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Top things to do in London for Christmas

  • Wednesday December 6th 2023


The festive season has arrived, and there's no better place to celebrate the magic of Christmas than in the heart of London. The city comes alive with dazzling lights, enchanting decorations, and a joyful spirit that warms the coldest winter nights. If you're planning a visit to London during this magical time of year, here are the top things to do to make your Christmas in the capital truly unforgettable.

  1. Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
  2. Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Regent Street
  3. Ice skating at Somerset House
  4. Feast on festive food and drink
  5. Christmas markets in Southbank and Covent Garden
  6. See a London Christmas show
  7. Help save Fish-mas at SEA LIFE London Aquarium
  8. Visit Shrek santa at Shrek’s Adventure! London’s Christmas Grotto
  9. Sip on delectable Christmas cocktails at the London Dungeon


Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Step into Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, where a magical world filled with ice skating, festive markets, and fun fairground rides await. This December, the park is transformed into a sparkling spectacle of lights and decorations, creating the perfect backdrop for a memorable day or evening out with friends and family.

The magical ice kingdom boasts 500 tonnes of ice and snow in an immersive exploration of a mythical frozen world. Don’t forget to check out the giant wheel and take in London’s awesome skyline with breath-taking views 70m in the sky. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, relish in the wide range of food and drink throughout the park, including Filthy Feathers Chicken Chop, Santa’s Scandinavian BBQ, and hand-battered fish and chips.

In the Megadome guests can enjoy exclusive shows including Cirque Berserk: tornado, Justin’s Christmas singalong, and Zippo’s Christmas Circus. The world’s best park for festive fun is open until the 1st of January 2024.


Christmas lights on Oxford Street and Regent Street

Take a stroll down the iconic Oxford Street and Regent Street to witness London's most dazzling Christmas light displays. The twinkling lights and enchanting decorations create a festive atmosphere that will leave you in awe.

Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beauty of these world-renowned shopping districts in all their holiday glory.

In Oxford Street, a dazzling array of stars is hung between stores, this shopping destination has also partnered with children’s charity Starlight – enabling young children in the hospital to experience joy and excitement during their stay.

There is also the opportunity to sponsor a star to help raise money for the charity.

‘The Spirit of Christmas’ is in full display in Regent Street until the 2nd of January 2024. The displays are switched on in the early evening and are the perfect spot to snap a photo and bring in the festive cheer!


Ice skating at Somerset House

As winter blankets the city, there's no better way to embrace the holiday spirit than by lacing up your skates and twirling on the ice at Somerset House. Nestled in the heart of London, this iconic location converts into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. The marvellous courtyard, decorated with twinkling lights and festive decor, sets the ideal stage for a magical skating experience.

Whilst here you can also look forward to…

  • The Skate Lounge, where you can enjoy a glass of your favourite drinks including Provence Rosé.
  • Pop-up shops including Shelter Boutique, boasting a selection of hand-picked, vintage designer and high-street clothes.
  • A magnificent 40ft Christmas tree.

Skaters of all abilities are welcome at Somerset House! Children can build their confidence with the skate school and kid's skate club; wheelchair users are also welcome at Somerset House. Manual wheelchairs are available; however, this is subject to availability.

For those who prefer to try out their best skate moves in a more relaxed environment, Somerset House also offers chilled-out sessions with reduced capacity on selected weekday mornings!


Feast on festive food and drink

After a delightful skating session, indulge in the gourmet delights that London has to offer during the festive season. The city comes alive with an array of culinary treasures, from traditional Christmas fare to innovative holiday-inspired treats.


The Garrison, Bermondsey

The Garrison is a must-go when looking for a delicious Christmas dinner. Here guests can feast on a lavish three-course menu including turkey with parsnip puree, sticky toffee pudding, and chicken liver parfait.

Prices here are very reasonable at £37.50 for two courses or £43.50 for three.


The Duke’s Head, Putney

This popular spot located on the River Thames offers a menu to suit the whole family. Set and sharing menus are available, they also have a festive wine package, the perfect addition to any meal! Goose-fat potatoes, roasted vegetables, curried parsnips – what’s not to love?

Prices start at £44 per person.

