Fun Things To Do In London This Festive Season
If you're off to the capital to do some Xmas shopping or sightseeing in the next couple of months, here's our picks of the places to go...
1. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
The Christmas behemoth that pops up in Hyde Park every winter is free entry (off-peak), meaning you can wander around to your heart's content without spending a penny! To dodge the crowds, avoid weekends and evenings — we recommend weekdays early in the run, or wait until the final week in January. Of course if you're happy to spend a bit of cash, there's plenty to enjoy, from fun fairs to bars and even ice skating! Due to Covid-19 regulations, you'll need to pre-book this year here.
2. The Xmas markets at Leicester Square
While not as big as Hyde Park, you can still enjoy a few hours shopping to your heart's content! Wooden chalets, food stalls, Santa's Grotto and a 1920s spiegeltent all pop up in the centre of Leicester Square for Christmas, and it's free to wander around and enjoy the atmosphere. The spiegeltent has an impressive line-up of shows, including burlesque and cabaret, and of course you'll have to pay if you want to see Santa, or tuck into food or drink. Otherwise, you can pass a short amount of time here, enjoying the pretty lights for free, and snapping a few Instagram shots.
3. Ice skating at the Natural History Museum
Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most magical places to be this winter. Experience the thrill of skating surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees, with the smell of mulled wine in the air. Whether you can dance on ice like Torvill and Dean, or you skate more like Bambi, a visit to the Museum’s Ice Rink is a must this festive season. Sadly, it's the final year this attraction's taking place!
4. Christmas at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens puts on a stunning array of light and sound displays that can be marvelled at as you walk around the Christmas trail. Along this two-kilometre trail, you will find around one million lights twinkling in the tree branches and a glittering tunnel of bells. There are mini doughnuts and marshmallows to munch on along the way, as well as cakes, roasted chestnuts and hot chocolate. Aside from the lights, there are also vintage fairground rides and of course Santa and his elves!
5. Wander around Covent Garden
Another London landmark stuns as it lights up for the Christmas season. Covent Garden dazzles as the giant baubles and lights are hung and powered up. As well as the decorations, it’s home to one of London’s biggest Christmas trees, which tops out at a whopping 60 feet tall. Keeping in line with royalty, the Christmas tree comes from the same farm that the Queen’s family gets their trees from. Over 30,000 lights and giant baubles are hung on the tree by a team of 60, taking just over 300 hours to get the decorations sorted!