35 things to do and see in Thanet, December 15-17

Christmas tree festival at St George's Church in Ramsgate Photo Frank Leppard

Christmas Tree Festival at St George’s Church Ramsgate

Now until December 17, 2pm – 5pm

Trees exhibited and funds raised for the restoration of the church.

Holding Space

December 15-20, Pie Factory Gallery Margate. Open daily 10am – 5pm

Art exhibition showing the works of Jacob Baran, Ané Dallas-Orr, Susan Jessop & Eve Williams

Holding Space represents a place and time where four artists bring their work together in a spirit of collaboration, support and celebration. Each artist explores the idea of physical and metaphorical space from internal and external perspectives.


December 16, 7.30pm, Ramsgate Music Hall

Following the release of their excellent new EP, Portsmouth quartet Hallan make their debut at Ramsgate Music Hall. The band are a new fixture within the UK punk landscape.

Tickets £10 + £1.50 Booking Fee Book now

Handel: ‘Messiah’ – Part One

December 16, 7.30pm, at Holy Trinity Church, Broadstairs.

Christmas performance from the Thanet Festival Choir with Soloists & Orchestra performing Part One, sometimes called ‘the Christmas Portion’, of Handel’s Messiah.

As has become traditional with ‘Christmas’ Messiah performances, concert will conclude with ‘Hallelujah’ from Part Two.

Soloists will be Ching-Kwan (Nicole) Ng (Soprano), Luke Phillips (Tenor) and Orlando Barton-Hodges (Baritone)  accompanied by the Thanet Festival Orchestra.

All seating is unreserved.

There is on-street parking available in Crow Hill, Rectory Road and Eastern Esplanade, and pay-and-display parking in the Albion Street car park opposite the Church. Albion Street car park has several disabled parking spaces.

Wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase after the concert.

Tickets  £16 for Adults, £14 for Friends of Thanet Festival Choir, and £2 for Children plus 50p booking fee. They are available from Choir members, from the Ticket Secretary on 01304 620560, or online Book now

St Peter’s Church Hall Christmas fair

December 16, 11am to 5pm with Santa from noon to 4pm

Stalls, Santa, raffle and refreshments

Free entry. £5 to see and receive a gift.

Santa’s sleigh in Westgate

Santa’s sleigh will be parked up outside Westgate Galleria at 29 Station Road on Saturday  [December 16] morning.

He’s fund-raising for the local Rotary Club of Westgate & Birchington and it is an opportunity for the younger members of Westgate’s community to have a chat and take a photograph.

The Westgate Galleria will open from 8am.

CRABS presents: CRABSmas

December 16, tom Thumb Theatre Cliftonville

Following the success of last year’s sell out extravaganza, the CRABSmas Christmas Party returns for round two at the Tom Thumb Theatre.

What is more Christmassy than a man dressed as a crab singing about gentrification and camper vans? Absolutely nothing, that’s what. Although they may throw in a special Christmas cover to festive it all up a bit more.

Last year they tackled Cliff. What heights could they reach in 2023? You’ll just have to buy a ticket to find out.

Support from Harmony Bo, plus an Aitch and Chullo DJ set keeping the party going until late.

Bar from 7pm. Start 8pm

Tickets £7.00 Book now

Solstice Weekend of Dance

December 16-17, Nayland Rock Hotel Margate

Round in Circles Christmas take-over of the Nayland Rock Hotel is back for a double whammy – the Solstice weekend of dance celebrating the light in Margate with a gorgeous sea view at sunset.

Sat 16 Dec – The Violet Hour Milonga – A sumptuous day of Argentine Tango with DJs Leon Williams and Anna Symes. Expect colourful cortinas that belong to a world of different dance rhythms.
Doors 1:45pm
2 – 3pm – Class with Anna Alvarez & Pablo Cortazzo
3 – 6:30pm – Milonga (includes a free alcoholic or non-alcoholic cocktail & empanada) performance by Anna Alvarez and Pablo Cortazzo

Sun 17 Dec – Jardin de Danse – A day of Vintage Ballroom & Latin, a stylish take on social dance that celebrates the rebellious dance floors of the ’20s and ’30s. Tea and mince pies, and other Christmassy treats available to purchase.
Doors 12:45pm
1 – 2pm – Social Foxtrot with Anna Symes
2 – 5pm – Tea Dance

Dress to impress – everyone is welcome!


