The countdown to Christmas has begun; join us for some family-friendly festive adventures

With the Christmas holidays just around the corner, here’s our suggestions for some top days out and things to experience at some of our country parks, where we have some special visitors and winter adventures for all ages to enjoy

Dec 18 2019

Christmas 2019

Christmas on the Farm

Why not join us at Manor Farm, where at weekends throughout December, we have a host of fun, festive activities including Elf Training School, The 12 Days of Christmas Trail and Christmas crafts. There will also be a very special visitor as Father Christmas will be calling in at the farmhouse for a chat and a sing-song on the 21 and 22 December at 2pm. No pre-booking required. Open 10am to 4pm. Normal Farm Admission Charges apply.

The Snowman™ and The Snowdog Winter Trail

December is here and so is our The Snowman™ and The Snowdog Winter Trail! Come and enjoy a winter wander around the Gardens following this much-loved story. With a sprinkling of Snowman-themed activities along the way, it’s fun for everyone. Each trail costs £5 and includes a special free gift for each completed, returned guide (excludes admission to the Gardens).

The winter garden at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is a feast of scent and foliage during the frosty season. Wrap up warm and stroll amid a palette of bark, bold coloured stems and hardy winter shrubs. More than 650 plants are grown for their winter beauty.  Finish off with a home cooked meal, with fresh and locally sourced seasonal ingredients, in the Pavilion restaurant close by. The Gardens are open from 10am to 5pm every day except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and early closing Christmas Eve. See our visitor information.

Winter Reading Challenge

Looking for books for your child, or books to read together this winter? Have a look at our Winter Reading Challenge blog for some great winter themed books that you can borrow from Hampshire Libraries.  For this year’s Winter Reading Challenge, we’re thrilled to be working with Penguin Publishing to bring The Snowman and the Snowdog to our libraries. Children can pick up a collector card in the library and collect a sticker for each library book they read or listen to. After reading or listening to four library books they will receive a certificate - and they have until 26 January to finish.

There are lots more events at Hampshire Libraries this Christmas, alongside the regularly planned sessions. To discover even more events in your local library, simply check our libraries what’s on page.

Between Christmas and the New Year there will be altered opening hours across our libraries. Here’s a full list of opening hours for each library.

Magical settings

Royal Victoria Country Park is another stopping off point for Father Christmas on and 21 and 22 December. Enjoy listening to a festive story told by Mother Christmas in a magical Christmas-themed setting (indoors). There are various sessions (approx. 45mins) between 11am and 4pm, with a chance to  meet Father Christmas and he may have a present for those who’ve been good!  Cost £12/child.  Free to adults (max 2 adults/child as space is limited). Spaces are limited, so booking in advance is essential. See event details and booking information. Normal car parking charges apply.

Santa’s Bootcamp

Have you got what it takes to help Santa deliver the presents this year?  At Lepe Country Park, we’ll test you on our outdoor circuit especially designed for Christmas Elves during the holidays. There will be a prize draw and a prize for the fastest! From 21 December to 5 January. Cost £2/Child.

Pip's Post Room: Christmas Family Theatre

Wind Song Theatre returns to Winchester Discovery Centre from 14 to 24 December with another festive treat packed with delightful characters and toe-tapping music. It is almost Christmas, and Pip is up to his beak in letters sent to Santa. As head of special requests at the North Pole’s Post Room, it’s his job to make sure that the children’s hopes and dreams are communicated clearly. But with an overactive, wandering imagination and a special dream of his own, will the presents be ready in time? Recommended age is 3+ (but adults and older kids will love it too). Tickets are £8 each or 4 for £28.  Book online

Action Adventures all under one roof

Burn off that Christmas excess, or try out something new for 2020, with some high octane adventures. Join us in The Hangar at Calshot Activities Centre during the holiday. Whatever your age, whatever your skills – there should be something for you. Whether it’s scaling a climbing wall, zipping along a zip wire or zooming down a ski slope in a rubber ring. And it’s all indoors, so never mind if it’s cold or wet outside. Open daily except 24, 25, 26, 31 December and 1 January. Booking in advance is recommended or turn up and play on the day (subject to availability). Book your action adventures in The Hangar at Calshot.