Christmas events and activities – Buckinghamshire

In 2020 there is a lot of uncertainty regarding many activities & events across Buckinghamshire over the Christmas period. I’ve put together the details of the events that I can currently find but some places are delaying making any announcements in light of government restrictions. As always some festive events are incredibly expensive but plenty are either FREE or really cheap. Here’s my Christmas events what’s on guide for Buckinghamshire. For what’s on guides covering the other counties, the latest festive reviews, Christmas craft ideas and some Christmas blogs make sure you visit the Christmas page. Don’t forget to check out the Facebook events page for lots more events all over the area.

We all know that 2020 is going to be a very weird year, particularly with all the uncertainty about what Christmas events will be allowed to happen in Buckinghamshire. Before booking anywhere please make sure you double check their cancellation policy (both due to lockdown or self-isolation). All of the event details are correct at the time of writing but double check with the venue before visiting.

The National Trust in Buckinghamshire at Christmas

Waddesdon Manor at Christmas is a must-see event. There is a Christmas market from the 3rd to 23rd December (when the grounds are open). Winter light runs from 3rd December – 31st Jan (new extended date). Closed 24-26 and most Mondays & Tuesdays. There are 70 food and craft stalls and we visit every year. Most stalls take cards but you might want to take some cash just in case. This year the house is not going to be decorated. There is a light trail in the garden, the front of the house is illuminated to music and there are various light installations which are all included with admission. Couple of changes from previous years – tickets must be pre-booked, there is a charge for all visitors to visit the grounds, including NT members. There’s also a charge for the bus (which needs to be pre-booked). Have a look at my review of the 2020 event by clicking here. Visit the Waddesdon Manor at Christmas website here. 

Various National Trust properties in and around Bucks are going to be hosting a Peter Rabbit themed trail. It’s £2 per trail (price may vary by location). The trail is really good for a range of ages. You have to match each character with the item they’re missing. Smallest Child found this really easy to do. There are also questions for the older kids to answer. Inside the pack you get a decent pencil and a little wooden badge (which I am totally stealing from Smallest Child). There’s also an activity book to do at home. I really liked the trail and I think it worked well for both my youngest and older children. Hughenden, Stowe and Cliveden are all running the trail.

Hughenden Manor has got some decorations in the house and gardens. Pre-booking for admission is essential. Make sure you check out the brand new playground! It’s amazing.  

Christmas Activities near Aylesbury

Stay & Play Aylesbury are running the Hale Leys Santa’s Grotto this year. It’s open from the 3rd December. Pre-bookings only. £7.95 per child. You can check current availability here. We went along to visit Santa ourselves. Read my review here. Admission to the soft play centre isn’t included but you can read my review of that here

Farmer Christmas is back at Green Dragon Eco Farm. It’s £14.95 per adult and £5.95 per child. The Santa’s grotto doesn’t include admission to the farm but, if you book entry at the same time then you get a 33% discount. You can read my review Green Dragon Eco Farm here. 

Key worker ducks trail. Aylesbury town centre. 5th – 13th December. The trail is free and there is also the chance to win a bundle of goodies.  

Cyber charades will be live on the Aylesbury Town Council facebook page from 5pm on the 23rd December and stay up there so you can play along whenever you want! FREE event. Find out all the details here.

Bucks County Museum are running a virtual magical Christmas science show on the 12th December from 15:00. It’s £8.50 per household.

Christmas events in and around Wendover

The Santa’s Grotto and Winter Wonderland at Dobbies in Wendover is open from the 2nd December. The Grotto is £12 per child and £3 per adult with a £1 booking fee. This includes access to the winter wonderland. You can book your tickets here. You cannot pre-book the walk-through, slots will be sold on a walk-up, first-come-first-served basis. For some pictures of the winter wonderland click here

The Gruffalo Spotters 2 trail is still running at Wendover Woods (reviewed here) throughout the Christmas period. The app and trail are free (make sure you download the app before you go) plus you can buy the trail packs from the information desk. 

