Time for Winter Celebrations
And Christmas now starts earlier than ever: the Christmas Winter Woodland at Alice Holt Forest, just north of Bordon, opens on November 1 and runs until the end of the year.
It’s designed to “bring back the magic of Christmas and give children an experience they won’t forget”. Children get to meet Father Christmas in his magical yurt and will receive a special gift. They will also get a chance to pat and feed carrots to Santa’s live reindeer and even sit in Santa’s sleigh for a photo opportunity.
But before Christmas finally arrives there’s fireworks night to enjoy. Havant Borough Council is holding its annual free firework display at Stockheath Common, Leigh Park, on November 5. For more than 16 years the council has organised a display for the benefit of its residents, always on the traditional historic date, no matter on which day it falls. The Mayor of Havant will light the giant bonfire at 7.30pm and the dazzling firework display will start at 7.45pm.
Portsmouth City Council’s ever-popular fireworks display also takes place on November 5, at the now traditional venue of the King George V Playing Fields, in Cosham.
A little further afield, at the National Trust’s stunning Hinton Ampner, near Alresford, on Saturday, November 8, you can enjoy a fireworks display with the glorious South Downs as the backdrop. Warm your hands by the bonfire and keep your energy levels up with a delicious barbeque of locally sourced produce – just the thing for a chilly winter’s night.
Combining fireworks and Christmas, the following Thursday (November 13) sees the switching on of the Southsea Christmas lights, in the pedestrian precinct and will include a stage, musical acts, entertainments, children’s rides and a switch on, with a firework finale.
From Friday, November 28, through the weekend, the iconic Victorian Festival of Christmas returns to Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard. Returning favourites include the festival’s largest ever Christmas market, Fagin’s Real Ale Tavern, Dickensian-style snow covered streets, a traditional Father Christmas stage show and a wonderland of Victorian characters and entertainment.