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COVID-19: Enjoy Dorset responsibly. Please follow government advice on restrictions and social distancing. Prior to travel, please check with individual businesses and event organisers for confirmation of opening times and restrictions.

Events and what's on in Dorset

There's never a dull moment here! With a huge choice of events in Dorset taking place throughout the year, you'll be entertained no matter when you visit.

You'll find tasty food festivals like the award-winning Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival, red arrows and other spectacular flying displays at the Bournemouth Air Festival, fireworks aplenty, the world-famous Great Dorset Steam Fair, music festivals such as the Wessex Folk Festival, some fantastic theatre productions, comedy shows and of course some slightly quirkier events to enjoy (Bridport Hat Festival we're looking at you!)

Dorset County Show and Melplash Show are just two of many events giving you the chance to discover rural life in Dorset.

Whatever your interests, you'll find details of what's on in Dorset on this page. Use the tabs to browse events today, this weekend, this week or next week - or just use the calendar to find out what's on when you're visiting.

Have an eventful visit!

View Dorset Events by Date:

 

The next 31 events in Dorset appear below.

05 Dec 2020 to 06 Dec 2020

Weymouth, Dorset
Bincombe Bumps Christmas SpectacleChristmas is all wrapped up at the Bincombe Bumps Christmas Spectacle. Meet your very own elf who will take you on a journey through the tree-lit walk and join Father Christmas in his jolly barn, where children receive a gift, meet the gorgeous reindeer and sit in his sleigh. Soak up the yuletide atmosphere, enjoy a mulled wine whilst listening to our storyteller around the festive firepit. Visit the traditional stable animals in the Christmas courtyard. And don't forget to ...
05 Dec 2020 to 06 Dec 2020

Swanage Railway, Swanage, Dorset
Steam and Lights - Swanage RailwayMake wonderful and magical memories in the run-up to Christmas, thanks to a new festive first for the Swanage Railway – an evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside. A new not to be missed pre-booked steam train experience, the steam locomotive and carriages will be covered with brightly coloured lights while the cosy steam-heated carriage interiors will be festively decorated for the one-hour evening round trip passing the ...
10 December 2020

Farmer Palmers, Wareham, Dorset
Twilight Experience Excitingly we have an After School Twilight Evening Experience this year but only for a limited number of days. Imagine coming after dark, this is a first. • We have the Little Farmer's Barn & Indoor Soft Play open, Straw Mountain and Pedal tractors • Includes your child's visit to our amazing new Farmer Christmas Experience • The Gift is included PLUS • Our fantastic restaurant team will cook their tea for you - sausage, chips and yummy baked beans (picnic boxes or vegan options ...
12 December 2020

Wimborne, Dorset
The Blues Band 2020Paul Jones, Dave Kelly, Tom McGuinness, Rob Townsend and Gary Fletcher. Many of the Blues Band’s 21st-century fans weren’t even born when these five virtuosos, already music industry veterans, decided to fly in the face of musical fashion in 1979 and form a band ‘just to play the blues’. No one could have predicted that, 40 years on, they’d still be dazzling audiences with their showmanship and virtuosity. About 20 albums and thousands of gigs later, they’ve earned a reputation around ...
11 Dec 2020 to 13 Dec 2020

Wimborne, Dorset
Ignite: Fire & Fantasy at Kingston LacyThis year for the first time we have partnered with industry specialists, Sony Music, to create Ignite at Kingston Lacy – an illuminated trail that will showcase the garden and parkland, in a magical, new and immersive way never seen before. As twilight falls the magic begins. Expect the unexpected with as you glimpse fairies in the Fernery, fiery fish and woodland wildlife sculpted in willow all within an enchanting landscape filled with wonder. Lit by lanterns, wander between ...
12 Dec 2020 to 13 Dec 2020

Dorchester, Dorset
Shire Hall Christmas MarketWe will be hosting out first ever Christmas market on December 12th-13th following all current government Covid guidelines How we are keeping you safe at the Christmas market! 1. Hand cleaning: There is a hand sanitisation station at the entrance as well as on the stalls – please help yourself to a squish! 2. Social distancing: There is a one-way system in place with taped social distancing throughout the Cells and Courthouse 3. Masks: Facemasks are mandatory for customers and ...
12 Dec 2020 to 13 Dec 2020

Swanage Railway, Swanage, Dorset
Steam and Lights - Swanage RailwayMake wonderful and magical memories in the run-up to Christmas, thanks to a new festive first for the Swanage Railway – an evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside. A new not to be missed pre-booked steam train experience, the steam locomotive and carriages will be covered with brightly coloured lights while the cosy steam-heated carriage interiors will be festively decorated for the one-hour evening round trip passing the ...
12 Dec 2020 to 13 Dec 2020

Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch, Dorset
The Santa ShowJingle all the way to Adventure Wonderland for your chance to see Santa! Santa really is coming to town! We’ve designed a Covid-secure space where visitors will be able to enjoy the show from their very own reindeer stable pod. Each pod seats up to six people. ‘The Santa Show’ is a 30-minute magical, musical performance for all the family! A cast of talented elves will sing and dance their way through this enchanted blend of grotto and Panto. The finale is a special appearance from ...
12 Dec 2020 to 13 Dec 2020

Nothe Fort, Weymouth, Dorset
Victorian Christmas FairOn this Christmas weekend, the Nothe Fort will be alive with festive spirit! Dorset Food & Drink will be returning to the fort with a Christmas market, bringing you all your favourite local produce with a festive twist. To enhance this Victorian-themed event, the fort casemates will be housing traditional craft demonstrations, complete with re-enactors. And there will be fun for the children too, including a new take on the famous Nothe Fort Mouse Hunt and other festive activities.
17 Dec 2020 to 18 Dec 2020

The New Hardy Players: Christmas in the CourtroomJoin the New Hardy Players for a feast of traditional seasonal entertainment in the evocative surroundings of Dorchester’s iconic Shire Hall. Directed by Tim Laycock. Supporting Dorchester Poverty Action. To ensure that government guidelines are adhered to the audience will watch the show from socially distanced seats, allowing family groups to sit together whilst maintaining a safe distance from other audience members, plus we ask our guests to wear masks during the ...
19 December 2020

Bournemouth, Dorset
That'll Be The Day Xmas Social Distance ShowThat’ll Be The Day’s Rock & Roll Christmas show has been running for over thirty years and has grown into the most popular touring production in the UK. Refreshed every year, the show combines the best pop Christmas classics and traditional Christmas songs with hilarious comedy routines. For many, the That’ll Be The Day Christmas Special is the essential start to their festive season. The audience is taken on a rollercoaster sleigh ride through the ‘golden’ age of Rock & Roll and Pop ...
05 Dec 2020 to 20 Dec 2020

Abbotsbury, Dorset
Illuminate at Abbotsbury GardensWe are excited to announce that ‘OT Event Technicians’ will be taking over the Gardens to illuminate the Wonderland Sculpture Trail in the lead up to Christmas this year. The event will run daily 4.30pm to 8.00pm from the 5th to the 20th December with last entries between 6.45 and 7.00pm. The event starts at 5pm on 11th & 12th December. The café will be open every evening offering a range of daily specials and delicious homemade cake. The shop will also be fully stocked with many quality ...
18 Dec 2020 to 23 Dec 2020

Swanage, Dorset
Steam and Lights - Swanage RailwayMake wonderful and magical memories in the run-up to Christmas, thanks to a new festive first for the Swanage Railway – an evocative, dramatic and colourful Steam and Lights train journey through the Isle of Purbeck countryside. A new not to be missed pre-booked steam train experience, the steam locomotive and carriages will be covered with brightly coloured lights while the cosy steam-heated carriage interiors will be festively decorated for the one-hour evening round trip passing the ...
19 Dec 2020 to 23 Dec 2020

Adventure Wonderland, Christchurch, Dorset
The Santa ShowJingle all the way to Adventure Wonderland for your chance to see Santa! Santa really is coming to town! We’ve designed a Covid-secure space where visitors will be able to enjoy the show from their very own reindeer stable pod. Each pod seats up to six people. ‘The Santa Show’ is a 30-minute magical, musical performance for all the family! A cast of talented elves will sing and dance their way through this enchanted blend of grotto and Panto. The finale is a special appearance from ...
19 Dec 2020 to 24 Dec 2020

Weymouth, Dorset
Dorset Drive In CinemaJoin us at Mount Pleasant Park & Ride in Weymouth from Saturday 19th December 2020 to Thursday 24th December 2020. Showing some of your favourite Christmas classics at 1PM, 4:30PM and 8PM, there’s something for everyone! We will be following all Government Guidelines regarding health and safety for COVID-19. Tickets available via the website.
21 Dec 2020 to 26 Dec 2020

Bournemouth, Dorset
Christmas SpectacularThis new spectacle is being brought to you in a one act, COVID safe and socially-distanced environment. After joining local producer Michael Rose in a successful run of the musical Sleepless (the first indoor musical to reopen during the pandemic), The Glad Rag Production Company are delighted to use their knowledge, experience and fantastic local talent to present this production in the safest possible way. Expect dancing elves, Santa Claus and a whole host of festive magic! With ...
18 Dec 2020 to 30 Dec 2020

