38 things to see and do in Thanet, December 1-3

Westgate Christmas fun Photo Wilfred Jenkins

Ramsgate Christmas Illuminations

December 1-31

The berth holders of Ramsgate Royal Harbour are busy decorating their vessels in the period leading up to Christmas.

A wonderful spectacle of boats and local businesses lit up for the festive season

Lights are judges in a variety of categories with a prize-giving at Ramsgate’s Royal Yacht Club.

A Christmas Carol

Performed by Minster Playhouse and directed by Fiona Pearse.

Friday: 1st December: 7:30pm

Saturday 2nd December: 1:30pm & 6:30pm

Minster Village Hall, High Street

Tickets Children £5, Adults £12

Discounts are automatically applied to bookings of 10 tickets or more at checkout. No booking fees and choose your seats!

Refreshments available including soft drinks and sweet treats. Cash only.

Suitable for all ages.

Free parking is available in the adjacent car park.

Programmes are available to purchase online, in advance, or at the show.

Book online: www.ticketsource.co.uk/minsterplayhouse

Was this man patient zero?

1st December. Music and performances from 7pm, The Arts Club, 276 Northdown Road Margate

Looking at the story of Gaetan Dugas who was named and shamed as Patient Zero, the man who had brought AIDS to North America (and hence the world). But did he?

A play for World Aids Day.

£10 entry on the door

All proceeds to Positively UK

Does My Art Look Big in This?

December 1-3, noon to 5pm, Hold studio gallery, Albert Street, Ramsgate

Social documentary photographic exhibition looking at culture, subculture and social comment.

Photographic essays by Seran Tahsin. Private view December 1, 5pm-7pm.

First Friday

Friday 1st December at Marine Studios, Albert Terrace, Margate. Doors open at 6pm, with a reading by Elborough at 7pm. Admission is free.

A new book being launched at the next First Friday event in Margate allows readers to follow in the footsteps of some of the world’s most famous authors on the journeys which inspired their greatest works.

Award-winning author Travis Elborough launches his new book The Writer’s Journey at Marine Studios, Margate in December.

Sugar Cube III

December 1-23, The Lido Stores, Ethelbert Terrace, Cliftonville
Annual winter exhibition featuring 24 artists, all of whom have exhibited at The Lido Stores over the past year, either solo or as part of a group show.

All work has been executed within the last twelve months and offers an exciting overview of contemporary art practice in the UK, Private view drinks reception for Sugar Cube III, The Lido Stores’ final exhibition of 2023, on Saturday, 2 December at 6pm to 8pm.

Ramsgate Advent Doors

A different door is opened every day in December between 6.30pm-8pm with various displays. Raising money for the Salvation Army homeless support.

December 1: 53 Addington Street and Stories & the Past at 84 Queen Street

December 2: Outside the Queen’s Head, Harbour Parade

December 3 The Recovery Well, 5 Turner Street

Find the full list on the  Ramsgate Living Advent Calendar facebook page 

The Total Stone Roses

December 2, 7,30pm, Ramsgate Music Hall

The UK’s No.1 Stone Roses Tribute Act a

Entry Requirements: 14+ (under 18s must be accompanied by an adult)

£20 + Booking Fee Book now

Tree Talks

Tree warden and Sunken Garden Society founder Peter Hasted, in association with Thanet Urban Forest, will be hosting guided walks of some of Thanet’s most prized treescapes from as part of National Tree Week.

Saturday 2nd December: Hartsdown Park, Margate 11:00am

Saturday 2nd: Dane Park, Margate 1:30pm

Sunday 3rd: Westover Gardens, Broadstairs 11:00am

Sunday 3rd: Dane Valley Green, Margate 1:30pm

Cliftonville Christmas Festival

December 2, noon to 5pm, The Oval Bandstand & Lawns, Cliftonville

Get in the festive spirit with mulled wine, great shopping, delicious food, and free live music

Don your Santa hat, pull on your Christmas jumper, grab a mulled wine, and get into the festive spirit – it’s time to head down to the Cliftonville Christmas Festival at The Oval Bandstand & Lawns!

An uplifting and festive afternoon of music and celebration. A licensed bar will be available selling mulled wine, hot chocolate and festive treats. Santa Claus will join the fun and free tickets are available via Eventbrite to meet him in his grotto!

Lighting up the bandstand

Well behaved dogs on a lead are welcome, but not inside marquees where there is food.

March for Palestine

Saturday, 2nd December.

