Lockdown restrictions in the New Forest have been eased slightly and we are now in Tier 2. But despite the on-going restrictions there’s still plenty of great New Forest things to enjoy in the run up to the Big Day!

Visit Longdown Activity Farm’s Festive Lodge, full of twinkling trees, snow, sparkling lights and festive decorations. You may even spot Santa Claus in there giving everyone a jolly wave from a distance! The Farm’s usual daily schedule of animal activities will run throughout the days of opening.

We all know that being outdoors is good for us – even more so now – so why not book the kids or the whole family in for a Christmas Canoe paddle with New Forest Activities?

Their festive paddles – which take place in stable, Canadian canoes throughout December – navigate the Beaulieu River. As well as hunting for Santa – in his festive canoe which is laden with lovely presents – you’ll also be taking in the wildlife and nature reserve on this exquisite stretch of water.

Paulton’s Park is holding a Celebration of Christmas until December 23.  Peppa Pig World will be transforming this Christmas season as Peppa Pig and George wrap up in their winter scarves, hats and coats. Among the land of seasonal music and giant Christmas trees, Santa in his sleigh from the TV series can also be seen.

New for 2020 is Santa’s Special Christmas Show! Head over to the Show Stage where, for the very first time, Santa Claus will be joining Paultons’ festive friends in their very own show.

Little ones will also be able to stop by for Santa’s Storytime, the perfect chance to take a break from the excitement and enjoy a festive story from the man himself! If you’re hoping for snow this winter, then make sure you join Frosty’s Snowtime Show for even more song and magic from resident snowman, Frosty!

Don’t forget to stop by the Marvellous Musical Christmas Tree, located in the main entrance plaza. Witness a magical light show every 15 minutes, enjoy festive jingles and stop by to capture the perfect family photo too.

Get over to Avon Tyrrell and join their wonderful Christmas Event. They are holding an Activity Trail on multiple dates including December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20, in two-hour slots throughout the day.

The outdoor activity involves a number of festive family challenges including archery, pioneering, bushcraft, art in the environment, problem solving and more. Their Café Explore will be open for each event date from 9.30am-3pm and you can book online on their website.

Book them into Elf School for a festive treat! Elf School at Hoburne is a series of fun, interactive sessions which will comply with social distancing guidelines and sees children become qualified elves where they help at the elf workshop! The sessions take place on December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, and 20. The activity is suitable for children aged three to eight years and costs £12.95 per child.

There’s lots of festive fun taking place at Hanger Farm Arts Centre. Including Santa’s Christmas Cracker on 6 December, the socially distanced show where every child can get a present from Santa, or how about The Christmassy Christmas Show of Christmassy Christmasness on 12 December, a show celebrating everything Christmassy, from fir trees, fairy lights, sleigh bells and snowflakes to crackers, carols, presents and puddings!

Enjoy a Christmas Craft Fair in the courtyard at Sammy Miller’s Motorcycle Museum on 13 December, where local crafters will be selling lots of gifts for all the family. Hot food & drink will also be available from the café’s BBQ area.

For online Christmas fun, check out the Lyndhurst and Emery Down Christmas Online Market which is running until December 20.

It couldn’t be easier – just grab a cuppa, sit down and click on this link to access to gifts, food, services and amazing pressie ideas from craft jewellery, to beauty treatments, to Christmas gifts and ornaments. There’s even a chance to enter a free draw to win a Christmas hamper, courtesy of Spotlight New Forest. And, in choosing to shop local, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint as well as helping support local and independent New Forest businesses.

Or get involved with Lepe Country Park’s Virtual Christmas Jumper Run! Run 5k while you virtually run together and get cheered on by many on their Facebook page – find out more on our website and get active this Christmas.

*As with everything 2020, we strongly advise visitors to check the website of the attraction or event they are planning to book and to be aware that current guidelines may change suddenly, so further checks are recommended, especially on the day.