Family friendly events in Dorset this Christmas - 2015

PUBLISHED: 16:42 26 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:01 30 November 2015

Meet the Artic Quest team and their husky team at Moors Valley Park

Meet the Artic Quest team and their husky team at Moors Valley Park


From pudding-chasing Santas on the beach to riding a husky sled - here are some fun family-friendly events happening in and around the county this December

Celebrate Christmas at Kingston Lacy -27 November – 23 December

See Christmas through the eyes of the children with traditional decorations and add a link to the Christmas wish paper-chain. Head out into the garden after dusk to discover the illuminated trail and look out for Santa’s sleigh.

Visit Father Christmas on weekends from 4 December. Visit

Santa at Farmer Palmer’s - Weekends from 5 – 20 December

Meet Santa and his hard working Elves at this award-winning farm-themed park. 

Santa Steam Special - Weekends from 5 – 20 December & 21- 24 December

Meet Santa and his helpers on this steam train special as it puffs between Corfe Castle and Swanage.

Booking essential or call 01929 425800

Skate Under the Stars - Until 3 January

Bournemouth’s Lower Gardens are lit up by the award-winning Gardens of Light with Santa’s Grotto, an ice rink, exciting interactive sound and fabulous light pods to explore. 

Hansel & Gretel - 4, 10, 17 & 18 December

The magic of Forest Forge mixes with Bumblefly fun in this new production of Hansel and Gretel. Lost in the deep dark forest, the children come across many well known fairytale figures who try to help, or hinder them, as they draw ever closer to a strange house that looks good enough to eat!

All performances start 7pm. 4 Dec: Cecil Memorial Hall Cranborne 01725 517883, 8 Dec: Moors Valley 01425 480811, 10 Dec: Royal Manor Theatre, Portland 0333 666 3366. 17 Dec: Corfe Castle Village Hall 01929 480483, 18 Dec: Corn Exchange Dorchester; 01305 266926

Christmas Jumper Sunday - 6,13 & 20 December

Wear your Christmas jumper with pride at Moors Valley Park. Anyone modelling their natty Christmas knitwear when visiting the park will get a surprise gift.

Otto and the Robin - 8 – 24 December

Angel Exit Theatre invite you to the Piddle-under-Puddle annual Christmas party in this specially commissioned family show about making friends and overcoming our fears. This show is filled with festive cheer, fun songs and gorgeous puppetry and promises to delight both young and old.

Lighthouse, Poole; 0844 406 8666

The Ugly Sisters - 9 & 10 December

Ella is a farmer’s daughter happiest in her wellies, that is until she meets her glamorous new step sisters.

Performances start 7.30pm. 9 Dec Gillingham School Arts Theatre 01747 833844; 10 Dec Halstock VH; 01935 891744

Christmas on Stonebarrow - 12 December

Festive family fun on the Golden Cap Estate with torchlight procession and bonfire.

More details 01297 489481 or

The Great Pudding Stir - 12 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. 

Husky Experience - 12 – 13 December

Learn about working husky dogs at this special Moors Valley Christmas event and enjoy a thrilling ride on a husky-drawn sled and meet members of Team GB from Arctic Quest. Minimum age six years old.

Booking essential 01425 470721 or visit

Victorian Family Christmas - 12, 13, 19 & 20 December

Step back to the 19th century at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth. Receive a gift from Father Christmas, create a Christmas craft and follow the festive trail! 

Clay Christmas Decoration - 19 December

Create your own unique festive decorations in this workshop running 1.30-2.30pm at Moors Valley Park. Cost £4 per child, materials provided.

Find out more at or call 01425 470721

Christmas Spectacular - 19 - 24 December

Santa, his elves and polar bears feature in this Christmas cracker of a family show from the Glad Rag Production Company at the Regent, Christchurch. Clay

Box office 01202 499199

Happy & Elfie - 20 December

CBBC’s Christian Lee hosts this fun-filled show about the adventures of a Christmas Elf who has just 45 minutes to get all the toys ready for Santa’s arrival, looks like he may need some help from the audience! Starts 3pm.

Bridport Arts Centre 01308 424204

Children’s Chocolate Workshop - 21 December

Fun hands-on workshop at Moors Valley Park in East Dorset, making chocolate festive treats to take home. Runs 10am – midday.

Booking essential 01425 470721 or visit

The Melody Makers - 21-24 December

Pip Christmas hates Christmas but when her best friend Rupert the robin stops singing she sets out to find out how she can get him to sing once more in this magical musical family show. The Melody Makers -

Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis 01297 442138



Peter Pan - 4 December – 3 January

J M Barrie’s enchanting story is brought to life in an original version of the timeless classic at Lighthouse Poole. With Christopher Ellison (The Bill, Celebrity Big Brother) as Captain Hook and Jamie Quinn (Bluestone 42) as Peter Pan. With live music, pirates, a baddy to boo at, a fairy with attitude and a boy who can fly.

Bookings; 0844 406 8666

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 5 December – 3 January

Spectacular costumes, glittering sets and comedy capers, feature in this family panto at Bournemouth Pavilion with a starry cast including C5 Milkshakes Olivia Birchenough and Eastenders Gillian Wright as the Wicked Queen.

Bookings; 0844 576 3000

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs - 11 December – 3 January

Find out who really is ‘the fairest in the land’ in this magical family panto at Weymouth Pavilion.

Bookings; 01305 783225

Jack and the Beanstalk - 18 December – 3 January

Fee-fi-fo-fum enjoy this family panto about a boy whose magic beans take him on an adventure at Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre.

Box office; 01202 885566

Cinderella - 27 December

Professional touring company Reamba bring the story of a kitchen maid who becomes a princess thanks to her fairy god mother to Digby Hall in Sherborne.

Starts at 2pm



Family Santa Fun Run - 29 November

Two mile fun run in Dorchester at 11am for Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.

Register at

Chase the Pudding - 20 December

Santas chase a Christmas pudding along Weymouth beach. Starts 11am.

Register at

Christmas Day Fancy Dress Swim - 25 December

Annual swim at Charmouth for RNLI. Fundraisers in their costumes will take a dip at 11am.

Christmas Day Harbour Swim - 25 December

Sponsored swim across the harbour. Event starts at 11am.

Register via to take part

Macmillan White Christmas Dip - 25 December

Fancy dress dip at Boscombe for Macmillan Caring Locally. Arrive 9.45am, dip 10:30am.


West Bay Wallow - 26 December

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


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