You can’t deny any longer, the festive season is here and it is time to enjoy all the merriment that is on offer to you and your family this Christmas across the spectacular New Forest. There are many fun activities to take part in and amazing attractions to see. It can sometimes be hard to choose, so we’ve done the research and found the top 5 festive family activities to do this joyful season!
Beaulieu is much more than just a motor museum and this Christmas they are giving visitors a chance to take a step back into history and experience the magic of Christmas past. Be enchanted by a magical fairy tale within the beautiful Palace House, resplendently transformed with Victorian decorations and a roaring log fire.
Enjoy carol singing around the piano, a life-size gingerbread house in the courtyard, traditional festive Victorian games and prepare to be enchanted by Christmas fairy tales. Listen to the stories and warm yourself up in front of the fire whilst sipping on a glass of delicious fruit punch. Before leaving have a marvel at one of the largest outdoor Christmas trees in the New Forest and indulge in a spot of retail therapy at their two on-site gift shops – The perfect way to end the day!
Paultons Park is a must for all families with young children visiting us this Christmas. You’ll get the chance to meet the real Santa in his very own magical grotto along with his animal friends as they get ready for Christmas Eve. The little ones will get a free gift and festive treat and for the Mums and Dads there’s tasty hot punch! Rest your feet and join Santa’s reindeer, Blitzen and Elf, Bono in the amazing 4D adventure film at the Show Street Cinema, as they help Santa save Christmas. Visit the famous Peppa Pig world with a Christmas twist – You’ll find plenty of twinkling illuminations and giant Christmas trees there!
Exbury Gardens & Steam Railway is giving its visitors a present this year and will have specially selected areas of the gardens open free of charge for only 2 weekends in December. On the 10th-11th and 17th-18th December, Yard Wood will be open from 10am-4pm for everyone to enjoy and keep your eyes open as you might even bump into Father Christmas himself! There will also be a special postal express train running from 10.45am-3.00pm where children will be able to post a picture they’ve drawn for Father Christmas in a special mailbox and then hop aboard the Postal Express. At the end of each day, Father Christmas will look at all the pictures and choose three winners who will each receive a special present – Pure Christmas magic!
New Forest Activities Christmas Paddle takes place on the Beaulieu River for 3 dates in December. Wrap up warm and enjoy a 90-minute canoe trip down the river to meet Father Christmas and for all the kiddies there will be a present waiting too. Before heading out onto the boat indulge in a hot beverage and mince pies – The ideal festive treat!
Longdown Activity Farm has had a little Christmas makeover! Children and adults alike will delight in the festive atmosphere of the Longdown Farm Christmas Barn with its traditional theme and real live animals. The peaceful Nativity scene is watched over by donkeys and provides a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. Be sure to look out for Father Christmas and his sleigh filled with gifts for the children to take home.
So go on, get together with friends and family this season and enjoy the spirit of Christmas in the New Forest – There really isn’t a place quite like it!