Markets, festivals, winter wonderlands; these packed-out places full of humans are havens for festive fanatics, filled to the rafters with scents of the season, handmade gifts and lots of lovely jingles in the air. But what is there for Christmas-crazy canines to enjoy? Not all of the events that puppy parents go to are appropriate for pooches, so you need to carefully choose where to head if you’re taking your festive fluffball along too.
That’s why we’ve rounded up some of the best dog-friendly events and warming winter destinations this Christmas, especially suited to your four-legged friends to keep them happy – and not humbugging!
If you've already chosen a destination but need a place to stay, browse our dog-friendly cottages below.
Dog-friendly Christmas markets
Where? We've chosen the streets of Bath, and Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, London
When? 1st November - 31st December (Bath); 19th November - 3rd January (Hyde Park)
How much? Free for Bath Market; Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is free off-peak and £5 - £7.50 during peak hours
Take your pooch to a Christmas market they won't paw-get in a hurry! Stroll along Bath's historic streets with Fido in tow, taking in all the sights and smells along the way. You'll enjoy the stalls and the fantastic architecture, whilst your pooch will just be hoping for a chunk of bratwurst. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is pretty hard to beat when it comes to winter attractions. A six-week-long family and dog-friendly event, one of you can take the kids ice skating whilst the other watches some live music or has a wander around the market with the dog. We would recommend going a little earlier in the day, as it might be a bit busy for pooches in the evening.
Santa Paws is coming to town!
Where? Planters Garden Centre, Tamworth
When? 20 November - 23 December. Booking times depend upon availability
How much? £10
Has your pooch been naughty or nice this year? You’ll soon find out, as your darling dog will get to meet Santa Paws himself! After having a cuddle, your pup will receive a Christmas treat and have their photo taken. You'll then have the opportunity to purchase the photo along with a range of personalised gifts to make the visit even more special.
Where? Santa Paws Grotto at Tavistock Market
When? 31 October 10am - 4pm
How much? £12
Come along to Tavistock's Doggy Christmas Market and purchase some delightful doggy treats for the festive season, before having your hound pose with the big bearded man himself. This unique opportunity for your pooch to meet Santa is set to be a Christmas cracker of a canine caper! For the fee, you'll receive a photo and a toy from the grotto and if you have more than one dog, you can include them all in the photo at no extra cost (if you want the dogs photographed separately, you'll need to buy one ticket per sitting).
Where? Revolucion de Cuba, Southampton
When? Sunday 7th November 10am - 4:40pm (various slots available)
How much? £7.25 per adult; £5.25 for children 16 and under; free for children 6 and under (please note that whilst dogs and young children are free, tickets must still be booked for them)
There's just so much going on at this event! Free Pupuccinos from the Puppucino Bar; doggy bakery and doggy pick 'n' mix; 80 minutes of off-lead time - perfect for cuddles and capturing those Instagrammable moments; and a free after-party at the Fiesta del Sol Rooftop Terrace. This large indoor venue has plenty of space and heavy-duty dog gates to stop any early exits! Just bring along your dog and let them socialise with other chatty canines to their heart's content, and if they're a little shy, there's even a Chill Zone for those dogs who like life at a slightly slower pace.
Where? Revolucion de Cuba, Southampton
When? Sunday 7th November 11:20am - 6pm
How much? £8.25 per adult; £5.25 for children 16 and under; free for children 6 and under (please note that whilst dogs and young children are free, tickets must still be booked for them)
This event takes place at the same location as the Cockapoo Cafe, so why not book them in for both? The order of play is similar to the cafe above, apart from it being more of a pawty than a gathering! So permit your Dachshund to let its hair down and break out some moves on the light-up doggy dance floor, surrounded by glow sticks and disco balls. This event has had 'rave' reviews in the past so make sure you don't miss out on this doggy disco.
Christmas doggy photography
Where? Pentland Plants Garden Centre, Midlothian
When? 14th November 9:30am - 3:30pm
How much? £15 for two photos
Need an idea for this year's Christmas cards? Fear not, Pentland Plants has got you covered. Bring the pooch along when you go to get your Christmas tree and set them up in front of the Christmassy backdrop for a professional festive photo. Not only will your pup look super cute in their photo but in the spirit of giving, £5 from each booking will go directly to charity, so you'll get that warm, fuzzy feeling twice over.
Dog socials at the Bark Park
Where? Dogs Go Bark Park, Wirral
How much? Various - £1.67 - £11.37
Bark Parks are a great way to get you and your dog socialising out in the open air. With different events for different sized dogs and even specific parties for certain breeds, you're bound to find the right party for your pup, and come on, it's the leashed you could do! Choose from pups under 10kg, all the way to hounds over 20kg. Select the Pug Party, the Spaniel Social or the Cockapoo Celebration and have the best doggy day out.
Note: If you need to visit somewhere where dogs are not permitted, Dogs Go also provides Doggy Day Camps.
Just a nice Christmas walk
Where? Mother Shipton's Cave, North Yorkshire
When? 20th November - 24th December
How much? £11 (children under 3 are free)
Despite the attraction name, this location is full of great, wide-open spaces, perfect for four-legged roaming. The stunning winter wonderland has a mesmerising Christmas Village that you and the kids will delight in before the Chief Elf whisks you away to see the sleigh and Santa's grotto (should you want to). If you just fancy exploring the grounds with your dog, then you're in a great spot. The Petrifying Well turns anything that touches it to stone and will send your imagination into overdrive. Whisper your desires in the Wishing Well and Wishing Logs or just roam the enchanted woodland to your heart's content.
If we’ve put you in the mood for a wintry retreat with your family pet or a Christmas escape with your canine, check out our dog-friendly cottages across the country and get prepped for an un-paw-gettable holiday!
Stuck for the pawfect present this Christmas? Treat your dog to something special with our Christmas gift ideas for dogs.
Details were correct at the time of publishing. Please check local press and company websites for updated information.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.