It really isn’t long now until that magical time of the year! This year hope to be able to celebrate Christmas in style again, with your family and friends close by.

Enjoy all that there is to offer around Christmastime here in the New Forest. We’ve festive events suitable for all the family. Take a look at some of our highlights we’ve picked out below…

Make Christmas extra special with a New Forest-grown Christmas Tree

What better way is there than to decorate your home than a New Forest-grown tree from tree experts, Forestry England?

Treasured family traditions make Christmas extra special, so this festive season why not make choosing the perfect tree part of yours? Wrap up warm, pull on your boots and make it a day for everyone to remember at New Park, Brockenhurst. Open from Friday 26 November-Sunday 19 December, 10am-4pm, you’ll be able to choose from hundreds of spruces, firs and pines (5ft-8ft) as well as potted trees.

Join in with some festive floral workshops

Another great way to decorate your home is to book onto some Christmas flower arranging workshops. Take your pick from one a Chewton Glen Hotel on 13 December or two dates at Shallowmead Nurseries, in Boldre on 14 and 16 December. Arrange your own table centrepiece or floral display to give as a Christmas gift. Hurry though as these are likely to book up early.

Book onto some Christmas-themed activities

Make happy memories in the New Forest by booking onto some fantastic activities.

For a quirky and memorable way to meet Santa, book onto a Christmas Canoe Paddle with New Forest Activities. Your little ones can try their hand at canoeing and meet the famous Saint Nick along the way! Each child will receive a present and a hot chocolate to keep you toasty. There are various dates available to book throughout December.

Another fun thing to do for all the family is a cycle ride together. Cyclexperience (in Brockenhurst) are open up until Christmas Eve so why not come for a wintery cycle in the New Forest this year? All of their routes include a pub stop so you can stop off from a warm drink and hearty meal during your cycle. They also have electric bikes available, which means you can go further and not get so tired. The hire centre even has dog cabs to rent, so your furry family member doesn't miss out on the fun either!

Feel the magic of Christmas at some of our family-friendly events

Family-favourite, Paultons Park will be all dressed up for Christmas for the Celebration of Christmas event. Visitors can enjoy a magical light show at the gateway building with giant musical Christmas tree coming to life every 15 minutes. Santa will be appearing daily on the show stage for story time and his Magical Christmas Wish shows! Peppa and George Pig will also be doing meet and greets in their festive outfits in Peppa Pig World. This event runs from 4-23 December, pre-booking tickets is strongly advised.

Beaulieu will be hosting some festive fun from 18 December. Ignite your Christmas spark in Palace House, with its stunning decorations, welcoming log fires, and a Christmas tree in each room. Little visitors will love exploring ‘Little Beaulieu’, the adventure play area and embarking on the Family Fun Activity Trail. You may even get to spot Father Christmas if you are lucky!

Exbury Gardens will be seeing the return of its popular New Forest Christmas Fair. Your ticket to the Fair must be pre-booked and includes entry to the Gardens.

Inside the Exbury Gardens at Christmas you can ride the Festive Express and make some lovely rustic tree decorations (please note that these activities require pre-booking and are at an additional cost). Exbury will be open for Christmas on 4-5 and 11-12 December.

On Sunday 5 December, the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum will be hosting their Annual Santa Toy Run Ride In! You are encouraged to come dressed as Santa by bike, by car, by foot or by sleigh! There will be a donation area for gifting new and unwrapped toys to charity and a Christmas Market in the Courtyard, supporting local businesses.

Christmas fayres and shopping opportunities

Look out for some fantastic shopping opportunities at some of our Christmas fayres. From Christmas-themed New Forest Eats ‘n’ Treats and Winter Wanderland in Ringwood on 28 November through to The Artisan Collective Fair at Beaulieu from 10 – 12 December. Take a look at our Christmas event listings for other upcoming fayres and festivals.

Sample our festive food and drink

Indulge in some festive treats at some of our pubs and restaurants, many of which will be offering special festive menus. You could even book onto a Christmas Party Night at the Balmer Lawn Hotel or dive into a festive Afternoon Tea with Santa at New Park Manor Hotel.   

A final note from us

Keep checking back at our events listings as more are added in the lead up to the big day. Above all, we’d like to wish you a very Merry Christmas!