The group will assemble at Cecil Square, Margate, at 12 noon and march up the Northdown Road, Harold Road, the Eastern Esplanade, Zion Place, Trinity Square, finally arriving at the Market Place in Margate’s old town, where there will be a rally.

Speakers will include Palestinian artist and activist Samir Eskanda, Lucy Nichols of the Stop the War Coalition, Leah Levane of Jewish Voice for Labour; Mic Righteous, musician and activist and Harry Baker, local poet.

The march, which will take place in Margate, has been called by the South East Kent Palestine Solidarity Campaign (Thanet)


Palace Cinema Broadstairs

A wickedly entertaining tale of privilege, status and desire – Brideshead Revisted meets The Talented Mr. Ripley. Struggling to fit in at Oxford University, Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan) finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton, who invites him to his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.

Friday 1 December to Thursday 7 December. Details here

The Thanet Photographers exhibition

Open daily 11am to 4pm at TMS, 31-33 High Street, Margate.

The display shows work by both professionals and amateur photographers and will also help raise funds for TMS.

The event runs until December 5 and has been organised by isle resident Isabelle de Ridder.

Bangers Comedy Club

December 2, doors open 7.30pm, Olby’s Soul Cafe Margate

Bangers Comedy  returning to Margate  8pm – 11pm (doors open 7.30pm)

Featuring Victor Daniels & Hosted by Curtis Walker.

Tickets: Standard £18 +bf

Pre-event Soul Cafe Menu Available BOOK A TABLE (tables not reserved in the venue space)

Book now

London to Margate

A small exhibition featuring hand-pulled prints at The Eclectic Art Gallery in Margate Old Town.

Keeley McCalmont and Sarah Gibbon met as teenagers, when working as Saturday girls in a shoe shop on London’s Oxford Street in the 1980’s. They bonded over their shared love of soul music, shoes, and all things arty. Four decades later and still the best of friends, Keeley is Head of Art in a London school, Sarah co-runs two group-based independent art galleries in Thanet.

Still both working full-time, they cherish their trips to see each other in London and in Margate. They have been learning hand-pulled printing techniques in recent years, striving to make time to nurture their creative selves around their day-to-day responsibilities. This exhibition showcases a selection of etchings and linocuts celebrating the towns they love. It runs until Christmas.

The Eclectic Art Gallery is open 11am to 4pm Thursdays to Sundays, and is at 6 Broad Street, CT9 1EW.

Under the Influence

Westgate Galleria, is hosting a rare opportunity to view the full range of the popular Under the Influence art prints, all in one venue, throughout December.

Local artist Michele Papageorghiou – also known as Mrs P – started work on her series of striking seascape acrylic paintings back in 2019, after retiring from teaching in a local primary school, with Margate Under the Influence. The series has grown since then. It now features other iconic Margate scenes too, alongside views of Ramsgate, Broadstairs. Westgate-on-Sea, and Reculver. Brighton has just been added.

All of Michele’s paintings feature her distinctive compositional approach to capturing our local coastlines. It pays homage to the artists Van Gogh and Hokusai. The original paintings are not for sale, but limited edition Giclee prints of them all are available to buy from this exhibition. Pop in to see it during the Galleria’s opening hours – 10 am to 5pm Mondays to Saturdays. You visit also during the Westgate Lights event on Sunday 3rd December as the Galleria will be open all day.

Christmas with St John’s, Margate

People have celebrated Christmas at St John’s for nearly 1,000 years.  Come along to appreciate the history of this magnificent church and to find out how you can be a part of the life of St John’s as we look ahead to the next 1,000 years.

Saturday 2nd December St John’s Margate CT9 1LN  – Christmas Tree Festival (free entry), 10am to 4pm,

Annual Christmas Tree Festival showcasing trees made by the community including local children. Stalls selling Christmas crafts and cards as well as pre-loved books, toys, games, puzzles and gifts for all the family.

Pop-Up Cafe is back with the chance to buy cakes and stay for a cup of tea or coffee.

Sunday 3rd December St John’s Margate CT9 1LN 10.30am  – Christingle Service

Christingle Service.  Each child will make a Christingle using an orange and a candle as we look ahead to the birth of Jesus and celebrate “The Light of the World”.

