRISTAMAS CAROL

Live on stage and in person, television favourites Colin Baker (Doctor Who, The Brothers) and Peter Purves (Blue Peter, The Office) lead the cast in a new adaptation of Charles Dickens, Christmas classic at the Theatre Royal, Winchester. Presented by the Crime And Comedy Theatre Company as a radio-play-live-on-stage, the setting is a radio studio, the actors ready as if for a radio broadcast, and the sound effects created live, all combining to transport the audience to Victorian London, for this 180th anniversary production of Dickens' timeless tale of charity, forgiveness and redemption at Christmas.

December 11 only, 7.30pm, tickets from £17, theatreroyalwinchester.co.uk

DECEMBER 12

A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY TO THE NORTH POLE

Step into Mottisfont, near Romsey, this Christmas to begin a magical journey to the North Pole. Inside, the house is full of sparkling trees and gift-wrapped presents. See Father Christmas’s study piled high with letters and tiptoe past children asleep in their beds. Board the ‘Christmas Express’, arriving just in time to join the glittering polar bear’s ball. Outside, the adventure continues as you help deliver Christmas wishes and step inside the Elves’ Sorting Office.

Until January 7 January, closed December 24 and 25, standard admission £18 per adult, plus trail £3, nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/hampshire/mottisfont

Great British Life: Winchester Cathedral. Image: Simon LeverWinchester Cathedral. Image: Simon Lever

DECEMBER 13

HAMPSHIRE MEDICAL FUND CONCERT

The Hampshire Medical Fund is hosting its Celebration of Christmas Concert in association with JM Finn at Winchester Cathedral. Enjoy a festive evening of reading, carols and beautiful music with Andrew Lloyd Webber, Clare Balding, Sol Campbell and the Winchester Cathedral Chamber Choir. This promises to be an excellent festive event, providing guests with a wonderful evening by some special guests and outstanding musical talent.

December 13 only, 7.30pm, tickets from £20, winchester-cathedral.org.uk

DECEMBER 14

CHRISTMAS CANOE PADDLE

Enjoy something a little different with a festive paddle on The Beaulieu River this Christmas with New Forest Activities. Set sail in stable and safe, Canadian style canoes, with the added excitement that you’ll be meeting Santa in his boat full of Christmas gifts! All children will receive a gift from Santa and there’ll be toasty hot chocolate available to keep you warm.

Throughout December, £36 adult, £24 child (18 months to 16 years), 90 minutes, newforestactivities.co.uk

DECEMBER 15

CHRISTMAS WORKSHOP

The old carol says “deck the halls“ so visit West Green House in Hook, where Sandra Short will show you how to make stylish festive swags and charming ideas to dress a Christmas table and mantlepiece using winter greenery, cones and the wonderful finds from the floor of a winter woodland. Then, after a light lunch in our warm and welcoming Tea Room, it’s time to make your own table centrepiece to take home.

December 15 only, 11am-3pm, £75 per person, westgreenhouse.co.uk/Christmas

DECEMBER 16

FREEDOM CHRISTMAS TREES

Osborne House on the Ise of Wight will be dusted with some Christmas magic with traditional decorations throughout the house, as Queen Victoria and Prince Albert would have enjoyed them. While Christmas trees had been introduced to the English court before their time, Prince Albert popularised our beloved tradition of decorating the Christmas tree in the Victorian period, so it's fitting that Osborne will play host to a spectacular contemporary re-imaging of the Christmas tree this year. The work, titled ‘Freedom’, is made of 200 ornately folded white paper origami birds, each engraved with ‘V&A’. The design was originally made to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s births.

Open 10am to 4pm, Wednesday to Sunday, advance tickets from £18.10, english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/osborne

DECEMBER 17

FESTIVE JAZZ AFTERNOON TEA

Enjoy a festive offering of Afternoon Tea, with a spot of jazz to accompany it, served in the Tylney Suite at Tylney Hall, Hook. This Christmas, the venue has transformed its traditional Afternoon Tea, serving blended teas, homemade sandwiches, cakes, and scones all with a festive twist! So, kickstart your festive celebrations in one of the beautifully decorated lounges, where you can sit by a roaring fire and experience a truly special Festive Afternoon Tea.

