This is the Milton Keynes Kids guide to free or cheap Christmas events in MK and surrounding areas that your children may enjoy in 2016. If you’re looking for grottos and more expensive events please scroll to the bottom for the link to that list put together by one of my fellow bloggers. This is all about free events, community events, light switch on ceremonies, and cheap options of places to take the kids for some festive fun. DO CHECK that an event is running before you go. I’m sure there are loads more, so do email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re organising an event which costs under a fiver to go to. I’ll be updating it throughout December so please keep checking back. As you can imagine, it’s taken me ages to source, collate, summarise and order this info, and quite frankly it’s a really time-consuming task, I’d much rather be drinking cheap Prosecco and watching tv. So I do hope you find it useful and send it to family and friends. Don’t copy and paste parts of it if you run you own website. I get really grumpy.
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26th Nov – Stony Stratford Christmas Lights – Fun day for the family including street entertainers, window displays, stalls, and a lantern parade. All the details on the Stony Stratford website.
26th Nov – Wind in the Willows park opens. Hopefully. Ok, I know it’s not Christmassy but it looks set to be a really good park with a variety of fun equipment. 12.30pm – 2.30pm. Petworth, Great Holm in MK. It was really boggy when we popped along to see what it looked like. If it isn’t going to open due to bad weather I’ll update this list so keep checking. Looking for more parks? Have a look at the parks section of my website.
26th Nov – 9am – 7pm – Newport Pagnell Lights Switch On – Entertainment throughout the day – games and activities including build a snowman, bauble decorating, Christmas card making, reindeer food making, teddy tombola and more. Lights go on at 5pm. Carols afterwards. Event details on Newport Pagnell website
26th Nov – 10am – 4pm – Christmas Craft and Food Fair at Stantonbury Leisure Centre. Santa’s grotto, 80 stalls, ride on train, face painting. Henry’s Happiness is the chosen charity all of the details on the Henry’s Happiness Facebook page.
26th Nov – 10am – 3pm – Emily’s Star Christmas Craft & Gift Fair at Tattenhoe Pavillion. Stalls, food and kids craft area. All the details on the Emily’s Star Facebook Page.
26th Nov and 27th Nov – 10.00am – 4.30pm – Crafts for Christmas at Castle Ashby. 60 stalls. Children can meet reindeer. £4 an adult. Under 16s are free. They have a nice park there for children. Facilities are more limited at this time of year but have a look at my Castle Ashby blog post if you want to see what it’s like.
27th Nov – Coca Cola truck is at Xscape MK.
27th Nov – Woburn Sands Christmas Fayre – 1pm – 4.30pm – Father Christmas, funfair, raffle, food and craft stalls, children’s entertainment, Woburn Sands Band.
3rd – Christmas fayre at Shenley Wood Village – Real reindeer 11am-3pm – Frozen themed Santa’s Grotto £3 per child, meet Olaf, choir 11am – 3pm MK5 6GJ
3rd Dec – Wolverton Lantern Festival – Street market and great food in the Square from midday. The parade departs at 4.30pm.
3rd Dec – Under 2s Christmas Song and Rhyme time at Central Library – 10am – 10.30am. FREE! They hope kids will wear Christmas onesies or jumpers.
3rd and 4th Dec – Christmas Tree Festival at the Forest of Marston Vale – Santa’s Grotto (£3 per child), kids’ crafts (small charge applies), face painting and live music to keep the whole family entertained. Cafe will be decked out with lots of Christmas trees, mulled wine, mince pies and flavoured lattes.
3rd Dec – Wixams winter wonderland – Lakeview village Hall – MK42 6AX – FREE! Santa, songs, mince pies, arts and crafts, rides. See picture for more details. There are fab parks in the Wixams estate, have a look at Wixams park details on my blog.
3rd Dec – Summerhayes Christmas Lights Switch on – MK14 5EX – FREE! Residents in this street in Great Linford cover their houses in the most spectacular lights all in aid of Willen Hospice. I predict it’s going to be really popular this year. Let’s help them raise thousands of pounds! You can read all about the Summerhayes lights on my blog.
4th Dec – ‘Dickens of a Christmas’ FREE family fun day at Olney Library – 11am-3pm – run by FoLiO (Friends of the Library in Olney group of volunteers). Christmas activities for children, crafts, storytelling, face painting and traditional Christmas Carols/sing-a-long around the piano between 1-3pm.
4th Dec – Rhiley’s Princess Christmas Fair – 12pm – 4pm – Denbigh School MK5 6EX — Special appearances from Princess Merida, Anna, Rapunzel & Belle at 12:15-1:15. Raffle, tombola, princess bouncy castle, mulled wine, mince pies & Christmas cakes, face painting.
10th Dec – FREE! Meet real reindeer at Rosco Café in Olney. 11am – 1pm. Free face painting and snow machine. They’re based in Fountain Court on the opposite side of theroad to Barclays Bank and The Nest at no.9. They’re in the courtyard beside the “My little Vintage”.
