15 things to do in London this Christmas

Twinkling shopping displays, cheerful festive markets and sparkling light installations – London at Christmas always ensures a truly magical experience. 

Searching for things to do this Christmas? There’s no denying the capital is the perfect place for a Christmas city break. So whether you enjoy touring the festive food spots or catching an enchanting West End show, check out our list of 15 things to do in London this Christmas. 

1. Home Alone & Elf in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Home Alone In Concert at the Royal Albert HallRelive the iconic Christmas movie classics this festive season at the magnificent Royal Albert Hall. Films In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall brings cinema and live orchestra together to create a wondrous movie experience. And this winter, Films In Concert is back to celebrate our favourite Christmas flicks.

Melt into the magical soundtrack of Elf, starring the charming Buddy the Elf, or the heart-warming score of Home Alone. So grab your popcorn, cosy up with loved ones and enjoy the delightful musical score performed live by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra this Christmas.

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2. The Great Christmas Feast

The Great Christmas Feast immersive dining experienceDive into the timeless story of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens, with an immersive dining and theatre experience at The Great Christmas Feast. Hidden away in the heart of West Kensington, enjoy a first-class rendition of this classic Christmas play with a twist. Discover the story behind this traditional festive tale as you follow Dickens himself as ‘A Christmas Carol’ story is born.

Whilst this exceptional performance plays out, you’ll be wined and dined with a scrumptious, three-course feast. And we can’t forget the splendid selection of traditional Victorian beverages including the Smoking Bishop and Pear Tree Cup.

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3. Christmas Shopping in Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street ShoppingFor some, Christmas shopping can be a bit of a nightmare! However, many of us will agree it can be a joyful festive tradition where we admire marvellous window displays and venture out to find a thoughtful gift for friends and family.

While we’ve previously run down our list of best Christmas shopping spots in London, we’d also recommend checking out Carnaby Street in Soho. Uncover outside-the-box Christmas light displays, the delicious three-storey Kingly Court food hub and a diverse selection of retail stores, from END. to Sweaty Betty. Carnaby is certainly a go-to for Christmas shoppers this gift-giving season.

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4. Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Cup of hot chocolate at Hyde Park Winter WonderlandWhat’s a Christmas city break to London without a trip to Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland? With the famous Giant Wheel, the next-level festive Street Food Village and Christmas market stalls, the Real Ice Slide and an endless supply of marvellous theme park rides, Winter Wonderland has it all to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Winter Wonderland is open late every night from late November to early January. Secure your pre-booked time slot to explore this festive paradise with some of the best Christmas lights in London.

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5. Wreath-Making at Petersham Nurseries

Wreath making classEmbrace the Christmas spirit with a traditional wreath-making class in London’s sparkling Covent Garden. This November and December, discover the craft behind Petersham Nurseries’ sensational floristry style and festive arrangements with this immersive masterclass.

Celebrating sustainable and compostable florist techniques, you’ll walk away from this class with a new respect for all things floristry and your very own beautifully decorated woodland wreath using festive berries and local foliage.

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6. Christmas at the Coppa Club

Coppa Club Tower of London IgloosLondon’s ultimate festive dining experience is back this Christmas season. Famed for its iconic private igloos, Coppa Club Tower Bridge restaurant offers spectacular views of the Southbank skyline. Gaze upon the wonderfully lit Shard as you dine in your intimate terrace pod, beautifully set for Christmas.

While the Coppa Club Tower Bridge igloos are open all year around, we’d recommend booking during the Christmas period for a unique, joyous dining experience!

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7. Skate at Somerset House

Skate at Somerset HouseLooking for the finest outdoor ice rink in London this winter season? Skate at Somerset House is the go-to for ice-skating fanatics enjoying a Christmas city break in the capital.

 Skate at Somerset House brings together chilled-out skating sessions, electric DJ sets and mouthwatering festive food and drink. So whether you’re an ice-skating pro or eager to get on the ice for the first time, Skate at Somerset House has something for everyone.

