Christmas Events in Dorset

Dorset at Christmas is truly magical.

Our highstreets will be twinkling with festive lights, Santa will be making an appearance and there are some brand new events taking place for Christmas 2021.

We know that Christmas events will be different this year and some events will need to be booked in advance. So be sure to secure your place and get the Christmas season started in style.

Dazzling Christmas Lights

Along with our town centre Christmas trees and festive light displays, there will be a number of winter illuminations taking place in Dorset this season.

The National Trust's Kingston Lacy have a new after-dark illuminated trail through their festive gardens and grounds. Or if you are visiting during the day, you can wander around this grand mansion which will be filled with traditional Christmas decorations or the little ones can take part in a Winter Wander Trail.

Swanage Railway's Steam and Lights will be returning for 2021 – an evocative, dramatic and colourful train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside between Swanage and Corfe Castle.

See Abbotsbury Sub-Tropical Gardens in a whole new light with Illuminate. Visit the gardens after dark to see the trees and grounds lit up in multicolour.

Christmas cheer

Get into the Christmas spirit with some carol singing by West Gallery Carols. Shows take place in various locations on 11th, 12th, 19th and 22nd December.

Skate Bournemouth is back in the Lower Gardens with an even bigger ice rink and a magical ice path. Alongside, you'll find the Moguls Alpine Bar with a VIP chalet and indoor winter wonderland for a warming drink after you've showed off your skills on the ice.

Take part in Rudolph's Reindeer Roundup at Durlston Country Park in Swanage and see if you can find all of Santa's flying friends. 

There will be a variety of Christmas markets and shopping experiences across the county and not forgetting the town Farmers Markets where you can pick up some tasty treats for the holiday season.

Pay a visit to Santa Claus  

Meet Father Christmas at Farmer Palmers near Poole and have a farm-tastic time. This year expect more lights, more elves and more magic!

The big man himself will also be visiting Poole Quay on 20th November along with his reindeer and elves. Have a chat with the man in red and ask him to make your Christmas wish come true. There will also be live music and entertainment on the Quay to enjoy too.

Christmas Classics

If watching A Christmas Carol is part of your annual seasonal celebrations, book a ticket to see David Mynne's one man show of this Dicken's classic tale. The show takes place in different locations between 10th and 12th December.

Lyme Regis' Marine Theatre will be showing the all-time classic It's A Wonderful Life, as well as a double bill of The Snowman and Father Christmas and many more performances during December.

The Regent Centre in Christchurch will be showing The Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker (Live) as well as other festive films and performances.

Festive treats at Poole's Lighthouse include two festive performances from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra as well Adam Kay's The Nightshift Before Christmas.

He's behind you!

The festive season is not complete without a traditional pantomime and we have a great selection of family favourites for you to choose from.

Beauty will try to tame the Beast in Poole, Weymouth welcomes Aladdin and his magic carpet, Sleeping Beauty will be waking from a long nap in Wimborne and Peter Pan is seeking Neverland in Bournemouth.

And for something completely different, go to see Christchurch's Christmas Spectacular - this is a festive treat for the whole family to enjoy.

Stay a little longer

If you are looking to stay overnight in Dorset during Christmas, Twixmas or New Year, choose from a fantastic selection of short breaks at some of Dorset's finest hotels..

Or why not take a look at our full range of places to stay including cosy cottages, welcoming B&Bs and luxury hotels.

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Enjoy family favourites Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty.