Christmas in Southampton is a special time of year. The city comes alive over the festive season, adorned with brilliant twinkling lights and filled with joy and wonder.
When it comes to Christmas events, Southampton pulls out all the stops with a festival calendar of wonderful and unforgettable experiences for visitors and locals alike.
So if you are staying in the city over the holidays or even just visiting for a day before sailing from Southampton on a winter cruise, here are some of the best events and activities that will guarantee to get you in the festive mood!
Westquay Shopping Center is Southampton’s premier destination for retail therapy, so it is no surprise that it takes center stage over the holiday season. When December comes around this monument to Christmas shopping transforms into a winter wonderland, thanks to its renowned Alpine Christmas Village. This impressive setup includes an outdoor ice rink, a real-life Christmas tree pine forest, and a variety of wooden chalets selling festive treats and handcrafted ornaments and trinkets. It is the perfect place to get into the Christmas spirit while taking care of all of the items on your festive gift list!
Southampton’s medieval city walls are one of its greatest attractions, and they provide a wonderful backdrop for the city’s impressive Christmas market. This treasure trove of festive delights has been a highlight of the season for years and offers an amazing array of artisanal crafts, locally sourced produce, and mouthwatering street food. With more mulled wine and roasted chestnuts that you’ll know what to do with, it offers all the joys of Christmas in one convenient spot!
The Tudor House and Garden is an amazing place to delve into the rich history of Southampton and its historical festivities are a must for anyone who loves costume dramas and the charm and elegance of bygone eras. During the Christmas period, this lovely museum offers traditional Christmas experiences from the past, including costumed entertainers, themed displays, storytelling sessions, and historic craft workshops. You can try your hand at whittling or wassailing, and get a glimpse into life as it once was, bringing history to life and adding a fresh new (old?) perspective on your Christmas celebrations.
Pantomime is one of the most charming and family-friendly of all the British Christmas traditions, and Southampton’s Mayflower Theater never disappoints, putting on spectacular productions every year. Full of humor, music, and plenty of audience participation, a trip to the pantomime is an exceptional way for families to engage with the light-hearted side of the season.
Caroling is a beautiful way to celebrate Christmas, and Southampton is lucky enough to boast some of the best choirs in the UK. From churches to public squares, the city is full of the joyous sounds of these traditional Christmas songs throughout December, and attending a carol service, whether religious or otherwise, is a wonderful opportunity to soak in the holiday spirit.
No Christmas vacation would be complete without a visit to Santa’s grotto, and Southampton’s best version is usually the one at Marwell Zoo. Families can meet St Nick surrounded by exotic and exciting animals, adding a touch of cuteness and delight to this magical Christmas experience.
The Christmas events calendar in Southampton is bursting with a diverse range of experiences, from traditional festivities to modern entertainment. There’s something for everyone to do and the vibrant celebrations make the city a wonderful place to spend the holiday.