Christmas Concert with Tawiah

December 2, 7pm-10pm,  St Luke’s Church in Ramsgate

A festive night celebrating women in music, headlined by Tawiah, fundraiser for the POW Festival 2024 =

Over the past decade, Tawiah has self-released two EP’s – In Jodi’s Bedroom (2007) and Recreate (2017) which she toured with Moses Sumney. In 2019 she released her debut album Starts Again, touring with Michael Kiwanuka and in 2022 released ERTHA in collaboration with Al Moore.

Tawiah has worked in collaboration with Dev Hynes, Kindness, Mark Ronson, Cinematic Orchestra and Kano. She is also a TV and film composer, most recently composing a score for Without Sin on ITV and Black Ops on BBC.

Tawiah will be supported by Lanta and Social Singing Choir.

There will be gifts and drinks to purchase.

Tickets £9 – £25 plus booking fee Book now

Margate WI Christmas Fayre

December 2, 11am-4pm, Dreamland

Indoor event, set against the Roller Rink, with a brilliant selection of stalls featuring  talented makers, designers and independent businesses in Thanet. They will have greeting cards, jewellery, coastal inspired gifts, bright and beautiful homewares, hand-crafted ceramics, fabric and sewn goods, plants and much much more.

The Women’s Institute, will be running their ever-popular tombola for people to try their luck at winning prizes while helping to support local good causes in the process.

RAF Manston Santa’s Grotto

December 2-3, 10am-4pm, RAF Manston History Museum

Take a trip to RAF Manston History Museum to visit Santa in his ‘heli-grotto’

30 Craft Stalls

Donkey Rides

Christmas Trail – Win a prize

Festive Food

Tank Rides

Fire Engine Rides

Visit Santa in a Helicopter – Only £5 with a present

Warm clothing recommended

Under 16’s go free

Adults £5.50 – Includes a mince pie and hot drink

Extra charges for all rides and Christmas Trail

Father Christmas at the Caves

December 2-23, Margate Caves, Northdown Road

Father Christmas will be flying back to the Margate Caves to meet youngsters on2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th – 23rd December 11am – 4:30pm

Venture deep underground into the Caves and explore the sparkling subterranean wonderland, full of fairytale magic.

Write a letter to Father Christmas under the towering Nutcracker Christmas tree…

Collect a North Pole Penny from the Elf and visit the Wishing Well…

Discover the Frozen Forest and the Sugar Plum Fairy’s Land of Sweets …

Visit Father Christmas in his Christmas Cave, and the children will receive a special gift.

Journey back above ground where you can warm up with luxury hot chocolates and other seasonal treats in the café.

Head round to Elf HQ where you can create your own special Christmas craft to take home. And find a treasure trove of perfect gifts in the Christmas shop.

Tickets are £12 per child and include their adventure in our Christmassy Caves, a visit with Father Christmas, a Christmas craft activity to take home and a gift to take away. Up to 2 adults per booking are free and no ticket is needed. Any additional adults cost £4 each and will need to be paid for on the day.

Tickets are £12 per child – Up to 2 adults per booking are free and no ticket is needed Book now

Wish U

Carlton Cinema Westgate

In the Kingdom of Rosas, a 17-year-old girl named Asha senses a darkness that no one else does, passionately pleas to the stars for help…and gets more than what she bargained for in return.

December 1-7. Details here

Festive Christmas Fair

December 2, 10am-2pm, Holy Trinity Church Nelson Place Broadstairs.

Traditional Christmas Fair. Stalls galore – crafts, teas, lunches, linens, plants, fresh bakes, Christmas gifts, Grand Draw and all the fun of the fair!

Christmas Makers Market

December 2-3, 11am to 4pm, Joseph Wales Studio Margate

Joseph Wales studio holders and other Margate artists and makers come together for the annual Christmas market.

The Rob Auton Show

December 2, Tom Thumb Theatre Cliftonville

1st show – 6pm

2nd show – 8pm 

Following a critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival 2023- award winning writer, comedian and actor Rob Auton brings his latest show ‘The Rob Auton Show’ to Cliftonville.

Tickets from £12. Book now

Harmony Ladies Choir Christmas Concert

December 2. Concert 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Join Harmony Ladies Choir for their Christmas Concert

Christmas pieces with some carol singing and a piano soloist

Musical Director – Patrick Dunn

Piano Soloist – Yoshimi Faux-Bowyer

Tickets £7 can be purchased in advance or on the door. Ticket includes light refreshments.

Telephone 01843 602224 or 842160

GADDS’ Little Cracker Launch

December 2, from noon, Ramsgate Brewery, Pysons Road

Yuletide 5% ruby ale, Little Cracker, is gently spiced and  the perfect pint to kick off the festive season.

