There's plenty to enjoy across the Isle of Wight in the lead up to Christmas, with markets, carnivals, grottos and tree festivals all to look forward to.

Afraid of missing out on the fun? Have no fear, we have brought together a whole load of special festive events for you to plan ahead for.

See below for our Isle of Wight Christmas events guide!

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​+ Friday, December 8 +

Isle of Wight County Press:

Merry and Bright in Ryde

Merry and Bright 2023, in Ryde town, gets underway with a lantern parade on Friday, December 8.

The town will be transformed with dazzling static illuminations, interactive art installations, live bands, performances and family-friendly activities.

This year, the event extends into Saturday, December 9, giving you can extra day to get your Christmas shopping done and enjoy the entertainment.

​+ Saturday, December 10 +

Christmas Craft Market and Santa’s Grotto at MAD-Aid

The Christmas Market and Santa’s Grotto at the MAD-Aid community room will be on Sunday, December 10.

This free event will offer craft stalls, gift ideas, Christmas activities, a raffle, a teddy tombola and a chance to meet Santa.

The event will be open from 11am – 4pm, at MAD-Aid’s York Avenue, East Cowes HQ, and proceeds will go straight into the charity’s work.

Isle of Wight County Press:

​+ Saturday, December 16 +

Isle of Wight County Press:

St Catherine's Fundraising Fair 

St Catherine’s School will host their Christmas Fundraising Market at Ventnor’s St Catherine’s Church on December 16, between 10.30am – 4pm, with over 30 small Island businesses attending.

The event will feature a raffle, which has a great selection of prizes generously donated by local businesses.

The Christmas Tree Festival will also be at the church.

Hot chocolate will be available in the church cafe, and youngsters will have the chance to listen to tales from storyteller Sue Bailey.

Christmas Family Fun Day at Holliers Park

Holliers Park’s Christmas Family Fun Day will take place between 10.30am – 3.30pm on Saturday, December 16.

Sensory Island is hosting 45 minutes of Christmas-themed sensory play, 15 minutes of Mrs Clause storytelling and giving treats to every child, with a few naughty elves hosting various activities.

Message Sensory Island on Facebook to book.

The Bus Stop Cafe are hosting a visit to Santa and a present for every child. Visits to Santa are every 15 minutes between 11am – 3pm. 

They will also have lots of new delicious options on their festive menu. Message The Bus Stop Cafe to book their event. 

Meanwhile, the Holliers Tunnel Market will be offering a variety of Christmas-themed gifts, arts and crafts, festive sweets, reindeer food and much more. 

There will also be other activities on site, such as face painting, glitter tattoos, raffles, tombola and Christmas games. 

A percentage of taking from all local businesses at Holliers Park will go to Aspire, an award-winning Island-based community hub.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Christmas celebrations and carols in Ventnor

Ventnor is set to celebrate Christmas with a series of special festive events in the town on Saturday, December 16.

Festive cheer in Newport

On Saturday, December 16, Newport Business Association will fill the town centre with music and fun.

Featuring The Duophones, The Minister Singing For Fun Group, Wight Harmony, St John's Church Choir, Apollo Youth Theatre, Theatretrain, Wight Strollers, Morrisons Christmas Market, face painting and much more.

The finale will see carols sung around the Christmas tree at 4.30pm in St Thomas Square.

Santa’s Grotto and Festive Music Weekend at the IW Donkey Sanctuary

Santa is returning to the IW Donkey Sanctuary, and this time he is bringing some music with him.

The Sanctuary will host Santa’s Grotto across the weekend of December 16-17.

Along with Santa and his helpers, the Sanctuary will also have some live festive music over the weekend to enjoy.

Christmas in Yarmouth

Santa will visit Yarmouth on Saturday, December 16, at his grotto in Yarmouth Guides and Scout Hall on Mill Road.

He will be there from midday - 6pm, with mince pies and mulled wine available - all proceeds will go to the upkeep of the hall.

Yarmouth's Town Square will host Christmas carols at 6pm.

Isle of Wight County Press: Last year's Carols in The SquareLast year's Carols in The Square

​+ Friday, December 22 +

Snowflake Ball at BAR 74

Join Enchanted Isle and hosts, the Sister Queens Elsa and Anna, at BAR 74 in Ryde for their Snowflake Ball.

Returning for its fourth year, the event takes place on Friday, December 22, between 12pm – 2pm.

The Ball will feature a disco and music, storytime with the Sisters, a cold buffet style menu, prizes for best dresses princes and princesses and craft activities.

+ ​Throughout December +

Isle of Wight County Press:

Santa Special's at Isle of Wight Steam Railway

Santa and his elves will, once again, return to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway throughout December.

After your train ride, follow the winter walkway to Santa’s North Pole station, where the seasonal station master and his helpers will be waiting to greet you.

Every child that comes to visit Santa is his decorated carriage will receive a special gift.

Festive Stories with Father Christmas at Osborne

Father Christmas to heading to Osborne throughout December for a magical way to start the festive season.

Taking time out of his busy schedule, Father Christmas will tell some of his favourite seasonal stories around the Christmas tree.

Then, you and your children will get the chance to meet the man himself, take photographs and make memories to treasure. Father Christmas will also give every child a traditional present to unwrap.

A Celebration of Christmas Trees in Freshwater

Held at All Saints Church, the opening ceremony for the special event will take place in association with Freshwater and Yarmouth School on Thursday, December 7, at 2.30pm.

Island band The Barnacles, popular for their sea shanties, will perform in the evening of Saturday, December 9.

The free-to-enter event will end with the West Wight Women’s Institute’s Carol Service at 2pm on Wednesday, December 13.

The church will be open every day between December 7-13, with the cafe serving refreshments and sale tables featuring cakes, ‘puds’ and crafts.

The trees will remain up until December 28.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival

The Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival will return between December 7-10, spreading joy and festive cheer at select West Wight venues.

Now in its 27th year, the event promises a festive experience like no other, kicking off with the ‘Lights of Love’ carol service on December 6 at 7pm in St Mary’s Church in Brighstone.

This year, over 150 beautifully decorated trees will be on display, showcasing the creativity of Island charities, not-for-profit organisations and businesses.

Festivities will unfold across 10 venues, with activities available for all ages.