The Christmas lights are now on and the festive season has officially begun in Winchester. The children are busy writing their lists for Father Christmas – but have you booked a magical meeting with him yet? Once again he will be doing the rounds across Winchester’s top venues and attractions. But it’s not just about the kids – Winchester’s got festive foodie treats and unique shopping experiences on offer so there really is a merry time to be had for everyone.
16 November – 24 Deecmber
Marwell Zoo is getting ready to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Christmas at Marwell. This year, Jingle the Elf and his new friends in ‘Wonderland’ have prepared both a daytime and an evening session.
Enjoy an array of topsy-turvy delights including a tea party with Mother Christmas who’ll be recounting an enchanting tale, a meeting with the elves to make a magical elf door and, of course, the chance to catch up with Father Christmas!
30 November – 6 January
Immerse your family in dinosaur exploration this Christmas at Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. With storytelling and activities brought to you by the owners of the popular children’s book series The World of Dinosaur Roar, this is a fantastic festive day out with a dino twist that the whole family will love.
Uncover creatures from the past in a huge dino dig, handle real-life and replica fossils, watch dinosaur-themed live science shows and meet Trixie the baby triceratops and her friendly rangers. Plus, there’s the opportunity to sit back and relax in the centre’s planetarium to watch a Christmas show.
7-8, 14-15 & 19-24 December
Santa and his elves will be visiting Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium throughout December. Meet the big man himself in his Christmas grotto where you can share that all-important Christmas wishlist before receiving a wrapped gift to take home. Don’t forget to help the team of elves before you leave to complete some fun science-themed activities.
7 – 8 December
Be sure to pay Father Christmas a visit in his grotto at the Chawton House Christmas Fayre. Expect plenty of Yuletide activities including shortbread decorating, storytelling and carol singing.
With a wide variety of stalls selling handmade and local produce, this is the perfect spot to catch up on some Christmas shopping. Enjoy tasty treats from the Old Kitchen Tearoom.
30 November and 1, 7 – 8, 14 – 15, 21 – 24 December
The Mid Hants Railway invites you to join a magical trip on the South’s famous Watercress Line this Christmas. Santa and his jolly helpers will be making their way through the festive train carriage to meet passengers ahead of the big day.
Little passengers will receive a Christmas gift and an activity pack whilst tucking into a delicious gingerbread man. Grown-ups can enjoy a little Christmas indulgence with a mince pie and a glass of wine.
26 – 27 December
“We’ll meet again, I do know where, I do know when, I know we’ll meet again…”
If you are looking for days out between Christmas and the New Year to spend some quality time with the family, why not join Mid Hants Railway for Christmas Leave? Experience the atmosphere of a 1940s Christmas on the railway with live music and civilian and military re-enactors. Dress up in your favourite period costume and enjoy all day travel on the railway.
Join Santa as the countdown to Christmas begins at Theatre Royal Winchester. But wait! The calendar is broken and all the magic goodies inside have gone missing.
During this 45 minute interactive show, help Santa and his friends fix the Christmas calendar and get the countdown started. After the show, the adventure continues with a Santa meet and greet where you will receive a specially wrapped present.
21 – 23 December
A magical and enchanting meeting with Father Christmas awaits at the Great Hall. Children will also receive a special gift and have the opportunity to take part in Christmas craft activities.
Hot drinks, cold refreshments and a selection of seasonal treats will be available from the pop-up Christmas café. Make sure you pre-book your tickets for the opportunity to see him in this beautiful and historic setting.