Wimborne, Dorset
Ignite: Fire & Fantasy at Kingston LacyThis year for the first time we have partnered with industry specialists, Sony Music, to create Ignite at Kingston Lacy – an illuminated trail that will showcase the garden and parkland, in a magical, new and immersive way never seen before. As twilight falls the magic begins. Expect the unexpected with as you glimpse fairies in the Fernery, fiery fish and woodland wildlife sculpted in willow all within an enchanting landscape filled with wonder. Lit by lanterns, wander between ...
21 Nov 2020 to 01 Jan 2021

Dorchester, Dorset
Christmas Lights & Reindeer ExperienceEnjoy the festive season under the stars with the brand new Christmas Lights & Reindeer Experience at Nutley Farm, near Dorchester. Wander along the magical illuminated 600m walkway, pass through a glittering archway and gaze at the twinkling trees and light installations along the way. It's suitable for all ages and is the perfect way to get in the festive spirit with your family. Please book online.
18 Dec 2020 to 02 Jan 2021

Bournemouth, Dorset
Drive-in Panto: CinderellaEven in 2020, Christmas isn’t complete without a pantomime .. oh no it isn’t! Coming to Bournemouth this December is a unique drive-in pantomime experience played out live on stage and on the big screen. Flix Panto brings you Cinderella, starring TV and West End actors in a pre-recorded panto, presented live on stage by Bournemouth’s resident comic Noel Brodie. It has been adapted to bring the fun of panto to families in a safe way this Christmas, so you will be able to go to the ...
18 Dec 2020 to 03 Jan 2021

Poole, Dorset
Happy Ever AfterWritten and directed by CBeebies favourite Chris Jarvis, and specially made for this year only, Happy Ever After is a one-hour Christmas show for a socially-distanced audience with just a smidgeon of Panto. A host of colourful characters need to finish their story in time for Christmas. How will Cinders get to her next ball? Will Humpty Dumpty ever pull himself together and will they all live happily ever after? Join us for an hour of super songs, festive fun and loads of laughter ...
18 Dec 2020 to 03 Jan 2021

Wimborne, Dorset
Jack & The BeanstalkFollowing the huge successes of CINDERELLA and DICK WHITTINGTON, Made-to-Measure Productions are delighted to be returning to Wimborne’s Tivoli Theatre this Christmas with a hilarious, brand new production of JACK AND THE BEANSTALK! Wimborne audiences have been AMAZED by Made to Measure’s sparkling and spectacular shows, and rest assured that this year’s production will be bigger, brighter and even funnier than ever before! JACK AND THE BEANSTALK will boast Stunning Scenery, Colourful ...
04 Dec 2020 to 03 Jan 2021

Weymouth, Dorset
Pantomime: RapunzelAs Rapunzel nears her 18th Birthday the evil witch, Gothel, and her scheming wizardly brother, Alphonso are plotting to kidnap her. They plan to lock Rapunzel away in a secret tower in a bid to gain eternal youth from her magical hair. In a trance and with no memory of her real family Rapunzel is doomed to spend the rest of her life in the tower….. Can her determination and a little help from her friends in the palace save the Princess and give her a ‘Happy Ever After’? To ensure ...
14 January 2021

Wimborne, Dorset
The Gary Fletcher BandA founder and ever present member of The Blues Band with Paul Jones, Tom McGuinness and Dave Kelly, Gary Fletcher has appeared with and/or recorded with Peter Green, Maggie Bell, Van Morrison, John Mayall, Long John Baldry, Guy Barker, Bernie Marsden, Micky Moody, Kim Simmonds, Henry McCullough, Zoot Money, Nat Adderley, Guy Barker, the Memphis Horns, Christine Collister etc. He performs a compelling mix of originals and classic covers straddling blues, Americana and folk, playing guitar, ...
25 Jun 2021 to 27 Jun 2021

Wareham, Dorset
TANKFEST 2021Don’t miss the world’s biggest display of historic moving armour – TANKFEST 2021, sponsored by World of Tanks. See tanks roar round the arena, explore Living History encampments, meet your favourite YouTube stars and historians, and discover the best collection of military vehicles.
10 Jul 2021 to 11 Jul 2021

Weymouth, Dorset
Nyetimber Dorset Seafood FestivalA fabulous weekend of seafood, delicious English Sparkling Wines from Nyetimber, celebrity chefs and a great atmosphere around Weymouth harbour. The Nyetimber Dorset Seafood Festival brings together sparkling wine and seafood, family entertainment and a great opportunity to gain a better understanding of the superb seafood available to us just off our wonderful shores. Taste fresh seafood dishes from nearly 100 stalls around the beautiful harbour, or simply relax with a bottle of ...
29 Jul 2021 to 01 Aug 2021

