Fancy spreading a bit of Christmas Cheer? Or how about a Cracker or a Promise or even a Present?

There are lots of festive events going on in Dorset’s towns, from Christmas light switch-ons to late night shopping, and much more.

Here is our guide to what’s on and when. Have we missed any events? Let us know in the comments.

Friday, November 30

  • Beaminster Christmas lights will be switched on at 6.30pm. There will be carol singing, hot food and a visit from Father Christmas. Beaminster School Christmas Fair is taking place in the parish church.

Saturday, December 1

  • Weymouth’s Christmas Present kicks off at 10am and will be officially opened by Mayor Gill Taylor who will lead a children’s nativity parade featuring one of Weymouth’s own donkeys. There’s free parking all day for shoppers and lots of music and dance taking place. A giant snow globe outside Debenhams will be the main attraction, as well as carollers at the Clipper pub. A children’s lantern parade takes place at 4.30pm and the Mayor will switch on the lights at 5pm.
  • Lyme Regis Christmas light switch-on. Make a lantern for the parade in the Baptist Church Pine Hall from 3pm, and the judging of the lantern competition will take place in the church at 4.30pm. The parade sets off from the Baptist Church at and the Christmas lights will be switched on by mayor Michaela Ellis at 5.30pm.

Sunday, December 2

  • Wyke Christmas Street Fair is bringing fun and entertainment to the Square from noon until 4.30pm. The streets will be closed to traffic to make it safe for families to wander around and there will be lots of performances, a fancy dress competition judged by Santa and visiting fantasy princesses at 3.30pm.
  • The Christmas Tree Harbour Green event kicks off in West Bay at 3pm. The Christmas tree lights will be switched on at 4.15pm and mince pies and mulled wine will be available.

Wednesday, December 5

  • Bridport Christmas Cheer starts at 4pm with children singing carols in Bucky Doo Square and the United Church. This is followed by the grand procession of hand-made lanterns from Barrack Street to Bucky Doo Square, where the Christmas tree lights will be switched on by mayor, Cllr Barry Irvine. Visitors can enjoy lots of live music, stalls and refreshments.

Thursday, December 6

  • Dorchester’s Christmas Cracker begins at 4pm and none other than Paddington Bear himself will be switching on the Christmas lights. There will be a carol service in St Peter’s Church from 5pm and a lantern parade led by town crier Alistair Chisholm from Brewery Square at 5.45pm. Road closures in place from 5.45pm but there is free parking from 6pm in the town’s main car parks.

Saturday, December 8 and Sunday 9

  • A brand new event is coming to Weymouth! Pilgrim House Trust charity has teamed up with South Harbourside Community Group and Weymouth BID to launch the inaugural Christmas in the Square in aid of Weldmar Hospicecare. The two-day event in Hope Square will feature food and craft stalls from local traders alongside an exciting musical line up. It is centred around the annual Light up a Life service held by Weldmar, where family and friends can make a donation and dedicate a light on the Christmas tree in memory of a loved one. Activities will run from 12pm until around 6pm on both days.

Friday, December 14

  • The Easton Promise kicks off at 5pm with the mayor and town crier opening proceedings. The event runs until 5pm and promises family-friendly entertainment including refreshments, fairground rides, stalls, carol singers, face painting and much more.