The Christmas Count Down in Hampshire!

Dear Mummy, we’re so excited! Now that the John Lewis advert has been shown its officially the annual countdown to Christmas 2016. Everything is now downhill until the big day. With Christmas light switch ons to winter markets these are our top festive picks in Hampshire. Perfect for getting you into the spirit of Christmas!

Festival Place Christmas Light Switch On

Christmas Light Switch On
Festival Place, Basingstoke Hampshire
11th November 5:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Kicking off Christmas in Basingstoke, the famous Festival Place Christmas Light Switch On will return on Friday 11th November.  Featuring stars from the annual Anvil Arts pantomime and an array of family entertainment, this fun event is sure to get everybody into the Christmas spirit.

The Christmas Light Switch On comes as part of a series of events and activities coming up at the centre to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season, alongside their name change for the second year running from Festival Place to ‘Festive Place’.

Camberley Christmas lights,
Camberley Berkshire

14th November 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

A FREE family fun day and a great way to kick start the festive season! This years celebrations are bigger and better than ever with Christmas Farmers Markets, Choirs, Bands and much more this event is not one to be missed.

Christmas Felt Workshop
Basingstoke Discovery Centre, Basingstoke Hampshire
17th November 10:00 am

Learn how to make a piece of felt which can then be used to create Christmas tree shapes. Add colourful felt snowballs and embellish with beads, sequins & stitches to create unique bunting and hanging decorations. All materials included.

Christmas at Paulton's Park

Christmas at Paulton’s Park
Paultons Park Home of Peppa Pig World,
Romsey,The New Forest, Hampshire
12th November – 23rd December 

Special Elf Workshop and Open Day
Millers Ark Animals, Hook Hampshire
19th November to 20th November 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Play traditional games with the elves in our cosy barn, like “pin the tail on the donkey”, “sleeping pigs”, “musical straw bales” and learn the “special elf dance”! If you would like to dress up as elves, the more elves the merrier!

Aldershot Christmas Lights Switch On
Aldershot Town Centre, Aldershot Hampshire
19th November 4:45 pm

Join Father Christmas and stars from the Princes Hall’s panto, Sleeping Beauty at 4.45pm as they count down to Christmas and light up Aldershot town centre.

Fleet Christmas Festival
Fleet Town Centre, Fleet Hampshire
23rd November

There will be 3 stages packed with live music and entertainment, over 100 Christmas market stalls, free children’s crafts, community stalls, children’s rides, donkeys, a winter Pimms and beer tent and much, much more…

Winchester Christmas Market

Winchester Christmas Market
Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire
18th November to 20th December

Founded in 2006, the Christmas Market celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Now recognised as one of the best in Europe with its unique location, high quality exhibitors and bustling atmosphere. Wonderful Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance.

Marwell Zoo Christmas

Christmas at Marwell
Marwell Zoo, Winchester, Hampshire
19 November – 24 December 2016

Make your family’s Christmas magical this winter and join in the festivities at Marwell Zoo as we celebrate with a few special friends.

Black Friday And Cyber Monday
Festival Place, Basingstoke Hampshire
25th November to 28th November 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Originating in America, Black Friday is traditionally the day after Thanksgiving when retailers hold massive sales that consumers go crazy for. Often seen as the beginning of the Christmas season, the day is called Black Friday as it’s usually the time when the retailers come out of the red and back into the black. The money saving fun will continue on Monday 28th November with Cyber Monday when the centre will be offering another load of deals.

wyevale garden centre Christmas

Breakfast with Father Christmas
Wyevale Garden Centre, Basingstoke Hampshire
26th November to 24th December

Includes a special present from Father Christmas, biscuit decorating and fun festive activities

Santa’s Arrival
Millers Ark Animals, Hook Hampshire
26th November to 27th November 12:30 pm

Farm entry £7, Santa visit £5
Every year Santa visits the farm at Miller’s Ark, and this year he is coming back for a whole weekend, so no small people miss him at the farm!

Santa is expected at 12.30 with a procession of elves up the farm drive, then he will be in his Magical Grotto to meet all the families throughout the afternoon.
The Night Before Christmas
The Night Before Christmas
The Haymarket, Basingstoke Hampshire
1st December to 4th December

On the night before Christmas, Emily stares out of the window, hugs her teddy and waits excitedly for the morning, while in the corner a little mouse called Eddie can’t understand why only humans are allowed presents. So he sets off in search of Father Christmas to find out for himself.

Along the way he dodges the family cat, gets directions from a cowardly robot and is given some unexpected advice from the magical fairy on top of the tree.
Will Eddie get an answer? Will Emily get her wish? And what is that funny-shaped present sitting under the tree?

The Night Before Christmas is the latest production from the creators of the hit shows Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, The Way Back Home and Aliens Love Underpants.

Running time: 50 minutes
Suitable for: ages 2 and over
Times: Thu & Fri 10.30am & 1.30pm; Sat & Sun 11am, 2pm & 4pm
Tickets: £13 (includes £2 booking fee)

National Trust, The Vyne Winter Walk
Basingstoke, Hampshire
1st December 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Enjoy a guided woodland walk followed by a warming drink and mince pie.

Santa Special Mid Hants Watercress Line

Mid Hants Watercress Line, Santa Special
The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire
3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17th – 24th December 2016

See Santa on a magical steam train ride on the scenic Watercress Line – the perfect way to start Christmas!

As you travel in a festive traditional train carriage Santa and his jolly helpers visit you in your seat with a special gift! There is white wine and mince pies for the grown-ups and soft drinks for the children. Don’t forget to bring your very best singing voice to join in with your favourite Christmas songs too!

Departing from either Alresford or Alton, Santa Specials are a one hour round trip back to your start point.