Lulworth, Dorset
Camp BestivalWe're excited to announce the dates for Camp Bestival 2021 - we'll be returning to Lulworth Castle, on Dorset's stunning Jurassic Coast for more award-winning family fun from Thursday July 29th to Sunday August 1st next summer and look forward to seeing you all there! Camp Bestival 2021 tickets will go on sale later this year with a payment plan available to help spread the total cost over multiple payments.
31 Jul 2021 to 07 Aug 2021

Swanage, Dorset
Swanage CarnivalFor one week at the end of July and the beginning of August, Swanage will be radiating to the sound, fun and excitement of the annual carnival, the South Coast’s Premier event. This ‘must do’ attraction has so much to offer everyone, from the magnificent two-mile carnival procession, vibrant with dance, sound and colour, to the beat of live bands playing on the Main Stage and in the carnival marquee.
18 August 2021

Shaftesbury, Dorset
Gillingham & Shaftesbury ShowOne of the largest one-day agricultural shows in the south, and held on the Turnpike Showground in North Dorset, this traditional show is always held on the third Wednesday in August and regularly has an attendance of over 24,000 people.
26 Aug 2021 to 30 Aug 2021

Blandford, Dorset
Great Dorset Steam FairIf you’re looking for an excellent fun and action-packed day out for all the family, you’ll love the Great Dorset Steam Fair. This English fair is held at the village of Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum in the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside. Further directions are superfluous. Just find the village on the map, head in that direction and follow everyone else to the show. From small beginnings this annual event has become one of the favoured places for those interested in ...
27 Aug 2021 to 30 Aug 2021

Lyme Regis, Dorset
Lyme Folk WeekendLyme Folk Weekend 2020 has been cancelled but is scheduled to go ahead in 2021. We are, though, thrilled to say that all the headline acts that we had booked have agreed to return next summer, so the festival will look exactly the same as it would have done this August. The new dates are Friday August 27 to Monday August 30 2021, when we will be delighted to bring you an amazing line-up for our first four-day festival - kicking off with the brilliant Gigspanner Big Band, followed by ...
02 Sep 2021 to 05 Sep 2021

Bournemouth, Dorset
Bournemouth Air FestivalHuge free air festival with international aircraft, beach assault and air display teams. The Festival site is open daily from 10am with displays starting late morning/ early afternoon . See website for latest information.
Dorset events and what's on

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Things to do in Dorset

Latest Dorset Features

The latest Dorset articles from Resort Dorset are previewed below.

16 Nov 2020
Shop for Dorset this Christmas Shop Dorset and it’s a win, win – not only will your gift please the recipient but by shopping locally online in these difficult times you’ll be helping our Dorset businesses. Below are just a few ideas for Christmas gifts and goodies. Cheesed off? – Well check out Delicious, the Weymouth deli that will deliver cheeses and wines to your Dorset door. Craig’s Dairy Farm Shop and Chalbury Food & Wine are open and well-stocked with tasty local ... Read more...
21 Oct 2020
Half-term Fun in Dorset So, it’s the October half term and you may be wondering how you’re going to keep the kids entertained in these restricted times! Well don’t worry, whether you are local resident or are staying in Dorset on a break, there’s lots to do throughout the seasons. Our Resort family has children of different ages and here are some of the things we plan to enjoy; perhaps you will too! Fossil Hunting – you may just discover the next big thing! Do be aware ... Read more...
28 Sep 2020
Halloween Events in Dorset The October half-term is now synonymous with Halloween and the themed fun that takes place. If you’re out and about in Dorset, you’ll find many a Halloween event happening, so grab your broomsticks, sharpen those fangs, and prepare to have one hell of a good time! Dorset Halloween events and activities include everything from Monster Minions to Ghost Tours and more besides. It's scary how much there is to choose from... Halloween Events Read more...
8 Jul 2020
Plan your Dorset Staycation We’ve all had better years. If you’re looking for a much-needed break, look no further - here are 10 good reasons you can’t go wrong with a Dorset staycation in 2020. Dorset has lots of outside space. Whether on the coast or out in the country, there’s room to spread out and enjoy the great outdoors. Accommodation – there’s plenty of choice, and accommodation providers, from campsites and B&Bs to luxury cottages and hideaways, ... Read more...
3 Jul 2020
We've missed you too Firstly, thank you for staying away during lockdown; but now, here at Resort Dorset, we can’t wait to welcome you back. If you are looking for inspiration for this year’s staycation then look no further, Dorset has it all – beautiful beaches, rolling hills, rugged coastline, stunning coastal walks, and countryside rambles – breathe in the fresh air and leave your troubles behind. Dorset is a county of beauty and tranquillity, and although you will ... Read more...

More articles available in the features section.

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