Nothing brings Christmas to life more than a day out at a winter wonderland. If you’re snowed under with work, school nativity productions, not to mention the present buying to-do list you haven’t made a dent in yet, don’t worry. We’ve done all the research to bring you the best family events and festive days out across our region this year:
Fairytale Christmas: Best Winter Wonderlands in the Michael Graham region
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE: Waddesdon Manor always does Christmas in spectacular fashion. Giant trees and a Christmas market of more than 80 chalets line the approach to the Manor and at dusk things take an even more magical turn when the gardens become illuminated. Rainbow-coloured light trails around the grounds and a light projection show on the Manor set to music are all exquisite. Look out for the glitter balls and wine bottles hanging from branches. We guarantee that a single visit is not enough so read on for details of how to win free family entry this year. Also in BUCKS, if family finances don’t quite stretch to Lapland, then Odds Farm Park, High Wycombe will keep little believers happy. A quest to find Santa Claus will take you through a magical, wintery wonderland illuminated by thousands of twinkling lights. Christmas crafts and games plus a March of the Penguins stage show make this a great value day out.
OXFORDSHIRE: Blenheim has its annual Illuminated Light Trail from now until the end of 2019. Twinkling with thousands of lights, the Tunnel of Light, the woodland Laser Garden and scented Fire Garden all return, with a light finale on the Water Terrace and front of the Palace set to music. Tickets for the light show include access to the Christmas Market and the Victorian-style fairground. Booking is essential and many dates are already sold out so don’t delay.
LEICESTERSHIRE: In addition to the usual rollercoasters and rides Twinlakes Park, Melton Mowbray have laid on a Magical Winter Wonderland with a journey to Santa’s Grotto through a forest on The Polar Express train. Gingerbread making and reindeer feeding will keep little ones going all day long.
LONDON: The capital does Christmas in style and a much-loved part of the city’s offering is the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland featuring the largest outdoor ice rink in the UK, the world’s largest transportable observation wheel and an array of stage, circus and ice show. Expect crowds and queues, although some of the mayhem has been alleviated by a new family entrance which allows easy access into Santa Land with little ones. From now until 5 January 2020.
Laax Baby Winter Lodge, Mews of Mayfair. If your family needs time out after the high octane energy of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, this hidden après ski bar is where you should be heading. LAAX Baby is a collaboration between Mews of Mayfair and Swiss ski resort LAAX and has done everything it can to bring the slopes to the city. From the ski lodge aesthetics, to the cheese fondues and a wide range of alpine cocktails (mocktails for the little ones) this is Verbier brought to town. Booking essential.
Kew, Richmond. The Christmas Light Trail at Kew Gardens has made a name for itself over the last few years, creating a twinkling haven from the hustle and bustle of central London. This year, it’s back and bigger and better than ever with a waterfall of lights cascading from a 18m-high Treetop Walkway, laser projections, smoking white haze arches and a walkway of glittering pink cherry trees. Food is available from street food pioneers KERB. Until 5 January, 5-10pm.
WARWICKSHIRE: Warwick Castle is always worth a visit and along with a brand new ice rink for Christmas the magnificent setting is used as surely the most stylish Santa’s grotto imaginable. Stories with Santa are held in one of the Great Hall’s grand rooms where children sit spellbound on cushions on the floor as Santa regales them with stories and tall tales. If you really want to treat the children this Christmas, Santa Sleepovers in themed lodges in the castle grounds are still available to book on selected December dates. Prices start at £299 for a family of four.
If a Christmassy day out is on your wish list, our friends at Waddesdon Manor have a family grounds pass up for grabs. To be in with a chance to win, visit on our Facebook page and enter our draw. The lucky winner will be announced on Friday 13 December.
Good luck, and if you’re dreaming of pastures new next year, for a selection of all Michael Graham homes to buy or to rent, including the three homes below, click the property search button now.