With lockdown restrictions easing in early December, we are looking forwards to welcoming you back to the New Forest for a spot of festive fun.

Things may not be quite as they’d usually be at this time of year however, we are certain that you will still feel some of the Christmas charm on a visit here.

We explore some of the highlights for your to enjoy this month including…

Opportunities to get active in the forest

Combine your love of exercise with some festive fun by booking onto a Christmas Canoe Paddle with New Forest Activities. There are various dates to choose from in December and this 90-minute guided tour will take you along the Beaulieu river, where you will get to meet the big man himself on his boat full of presents!  

Are you a keen runner? If so, then you might enjoy taking on Lepe Country Park’s Virtual Christmas Jumper Run. Although this year, the run won’t be a mass participation event, you can still sign up to take part in the 5k challenge and receive a medal for your efforts.

Embark on a New Forest walk and you may still come across the New Forest pigs out and about on their annual pannage. This year, the pannage season has been extended until 21 December because of the mild weather. So don’t forget your camera and snap some seasonal photos of the pigs in action snuffling those acorns!

Take inspiration from some of our exhibitions and crafting opportunities

Hillview Art, in Ringwood will be hosting a festive weekend which will feature unique works of contemporary art on 5-6 December. Ceramics, glass, garden sculpture, jewellery, painting and wood turning can be viewed across the exhibition spaces and an outdoor courtyard area.

St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery in Lymington are hosting an exhibition entitled The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year with several featured artists. Tickets are £5 and the exhibition is due to run until early January.

Local photographer, Trevor Parsons will be staging a photography exhibition featuring local wildlife and landscapes at the New Forest Heritage Centre, Lyndhurst. Also beginning on 5 December, this exhibition runs until 10 January.

Fancy honing your own creativity? Then take a look at Forest Arts Centre’s Christmas Quilling workshop on Thursday 10 December. Tickets are £20.50 each but come with all the materials required.

Christmas events to gear you up for the big day

There are lots of opportunities still for some family fun here in the New Forest this December. Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World are all set for their Celebration of Christmas events from 5-23 December. Discover magical illuminations, meet Peppa and George in their seasonal outfits and enjoy a brand-new Christmas show featuring Father Christmas himself! You’ll be sure to be in the festive spirit after your day out. Please note - daily ticket capacity is limited and all visits must be pre-booked.

Perhaps your little ones fancy learning how to become an elf? Well, if you head to Hoburne Park in Christchurch on selected dates in December they can learn all the skills required to help Santa at Christmas. This event is suitable for ages 3-8 years.  

At Avon Tyrell Outdoor Centre, Bransgore, there are exciting opportunities to embark on an outdoor adventure in their Christmas Activity Trail. The trail will feature archery, bushcraft, pioneering and art in the environment plus much more and will run on selected weekend dates in December.

For something a little more sedate but still packed with fun, on 6 December, Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton will be hosting Santa's Christmas Cracker, a children’s performance where every child will get a gift from Santa.

Other things to do in the New Forest this month

Take a look at our what’s on listings for other events coming up this month including bird watching walks, festive performances, Christmas fairs and lots of other merry events..

Many of our accommodation providers will be re-opening their doors ready to accept guests again for short breaks or longer stays. Browse our places to stay and see our special offers for any discounts or added extras that you might be able to enjoy this month.

Cosy up in a pub, enjoy 5* food in our restaurants or grab a bite to eat at one of our quiant cafes & tearooms. There is so much local food and drink to enjoy with your household this December.

A final note to say

Events mentioned were correct at time of publishing this blog. Please note that government restrictions may change and we would highly recommend checking with the attraction/event venue that everything is still running in advance of your visit.

We hope you have an enjoyable and above all, super festive time here in the New Forest and would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas on behalf of The New Forest!