From codebreaking Christmas parties to a vintage grotto and carols
Experience Christmas as the Codebreakers did by visiting Bletchley Park this festive season as the Buckinghamshire museum gets into the spirit with a range of Forties-themed activities. The fun kicks off with a launch event on 2-3 December, featuring live music and dancing from Jeep, Jump, Jive, along with historical displays and re-enactors.
The famous Mansion library will be turned into a magical grotto from 2 December so that children can step back in time amidst the wartime decorations. Parents can take a photo of them receiving a special gift from Father Christmas and they will also be able to enjoy fun activities every weekend until 23 December, as well as during the school holidays from 18 to 22 December.
Tickets for the grotto cost £6 per child (for 12yrs and under, admission to the park is free) and must be booked 24 hours in advance. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adult entry to the park is £17.75 (includes unlimited free access for a year).
There is plenty for adults to enjoy this winter as well, with two very special Codebreaking Dinner Parties featuring an Enigma demonstration and wartime classics from singer Betty Bluebird. On the 13 and 14 December, guests can work against the clock to break a festive puzzle as clues arrive during a three-course Christmas meal. Tickets cost £55, including a glass of fizz on arrival, and must be booked in advance.
Across the site you can see vintage Christmas decorations as you take in all the highlights of the Home of the Codebreakers, from stepping in Alan Turing’s office in Hut 8 to walking round the beautiful lake. A series of Christmas Cheer music events included in the admission price will also take place, with concerts on the following days:
9 December, 11:00 – 14:00, Bailey Dolls – vintage Christmas hits
16 December, 11:00 – 14:00, Trilogy – favourite wartime festive songs
17 December, 11:00 – 14:00, Miss Jones Jazz Band – jazz classics
23 December, 11:00 – 14:00, Alison Carter – festive hits
To make your day even more special there is a Festive Afternoon Tea available to book and for those extra chilly days there is mulled wine and mince pies available in the Hut 4 Café.
A trip to the shop will help you give inspired gifts this Christmas, such as the new Bletchley Park Brainteasers book by respected author Sinclair McKay. For a present that your loved ones can enjoy all year long, Bletchley Park gift membership will be just the ticket, giving access to members-only events, a 10% shop discount and an exclusive magazine. Available to buy online at www.bletchleypark.org.uk/support-us/become-a-friend
The site will be open daily over the festive period except for 24-26 December and 1 January, with opening hours from 09:30 to 16:00, and last entry at 15:00. For full visitor information and to book events go to bletchleypark.org.uk