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Family Christmas events in Dorset: Christmas 2016

PUBLISHED: 10:25 28 November 2016

Meet Father Christmas at Kingston Lacy

Meet Father Christmas at Kingston Lacy

© National Trust Images/Rob Stothard

From a Tudor Christmas at Corfe Castle to helping Santa find golden pine cones in a forest, there are plenty of family-friendly events happening in and around the county this December


Christmas at Kingston Lacy - Thursdays to Sundays 1–23 December

See the entrance and servants’ hall decorated for Christmas, meet Santa Claus (booking essential 0344 249 1895) then explore the illuminated Christmas walk.

The Tinderbox - 2–4 December

A roguish soldier acquires a magic tinderbox which gives him the power to summon three extraordinary dogs to do his bidding. Watch the soldier’s remarkable roller coaster adventure in this stunning rendition by the Norwich Puppet Theatre of Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale.

2 Dec 6pm Yetminster St Andrew’s Primary School 01935 872430; 3 Dec 11am Sandford Orcas Village Hall 01963 220163; 3 Dec 6pm Milborne St Andrew Village Hall 01258 837371; 4 Dec 3pm Langton Matravers Village Hall 01929 423834.

Santa Steam Special - Weekends from 3–18 December & 19-24 December

Meet Santa and his helpers on this steam train special as it puffs between Corfe Castle and Swanage. Booking essential swanagerailway.co.uk or call 01929 425800.

Snow Play - 6-24 December

There’s a showdown between Winter and Spring in this highly interactive smash-hit London production featuring a snowball fight! Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000

The Great Pudding Stir - 10 December

The Victorian kitchen at the Priest’s House Museum, Wimborne fills with the smells of Mrs Beeton’s Christmas pudding. Stir the pudding and make a wish before tasting.

Victorian Christmas Fayre - 10-11 December

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth hosts this Victorian-themed weekend with artisan stalls selling festive wares and Father Christmas.

The Hunt for the Magical Golden Pine Cones - 10-11 December

Help Santa find the golden pine cones at the award-winning Moors Valley Country Park & Forest. Booking essential 01425 480811 or moors-valley.co.uk.

Santa Special at Moors Valley - 10–11 & 17-18 December

Santa Special trains steam past the lake on route to Santa’s Railway Grotto. Booking essential moorsvalleyrailway.co.uk.

Christmas Spectacular - 17-24 December

Santa is hosting an Elf Convention at the North Pole. Expect musical Christmas Classics and some very helpful polar bear in this Christmas cracker of a family show from the Glad Rag Production Company at the Regent, Christchurch, 01202 499199.

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra: The Snowman - 20 December

Join the Snowman and James in this special big screen showing of the festive classic, accompanied by the BSO which is paired with Paddington Bear’s First Concert, narrated by Pui Fan Lee from CBeebies at 3pm & 7pm. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.

Christmas Show - 20-21 December

The Elves and the Shoemaker bring together fairytales old and new as their shoemaker’s shop is visited by Prince Charming, Puss in Boots and the Wicked Witch of the West at Moors Valley Park Visitors Centre. Booking essential 01425 470721.


Christmas Day Fancy Dress Swim in Charmouth - 25 December

Annual swim in aid of the RNLI. Be there at 10.30am to see the fundraisers in their costumes before the 11am dip.

Christmas Day Harbour Swim - 25 December

Sponsored swim across Weymouth harbour. Event starts at 11am. Register via weymouthlionsclub.co.uk to take part.

Macmillan White Christmas Dip - 25 December

Over 750 took a dip in the sea at Boscombe in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally last year. Pre-register via whitechristmasdip.co.uk. Arrive 9.45am, dip at 10:30am sharp.

West Bay Wallow - 26 December

Charity fancy dress swim from the Jurassic slipway. Register from 10.30am, wallow starts prompt at midday.


Aladdin - 6 December – 7 January

Aladdin flies into Lighthouse, Poole for this fun-filled family pantomime, where our hero battles his wicked Uncle Abanazar to obtain a lamp of extraordinary powers. Box office 01202 280000.

Cinderella - 3 December – 2 January

Spectacular costumes, comedy capers and real ponies feature in this family panto at Bournemouth Pavilion with a star cast including Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracey Beaker & BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing) as Cinders. Box office 0844 576 3000.

Peter Pan - 9–10 December

IPADS (Isle of Portland Amateur Dramatic Society) present a hilarious Christmas ‘Pan-tomime’ as Peter and the Lost Boys battle against Captain Hook at Portland Officers Borstal Club. Reduced entry price for fairies and pirates.

Jack and the Beanstalk - 10 December – 1 January

Fee-fi-fo-fum enjoy this magical panto about a boy and his magic beans at Weymouth Pavilion. Box office 01305 783225.

Dick Whittington - 14-31 December

Contrary to common belief, Dick Whittington was not from Lancashire but hails from Lyme Regis as you will discover at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. Box office 01297 442138.

Sleeping Beauty - 16 December – 2 January

Who will wake the princess from her deep slumber? Find out at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne Minster. Box office 01202 885566.

Cinderella - 18-19 December

Sherborne Amateur Pantomime Society turn a kitchen maid into a princess at the Digby Hall, Hound Street in Sherborne. Box office 01935 815341.

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