The bumper guide to Christmas events in Dorset

A woman with festively painted nails ties a bow on a Christmas present.

Find the perfect gift at a Christmas market this winter - Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova, Pexels

We round up all the amazing things to do in the county through December, all with a festive theme. 

We're almost ready to say goodbye to 2021 and hello to the New Year. But, before that, there is still a whole month to fill with events, get-togethers, and other activities to celebrate the coming of winter and the festive period. In Dorset, there are so many amazing treats out there to enjoy. 

We've found all the amazing events, activities, and ideas to make your holiday season one to remember. From hilarious pantos to hearty food, there's something for everyone.

Christmas Markets

First up is one of the best ways to get lost in the festive mood each winter. These are the perfect places to pick up the right gift for a loved one, find some tasty treats for the dinner table, and drink copious amounts of warm beverages like hot chocolate and mulled wine. 

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Santa's Grotto

For children, there is nothing more magical than meeting the jolly man himself. He and his elves are taking time out of their busy schedule to visit several places around the county.

Click here to find your closest

A cookie decorated to look like a snowman surrounded by warm Christmas lights

Delight in sweet and savoury treats this Christmas - Credit: Yulian Karadzhov, Unsplash

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Festive Afternoon Teas

The holiday season is a great excuse to meet up with friends and family for a tasty afternoon tea filled with sweet and savoury treats. Many hotels and restaurants shake it up at Christmas with a dedicated afternoon tea menu just for the season.

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Christmas Day Dinner

It's the most wonderful time of the year, but there is also a lot of pressure to make it perfect. Getting that turkey moist, the Yorkshire puddings risen, and all the vegetable cooked at the same time can be a huge strain whilst you're also trying to spend time with family. There are many places across the county who are here to help this December 25th.

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Oh Christmas Tree

One of the best Christmas traditions is driving to pick up the fragrant fir tree ready to adorn with festive decorations. We've found the best places in Dorset to purchase your own freshly cut Christmas tree or alternative.

Click here to find where you can get yours

The cast of Beauty and the Beast pose in costume

Beauty and the Beast is heading to Poole - Credit: Poole Lighthouse

Panto Mayhem

Pantos are a sure way to get in the festive spirit, with laughter, bright colours, and catchy music guaranteed. We've found the best performances happening this December, that are sure to have you rolling in the aisles.

Find dates and locations here

Warming Food

After one of the many events listed here, you may be in need of a hearty meal to knock the cold from your bones. There are plenty of foods in season over the colder months that can be transformed into a delicious meal in just a few steps. We recommend starting with Mrs Miller’s Dorset Pumpkin Soup.

Click here for the recipe

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

When the frost is on the ground (or, heaven forbid, snow!), sometimes there's nothing better than wrapping up warm and exploring the countryside. We are very lucky to have a number of beautiful walks in Dorset that are even better when completed in the colder months.

Click here to find the perfect one for you

Christmas lights decorate a lawn in attractive patters and around trees

Illumination trails are set to be popular this Christmas - Credit: Steven Van Elk, Unsplash

Christmas Lights

Fill your Christmas 2021 with festive sparkle from magical winter wonderlands to town-centre lights celebrations across Dorset. These locations are transformed every year and are not to be missed. 

Click here to find your nearest