This is a short but sweet gift guide but I hope no less valuable than the others. We all have someone who is ~ difficult to buy for ~ so I hope these local adventures provide some inspiration for you of things you can do on your doorstep.
My independent Milton Keynes Christmas Gift Guide features independent businesses from Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas to inspire you to shop small this Christmas. There are 12 guides in total for you to peruse, so grab a cuppa, a notebook and start shopping local!
Gifts for the local adventurer
Bletchley Park is the former home of the World War Two Codebreakers and should be on every Milton Keynesian’s bucket list! It’s also my former workplace before I went freelance in May this year. It was such a privilege to work there and I think everyone should visit. There are some incredible exhibitions opening in 2022, so it really is The Year to visit and discover the amazing stories and history that is right on our doorstep.
Whether you know a history buff or someone who loves computing, a visit to Bletchley Park will certainly tick the boxes. You can either buy gift tickets, or I would recommend gifting a Friends’ Membership which helps support the work of Bletchley Park even more.
If you know a culture vulture or someone who just loves art, a year’s membership to MK Gallery would make a great gift. It’s £60 per year (or £5 per month) and supports the work that MK Gallery does with the local community. Your recipient will get free entry to ticketed exhibitions and discounts in the shop, café and auditorium. There are some truly amazing exhibitions on at MK Gallery, not to mention the brilliant indie cinema!
We really are quite lucky to have an amazing theatre in Milton Keynes that shows a variety of West End musicals, comedians, plays and more. It’s somewhere that I don’t think is appreciated enough and I often buy tickets for my mum (and vice versa!) for Christmas or birthday presents because there’s something very special about spending the night at the theatre! If you have an ATG card you can see shows for a very reasonable cost too.
MK11 Live Music Venue
MK11 is one of MK’s original indies and a brilliant live music venue. Gig tickets for their upcoming shows would make a great gift for any music lover or for a great post-Christmas night out with friends. MK11 remains unashamedly unique and thoroughly independent in both its ownership and approach. If you can jam along to it, you’ll find it at MK11. From George Michael tribute nights to Bad Manners, I don’t think you’ll find a more diverse space in terms of music so there’s something for everyone! Their new gig space is amazing and there’s some great acts on next year.
Parklife Campers launched earlier this year and I am a big fan! They are a campervan hire company with high spec’d VW Californias. If you are stuck with what to buy someone who loves to travel, a voucher for a trip away with Parklife won’t do you any harm. We stayed in one of the vans for The Festival of Beer over the summer and it was super comfy with plenty of facilities onboard that made our camping experience more fun. They are a local, family-run business and they have got lots of exciting plans for 2022, so watch this space.
THE FIRST 20 PEOPLE TO FOLLOW & MESSAGE @PARKLIFECAMPERS THEIR ADDRESS ON INSTAGRAM WILL RECEIVE SOME GOODIES IN THE POST (OR IF YOU”RE LOCAL TO MK, THEY”LL BE HAND-DELIVERED!)
Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park hosting a range of activities including watersports, a high ropes course and an outdoor splash park. The park is owned by The Parks Trust, the independent charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of green space across the city.
Their ‘Discovery Vouchers’ make the perfect gift for adventure lovers and adrenaline seekers! Discover Willen vouchers offer you the chance to take part in a 90-minute session to try a new sport or watersport such as archery, sailing, kayaking, paddleboarding or windsurfing. They also offer general gift vouchers which give the recipient more choice as it can be used towards any Willen Lake activities including Treetop Extreme, Splash ‘n’ Play and a range of watersports courses.
I hope that this Christmas gift guide gives you some inspiration for gifts for local adventures and experiences. I’d love to know what businesses you support this year – Make sure you let them know who sent them your way!
What local adventures would you love to go on?