Have you been naughty or nice? Get your skates on to enjoy all the Christmas highlights coming up, including Father Christmas!
He’s making a list… He’s checking it twice… He’s gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. Yes the big man himself, Father Christmas, is taking time out from his busy schedule to visit lots of children in Buckinghamshire this month.
In fact, he and his elves will be at Amersham Field Centre, HP7 0QR, 11am-5pm on Sunday 10th, Saturday 16th, Sunday 17th & Wednesday 20th December, for an eco-friendly Santa’s Winter Wonderland. Explore the enchanted woodland with the elves, make a Christmas decoration in the workshop, help find Santa’s missing code and meet Santa in his grotto for your elf graduation certificate, elf hat and gift. Find out more at field-studies-council.org
Another planet-friendly highlight is the Eco Elves Tree-Cycle at Wycombe’s Eden Shopping Centre until Christmas Eve. With help from Mrs Claus, children can make decorations using recycled craft materials (Sunday morning SEND sessions). £3pp + booking fee at edenshopping.co.uk/events/the-eco-elves-tree-cycle
Father Christmas will also star at Marlow’s Christmas Fair at The Grand Hall and Versailles Suite on 2nd December. And we can’t mention the big man and Marlow without, of course, another mention for Santa’s Fun Run on 3rd December! santasfunrun.org
Missenden Abbey Christmas Market, 12-4pm on Sunday, 3rd December, will offer gift and craft stalls where you can support local businesses and perhaps find special gifts for friends and family. Watch out for favourite children’s book and film characters on the day. Little ones are also sure to love the merry-go-round and bungee jumping trampolines, plus a little bird tells me Father Christmas will star. Arrive hungry to tuck into pizza, pasta, hot doughnuts, cakes and more. £4pp, £2 children three-12 years; tickets on the door or book at ticketsource.co.uk/missenden-abbey-christmas-market-2023
Father Christmas will return on his giant red tractor at Hogshaw Farm & Wildlife Park (formerly Green Dragon Eco Farm), MK18 3LA. Up until Christmas Eve, you can wander through the festive forest, past the magical wishing tree and through the snow pits to Santa and his grotto, complete with adorable live reindeer. Share your wishlist, before stopping for a tasty treat and collecting a special present. Book your tickets at hogshawfarm.co.uk
A pop-up ice skating rink will give you a warm welcome at Chiltern View Garden Centre in Stoke Mandeville, HP22 5GX, all the way to New Year’s Eve (closed Christmas Day) with the last session 8pm (6pm on Sundays, 5pm Christmas Eve & NYE). If you’re the best-dressed Elf on a Saturday night you could win £150, and you can book in for Breakfast with Santa and the fabulous Drag Queen Bingo 6-9pm on 3rd 10th December with Cosmic. Visit chilternviewicerink.co.uk to book.
The mesmerising winter light trail lights the gorgeous grounds of Waddesdon Manor until 17th December. Wander the Aviary gardens to enjoy glowing orbs, starbursts, 3D birds and giant shooting stars set to music plus animated projections on to the manor’s façade, inspired by British tales Alice in Wonderland, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Peter Pan. The fair and food village is also back with wooden chalets amid twinkling trees. Visit waddesdon.org.uk to find out more & book.
Santa’s Grotto at Frosts Garden Centre Woburn Sands, MK17 8UE, will open every day up to Christmas Eve with Snowball Sammy & friends offering fun and games before you head off to the reindeer stables to mix up some magical reindeer food with Reindeer Ronnie.Visit frostsgardencentres.co.uk/experiences/santas-grotto-experience
Buckinghamshire Railway Centre in Quainton, HP22 4BY, will welcome you for The Panto Express with Father Christmas. Vintage steam trains will help you create wonderful memories and a professional touring company will perform Beauty & The Beast. Visit bucksrailcentre.org
Plus he’s on board for Santa Steam Specials through December at Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway; chinnorrailway.co.uk
The 12 days of Christmas exhibition returns to Hughenden Manor in High Wycombe, HP14 4LA. Find scenes from the famous carol brought to life with giant gold rings and swans a-swimming on a sea of baubles. Musical Saturdays will bring choirs, silver bands and jazz singers and there are separate festive creative workshops for adults. Children can follow a festive trail to find the 12 presents of Hughenden in the garden and storytelling in the bookshop. Visit nationaltrust.org.uk
Spot giant willow-woven bird sculptures on the seasonal wildlife trail around Stowe in A Winter’s Tail until 1st January. Match tails to their owners, find clues, solve puzzles and keep an eye out for the elusive fox tail. Local choirs will perform at weekends beneath the decorated tree. And join the annual Boxing Day pilgrimage at Stowe Gardens – dogs welcome!
Whatever you do, wishing you lots of peace and goodwill!