We always enjoy a day out at Chiltern Open Air Museum. It’s such a nice place just to go for a walk and the historic buildings are always interesting too. I love the fact that the girls can get outdoors and explore while learning little things along the way. They can find out more about how people lived in the past, as well as learning about nature too. The museum is closed over the winter though apart from a couple of days when they reopen for the Victorian Christmas event.
Although I’ve been visiting the museum for about ten years now, last year was the first time I’d been to the Christmas event. Sophie and I both enjoyed our day out while Jessica was at a Girls’ Brigade event. This year both girls were at the Girls’ Brigade event on the Saturday but we were all free on Sunday afternoon for an afternoon of festive fun as a family.
Our first stop was the Northolt Barn where there were lots of Christmas craft activities to do. The girls had fun making a Christmas card with fingerprint snowmen, a reindeer puppet and a paper lantern. I was quite impressed by Sophie’s scissor skills when it came to cutting out the lantern. She was really good at staying on the lines. The girls also decorated a paper bag with Christmas stamps and stickers which was very useful for keeping their creations in afterwards!
There were lots of Victorian characters wandering around the Village Green and Charles Dickens was telling stories in the Thame Vicarage Room. By the time we arrived he was on to the final part of A Christmas Carol – The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. I thought this might be a bit scary for the girls though so we gave it a miss. We did have a quick browse around the mini Christmas market in the Skippings Barn though.
We’d booked our tickets to see Father Christmas when we’d arrived (£3 each for the girls). This year Father Christmas was in Haddenham Cottage. Last year he was in one of the farm buildings which was a bit dark and dingy. I much preferred this year’s location with its warm and inviting room. We were shown through by one of his elves and another elf was waiting in the next room with a sack of small gifts. The girls got to choose their own gift and both choose a Christmas stamp.
Sophie and Jessica love the playground at Chiltern Open Air Museum. Unfortunately it was closed when we visited, probably because the ground was too slippery. The girls were a little disappointed that it was closed. Stopping to say hello to the sheep and goats nearby helped to ease the disappointment though.
There is one place that we always have to visit on our days out at the museum and that is the Amersham Prefab. The girls always make a beeline for the back bedroom with its old-fashioned children’s toys. They particularly enjoy the bagatelle game although we couldn’t find any marbles to play it with this time. Jessica decided to use draughts counters instead. She wasn’t too bothered by the fact that they didn’t really work very well!
We had a lovely afternoon at the museum. The crafts were definitely a highlight for the girls. For me, as always, the best thing was just getting to enjoy time together as a family.