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Bournemouth – the place to B this Christmas!

This Christmas, be amazed by Bournemouth and discover magical festive fun for all the family from 16 November 2016 to 3 January 2017. Ice skate under the stars in Bournemouth’s illuminated historic gardens, sample seasonal fare at the Alpine Market and follow the brand new Nutcracker Trail while shopping late into the night for the perfect gift.

Nestled in the heart of the gardens, Bournemouth’s ice rink (16 November – 3 January) is set to be bigger and better than ever. The après-skate chalet returns, serving a selection of winter warmers to include hot chocolate with dipping marshmallows, hot food and blankets to boot!

Just a few days later, on Friday 18 November, Bournemouth launches festivities with a Christmas Celebration in Pier Approach at 6.30pm. Featuring live entertainment, light shows and a beach firework display, there will be special guest appearances from X Factor finalist, Max Stone and Cinderella’s ugly sisters.
The Alpine Market and Moose Bar returns to the town centre for another year (17 November – 3 January). With a selection of unique arts and crafts, it’s the perfect place to soak up a warming glass of mulled wine and the joyful atmosphere.

Bournemouth’s Grade II listed Victorian gardens will twinkle and glow with fairy light wraps on selected trees, coloured uplighters among the flora and fauna and snowflake projections along the walkways (18 November – 3 January).

As well as the return of the popular Giant Snow Globe in various town centre locations (5 – 18 December), this year sees a brand new trail of Nutcracker Kings dotted around the resort and surrounding coastal villages (19 November – 31 December). Each Nutcracker King is over 6ft tall and there will be a total of 20 positioned in arcades and shop doorways. Trail booklets will be available to pick up from hotels, Bournemouth’s Tourist Information Centre at Pier Approach and handed out at local schools for children to complete for the chance to win a prize.

Late night shopping is on offer every Thursday with free parking at selected car parks from 4pm on Thursday and all day Sunday (24 November – 22 December).

After 2015’s record-breaking pantomime, Bournemouth Pavilion are delighted to present the best-loved of them all, Cinderella (3 December – 2 January). See this year’s cast bring Cinderella to life; Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracy Beaker) as Cinderella, X Factor’s Rhydian as Prince Charming, Melanie Walters (Gwen from Gavin & Stacey) as the Fairy Godmother and back by popular demand, Noel Brodie as Buttons.

Step back in time at the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum with a Victorian Christmas (22 November – 8 January) and Christmas Fayre (Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 December, 10.30am – 4pm).

Spreading the festive cheer for children and adults alike, there is also a host of events in Bournemouth’s surrounding coastal villages – Boscombe, Southbourne and Westbourne.

Boscombe’s festivities kick-off with a carnival and switch-on on Saturday 19 November which also marks the launch of the popular Countdown to Christmas (19 November – 24 December). There’s also a Christmas parade and the official opening of Santa’s Grotto on Saturday 3 December.

Westbourne celebrates with the grand opening of Santa’s Grotto on Saturday 26 November and a Christmas Light Fiesta on Saturday 3 December.

Southbourne is holding its lights switch-on on Saturday 26 November, followed by the launch of Santa’s Giant Letter Box on Saturday 3 December and Santa’s Grotto on Saturday 17 December.

For more details on all these events please check out our dedicated Christmas Events section. And don’t forget to check out our events calendar for other festive events in the area!