Christmas events in Milton Keynes

There’s a Santa’s grotto at Milton Keynes Museum on selected dates in December. £8.50 per child, adults go free. Admission to the museum is separate. You can read my review of the museum here

MyCinema is running an outdoors Christmas cinema in Milton Keynes during December. Details are still being announced via their facebook page. Tickets will be £5. 

Bletchley Park is going to be decorated in vintage 1940’s style during their Christmas event. In the library you’ll also be able to hear King George VI’s Christmas Day broadcast. There’s a Santa’s grotto but this is currently fully booked.

Thrift Farm (read my review here) is running festive sessions on the 8 dates in December. You’ll meet Santa, there’s gingerbread decorating, animal petting sessions, farm yard trail and a gift. Entry to the farm is included. Tickets are £8 per adult and £19.95 per child.

Christmas events in High Wycombe

Enchanted Wonderland at the Chilterns Shopping Centre. Santa’s grotto with Christmas activities and present. Aimed at children 5 – 8 years old. Exclusive entry for your social bubble. Selected dates from 5th December. £32 for a family of four.  

High Wycombe is going to have it’s own free Christmas cinema from the 17th to 23rd December. There will be two showings each day at 12 & 2pm. 

Elf School at the Eden Centre is hands-down my favourite Santa’s Grotto. We’ve been twice and LOVED it, not least because it is FREE. Sadly due to stupid covid-19 it’s not running exactly the same as previous years. BUT there is a free Elf School Graduation Trail instead.

There’s going to be a winter windowland in High Wycombe. You can find out more about it here.   

Christmas events across Buckinghamshire

Missenden Abbey. 5th & 6th December. 10-4. Christmas fayre. Adults £5, children £3. 

Festive illuminations 3rd – 23rd December 4.30-8.30. Children £5/7, Adults £10/£13. £2 parking. Pre-booking essential.  

Bucks Railway Centre near Quainton is running Santa at the station on the 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th & 21st December. There’s going to be a Santa’s grotto, train ride and the chance to explore the Buckinghamshire railway centre’s museum. You can read my review of the museum here. £14.95 per person (including adults). Under 12 months £5.  

The Christmas events at Chiltern Open Air Museum in Buckinghamshire are on the 5th & 6th December from 10-4. £5 per person. Find out how Christmas was celebrated in the past and see some of the houses traditionally decorated. Have a look at my review of Chiltern Open Air Museum here

Odds Farm Park is running Once Upon a Christmas this year from the 3rd – 24th December. The experience involves festive storytime, Santa’s grotto and visit, present and walk through the Enchanted Woodland. It’s £17.95 per participating child (under 2’s don’t need to pay unless you want them to receive a present) which doesn’t include park admission. It seems you cannot do the Christmas grotto separately. Farm admission is £13.95 per person. That means the total price for a child over 2 is £31.90 

That’s all for now. I’ll be adding lots of free and cheap Christmas events in Buckinghamshire between now and the big day so keep checking back for more ideas. There are lots of places in Buckinghamshire that are open but not necessarily running Christmas activities. Have a look at my guide to things to do during lockdown 2 as well as all the reviews of places to visit in Buckinghamshire.

Christmas what's on guide | Christmas events Buckinghamshire | Free Time with the Kids

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Hi, I’m Vicky. My husband and I live in Aylesbury with our three children; a 10 year old son, an 8 year old son and a 3 year old daughter. I (mostly) love spending time together as a family. We visit all kinds of places and we’re quite happy to drive a fair distance for a decent day out. A few years ago I decided to set up Free Time with the Kids as a way to share our experiences of these family days out. You know, the essential information you need to know before your visit that can be surprisingly hard to find out. Where do I park? How much will it cost me to get in? Are there any discounts available? Are there loos? Can I take a picnic or get food? My aim is to be your go-to guide for all your free and cheap family days out across Bucks, Beds, Oxon, Herts & slightly beyond. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch or get in touch via Facebook