Portsmouth and Southsea’s events calendar never disappoints. Festive markets, feel-good cinema showings, and fun family pantomimes. All this and more takes place across the city this December. See our highlights below.
Love Southsea Christmas Markets
Running on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays over the festive season, the Love Southsea Christmas Markets will feature an eclectic mix of local independent traders, makers, artists, illustrators, and vintage clothes traders, and jewellery makers, shabby chic sellers, giftware stalls, and plenty more. And, ideal for yuletide lunchtimes, the markets offer a diverse selection of street food traders.
What’s more, they’re running a Christmas bar serving seasonal favourites, from mulled wine and cider to boozy hot chocolate and other Christmassy beverages to warm the cockles of your heart.
Come along from 9:00am to 5:00pm on the Fridays/Saturdays and 10:00am to 4:00pm on the Sundays for the city's most exciting, diverse, and unique Christmas shopping opportunity.
Castle Road Christmas Festival
Southsea’s iconic Castle Road bring back their Christmas Festival street market for another year, hosting more than 40 independent traders and local businesses.
There will also be the usual array of local musicians and artists keeping you entertained, plus a range of top-notch hot food, drink, mulled wine, and mulled cider to get you into the festive spirit and keep you warm.
Portsmouth Cathedral Christmas Fair
Portsmouth Cathedral host a Christmas fair on Saturday 2nd December, with a range of stalls, children’s entertainment shows, and even a Santa’s Grotto!
Admission is 50p, and accompanying children go free. Admission for the Santa’s Grotto is £1.00, and includes a gift. All tickets are sold on the door.
The children’s entertainment shows at 11:30am and 12:30pm noon are free.
SKATE Portsmouth ice rink in Guildhall Square
Ice skating comes to Portsmouth this Christmas season, from Saturday 18th November ‘til Tuesday 2nd January, in Guildhall Square!
Organised by SKATE Portsmouth, who have several other successful UK ice rink events under their belts, the ice rink will be located in the heart of Portsmouth’s city centre in Guildhall Square, between Portsmouth Guildhall, Big Screen Portsmouth, and the Civic Offices.
It’s 646 square metres in size, and ice skating tickets are available in the form of one-hour sessions, bookable via the SKATE Portsmouth website.
Simmer down with an aromatic mulled wine or steamy marshmallow-topped hot chocolate from the Moguls Bar and enjoy life-saving hot dogs from the Feed chalet.
The ice rink is open from 10:30am to 10:00pm daily, on all days except Christmas Day..
Care for lonely veterans this Christmas
Veterans of all ages could be left isolated across the city this Christmas. Age UK Portsmouth have called for residents to keep an eye on elderly neighbours, and for families of veterans to ensure their loved ones feel supported over the festive period.
Victorian Festival of Christmas at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Travel back in time to a bygone era at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s Victorian Festival of Christmas, where snowy Dickensian streets welcome you to a world of festive cheer.
Treat yourself to some well-earned retail therapy as you browse the festival’s Christmas market. With over 150 stalls selling fine hand-crafted gifts and curiosities, you’ll find the perfect present for loved ones.
Kick back in Fagin’s Tavern — the perfect place for a treat or two, from traditional Christmas cakes to welcome winter warmers. See the Edelweiss Bavarian Oompah Band, Old Sea Dogs, and Shep Woolley & the Ansome Sea Buoys light up the stage with merriment and joy.
With festive spirits running high, take part in a sing-a-long with traditional Victorian street performers and musicians.
Christmas at the Hotwalls
On Sunday 3rd December, the Hotwalls Studios in Old Portsmouth host a festive pop-up market from 10:30am to 4:00pm.
They’ll be opening up the Round Tower to play host to some of the south’s best creatives and makers, with a broad range of high-quality crafted items on offer from the Hotwalls Studios artists, who will be opening their studios to showcase how they work.
You’ll be able to purchase original pieces — perfect Christmas gifts! — and Aspex Gallery will be bringing along artworks by some of the area’s brightest creative talents.
Christmas Elf Trail at the Spinnaker Tower
Mischievous elves have stolen Santa’s ‘naughty or nice’ list and hidden in various spots around the Spinnaker Tower.
Help locate the list before the big day by finding all the elves as you explore the tower.
Make sure to post your elf trail sheet to Santa in the Spinnaker Tower’s Christmas postbox, so he can find his list before it’s too late! You’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a festive goody bag.
Book your Spinnaker Tower tickets on the attraction’s website.
Snow White pantomime at the Kings Theatre
Snow White hits the Kings Theatre Southsea stage for their 2017 pantomime, from Tuesday 5th December 2017 to Monday 1st January 2018!
Enjoy traditional family pantomime fun with Snow White, her charming Prince, the Wicked Queen, and seven dependable dwarfs, backed by lavish sets, wonderful costumes, and all the cheers, jokes, and jeers everyone loves from the yearly panto!
There’s a performance on Wednesday 13th December at 2:00pm which will be signed and relaxed, for very young children and/or theatre-goers with special needs. Light and bright elements will be reduced and strobe lighting and pyrotechnics and removed.
Portsmouth Santa Run 2017
The Portsmouth Santa Fun Run returns to Southsea seafront for its 10th anniversary, raising funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The three routes are:
- The Pudding Mile (starts at 9:15am)
- The 5K Present Plod (starts at 10:00am)
- The 10K Tinsel Tree (starts at 11:42am)
Entry fees vary depending on which race you enter. All courses can be booked via the Santa Fun Run website.
And, if you’re not running, head down to the seafront and cheer on all the Santas!
Christmas Wine Tasting at Canoe Lake Leisure
Sample a fantastic selection of local wines at Canoe Lake Leisure on Saturday 9th December, from 12:00pm noon to 3:00pm. Tickets are just £5.00, and are available at Greens Café or The Pavilion beside Canoe Lake.
This price includes a warming bowl of soup, mince pies with cream, plus a glass of Prosecco. There will also be a chance to purchase a range of goodies, from cards and photos to wine and jam.
Beauty and the Beast at New Theatre Royal
This year’s New Theatre Royal pantomime is Beauty and the Beast — an extraordinary adventure for the whole family.
Prepare for surprising twists and wonderful turns which will sweep you off your feet, as one of the world’s favorite folk tales takes to the stage in a brand new Christmas imagining.
There’s a preview performance on Thursday 14th December, followed by ‘Silver’-tier and ‘Gold’-tier performances during the rest of December.
The Sound of Music at No. 6 Cinema
No. 6 Cinema, Portsmouth’s only independent filmhouse, screen 1965 American musical drama movie The Sound of Music on Thursday 21st December 2017, from 3:00pm — a family matinée performance of a feel-good musical.
Maria is a tomboyish postulant at an Austrian abbey who is sent to become a governess in the home of a widowed naval captain with seven children.
Her arrival brings a new love of life and music into the home. Based on the real life story of the Von Trapp Family singers, one of the world's best-known concert groups in the era immediately preceding World War II.
Christmas dinner at Brewhouse & Kitchen
Also at Brewhouse & Kitchen in December is the launch of B&K’s limited edition beer collaboration with Innis & Gunn. It’s called BADAS, a bourbon barrel-aged strong dark ale. The launch takes place on Thursday 7th December. There’ll be free tasters, a raffle, and discounted steins! RSVP to the event on Facebook to let your friends know you’re going »
Give the gift of fitness with Strong Living PT
Gift someone ten PT sessions at StrongLiving PT — workouts suited to what the recipient wants and needs. Strong Living’s Shelley Buxey is heralded as one of the top personal trainers in Portsmouth. Buy an SLPT gift card online »