Ganymede, Belgravia

If you are on the hunt for some of the capital’s best gastropubs, Ganymede cannot be missed from your list. Serving elevated pub grub, this lovely spot perfectly blends cosy and sophisticated.

Enjoy a variety of delicious eats including grilled sea bass, tagliatelle, or truffled mushroom ragu and chicken breast with pommes and tender stem broccoli.

Prices begin at £50 for two courses or £60 for three.


The Princess of Shoreditch, Shoreditch

The Princess of Shoreditch offers fantastic British cooking with a festive menu at £60 per person. The menu includes a variety of yummy British classics including confit duck leg, free-range Suffolk turkey breast, and South Coast pollock. Complete with a wonderful dessert menu with a range of options.


Norma Fitzrovia

Located in West London, this Italian eatery inspired by Sicily offers a festive menu for groups looking for private dining. Prices are set at £80 per person however you can enjoy a wonderful sharing-style menu featuring wild boar ragu, artisan panettone, pumpkin, and ricotta ravioli, plus much more.


Christmas markets in Southbank and Covent Garden

Venture along the banks of the Thames to discover the enchanting Christmas markets of Southbank. Wander through a festive village of wooden chalets, each decorated with twinkling lights and offering a treasure of unique gifts and handcrafted goods. From artisanal crafts to seasonal treats, the Southbank Christmas market is a great destination for those seeking the perfect holiday treat.

Southbank’s Christmas market offers warming street foods, fun crafts, hot chocolate, gourmet burgers, and a variety of other delectable treats! This market will be available until December 26th with a tonne of winter pop-ups and festive surprises.

Visiting Covent Garden is a great way to bring in the festive cheer this December. Here you can enjoy retail pop-ups with lavish decorations, and a dazzling Christmas market with delicious eats. Grab your mulled wine and wander through this fun winter wonderland, there’s lots to discover!

There are also regular events available, workshops, and live entertainment.



See a London Christmas show

No visit to London during the holiday season is complete without immersing yourself in the magic of Christmas shows. From timeless classics to contemporary productions, the city's theatres come alive with festive performances that captivate audiences of all ages. Don’t miss out!

Some must-see shows this festive season include:

  • Elf the Musical - This production sells out quickly! This is a stage adaption of the beloved movie with Buddy as its star.
  • Christmas, Actually - A comedy available at Southbank offering comic relief, smiles, and giggles.
  • Nutcracker – London Coliseum a wonderful Christmas ballet, the ultimate festive experience the whole family can enjoy.


Help save Fish-mas at SEA LIFE London Aquarium

This December, the Gentoo penguins need your help locating the missing presents scattered throughout the aquarium! Join the festive challenge and be in with the chance to win a special prize once you have found all the gifts.

Included in your standard entry ticket, join London’s coolest colony for some sea-sonal cheer!


Visit Shrek santa at Shrek’s Adventure! London’s Christmas Grotto

For a limited time only, kids and their grown-ups can join Shrek santa and his mischievous elf for some festive fun! Meet Shrek santa in the heart of the Christmas Grotto decorated with dazzling lights and a sprinkle of ogre magic. Strike your best pose and snap cool pics, but don’t forget to collect the complimentary Christmas card on your way out of the Swamp.


Sip on delectable Christmas cocktails at the London Dungeon

Join us this Christmas for a twisted yuletide celebration that will send shivers down your spine and leave you with a wicked grin.

Gather your friends and family for a Christmas like no other as you witness the ghastly delights of our historic characters and experience the spine-tingling tales of London's past as they intertwine with the holiday spirit.

If you make it out of the depths of the Dungeon, then head to the Tavern where the festivities continue. Here, you can toast to your adventure with a selection of Christmas cocktails (or mocktails for you underage peasants), specially crafted to raise your spirits, including Mrs Lovett’s Mistletoe Martini, Death By Christmas and Tipsy Elf Punch.

Book your Screams & Spirits ticket and save 20% on our terrible tipples! 


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Embrace the festive spirit as you skate under the stars, savour delicious festive treats, explore dazzling Christmas markets, and revel in the enchanting performances that make London a truly magical destination during the most wonderful time of the year. This holiday season, Christmas in London will create memories that will last a lifetime!