With last year's Christmas being such a low key affair, enjoy a more festive time this year and ramp up the fun with these local events.
1. Celebrate at Danesfield House Hotel
On Sat 11th and Sun 12th December Danesfield House are hosting a Christmas Opera. Opera Kensington will perform arias, duets and ensembles from famous operas such as Carmen, Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute, Mikado and many more. Enjoy a 2 course festive supper after the opera and perhaps a glass of fizz? Or how about a Festive Afternoon Tea? Served in the Grand Hall or their stylish restaurant, the delicate handmade treats with tea and / or champagne will make an indulgent afternoon for you to savour. Available until Dec 30th, except 24th-27th. You can also book in for Christmas or Boxing Day lunch or their spectacular New Year's Eve Gala.
2. Meet a vintage Santa at Bletchley Park
Head back to Christmas in the 1940’s with Bletchley Park this festive season with their vintage Christmas grotto. Discover the free toy trail before meeting Father Christmas in the Mansion’s Library where you'll receive a gift from Santa and can tell him all your Christmas wishes.
3. Meet Santa on a steam train at Chinnor & Princes Risborough Railway
Santa is also making an appearance on the Chinnor & Princes Risborough Steam Railway. Santa will meet you on board as you travel to the North Pole Station to receive a present from the elves, busy in Santa's workshop. They'll be drinks, mince pies and Christmas biscuits too.
4. Discover how Christmas was celebrated in the past at Chiltern Open Air Museum
Chiltern Open Air Museum are hosting a small Christmas market 4th and 5th December, plus the museum's shop will be selling handmade products from local suppliers, perfect for Christmas gifts. The museum's buildings will be decorated in a traditional way and you can learn about how Christmas was celebrated in the past.
5. Head to 'Farmer' Christmas Land at the Green Dragon Eco Farm
Explore the enchanted land of Farmer Christmas this year at Green Dragon Eco Farm. There's loads of festive fun for children with an Enchanted Forest, Wishing Tree, gingerbread men decorating and a chance to meet Farmer Christmas, sit on his tractor and receive a special Christmas gift! They can also meet the farm’s residents including reindeers and turkeys!
6. Go to a panto at AWT
Back by popular demand, the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is performing Cinderella. Andy Collins and La Voix star once again in this not-to-be-missed panto. It will definitely get you in the Christmas spirit!
7. Enjoy a Waddesdon Christmas extravaganza
The award-winning Christmas extravaganza at Waddesdon is back this winter from 13 November to 3 January. The Christmas Fair runs until 23rd December and you can browse amongst the charming wooden chalets and tick off your Christmas list whilst enjoying some tasty street food. The Winter Light Trail takes visitors through the pleasure gardens and there's a brand-new route that will light up the formal Parterre for the very first time. The Manor's facade will once again be light up to music and in the Coach House Gallery, visitors will encounter light works by Leo Villarreal, the artist behind London’s Illuminated River project. For an extra special visit, why not book a sparkling afternoon tea in the Manor's restaurant too?
8. Walk through a festive illuminated trail at Missenden Abbey
Missenden Abbey in Great Missenden is pulling out all the stops this Christmas with the return of a bigger and better Festive Illuminations Trail from Nov 18th to Dec 23rd. Wander through a magical woodland where trees and the stream are lit up by twinkling lights; marvel at the projection tunnels, giant swings and dazzling lazers. Stop off on the trail for mulled wine, hot drinks and sweet treats, as well as a selection of other stallholders at peak times.
9. Support a local mental health charity whilst taking an illuminated nature trail
Mental health charity Lindengate is holding an illuminated night walk and nature trail which includes gift stalls as well as refreshements and entertainment. Pick up a lovely handmade gift and support the charity at the same time.
10. Visit the 'Gardener's Christmas' at Hughenden Manor
This Christmas, Hughenden is celebrating the nature, beauty and history of the gardens. The stableyard with oversize wreaths and a 15-foot conifer tree is decorated with sparkling fairy lights and handmade decorations featuring garden icons in miniature, from spades and trowels, to wheelbarrows and wellies. A delightful backdrop for visitors to sit and enjoy a festive treat from the café or pick up a special gift or two in the shop.Through the manor, six ground floor rooms are dressed for the theme with real trees and decorations that tell a different aspect of the tale in each. There's also a Winter Wander adventure trail where your little ones can take on winter tasks, activities and games.