10th Dec – Winter Wonderland at Kidde Caru Nursery in Caldecotte – 11am – 1pm – FREE! Open to everyone. See Santa in his grotto for FREE. Christmas crafts including making reindeer food, Santa’s magic keys, Christmas tree decorations and cards. Open to everyone not just children who go to the nursery. MK7 8FD
10th / 11th Dec – Meet Father Christmas in his grotto at Alban Hill Nurseries – 1pm-3pm – Face painting, sweets and treats. Donations to Sherington Pre-School Playground. MK16 9QP
11th Dec – MK Feast at Bradwell Abbey – 11am – 4pm food, drink, Christmas gifts and kids entertainment. Adults £3. Kids are FREE.
10th / 11th Dec – FREE! See Santa at Wilko at Kingston Centre – donations to Willen Hospice welcome. 10am -2pm on Sat 10th Dec and 11am – 2pm on Sun 11th Dec.
11th Dec – A Christmas Cracker at Hula Animal Rescue – 1pm – 3.30pm – choir, dog parade, meet Santa, Children’s treasure hunt. £2 per adult, kids are free.
11th Dec – Festive Family Fun day in Aylesbury town centre, 11am – 4pm in Friars Square and Market Square – Nutcracker performance, singing, toy soldiers on stilts, balloon modelling, face painting, giant nutcracker trail – all FREE! Details on their Facebook Page.
11th Dec – Carolfest at St Mary’s Church in Aylesbury – 6pm-7pm – Non religious service, traditional service, hot drinks, children from Oak Green School lead the carols. Details on their Facebook page.
15th Dec – Let’s Play MK – Toddler Christmas Party – 10am-11.30am at Tattenhoe Pavillion. Toddler Christmas Party with Rag Dolly Annas, Music and Games, Snack Food, Gift for every child, raffle, mince pies. Tickets from Let’s Play sessions. £4 per child.
17th / 18th Dec – Santa Specials at Caldecotte Miniature Railway. Details to follow. You can read all about the the railway on my blog.
19th Dec – 3pm – 4pm – FREE! carols in the café at the Forest of Marston Vale. More details on their website. They have a nice play area there for kids including a wooden train with a bell – hours of fun if you have a toddler – you can read all about it on my blog.
20th Dec – Let’s Play Christmas Party – 3 – 7 year olds – Corina Cleaver, photo camper van, snacks, raffle, £4.50 per child. There will be a choice of two party times:10:00am – 11:30am and 1:00pm – 2:30pm. Tickets from Tattenhoe Pavillion.
20th Dec – Christmas Storytime (generally Under 5s) at Woburn Sands Library 11.15am – 11.45am. FREE Drop in
24th Dec – 4pm – Christmas Eve Carols at Kiosk in the Park in Bedford. Mulled wine, mince pies and songs. See picture for details. They have a brilliant park for kids there if you wanted to go earlier to play. Have a look at my Russell Park in Bedford blog post.
24th Dec – 12pm – 5pm – Christmas Eve in Wolverton Square – Festive tunes and carols under the tree. Wolverton’s Town Band will be playing from 3pm with refreshments available from Bar Bar Black Sheep. 12:30-1:30pm Kids Christmas Crafts session in Bar Bar. 3-4pm Wolverton Town Band under the tree on the Square. 4-5pm Refreshments and Mince Pies and all the usual treats in Bar Bar. UNLIMITED suspended coffees and soups are available to those in need all day.
Dobbies Garden Centre – Dobbie the reindeer walks around the garden centre at 11.30pm and 3.30pm on 26th and 27th Nov as well as 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 17-24th Dec. Details on their website.
Xscape MK – FREE Virtual sleigh ride and arts and crafts. Free Santa’s grotto 17th – 24th Dec is booked up but there will be walk up availability on the day. More details on the Xscape MK website. If you have small children and are visiting, have a look at their free soft play – you can watch the video on my review of the soft play blog post.
Frosts in Woburn Sands – Their grotto has been incredibly popular again this year, but it is one of the most expensive. As I write this, there is some availability on their website. For free you can take the kids to see the singing reindeer, gingerbread house, talking post box and pretty decorations which are all on the shop floor.
If you’re looking for a good list of grottos and are interested in events in Beds and Herts, I highly recommend this great list put together by Helen at Things to do with kids in Herts, Beds and Bucks.
I'm Laura, mum of two boys - aged six and four. I started this website at the end of Sept 2015 whilst on maternity leave. I now work four days a week and do this blog late at night once the little boys are sleeping. It's won several awards over the last four years and I continue to run it for free and mostly focus on free, cheap, and good value days out. Do drop me an email email@example.com if you want to contact me. Don't forget to follow all of our latest adventures on facebook, instagram and twitter and have a look at all of the videos of the places we visit on the Milton Keynes Kids YouTube Channel - subscribe to it for notifications every time I add a new place. And remember... you may been reading this post months after we visited, do check with the destination you're visiting for up to date opening times and prices. If you find this blog useful then please do comment on my posts and leave me a Facebook review - it makes doing this all the more worthwhile.