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101 Christmas things to do in London

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 Tour London decked out for Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow.
  3. Discover how Queen Victoria spent Christmas as a child at Kensington Palace.
  4. Join the V&A's Victorian Christmas parties and make seasonal decorations.  
  5. Take a romantic stroll through the colourful Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park.
  6. Marvel at the magnificent Christmas tree at Windsor Castle.

Go ice skating in London

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πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ Once upon a festive London.

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  1. Get your skates on at Somerset House's glorious 18th-century courtyard ice rink.
  2. Enjoy magnificent views of Henry VIII's residence at the Hampton Court Palace ice rink.
  3. Skate in the shadow of the spectacular Tower of London.
  4. Glide around the Christmas tree at the Natural History Museum’s magical ice rink.
  5. Admire the London skyline as you skate around the rooftop ice rink at Skylight.

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.
  6. Belt along to favourite carols with the Barbican's afternoon of festive fun.  

Watch Christmas films at a winter cinema

  1. Cosy up on a beanbag and enjoy a classic film at Southbank Centre's hidden winter cinema. 
  2. Venture though a beautiful ball pit river on your way to a festive screening with Backyard Cinema.
  3. Snack on popcorn at Luna Cinema's beautiful screen in the grounds of Kensington Palace.
  4. Watch Christmas films in sumptuous surroundings at the Rivoli Ballroom's pop-up cinema. 
  5. Find the secret garden at the South Place Hotel and be rewarded with a festive cocktail and seasonal movie. 
  6. Enjoy a luxurious cinematic experience featuring films, fizz and a three-course meal at One Aldwych

Enjoy a quirky London Christmas

  1. Treat yourself to a delicious meal at one of London's quirkiest restaurants this Christmas. 
  2. Watch teams in fabulous fancy dress run through Covent Garden in The Great Christmas Pudding Race.
  3. Tuck into festive food during the Aeronaut pub's Christmas cabaret and be dazzled by acrobatics, fire performers and a virtual reality room.
  4. Join Professor Brian Cox and Robin Ince at the Hammersmith Apollo for their annual Christmas mash-up of science, comedy and music. 
  5. Venture to The Vaults and find the Prince's masquerade ball in a land where fairytales, the bizarre and wine collide.
  6. Discover if Sink The Pink and their team of queer adventurers can save Planet Trash at the Pleasance Islington's Christmas show. 

Get cosy in a Christmas winter pop-up

  1. Tap your heels together and arrive at the Queen of Hoxton's Emerald City rooftop bar for green cocktails.
  2. Enter an adults’ playground at Winterland, with hot tubs, beer pong and fondue.
  3. Re-enact festive scenes from the hit TV show and visit the holiday armadillo's grotto at FriendsFestive.  
  4. Get cosy in Coppa Club's heated igloos decorated with twinkling lights.
  5. Sip on gin in The Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle and listen to live music while surrounded by snow-dusted pines. 
  6. Soak up views of Tower Bridge from the cute winter terrace at The Tower Hotel.
  7. Try highly 'grammable Christmas cocktails at Henrietta Hotel's winter pop-up bar. 

Explore London Christmas markets

  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 wares of independent British retailers at Westfield London's Christmas market. 
  5. Go green and join in festive workshops at the Zero Waste Christmas Market
  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's Christmas market, overflowing with foodie treats, lovely decorations and handmade crafts.
  9. Look for stocking fillers at more Christmas markets in London

Find Christmas activities for kids in London

  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. Enjoy a magical blend of pantomime and circus in Goldilocks and the Three Bears at The London Palladium.
  4. Make Christmas crackers, toys and wreaths at the Museum of London Docklands.
  5. Find Santa in a vintage vehicle at the London Transport Museum and make Christmas decorations to take home.

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 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 Duke of York 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. See the Nutcracker, an enchanting Christmas classic, performed by the English National Ballet.
  2. Be amazed at Circus 1903, with dazzling acrobats, contortionists and trapeze artists.
  3. Discover the magic of Mary Poppins, complete with a score of iconic songs. 
  4. Feel Christmas cheer as you watch the stage production of Bing Crosby's 1954 classic, White Christmas.
  5. Check out the top Christmas theatre in London, from classic pantomimes to top West End shows. 

Take the family on a Christmas day out

  1. Meet dragons and dinosaurs as you go on a road trip with Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever
  2. See all of your favourite Disney characters during Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic.
  3. Enjoy the magical tale of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre.
  4. Head to Christmas at ZSL London Zoo for craft activities, film screenings and festive animal-themed fun. 

Head to a London Christmas concert

  1. See Brit-award winning vocalists perform more than 20 festive songs at A Classic Christmas with Blake.
  2. Join Slade at The Rockin' Home For Christmas Tour and hear their classic Merry Christmas Everyone.
  3. Head to Christmas with Alan Titchmarsh at the Royal Festival Hall for carols with the London Philharmonic Choir. 
  4. Sing along to 8 Days of Christmas as an eight-piece orchestra perform songs by Destiny's Child with a festive twist at XOYO

Go Christmas shopping in London

  1. Look out for gourmet Christmas treats and hampers at Fortnum & Mason.
  2. Check out the spectacular window displays at Selfridges.
  3. Explore the eclectic range of boutiques and designer labels on 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. Get all your Christmas shopping done after dark at these late-night shopping spots
  10. Find last-minute Christmas presents at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
  11. Find bargains galore in the January sales that begin on Boxing Day.

More Christmas shopping inspiration

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Feast on festive food and drink

  1. Watch Christmas cooking demonstrations at Hampton Court Palace's Festive Fayre.
  2. Enjoy a festive cocktail at one of London's best drinking spots.
  3. Splash out at one of London's Michelin-starred restaurants.
  4. Treat yourself to a jolly Christmas-themed afternoon tea.  
  5. Warm yourself up with an indulgent hot chocolate at a 'grammable cafe.
  6. Share a fondue with friends at a one of London's top cheese spots.
  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. Tuck into a feast on board a double-decker bus while admiring Christmas lights with Bustronome
  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.

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?

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

For more festive ideas, check out our guide to Christmas in London, including the best London Christmas lights and top Christmas shows. Find even more seasonal suggestions with our pick of 101 winter activities. Or, map your way around London's fabulously festive events with the Visit London app.

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