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Christmas Events in Dorchester 2021

Thursday, November 18th, 2021

Christmas is fast approaching and festive events in Dorchester are set to return in a big way in 2021. It’s time to step into a winter wonderland of Christmas lights, fantastic food markets, ice skating and shopping for great gifts in the county town.

Make a note of these key dates for the diary and celebrate Christmas with this feast of fun-filled activities for all the family. Listed here are all of the not-to-be-missed festive celebrations taking place in Dorchester this year.

christmas events in dorchester

Christmas Lights Illumination at Brewery Square
POSTPONED! New date: Sunday 28th November, 4pm – 7pm

One of the best ways to celebrate the start of Christmas in Dorchester is to head to Brewery Square for the big light switch-on. On the last Saturday in November, the annual lights illumination and the opening of Skating In The Square is being held on Sunday 28th November 2021 from 4pm. With an exciting line at Brewery Square including live music, entertainment, mulled wine, lights illumination, performances, late night shopping and more.

The line up for the evening…

4pm – Weymouth Concert Brass
5pm – ZE TRIO!
5:30pm – Brewery Square’s lights on show
6:00pm – Lights on!
6:10pm – ZE TRIO!

Tickets for Skating In The Square Dorchester can be purchased in advance here.

Dorset Winter Show
Saturday 27th November, 10am

Dorchester Agricultural Society has hosted a series of alternative events in 2021, the final one is the Dorset Winter Show. Held on the 27th November, the event is set to bring livestock back to Dorchester Market for the first time in 30 years! There will also be local food and craft stands, family entertainment and much more.

Dorchester Christmas Vegan Market
Saturday 4th December, 10am – 3pm

Dorchester Vegan Market has moved to the wonderful Borough Gardens for its Christmas Event this year. Entry is free to this superb outdoor event which hosts over 35 stalls of 100% vegan products. Purchase from local businesses and choose from variety of delicious hot and cold food, tea, coffee and yummy cakes, and other fine cuisine. As well as health and beauty care, ethical clothing, eco-friendly products, jewellery, information & advice and so much more!

Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead and well behaved.

Dorchester xmas vegan market 2021

Christmas Sunday Craft Activity at Dorset Museum
Sunday 5th December and Sunday 12th December, 10:30am – 12pm

Get into the festive spirit and join Dorset Museum’s winter and Christmas themed crafts in December. There’s no need to book, as a FREE event is included as a part of your entrance ticket/annual pass or membership. A maximum of 1 adult to supervise children in each group is a requirement for the activities which are suitable for under 11s.

Shire Hall Christmas Market
Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December, 10am – 4pm

Head to Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum for a weekend of Christmas shopping and entertainment. Local stall holders offer wonderfully unique items that make the perfect gift for that special someone. Make sure to add The Shire Hall Christmas Market to your diary and enjoy a browse inside the historic Dorchester venue this December.

Dorchester Christmas Cracker
Sunday 12th December, 11am – 4pm

Dorchester Christmas Cracker makes a very welcome in 2021 after its absence last year. Bigger and better than ever, the 2021 Cracker will be a full day event with street stalls, craft fair, fun for the kids and an appearance from Santa! High West/East Street will be closed to traffic to create a safe area for vendors to have stalls. There will also be a craft fair in the Corn Exchange for all your unique gift ideas and inspiration.

Programme of events…

11:00 – Festive Street Stalls, Craft Fair in Corn Exchange & Rock Choir outside Shire Hall
12:00 – Fancy Dress Parade, leaving from The Old Tea House
12:30 – Live Music Entertainment outside St Peter’s Church
14:00 – Rock Choir outside Shire Hall
16:00 – Event closes

Dorchester Christmas Cracker 2021 poster


Christmas Craft Fair at Trinity Club
Sunday 12th December, 11am – 2pm

A great opportunity to visit Father Christmas in his grotto and to some Christmas shopping at The Trinity Club Dorchester. The event is raising funds for Dorset carers hub to help unpaid carers.

Christmas Craft Activities at Brewery Square
Thursday 16th December, 4pm – 6pm

Get arty this Christmas with craft activities at Brewery Square. Families are invited to create their own festive art through fun activities ranging from making greetings cards or decorating a bauble.

Brewery Square’s Christmas Silver Band
Thursday 2nd December, 5:30pm – 7pm

Brewery Square will be full of Christmas cheer and music on Thursday 2nd of December. Durnovaria Silver Band will be playing an evening performance of traditional Christmas Carols in the square – a wonderful way to welcome the festive period to Dorchester.

Breakfast with Father Christmas at Shire Hall
Wednesday 22nd & Thursday 23rd December, 10am – 12pm

With just a few days until the big day, this is your chance to attend a breakfast club with a very special guest! Shire Hall Historic Courthouse Museum are serving up a delicious breakfast menu with a chance to meet Santa himself! Pre-booking is essential as tables are limited – find out more on the event page.

Meet santa at shire hall dorchester christmas cracker 2021

Brewery Square’s Christmas Trail
Saturdays (4th – 24th December, 10am – 4pm)

Take the kids along to the Festive Christmas Trail at Brewery Square and go on a hunt for hidden images of Santa and friends. To enter simply visit Concierge Office (DT1 1GH) and collect your entry form. When you’ve completed the hunt return the form and claim a free prize!

This event is open daily between Saturday 4th and Friday 24th December 2021. Happy hunting everyone!

Where’s Snowy?
Friday 26th November – 31st December.

Calling all Dorchester Supersleuthers! Fans of the competition will be delighted to take part in the Christmas-themed version of Dorchester’s Supersleuth competition. Starting on Friday 26th November ‘Where’s Snowy’ runs throughout the festive period until the closing date on 31st December. The idea is to spot ‘Snowy’ wearing an ‘I love Dorch’ badge in shop windows. If you see one, enter the shop and ask for the question – the answer is the all-important entry in the mission album. Download entry forms here.

where's snowy - dorchester christmas supersleuth 2021


Support local retailers in Dorchester

Let’s keep on supporting our beautiful town’s high street and side street shops this Christmas. On behalf of all the town’s businesses and attractions thank you so much for all your loyal custom this year.

dorchester christmas shop windows

From the Dorchester BID team, have a safe and Happy Christmas! 🎄


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