11 awesome Christmas events in Hampshire 2021

by Jan

Are you looking for some magical activities to get you in the festive spirit?  Or wondering where to find the best Christmas events in Hampshire for families?  Well, we’ve got it sorted for you.

There’s an abundance of awesome things to do with kids this Christmas in Hampshire.  Whether you’re looking for Christmas markets, illuminated trails, train rides, or festive shows, we’ve got something for you.

Here’s our round up of 12 awesome Christmas events in Hampshire for families. Plus, we’ve added some fun festive activities that are happening further afield.  But don’t hang around, some of them are selling out fast.

Gunwharf Quays Christmas Village

Father Christmas

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TZ

  • Dates: 13th December 2021 – 2nd January 2022
  • Tickets:  Just turn up!
  • Cost:  Free entrance

Firstly, we look at one of the newest Christmas events in Hampshire this year, the marvellous Christmas Village at Gunwharf Quays.

Here, there’ll be cosy cabin market stalls to explore, an epic Observation Wheel and carousel to ride, and – to keep you refreshed – an Alpine Lodge Bar and Swing Grill serving German bratwurst. Plus, kids will also have a chance to spot Father Christmas amongst the snow-covered trees.

Steam Illuminations at the Watercress Line

Station Road, Alresford SO24 9JG or Station Road, Alton, GU34 2PZ

  • Dates:  26th-28th November, 3rd/5th December,  10th – 23rd December 2021
    and 27th – 31st December 2021
  • Tickets:  Illuminations at the Watercress Lane
  • Cost:  £96 (family of four)

Marvel at the wonderful light show with different colours and flashing patterns, whilst sitting back and relaxing on one of our steam trains as it travels up and down our 10-mile line.

A Celebration of Christmas at Paultons Park

peppa pig in snow

Paultons Park, Ower, Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 6AL

  • Dates: Saturday 4th December 2021 to Thursday 23rd December 2021
  • Tickets:  Christmas at Paultons
  • Cost:  £95 (family of four)

Of course, one of the best Christmas events in Hampshire for younger kids is a visit to Paultons Park.

Little children will love seeing Peppa Pig World decorated for Christmas.  Then they can enjoy a selection of rides, meet Frosty the Snowman and watch Santa’s Christmas Wish Show.

The Sky before Christmas at Winchester Science Centre

Christmas Illuminations

Winchester Science Centre, Winchester, SO21 1HZ

  • Dates: Weekends until 18th December and then daily until 23rd December 2021
  • Tickets:  The sky before Christmas
  • Cost:  £3.50 with general admission

Now, have you ever wondered what Santa can see when he makes his annual festive flight through the stars on Christmas Eve?  The Sky Before Christmas discovers the stars and constellations that will be putting on a show on Christmas Eve before zooming off into space to deliver some presents to the different planets of the Solar System.

Christmas Canoe Paddle at New Forest Activities

Christmas lights

New Forest Activities, Baileys Hard Lane, Beaulieu, Hampshire, SO42 7YF

What about joining New Forest Activities for a festive paddle on the Beaulieu River to find Santa this Christmas? Enjoy a 90 minute guided tour of the river’s beautiful nature reserve, with the river offering up some of its more stunning sights on a fresh winter’s day.

Santa's Best Ever Christmas at Theatre Royal, Winchester

Christmas sweets and fruit

Theatre Royal Winchester, 21-23 Jewry Street, Winchester, SO23 8SB

  • Dates:  Monday 20th December 2021
  • Tickets:  Santa’s Best Ever Christmas
  • Cost:  £13 per child (includes a meet and greet with Santa and present)

Alternatively, join Father Christmas and friends in this brand new, festive, musical, interactive adventure to make 2021 Santa’s Best Ever Christmas!

It’s a family show most suitable for 2-7 year olds, where everyone will receive a present from Santa.

Click here for stocking filler ideas

Breakfast with Santa at Spinnaker Tower

Father Christmas in his grotto

Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, PO1 3TZ

Luckily, Santa returns to the Spinnaker Tower this Christmas and he’s tucking into breakfast to make sure he’s full of energy for a busy day of festive preparations. Join him and his elves in the Spinnaker Kitchen and Bar for some festive fun!

Children can write their letters to Santa, sharing their Christmas wish list, before popping it into the post box and chatting with the main man himself. 

A Victorian Experience at Fort Nelson

Christmas santa sack stuffed with presents

Fort Nelson, Portsdown Hill Rd, Portchester, Fareham, PO17 6AN

  • Dates:  18th December – 23rd December 2021
  • Tickets:  A Victorian Christmas
  • Cost:  £3.50 pp (includes entrance to museum)

Join one of our special festive tours and experience a military Christmas in a Victorian garrison. Firstly, step back in time and meet head cook Private Dobson in the kitchen as he prepares a Christmas feast for the soldiers.  

Afterwards, visit the barrack room, festively decorated with oranges, cloves and greenery, and learn about the life at the Fort for a soldier at Christmas, as well as Victorian Christmas traditions and ‘new’ fashions.  

Bear's Winter Wander at Queen Victoria Country Park

christmas baubles in winter trees

Queen Victoria Country Park, Netley, nr Southampton

Reconnect with nature this winter with Bear’s Winter Wander.

Find out about Bear’s woodland friends, including Robin, Mole, Squirrel, Barn Owl, Badger, Deer, Bee, Rabbit and Hedgehog. You’ll find riddles, games and puzzles to solve plus missing acorns and pinecones to find!

It’s £6 for each child taking part and includes a trail guide booklet and colouring pencils. Plus, their very own Bear to take on the walk and to take home afterwards.

You can also follow the trail for Bear’s Winter Wander at Queen Elizabeth Country Park or Lepe Country Park.

Santa Rescue Laser Tag at Queen Elizabeth Country Park

Queen Elizabeth Country Park, nr Petersfield, Hampshire

  • Dates: 18th – 24th December 2021
  • Tickets:  Santa Rescue
  • Cost:  From £12 per child

At 06:32 on 1st December 2021 a group of rogue elves took Santa hostage. Can you use your team work and communication skills to free Santa and save Christmas?  Suitable for ages 6+

Cinderella at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton

Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1GE

You shall go to the ball next Christmas with the spectacular family pantomime Cinderella. Packed with all of the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect, Cinderella features laugh out loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses.

Join Cinders as she goes from rags to riches, outwits her very wicked sisters and meets her dashing Prince Charming.

Winter Woodland Lights at the Hawk Conservancy Trust

Hawk Conservancy Trust, Weyhill, Andover, Hampshire, SP11 8DY

Start 2022 with a sparkle at the Hawk Conservancy Trust, when it will become even more magical with beautiful illuminations and a live owl display set in a stunning, colourful woodland.

Christmas events near Hampshire and in London

What are your favourite things to do in Hampshire at Christmas?  We’d love to hear your comments below.

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