The festive season is almost upon us and we've made a list, (and checked it twice), of our favourite Christmas events near Chichester in 2023. Our local pubs will all be full of beautiful decorations too, so once the activities are done, pop in for a glass of mulled wine by a roaring fire and enjoy Christmas the Sussex way.
Christmas Events in Chichester 2023
Chichester Christmas Lights Switch On: November 25th, 6.30pm. Chichester Town Centre.
The festivities kick off at 6pm. Join the Chichester town crier and the TS Sturdy band for the festival of light parade along North Street. Prebendal and Oakwood School choirs will be singing hymns before the blessing of the Christmas tree and the lights will be switched on at 6.30. Live music follows from the Chichester City Band and Chichester Singers.
Advent Christmas Market: 25th & 26th November, Weald and Downland Museum. Booking is essential for this quaint Christmas market set amongst the old houses and Sussex countryside of the Weald and Downland Museum. Over 100 stall holders, selling food, drink, art and crafts will be there, it's the perfect place to find Christmas presents. Find Father Christmas in his workshop, meet the donkeys, and listen to live performances from choirs throughout the weekend.
Christmas Makers Market: 2nd December, 10am - 10pm, Drapers Yard
Visit Drapers Yard, the creative heart of Chichester, and find a treasure trove of wonderful handcrafted delights. Florists, artists, ceramicists, bakers and other makers will be sharing their beautiful creations. The Taco box will have a festive menu, complete with mulled wine and Christmas cocktails as well as delicious churros. Sit by the fire pit and enjoy the festive atmosphere.
Enter the magical candle lit space at Chichester Cathedral to listen to the London Concertante virtuoso performance of Viennese classical music. It's a feast for the senses and an evening sure to delight.
A Christmas Carol at Stansted House: 2nd & 3rd December
Step back into Dickensian England for a creative tour around Stansted House, stately home. Charles Dickens has written a new novel, but Mrs Dickens is not convinced so she has invited you to hear a read through of the first draft. Move around the house to interact with the characters and finish with mulled wine, mince pies, and carols in the kitchen.
Tree Dressing at the Weald and Downland Museum, Sunday 3rd December
The wonderful living history museum brings the old traditions to life. Based on an ancient custom celebrating trees, the museum will be filled with music, dancing and lively processions. Not to be missed.
Sail to Santa at Arundel Wetland Centre, 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 10th December
Board an elf powered boat to visit Santa in his grotto and receive a special gift.
Tuppenny Barn Christmas Market, 10th December, 10-4pm
Browse food, drink, and craft made by talented local makers. The pop up cafe will have hot drinks and homemade cakes. It's a lovely site run by a horticultural charity who support young carers.
Tinwood Wine Tasting & Party, Thursday 14th December, 6.30pm, Graylingwell Chapel
Taste Sussex wines made on the Tinwood Estate with a deluxe grazing board and then dance to soulful Christmas covers on vinyl played by DJ Jamie.
Santa's Grotto at Chichester Festival Theatre, 16th-23rd December
Go behind the scenes at the Elves workshop before meeting Santa for a Christmas gift. It's sure to be a wonderfully creative immersive experience.
Christmas Activities at the Weald and Downland Museum: 19th - 21st December
Festive crafts and traditional decorations will fill the museum for the week before Christmas. This is a perfect family activity with a trail to follow around the museum with lots of fun things for the kids to do on the way.
Butser Ancient Farm Festive Fireside Tales & Magical Quest, December weekends
Another fabulous family activity connecting children to the old ways of celebrating midwinter with fireside story telling and winter crafts and activities.
Chichester Christmas Market, 9th, 10th, 16th & 17th December in Chichester Town Centre
Head into Chichester to do your Christmas shopping with the Christmas Cheer pop up market that is filled with local produce and crafts. Spot giant Santa and enjoy street performers.
All of our local National Trust Houses have festive events. Petworth Park is filled with Christmas trees and has choirs singing in the courtyard on weekends in December. Uppark House will be traditionally decorated, you can experience an 'upstairs, downstairs' Christmas. At Hinton Ampner's Christmas celebrations are inspired by Peter Pan, at Mottisfont by The North Pole, and at Nymans by The Nutcracker.
A lovely little cafe in Emsworth do fab Christmas afternoon teas, make it sparkle with Prosecco or bring your children for their own special menu. It's a quirky place that's always jolly.
Christmas at Oakwood West Holiday Cottages
Our lovely holiday cottages, in West Ashling near Chichester in West Sussex are well located for exploring Chichester Christmas events. Each cottage has a private garden with a hot tub, a roaring log fire and are luxuriously decorated. Close to Christmas you'll arrive to a house beautifully adorned for you festive break. Find out more about our Chichester holiday accommodation here.
Marshamallow toasting at Fern Lodge, after a hot tub.