If you live in London or if you’re visiting with kids during the Christmas season there are many fantastic activities on offer. Here are some of the best things to do in London with kids at Christmas.
There are some wonderful places to go ice skating in London at this time of year from iconic landmarks such as the Natural History Museum and the London Eye to leading shopping destinations such as the London Designer Outlet. We had a great time skating at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park with my sister and her family. For details of London ice rinks go to visitlondon.com.
There are Christmas markets popping up all over the capital – for details of where they are and when they’re on go to the Londonist website.
Wait until it’s dark and take a bus along Oxford Street to see the Christmas lights and the beautifully decorated shop windows in the department stores such as Selfridges – we love this Paddington themed one (below) which we spotted on a recent trip to London. Covent Garden is pedestrianised and is a great place for a stroll to see the Christmas lights too.
There’s carol singing by different groups each afternoon by the huge Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square until 23rd December. Every year the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square is a gift from the Norwegian people in thanks to the support they received from Britain during World War II.
This is pantomime season (oh no it isn’t!) and there are productions running at theatres across London. Pantomime is a wonderful tradition that only seems to happen in the UK and is a perfect way to introduce young children to the theatre. For a full list of Pantomimes go to the Big Panto Guide website.
Winter Wonderland is at Hyde Park every year and has a funfair, an ice rink (see photo above), a circus, a Christmas market and more. It’s free to enter but you pay for the things that you do so plan what you’re going to do or you can end up spending a fortune. You can also meet Father Christmas here.
Father Christmas is very busy at this time of year but there are many different places where you can meet him in London. Time Out have put together a very thorough list of where to meet Santa.
Christmas tree maze
There are 500 Christmas trees sparkling with fairy lights in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens this Christmas. The trees form a maze which covers around 500 square metres. If you find your way to the centre of the Christmas tree maze and out again then you’ve done well!
You can meet Santa and his reindeer at London Zoo and there are also reindeer keeper talks to learn more about these animals.
Hogwarts in the snow
Over at the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour the film sets have had a festive makeover and Hogwarts Castle is covered in snow. You can see some of the actual props which were used in Christmas scenes in the Harry Potter films such as the Christmas jumpers made by Mrs Weasley.
There’s a Christmas night time trail of lights through the gardens at Kew this year. It sounds beautiful and is proving popular so this is one to book in advance if you go. For details and to book click here.
These are just a few of the many wonderful family-friendly things happening in London at Christmas – do you have any to add to the list?