Top of our list of the best things to do at Christmas in London is Winter Wonderland, a festive theme park featuring a huge ice rink, two circuses, an observation wheel and Magical Ice Kingdom, plus themed bars for the grown-ups. The park manages to appeal to adults and grown ups alike, with a magical child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto) fairground rides, delicious food and a Christmas market. We would recommend going with children in the daytime/early evening, as later in the night Winter Wonderland turns into a wonderfully dystopic booze up, in which looming plaster figures of Santa Claus look wearily on as as parties of revelers perform drunken renditions of Merry Christmas by Slade. We’ll see you there!
Winter Wonderland is open daily except Christmas Day.
Hyde Park Corner or Marble Arch
2, 13, 16, 36, 38, 52, 148, 390
Q Park Marble Arch, (0113 238 4200) Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 7TY
What could be a more perfect way to spend Christmas in London than gliding around on ice beneath stunning architecture? Well you can do just that at the next option on our list. The Ice Rink located just outside the Natural History Museum is probably the prettiest ice rink in London, as well as being fairly inexpensive. A trip can be coupled with a visit to London’s Natural History Museum and nearby Kensigton Palace to complete a festive day out. Grab your skates!
25 October 2018 – 20 January 2019
Open 10.00-21.00 (times vary)
Closed 25 December
South Kensington Station
Routes 14, 49, 70, 74, 345, 360, 414, 430 and C1 stop close to the Museum.
Parking Kensington, 46 Harrington Rd, Kensington, London SW7 3ND
No list of the best things to do for Christmas in London would be complete without a traditional Christmas Market. The market in Leicester Square is a Christmas Market par excellence, with mulled wine, Christmas trinkets to buy and the waft of sizzling German sausages drifting through the air in a provocatively meaty miasma. We recommend heading in the evening to enjoy the twinkling Christmas lights, and making your way through the stalls to sample the festive treats. Happy shopping!
Mon-Fri: 12pm-10pm, Sat-Sun: 10am-10pm
Leicester Square, Piccadilly Circus
24, 29, 176
Q Park Leicester Square, (0113 238 4200) 39-41 Whitcomb St, London WC2H 7DT
Next on our list of the best things to do at Christmas in London is a genuine spectacle. The Christmas lights on Oxford Street is a free annual display embellishing one of London’s top shopping locations. Why not combine with a delicious meal in Soho and a boozy drink in a nearby bar, then wander – drunk – along the street to get the full festive experience. Magical!
Oxford Circus, Tottenham Court Road, Bond Street, Marble Arch, Piccadilly Circus
9, 11, 19, 22
Q Park Oxford Street (0113 238 4200), Cavendish, Marylebone, London W1G 0PG
What’s your favourite Christmas Carol? Away in a Manger? The Holly and the Ivy? Bono’s bit in Band Aid 84? Hear most of these classics at one of London’s most popular carol services. Apart from being an amazing opportunity to get up close and personal with London’s stunning St Paul’s Cathedral, singing carols in such a remarkable setting is an opportunity to participate in centuries old tradition and experience the collective joy of Christmas time. The price is free, but make sure you get there well in advance to get a good seat. An amazing treat, and the gleaming angel atop the tree of our list of the best things to do at Christmas in London!
See website for specific performance times
St Paul’s Station, Mansion House
4, 8, 11, 15, 17, 23, 25, 26, 56, 76, 100, 172, 242, 521
There is a public car park on Queen Victoria Street. On-street parking is very restricted.