Sat 16 Dec:
Tango Class with Anna & Pablo £17 on the door
The Violet Hour Milonga £25 on the door

Sun 17 Dec:
Social Foxtrot Class with Anna Symes, £12 on the door
Jardin de Danse Tea Dance, £17.50 on the door

Full Solstice Weekend Ticket: Includes all events & classes, £64 on the door

Winter Group Exhibition

York Street Gallery Ramsgate.

Featuring 100 artworks by local artists including Alan Chapman, David Ettlinger and Lesley Duxbury. David works in oils and Lesley uses Watercolour and Gouache.

Also shown are works by Pauline Doney, Des Buckley, Michele Papageorghiou, Cathy Harvey, Eric Honzek, Ryan Harris, Maria Gilbert, and Peter Buckley.

Mulled wine and festive goodies Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Weekend opening Saturday 10.30am-4pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm.

CAMP as Christmas

December 16, pm-2am, Margate Arts Club, Northdown Road, Cliftonville

DJs including CAMP, Gaëtan De Gauthier and VIP PAs from Vanilla Parker Bowles and Femmi.

This is an 18+ event

Tickets are £10 in advance or £12 on the door until capacity Book now

Christmas Dog Day

December 16, 9am – 4pm

Westwoods Dog Park Margate Road, by Westwood shopping centre.

Shopping, stalls, dog treats, Santa Paws, fancy dress, agility.

Free entry and free parking

Crafty Christmas Fair

December 16, 9.15am to 2pm, The Centre Birchington

Crafty Christmas-themed fayre; full of crafters selling great gifts. Meet Father Christmas, enjoy a hot drink and a warm festive atmosphere. Christmas Carols, fantastic flavoured fudge, fresh-cooked cakes, delightful decoupage, clever crochet gifts, fantastic face-painting, superb sand art, wonderful wood-turned gifts, creative hand-made cards, beautiful hair bows, pretty purses, amazing artwork, gorgeous gel nails, retro resin, beautiful hand-bags, pretty purses, magnificent macrame, cute Christmas gifts, wafty wax melts and much more

The Rat Pack Christmas In Vegas!

December 17, 3.30pm, Pavilion Broadstairs

The Rat Pack tribute are back for a Christmas Special taking you back to Vegas with this intimate cabaret show and meal, at the Broadstairs Pavilion

The acclaimed David Alacey (Lovejoy & Inspector Alleyn) stars as Frank Sinatra alongside Paul Drakeley (Inside Out – BBC) as Dean Martin. They are joined by former Eastenders star and ITV’s (Central News) “Mr Weather” – Des Coleman as Sammy Davis Jnr.

Tickets £45 – £50 Click here to book tickets

Christmas Makers Market at Streets

December 17, 11am to 4pm, Streets, Unit2, 220- 228 Northdown Rd, Cliftonville

A selection of talented Margate Makers come together for the first ever Christmas Market at Streets.

Expect exceptional local made products, gifts and more! Plus taste some of the wines that Streets have to offer.

Carols In The Park

December 17, Drinks from 5pm with 6pm start, Ellington Park Ramsgate

Community Church Ramsgate invite you to their ‘Carols in the Park’ at Ellington Park Bandstand

A traditional family carol service with school choirs, brass band, mince pies, hot drinks and a snow machine. All free, all welcome

Queer Makers Market

December 17, The Queer Makers Market returns to CAMP at 125 Northdown Road, Cliftonville, 10am – 5pm

Pop by for last minute presents and the bar’s iconic Poppers tree decorations

Deck The Halls!

December 17, from 2pm, Margate Museum, Old Town

Have you ever wondered what to buy a King for Christmas?

Do you know what festive song links The King, the Queen of Country and the Prince of Darkness?

And whoever heard of a kookaburra in a gum tree?

Margate Museum invites you to an afternoon of good company, music, the answer to these questions an more.

Come in and find out about the spirit of Christmas and the unlikely origins of some of our most popular songs.

This event begins at 2pm prompt, everyone’s welcome,  £2 – all proceeds going to support the Margate Museums Trust

Father Christmas Grotto

Now until December 17, Crampton Tower Museum, The Broadway, Broadstairs

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

1pm-4:30pm, Saturday and Sunday (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 please 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 the main hall.

Father Christmas at Margate Caves Northdown Road

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 …

The Chief Elf will call your name when it’s time for your family to visit with Father Christmas. You’ll enjoy some time with him in his cosy 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.

