Family Days Out Column: Ideas for festive family days out

Family travel blogger Faye Shearwood is getting into the Christmas spirit to bring you some great ideas for local festive family outings…

I cannot believe Christmas is once again upon us. I have been reflecting lots lately about the last year; the lockdowns, home schooling and challenges we have faced as a country and I think Christmas 2021 is going to be a very special occasion indeed, for so many of us.

We are also expecting our third child in late November, so I expect we’ll be very busy over the Christmas period!

For our older two (aged 3 and 7), we will be revisiting some local attractions, and now that restrictions have fully eased (check the most up-to-date local government guidance) we can’t wait to indulge in some family festive fun – all situated in and around MK.

Last year, due to the lockdown we sadly weren’t able to visit Waddesdon Manor – but this outdoor extravaganza is at the top of our list.

With magical manor illuminations, winter light trails, garden walks, woodland playgrounds and a Christmas market, Waddesdon Manor will enthral children (and adults) of all ages.

Tickets must be booked in advance as it is hugely popular, and it is open from 13th November to 3rd January, Wednesday to Sunday.

I recommend getting there whilst the sun is setting so you can witness the spectacular light displays.

Next, Santa’s Grottos!

This year we are planning on visiting The Peter Rabbit and Friends themed Santa’s Grotto in Centre:MK, open from 12th November to 24th December.

Children will have the opportunity to decorate an elf biscuit, whilst experiencing a theatrical Christmas adventure (brought to life by actors), before meeting the main man himself and receiving a very special gift.

Some other local grotto events include a magical outdoor woodland at Dobbies Garden Centre, a Vintage Christmas Grotto at Bletchley Park, a chance to meet Father Christmas at the Milton Keynes Museum as well as experiences in other local farms, garden centres and shopping centres.

There are simply so many to choose from this year!

Lastly… have you bought your Christmas tree yet?

Stoke Goldington Christmas Tree Farm, situated just outside Newport Pagnell, provides the perfect festive day out – from carefully choosing your tree, to the complimentary glass of mulled wine (adults only!), to capturing a few photos of the children racing through the pines – we try to make this outing an annual one.

Open weekends are from 20th November to 19th December from 9am to 4pm, it’s a Christmas must!

I hope you all have a magical Christmas and a wonderful New Year, and I’ll see you in 2022 for more family friendly adventures!

For family adventures in Buckinghamshire and beyond, follow Faye on Instagram @meandbeau_travels

This feature was published in the December 21/January 22 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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