Festive fun is the name of the game in London this December. The countdown to the big day is officially on, and there are a plethora of things to do to get you feeling all Christmassy.
Here are our recommendations of things to do in London this December.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park
Hyde Park in the heart of London has been home to Winter Wonderland, the ultimate outdoor Christmas playground, for the last 13 years. Open daily except Christmas Day from 10am to 10pm until 5 January; it’s the perfect way to spend the day with family, friends or a special someone. Free entry gives you access to soak up the festive cheer in the traditional Christmas market, the fairground, themed bars and restaurants.
It’s advisable to pre-book tickets for the attractions to avoid long queues. This year, there’s a comedy club, a giant Ferris wheel, alpine-style karaoke, circus shows, ice sculptures telling the story of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol as well as the obligatory ice rink which happens to be the largest in the UK. https://hydeparkwinterwonderland.com/
Pantomime and festive plays
December means it’s pantomime season in London’s theatres. Classic fairy tales such as Cinderella and Aladdin get the full show business treatment with bad jokes and audience participation both plentiful and mandatory. Panto is arguably one of the best ways to get into the Christmas spirit in the UK. Oh no it isn’t. Oh yes it is.
See our list of pantos and festive plays to check out this year:
Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the London Palladium in Soho An array of British TV personalities swap the studio for the theatre in this family-friendly production that runs from 7 December until 12 January. Tickets are expected to sell out fast. https://lwtheatres.co.uk/whats-on/goldilocks/
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs at the Richmond Theatre The beautiful Richmond Theatre plays host to this traditional production of Snow White with comedian Jo Brand playing the role of the Wicked Queen. This panto runs from 7 December to 5 January. https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/snow-white/richmond-theatre/
Nativity The Musical at the Eventim Apollo Hammersmith The stage version of the 2009 movie returns for a third year at the Apollo. With a cast of TV regulars, a chorus-filled with kids and lots of opportunities to sing-a-long, it’s an obvious choice for fans of the original film. From 11 to 29 December at the Hammersmith Apollo. https://www.nativitythemusical.com/
Where to eat turkey with all the trimmings
Diners are spoilt for choice with over 30,000 restaurants in London. If you want to celebrate with a traditional British Christmas dinner but skip the preparation, cooking and washing up here’s a handful of restaurants open and taking bookings for Christmas Day:
Sea Containers London, Southbank The Sea Containers Hotel occupies an excellent location on the South Bank and a rooftop bar and lounge in which to drink in the views over the River Thames. On Christmas Day, the Sea Containers Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner with a set menu that kicks-off with a butternut squash veloute and rounds off with coffee, tea and mince pies. https://www.seacontainerslondon.com/eat-drink/sea-containers-restaurant/
Simpson’s in the Strand, Covent Garden Simpson’s in the Strand is a London institution and has been serving traditional roasts since 1828. Your meat of choice is wheeled across the restaurant on a silver trolley and masterfully carved at your table. Whatever you choose to eat, this will be a meal to remember for many years to come. https://www.simpsonsinthestrand.co.uk/
Riding House Cafe, Fitzrovia This all-day brasserie not far from Oxford Street offers an eclectic yet comforting menu with an impressive drinks list. Like the menu, the decor in the dining room is both elegant and quirky. The Christmas Day menu is good value and includes two vegan mains as well as turkey or fish options. https://ridinghouse.cafe/christmas/
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