Do you want to celebrate Christmas on the Isle of Wight? Here are some of the best days out on the Isle of Wight for Christmas, so you can plan your perfect trip.
There are so many great places to spend Christmas on the Isle of Wight that it’s hard to decide which one to recommend! Here are some of our favourites from cinemas and gardens to illuminations and Santa experiences.
If you’re planning on Christmas on the Isle of Wight, then you’ve got a lot of fun festive activities to choose from. Number 11 is the most important – but read the rest first!
Days out for Christmas on the Isle of Wight
All times, dates and confirmations for these Isle of Wight Christmas events are correct as of our latest update (November 2022).
Please double check and pre book before you leave the house!
1. Wildheart Animal Sanctuary at Christmas
This zoo on the Isle of Wight has animals from all over the world for you to visit. Kinda funny to imagine them going over on the ferry – they must’ve at some point!
There are plenty of fun activities for kids year round, but at Christmas the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary has Christmas Markets, carol sessions and you can even see Santa too. For more details on this Isle of Wight attraction at Christmas check out the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary website.
2. Have a festive day out at the beach
Why not head to one of the many stunning beaches on the Isle of Wight for some fun in the (maybe) winter sun? There are loads of great beaches on the Isle of Wight but we’d recommend donning your Santa hat and hitting Ventnor Beach or Ryde Beach.
The beaches here make for one of the best days out on the Isle of Wight year round, but at Christmas they’re pretty much deserted, and just that little bit more special.
3. Catch a festive show
Head to one of the theatres on the Isle of Wight in December and watch a show.
Celebrate your Christmas with QUIVERS, the Isle of Wight’s own cross-dressing drag clown who needs practically no encouragement. This handsome woman is here to make you laugh and bring you some joy at the QUIVERS’ Big Fat Christmas Disco taking place at Bar 74 on December 16th.
The Shanklin Theatre is putting on Cinderella for this season’s Christmas show, or you could go to Jack and the Beanstalk at the Medina Theatre.
4. Enjoy some Christmas illuminations
Check out POLAR at Robin Hill (more on that below) and the Christmas celebrations at Tapnell Farm (taking place 26th November – 24th December 2022) for some epic Christmas lights and festive cheer.
READ MORE: Check out our Isle of Wight Quiz!
5. Jump on a steam train ride
The Isle of Wight Railway runs annual Santa’s Special trains where you can meet Santa, and enjoy a voyage into the countryside.
Board one of their historic steam trains at Havenstreet Station for an atmospheric ride through wintery woodland inside the heated and beautifully restored carriages. Feel like you’re travelling in style as you and your family will have your own compartment for your exclusive use, meaning pre-booking is absolutely essential for this Christmas activity on the Isle of Wight.
6. Check out Christmas at the Drive-in Cinema
If you fancy enjoying a Christmas activity while doing a good deed, this year’s drive-in cinema is in aid of the Wessex Cancer Trust, helping Islanders affected by cancer.
Get cosied up in your own car and head to the drive-in for a movie night on a giant 9m x 5m LED screen overlooking The Needles Isle of Wight. There will be hot snacks and drinks on offer, and you can simply tune in to hear the film soundtrack through your car radio.
Movies this year include Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Love Actually, Home Alone, Arthur Christmas and The Holiday, so there’s a movie for every member of the family.
7. Visit Santa on the Isle of Wight
No matter what your age, a visit to see Santa is always magical and on the Isle of Wight at Christmas, and there are plenty of ways to make this festive tradition even more special. Here are our top picks for Santa experiences on the island.
- Tapnell Farm
- Havenstreet Steam Railway
- Wildheart Animal Sanctuary
- Polar at Robin Hill
8. Visit a Christmas market
There are a few Christmas markets open around the island. Some have traditional Christmas gifts, while others focus on seasonal foods. Browse local arts and crafts while sipping on mulled wine and munching on roasted chestnuts, and shop for unique gifts while taking in the stunning views.
- I Love Wight Christmas Market at the Garlic Farm
- Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary Christmas Market
- Mountbatten Gift Fair
- Northwood House Christmas Fair
9. Go for a coastal walk
If you’re spending Christmas in the Isle of Wight, how about taking a winter walk along one of the island’s many scenic walking routes?
Take in the beautiful views and visit one of the island’s great pubs at the end of it.
10. Visit Osborne House
Visit Osborne House, former home of Queen Victoria, and see it decorated for Christmas. They often have special Isle of Wight Christmas events, although nothing has been confirmed for this year so far.
11. You have to go to the Christmas Imaginarium
The Christmas Imaginarium is an absolute must for a day out at Christmas on the Isle of Wight. It’s a two storey shop that’s busy year round, but at Christmas the queues out of the shop wind round the streets, and for good reason. This is a heaven for Christmas lovers on the Isle of Wight – it’s the number one place to be.
The shop in Ryde was set up by author and illustrator, Russell Ince, after the success of his book ‘Santa Claus: The Book of Secrets’. He is everything Christmas and you need to visit his store to pick up a souvenir Christmas decoration, buy the book, or just share your love of Christmas on the Isle of Wight.
12. Visit POLAR at Robin Hill
Embark on a magical journey as Pippa the polar bear returns to Robin Hill for the next chapter in this heartwarming tale at Robin Hill on select dates. Step into an enchanted world, featuring the beautifully illuminated ancient woodland, Walk of Wonder and spectacular illuminations.
Warm up beside the cozy fires found in the Ponds and indulge in a delicious selection of festive food and drinks before hopping on-board the Big Red Express for a twinkling tractor journey through the trees in search of Father Christmas’s loose reindeer!
Christmas on the Isle of Wight
You can enjoy a great day out on the Isle of Wight any time of year, but Christmas is particularly magical! Any more fun activities for Christmas on the Isle of Wight you think we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below!