SO Mum’s guide to Christmas fun in Hampshire



My huge list of Christmassy things to do in Hampshire with the kids

Here’s a list I’ve compiled of all the fun and festive events I’d like to take the kids to this Christmas around Hampshire. Something tells me I have a busy December ahead of me!


Christmas Ice Rinks in Hampshire

Portsmouth Guildhall Square Ice Rink

Southampton Westquay Ice Rink

Winchester Cathedral Ice Rink 

Parent and toddler sessions are available Monday – Friday mornings up until 20 December and skate aids are available to hire for the little ones (if only they were available for adults too!)


Places to see Santa in Hampshire

Basingstoke Canal Santa Cruises

Basingstoke Festival Place Grotto

Brambridge Garden Centre Grotto

Christmas at Marwell Zoo

Marwell’s annual Christmas event is always filled with magical festive fun for all the family! This year, you can meet Mother Christmas in Pirate Cove and listen to stories from Neverland, inspired by Peter Pan. Then of course, you’ll meet Father Christmas himself!

Christmas at Paultons Park

Another firm family favourite, Christmas at Paultons is definitely worth a visit if you haven’t been before.  The walk-through experience takes you through a land filled with enchanting animated characters and magical scenes, before arriving at Father Christmas’ grotto.

Finkley Down Farm Grotto

Flying Santa at Southampton Christmas Festival

Gunwharf Express Christmas Grotto

Hayling Winter Wonderland

Keydell Santa’s Grotto

Longdown Farm Christmas Barn

Milestones Museum Grotto

New Forest Activities Christmas Canoe Paddle

Portsmouth Cascades Shopping Centre Grotto

Queen Elizabeth Country Park Santa’s Grotto

Spinnaker Toymaker’s Workshop

Staunton’s Christmas on the Farm

Stewarts Garden Centre Grotto

The Garden Society’s Elf Society Christmas Experience

Watercress Line Santa Specials

Hop aboard the Santa Specials from Alresford and enjoy a festive steam train ride where Santa visits each child in their seats – that’s right, no more queuing to meet Santa! To stop the little ones getting bored as they wait for Santa, they’ll receive an activity pack to keep them entertained along the way.

Winchester Science Centre’s Santa and the Elves Experience

We really enjoyed Winchester Science Centre’s Christmas experience last year, so we’re pleased it’s back again and this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk theme sounds fun!


Christmas theatre and pantos in Hampshire

Beauty and the Beast (Princes Hall Aldershot)

Beauty and The Beast (Theatre Royal Winchester)

One year on and we are still singing about ♫ “five toilet rolls, four colanders, three red pens, two purple gloves, Alan Partridge on DVD” ♫ thanks to last year’s brilliantly funny pantomime in Winchester! And now the same team are returning with another fun family panto for this festive season. Oh yes they are!

Billionaire Boy (NST City)

Cinderella (Ferneham Hall Fareham)

Cinderella (Kings Theatre Southsea)

Cinderella (The Harlington Fleet)

Cinderella on Ice (Planet Ice – Gosport and Basingstoke)

Dick Whittington (Mayflower Theatre Southampton)

Hansel and Gretel (The Spring Arts Centre Havant)

Humbug! The Hedgehog Who Couldn’t Sleep (NST Studio)

Peter Pan (New Theatre Royal Portsmouth)

Puppet Panto (Berry Theatre Hedge End)

Robin Hood & The Babes in the Wood (Pyramids Southsea)

Seasons Greetings (The Spring Arts Centre Havant)

Snow Queen (The Point Eastleigh)

Snow White (The Anvil Basingstoke)


Christmas markets and fairs in Hampshire

New Forest Christmas Fair

Petersfield Christmas Festival Market

Port Solent Festival of Christmas Market

Portsmouth Cathedral Christmas Fair

Southampton Christmas Festival

The Dickens Christmas Festival Portsmouth

Winchester Christmas Market


Other festive family events in Hampshire

A Christmas Carol at The Vyne

Christmas at Beaulieu

Exbury Postal Express

Festive Fun at Manor Farm

Fort Nelson’s Victorian Christmas

Lakeside Railway Mince Pie Specials

Lepe Family Christmas Trail

The Night Before Christmas at Mottisfont

Mottisfont is one of our favourite National Trust places, with lots of wild play opportunities for the kids and always fun family trails and exhibitions in the holidays. The house will be decorated inside and out, following the theme of the poem and there will be activities and a festive trail around the grounds too.


I’ve just posted about Santa’s Sleigh routes in Hampshire too if you’re interested!

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