In fun

The 12 days of Christmas is the period that, in Christian theology, marks the span between the birth of Christ and the coming of the Magi — the three wise men. It begins on December 25 (Christmas Day) and runs through January 6 (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings' Day).  Most of us will be familiar with the traditional song too, ‘On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…’

Many of us will enjoy some time off to relax during the ’12 days,’ and enjoying Christmas and the New Year in Poole really does offer something for everyone. You’ll be spoilt for choice, whether it’s bracing winter walks, carol singing or a cosy coffee by the fire. So here are 12 ideas to make the most of festivities in Poole in the lead up to, and over the break:

What’s more traditional at this time of year than a trip to the Christmas panto? Enjoy a visit with friends and family of all ages to laugh, cheer and boo along with the cast of Dick Whittington at the Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts. Starring popular children’s TV presenter Chris Jarvis, it runs from 7 – 31 December. Check out tickets and show times at the Lighthouse website.

A Christmas movie is traditional at this time of year. We all have our favourites, so check out the programme of Christmas films on the big screen outdoors in the Sainsburys' plaza. Pop down, snuggle up in the seated movie area with patio heaters and blankets, and enjoy! Film showings are on 6th, 13th and 20th December, and include family favourites ‘The Polar Express’ and ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’.

Poole’s traditional Lantern Parade lights up the town with beautifully crafted handmade lanterns on Thursday 13th December.  Leaving Falkland Square at 6pm, join the parade through the town centre before arriving at the Guildhall for carols and mince pies. A great way to get that festive feeling!

Festive Band in Poole

Christmas shopping really gets underway in December. So whether it’s socks for dad, perfume for mum, the latest tech for a teenager or toys for the little ones you can get them all in Poole. Browse the shops in the Dolphin Centre while admiring the stunning festive decorations as you tick the pressies off your list! Pause for refreshments in one of the choice of cafes inside, or in Falkland Square, to keep you going.

Santa with presents

Just outside Poole is stunning Upton Country Park. It’s beautiful house and gardens come alive at this time of year.  Santa’s Woodland Grotto has real wood cabins, animals; quality wrapped gifts and printed photographs of youngster’s meeting with Santa. Adults can enjoy the gardens and views across Poole Bay, and a warming drink in the café. Check out the full programme of activities. 

To walk off the mince pies, explore Poole’s old town. With pretty winding streets, follow the cockleshell trail around the listed buildings dating back hundreds of years, and see Poole’s many traditional pubs around the Quay, the stunning and huge sculpture ‘Sea Music’, and enjoy the views across to Brownsea Island. If you’ve worked up an appetite there are lots of restaurants in and around the Old Town High Street to tempt you with everything from Thai food to pizzas.

Another bracing walk is around Holes Bay. A foot and cycle path runs from the west side of the Quay all around the bay to Upton Country Park, and on this flat walk you will see the many different birds that make Holes Bay their home, from cormorants to swans. It’s sure to blow away the cobwebs and burn off a few calories too!

Poole Museum is a treasure trove worth exploring, with fascinating exhibits that chart Poole’s history. At this time of year you can have a cracker of a Christmas with a creative craft activity, decorating your own Christmas crackers and writing some festive jokes, on Saturdays,  8th and 15th December.

Go on a massive adventure together with “Your Toys”, an amazing production by Slot Machine Theatre at Lighthouse, Poole 12-24 December.  Adults and children can bring a toy of their own to join in a rumpus full of music, surprises, puppetry and creative play.   Book your tickets today ! 

Fancy a bracing pre-Christmas sail with Santa? He’s swapped his sleigh for a boat so join in the festive spirit, cruising with Santa Claus around scenic Poole Harbour. Departing from Poole Quay and sailing for approximately 75 minutes, this trip will take you past beautiful Brownsea Island. Check out sailing times and days.

Seeing in the New Year in Poole is fun too, whether you choose to dress up and book a slap-up meal in one of the many hotels or restaurants, or just have a cosy drink by the fire in a traditional pub.

There’s something for everyone, so enjoy the twelve days by seeing what surprises Poole has to offer!

Credit: Written by Geraldine Cetin

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