What’s On: The Muddy Guide 18 – 24 Dec
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This is it my friends. The last Muddy Guide of the year. I know there’s a week to go afterwards but I’m not counting 25-31 Dec as you’ll all be hanging out with your friends, on the slopes or arguing with your relatives that week.
So *drumroll*, here we are and out you go!
Blackwell’s Oxford Presents: Boris Johnson signing copies of The Churchill Factor, Sat 20 Dec
Out of ideas for that very special Christmas present? How about a book signed by Boris? London’s Mayor and national treasure/embarrassment comes to Blackwell’s Oxford to sign copies of his book ‘The Churchill Factor’. Get there early – it’s bound to be rammed.
Time: 2.30pm, free. More info
Christmas Trail at Cliveden, Sat 20 & Sun 21 Dec
A lovely family option for a bright day like this. No booking needed, just turn up to glorious Cliveden and follow the festive trail around the gardens. There are activities for kids do along the way like decorating Christmas trees, collecting gifts, counting snowflakes, making decorations for home and writing to Father Christmas. You don’t have to do it all in one go, you can just enjoy the gardens at leisure and just make sure you finish by 2.30pm to meet Father Christmas himself and hand him your letters.
10 am-2.30pm. Ideal for children aged 3-11 years. Children £5 each plus usual admission (includes trail and gifts). Cliveden Road, Taplow, Maidenhead, Buckinghamshire, SL6 OJA, Tel 01628 60506. cliveden.org.uk
Steam Railway Rides with Santa Claus
Santa is quite the fan of steam travel, it seems. At The Cholsey and Wallingford Railway (Sat 20 & Sun 21 Dec) Santa and Mrs Claus ride aboard the train with a gift for each child up to 8 years, with mince pies for the adults at the Trackside Cafe after the ride. At the Bucks Railway Centre from Quainton (Sat 20, Sun 21 and Mon 22 Dec), Santa’s pixie helpers will give you gifts, Santa will arrive (presumably he has some kind of magical duplicating power at this point from Wallingford) and there’s a 20 minute live balloon show. Or go and hang out with Thomas the Tank Engine from Didcot Railway Centre (Sat 20 and Sun 21 Dec), meet the Fat Controller and visit Father C in his grotto.
Frozen Singalong at Picturehouse Cinemas, Sun 21 & Tues 23 Dec
Release your inner ice princess! My idea of hell but it seems to be everyone else’s heaven, so if you fancy belting out the Disney classics, there are singalong screenings of Frozen tomorrow (21 Dec) at Phoenix Picturehouse in Oxford (2pm) and Regal Henley (12.15; also Tues 23 2.30pm)