The Isle of Wight is awash with Christmas Markets and Fairs this season and one, at the Isle of Wight Military Museum, is open for most of December and includes an open air ice skating rink. Here’s a snapshot of whats on…
Cowes Yacht Haven is hosting their annual Christmas Fair on Saturday November 17th from 10.30am till 4.30pm. This cavernous venue will be full of over 60 stalls selling festive gifts and wares. There’s a bar, food, free parking and free entry. One of the earliest Christmas Fairs on offer but always a good one – get your gifts from local arts and crafts people along with others who come from further afield.
Chessell Pottery Barn will be open every weekend from Friday November 16th until Sunday December 23rd from 10am till 5pm daily for you to paint your own personal gifts and tree decorations. Last day to paint Christmas pottery is Sunday 16th December.
The Christmas Gift Barn is full to the brim with wonderful Christmas goods including tree and room decorations, table pieces and candles. It’s also an Aladdin’s cave of fair trade, traditional and wooden toys, puppets, trunkis and some interesting stocking fillers and stocks Emma Bridgewater pottery including Emma’s new ‘Snowstorm’ range.
The Courtyard Café is open throughout the Christmas events serving home-made seasonal soups, and sweet treats, including Christmas cinnamon spiced scones, home-made Christmas cake, mulled wine and freshly ground espresso coffee.
At the YMCA at Winchester House on the top of the cliff on Sandown Road just before the railway bridge as you leave Shanklin and head towards Lake there will be a Festive Christmas Market on November 24th from 10am till 2pm. There will be arts and crafts, stocking fillers, food and drink, entertainment and a raffle draw. Plus Santa’s Little helpers – young carers who are supported by YMCA - have opted to bake and sell some tasty Christmas biscuit treats to help raise funds for the charity.
On behalf of YMCA Children’s Targeted Services (part of YMCA Fairthorne Group charity number 1090981); all market stall holders have donated a minimal amount to this charity to sell their goods at this festive event. Individuals attending can choose to make a small donation on entry (50p is suggested) and/or purchase a raffle ticket. Parking is free
Saturdays throughout December are something special at Quarr Abbey this year with a tour of the Abbey at 11am, festive carol singing, roasted chestnuts, mulled wine and mince pies. Festive arts and crafts will include wreath making and jewellery making and there will be fun for the kids on the squirrel trail (activities from 11am till 2.30pm). Father Luke will be signing his book, ‘A Deep And Subtle Joy and there will be an art display by Brother Luke in the bookshop where there will be special reductions. The café will be offering festive lunches and there will be a ten per cent reduction on all the Christmas gift ideas.
Christmas Craft goods and items are available in the art gallery with Lis Toft, Pauline Evans and other artists exhibiting from November 22nd to 27th. Steve Fox , Roland Glaysher and Kerry Bishop will be exhibiting from December 6th to 11th and there will be glass art by Brian Marriott from December 13th to 18th.
At the Isle of Wight Military Museum, next to the County Showground on the Newport to Cowes Road there will be a traditional German/Austrian style Isle of Wight Christmas Market in residence from December 1st to 23rd and they have an open air synthetic ice rink! Entrance to the market is free and skating costs £6 per adult, £4 per child and family tickets are £18 with skate hire 50p.
Christmas gifts will be on sale from traditional wooden trading cabins, there will be an authentic purpose built indoor Dickensian High Street, Santa’s Grotto and a heated outdoor garden. Live music from Island marching bands will get you in the Christmas mood and you can join in carol singing with Island choirs. There will be live music on the bandstand, DJ sets on the Friday nights, traditional hog roasts, German bratwurst, hot chocolate vendors and fully licensed bar. Santa will be in his grotto giving out gifts to children on Thursday and Friday evenings from 3pm to 8pm and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. Mr Bubbles the Magician will be entertaining and there will be face painting on offer too.
A fundraiser for the club and the Hampshire and IW Air Ambulance who will be bringing Father Christmas to his grotto at the Fair – hopefully by helicopter if they aren’t out on a shout. The annual Newport Football Club Gift and Craft Fair is on Sunday December 2nd and runs from 10am till 4pm. There are over 40 stalls selling everything from Christmas wreaths and plants, jewellery, fudge, cosmetics, and perfumes to toys, photographic prints, pottery and Christmas cards and wrapping papers. Carisbrooke Choir will be singing carols and kids can have their photos taken with Santa. Food and drink will be available from the licensed bar and mince pies and hot chestnuts on sale from the stalls.
Rookley Country Park also have a Christmas Fayre on Sunday December 2nd from noon till 4pm, so you could even Christmas Fair crawl from Newport Football Ground to here or vice versa. Santa Claus will be attending here too and there’s entertainment and a Christmas menu in the restaurant. Free entry and free parking.