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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 magical 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.

Listed below are some of the top Christmas activities from 2017, check back nearer the time for confirmed events and activities for Christmas 2018 in London.

Make Christmas memories

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 beautifully illuminated silk installations at the Magical Lantern Festival at Chiswick House. 
4. Watch classic Christmas films at Cinema in the Snow and Snow Kingdom.
5. Wander along an illuminated trail through beautiful botanical gardens during Christmas at Kew.
6. Experience Christmas as it would have been in Victorian times at Kensington Palace.
7. Take a romantic stroll through the colourful Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park.

Go ice skating in London

Natural History Musuem ice rink.

8. Get your skates on at Somerset House's glorious 18th-century courtyard ice rink.
9. Enjoy magnificent views of Henry VIII's residence at the Hampton Court Palace ice rink.
10. Skate in the shadow of the spectacular Tower of London.
11. Glide around the Christmas tree at the Natural History Museum’s magical ice rink.
12. Admire the London skyline as you skate around the rooftop ice rink at Skylight
13. Slice the ice under the lights of the Ferris wheel at Winterville on Clapham Common. 
14. Twirl on the ice as colourful lights dance beneath your skates at Canary Wharf.

Sing Christmas carols

15. Sing along to carols around Trafalgar Square’s world-famous Christmas tree.
16. Support your favourite furry friends at the Battersea Cats and Dogs Home Carol Concert.
17. Be part of traditional Christmas carols at the historic St Paul’s Cathedral.
18. Join in with carols by candlelight at the Royal Albert Hall.
19. Enjoy carols and concerts at St Martin-in-the-Fields Church.
20. Listen to talented musicians play at the Cutty Sark Christmas Concert.

Meet Father Christmas

Santa 's Grotto at WWT London Wetland Centre.

21. Make crafts with Mrs Claus and say hello to the elves before meeting Santa at ZSL London Zoo
22. Meet Father Christmas in his magical grotto and take a sleigh ride with adorable huskies at WWT London Wetland Centre.
23. Hop aboard a merry cruise on the river Thames with Father Christmas.
24. Find the jolly red man hidden in a tropical world at the Rainforest Cafe.
25. Explore enchanted spaces as you meet Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall.
26. Travel back in time to Victorian London to meet Santa Claus at the Museum of London.

Enjoy a quirky Christmas

27. Enter St Nicky's Imaginarium and dazzle the senses with food, drink and blues music at Christmess
28. Watch Matthew Bourne's Christmas ballet, an alternative version of the classic Cinderella fairytale. 
29. Dress in regal French fashion at the immersive Beauty and the Feast dinner and dance. 

Be dazzled by Christmas lights in London

Regent Street Christmas lights

30. See the beautiful Oxford Street Christmas lights shimmer in the skies above the world-famous shopping district.
31. Check out one of the quirkiest London Christmas lights displays, glowing across the 13 streets of cool Carnaby.
32. Admire the gorgeous mistletoe chandeliers at Covent Garden, and explore the magical Christmas lights in nearby Seven Dials.
33. See the luxurious area of Bond Street sparkle with magnificent Christmas lights.
34. Marvel at more than 300,000 Christmas lights and 16 glowing spirits glittering above Regent Street.
35. Head over to Chelsea to see Duke of York Square gloriously dressed in festive lights.
36. Stroll along the South Bank with a bag of roasted chestnuts and be dazzled by the Christmas lights twinkling next to the Thames.
37. Look out for London’s magnificent Christmas trees, including the world-famous tree in Trafalgar Square and spectacular spruce at London’s legendary Mayfair hotel Claridge's.

See a London Christmas show

38. Follow the hilarious adventures of Dick Whittington at the London Palladium. 
39. Be enchanted by a beautiful production of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House. 
40. Watch Rhys Ifans star as Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at The Old Vic. 
41. See a highly-acclaimed troupe of clowns perform in the magical Slava's Snowshow
42. Expect the unexpected as cabaret favourite Meow Meow performs in Apocalypse Meow: Crisis is Born

Enjoy some festive family fun

43. Discover the classic story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other children’s tales.
44. See all of your favourite Disney characters during Disney on Ice presents Passport to Adventure at The O2.
45. Follow the adventures of Peter Pan at this dazzling Christmas show at the SSE Arena Wembley
46. Watch a primary school's hilarious attempt to stage a nativity play at Nativity! The Musical
47. Enjoy the magical tale of Raymond Briggs' The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre.
48. Shout "oh no it isn't!" during the pantomime Cinderella.
49. Spot favourite children's characters at the Hamleys Christmas Toy Parade
50. Be dazzled by the moons, planets and galaxies during the festive-themed planetarium show at the Royal Observatory Greenwich

Learn about Christmas traditions

51. See how Christmas has been celebrated in English middle-class homes over the past 400 years at the Geffrye Museum.
52. Enjoy an exciting programme of seasonal events at the Charles Dickens Museum.
53. Be transported to an Elizabethan Christmas complete with live dance at Hampton Court Palace.

