A traditional Christmas at Chiltern Open Air Museum

Chiltern Open Air Museum is one of our favourite places for a day out – as well as the various old buildings which the girls can explore, there is plenty of space for them to run around in; woods to wander through and sheep and the horses to say hello too.  Other than the Christmas weekend though, it is closed over the winter. With that weekend being a very busy one though, I had already resigned myself to the fact that we wouldn’t be able to visit during the Christmas event.

The inside of the Amersham prefab decorated in 1940s style for Christmas - A traditional Christmas at Chiltern Open Air Museum

Jessica was at a Girls’ Brigade Advent event and we’d had a busy morning at church. I had a big to-do list and had intended on trying to work through some of it that afternoon. But the sun was shining and the lure of the outdoors was too much to resist. There was still a couple of hours left before the museum closed and the to-do list could wait.  The prospect of an afternoon out and about with Sophie was much more appealing!

The path down to the village green looking very inviting in the winter sunshine

We decided to start by heading down to the farm to see Father Christmas, stopping off for a peek inside Leagrove Cottage on the way.  There were a couple of elves outside and some women preparing a meal inside. It was very smoky inside with the fire though so we didn’t stay long.

Sophie watching the women preparing a meal in Leagrove Cottage

I was quite relieved to see that the queue to see Father Christmas wasn’t too long.  Sophie was quite content waiting in the queue until she got to the front of the queue and spotted the elf.

Sophie waiting in the farmyard before going to see Father Christmas

“Mummy, I not like Wise Old Elf” she said, hiding behind my legs.


I hoped she would be less shy when it came to meeting Father Christmas as she hasn’t been shy before (or at least not since she was much smaller) but she clung to me the whole time and hid behind my legs. I suspect she would have been a little braver if Jessica had been there too.

Sophie wearing her butterfly mask

Once outside with her butterfly mask that Mummy had been given by Father Christmas, she was a bit happier. We headed down to the Toll House where Sophie helped stir the Christmas pudding.

Sophie helping to stir the Christmas pudding at the Chiltern Open Air Museum

She wanted to go to “the playing house” next – the Amersham prefab house with the children’s bedroom full of toys. I think we’ve been spoiled a little by our previous visits on quieter days as Sophie was quite put out by the fact that there were other children in there playing with the toys and she had to wait her turn!

Sophie heading into the "playing house" - otherwise known as the Amersham prefab

We had enough time for a quick browse around the Christmas craft stalls in the barn and the Victorian schoolroom on the village green before it was time to go home. We didn’t buy anything but I did bump into an old friend from our toddler signing days whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of years and it was lovely to have a brief catch-up.

Sophie outside the Henton Mission Room on the village green at Chiltern Open Air Museum

It was one of our briefer trips to the museum but I’m glad I ignored the to-do list and took advantage of the nice weather instead. The jobs that really need doing will get done and those that don’t probably aren’t that important anyway. The most important thing on my to-do list is always to have some quality time with my girls, and to make the most of these little moments.

Sophie sitting on a bench with a big smile on her face

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

24 thoughts on “A traditional Christmas at Chiltern Open Air Museum

  1. I love open air museums, always so much fun with kids – and I totally agree about the To Do list. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the things that have to be done, especially at this time of year, rather than seizing the chance to have a bit of fun together. #countrykids

    1. Open air museums are such a great place to take children – and it was nice to ignore the to-do list for a while! 🙂

  2. We’re going to go to the Chiltern open air museum when it opens again next season, it’s half way between my friend and I – a long journey for us both but well worth it by the sounds of it. It looks like a fabulous place to go at Christmas.

    1. It’s a lovely place for a day out and it was nice to be able to make it for the Christmas event this year, even if it was only for a short time 🙂

  3. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon with Sophie, sometimes you have to just say I’ll do those bits later and head on off to have fun. It’s great that you managed to visit the Chiltern Open Air Museum even though you thought you’d miss it this year, although it’s a shame Sophie decided she was going to be shy about seeing Father Christmas. I always love how hands on and friendly this museum looks, it’s fab that the girls can experience somewhere like this.

    Thanks for linking up with me on #CountryKids

    1. Thank you Fiona – it was so nice to let the to-do list go and make the most of the sunshine! 🙂

  4. I don’t think I’ve ever visited an open air museum before. Must google and see if we haven anything like this nearby. It’s always lovely to see the girls having so much fun 🙂 #countrykids

    1. Thanks Dean – they’re lovely places to explore – a nice mix of having open space and interesting historical buildings to look at 🙂

  5. It really does look like a great place to visit. It’s very similar to Avoncroft (the prefab house there is N’s favourite too). Love that final photo of Sophie. #countrykids

    1. Thanks Emma – I’ve not been to Avoncroft but from what I’ve heard I think it is very similar. Glad that N enjoys the prefab house too 🙂

  6. What a lovely afternoon with your little girl. We have never been to an open air museum i will have to have a look to see if there is one local to us.

  7. What a lovely, impromptu day out just the two of you. This Open Air museum looks so good and really interactive, how lovely that Sophie got the chance to mix the Christmas pudding. And how cute that she was hiding behind her legs and saying ‘don’t like Elf’ – super cute!
    Glad you have a lovely time togetheer.

    1. Thank you Tracey – it was a lovely afternoon out despite Sophie being so shy with the elf and Father Christmas 🙂

  8. Sometimes you just have to put the list aside and enjoy the outdoors, it really looks like you had a lovely time and some great one on one time with Sophie #CountryKids

    1. Absolutely – I felt much better for ignoring the to-do list! It all got done eventually! 🙂

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