Christmas Events and Attractions in Winchester – England’s Christmas capital is busy planning its festive extravaganza.
This joyful season in Winchester will kick off on the 17th November with the annual Christmas lights’ switch on. Here are some of the City’s other festive highlights to look forward to.
What’s on in Winchester at Christmas
Winchester Cathedral Christmas Market
At the heart of the City’s celebrations and recognised as one of the best in Europe, is Winchester Cathedral Christmas market. It opens from 18 November through to 22 December. Inspired by traditional German Christmas markets, the pretty wooden chalets are situated within the historic grounds of the Cathedral. Filled with handpicked high-quality exhibitors, which attract visitors from around the world each year. The festive lighting, the sound of Christmas carols and the aroma of mulled wine and cinnamon drifting in the air, makes this the perfect place to pick up some special Christmas gifts.
The Cathedral will soon announce its Christmas services, carol concerts and lantern parade
The Winchester Christmas Market will run for 35 days from Friday 17 November – Thursday 21 December 2023.
Opening times will be:
Sunday – Thursday: 10.00am – 6.00pm
Friday – Saturday: 10.00am – 8.00pm
Adults can get in on the craft action at Arc After Dark: Chocolate baubles with Chocolate Craft on Friday 1 December.Expert chocolatiers from Chocolate Craft, whose clients include Fortnum & Mason, will teach you fine piping techniques and information about the background of the chocolate too. All packaging is provided to ensure your finished products will wow your family and friends.
Book your spot via arcwinchester.org.uk/
Another very popular event for the grown-ups is Fairy Lights & Fizz. The Vineyards of Hampshire will come together in the suitably grand and bedecked Bapsy Hall at the Guildhall on Thursday 23 November. It’s a fantastic opportunity to find new wines, taste Hampshire fizz and mingle with the winemakers. There is also the all-important Fizz Shop to place your festive orders for takeaway or delivery. Look out for some Winchester wineries including Exton Park, The Grange, Hambledon, Hattingley, Louis Pommery England and Raimes.
Book your ticket here vineyardsofhampshire.co.uk
Star of Wonder – Winchester Cathedral
The vast interior of Winchester Cathedral will be transformed from 13th – 18th December with spectacular sound and light artwork. The award-winning artistic collaboration, Luxmuralis, will take visitors on an uplifting journey with projections and bespoke music transforming the historical architecture of this majestic building. Star of Wonder promises to be a stunning experience for the whole family.
Timed ticket slots need to be booked in advance. To celebrate the launch day of this event, there will be a special promotional offer on ticket prices for 13th Decemberr.
Festive Light Trail at Marwell’s
This Christmas, Marwell’s majestic grounds will become twinkling wonderland from 18th November. This immersive light extravaganza is an opportunity to explore the zoo in a whole new light. More than 250,000 LED bulbs will make up wonderful illuminations, gently glowing displays and spots for reflection. The after dark Glow Marwell route loops around the front half of the zoo, and all displays have been carefully designed to ensure they don’t disturb our animals. Along the route there will be winter warming catering with plenty of seasonal treats including marshmallow toasting around cosy firepits.
Event tickets start from £12 and need to be bought in advance. To ensure the welfare of our animals, guests will not be able to bring torches or lights of any kind with them.
Christmas at Winchester Science Centre
Step inside an intergalactic wonderland this Christmas at Winchester Science Centre. Taking place at weekends and during the Christmas school holiday between Saturday 3 December and Saturday 24 December, visitors can join Santa in Cosmic Christmas, a brand-new 45-minute immersive family adventure in the iconic and totally unique Planetarium. Listen as Santa and Aster, the intergalactic planetary elf, recreate the epic tale of their first mission to the International Space Station. And watch as the story is brought to life through immersive experiences, live science and a journey through space which is out of this world.
Santa will be leaving Christmas gifts for all children with a Cosmic Christmas ticket. Tickets also include entry to the Science Centre’s two floors of interactive exhibits and festive Space Station Science activities.
Visit Santa in Winchester
Book in advance to see the big man who is visiting Winchester before he makes his annual trip around the world:
The Westgate Museum
Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Sunday 18 and Monday 19 December. Visit Santa and receive a festive gift. When you are finished in the Christmas Grotto head down to Winchester City Museum for a Christmas trail, festive craft activity and hot chocolate to take away.
The Great Hall
Saturday 17 – Thursday 22 December
Come and visit Santa or even have brunch or afternoon tea with him in the atmospheric 13th-century hall, home of King Arthur’s legendary Round Table.
Other Festive events already confirmed
A Christmas Carol
Saturday 17December, 11am-4pm – Winchester City Museum. Join author and professional storyteller, Dawn Nelson, for a family friendly performance of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’. Re-discover the classic Victorian tale of a man in need of empathy and a lesson in the spirit of Christmas, told in the oral storytelling tradition and with the use of Kamishibai theatre (Japanese paper theatre). Visitors will also be able to create their own Victorian style paper Christmas wreath.
Ages 4- 11. Included in museum admission ticket.
Magic show and workshop
Thursday 29 December, 10:30am, 12pm and 2pm – Winchester City Museum
Join Tony Charles for a magical performance. Whether you’re in need of a touch of magic or you are an aspiring magician, this performance promises to be fun for all! The three shows will be followed by three interactive workshops. Suitable for all ages. Included in museum admission ticket.
Festive artisan market
Saturday 26 November, 9:30am – 4:00pm – The Arc
Enjoy a Christmas shopping spree from local makers who will be selling handmade and artisanal wares. Entry to the market is free, and festive treats will be available from the café at The Arc during your visit.
Five Star Swing at Christmas
Thursday 15 December, 7:30pm – The Arc
Swing into Christmas with the unique Five Star Swing Band show – as featured at London’s Leicester Square Theatre and on BBC’s Children in Need. Enjoy all your favourite Christmas songs with the dynamic swing band treatment, from Glenn Miller and Sinatra to Slade – jazzing up those Jingle Bells!
Tickets £12 advance / £15 on the door
The Naughty Fox
19 – 24 December – The Arc
Snuggle up in a magical den with comfy creatures – Honk, Splash and TaWit TaWoo – as they teach The Naughty Fox a very important lesson: it’s better to share. Set in the magical forest, Fox goes on an adventure to learn from Aurora that sharing is caring. Feel your way through the immersive, multi-sensory, fully accessible and relaxed journey of friendship and play for little ones aged 0-5 years and their grown-ups.
Tickets £9 / £32 for a family of four
An updated list of Winchester’s Christmas events will be announced at the end of October. For the latest news and what’s on in Winchester go to www.visitwinchester.co.uk
Winchester is a wonderful place to experience the magic of Christmas, with a range of festive events and markets to explore. If you’re looking to add some festive flair to your holiday attire, consider custom Christmas patches. These custom patches can be designed with your favourite holiday motifs, such as Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or snowflakes, and can be ironed or sewn onto your clothing or accessories. They’re a fun and easy way to customize your look for holiday parties, family gatherings, or even just for running errands around town. So why not add a touch of personalized holiday cheer to your wardrobe this season with some custom Christmas patches?
See more Christmas events in the UK.