12-5pm in the Taproom to share a glass of this proper cracking ale.

plus music from Gaddzukes, mince pies & warming curries by Karara

The shop will be stocked with plenty of gifts, merch & stocking fillers to peruse and pre-order  Christmas Polypin whilst you sup.

Festive fundraising quiz in aid of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service at GADD’S Brewery. Start 6:30pm

Win a chance to brew your own beer with Eddie in a guided brew day!

Fundraising Quiz in aid of Oasis Domestic Abuse Service, a charity that does some tremendous work supporting adults, children and young people affected by domestic abuse in Kent and Medway.

Matt Freeman, of the Montefiore Arms in Ramsgate, will host, with plenty of great GADDS’ prizes to be won. Every team will win a prize!

Recommend teams of 6 – 8, but if you’re struggling to make a team (or have any other queries) email: [email protected]

Ticket includes:

  • 1 x Entry to the Quiz (all proceeds go to OASIS)
  • 1 x Raffle Entry with the chance to win great prizes donated by local businesses (To be drawn Monday 4th December)
  • A delicious curry meal by Karara Foodsand nibbles.
  • A pint of Little Cracker Ruby Ale

Tickets £2. Book now

Dickens House Museum’s Festive Weekend

December 2-3, 1pm – 4.30pm with last entry 4pm, Dickens House Museum Broadstairs

Dickens House Museum celebrates Charles Dickens’ long connection with Broadstairs (1837-1851). It is housed in the cottage that was Charles Dickens’ inspiration for the home of Betsey Trotwood in David Copperfield.

The last weekend to see the museum decorated for a Victorian Christmas and enjoy the festivities. There is also children’s crafts available including decoration making, to hang on your own tree at home.

The gift shop will also be open for browsing including children’s books, classic books gift sets, Hand decorated Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, homewares, puzzles, cards, toys, gifts and stationary.

Saturday 2nd December, 1pm – enjoy Christmas Carols performed by U3a choir

The Broadstairs Dickens Fellowship Declaimers performing vignettes from classic novels inc. Christmas Carol

Tours of the museum

Children’s Christmas crafts

Christmas shopping in the gift shop

Tours – Adults £4 / Children £2

Free entry for shopping!

Holiday Craft Fair

December 2, 10am-5pm, The George and Heart King Street Margate




Home Decor

Vintage Clothes

Kent Creative’s Designers and Makers Market

December 2-3, Turner Contemporary

Open Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 4pm

Visit the Foyle Rooms for the Designers and Makers Market, hosted by Kent Creative.⁠

Step into a world of creativity and craftsmanship with unique pieces from Kent designers and makers. Explore a range of local creations including hand-crafted jewellery, ceramics, knitwear and woodwork.

Northdown Road Christmas Block Party

December 2

Salon Gallery – 10am – 6pm Launch Christmas art superstore 4pm-9pm DJing at kiosk

Ghost Papa – 10am – 5:30pm Shop open with a Christmas wreath making workshop from 2pm-4pm (pre-book ticketrs) 4pm onwards DJing at the kiosk

House De’Ville –  10am – 5pm Special offers on all day! As well as a POP-UP market upstairs with other creatives selling homewares, art and more!

Mori Mori – 12pm-3pm / 6pm-9pm Menu specials warm sake & mince pie gyoza

The Potting Shop – 10am – 5pm Plant bundle discounts, mini Christmas trees & mince pies

Cliffs – 9am – 3pm Free gingerbread folk with each hot drink as well as a boozy hate chocolate on specials!

Sister Joan – 7:30pm – 10pm Christmas drinks & mince pies

CAMP – 2pm – 11pm Christmas merch shop, mulled wine & mince pies

Sete –  12pm-3pm Christmas wreath making workshop (pre-book via [email protected])

Marissa Marsh Beauty – From 10am Book to get Christmas themed nail art manicures. Based in Carmen Hanna Bridal.

Cliftonville Junktion – 12pm-5pm Live Music

The Good Egg – 9:30am – 4pm Pre order on Christmas specials including 10% off Babka

Streets – 12pm -1 1pm open 12pm-3pm outdoor BBQ, tasting wine & shop Christmas packs 6pm-9:30pm restaurant open

Picnic Deli – 12pm – 5pm Sample and order your cheese boards & festive food. Shop hampers & gifts!

