As well as a whole host of Christmas and seasonal events, there’s plenty going on across the New Forest this December.

Wrap up warm and take a wintery walk through the forest, join Santa for a guided paddle along the Beaulieu River and be entertained by live bands at some of our arts venues.

snowy treeThese are some of the top things you can do in the New Forest this December:

Follow the Light up trails

For the ultimate in bringing on the festive feeling, book onto one of the illuminated trails that take place in and around the New Forest.

Marwell Zoo is set to be awash with colour at the return of Glow Marwell and the beautiful Sir Harold Hillier Gardens, near Romsey will also be twinkling with their Light Up event, back for its second year.

Guests staying at Sandy Balls Holiday Village are in for a treat with the return of the Forest of Light – the village will be decorated with over 10,000 colourful lights. There will also be lots more seasonal fun and activities to join in with.

Fest of lights
Image - Sandy Balls Holiday Village

Enjoy music from all genres

For a great way of escaping the colder evenings, head to some of our arts venues for a variety of concerts and shows.

Highlights include an Elvis tribute night (3 December at Hanger Farm Arts Centre), The New Forest Big Band Swing Night (14 December, Forest Arts Centre) and the ultimate in 80s music with the “I Love the 80s” Christmas Party Show (20 December at Hanger Farm Arts Centre).

Added to this, there will be Carols at the Pub on 5 December at The Royal Oak Hilltop, near Beaulieu.

Take a look at our events listings to see details of other concerts and performances taking place during December.

christmas eventCatch the Parallel Lives exhibition at the St Barbe

Parallel Lives looks at the careers and experiences of eight women artists, all born within twenty years of each other and whose lives spanned the twentieth century: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Prunella Clough, Ithell Colquhoun, Evelyn Dunbar, Gertrude Hermes, Barbara Jones, Enid Marx and Monica Poole.

This exhibition runs at St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery throughout December and includes sculpture, painting, printmaking, illustration and textile design and includes rarely seen works from private collections.

Join in with some Christmas events

There are so many Christmas events taking place in December it’ll be hard to pick which ones you want to go to!

If you have younger children, then look out for Father Christmas making an appearance at Calshot Castle (various weekends throughout December) and perhaps even driving around the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu as part of Beaulieu’s Festive Fun event. And be sure to head the St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery to follow the Christmas Cracker trail.

Added to this, there are some fantastic festive workshops that you can book onto including a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop (1 December at Furzey Gardens) and Christmas Wrapping Paper Printing (19 December, St Barbe Museum & Art Gallery).

Find out about some of the other amazing Christmas events and top days out you can do in December in our recent blog.

WreathMake a break of it

Whether you fancy a pre-Christmas break or you are looking to get away over Christmas, New Year or the bit in between, you can find accommodation to suit your needs.

Many of our New Forest hotels offer seasonal packages with festive meals and entertainment included and other accommodation options include self-catering cottages, cosy B&Bs and even campsites. Find out more about Christmas breaks in the New Forest.