Top Things To Do in London This December aka The Christmas Edition
by Nina Christopoulou
The festive season is upon us, so we put on our reindeer antler headbands, our Santa Clause socks, and started researching all the Christmassy events around London to create the ideal Christmas guide for December! London has been prepping for Christmas since the beginning of November, and we have already covered the basics (you can see more in our November guide), so coming up with new stuff to suggest has been challenging, to say the least! But our merry spirit did not give up on us, so we have put together our best monthly guide yet… Hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed creating it!
10. A Christmas Carol
The Old Vic will host this year’s theatrical performance of Dickens’ beloved classic, and nothing screams Christmas more than the enchanting story of Ebenezer Scrooges’ beautiful transformation. Shows start December 4th and we are looking forward to seeing what this year’s direction will bring to the stage!
9. Christmas at Kew Gardens
Our recently released Kew Gardens guide walks you through the marvels of the Royal Botanical Gardens, but November 22nd marked this year’s introduction to the festive period with an exciting Christmas makeover. Head to Kew and excite your senses with incredible light installations! New entries to the display are the moonlight Laser Garden and a myriad of glowing boats on the lake – consider us impressed!
8. Winterville in Clapham Common
This merry pop-up is everything you were looking for, and more! Street food traders abound, and their offering has a merry twist – be it chocolate s’mores with nitro-frozen ice cream or festive burgers! The entertainment options are endless and for all tastes, with Roller Disco having caught our attention from the get-go! There are also indoor and outdoor options so that you can protect yourself from the cold when you feel like it’s getting a little too much to handle!
7. Christmas in Leicester Square
Similar to numerous other parts of London, Leicester Square will experience the most Christmassy make-over yet! The popular event is an annual tradition among Londoners, and offers endless fun, food and drinks! The festive entertainment this year is courtesy of Udderbelly, and sounds promising with shows including cabaret, burlesque and obviously Santa’s Grotto! Entry to the market is free but most shows require tickets in advance, so do look up the ones you are most interested in beforehand!
6. Magical Lantern Festival
This Chiswick House and Gardens event doesn’t really need an introduction. Explore the mesmerizing handmade lanterns with an explicitly Christmassy theme, which ranges from Santa Clause to penguins. Once you’ve gotten all the walking and wowing out of the way, you can relax in the street food market and pop-up bar!
5. Christmas by the River
Christmas lodges with food, jewellery, crafts and tons of mulled wine? Yes, please! As if it wasn’t exciting enough on its own, this Christmas Market boasts amazing views of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge (which are very photogenic as well, needless to say!). This one has lots of workshops on the schedule as well, if you want to take your festive experience a step further…
4. Winterland London
This “Alpine Paradise” consists of a setting by the river, reminiscent of a retro ski chalet, and is located in Fulham. Anything from feasting tables to gondolas, chairlifts and bauble filled igloos will be there to transport you to snowy slopes and put you in the mood for karaoke, beer pong and so many more amazing activities! This one is not to be missed!
3. Natural History Museum Ice Ring
So, ice rings in London are quite a big thing! So much so, that it’s possible to come up with 5 locations off the top of your head… And yet somehow the ice ring at the Natural History Museum tops them all every single year. I’ve tried to pin down what exactly it is about it, but cannot be sure… Is it the awe inspiring backdrop of the museum itself? Is it the carousel right beside the ice ring, which gives it that little Christmas edge? Whatever it is, we are glad it’s there every single year!
2. The Peter Pan Cup
December 25th brings one of the most weirdly wonderful traditions. To give you a little insight: since 1864, Christmas Day marks the date when swimmers meet on a race at the Serpentine in Hyde Park. It takes place on the south bank of the lake, and starts at 9 am. But the most curious thing about it is that the Serpentine swimming Club (which competes in this tradition) swims at waters usually below 4C!
1. New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Is there anything more festive than the London night sky lighting up with dancing lights of all colours and shapes? Doubtful! The event is ticketed due to popular demand, but the tickets are budget-friendly at 10 pounds. Moreover, the super exciting thing about this year’s extravaganza is the fact that Big Ben – which has been under renovation for ever so long – will sound once again at New Year’s!