It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and things are starting to get festive in the heart of Hampshire. With chances to meet Santa and his elves, walk through a winter wonderland and enjoy some jolly good entertainment at every turn, there’s plenty on offer in the south of England this winter.
Whether you’re a Hampshire local, are on a staycation or planning a day trip, there’s plenty of Christmassy fun for the whole family to enjoy. Here we’ve rounded up 9 festive treats to get you in the festive spirit:
Breakfast with Santa at the Spinnaker Tower
Santa is returning to the Spinnaker Tower this Christmas, and he’s inviting you to tuck into a festive breakfast alongside him and his merry elves!
High up in the clouds, you can join the man himself in the Spinnaker Kitchen and Bar to enjoy some festive fun overlooking the Solent and the iconic Portsmouth harbour. With a Santa meet and greet included, snap that perfect family photo to capture your day.
Children will receive a gift, and the whole family can enjoy the incredible glass Sky Walk, be wowed by the 350° panoramic views and take in the complete Spinnaker Tower experience.
Celebrate Christmas at Exciting Escapes
If you’re looking for a unique, interactive and memorable experience like no other to get you in the festive spirit, then you’re in for a treat at Exciting Escapes. Get the party started as you race against the clock with your work colleagues, family and friends in this one of a kind adventure!
Step through the decades and uncover mysteries, crack codes and solve puzzles before you run out of time. Whether you travel back to the 1980s to a creepy silent medical research facility, get decadent in the 1920s themes Dark Deeds and Groceries or rescue a duchess, one thing’s for sure, this will be your most memorable Christmas activity ever!With top-rated escape room experiences in Southampton, Basingstoke and Southampton, have you got what it takes to make your escape before time runs out?
Hop on a canoe with Santa
Over the years, there have been many iconic duos; Dick and Dom, Hey Duggee and his squirrels, Tom and Jerry and of course, Santa and his Christmas Canoe! Yes, that’s right!
Make your way down to the New Forest this December and experience a Christmas Canoe Paddle with Santa. A perfect family adventure, make sure you wrap up warm for this thrilling experience, complete with a decadent mug of hot chocolate to beat the winter chill.
Discover fascinating traditions at Butser Ancient Farm
Tucked closely within the Hampshire border, you will discover the remarkable Butser Ancient Farm. With its foundations dating well back into the Anglo-Saxon era, you can get a taste of some of the winter traditions that have spanned over 1,000 years in this refreshingly enchanting experience.
With special Solstice performances on offer throughout the winter season, you can gather round the roundhouse fire and discover the Tales of Winter Magic with Red Phoenix or get lost in the wondrous storytelling of the Kings of Winter Woodland.
Revel in Christmas tradition at Winchester Cathedral
Towering over one of the best Christmas markets in Hampshire, if not the whole of the UK, you will find the monumental Gothic Winchester Cathedral. Within its walls, you can get festive watching the live orchestral version of The Snowman or catch a traditional, candlelit carol service.
In the cathedral’s grounds, you can soak up all the Christmas atmosphere from the bustling market as you wander the eclectic stalls, mulled wine in hand! Chat with local craftspeople, buy their beautiful gifts and enjoy the festive treats on offer.
Experience the closest thing to the Polar Express
All aboard! It’s time to marvel at all the festive illuminations and delights of the Steam Illuminations on the Watercress Line. Bring the whole family together this winter season and enjoy the spectacular LED light show as you chug along the captivating steam train line.
For extra Christmas magic, make sure you bring your camera along to capture the brand new magical snow experience!
Have a festive family adventure at Paulton’s Park
Paulton’s Park is one of the UKs most popular theme park attractions. Home to Peppa Pig World and Santa’s Christmas Wish Show, get ready to deck the halls on your family’s next big adventure!
Throughout December, all your kid’s favourite characters will be sporting their best festive outfits. What’s more, all the Christmas extras are included as part of the standard ticket price. So make sure you get your money’s worth this winter!
Have a Victorian Christmas
Santa Claus has arrived at Milestones this Christmas. Set in the iconic cobbled streets and surrounded by all the traditional Victorian-era decadence, you’ll feel all the festive cheer as soon as you enter.
You can visit Santa and his merry band of elves in his Grotto, join him for a delicious festive tea and meet his reindeer. With a range of interactive displays to help you discover traditions from days gone by, marvellous street magic and a fun new year trail for little explorers to enjoy, there’s something for everyone at Milestones this Christmas.
Make your way to a panto at the Mayflower Theatre
Pop down to Southampton’s iconic Mayflower Theatre this festive season and delight in all the magic, adventures and classic panto fun with Cinderella.
Starring Strictly Come Dancing’s resident mean judge Craig Revel Horwood as the Wicked Stepmother and Debbie McGee as the elegant Fairy Godmother, sit back, relax and enjoy this all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza with the whole family.
Before you make your way down to the Mayflower, check out the theatre’s social media accounts for exclusive competitions. You might even win yourself a family ticket!
Enjoy all the festive fun on offer this Christmas in the heart of Hampshire. Whether you wander through a magical winter wonderland, meet Santa or discover ancient traditions, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained this winter!