Tickets are £12 per child – 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. Book now

Christmas Grotto at The WonderWorks

Now until December 23, The WonderWorks at Hornby Hobbies Margate

Visit Santa in his Winter Wonderland Grotto  between 10am – 4pm

Entrance to the Winter Wonderland Grotto costs £15 per child and includes a workshop session, a visit to see Santa and a gift and 2 for 1 entry into The WonderWorks exhibition.

Optional tickets for The WonderWorks exhibition cost just £5 per adult or £2.50 per child, other concessions are available.

Visitors can stock up on Christmas gifts in the shop and enjoy refreshments at the redesigned café. Book now

Margate Old Town Market

December 16, 11am to 4pm, Margate Old Town

Selection of locally produced goods, vintage clothes, gifts and crafts.

Ramsgate Christmas Grotto

Now until December 24, 10am to 4pm,Ramsgate Garden Centre

You’ll be greeted by Santa’s elves, before being shown into the Grotto to meet Santa for a photo opportunity and receive a special gift.

If booking for more than 3 children please book consecutive slots.

Each child ticket includes 2 Adult tickets free of charge.

Tickets  £15.95 per child (includes 2 adults) Book now

The Elf Express

Now until December 24, Quex Park Birchington

After a short journey aboard the Elf Express, travel through the Magical Elf Forest

Open 16th until 24th December from 10am

All the good boys and girls are invited to board the Elf Express and depart to the Magical Elf Forest where the elves are eagerly awaiting your arrival.

The elves need your help to prepare for the big day and may even reward you with a sweet treat or two.

Enjoy the spectacular Christmas lights whilst heading all the way to the Elf Tower for an interactive theatrical spectacular!

​Marvel at the Elves before journeying down Candy Cane Lane all the way to the Magical Elf Kingdom where Santa and his real life Reindeer will be eagerly awaiting your arrival.

Finish off your tour in Santa’s Toyshop where you will be able to select your gift.

Tickets Adult £12.95-£15.95 / Child £21.95 – £26.95 plus booking fee Book now

St John’s Margate

Saturday 16th December 10am to 12 noon, Christmas Shop

Visit St John’s Community Centre for the monthly pop up charity shop and cafe (the third Saturday of each month) for bargains galore and lots of festive fun.

The Christmas shop is always a special occasion. The regular stalls and raffle will be joined by the  popular Christmas tombola and the cake stall will offer lots of festive cakes and savouries to eat in or take away.

Also a wide selection of pre-loved jewellery, bric a brac, toys and children’s books in great condition.  Hand crafted items which recycle wool and fabric are also for sale and  pre-loved clothing at bargain prices.

Sunday 17th December 6pm – St John’s Margate CT9 1LN – Carols by Candlelight

Join St John’s Margate to sing carols by candlelight. This is a popular service and you will receive a very friendly welcome.

Enjoy the Christmas story with familiar readings and sing carols.

Local people have celebrated Christmas on this spot for nearly 1,000 years. Visit the ancient church and join the worship. Stay for mince pies afterwards for a chance to make new friends and meet up with old ones.


Palace Cinema Broadstairs

Magic, adventure and chocolate – the perfect holiday treat! This brilliantly funny, enchanting story of how Willy Wonka came to own his own magical chocolate factory comes from the filmmakers of Paddington and Harry Potter, starring Timothée Chalamet, Olivia Coleman Hugh Grant and Rowan Atkinson.

Friday 15 December to Thursday 4 January. Details here

Open air Christmas carol service

December 17, 2pm-4pm,Thanet Disabled Riding Centre, Callis Court Road Broadstairs

Event starts at 2pm, teas, coffees and baked goods available. Plus a visit from Santa himself, farm animals and Thanet concert band!

Cliftonville Farmers Market

December 17, 10am-1pm, Walpole Green

Stallholders will be selling free range meats, lovely fresh veg from Dickie’s Farms, fruit from Kevin’s Orchards in Faversham, olives, oils, pizza, doughnuts, Kentish cheeses, preserves, juices, vegan cheeses, vegan bakes, cookies, sausage rolls, chilli jams, locally produced bacon & sausages, Cypriot bakes, free range eggs, Kent honey, fermented foods, Kombucha, Russian, Ukrainian bakes, locally grown mushrooms,  hand raised pork pies, meat pies, fruit pies,  pickled eggs, pickled onions, sourdough bread, granary bread, Brogdale Cider, liqueurs, spirits, beers all produced in Kent, charcuterie, hand made pasta & sauces, hand made fudge, hand made luxury chocolates, speciality teas & tea gifts, hand made lemonades, plants, duck eggs, coffee beans, Christmas wreaths, table decorations, scarves, hats for men & women, gloves & more.

