Santa holding presents at The Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Dreaming of a Wight Christmas

The Isle of Wight is full Christmas spirit this year, with an array of festive activities for the most wonderful winter stay or day trip. As the frost covers the Isle of Wight’s vast countryside, beautiful beaches and pretty villages, the Island transforms into a winter wonderland; perfect for a family walk, a roast dinner in a cosy pub or even a visit to Father Christmas himself….

POLAR at Robin Hill Country Park

Deep in the illuminated ancient woodland at Robin Hill Country Park, POLAR is the ultimate winter wonderland and home to lovable life-like polar bears. Families can join Father Christmas for a magical tractor ride through the twinkling forest, enjoy Robin Hill’s classic rides, or take to the treetops for an exhilarating snowball fight – suspended in the jungle heights trampolines. Visitors can indulge in festive favourite foods including delicious giant pigs in blankets, roast potatoes, and hot chocolate with plenty of whipped cream. To inspire the holiday spirit, the 4D cinemas will be showing a festive film and creative guests can try their hand at making decorations for their tree. POLAR is open on selected dates between 4 – 23 December 2021, 5pm to 9pm.

Santa opening a door to Santa's House at Tapnell Farm Christmas Experience, Isle of Wight

Tapnell Farm's Christmas Experience

Tapnell Farm’s award-winning Christmas event returns for 2021 with brand new characters to meet and adventures to have! Smudge the Naughty Elf invites all little ones on a fantastical journey of stories, puzzles and imagination in search of Santa and his secret surprises. The hunt for Santa will run 3-5, 9-12, 16-18 and 21-23 December 2021. Elsewhere on the farm, visitors will see the annual ginormous Christmas Tree, festive face painting and gingerbread decorating workshops!

Yarmouth on Ice

For the first time, the pretty harbourside town of Yarmouth will play host to ice skating in the square, a unique, magical Christmas experience like no other. All weather ice skating will be available in a Christmas marquee with music, lights and snow for a totally immersive experience from Saturday 11 December to Wednesday 22 December 2021. Discover hidden treasures with late night shopping in Yarmouth’s independent and enjoy seasonal food and drink from local restaurants, pubs and cafes. Mother and Father Christmas in their secret weekend hideaway in Yarmouth Town Hall, with a special memento for every little visitor. All profits will go to local Island charities, too.

Isle of Wight Steam Railway engine on a Santa Special thanks to Ian-Pratt

Santa Specials at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Visitors can climb aboard the Isle of Wight’s historic steam trains for a journey through a wintery woodland with Santa. The charming, restored carriages will have families travelling in style as they sing classic Christmas carols and enjoy the beauty of the Island’s countryside. Plus, Santa and his elves are on board to deliver a special present to each child. Back at Havenstreet, the barn will host entertainment throughout the day with free mince pies and mulled wine on offer. Trains to Santa’s North Pole station will depart 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19 and 22-24 December 2021.

A person making a Christmas wreath

Decoration making

Like to get crafty? Then join a workshop to make your own decorations. Tiny Homes Holidays is hosting a Christmas Cloud Wreath Workshop using materials sourced from the Isle of Wight. You can make a wonderful bohemian-style wreath or a festive-inspired cloud decoration. These contemporary hanging arrangements look stunning over a table or displayed in a window. You can also stay on site in one of the Tiny Home cabins, eco accommodation in a countryside location with wood burning stoves.

Or book a place at the Christmas Wreath Making Workshop at Tapnell Farm’s The Cow on 30 November and 7 December 2021. Enjoy a festive drink on arrival, create your wreath and enjoy a delicious burger at the end! All materials will be provided including frame, moss, foliage, bow, berries, and a range of scented decorations (oranges, cinnamon, pine cones).

Christmas at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary, Isle of Wight

Christmas at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary

The Isle of Wight Wildheart Sanctuary (formerly the Isle of Wight Zoo) plays host to wonderful Christmas Markets over the weekend of 27 and 28 November. You’ll find a range of stalls selling gifts and decorations from local Isle of Wight designers, makers and artists.

You can see Father Christmas – he’s launching his wonderland grotto that weekend too – and there’ll be carols, festive food and mulled wine.  Father Christmas will then be at the sanctuary every weekend in December and there’ll be festive treats in the cafe too.  On Friday 17th of December the Sanctuary is open late and you can join in with carols on the green.

Small child holding a lantern

Ryde Merry and Bright

Enjoy seasonal celebrations in Ryde’s Town Centre with this outdoor street festival on 2 December between 5pm and 8pm. There will be static lantern displays, street entertainers, late night shopping and a lantern parade.

Make your own lantern with The New Carnival Company at their workshop on Saturday 27 November in Ryde.

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