Christmas events and markets in Kent 2018

by Lauren Abbott

Looking for some festive fun and a family outing?

Kent is packed full of markets, fun fairs and festive activities in the run up to Christmas.

We've rounded up some of the biggest and the best for you to enjoy with the kids in the coming weeks.

There is lots to look at in Canterbury this Christmas
There is lots to look at in Canterbury this Christmas

Canterbury Christmas Market, Whitefriars

Friday, November 16 until Christmas Eve

Canterbury's ever-popular festive market is set to be bigger than ever this year. With hot food, winter cocktails and unique gift ideas, the market will will be open from 10am until 6pm Monday to Friday. It will open an hour earlier on Saturdays at 9am, and run from 10am to 5pm on Sundays.

And no festive event would be complete without the presence of the man himself. Father Christmas will be in his grotto from December 1 until Christmas Eve.

For more details visit

Christmas at Leeds Castle, Kent. (5583948)
Christmas at Leeds Castle, Kent. (5583948)

Leeds Castle - Once Upon A Time At Christmas

From Saturday, November 24

The annual Christmas market will be held over four weekends, beginning on Saturday, November 24, with an array of gifts, toys, festive decorations and specialist food and drink. At the centre of the market will be nostalgic fairground rides including a Victorian carousel and the big wheel. The market will be on Saturday, November 24 and Sunday, November 25, Saturday, December 1 and Sunday, December 2, Saturday, December 8 and Sunday, December 9, and the final one on Saturday, December 15 and Sunday, December 16.

Inside the Castle this Christmas classic festive stories will be brought to life through illustrations. Journey through the castle to discover scenes from such tales as The Nutcracker, The Snow Queen and Scrooge.

To learn more about all the festive events visit

Enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in Rochester
Enjoy a Dickensian Christmas in Rochester

Rochester Christmas Market, Rochester Castle Gardens

Weekends from Saturday, November 24 to Sunday, December 9

Visit the funfair, the Bavarian food villahe and pick up unique gifts and unusual stocking fillers at the many stalls in the picturesque Rochester Castle gardens.

There will also be live entertainment and guaranteed snowfall!

The highlight of the event is to be the weekend of December 1 and 2 when the market coincides with the popular Dickensian Christmas event. To learn more about Christmas in Rochester click here.

Christmas Fair, Dymchurch Amusement Park

Weekends from Saturday, December 1 and daily Thursday, December 20 to Saturday, January 6, 2019

The fair with Christmas treats and family friendly rides, will be open every weekend from Saturday, December 1 and daily from Thursday, December 20 (excluding Christmas Day).

There will be stalls, a Santa's Grotto and mulled wine. It will be open from 11am to 4pm at the park in the High Street.

Dreamland's Roller Disco will be a festive affair
Dreamland's Roller Disco will be a festive affair

Christmas at Dreamland

Saturday, December 1 until Monday, December 31

Strap on your skates and enjoy feel good beats every day in December, with the park's resident Frosted FM DJ providing Christmas tunes to spin to from midday and 4pm on December 1, 8, 15, 22 , 23 and 24.

The Roller Diner will become a holiday hangout every day too between midday and 10pm. Catch a Christmas film or a winter sports screening, play in the Pinball Parlour and games room, or enjoy some mulled wine.

Visitors are also invited to step into a winter wonderland inside a giant snow globe, which is the ideal festive scene to snap a family photo.

Or, you can try your hand at making some Christmas crafts in the woodland lodge on December 1, 2, 8, 9, 15 and 16, and daily from December 22 to 31 from midday to 4pm.

Visit for a complete guide to the Christmas events.

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Hever Castle is!
Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Hever Castle is!

Christmas at Hever Castle

Saturday, November 24 until Sunday, December 9 (Wed-Sun) and then daily from December 10 until Christmas Eve

With welcoming log fires, and beautiful decorations in the Castle, a Christmas trail to follow and the chance to see Father Christmas – be enchanted by the magic of Christmas at Hever.

Each weekend and daily from selected dates visitors can also ride the carousel and enjoy vintage fairground stalls, meet characters along the Christmas trail and meet the huskies.

To learn more visit

Christmas at Bedgebury
Christmas at Bedgebury

Christmas at Bedgebury

Friday, November 30 until Sunday, December 30

An illuminated winter wonderland is set to transform the landscape at Bedgebury National Pinetum and Forest for a festive adventure like no other this Christmas.

The event is running for one month over Christmas and tickets are on sale.

spired by its own landscape, the new Christmas attraction will offer visitors the chance to explore Bedgebury's treasured woodland after-dark guided by lights and illuminated art installations.

And there will be some hidden surprises too! Watch out for frosty snowflakes, shimmering stars and gigantic baubles where you least expect them. And at the Boardwalk, the giant redwoods will be surrounded by a carpet of glowing colour-changing globes.

Why not complete your stroll under the stars with mulled wine or hot chocolate, gather to toast marshmallows at one of the fire pits, and let little ones ride the Carousel. To book your tickets click here.

Visit the circus at Groombridge Place (5931381)
Visit the circus at Groombridge Place (5931381)

Christmas Circus Spectacular, Groombridge Place

December 20 until December 30

Happy Circus will be bringing the timeless magic of the Circus to families visiting Groombridge Place near Tunbridge Wells over the festive period between December 20 and 23 and again on December 27, 28, 29 and 30. The big top circus shows will be free with admission to Groombridge Place with four performances each day.

There will be stunning aerial acts, amazing acrobatic feats and the chance to share the incredible world of Pip Randelle as he hosts a Christmas Party like no other.

To learn more click here.

Fancy taking the family on an ice cool outing? See our guide to Kent's ice rinks by clicking here.

Or for tickets to a Kent pantomime see our round-up of performances in the county here.

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