10 ways to enjoy Christmas in London
Now the festive season is in full swing, there are countless thigs to do and places to go to enjoy Christmas cheer across London. From concerts to carol singing, family fun and romantic getaways, the UK capital has so much to offer.
Here are ten of our favourite ways to enjoy Christmas in London:
- Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
One of the biggest and most well-known of all the London attractions at Christmas is the impressive Winter Wonderland held at Hyde Park from 17 November – 1 January.
The event has been running for over a decade and attracts thousands of visitors every year. You can skate on their outdoor ice rink, enjoy Zippo’s Circus, take in the views on their Giant Observation Wheel, enjoy the fairground, or simply indulge in the hundreds of stalls at the Winter Wonderland Christmas Markets.
With fantastic shows and entertainment, Winter Wonderland has something for the whole family to enjoy!
- Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House
This incredible Christmas-themed festival brings a treasure trove of entertainment for all the family – with a Santa’s Grotto, sculptures, larger-than-life lanterns, fairground rides and food and drink. There’s nothing quite like it!
The festival is held in the beautiful grounds of Chiswick House and Gardens, and brings its own flavour of vibrant colours from 24 November – 1 January.
This festival highlights a fusion of culture and colour, and is one of the best ways to enjoy Christmas with your family!
- Christmas at Kew Gardens
Kew Botanical Gardens are superb all year round, but it is something truly special at Christmas. The popular event lets you discover Kew after dark by taking you on a mile-long trail through the world famous gardens, all illuminated with over one million beautiful lights.
The walk starts off bathed in the light of hundreds of glowing globes. As you make your way along the trail, you’ll see an enormous sledge tree made up of over 350 wooden Santa sledges, enjoy the notes of the Singing Trees, and end at a glistening lake where you’ll be able to watch an incredible underwater light display.
With giant bubbles, trees of all kinds, and countless lights – not to mention plenty of Christmas treats and hot drinks to warm you after your night-time walk – it’s perfect for setting you and your family in the Christmas mood!
- The Snow Kingdom
For the London film buffs, there’s no better way to marry a love of cinema and a love of Christmas than at The Snow Kingdom. Despite its name, the Snow Kingdom is one of the cosiest cinemas you’ll ever visit with big bean bag loungers provided, so you can enjoy the film in absolute comfort!
You can choose different levels of tickets depending on whether you’re just there for the show, or if you want mulled wine or an alcoholic hot chocolate, or even blankets to really snuggle up and lose yourself in this fantastic experience!
- Victorian Christmas at Kensington Palace
From 1 December to 1 January, you can experience a Victorian Christmas – complete with decorations and activities – at Kensington Palace! For something a little different, this event is definitely one to try out. You’ll be able to marvel at the 25ft high Christmas tree decorated in traditional Victorian style, and attend the workshop where you’ll be able to create your very own decorations.
There’s also a Victorian puppet theatre to entertain young children, as well as live music and plenty of food.
- Ice Skating
Ice Skating at Christmas is somewhat of a tradition in London, and as such there is a wide range of places where you can get your skates on! From the iconic Tower of London to the Natural History Museum, Somerset House to Hampton Court Palace, the choice is almost endless.
Needless to say, it’s a fun, but busy way to get in the festive mood, so wherever you choose to go, know that there will be crowds. Most ice rinks offer a selection of food and drinks stalls, and depending on the venue, plenty of entertainment, too.
Wrap up warm and take to the ice!
- “Christmess” at St Nicky’s Imaginarium
For those who would like to party the night away, St. Nicky’s “Christmess” Imaginarium held 24 November – 17 December is a wild and fun alternative. Live music will keep you entertained throughout the night, and a 12-dish feast will be put on to make sure you’re well-fed!
There’ll also be independent and artisanal traders and artists offering you an eclectic selection of Christmas wares, perfect for souvenirs and gifts.
With communal dining, singing waitresses, and food straight from the Deep South, this party will be one you’ll remember for years to come!
- Matthew Bourne’s Christmas ballet
Sadler’s Wells will put on one of the most popular and beloved productions, Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella. The performance is available 9 December – 27 January, and introduces you to a thrilling love story set in London during the Second World War.
The classic fairy-tale is Olivier award-winning, and features dazzling costumes, designs, and lighting sure to delight audiences the world over! With a magnificent score and vivid storytelling, this incredible ballet is a wonderful way to enjoy Christmas in London this year.
- The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House
Almost nothing screams Christmas more than the iconic Nutcracker Suite, and this year, you can enjoy and be enchanted by a beautiful production at the Royal Opera House. The Suite is available 5 December – 10 January, where the definitive production of young Clara’s Christmas Eve adventure is performed by the Royal Ballet.
Tchaikobsky’s sugar-spun music is one of the most recognisable ballet scores, and combined with the festive setting, dancing snowflakes and enchanting stage magic, Lev Ivanov’s 1892 ballet has become the perfect Christmas entertainment.
- Oxford Street Lights
One of the best known and most Christmassy things about London are the amazing lights at Oxford Street. Thousands of tourists and locals flock to this iconic street throughout the festive season to get a glimpse and take photos of these beautiful lights, whose theme change every year.
Switched on in early November, the lights can be seen throughout November and December, allowing plenty of time for you to enjoy them. The theme of the 2017 display is “The Magic of Christmas,” and boasts over 750,000 LEDs and 1700 decorations, inspired by falling snowflakes.
Oxford Street is hosting the festivities in partnership with NSPCC for the second year in a row.