Family Christmas events in Dorset
PUBLISHED: 10:37 17 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:57 02 January 2018
From a Tudor Christmas to helping a Fairy Godmother decorate her tree, there are plenty of family-friendly events happening in and around the county this December
Silver Moon - 1 December
This masked performance by Compagnie Animotion tells the enchanting tale of two very different children. When the clock strikes midnight on Christmas Eve the magic begins. 6pm, Toller Porcorum Village Hall, 01300 320373.
Santa at Kingston Lacy - Fridays to Sundays (1–24 December)
See the entrance and servants’ hall decorated for Christmas, meet Santa Claus (booking essential 0344 249 1895 or nationaltrust.org.uk/kingston-lacy) then explore the illuminated Christmas walk in the gardens.
Santa Steam Special - Weekends from 2–10 December & 16-24 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 01929 425800.
The Fairy Godmother’s Christmas Tree - 2, 3 & 9 December
The Fairy Godmother weaves storytelling magic as she decorates her tree for a rather special visitor at 11am and 2pm. Suitable for 3 – 8 year olds. Booking essential 01425 480811 or moors-valley.co.uk.
A Christmas Carol - 8-10 December
Dave Mynne’s family-friendly anarchic comedy brings the true spirit of Christmas to the county. Starts 7.30pm. 8 Dec Tarrant Gunville Village Hall (VH) 01258 830361; 9 Dec Broadoak VH 01308 424922; 4pm, 10 Dec Memorial Hall Piddletrenthide 01300 348247.
Frozen Sing-a-long - 9 December
Dress up as your favourite character for this fabulous pre-Christmas sing-a-long at the Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis. Box office 01297 442138.
Meet the Reindeer - 9–10 December
Santa is in his woodland grotto at Upton Park and he’s been joined by his reindeer from Lapland, come and meet them and a wonderful snowy owl. You can even have a quick word with Santa (24 Nov - 26 Dec) pre-book on 01202 261305. After dark the walled garden is transformed into a magical sparkling world with interactive igloo, mini northern lights, a penguin frozen lake, magical fairy turrets and nativity scene. uptoncountrypark.com/Christmas.
A Tudor Christmas at Corfe Castle - 9–31 December
Join the Lord of Misrule in a floodlit castle decorated with lanterns, beacons and braziers. Share your special memory or wish on Christmas Wish trees then admire the 23ft Christmas tree and Tudor-themed decorations. On selected dates there are Tudor storytellers. nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle.
The Little Match Girl - 10 & 22 December
A family show for Christmas inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of a little girl whose strike of a match on a bitter winter’s night transports her to another world. 10 Dec: Shelley Theatre, Bournemouth 01202 413 600; 22 Dec: Bridport Arts Centre 01308 424 204.
Family Christmas Night Ride - 13 December
Instructor-led Christmassy bike ride in the woods at Moors Valley, followed by a hot chocolate, suitable for 8 years and over. Runs 5 – 6.30pm. Booking essential 01425 480811.
The Frog Prince - 18–19 December
Forest Forge and Bumblefly Theatre perform this magical fairy story for the festive season at Moors Valley. Starts 6.30pm. Booking essential 01425 480811.
The Snowman - 19 December
Join the Snowman and James in this special big screen showing of Raymond Brigg’s festive classic, accompanied by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, 3pm & 7pm. Lighthouse, Poole 01202 280000.
Jack & The Beanstalk - 2 December – 1 January
Fee-fi-fo-fum let’s go to Bournemouth Pavilion for some panto fun! S Club 7’s Rachel Stevens is waving her wand as Fairy Sweet Pea and Milkshake! presenter Derek Moran is Jack. Box office 0844 576 3000.
Cinderella - 8 December – 6 January
With a Fairy Godmother waiting in the wings it looks like Cinders’ wish to go to the ball is granted. Lighthouse Poole. Box office 01202 280000.
Sleeping Beauty - 9 December – 1 January
Will Prince Daniel of Dorchester break the curse with True Love’s Kiss? Find out at Weymouth Pavilion. Box office 01305 783225.
Aladdin - 15 December – 1 January
Step aboard the flying carpet in this magical family panto at the Tivoli Theatre, Wimborne. Box office 01202 885566.
Aladdin - 21–22 December
Sherborne Amateur Pantomime Society introduce to you a cunning genie in a bottle at the Digby Hall. Box office 01935 815341.
Fancy Dress Swim Charmouth – 25 December
Annual Christmas Day swim in aid of the RNLI. Be there at 10.30am to see fundraisers in their costumes before 11am dip.
Weymouth Harbour Swim – 25 December
Sponsored swim across the harbour. Event starts prompt at 11am. Register weymouthlionsclub.co.uk if you want to take part.
Macmillan White Christmas Dip – 25 December
Now in its 10th year this dip in the sea at Boscombe is in aid of Macmillan Caring Locally. You can pre-register at whitechristmasdip.co.uk. Arrive 9.45am for dip at 10.30am sharp.
West Bay Wallow – 26 December
Charity fancy dress swim from the West Bay Harbour slipway. Register from 10.30am, wallow starts prompt at midday. bridportroundtable.co.uk.
Boxing Day Swim Swanage – 26 December
Hugely popular event at the Mowlem end of Shore Road. Raise sponsorship for yourself or pay an entry fee on the day. Starts 11am.
Click here to see our full Dorset Christmas guide.