Things to do in London in December 2021

See the capital transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland in December, and join in the New Year's Eve festivities.
A lit-up Christmas tree in front of the Tower Bridge in the evening.
Find the best things to do this December. Credits: Shutterstock.

What's on in December in London?

  • Celebrate Christmas in London with pop-up ice rinks, buzzing festive markets, dazzling Christmas lights and seasonal shows. 
  • Don't miss top London December events including Christmas at Kew and Hogwarts in the Snow.
  • See Christmas pantos and unmissable London shows in December.
  • Plan ahead to welcome the arrival of 2022 during London New Year's Eve celebrations.

December is the most magical month to visit London, with lots of festive things to do as Londoners celebrate Christmas and New Year.

London's shopping streets sparkle with Christmas lights in December, and shops are full of gift hunters finishing off their Christmas shopping.

A focal point of the holiday season in London is Trafalgar Square, which resounds with carol singing around the capital’s biggest Christmas tree, and lights up with a giant menorah for Chanukah.

Get into the festive spirit during your December visit by experiencing some of London's favourite seasonal activities: shop for handmade gifts and festive food at a charming Christmas market; go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital; enjoy carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies; and watch a Christmas pantomime, ballet or family show.

Get a flavour of what you can usually enjoy in London in December with this guide to top events. Check back closer to the time for confirmed events to attend in 2021.

Explore London's best December events

Make memories this December with fun events for all the family. From festive villages popping up across the capital, to Christmas shows and quirky goings on, there's plenty to enjoy. Take a look at our pick below.

Fun London winter festivals

Top winter and Christmas events in London

  • Follow a glittering trail of lights, music and colours around the famous botanic gardens after dark at the annual Christmas at Kew.
  • Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies and see the iconic sets dressed for Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow.
  • Go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital.
  • Enjoy socially-distanced carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies.

London shows in December

London is buzzing with epic shows during the festive season. Last year, you could...

  • Sleigh over to Royal Albert Hall for Carols at the Hall, My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, Guy Barker's Big Band Christmas and more festive shows.
  • Be taken on a magical trip to Pantoland at The Palladium.
  • See one of the world's most loved Christmas movies in a new light with Love Actually In Concert at Eventim Apollo.
  • Take the kids on a wintry adventure with Stick Man at Rose Theatre Kingston.
  • Enter an enchanted world of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet, with Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. 
  • Check out more top London theatre shows and festive plays, concerts and pantomimes in the capital this December.

Magical ways to spend Christmas in London

Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December) are both bank holidays (public holidays) in London, with reduced opening times and transport service. But there are still plenty of things to do during this festive period:

Celebrate New Year's Eve in London

London’s famous New Year's Eve fireworks usually take place every year at the London Eye on 31 December. Find more ways to welcome 2022 in London, including cruises, best dining spots and more.

For more things to do in December in London, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London, find the best London theatre shows or look at these best things to do this winter in the capital. Find last-minute ideas with events in London today or discover things to do this weekend in London.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see this London weather page.