Christmas Events and Attractions in London

Stumble this
Previous image

Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

Next image
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Hogwarts in the Snow
Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland
Christmas at Kew
Messiah by Candlelight, Royal Festival Hall, Winter at Southbank Centre
Backyard Cinema: The Snow Kingdom
Organoke, part of Winter at Southbank Centre
Fascinating Aida, Winter at Southbank Centre
Skylight Rooftop
Queen of Hoxton Rooftop
Skylight Rooftop
Winterland London
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland


London boasts an exciting programme of events all year round but at Christmas things get truly special, with a series of weird and wonderful events, pop-ups and attractions to get you in the festive mood. So, here's our guide to some of the best Christmas events worth braving the chilly outdoors for.

Filter by area:

Skylight Rooftop

Skylight gets a rooftop ice rink, cosy igloos and huts on top of Tobacco Dock.

Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station


From Thursday 31st October 2019, Skylight Rooftop gets a winter makeover with cosy igloos and huts, warming cocktails and a real-ice rooftop ice rink on top of Tobacco Dock. The winter season opens with Halloween On Ice and continues with special events including a tree decorating evening, festive singalong events and New Year's Eve celebrations before the new year brings Burns Night and Australia Day. Set on the top three levels of a former car park in Wapping, the 600 capacity Skylight has multiple bars, indoor and outdoor seating areas, private booths, big screens and two street food stalls, all set against some of the finest views in the city - you can see The Shard, The Gherkin and the Walkie Talkie from here. Grab a seat on the upper level for prime views over some of London's most famous buildings.


Great Christmas Pudding Race

Get down to Covent Garden to watch 150 Christmas puddings tackle a festive obstacle course.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station


Dates: 07th December 2019


You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! The race has been going on every year since 1980 and it raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street entertainers putting on some diverting shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores.


Aviary Skye-line Igloos with Talisker Whisky

The igloos return with a Scottish-themed decor and whisky cocktails.

Aviary, The Montcalm Royal House, 22-25 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1DX

Tube: Old Street Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 15th October - 12th April 2020


The sky-high igloos return to the Aviary terrace this year, taking the theme Skye-line Igloos in partnership with award-winning spirit Talisker Whisky from the Isle of Skye. Sitting 10 floors above the City, the high-altitude winter pop-up immerses visitors from the offset with each igloo decorated in natural and nautical elements to reflect Talisker's Scottish homeland. Blankets and snug rugs are available to help guests get cosy while an exclusive menu of wild whisky cocktails provide a boozy winter warmer. Guests can sip on the spicy and citrusy Scotch Mist, the fruity and smoky Northern Lights and the ultimate hot toddy, the Talisker Campfire Hot Chocolate. A carefully curated food menu is also available, and a number of cocktail masterclasses will take place throughout the residency.


Queen of Hoxton Rooftop: The Emerald City

Toast marshmallows and sip emerald-tinted cocktails on the rooftop.

The Queen Of Hoxton, 1-5 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX

Tube: Liverpool Street Station


Dates: 24th October - 01st May 2020


Follow the yellow brick road up to The Queen of Hoxton Rooftop this winter for its latest pop-up extravaganza, The Emerald City. Transforming the east London rooftop into a world of green, complete with green beer, The Wizard of Oz themed residency provides the chance to feast on Kansas style food, toast marshmallows on fire pits and sip on emerald-tinted cocktails at a hidden bar. The WigWam has been re-erected for the occasion, this time morphing into a bewitching green den, and the venue's walls have been decorated with glistening emerald jewels. The food menu features a Green Witch Veggie Burger, Kansas Beef Pot Roast and Munchkin Pumpkin Pot Roast while drinks include Bad *itch Hot Chocolate, Pumpkin Spiced Mulled Cider and an Emerald Bellini. A programme of suitably-themed events include a Wicked Witches storytelling evening with Giles Abbott and an Emerald City Silent Disco.


Backyard Cinema: The Snow Kingdom

The new cinema is transformed into an enchanted winter scene accessed via a secret passage.

