1. Christmas Lights by night
What better way to appreciate London’s Christmas lights than snuggled up on an open bus sightseeing tour – at night! Take in all the classic sights including The Tower of London, Harrods and Piccadilly – all dressed up in their Christmas best.
2. Free Christmas carols in Trafalgar Square
Enjoy rousing seasonal tunes throughout December in the glow of Trafalgar Square’s 20 metre Christmas tree – gifted each year since 1947 by the people of Norway. This time-honoured and historical gesture commemorates Britain’s support during World War II.
Did you know: In order to reach such lofty heights, the Norwegian Spruce has to reach the grand old age of 100?
3. Festive indulgence at Fortnum & Mason
Fortnum & Mason’s world-famous hampers have become an iconic symbol of Christmas in Britain. The Food Hall is a decadent showcase of festive extravagance where mouth-watering tastings and demonstrations will get you in the mood for Fortnum & Mason’s other tasty treat – the quintessential English Afternoon Tea.
4. Ice Skating
Christmas kicks off London’s season of outdoor ice rinks. Have a read of our Top 10 outdoor ice rinks for more information.
5. West End Shows perfect for Christmas
There’s all-time Christmas classic The Snowman or perhaps you may enjoy a traditional British pantomime? Check out the Theatre Deals pages for some festive deals and ideas.
6. Free Nativity scene at Covent Garden
The historic market piazza hosts an innovative digital installation over the festive period. Taking the shape of a digital painting, the installation celebrates the traditional Christmas nativity. Alongside the 32 foot topiary reindeer and festive lights, visitors can watch the scenes shift throughout the day.
7. Free Christmas Crafts at the Museum of Childhood
What better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than a visit to the V&A’s charming little-sister museum in Bethnal Green, the Museum of Childhood. Kids and adults can join Mrs Santa in her craft corner to make a Christmas crackers and pom-pom baubles.
8. Christmas Film Viewings
Boxing Day in Britain largely revolves around what’s showing on the TV, and a festive film is always a must. If you fancy your Christmas classic on a bigger screen – check out some of the screenings going on around the capital.
9. Hamleys Toy Shop
Filled with big kids and little ones, a stroll around London’s ultimate toy shop is a Christmas experience like no other! From traditional toys to modern masterpieces, (the inflatable sit-in Dr Who Dalek for instance) Hamleys encourages interaction, so be sure to have a go. Watch out for the ghost on the staircase though.
With 12,000 light bulbs illuminating the world-famous department store, there’s something about Christmas every day of the year at Harrods.
11. Harry Potter Walking Tour
“Merry Christmas, merry Christmas
Ring the Hogwarts bell
Merry Christmas, merry Christmas
Cast a Christmas spell!”
Christmas at Hogwarts is a truly magical experience, so why not take a guided Harry Potter tour of London? Handily the tour will take you through Leadenhall Market – the location for numerous London scenes in the Potter films – where you could pick up a Christmas present or two.
12. One-stop Christmas experience: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
There are rides; an ice rink; numerous opportunities to meet Santa; a traditional German Christmas market and even ‘Zippos Cirque Extreme’ – a Christmas circus with a difference! Entrance to the Wonderland is free, with each attraction charging various entrance fees. Tickets and more information can be found via the official website.