It’s that time of year again. Kids lose their collective minds at the thought of Santa dropping some serious pressies down the chimney. Parents rush to buy all the gifts just in time for the big day. There is hope of snow , unwanted socks from your gran, and the consumption of more food in one day than you normally eat in a month. It’s well and truly Christmas time.
If you’re living in London, it’s not just the 25th that should be in the diary. The whole month of December offers fun festive activities for all ages. There’s even some cool stuff to do if you don’t celebrate the seasonal holidays.
Here at Movebubble, we’ve decorated the tree, while Alfie, the office dog, is ready to help santa as an honorary reindeer (or is that reindog?). Oh, and we’ve been searching for the best Christmas activities in London so you renters can have a fun-packed seasonal holiday. With our suggestions, you’ll find yuletide joy in no time. Read on and enjoy.
Some might argue that Winter Wonderland has become a bit played out of the years, but there’s no denying the spectacle on offer for first-time visitors. There are a host of activities, including a Zippos Circus and Christmas markets. The kids can enjoy Cinderella on Ice, while adults can zip around the roller-coaster or take to the ice themselves for some skating in the heart of the capital.
When: Now until the 1st of January
How much: Free to enter; activities individually priced. Some tickets can be purchased in advance.
Where: Hyde Park
Santa’s Grottos, Various
Looking for something to do with the kids? You can’t wrong with a visit to Santa’s Grotto. You’ve probably talked up Father Christmas to the little ones, so what could be better than introducing them to the man, the myth, the legend? There are various grottos around London, with our pick of the bunch found in Leicester Square; Hamleys, Regent Street; London Zoo; and the Ragged School Museum in Mile End.
The Huge Christmas Tree
Ok, so the Huge Christmas Tree might not be its official title, but that is what it has become known as because, well, it’s huge. Head to Trafalgar Square to see it. The tree is donated to the people of Britain each year by Oslo in Norway. Capture a shot at night time for the perfect social media snap. Alternatively you can enjoy carol singers doing their thing beneath the tree. It’s one of the most festive places in London.
How much: free
Where: Trafalgar Square
Perhaps you find all that tinsel and mistletoe a bit, let's say, corny. Fear not, head to a bar to get away from the OTT decorations and enjoy some sociable time with friends. Many bars at this time of year have specialised Xmas cocktail menus to tempt you. Dirty Martini in Covent Garden is a favourite, while Magic Roundabout in Shoreditch and the Skylight at Tobacco Dock also come highly recommended. Skylight even features a rooftop ice rink. Alcohol and skating. What could go wrong?
How much: Mostly free entry; dependant on venue
Ice Skating, Various
London might not get any snow during the festive season, but that doesn’t stop several outdoor ice rinks popping up at this time of year. Popular venues like the Natural History Museum, Somerset House, Winter Wonderland, and Canary Wharf all have an ice rink for you to skate with elegance or bust a move. And if you can’t skate, don’t worry: falling over is part of the fun.
Last year Winterville took place at Victoria Park, but this year’s iteration is in Clapham Common. This festive playground features a Street Feast, Backyard Cinema, Plonk Golf and much more. And if partying is your thing, get ready to enjoy treats from Norman Jay, Sink the Pink and London Soul Train.
When: 23rd Nov - 1st Jan
Where: Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE
How Much: Free entry; events individually priced
Winter markets are all the rage across the whole of Europe. However, we can’t think of a better setting than the Southbank’s stunning riverside backdrop. Wander round at your convenience while enjoying bespoke items, stocking fillers, mince pies and German sausages. The Southbank Xmas market will make you realise why it ‘tis the season to be jolly.
When: 10 Nov - 30th Dec
Where: Southbank Centre
How much: free
Yep, you read that right. Embrace the festive season with an Xmas game of bingo - or two. The Bogan Bingo Christmas Special takes place in Fulham and Camden on the 21st and 22nd of December respectively. If you happen to be wondering what Bogan means, it’s Australian slang for 'uncultured' and 'refined'. The show has been described as ‘half game show, half dance party’. We think this one will be merry indeed.
When: 21st and 22nd of December
Where: Fulham and Camden
How much: £10
Christmas at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens is one of the prettiest places in London with its acres of tranquility set amongst botanical delights. It’s even more magical at Christmas time. The gardens are illuminated to light up buildings and plants, making sure everyone who visits captures the seasonal spirit. The trail is a mile long and offers a fire garden, flora-inspired lights and kaleidoscopic projections.
When: 22nd Nov - 1st Jan
Where: Kew Gardens, Richmond
How Much: Adults £18.5, children £12.00
The West End
You can go shopping on Bond Street, grab a bite to eat in Mayfair, relax at a bar in Piccadilly or visit a theatre at any time of the year in the West End. Yet doing these activities at Christmas time affords an an added element of charm. From the magical Xmas lights on Oxford Street to the delights of Covent Garden, anyone spending Xmas in the capital needs to make a trip to the West End a priority.
Excited for the festive season? We hope so. After all, London's bustling metropolis of activities and culture makes the seasonal vibes in the capital extra special. Take some time to enjoy these splendid activities before the big day.
Have we missed any awesome things to do? Let us know in the comments below, and feel free to share your Xmas plans with us.
If any of the areas these activities are located in have you harking for a winter move, check out our latest rental properties. Treat yourself to an early pressie in the form of a new home.
From everyone at Movebubble, we wish you all a wonderful Christmas and spectacular New Year.