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101 things to do in London this Christmas

From glittering Christmas lights and ice skating to traditional markets and Christmas shows, London is a Christmas wonderland.
Make the most of the capital's jolly festivities and add some sparkle to your trip with our seasonal guide to 101 of the best things to do in London at Christmas. You'll soon discover there are many festive ways to celebrate Christmas in London.

Experience magical Christmas attractions

  1. Soak up the festive atmosphere at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.
  2. See the Warner Bros. Studio decked out for Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow.
  3. View 18th-century architecture illuminated by modern light installations with After Dark at Chiswick House.
  4. Wander along a glowing trail through beautiful botanical gardens during Christmas at Kew.
  5. Experience Christmas as it was in Victorian times at Kensington Palace.
  6. Take a romantic stroll through the colourful Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park.
  7. Watch The Princess and the Pantomime, a telling of royal Christmases past at Windsor Castle.

Sing Christmas carols

  1. Sing along to carols around Trafalgar Square’s world-famous Christmas tree.
  2. Support your favourite furry friends at the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Carol Concert.
  3. Be part of traditional Christmas carols at the historic St Paul’s Cathedral.
  4. Join in with carols in stunning surroundings at the Royal Albert Hall.
  5. Enjoy carols and concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church.

Watch Christmas films at a pop-up cinema

  1. See classic Christmas films with a warming mulled wine at The Berkeley’s private rooftop cinema.
  2. Walk through a wardrobe into an alpine forest with Pop Up Screens’ Cinema in the Snow.
  3. Snuggle under blankets at St Katharine Docks' Christmas Floating Film Festival to watch festive movies.
  4. Find your way through the Christmas Labyrinth to see favourite films with Backyard Cinema.
  5. Snack on popcorn in beautiful surroundings with the Luna Winter Cinema at Kensington Palace.

Enjoy a quirky London Christmas

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  1. Join the deities at Divine Proportions for a night of hedonism, including a five-course banquet.  
  2. Marvel at a gingerbread city at the V&A, designed by leading architects. 
  3. Hop on-board a train to embark on an immersive Christmas journey with The Greatest Snowman.
  4. Watch teams in fabulous fancy dress run through Covent Garden in The Great Christmas Pudding Race.
  5. Get cycling and follow a moving performance of A Christmas Carol on Bikes in Chelsea.
  6. Learn how to dance 1920s style with The Great Gatsby Christmas Party at the St James' Court hotel.

Get cosy in a Christmas winter pop-up

  1. Step back in time to Lady Celeste’s 1900s Parisian rooftop at the Queen of Hoxton.
  2. Enter an adults’ playground at Winterland, with karaoke, curling, beer pong and more.
  3. Snuggle in York & Albany's gingerbread cabin filled with candy canes and cushions.
  4. Get cosy under faux-fur blankets at an alpine-themed rooftop with The Chalet at Madison.
  5. Look out at Tower Bridge in Coppa Club's heated igloos decorated with twinkling lights

Explore London Christmas markets

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Light the night

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  1. Sip on mulled wine and look for gifts at Southbank Centre's Winter Market.
  2. Find unusual crafts and tuck into seasonal treats with Christmas by the River at London Bridge City.
  3. Explore antiques and jewellery under pretty lights at Greenwich Market.  
  4. Browse the Solo Craft Fair at Winterville on Clapham Common for unique items.
  5. Stroll around the enchanting Pear Tree Cafe Christmas Fair by the boating lake in Battersea Park.
  6. Find gifts and festive treats at more than 100 stalls at the Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden.
  7. Wrap up warm to browse the glitzy market stalls at Christmas in Leicester Square.
  8. Amble around Kingston Christmas Market, overflowing with foodie treats, lovely decorations and handmade crafts.
  9. Pick up one-of-a-kind gifts at one of the Crafty Fox Markets, filled with the wares of talented designers.
  10. Enjoy music and mulled wine at Pexmas in south London’s Peckham.

Find Christmas activities for kids in London

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💫 and then it started snowing 💫 #ad Already one of the best memories this season 😍 Still thinking about the magic we got to take in at the @westfieldlondon. They even let it snow for us ❄️ Océane got to make her own personal Snowflake at Santa’s Snowflake Grotto with Santa’s little helper and then she got to meet him in person 🎅🏽Her eyes were full of sparkles all day and after the party she slept for solid 4(!) hours 😅 and Mom&Dad got to enjoy a few hot chocolates and a good convo😍 agreeing to come here every Xmas from now on!❄️🙌🏼 Thank you @westfieldstratfordcity for making the stressful Xmas shopping an amazing experience full of love and endless fun ❄️ #westfieldChristmas #christmas #shopping #anzeige 🇩🇪 Jetzt schon eine der schönsten Erinnerungen der Weihnachtszeit in diesem Jahr 😍 Als es begann zu schneien .. im @westfieldlondon . Nur für uns 3. Zumindest hat es sich so angefühlt💫 Océane durfte den Weihnachtsmann treffen und ihre eigene kleine Schneeflocke mit den kleinen Elfen basteln 😢. Sie hat einen Wunschzettel gemalt & viel zu viel Plätzchen gegessen. So viele, dass ihr Mittagsschlaf mit 4h alle Rekorde brach und Mama&Papa gar nicht wussten, was sie mit der ganzen Zeit zu zweit anfangen sollen.. NICHT. Wussten wir natürlich 🤙🏼 #cafédate Danke @westfieldlondon für diese unfassbar wertvollen Erinnerungen #werbung

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  1. Take the little ones to the magical Snowflake Grotto at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
  2. Help the elves at the Royal Albert Hall get the toys ready before meeting Father Christmas in his sleigh.
  3. Travel back in time at the Museum of London and meet Santa Claus in Victorian London.

