Family Christmas events in Dorset - December 2014

Robin Hood and his Merry men and women at Lighthouse Poole - photo by David Stroud

Robin Hood and his Merry men and women at Lighthouse Poole - photo by David Stroud - Credit: David Stroud

From pantos to pudding-chasing Santas on the beach - here are some of the many family-friendly events happening in and around the county this December

Christmas carols, concerts and festive events in Dorset - December 2014

Christmas lights, shops and festivals in Dorset - December 2014

Winter in Dorset - photography, things to do and walks to enjoy


Weekends from 29 November–21 December - Santa at Farmer Palmer’s

Meet Santa and his hard working Elves at this award-winning farm-themed park.


Weekends from - 29 November – 21 December - Santa Steam Special

Meet Santa and his helpers on this steam train special as it puffs between Corfe Castle and Swanage. Booking essential or call 01929 425800. Also runs 23 & 24 December.

Most Read


Weekends from - 29 November–21 December - Christmas Crafts for Kids

Drop-in craft sessions 11.30am – 3.30pm at Moors Valley Park, materials provided, also on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, Visit or call 01425 470721.


Weekends from 29 November–21 December - Christmas at Kingston Lacy

See the entrance and servants’ hall decorated for Christmas. Visit Father Christmas on weekends from 6 December. After dark explore an illuminated Christmas walk.


Throughout December - Gruffalo’s Child Trail

Follow the Gruffalo Trail at Moors Valley Country Park then visit the special woodland grotto to enjoy a reading of Julia Donaldson’s classic story every Monday and Wednesday from 1 – 17 December.


Until 6 January - Christmas Gardens of Light

Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens are lit up by the award-winning Gardens of Light with Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink, exciting interactive sound and light pods, a time machine and a magical mystery tour.


5 December–4 January - Robin Hood

A fun-packed traditional panto starring CBBC’s Ed Petrie as Robin and Patrick O’Kane (Game of Thrones) as the Sheriff of Nottingham. Lighthouse, Poole 0844 406 8666


5 & 19 December - Stardust

A guarded stone wall separates a village from the magical land of Faerie but then a shooting star falls and so begins an adventure.

• 5 Dec 7.30pm: Cecil Memorial Hall, Cranborne 01725 517210 • 19 Dec 7.30pm: Corfe Castle Village Hall 01929 480483


6, 13 & 14 - Victorian Family Christmas

Step back to the 19th century at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth. Receive a gift from Father Christmas, create a Christmas craft and follow the festive trail!


6 December - Reindeer Workshops

Children (6+) learn how to make a wooden reindeer at this workshop at Moors Valley Park.

Visit or call 01425 470721.


6 December–4 January - Peter Pan

Shiver me timbers, swashing buckling pantomime fun with fairies, crocodiles and magic swings into Bournemouth Pavilion with Blue Peter’s Barney Harwood as Peter Pan and the fabulous Mark Benton (Strictly Come Dancing) as the darstardly Captain Hook.

Bookings 0844 576 3000


7 & 14 December - Santa Special

Step aboard the Santa Express at the Moors Valley Railway. Trips run four times a day at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm.

Booking essential call on 01425 471415.


11-24 December - Hansel and Gretel

As snow falls in the forest, Hansel and Gretel realise they are lost until they come across a house made of sweets.

Lighthouse, Poole 0844 406 8666.


11 December–4 January - Aladdin

Step aboard the magical flying carpet for this fantastic family panto at Weymouth Pavilion.

Box office 01305 783225.


12-14 December - Visit Santa’s Grotto

Meet Santa at this magical winter wonderland grotto at The Furlong shopping centre in Ferndown. Games include penguin racing and snowballing mini snowmen.


13 December - The Great Pudding Stir

The Victorian kitchen at the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne fills with the smells of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas pudding. Stir the pudding and make a wish before tasting.


19 December–3 January - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

The fairest maiden of them all comes to Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre with her friends.

Box office 01202 885566


20-24 December - Christmas Spectacular

Santa, his elves and polar bears feature in this Christmas cracker of a family show from the Glad Rag Production Company at the Regent, Christchurch,

Box office 01202 499199


21 December - The Christmassy Christmas Show

Meet a snowman who lives in the fridge and play hunt the Brussels sprout in this festive family caper at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis

Box office 01297 442138


31 December–3 January - Peter Pan

Crocodiles, lost boys, pirates and fairies invade the Electric Palace, Bridport for pantomime fun.

Box office 01308 424901



6 December - Great Lyme Regis Pudding Race TV presenter Judi Spiers gets proceedings under way at this festive fun run in Christmas-themed costumes in Lyme Regis.


21 December - Chase the Pudding A much-loved Dorset Christmas tradition featuring hundreds of Santas chasing a Christmas pudding along Weymouth beach in a 5K charity run in aid of the British Heart Foundation. Starts 11am.


25 December - Christmas Day Swim Annual fancy dress swim at Charmouth in aid of the RNLI. Starts at 11am.


25 December - Christmas Day Harbour Swim Sponsored swim across the harbour. Event starts at 11am. Please register via to take part.


25 December - Macmillan White Christmas Dip Fancy dress dip at Boscombe in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally. Pre-register Arrive 10am, dip in the sea 10:30am sharp!


26 December - West Bay Wallow Charity fancy dress midday swim in harbour organised by the Bridport Round Table.


31 December - New Year’s Eve Revelry Join over 20,000 revellers in Weymouth for the UK’s biggest fancy dress party.