Couple on beach in Dorset
What's on in Dorset

December 2024

kingston lacey festive lights


Christmas Lights at Kingston Lacey

festive fun at Kingston Lacy, where the fabulously decorated house and gardens –  showcasing Christmas traditions from around the world. Bring everyone together during the day and create magical memories whether you join a craft workshop, meet a friend for a warming hot chocolate with friends or just admire the seasonal sparkle throughout the property.

christmas at abbotsbury

24th Nov – 31st December 2023

Illuminate at Abbotsbury Gardens

Beautifully lit gardens to get you in the festive mood.  Book early to avoid disapointment.


Opening 16th Nov 2023

Bournemouth Ice Rink

visitors to Bournemouth can skate on real ice under the trees in the resort’s historic Lower Gardens. For an extra treat, the town centre businesses have also clubbed together to bring a giant snow globe to four locations across two weeks from 23 November – 6 December. Visitors will be able to climb in for a photograph which will be printed and available to take away the same day.

santa in his grotto

Various dates in December

Farmer Palmers Farm Park Visit Santa

Visit Father Christmas in his traditional, Winter cabin in the Little Farmer’s Fun Barn. What’s at the top of your Christmas list? Our clever Elves use a time-slot system so no long queues for you! Yay! We don’t charge you for taking photos either; you’re welcome to take lots of your own photos and there’s sure to be lots of giggles too! The Farm Park gets a full festive makeover and there’ll be a cracking Christmas atmosphere all around!

Simply purchase your Visit Santa tickets on the day of your visit from reception (Groups need to pre-book). Tickets are £6 in addition to normal admission.

Farmer Palmers Farm Park FREE ADULT ADMISSION

From 9th December 2023

Upton Country Park Christmas Grotto 

​The family-friendly adventure trail starts at the Welcome Centre; pick up your trail map (£6) and explore the formal pleasure grounds that surround Upton House.

Look out for magical fairytale characters along the way!

When you have completed your Christmas adventure, head to the Christmas Tree Finale near the Tea Rooms to claim your Christmas present prize and warm up by the fire, with hot drinks and marshmallows to toast.


18th & 19th November

Christmas at The Tank Museum

Enjoy a Christmassy day out for all ages at Bovington Tank Museum. Watch live entertainment and buy unique presents from local crafters. Plus, children can explore the “Frank on a Tank” elf trail. You can even see Santa arrive in a tank!


10th December 2023

Dorchester Christmas Cracker- Let There Be Light! The town’s Christmas lights will be switched on. Cracker Night is also an opportunity to do some late night shopping, with a large number of the most popular shops and other businesses staying open into the evening for you to peruse at your leisure.

Christmas stalls are a big part of the Cracker Night experience, creating an authentic Christmas market feel with everything from mulled wine to mince pies and hog roasts. Dorchester Cracker Night begins at 5.30pm until approx 9:30pm. Hopefully there will even be an appearance from Father Christmas himself, accompanied by one of two of his elves and reindeer!

polar express christmas 2023

From 16th November 2023

Polar Express on Swanage Railway

All aboard for a trually magical Christmas adventure.  Join the characters from The Polar Express for a journey through the Purbeck countryside.

santa going down the chimney in wareham

10th December 2023

Santa visits Wareham

Following the wonderful Christmas parade. Father Christmas will be appearing on the roof of the Red Lion Hotel before disappearing down the 125ft chimney, ready to meet all the children in the grotto. How will he arrive this year?


Santa Pudding Run

Get yourself ready for the exciting 5k  at 11:00am on Weymouth Beach. Hundreds of Santa’s will be chasing the lonely Christmas pudding down the beach in what can only be described as ” The best thing YULE see this Christmas!” By taking part in this festive event you will be supporting The British Heart Foundation


21st December

Winter Solstice

Join the National Trust for a morning walk to view the sunrise from Old Harry Rocks on the shortest day of the year followed by a full English breakfast at Knoll Beach Café.

Breakfast menu Full English breakfast (sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, baked beans, tomato and toast) and choice of hot drink. Vegetarian and vegan alternative available. Please indicate at the time of booking.

Please note, we can only allow assistance dogs inside the café so if you plan on bringing your dog to breakfast you will be seated outside when you return from the walk.


Santa Visits Your Cottage!

Book a cottage with Dorset Cottage Holidays for Christmas, and receive a very special visit from Santa and his elves! Click here for availabilty

If you would like to visit Dorset in December why not check out our holiday cottages for Christmas and our holiday cottages for New Year