December may not be the traditional time of year to visit a theme park - but it might now be one of my favourites. 

Christmas arrived at Paultons Park in Ower last weekend and we were invited to take a look. The theme park, which is also home to Peppa Pig World, has decked its halls and is ready to rock around the (absolutely massive and sparkling) Christmas tree. 

It will be opening on various days throughout December, including the week before Christmas when the kids are off school. Great news for anyone looking to exhaust the kids, and get away from the heaving high street. Even better news for anyone with an annual pass. 

As well as being beautifully decorated, there are Christmas shows and story times with Father Christmas, and from next weekend (December 9), the big man will also be there in his grotto.

SEE ALSO: Paultons Park, home of Peppa Pig World, commended for its gardens

Hampshire Chronicle: Paultons Park Christmas events 2023

We took a trip on the first Saturday to see what it was all about and with two young kids - aged four and six - it was a perfect day out. 

Don't get me wrong, it was cold, in the minus temperatures to be exact, but we put on extra layers, hats, gloves and thick socks, and embraced the fun of the fair. 

@hampshire_chronicle It may be cold but wrap up warm as Christmas has arrived at @paultonspark and Peppa Pig World #Hampshire #themepark ♬ Holly Jolly Christmas - Michael Bublé

We arrived at lunchtime, so it was already quiet to get in with most people already inside, and we stayed until closing (4.30pm).  

After refreshments in the cafe at the entrance, we headed straight to one of the Christmas shows, which both kids loved. The characters are kid-friendly, and the songs - especially 'all the jingle ladies and the icy boys' - are catchy and fun. It's the right length, kept us entertained before we set off around the park. 

Hampshire Chronicle: Paultons Park Christmas events 2023

Juggling two kids usually leads to some rows, but both were in agreement when it came to the rides, and they loved Peppa Pig World, especially the cloud ride that gives you a great view across the park, and the boat ride, which despite the cold temperatures, was running and enjoyable. 

One brilliant thing about going in December is that usually, all these rides have huge queues, but today we didn't queue for more than 10 minutes for anything.

Hampshire Chronicle: Paultons Park Christmas events 2023

Probably the busiest place in the whole place was the Peppa Pig soft play, which provided a welcome warming break, allowing us to regain the feeling in our toes, before we set off around Tornado Springs, an American-themed part of the park that comes complete with diner but also has many rides for all ages. 

Two of our favourite rides are in Tornado Springs - the gentle tractors, which take you around immaculately maintained allotments (hat tip to the gardeners here who always keep the place so pristine, even in winter), and the driving academy. For the first time, my son was tall enough and old enough to drive his own car - a milestone in a young boy's life. 

READ MORE: Hampshire's Paultons Park and Peppa Pig World ranked best theme park

Hampshire Chronicle: Paultons Park Christmas events 2023

It's not all about Tornado Springs and Peppa Pig, for at Paultons there are also lots of animals - the penguins did not care that it was so cold! - and lovely gardens to wander around. We had a brief jaunt through the dinosaur section and the crazy critter world, but there certainly is so much to do here, even in winter, making the park great value for a day out. 

Paultons Park will be open 10am until 4.30pm on December 8-11 and then again from December 16-23. 

Tickets cost £42 per person over 1m tall, or £37 if pre-booked online. Children under 1m are free, and parking is also free. 

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