Sam’s Sharpening will sharpen carving knives, garden tools whilst you shop.

Real Deal Roasters will be selling their hot drinks & Grill Beasts will be cooking up breakfast baps.

Sugar Cube 3

Until December 23, The Lido Stores, 2 Ethelbert Terrace, Cliftonville

Open 7 days a week, 10am to 4pm

Annual winter exhibition features artworks from 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  overview of contemporary art practice in the UK, as well showcasing the diverse and exceptional talent championed at The Lido Stores.

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 15-23 and December 27-January 7. Details here

Christmas World Dreamland

December 15-22

A snowball fight zone, Santa and Mrs Claus, a chance to custard pie an elf and stalls from local businesses in the Thanet Virtual High Street group are just some of the festive offerings at Dreamland’s Christmas World, which opens tomorrow [December 15].

There will also be snow in the outdoor area which features Christmas light reindeers, plus Elf Extravaganza shows from Regency Productions and a selection of festive film screenings.

There will also be a Santa’s workshop, where visitors can decorate a Christmas ornament and the chance to join the elves at the Reindeer Food Station to concoct a special blend of oats and sugary stardust designed to be scattered on Christmas eve, to guide Santa’s reindeer to your home.

Christmas World will be open from 11am – 6pm on selected dates, with later timings for evening entertainment. It is free to enter with a selection of events being ticketed.

Find the ticketed events here

Check availability as some events have sold out.

Desire Lines

Now until 19 December, noon to 5.30pm

The Margate Gallery, The Margate School, 31 – 33 High Street, Margate CT9 1DX

An exhibition of work by The Margate School European Fine Art Masters Alums

The title Desire Lines refers to the formation of unplanned pathways made collectively through movement of either humans or animals.  They are a physical trace of our individual and collective decision-making and the paths we follow and exist throughout the natural landscape, as well as being visible in the urban environment, where they may form an alternative to the prescribed routes.

This exhibition brings together recent alums of The Margate School European Fine Art Masters : Art Society Nature and encompasses sculpture, drawing, film, sound, performance and photography where found objects, textile, natural and everyday materials are central.

Sleeping Beauty

The Sarah Thorne Theatre in Broadstairs brings its traditional pantomime to the stage in December for its 12th year.

John Goodrum returns as the Dame, playing alongside Lisa Payne, Edina Hadley, Ian Crosher and more to bring to life the story of Sleeping Beauty.

The full professional company with live music and members of the Masque Theatre School performances until New Year’s Eve.

Special charity nights and school shows have again sold out in advance.

Tickets from £17 are available from Ticketsource on 0333 666 4466 or go to: www.sarahthornetheatre.co.uk for details of how to book

Full times and prices are available at www.sarahthornetheatre.co.uk


Margate Operatic Society brings Cinderella to the stage at Taylor Hall, St Lawrence College from 14th-17th December.

Enjoy a glass-slipper leaving, midnight clock chiming, top-notch ugly-sistering in the all-singing, all dancing panto.

Tickets from £10 Book now: www.ticketsource.co.uk/mos-productions

Beauty and the Beast

Wicked Productions return to Thanet for panto season this December.

After six magical years at the Theatre Royal, Margate, they were left without a home when the venue closed. But now, The Granville Theatre in Ramsgate will host the production of Beauty & the Beast.

Running from December 15-31, the panto stars comedic genius Jezo, back from his Edinburgh Fringe show and Hollyoaks star Jeremy Edwards.

Audiences can expect a blend of humour, magic, and captivating performances.

Tickets start from £23.10 and can be bought online at www.thegranvilletheatre.com/whatson/beautyandthebeast or by visiting The Granville Theatre box office.


  1. Thank you Kathy Bailes, for giving us a mention about our last Farmers’ Market of the year and throughout the year.

    A huge thank you, to all our excellent & varied stallholders, volunteers and loyal shoppers who give their support whatever the weather throws at us.

    We wish Kathy and all a very peaceful and happy Christmas.

    The first market of 2024 Will be on January 28th.
    Look forward to seeing you then

    June Chadband
    Market Manager,

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