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Find below a selection of family-friendly events and activities happening in and around Portsmouth.
- FREE Winter Reading Challenge at the Library - This winter, the library, with their publisher partner Oxford Children's Books, is excited to bring you the very special Mini Challenge inspired by Pugs of the Frozen North by the brilliant Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre. The Challenge starts on Monday 2 December 2019 and finishes on Monday 13 January 2020, so there’s plenty of time to get involved! To take part in the Winter Mini Challenge online, children simply read any three books of their choice, then rate and review them at www.winterreadingchallenge.org.uk.
- Christmas commences at the Hotwalls! Hotwalls Studios has organised a number of events throughout the Festive Season. See their list of events on their website.
- Portsmouth Ice Skating. Practice makes perfect. Perfect your ice skating at the ice rink in Guildhall Square. SEND sessions to family fun afternoons, they've thought of it all. Open now until 5 January 2020. Book tickets here.
- Treasure Island. The action-packed, fun-filled family panto return to Portsmouth Pyramids in Southsea. 26th - 31st December 2019. Book tickets here.
- Aladdin. Embard on a magical journey aboard a flying carpet at the Kings Theatre this festive season with their all-star pantomime Aladdin. 11 December 2019 - 5 January 2020. Call the Box Office at 023 9282 8282 or visit the Kings Theatre website. To enter the Aladdin competition, please see 'Term Time Magazine' Winter 2019 edition, page 5 for details. Competition closes 8th December.
- FREE - Winter cycling. Don't let the dark nights and cold days of winter deter you and your family from cycling. With a bit of preparation, you and your family can be out on your bike all year round. See helpful tips on on our website at www.portsmouth.gov.uk/cycling.
- FREE - Portsmouth Christmas Market. The festive market in Commercial Road, from the organisers of Christmas by the River near London's Tower Bridge, returns for 2019. The beautiful wooden cabins are back, selling hot food - including churros, gyros and wok-fried noodles, alongside a carvery, a German sausage grill, traditional pie and mash, sweet treats and cheeses. On until 24 Dec 2019. Visit website for more info.
- The Nutcracker. A Christmas Musical Spectacular for all the family. On a sparkling Christmas Eve, join Clara as she is swept away through a wondrous winter wonderland, full of treats, surprises and adventures. More than a story: The Nutcracker is the feeling of Christmas in one big parcel, waiting for you to unwrap. 13 - 31 Dec 2019. Book your tickets here.
- Jack and the Beanstalk. With dazzling sets, hilarious laughs, amazing special effects and roof-raising musical numbers, this rollicking adventure, with a giant heart, is guaranteed to leave audiences both enchanted and rolling in the aisles. 4 Dec 2019 - 5 Jan 2020. Visit website for tickets.
- FREE - Port Solent Festival of Christmas Market. Now in its eighth year, the Port Solent Festival of Christmas Market is a wonderfully festive event with over 90 fabulous stalls located all around the Boardwalk - and are all undercover. With a range of street entertainment, local choirs and musical groups all joining in with the fun, it's a great event for all ages. Visit their website for more info.
- FREE - Story time sessions at Fort Nelson. Special Storytime sessions for under 5s take place in the museum’s galleries and have a different theme each month.These free sessions start at 11am. There’s no need to book, just go along and join in the fun. For a list of themes, please visit their website.
- A Victorian Christmas at Fort Nelson. It’s December 1896 and the garrison is preparing for the festivities. Gather around the kitchen range for seasonal tales and warm mince pies, in the company of Mrs Blenkinsopp and Private Dobson. 21 Dec - 31 Dec 2019. For more details and how to book, click here.
- Meet Santa in and around Portsmouth. Families magazine has compiled a comprehensive list of dates and places on their website.
- Tower Toymaker's Workshop. Santa Claus is setting up his workshop at Emirates Spinnaker Tower. For more information and to book, click here.
- Family events at the Historic Dockyard. A number of events are happening this December at the Historic Dockyard for all ages. Take a look on the Historic Dockyard website.
- Christmas Crafts at The D-Day Story. Join us for family friendly festive craft activities at The D-Day Story. Make 1940s style tree decorations to give your tree some vintage home-made flair. Just drop in, no need to book. 14 December 2019, 11am-3pm. For more events, check out their website. If booking an event, make sure to use your 40% off on the door ticket prices voucher in this month's Flagship.
- FREE - Portsmouth Museum. The current exhibition, called Portsmouth Revisited, takes a fresh look at our city through the eyes of great artists. The exhibition runs until 2 February. Check opening times before your visit.
- Hovertravel Trip. Hovertravel has introduced an off-peak family day return for just £30, so you can speed across the Solent and enjoy a full day out. Terms and conditions apple. See their website to book this special offer.
There isn't room here for all the things that are happening in and around Portsmouth. You can find out more about forthcoming events and attractions at www.visitportsmouth.co.uk. It's the definitive listing for events and activities for residents and visitors.