Santa Parade at Festival Place

Santa Parade at Festival Place,
Basingstoke Hampshire

4th December 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Sunday 4th December will see the return of the well loved Festival Place Santa Parade, featuring an array of Christmassy characters marching from Porchester Square to Festival Square. Leading the event will be Santa himself, giving shoppers a welcome break from their Christmas shopping to enjoy the entertainment.

The Santa Parade comes as part of a series of events and activities coming up at the centre to spread the Christmas cheer this festive season, alongside their name change for the second year running from Festival Place to ‘Festive Place’.

Viables Christmas Fayre
Viables Craft Centre, Basingstoke Hampshire
4th December 2:30 pm – 5:00 pm

Come along with all the family to enjoy an afternoon of children’s crafts, Christmas raffle, Christmas shopping, meeting Santa and, of course, enjoying some mulled wine and mince pies! This is a family fund-raising event and all proceeds will go towards the activities we continue to provide for the community.

Sleeping Beauty Panto

Sleeping Beauty
The Anvil, Basingstoke, Hampshire
8th December to 2nd January 

Starring Sue Holderness (Only Fools and Horses), Katrina Bryan (CBeebies) and Sarah-Jane Buckley (Hollyoaks)

One of the most loved and enchanting pantomimes, Sleeping Beauty, returns. Featuring traditional pantomime ingredients for the whole family, Sleeping Beauty’s glittering costumes, sensational songs and dazzling dance routines are guaranteed to keep you awake! So set your alarm clocks and don’t miss out on fun, laughter and magic in this dream of a pantomime.

See website for full performance schedule. Suitable for: the whole family
Tickets: £26, £25, £21, £19; Over 65s £2 off, under 16s and f/t students £3 off (includes £2 booking fee)

Traditional Father Christmas Grotto
Milestones Museum, Basingstoke Hampshire
10th December to 11th December 12:00 am

Experience our Traditional Father Christmas Grotto in the decorated Railway Station at Milestones Living History Museum. Your children can spend 10 minutes chatting to Father Christmas and each child aged 0 – 15 years will receive a gift appropriate to their age from Father Christmas.

Exbury’s Christmas Postal Express

Exbury Gardens Christmas Postal Express
Exbury, Southampton, Hampshire
10th-11th & 17th-18th December

Everyone loves a Christmas present and this year, as a gesture of goodwill to all its loyal visitors and locals, Exbury Gardens is giving everyone the chance to visit specially selected areas of gardens free of charge for two weekends in December. On the 10/11th and 17th/18th December, Yard Wood will be open from 10.00am – 4.00pm for everyone to enjoy and keep your eyes open as you might even bump into Father Christmas!

There will also be special ‘Postal Express’ trains running from 10.45 – 3.00pm where children will be able to post a picture they’ve drawn for Father Christmas in a special mailbox and then hop aboard the Postal Express. At the end of each day, Father Christmas will then look at all the pictures and choose three winners who will each receive a special present.

Living Nativities
Millers Ark Animals, Hook Hampshire
13th-16th December 4:45 pm

If you’ve never been to an original Magical Living Nativity before, then you will not know how special it is. Arriving in the dark, you will be welcomed into our warm candle lit Tea Barn to await the arrival of Mary and Joseph on their donkey. Travelling back in time, we will journey with them in search of a room at the inn. During the journey we will meet innkeepers, shepherds with their flocks, angels and wise men. Then at last the baby Jesus is born to the wonder of us all. Back in the cosy Tea Barn after this truly magical experience, you will be greeted with hot drinks and juice for everyone and “Miller’s Ark” own rare breed hot dogs and warm mince pies.

Tickets cost £15 (£16 on Christmas Eve) for everyone over the age of 2 years old* and MUST be booked in advance. We advise wearing warm clothes and shoes.

Carols in the Barn
Millers Ark Animals, Hook Hampshire
17th December 11:00 am

At Carols in the Barn you will be welcomed with a complimentary mince pie and the chance to buy our piping hot drinks and warming Winter punch! Mingle with friends in the beautiful Tea Barn, before heading through to the Straw Barn to enjoy the Carols.

Geoff and his band will be leading us in traditional Christmas Carols and all the children’s favourites. Join in with the popular “JINGLE BELLS”, appreciate beautiful SILENT NIGHT” and of course our own “Mickey” the donkey will be making his annual appearance as “Rudolph”. Santa may even make an appearance, waving to all during “SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN!”

A Christmas Carol
The Haymarket, Basingstoke Hampshire
20th December 7:30 pm

On Christmas Eve, the most magical night of the year, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge is whisked away on a terrifying journey through the past and into the future, accompanied by three fearsome ghosts determined to make him realize the true meaning of Christmas.

Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story is brought alive in this most traditional of productions, complete with beautiful period costume, song, dance and a magnificent, original musical score. Join critically acclaimed theatre company Chapterhouse as Scrooge’s frozen heart begins to melt and he finally embraces the festive spirit in this most Christmassy of Christmas tales.

So many great events this year! Which one takes your fancy?

Love Bella x

25 thoughts on “The Christmas Count Down in Hampshire!

  1. Hi Isabella, I wish I can attend those events but I live here in the Philippines. They sound so much fun! I wanna watch the Santa Parade. Are you going to attend? Maybe you can post a video? = )

  2. Wow, looks like there’s loads for you to do, love the sound of the Santa Parade. My sister is singing carols at our local high streets lights turn on so we’re excited for that down our way

  3. Ahhhh I’m so excited it’s CHRISTMAS!! I love that there are so many events going on throughout the country. Didn’t love the John Lewis advert as much as last years, but it’s still good!

  4. Is it bad that all I want for Christmas and the countdown to is some peace and quite and snuggling in my home!! Lol such lovely events and so many options for everyone

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