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8. Southbank Centre Winter Market

People walking through market stalls at Southbank Centre Winter MarketOn the hunt for the best Christmas market in London? While our list of must-see festive markets in London will set you up for the perfect Christmas market weekend break, we’d also suggest checking out the Southbank Centre Winter Market this December.

Expect magically decorated alpine chalet stalls, glittery fairy lights and the sweet smell of festive delights all along the Thames. Filled with delectable Christmas treats, discover a divine selection of mulled wine, festive fondue and Dutch pancakes!

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9. The Holiday (2006) at Taste Film

Dessert being served at Taste Film immersive dining experienceRediscover the beloved Christmas movie classic, The Holiday with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, through expertly curated dishes that bring cinema to life! Taste Film has the ultimate festive dining experience in store for movie lovers this Christmas season.

Why not take your cosy movie night to the next level this Christmas season? Serving up astonishing dishes throughout the picture, Taste Film works with first-class independent chefs to create an unforgettable dining experience for film-loving foodies.

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10. Christmas at Kew

Winter trail at Kew GardensBotanical paradise turned Christmas dreamland, throughout the winter season Kew Gardens is transformed into a fabulous 3km festive light trail! Perfect for families or groups of friends, Christmas at Kew is a superb way to start off the festive season.

Staying late into the evening? Grab some festive sweet treats or hot grub from a selection of independent street food stalls along the trail. Or take a seat at the Botanical Brasserie overlooking the glittering views of the Kew Gardens’ winter trail.

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11. Deck The Halls at Pergola Paddington

People enjoying a festive night out at Pergola PaddingtonDeck The Halls at Pergola Paddington is the festive food and drink heaven you’ve been searching for. Pergola Paddington is one of London’s favourite terrace bars, and their Deck The Halls parties are equally special. 

With a 750-person capacity, Deck The Halls at Pergola Paddington brings friends, family and colleagues together for endless festive fun! Tuck into tasty pigs in blankets, bratwurst rolls, cheese fondue, and a gorgeous collection of festive cocktails.

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12. Christmas Carols at Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square at ChristmasA staple of festive celebrations, Christmas carol singing is a great free attraction to fill you, your friends and family with warm Christmas cheer while raising money for some incredible charities. And in London this year, Trafalgar Square Christmas Carols is returning with regular performances throughout the weekday and weekend afternoons.

Wrap up warm and join local carolers in spreading festive cheer! Trafalgar Square will also be packed with plenty of Christmas market stalls – so you can even keep cosy while listening to the joyful tunes with a cup of hot chocolate or mulled wine.

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13. Grab a pint at The Churchill Arms

The Churchill Arms' Christmas light displayCoined London’s most ‘Christmassy’ pub (though we’d argue more like the UK’s!), The Churchill Arms has become an adored festive landmark in the capital with its extravagant Christmas light display.

Located in the heart of Kensington and a favourite for local pub goers and tourists alike, The Churchill Arms easily upstages any other festive decorations in the neighbourhood. Using an incredible 22,000 Christmas lights, it takes over 80 trees to create this extraordinary, festive light spectacle. What’s more, the bar staff pull a great pint. 

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14. Christmas Lights London By Night Tour

Regent Street Christmas lightsCruise through the streets of London this winter and immerse yourself in the magic of the capital’s renowned Christmas light displays. This specially curated bus tour by Live Guide is the perfect way to explore the city at night and marvel at its out-of-this-world festive installations.

From Oxford Street and Regent Street’s sparkling angel lights to the buzzing Southbank market lights and the incredible giant Trafalgar Square Christmas tree, this 90-minute festive tour will be sure to put you in the Christmassy mood.

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15. Christmas Sing-along at Piano Smithfield

Christmas piano barIs Christmas really Christmas without the festive tunes? Whether you know all the words to ‘Last Christmas’ or love hearing the classic melodies of ‘Stop the Cavalry’, a festive requests piano bar could be right up your alley.

At Piano Smithfield’s intimate Barbican venue, enjoy a lively late night at this cosy piano bar. With request nights scheduled throughout the Christmas period, don’t forget to check out the special ‘Big Christmas Assembly’ night on the 1st December, filled with festive nostalgia.

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