With Christmas almost upon us, Hampshire is all aglitter with magical festive attractions and has loads on offer to get you in the spirit. Here, we bring you our five top picks…
Southampton Christmas Festival
Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7FE, now until 23rd December
Featuring a ‘the UK’s only Flying Santa show’, this Christmas extravaganza is sure to please the whole family. The shows happen twice daily, and the Christmas festival itself is open from Monday to Saturday 10am to 8pm, with a bar open until 8pm. There are carol singers and entertainers, and also a traditional German market selling top quality arts and crafts, as well as food stalls selling traditional German fare like Bratwurst and gingerbread hearts.
Santa and the Elves Christmas Experience
Winchester Science Centre, Saturdays and Sundays from the 1st to 16th December, and daily from 20th to 24th December.
Described as a “Christmas experience like no other”, visitors to the Santa and the Elves Experience will be treated to a science show with the classic children’s story, Jack and the Beanstalk as its theme. After the show there will be a workshop led by elves and Santa will be present to meet children and give gifts. Finally, Reindeer Roundup is a fun presenter-led show which will take the audience on a journey through space in search of Rudolf and friends.
For ticketing information visit – www.winchestersciencecentre.org
Portsmouth Ice Rink at Guildhall Square
Guildhall Square, opening times vary – open until 6th January
If you’re looking to get your skates on this festive season then head to Guildhall Square which features 612sqm ice rink. After your hour session you could head over to the adjoining Moguls Bar, where you can enjoy a range of delicious festive beverages. DJs play at the weekends bringing the festive party vibes. Families are welcome and there are special ticketing options and sessions for those with small children.
Tickets cost £10 for adults and £8.50 Child. Concessions and group tickets are also available. See www.iceskateportsmouth.co.uk for more.
Santa Specials this Christmas on the Watercress Line
The Watercress Line, The Railway Station, Alresford, Hampshire, SO24 9JG, from 1st December to 24th December at various times
For railway enthusiasts, why not book into a traditional festive carriage for this magical steam train ride, taking passengers along Hampshire’s scenic Watercress Line. Santa and his helpers will be aboard visiting passengers and giving gifts. There will be white wine and mince pies for adults and soft drinks and a gingerbread man for the kids. You will also be encouraged to join in with Christmas carols.
Christmas 2018 at Paultons Park & Peppa Pig World
Paultons Family Theme Park, 24th November to 23rd December
This Christmas Peppa Pig World will be transformed with festive music, illuminations and huge Christmas trees, plus tots will have the chance to meet Peppa Pig and George. Other selected rides and attractions will be open across the park and there will be a Festive Family Show at the Show Stage, featuring Frosty, Rudolph and two cheeky elves, Billy and Belinda.
Visitors can also book to meet Santa in his magical grotto, where all children will receive a gift and adults will receive a festive treat!
Tickets start from £9.50, up to £29 – discounts are available, see www.paultonspark.co.uk