Christmas is already the time of year when family comes first. With London however, this can mean an overabundance of events to choose from, all vying for your attention. From Christmas markets to pantomimes, the festive season brings a range of magical events to London that are family-friendly and bound to elevate your holidays. With so many to choose from though, we thought we’d give you a low down of some of the best that the city has to offer. From Christmas carols to festive food markets, the city is ripe with excitement, promising gift making workshops, educational events and showstopping performances.
Guests staying at The Devonshire Hotel are well placed in the centre of the city, and this puts you in prime position to enjoy the many festive events that take the city by snowstorm over December.
Carols at the Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall will see weekly carol singing taking place in the historic Victorian Hall, and promises more than 5000 attendees a gig the chance to enjoy beautiful music from some of the countries best choir singers. With the incredible design of the hall adding another level of awe, these singalong classics will be accompanied by the Royal Choral Society and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Trafalgar Square Christmas Market
Nestled deep in the heart of Central London, this is one of the easiest to reach Christmas events in the city. For nearby guests of Christmas time Central London hotels deals, the Trafalgar Square Market provides plenty of stocking filler options, alongside weekly carol events that will see 40 different groups sing for an hour under the world-famous Norwegian Christmas Tree.
South Bank Winter Festival
The South Bank hosts an annual winter festival from the end of November until early January, This festival will let visitors see the banks of the River Thames in a completely new light. Festooned with Christmas lights, the market stalls and family-friendly workshops, performances and storytelling sessions take place outside and within the Royal Festival Hall itself.
Running until the 5th of January, Winter Wonderland is everything your youngsters would want from a Christmas festival. With markets, festive sculptures, art and performances, children can enjoy ice skating and amusement park rides, whilst the older kids and young at heart can try their luck on the world-famous rollercoasters.
With entry being free into Winter Wonderland, some of the events and amusements are ticketed. With so much on offer here, we thought we’d give you a rundown of the most popular events in the 142-hectare pocket of seasonal thrills (and chills).
Alongside the food stalls, the Christmas chalets of Winter wonderland promise a tempting collection of decorations, jewellery, clothing sweets and gift ideas, all coming from some of London and Europe’s best independent retailers. If you’re stumped for stocking fillers for your loved ones, then these Bavarian-style huts will no doubt spark your imagination.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland will host Zippos Circus, the biggest performance tent in the UK, alongside the weird and wonderful Cirque Bezerk, teeming with spectacular stunts and tricks of the body. Family guests who might not want to clown around this Christmas can instead enjoy the Paddington on Ice Family Show. This show runs for only half an hour, making it perfect for younger audience members and especially for Paddington fans, who might want a little more insight into the famous London bear’s first journey to the city.
Magical Ice Kingdom
Immerse your family in the world fo Carles Dickens with this ice-cold but warm-hearted tribute to A Christmas Carol. With thousands of tonnes of ice being used in this ticketed installation, guests can enjoy a frozen rendition of Dickens famous festive novel, giving you artfully sculpted tableaus including the house of Scrooge and Tiny Tim himself. With cheap booking fees and half an hour sessions, this is a wonderful installation which you shouldn’t miss on your winter Wonderland visit.
St Pauls Cathedral Carol Services
For guests at The Shaftesbury Hotel in London, St Paul Cathedral represents one of the best-known tourist attractions in the city. With the further draw of carol services running throughout December, guests can enjoy charity run events from the London Fire Brigade and Cancer Research UK.
Ice skating in London
Looking to enjoy that crisp weather without getting too cold? The Ice Rinks outside the Natural History Museum and Somerset House are two of the most popular in London and give you a heart-racing and healthy way to enjoy the winter air. Alongside drink stalls and live music, you’ll be treated to a funfilled session of skating whatever your skill level might be. With child-friendly events and special slots for the more advanced, ice skating has never been more fun than this.
V&A Christmas Parties
On the three Saturdays leading up to Christmas, the Victoria and Albert Museum is hosting Victorian era inspired events that explore the way that Christmas was celebrated in the Victorian era. With performances, workshops and talks, these events are family-friendly and give you a chance to unwrap a true “Christmas past”.
Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park
Throughout the holiday season, Syon Park in Chiswick is hosting its enchanted Woodland event once again. With dazzling displays and interactive lighting design, the lakes and Manor House in Syon Park will be transformed into yet another winter London wonderland, but this time without the noise of a funfair.
Broadgate Circle Enchanted Forest
Between Shoreditch and Liverpool street, East London guests can explore a city-based forest of Norwegian Pine trees and festive stalls. With live music on the weekend, this pocket of magic in the commuter heart of central London will raise a smile whatever your journey may be.
Pantomimes of London
London has always been famed for its Pantomimes. As a quintessentially English tradition, pantomimes have been part of the UK’s festive tradition for hundreds of years. With the likes of the Hackney Empire and Lyric Hammersmith famed for their annual family shows, this is an accessible child-friendly Christmas event that will bring your loved ones together with smiles, laughs and plenty of festive cheer for all ages.