Grain Grocer – 9am – 5pm Christmas gratitude tree decorating, competition to win a £75 voucher, festive menu 3pm-4pm live music

Lovelys – Saturday 2nd December, Drop in from 11am

As part of the Northdown Road Christmas Street Party, join Lovelys for a day of festive fun – come and decorate your own bauble using POSCA acrylic markers and get into the Christmas spirit! There’s no need to book as this is a drop-in event, all materials and baubles will be provided.

Instagram: @lovelysgallery Facebook: Lovelys Gallery

Casa – 12pm – 3pm Lunch with Napoli special street food 5pm onwards Restaurant open as usual

S.T. Jewellers – 9:30am – 5:30pm Donating 5% of all sales to the 1st St Peters Sea Scouts. Mince pies & reindeer food making by the Sea Scouts. Workshop open for those interested to see what goes on behind the scenes

Northdown Butchers – 8am – 3pm Mince pies, mulled wines & sausage tasting

Father Christmas

December 2-17, Crampton Tower Museum Broadstairs

Journey up the Crampton Tower, through the elves workshop, to visit Father Christmas in his grotto.

1pm-4:30pm Every Saturday and Sunday (2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December)

Kids of all ages enjoy the model railway layouts and, if the weather allows, they’ll love to ride on the 5-inch gauge miniature railway!

Price £12 per child includes: Visit to Santa’s Grotto, a carefully chosen gift, entry to the museum and one free train ride per paying child (weather permitting)

Accompanying parents and guardians (maximum of 2 per group) gain free entry.

No pre-booking but come early to avoid disappointment.

Pay desk opens at 12:30pm (Cash or card)

Last admission 4pm or when maximum numbers numbers have checked in.

Hot drinks and children’s play area in the warm waiting room in our main hall.

Sandwich Lights Switch on and Parade

December 2, Guildhall, 5pm

Westgate Christmas Light Switch-On

December 3, 11am to 5pm, Station Road

Shopping, live music, and delicious food.

Father Christmas in person £2.50 per child including gift (located in train station reception)

Parade including Father Christmas at 12.30pm

Live on-stage entertainment throughout the day across two stages including – Coastal Choir, MOS Cast of Dick Whittington, Treble Bass, Off the Hook Productions, FNK Haus

Fun Fair

Christmas Market

Craft Stalls

Food and drink stalls

4.30pm Lights switch-on

Christmas at the Movies

December 3, 3pm, Granville Theatre Ramsgate

The Bradstow Symphony Orchestra brings to life iconic jingles of classic films to modern cinematic gems,

Tickets available from £22 Book now

Festive Wreath-Making Experience

December 3, 10am-3pm, Powell-Cotton Museum at Quex

Make your own fresh-foliage wreath using materials from Quex Gardens

Workshop will be led around the grounds to collect the perfect fresh foliage to make your unique wreath. When materials are gathered, return to our newly restored winter garden and gather by the woodstove to enjoy a delicious vegetarian lunch using  fresh garden produce.

Following lunch, learn the best wreath-making techniques to create a beautiful outdoor wreath that will last you throughout the festive season.

Includes materials, workshop and lunch. Please bring gardening gloves and ensure you wear suitable footwear and warm clothes. Part of the day will be outside so we advise wearing a coat.

Prices £55 per person – pre booking essential.

Please arrive from 9:50am for a 10am start. The event is due to finish at 3pm.

All proceeds help fund ongoing conservation work to the Quex buildings and gardens


Academy FM’s Christmas Fayre

Sunday 3rd December from noon to 5 pm at the Royal Harbour Academy, Marlowe Way, Ramsgate.

Bread & Butter duo  on stage at 4pm

There will be craft stalls, tea, coffee, mince pies and cake plus a raffle and plenty of fun and games.
Loads of live music as well as the RHA Wildflowers choir

Shop Up

December 3, 11am-3pm, ARK former Shul) Cliftonville

ARK is hosting Shop Up – a community curated pop-up shop, showcasing local makers, crafters and sellers from all around Thanet

As part of Shop Up, ARK will be selling a selection of pre-loved fashion with all proceeds going to support the community programme, so if you have anything you would like to contribute, contact  [email protected]

Thanet pantos for 2023

1 Comment

  1. Kathy – could you please add that the Harmony Ladies Choir Christmas Concert will take place at St Philips Church Summerfield Road, Cliftonville CT9 3JJ.
    Thank you.

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