If you are looking for some fun and festive ways to get out and about in the run up to Christmas, there’s plenty on offer for all the family in Dorset this month.

Gruffalo fans are in for a treat at Moors Valley Country Park near Ringwood this month.

The newly installed Gruffalo’s Child Trail is open daily until the end of February and for the Christmas period, the rangers have created a special woodland grotto inside the visitor centre where children can also enjoy a reading of Julia Donaldson’s classic story.

The readings are free-of-charge every Monday and Wednesday from December 1-17. For older children (age 6+) the Christmas Reindeer Workshops are outdoor, hands-on sessions using local wood to create a mini reindeer to take home. Two workshops take place today and all tools are provided.

Other children’s activities include drop-in craft sessions, ‘Christmas Crafts for Kids’ from 11.30am – 3.30pm on weekends December 6,7,13,14, 20, 21 as well as Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Costs start from £1.

There is also a choice of festive walks including a pre-Christmas Health Walk on the morning of December 15. The Christmas Tree Shop and Gift Market, with its range of locally made chocolates, skin care products, bags, cushions and other crafts, both open daily until December 21. You can book online for all the festive events at moors-valley.co.uk or contact the rangers on 01425 470721.

This month you will also have the chance to visit Kingston Lacy near Wimborne and see the house and grounds in a whole new light.

For the estate is hosting Christmas illuminated walks from now until December 21 from 4pm to 6pm (7pm on Fri, Sat, Sun). Follow the Christmas trail based on the 12 days of Christmas and finish the evening with a warming treat from the restaurant or browse the shop for the perfect gift.

Here’s a novel way to choose a Christmas tree and help the environment at the same time. RSPB Arne nature reserve is inviting people to pull out small pines that threaten heathland habitat and get a free Christmas tree as a thank you. Warm up afterwards with hot soup, a roll and mince pies. Today from 10am to 4pm (arrive any time between). Contact 01929 553360.

Join the annual Boxing Day Dip at Swanage. Registration at 10.30am for dip at 11.15am dip. Fancy dress optional, there will also be tea, coffee and bacon rolls and a raffle draw.

Brownsea Island is open in December for the first time to offer guided Christmas walks on Sunday December 7, 14 and 21 from 10.30am until 2pm. It’s an opportunity to visit the island when it’s usually closed and enjoy the chance of seeing some winter wildlife. After your walk you can enjoy light refreshments and purchase some last minute gifts from its unique island shop. Booking essential, Tickets £12. To book, contact Brownsea Island Property Office, 01202 707744.

Take part in a fun Jingle Jog in aid of Dorset’s disability charity Diverse Abilities starting at 10.30am on Sunday, December 7. Walk, jog, hop or skip your way around the 2.3k, 8k or 10k course at Moors Valley County Park. All participants will receive a special t-shirt and head boppers with bells on. Funds raised will ensure the charity’s vital services continue over the festive period. To take part, the entry fee is £10 for adults, with a minimum sponsorship of £30 and £5 for children (up to 17 years old) and minimum sponsorship is £15. Children under five years can enter for free and they can run the 2.3k route, when accompanied by a parent or guardian participant.

Get yourself ready for this year’s 5k Santa extravaganza, on Sunday, December 21 when hundreds of Santas chase the Christmas pudding along Weymouth Beach to raise funds for The British Heart Foundation. Fancy dress is mandatory, to generate more funds for charity by purchasing Santa suits online at bustinskin.com. Cash prize for the winner! Registration is 10am in the Pavilion, the run starts at 11am.