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Five things to do in Basingstoke and Deane this festive season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and there’s plenty of festive fun and seasonal magic in Basingstoke and Deane this Christmas. Take a look at our top picks:

1.Visit a Christmas market or fayre

A must for everyone wanting to get in the festive spirit is a trip to a Christmas market, a great opportunity to buy local and find a unique gift for someone special.

  • The Malls Shopping Centre traditional Christmas Market runs from Wednesday 15 November to Christmas Eve.
  • The majestic Tudor Barn at Basing House will be decorated for a wonderfully festive shopping experience - the Basing House Christmas Fayre on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November. There will be dozens of stalls offering locally made crafts, produce and gifting ideas to browse and buy. Tickets cost £3.50 per person, under 5s go free.
  • Milestones Christmas market is back on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December with unique seasonal gifts and treats, offering the perfect way to start your Christmas shopping. They have a great gift shop too! Tickets cost £6.50 a person, under 5s go free.
  • Silchester Farm host its Christmas market day on Sunday 17 December, entrance is free but visitors are required to pre-book an arrival time between 12noon and 4pm.

    2. Shop until you drop

    List in hand, you’ll find all the shops you need in Festival Place, The Malls and the Top of the Town to buy your loved ones presents. If you need a break then there are plenty of refreshment options from coffee shops to tapas and bubble tea to burgers and street food and not forgetting mince pies!

    Easily accessible from junction 6 of the M3, Festival Place has plenty of parking. Or hop on the train to Basingstoke and arrive just outside The Malls. Both will have free events running to keep the kids entertained. You can take a ride on the mini train, participate in make and take workshops and see festive stilt walkers.

    3. See Santa

    There are lots of opportunities to see the main man himself in the lead up to Christmas Day.

    • Meet Father Christmas in his magical Milestones grotto tucked within the heart of Milestones' charming, decorated indoor streets from 2 December to 23 December. Tickets cost £17.50 per child and £6.50 for the accompanying adults (or adults go free with existing annual ticket). Tickets include an opportunity to meet Father Christmas and a special gift for children. Maximum of five people per group.
    • Visit Santa’s grotto in Festival Place for a truly magical Christmas experience for all the family.
    • Meet Father Christmas and Mother Christmas at The Malls Shopping Centre on Saturday 25 November 2023. This is a free activity.
    • Santa and his elf will be in the Magical Grotto at the Millers Ark Santa Special Open Days on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November 2023, Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 and Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 December 2023. Book online in advance, farm entry £12, Santa grotto visit £8.
    • Join Four Kingdoms on a Magical Christmas Adventure to the North Pole. From snowballs and sleighs, to presents and princesses, immerse yourself in a seasonal extravaganza. Pre-book tickets from Sunday 26 November to Sunday 24 December 2023.
    • It’s not all mince pies and milk (supplement for your chosen drink!) you can also enjoy breakfast with Santa. Elves will greet you for breakfast in the Greenhouse Café at Capital Gardens in Sherfield-on-Loddon or book to see Santa in his Grotto. Enjoy an unlimited breakfast at the Spruce Goose, meet Santa and receive an early Christmas present every Saturday and Sunday in December, plus every day from 19 to 24 December. Slots last for 60 minutes and run from 9am to 11.30am. Santa will be dropping down the chimney at the Harvester for Breakfast with Santa on several dates during December.

    4. Take in a show

    Escape the every day by taking in a show this Christmas.

    • Martin Dodd for UK Productions and Anvil Arts present this year’s pantomime, The Further Adventures of Peter Pan – The Return of Captain Hook. Head on a brand new swashbuckling adventure full of fun, laughter and crocodiles at The Anvil this Christmas break. You can ‘hook’ tickets from Friday 8 to Sunday 31 December 2023. Ticket prices vary depending on dates ranging from £23.50 to £33.50.
    • Join ScratchBuilt Productions in association with Proteus present Help! There’s an elf in my house! a magical and immersive theatre experience. Audiences travel around the Creation Space arts centre with the story, each room transformed into an enchanting Christmassy scene full of wonder. Tickets cost £10 per person (plus booking fee) with showings from Saturday 9 December to Saturday 24 December 2023.
    • As an alternative to a show, those aged 18 and over can celebrate the Christmas season with a Christmas movie night at Bombay Sapphire Distillery. Choose from one of four classic screenings on Tuesday 28 November, 5, 12 and 19 December 2023. Tickets cost £30 which includes a complimentary arrival cocktail, popcorn, and sweets to enjoy with the film.
      Sean Dillow

      5. Make it a ‘cracking’ Christmas with some amazing food and drink

      Whether you are looking for an afternoon tea or an evening out with friends, you’ll find somewhere in Basingstoke and Deane to enjoy something yummy. There are so many to choose from so here’s just a selection to get your mouth watering.

      Oakley Hall Hotel

      Please note the inclusion of any business within this listing should not be seen as an endorsement of their services. While the information is considered to be true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of the information.  

      October 2023

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