Creating a Christmas Garden Adventure with Waïki Harnais

At this time of year, life is all about making the most of things. Seizing the wintery weather and turning ‘being stuck inside’ into an indoor adventure. So, in partnership with our friends over at Barbour, we’ve teamed up with some of our favourite people, to help you make the most of your downtime this season. 

Here, home and lifestyle blogger, Waïki Harnais, shares her top tips on creating a Christmas garden adventure for all the family.


One thing I absolutely love about this time of the year is using my imagination to transform our living space into the perfect festive setting. I usually do this indoors with our Christmas decorations, our tree and all the other festive touches that put us all in the mood for Christmas. This year, however, I decided to do something different by creating a festive enchanted garden – an adventure that my children, especially my two-year-old daughter, would remember for a long time.

So, here are five simple steps to transform your garden into a festive adventure your little ones will absolutely love this Christmas.

Step 1. Set the scene, and build on it

It all starts with a scene. I opted for the idea of an ‘enchanted garden’, which is reminiscent of enchanted forests children read about in their favourite tales. You could easily recreate a small village within the garden, with a little house and other homely elements. For our Christmas-themed village, we imagined a grotto and created one using a teepee tent. It did the job. A few Christmas decorations; my daughter’s toy reindeers for that authentic Christmas grotto look; a bag filled with presents; Christmas music playing in the background, and there you have it: Santa’s grotto and a beautifully re-enacted winter wonderland..

Step 2. Bring out the Christmas Tree

And by ‘bring out’, I mean, literally outside. Why have just one Christmas tree inside, when you can have a second one in the garden too? A real one, an artificial one, whatever way you can take the magic of Christmas outdoors, have fun with it. Or find a corner of your garden, a small bush or a tree that you can decorate for the occasion, with baubles, lights and other festive details.



Step 3. Reuse everyday household items

By saving your tin cans, you can create wind chimes, which are a common accessory to have in a garden adventure. To make it really Christmas-y, add some baubles to it. Use some thread to hang the tins and baubles, and for a better look, choose a variety of colours. This is not only a great way to recycle and repurpose everyday household items, it’s also a unique Christmas decor idea.

I brought out a couple of crates and cushions to create a cosy and comfortable environment, somewhere for the kids to sit on while they continue working on their arts and crafts, which leads me to my next point… .

Step 4. Use nature to create Christmas-themed art

Children love putting their stamp on their surroundings, especially through art. From painting, to sticking leaves on a canvas, or creating masks out of them. Toddlers especially love using their hands to make things they can be proud of. Whenever you go out for walks in the woods, where paths are covered with crisp red autumn leaves, remember to pick up sticks, leaves and dried flowers — these can be used as art supplies and are a great way to incorporate nature into play.

Step 5. Create a sensory haven

Ribbons, fairy lights, textures, playing with mud or with water are a great way to create sensory activities for your little ones. If you’re lucky enough to have trees in your garden, allow your children to discover their sense of adventure by climbing them, and learning about them. Whatever world you encourage your children to imagine themselves in, they’ll have fun experiencing it, no matter the size of your garden. So, let your imagination run wild, and allow your children to explore nature, their creativity and sense of adventure.


Wrapping up for the festive season

It's not often that I wear casual coats or parka-style jackets, but the moment I put on my Barbour Kelsall it feels so cosy, warm and comfortable. This is my jacket of choice for walks in the woods with my family, or when I'm out with the children for their weekly actives. I love how classic and timeless it is, with Barbour's famous tartan pattern and country feel - it feels like wearing something that is purely British, designed meticulously and with a sense of tradition. 

Amaury is wearing the Barbour Liddlesdale Quilted jacket, with Barbour jeans for juniors. Such an iconic look, and perfect for trips to the park. It's also great for colder days, when it becomes necessary to wear thick jumpers. Kenzo is wearing the classic Bedale waxed jacket, also with Barbour jeans, and this is an absolute favourite of mine – I’ve never seen a jacket so perfectly fitted on my son.

Our Father Christmas jumpers are cosy and soft. My daughter especially has begun to show interest in Raymond Brigg’s Father Christmas, so we’ll be exploring it with her. The great thing about the jumpers is that they make a great alternative for your traditional ‘Christmas jumper’, which I admit I’ve not bothered to buy this year.

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