What’s on during December and Christmas in Dorset

Make a break for freedom this Christmas and New Year and enjoy a holiday in Purbeck. Enjoy the bracing fresh air for a walk along one of the beautiful beaches and then get together around a warm fire in a cosy countryside cottage or wonderful large house.

Purbeck is a magical place to be at Christmas making it the perfect destination for getting together with family and friends for a Christmas celebration. Corfe Castle, Swanage and Wareham are particularly picturesque, as they are adorned with colourful decorations and twinkling lights. With the festivities starting in early December, they welcomes visitors with a Christmas cheer that extends through to New Year. There are plenty of local activities to join in with, with a selection of ideas listed below.

Corfe & Purbeck Holidays has a splendid selection of holiday properties which provide the perfect escape for your festive break, where you can enjoy a Christmas to remember with your family and friends.

Steam And Lights At Swanage Steam Railway

November and December

The steam locomotive and carriages will be covered with brightly coloured lights while the cosy steam-heated carriage interiors will be festively decorated for the one-hour evening round trip passing the historic ruins of Corfe Castle. On board the train, there will be festive music synchronised to the lighting displays passing the carriage windows as well as an informative on-train commentary. Find out more.

A Dorset Christmas At The Tank Museum

27th – 28th November between 9am – 5pm

A Christmassy day out for all ages. While adults can watch live entertainment and buy unique presents from local crafters, children can explore our Christmas trail. See Santa arrive in a tank at 11am and then the whole family can meet Santa in the Grotto. Book your ticket here.

Christmas At Kingston Lacy

Friday 3rd December 2021 to 2nd January 2022 from 4.30pm to dark

Enjoy sparkling tunnels of light at Kingston Lacy. Walk under giant baubles and beneath trees drenched in jewel-like colour. Find out more.

Swanage Christmas Market

4th December 10am – 5pm

The Swanage Christmas market is back for 2021. It will take place on Station Road and Commercial Road, Swanage. There will be a wide variety of gifts, crafts, food and drink available, and Father Christmas will also be in town!

Corfe Castle Christmas Light Switch On

Saturday 4th December 2021 – 4:30pm

Join the Christmas Festivities Committee and celebrate the switching on of the village Christmas Lights. The Castle is also usually illuminated during December and early January.

Christmas At Corfe Castle

Lord of Misrule Story Telling

Take a step back to the 17th century where Lord of Misrule will take you on an interactive journey through the ruins of the castle and teach you the games, dances, stories and Christmas traditions of days gone by.

Twelve Days of Christmas family quest

Search for the shields hidden in the castle ruins and complete the activities on a special Christmas Castle Quest.

Marshmallows, Firepits and Festivities

Take time to relax and enjoy a winter warmer in the seasonal setting of Corfe Castle. Gather around a fire pit with a warm drink from the 17th Century tea-room and toast some tasty marshmallows. Find out more.

The Blue Pool

Visit Santa in his Grotto - From 27th November to 19th December Every weekend

Wareham Town Band 5th December 1.00pm-3.00pm

Evening Opening 3rd & 17th December until 7.30pm

Hot Chocolate, Mulled Wine, Cook Mashmallows and Chesnuts around the Fire! Read more.

Farmer Palmers

11th – 23rd December

Book your ‘Meet Farmer Christmas Experience’ in the enchanted barn.

20th – 23rd December

Join the Farmer Palmers Christmas Twilight Event from 4.45pm to 7.30pm. Visit the Farm Park ‘after hours’ and bring your children to see our enchanted barn, photo opportunities, panto dame, elves, lots of fancy dress and, of course, the ‘Man in Red’ under a sparkle-filled magical atmosphere. Book your tickets here.

Sail With Santa From Poole Quay

Boats depart Saturdays and Sundays in December and every day in the week before Christmas.

This 1.15 hour cruise from Poole Quay goes around Brownsea Island, Sandbanks Peninsula, Studland Bay and more. Adults can enjoy a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie while you listen to Christmas carols playing in the background.

Santa will also be walking around the boat, meeting all the children. Each child will receive a Christmas present directly from Santa. Find out more.

Christmas at Durlston Country Park

Visit Durlston Country Park to join in with a whole host of festive activities! Visit their website.

Christmas Decoration Drop in – 28th November 11am – 3pm: Start off your Christmas festivities and drop into the Belvedere to make your own Christmas decorations. Donations welcome.

Design your own Christmas Seed Bomb! - 4th December 11am – 3:30pm: Drop in any time from 11am until 3.30pm to make your own seed bomb! Wrap in biodegradable paper and decorate! The perfect Christmas gift. £1 per seed bomb.

Rudolph’s Reindeer Roundup - 18th December – January 3rd – 10am – 3pm: Santa’s cheeky reindeer are hiding around the park! Can you help find them all? You might just win a prize! £3.00

The Snowman Live Score – 18th December 3:30pm – 5pm: A unique acoustic live score to ‘The Snowman’ featuring contributions from your good elves…I mean selves! Enjoy a mince pie on arrival. Audience will be encouraged to experiment with sound effects. Make sure to also prepare your best signing voice! £10 adult, £2.50 child, £5 conc.

Candlelit Tales for the Longest Night – 18th December – 8pm – 9:30pm: Celebrate the longest night with a very special evening at Durlston Castle featuring recorded and spoken tales of enchantment, apparitions, hauntings and local lore with musical accompaniment and projections of our wild coast. Part of #shelleyfest200: Shared Heritage, Shared Creativity. £12.50, conc £5.

Festive Family Fun Run – 19th December – 10am: Join the Rangers for a festive 3K run through the park and earn your festive treat! Arrive from 9.30am for a 10am start. All ages. Booking recommended. £3.

Christmas Rocket Launch – 30th December – 11am – 12:30pm: Design and build your own Christmas Rocket, then launch it into the sky! Booking essential. £3.

RSPB Arne Christmas Market and Pull a Pine

4th – Sun 5th December

The RSPB Arne Christmas Fair will be in the shop and cafe garden. There will be a wide range of local stallholders selling gifts and delicious mulled cider. A great opportunity to get outdoors and get some early Christmas shopping. Christmas trees will also be on sale. Our Pull a Pine village will be on the heath, with live music, free Christmas crafting, refreshments, food and mulled cider. Find out more.

Meet Santa At Putlake Adventure Farm

Go along to Putlake Adventure Farm for the Christmas Market and meet Santa. All children will receive a small gift. More details to be announced soon.

Purbeck is a wonderful place for a festive break - book yours now!