Be dazzled by Christmas lights in London

  1. See the beautiful Oxford Street Christmas lights shimmer above the world-famous shopping district.
  2. Check out the neon Queen-themed lights glowing across the 14 streets of cool Carnaby.
  3. Admire the gorgeous mistletoe chandeliers at Covent Garden, and explore the magical Christmas lights in nearby Seven Dials.
  4. See the luxurious area of Bond Street sparkle with magnificent Christmas lights.
  5. Marvel at more than 300,000 Christmas lights above Regent Street, alongside glowing spirits.
  6. Head over to Chelsea to see Sloane Square gloriously dressed in festive lights.
  7. Stroll along the South Bank with a bag of roasted chestnuts and be dazzled by the Christmas lights twinkling next to the Thames.
  8. Discover the best festive decorations on a magical open-top-bus tour on Christmas Eve.
  9. Look out for London’s magnificent Christmas trees decked in lights, including the world-famous tree in Trafalgar Square.

See a London Christmas show

  1. Watch Matthew Bourne’s celebrated take on Swan Lake, with its all-male cast at Sadler’s Wells.
  2. Be amazed at Circus 1903, with dazzling acrobats, contortionists and trapeze artists.
  3. See The Nutcracker, an enchanting Christmas classic, performed by the English National Ballet.
  4. Laugh along to Snow White, a star-studded pantomime at the London Palladium.
  5. Follow Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey as he’s visited by spirits in A Christmas Carol, at The Old Vic.

Take the family on a Christmas day out

  1. Find out if a young boy can save the day with Horrible Christmas at Alexandra Palace.
  2. See all of your favourite Disney characters during Disney on Ice presents Dream Big at The O2.
  3. Enjoy the magical tale of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre.
  4. Head to ZSL London Zoo for beautiful animal illuminations and a hot chocolate in the Christmas village.

Head to a London Christmas concert

  1. See a superstar perform with Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You tour.
  2. Book a ticket to one of the masterful classical concerts throughout the Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at the Barbican.
  3. Experience Take That’s chart-topping songs with their new musical, The Band.
  4. Be amazed by Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds, a science-fiction spectacle.

Go Christmas shopping in London

  1. Look out for gourmet Christmas treats and hampers at Fortnum & Mason.
  2. Check out rocking Santas in the spectacular window displays at Selfridges.
  3. Explore the eclectic range of boutiques and designer labels on the King's Road in Chelsea.
  4. Visit the West End's famous Christmas shopping hotspots, including Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street.
  5. Head to Covent Garden for a diverse mix of designer labels, vintage stores and high-street brands.
  6. Check out Carnaby’s independent shops and cool fashion boutiques.
  7. Be dazzled by baubles in one of London’s famous department stores’ dedicated Christmas shops, including Harrods and Liberty.
  8. Treat kids to a visit to one of London's top 10 toyshops.
  9. Browse beautiful books in one of London’s gorgeous bookshops, from glorious Foyles to Edwardian bookshop Daunt Books.
  10. Get all your Christmas shopping done in one day with our shopping itinerary.
  11. Find last-minute Christmas presents at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
  12. Find bargains galore in the January sales that begin on Boxing Day.

Feast on festive food and drink

  1. Enjoy a festive cocktail at one of London's best drinking spots.
  2. Splash out at one of London's Michelin-starred restaurants.
  3. Treat yourself to a jolly Christmas-themed afternoon tea.
  4. Pick up luxurious Christmas puddings and mince pies from the famous food halls at Harrods.
  5. Warm yourself with an indulgent hot chocolate at Choccywoccydoodah.
  6. Tuck into festive treats and dance to the beat of steel drums at Portobello Winter Weekends.
  7. Snuggle up in front of a crackling fire in a cosy pub.
  8. Check out one of London's pop-up winter rooftop bars.
  9. Buy and try chocolate treats, or just marvel at Prestat's window display.
  10. Find seasonal produce like gingerbread and hot mulled English cider at Borough Market.
  11. Drink a Christmas toast at one of London's champagne bars.
  12. Keep your eyes peeled for stalls selling roasted chestnuts on busy shopping streets.

Things to do on Christmas Day in London

  1. Watch swimmers brave the icy waters of Hyde Park’s Serpentine to compete in the Peter Pan Cup.
  2. Stroll along the South Bank to enjoy the gorgeous riverside views.
  3. Walk off those festive treats with an amble around one of London’s beautiful parks.
  4. Discover the sights and sounds of London on a Christmas Day tour.
  5. Spend the afternoon in vibrant Chinatown.  
  6. Attend a Christmas Day church service at St Paul’s Cathedral

What next?

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Happy New Year #LondonNYE

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  1. Start planning your New Year's Eve in London celebrations!

For more seasonal suggestions, check out our guide to Christmas in London including the best London Christmas lights and top Christmas shows.

Download the Visit London app to find more fun-filled winter events.

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