Until December 23, served daily 1pm to 4.30pm, £48.00 per person, tylneyhall.co.uk

Great British Life: A NEVERLAND CHRISTMAS - Hinton Amnper Christmas tree. Image: National Trust Images, Mimi ThompsonA NEVERLAND CHRISTMAS - Hinton Amnper Christmas tree. Image: National Trust Images, Mimi Thompson

DECEMBER 18

A NEVERLAND CHRISTMAS

Step into the home of the Darling family at Hinton Amnper this Christmas, where light, sound and movement bring scenes inspired by JM Barrie’s much-loved story of Peter Pan to life. Find the ticking crocodile, the Lost Boys’ camp and Tinker Bell’s mystical hideaway. Watch out for Captain Hook and his band of pirates, and encounter the source of all magic, the fairies. Outside, you’ll discover the Wendy House, the Mermaids’ Lagoon and Nana’s dog house, where visiting pooches can pose for pics. And in the courtyard, Tink’s Tuckshop, packed with traditional treats. Presented in partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Until January 1, pre-booking essential, nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/hampshire/hinton-ampner

DECEMBER 19

SLADE

It wouldn't be Christmas without a bit of Slade and, as luck would have it, the band play Southampton Engine Rooms this month. Celebrating 50 years of 'Cum On Feel The Noize and Merry Christmas Everybody, Slade

Slade today is still one of the most exciting bands on the road, and their stage performance is a dynamic, powerful and exhilarating roller-coaster ride of pure unadulterated rock'n'roll.

December 19 only, 7.30pm, minimum age 14 plus, £36.40, engineroomssouthampton.co.uk

DECEMBER 20

THE BIG FAT CHRISTMAS QUIZ

Test your knowledge in a range of categories including music, geography, sport, arts & culture, history, celebrity, film and general knowledge with this year’s quiz, at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth. The event raises money for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

December 20 only, 7.30pm, £3 per person, no more than six per team, wedgewood-rooms.co.uk

DECEMBER 21

FESTIVE LUNCH

Celebrate Christmas and enjoy the delicious festive lunch menu with your family and friends at the Garden Restaurant in the decorated Jermyn’s House at Harold Hillier Gardens. Normal Garden admission fees apply when visiting the Garden Restaurant, however a special concession available for festive dining for members to bring up to a party of seven without entry fee.

Until December 23, 12pm-2pm, three courses £34 pp, two courses £26pp, booking essential, hants.gov.uk/thingstodo/hilliergardens

DECEMBER 22

COSMIC CHRISTMAS

Santa is back in the Planetarium at Winchester Science Centre for Cosmic Christmas! Blast off on a live-action immersive festive space adventure for the whole family before meeting the man himself and getting a special Christmas gift in this 45-minute experience. A theatrical experience like no other, including live science, magical effects and an out-of-this-world journey through space on the Planetarium dome as a brand new original Christmas tale comes alive.

Until December 23, various times, adults £9.25, children £14.25, winchestersciencecentre.org

DECEMBER 23

THE CHAPEL CHOIR

The Chapel Choir of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, one of England’s most celebrated choirs, sings a selected programme of the most beautiful carols of Christmas at West Green House, Hook. It’s a programme for everyone to enjoy topped off with an invitation to explore the glittering Illuminated Garden now transformed by the characters from Alice in Wonderland, while on the lake giant water fountains will amaze to music.

December 23 only, gardens open 4.30pm, concert 6pm, adults £38, children [4 to 15] £28 to include entry to the concert and illuminated garden, westgreenhouse.co.uk

DECEMBER 24

THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF PETER PAN

Join Peter, Smee, Tinker Bell, and Ethyl Mermaid on a brand-new swashbuckling adventure full of fun, laughter… and crocodiles at The Anvil Basingstoke. After defeating the evil Captain Hook and his crew of prancing pirates, life has been pretty perfect for Peter Pan. But when a stranger arrives in Neverland, there are rumours that a certain someone survived and is seeking revenge! People are saying… that Hook is back! So watch out, he might be behind you!

Until December 31, tickets from £23.50, anvilarts.org.uk



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