Head to a London Christmas concert

54. Join in the Jingle Blues Christmas party with The Chicago Blues Brothers at Indig02
55. Watch award-winning concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith at The Piccadilly Christmas Concert
56. Book a ticket to one of the masterful classical concerts throughout the Raymond Gubbay Christmas Festival at the Barbican.
57. Find everything from traditional carols to Christmas hits at the Royal Albert Hall’s annual Christmas Festival.
58. Spark that festive feeling with a Christmas concert or carol service in one of London's many churches.

Go Christmas shopping in London

59. Look out for gourmet Christmas treats and hampers at Fortnum & Mason.
60. Explore the eclectic range of boutiques and designer labels on the King's Road in Chelsea.
61. Visit the West End's famous Christmas shopping hotspots including Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street.
62. Head to Covent Garden and nearby Seven Dials for a diverse mix of designer labels, vintage stores and high-street brands.
63. Check out Carnaby’s independent shops and cool fashion boutiques.
64. Be dazzled by baubles in one of London’s famous department stores’ dedicated Christmas shops, including Harrods, Selfridges and Liberty.
65. Treat kids to a visit to one of London's top 10 toyshops.
66. Browse beautiful books in one of London’s gorgeous bookshops, from the five-floor Foyles to glorious Edwardian bookshop Daunt Books.
67. Find arty gifts like wooden advent calendars and cool crackers at an art gallery shop, such as the National Gallery or Tate Modern.
68. Discover quirky toys at one of London’s museum shops, from the Science Museum to the Natural History Museum.
69. Get all your Christmas shopping done in one day with our shopping itinerary.
70. Find last-minute Christmas presents at Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City.
71. Find bargains galore in the January sales that begin on Boxing Day.

Explore London Christmas markets

72. Sip on mulled wine and look for gifts in a Nordic wonderland at Southbank Centre's Winter Market
73. Find unusual crafts and tuck into seasonal treats with Christmas by the River at London Bridge City.
74. Pick up artisan food from the new riverside Christmas market at Greenwich Wintertime Festival
75. Browse the Christmas market at Winterville on Clapham Common for unique crafts.
76. Stroll around the enchanting Pear Tree Christmas Market by the boating lake in Battersea Park. 
77. Find gifts and festive treats at more than 100 stalls at the Christmas Fair at Chelsea Physic Garden.
78. Wrap up warm to browse the market stalls at Christmas in Leicester Square.
79. Amble around the glitzy Kingston Christmas Market, overflowing with foodie treats, lovely decorations and handmade crafts.

Find Yuletide inspiration

80. Get ideas for seasonal treats at the BBC Good Food's Festive Feast at Hampton Court Palace.
81. Add some festive sparkle to your home at the Ideal Home Show at Christmas.

Christmas food and drink

82. Enjoy a festive cocktail at one of London's best drinking spots.
83. Splash out at one of London's Michelin-starred restaurants.
84. Treat yourself to a jolly Christmas-themed afternoon tea.
85. Pick up luxurious Christmas puddings and mince pies from the famous food halls at Harrods.
86. Warm yourself with an indulgent hot chocolate at Choccywoccydoodah.
87. Tuck into festive treats and dance to the beat of steel pans at Portobello Winter Festival
88. Snuggle up in front of a crackling fire in a cosy pub.
89. Check out one of London's pop-up winter rooftop bars.
90. Buy and try chocolate treats, or just marvel at Prestat's window display.
91. Find seasonal produce like gingerbread and hot mulled English cider at Borough Market
92. Make a Christmas toast at one of London's champagne bars.
93. Keep your eyes peeled for stalls selling roasted chestnuts on busy shopping streets.

Things to do on Christmas Day in London

94. Watch swimmers brave the icy waters of Hyde Park’s Serpentine to compete in the Peter Pan Cup.
95. Stroll along the South Bank to enjoy the gorgeous riverside views without the crowds.  
96. Walk off those festive treats with an amble around London’s beautiful parks.
97. Discover the sights and sounds of London on a Christmas Day tour
98. Spend the afternoon in the vibrant area of Chinatown.  
99. Hop aboard an open-top bus tour to see London’s Christmas lights sparkle at night.
100. Attend a Christmas day church service at St Paul’s Cathedral.

What next? 

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

For more seasonal suggestions, check out our guide to Christmas in London including festive events and seasonal things to do in London at Christmas.

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