Festive Fun and Christmas Events in Sussex
This time of year is so special. There’s a chill in the air, but the twinkling lights, warming mince pies, and festive spirit bring such joy.
The whole of Sussex comes to life with Christmas events the whole family can experience together, from festive trails to Christmas music.
Here, we bring you some of our favourite Christmas events in Sussex to help you plan for the most festive fun!
Christmas Events for the Family
Help the children burn off some of that Christmas countdown energy at the Standen’s Christmas Wishes Family Trail. While you’re there, check out their courtyard Christmas tree designed by BBC’s ‘Interior Design Masters’ show, winner Banjo Beale and runner-up Amy Davies. And listen to local choirs gathered around the tree for Twilights at Standen.
Head to Nymans for their Nutcracker Christmas! With costumes displayed in the Gallery from Matthew Bourne’s Nutcracker!, a family trail in the garden and the house sumptuously dressed for a Nutcracker-inspired Christmas.
Sussex’s ultimate festive trail is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Visit Glow Wild at Wakehurst for their award-winning winter lantern trail for all ages. It features ten new installations for their milestone year, plus many more magical surprises.
Visit Butser Ancient Farm for a season of frosted roundhouses, crackling fires, family adventures, and ancient celebrations. Sit by the fire for festive storytelling, discover ancient winter folklore, and craft your own gifts and decorations in their workshops!
Festive Entertainment and Activities
Join Lorraine from @hedgesandhurdles for Festive Willow Weaving Workshops at Nymans. Make a Willow Angel, Willow Heart, or Traditional Swedish Star and bring some rustic charm to your garden and home in time for Christmas.
The Guild at Standen will help you get some of your Christmas shopping done while you meet the designers of well-designed, beautifully handmade crafts produced in small workshops and studios in East and West Sussex and adjacent counties.
See Battle Abbey and the 1066 story in a whole new light as it’s brought to life with dramatic illuminations this December. Have your cameras ready as you explore the atmospheric splendour of the abbey grounds, and ruins lit up with all the colours of the rainbow.
Join Nikki Scally of ‘Felt at Home’ for this half-day Needle Felting Workshop at Nymans. Everything you need to create your own unique needle-felted snowman or penguin will be provided.
Whether you use it to mark the final countdown to Christmas or to welcome the start of lighter evenings, Winter Solstice is a celestial celebration worth circling on your calendar. Join Brighton i360 for a unique chance to watch the sunrise from 138 metres high in the sky.
Christmas Magic With Theatre and Music
Join Spun Glass Theatre at Standen in the magical world of Betwixtmass, a place of festive make-believe between our world and the North Pole. An interactive experience fusing puppetry, immersive binaural sound design and stories for all ages with binaural audio headsets for the entire family.
Chichester Festival Theatre is bringing the season to life with The Band of His Majesty’s Royal Marines, joining with the rousing voices of the Chichester Cathedral Choir for a concert full of true Christmas cheer.
Following a hugely successful run at the Unicorn Theatre last Easter, Stiles and Drewe’s joyful hit musical The Three Billy Goats Gruff arrives at Chichester Festival Theatre for a strictly limited run. Nothing beats the theatre at Christmas!
This Christmas experience Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book like never before at Chichester Festival Theatre. It features original songs by Ruth Chan written especially for Chichester Festival Youth Theatre.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s a whole host of places you can meet Father Christmas in Sussex this year, you can find out where here.
And, if you’re already planning on how to see 2023 out and 2024 in, how about celebrating New Year’s Eve on a high, 450ft at Brighton i360.