There's only one sleep left until Christmas! While waiting for the arrival of Santa Claus, tick off some of the best things to do in London on Christmas Eve.
Last year, the below activities were some of the best ways to spend Christmas Eve in London – check back later in the year for confirmed details of the top things to do Christmas Eve in 2020.
Christmas Eve tours of London
Christmas shows in London
Many of London’s theatres put on one last show, musical or pantomime the day before Christmas, most of which are matinee performances:
- See one of the West End's smash-hit musicals, with top choices including The Lion King, The Phantom of the Opera and Matilda.
- Laugh your way into Christmas with The Comedy About a Bank Robbery.
- Be dazzled by the English National Ballet's Nutcracker, which sees Clara and her Nutcracker doll journey to the Land of Snow.
Christmas ice skating in London
Go for a twirl on one of London’s top ice skating rinks this Christmas Eve:
- Whizz around the twinkling Christmas tree at the Natural History Museum.
- Skate in the shadow of a 1,000-year-old fortress at the Tower of London's ice rink.
- Glide around the beautiful ice rink at Somerset House, before warming up with a mug of hot chocolate.
- Visit Winter Wonderland to skate on the UK's largest outdoor ice rink the night before Christmas in London.
Christmas things to do in London
Soak up the seasonal atmosphere before the big day, from twinkling lights and dazzling trees to Christmas markets in London:
- Stroll around the city in search of the best London Christmas lights, while waiting for Father Christmas to visit.
- Head to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park for fairground rides, family fun, winter food and a Bavarian village.
- Pick up warming treats, London Christmas ornaments and last-minute presents from the twinkling riverside stalls at Winter at Southbank Centre.
- Fill your Instagram with some of the coolest Christmas trees in the capital.
- Catch some festive entertainment or browse the traditional market at Christmas in Leicester Square.
- Sip on mulled wine in the ski-themed bar, take a selfie in front of Tower Bridge or browse the wooden stalls at Christmas by the River.
London Christmas carols and concerts
Make the most of your London Christmas break with a carol concert or a traditional service:
- Arrive early to catch the Christmas Eve carol service at St Paul’s Cathedral.
- Sing along to carols at the Royal Albert Hall or St Martin-in-the-Fields church.
- Enjoy a traditional carol service or stay up late for midnight mass at Westminster Abbey.
- Gather around the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to listen to festive tunes.
Last-minute London Christmas shopping
Don't panic! Head to some of the best places for Christmas shopping in London to pick up any last-minute gifts:
- Admire seasonal window displays and hunt for presents at London department stores.
- Shop 'til you drop in the ultimate Christmas shopping hotspots, including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Carnaby and Bond Street.
- Find handmade gifts, foodie treats and one-of-a-kind items at one of the London Christmas markets.
London Christmas Eve dinner and drinks
Toast to the festive season in a lively bar or enjoy a pre-Christmas dinner out in London:
- Get Christmas off to a cracking start with a Christmas Eve meal at one of London's top restaurants.
- Treat yourself to sumptuous food from a Michelin-starred restaurant, a feast created by a celebrity chef or a dinner at one of London's most romantic restaurants.
- Continue the festivities with a drink and stunning view at one of London's rooftop bars.
- Snuggle up in front of an open fire in one of London's cosiest pubs.
Remember to book in advance and always check the Christmas opening times with the venue.
Travelling around London on Christmas Eve
There are usually changes to some public transport services on Christmas Eve, so make sure to check your route before travelling.
Travel on the London Overground, DLR, MBNA Thames Clippers, National Rail, Gatwick Express, trams and coaches is also affected during Christmas in London.
What is there to do in London on Christmas Day?
From festive cruises, wintry walks and traditional church services, to Christmas dinners and London pubs, plan your Christmas Day in London.