We love seeing Southampton filled with Christmas cheer again this year. Whether you're planning to visit the city for shopping, dining, entertainment or all three, you're sure to enjoy a festive day out here.
As the city comes alive this Christmas, we'll be keeping this page updated with the latest information, local events, offers and more, so be sure to come back to see what's new.
Thank you to everyone who joined us last night for an evening of entertainment at the lights switch on event!
We hope you had a great evening and enjoy this highlights video. You can view the photos from the evening on our Facebook Page here.
We'd love to see your photos and videos from the evening so share them on social media using #OurSouthampton
27th November - 24th December
The trail is open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm and Sundays 11am - 5pm.
Follow the trail through the North Pole, South Pole or both, on an adventure around the twinkling city centre. Look out for penguins and polar bears on your way, they will show you the clues. Find all the clues and unscramble the festive phrases to claim your free prizes.
The trail is designed with families in mind and it should take around 45 minutes to complete each trail or 1.5 hours if you do both together. You could do the North Pole Trail one weekend and come back to complete the South Pole Trail.
The Southampton Christmas Market features a traditional German market operated by internationally renowned WELA Märkte featuring totally unique, individually designed alpine chalets with traditional German fayre, from bratwurst and waffles to gingerbread hearts and candied fruit.
The market includes independent stallholders offering a range of hand-made, authentic gifts and Christmas decorations.
Visitors have a choice of two bar areas offering live entertainment and German draught beer, mulled wine and winter warmers like hot chocolate.
The market is open 10am to 8pm. Food and beverage stalls open from 10am to 10pm with live music also until 10pm.
There’s a great range of shops in the city centre including popular high street brands and local businesses. In addition to the German Christmas Market there are two shopping centres: Westquay and The Marlands, as well as the high street and West Quay Retail Park. With brands such as IKEA, John Lewis, Urban Outfitters, Primark, Hamleys and more, you’re bound to find the perfect gift this Christmas.
Love supporting local? Bedford Place, East Street and Old Town are not to be missed, here you’ll find a selection of independent shops, cafes and restaurants.
If it’s food you’re looking for, Southampton offers a vast range of culinary delights. Whether you’re having brunch with the girls, a quick bite whilst shopping or an evening meal with your family, the hardest decision you’ll have to make is which restaurant to try first!
Southampton is proud of our arts & theatre venues and they really do know how to put on a good show at Christmas! With two major theatres, three cinemas and lots of independent venues, there’s something to entertain everyone.
See a show at Mayflower Theatre, immerse yourself in history at Tudor House or take in the masterpieces at Southampton City Art Gallery.
Our free city centre walking trail is the perfect way to explore Southampton with little ones who can claim a free prize when they complete the clues.
The Mayflower Theatre
A strictly magical star cast has been announced with Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother, Debbie McGee as The Fairy Godmother and the legendary Richard Cadell & Sooty in Mayflower Theatre’s pantomime for 2021 - Cinderella.
The Mayflower Theatre also has lots of other productions and musicals on during the festive season.
MAST Mayflower Studios
Second Star to the Right
Made especially for very young audiences, this production is an enchanting adventure for little ones and their grown-ups. Snuggle up and get ready to travel through the stars, and discover the way to the Neverland.
Peter Pan: An Awfully Big Musical Adventure!
Join MAST Mayflower Studios for their very first Christmas Youth production which promises to take you on a magical journey. This production has been adapted for our Christmas Youth Project cast and features a score with a mix of songs from the musicals and popular music. Join Peter, Wendy, Tinkerbell and the Lost Ones as they battle the pirates and the evil Captain Hook in the classic story of the boy who never grew up.
The Stage Door
This one's not for the children!
It's naughty Adult Panto time again and this year you can see The Stage Door's racy take on the well-known classic tale The Wizard of Oz! Join Dorothy as she journeys to Oz to meet the Wizard! What could possibly go wrong?
The Stage Door also hosts a great range of adult entertainment throughout the year, find out what's on here.
On weekends leading up to Christmas, See Southampton Hidden History walks will take on a Christmas theme, recalling Southampton’s Christmas history, music and traditions.
These guided walks include fascinating facts and references including Christmas celebrations of past years at the churches in the city, the marriage of Henry II to Eleanor of Aquitaine in 1154 and much, much more.
SEE Southampton Christmas Walks take place on Saturdays and Sundays between 20 November – 19 December, departing the Lions at the Bargate at 10.30am. Walks will conclude at the Westgate, on the Western Walls, at approx. 12 noon, where visitors are welcome to view an exhibition on the Mayflower and Speedwell (and hear about the origin of Thanksgiving in America) and enjoy a complimentary mince pie.
Tickets for the Christmas Walk are £6. Payment may be made to the guide with cash / credit card ahead of the walk. Accompanied children under 16 years are free of charge.
These walks are not to be missed for those with an interest in the festive history of the city.
Pictured: St Marys Church, inspiration for "The Bells Of St Mary's" mention in a 1963 Christmas hit.
Get offers, discounts and more from your favourite Southampton businesses with the SO card.
The SO card is totally free and features different deals and discounts. From independent stores to national brands in retail, hospitality, leisure, beauty and everything in-between there is something for everyone to enjoy.
To view the offers available and to get your free digital card, click here.
If you are visiting Southampton this Christmas there are lots of travel options for getting to and from the city, as well as exploring whilst you're here.
The city centre is just a 10-minute walk from Southampton Central train station and there are lots of car parks close by if you are travelling by car. Head to our Your Visit page for more details on all the options available, which will help you plan your trip.
When it comes to getting around the city, many of the main attractions and shopping areas are within walking distance of each other but if you don't feel like walking or wish to explore the wider city areas, you can catch a bus or grab a taxi through Radio Taxis, West Quay Cars or Aero Taxis. Bluestar buses will also be running a few routes on Christmas day, see their Christmas schedule here.
If you are in need of some Christmas inspiration explore some of the #OurSouthampton blog posts to discover all things festive in Southampton.