12 of the best Christmas events in Hampshire

Immerse yourself in Christmas lights at Staunton Farm

Immerse yourself in Christmas lights at Staunton Farm - Credit: www.zoltanphoto.com

Have a holly jolly Christmas in Hampshire with these fabulous festive events, put together by Natalie French...

Enlightened Winter Light Trail, Middle Park Way, Havant, PO9 5HB
When: December 3 to January 2
How much: £15, child £12, family £50
New for 2021, Enlightened comes to Staunton Farm this winter. The grounds will be transformed into a magical illuminated light trail for all the family to enjoy. Expect mesmerising light installations and enchanting moments along a specially-crafted route.

The Magical Christmas Adventure, Newbury Road, Headley, Thatcham, RG19 8JY
When: December 3 to 24, 9am-5pm
How much: £25-£39.95, child £35-£55
Touted as the UK’s largest indoor immersive Christmas Experience, The Magical Christmas Adventure 2021 returns to 4 Kingdoms in Headley this year. Grab your own personal Christmas passport on arrival, check in with Barbra the Yeti, before taking a sleigh ride to the North Pole for a magical three-hour storytelling journey – which includes a personalised visit from Santa.

READ MORE: The best Christmas markets in Hampshire

The Snowman, Winchester Cathedral, The Close, Winchester, SO23 9LS
When: December 4, 2pm or 4pm
How much: £21.25-£33.25, child £16-£28
A special screening of The Snowman accompanied by a magnificent live orchestra – all set within the splendour of Winchester Cathedral. Alongside The Snowman, enjoy We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, based on the bestselling book by Michael Rosen, with music by Stuart Hancock.

Head to the Spinnaker Tower for breakfast with the man in red

Head to the Spinnaker Tower for breakfast with the man in red - Credit: Stefan & Sara Venter

Breakfast with Santa, Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, PO1 3TT
When: December 4, 5, 12, 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23. 9am and 10.30am
How much: £17, child over two £20, child under two £8.50
Join Father Christmas and his elves as they return to Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower Kitchen and Bar for a continental-style breakfast with harbour views. Children get the chance for a photo opportunity with the big man and a gift, before being wowed by the panoramic views and knee-knocking glass Sky Walk.

Aladdin, Theatre Royal Winchester, Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB
When: December 4 to January 2
How much: £10.50-£25.50
Head to the Theatre Royal in Winchester for this timeless rags-to-riches tale, brought to you by the same team behind 2019’s panto, Dick Whittington and 2020’s Four Dames in Search of a Panto. Expect original songs, a great cast and hilarious script, this family show will add a good dose of Christmas magic.

Christmas Cocktails, Bombay Sapphire Distillery, Laverstoke Mill, London Road, Whitchurch, RG28 7NR
When: December 9-11
How much: £55
Get into the spirit of Christmas by learning how to make festive tipples, with the help of the experienced mixologists at Bombay Sapphire. Begin your experience with a hot cocktail, then take part in a fun and lively cocktail mixology session, making three cocktails as well as tasting a selection of gins along the way. They will also serve light bites for you to enjoy before you take your final cocktail to the Mill Bar to savour with a mince pie. The bar will then be open for you to purchase drinks after your mixology session.

Enjoy a traditional panto at Portsmouth's historic New Theatre Royal

Enjoy a traditional panto at Portsmouth's historic New Theatre Royal - Credit: New Theatre Royal

Cinderella, New Theatre Royal, Commercial Road, Southampton, SO15 1GE
When: December 10 to January 2
How much: £19.50-£47.50
Boo and hiss at Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood, as he takes to the Mayflower Theatre stage as the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella. Debbie McGee waves her magic wand as the Fairy Godmother and legendary Richard Cadell and Sooty make an appearance. Christmas fun for all the family!

Christmas Canoe Paddling, New Forest Activities, Bailey’s Hard, Beaulieu, SO42 7YF
When: December 11 to 23, 11am-3pm
How much: £34, child £25
Paddle in Canadian-style canoes on the Beaulieu River to find Santa this Christmas. Enjoy a 90-minute guided tour of the river’s beautiful nature reserve on a fresh winter’s day. All children will receive a gift from Santa and there’ll be toasty hot chocolate to warm the cockles.

Enjoy a winter wonder at The Snow Queen

Enjoy a winter wonder at The Snow Queen - Credit: The Haymarket

The Snow Queen, The Haymarket, Churchill Way, Basingstoke, RG21 7QR
When: December 15, 7.30pm
How much: £23, students £20, under 12s £17
Join Ballet Theatre UK at The Haymarket in their beautiful re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Snow Queen. This spectacular production follows the story of Gerda and her quest to find her friend Kay, whom the Snow Queen has placed under an evil spell. Gerda’s fantastic adventure takes her on a journey across the frozen north where she encounters a band of gypsies, enchanted reindeer, and a mysterious Lapland woman.

Victorian Christmas, Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill Road, Portchester, Hampshire, PO17 6AN
When: December 18-23
How much: £3.50, under 5s free
Experience a traditional Victorian garrison Christmas, stepping back in time to meet head cook Private Dobson as he prepares dishes for the festive feast for the garrison and civilian inhabitants of the Fort. The barrack room will be festively decorated with oranges, cloves and greenery, the original range will be lit, and the delicious smell of freshly baked mince pies will fill the air. Your guide will describe what life and conditions would have been like in this cold, hilltop fort at mid-winter. Don’t worry about yourself being cold though – you’ll be warmed up with warm mulled wine or non-alcoholic punch.

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Christmas Carols and Owls by Moonlight, Hawk Conservancy Trust, Andover, SP11 8DY
When: December 18 and 19, 6pm
How much: £35, child £21
The Hawk Conservancy Trust in Weyhill promises some festive magic this winter with their Christmas carols under the night sky, accompanied by Test Valley Brass. Warming mulled wine and a mince pie will be available during the interval. For the grand finale, look up to see the majestic owls twist and turn in the moonlight, skimming silently over the top of your head.

Family Fireside Storytelling, Butser Ancient Farm, Chalton Lane, PO8 0BG
When: December 21
How much: £12, child £8
Gather in the Great Roundhouse at Butser Ancient Farm to mark the shortest day of the year with an afternoon of traditional storytelling. Woodland bard, Jonathon Huet, will lead a meditation based on Celtic traditions which hark back to the deep connection to nature, before a hot drink beside the crackling fire.