Backyard Cinema, Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, London, SW18 1ET

Tube: East Putney Station


Dates: 01st November - 31st December 2019


For its first Christmas in its permanent new home at the refurbished Capital Studios, Backyard Cinema presents The Snow Kingdom. The 250 seat cinema is decorated for the winter season so you can watch festive film favourites from the comfort of giant beanbags with cosy blankets and mulled wine. This year they've added a secretive twist. To get into the cinema you must first uncover a hidden entrance to a secret underground passageway - navigate the magical ball pit river, and find the password to gain entry to The Snow Kingdom. Favourite Christmas films including Elf, The Holiday, Love Actually, Home Alone and Die Hard are on the bill along with sing-a-longs and new releases like The Greatest Showman and the latest version of The Lion King. What's more you can enjoy mulled wine, cocktails on tap, craft beer bar by Gipsy Hill Brewing Co, pizza and live music in the bar while Mother Clucker and Honest Burgers provide the food in The Yard, a huge heated and seated courtyard.


Winterland London

The festive Fulham pop-up delivers a hot tub overlooking the Thames.

Neverland London, 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2TY

Tube: Parsons Green Station


Dates: 07th November - 05th January 2020


A hot tub overlooking the Thames, bauble filled igloos, log cabins and hunting lodges are all part of Neverland London which returns for winter with brand new attractions. Bringing the Alps to London, retro ski lifts help turn Fulham's Thameside food court into a ski resort as Winterland transports guests to the snow frosted forest. Cheesy fondue, gourmet burgers, spicy chicken wings, macaroni cheese and sourdough woodfired pizzas are on the menu, best enjoyed in the warmth of a heated winter lodge and washed down with some mulled wine. You can also sip on winter warmer cocktails from the comfort of the fur lined sofas. For those more playful moments, shuffle board, beer pong, table tennis, arcade games and more can be found within Fulham's very own ski resort. As day turns into night, DJs play late into the evening every Thursday, Friday and Saturday so you can get on down on the dance floor.


Winter at Southbank Centre

The traditional Christmas market returns along with a programme of new shows and family fun.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station


Dates: 08th November - 05th January 2020


Two family shows are at the heart of this year's Winter programme at the Southbank Centre where the ever-popular winter market returns to the riverside. Black Beauty brings a five-star show combining storytelling, music and puppetry while new acts including the Brazilian Wheel of Death join Circus 1903 as the troupe returns. Fascinating Aida presents a brand new cabaret show, the Philharmonia Orchestra performs Grand Christmas Classics together with The Bach Choir while Rufus and Martha Wainwright sing A Not So Silent Night. You can also enjoy carols and festive tunes at Christmas with Alan Titchmarsh, The Alternative Carol Service at Organoke and Jonathan Cohen's Christmas Carol Singalong. Nadiya Hussain celebrates the publication of her memoir, Finding My Voice, and free events in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer include Caribbean Christmas with Just Vibez, Gamelan Winter Chimes and Kids Countdown with Ida Barr on New Year's Eve when the Southbank hosts A Vintage New Year's Eve Party. Book in for five floors of themed club nights, live acts, fifteen DJs, dance lessons and outdoor spaces offering the perfect view of the spectacular London fireworks.


Syon Park's Enchanted Woodland

Take a magical walking tour in the gardens of 16th century Syon House.

Syon Park, Road, Brentford, London, TW8 8JF

Tube: Richmond Station


Dates: 15th November - 01st December 2019


The beautiful oaks trees and gardens at Syon Park are illuminated in spectacular fashion once again this winter. Adding a significant veil of mystique to the festive season, the magical event invites visitors to enjoy a unique guided walk in the 600-year-old gardens of 16th century Syon House. The trail leads you around the lake - where the shapes and textures of the ancient trees are reflected in the water - and past intriguing corners of the estate, finishing at the Great Conservatory, all of it shining under different lights - from lasers to candles. The shadows and magic of a frosty winter's night make this an ideal opportunity for photographing the forest in a unique way. Warm clothing and stout footwear are advised and hot refreshments are available on the night.


Christmas at Kew

A mile long path, a million fairy lights and giant glowing sculptures light up Kew.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


Dates: 20th November - 05th January 2020


After dusk in winter a mile long path at Kew Gardens is lit up by more than a million twinkling fairy lights, giant light sculptures, hundreds of shining petals, gigantic flower pots and light projections on the Palm House for Christmas at Kew. Each year they add different light installations so even if you've been before - and it has become an annual tradition for many Londoners - there's something new to see. Stop by the singing holly bushes, pass under the tunnel of light and feel the glow of the flickering fire garden. You can also stop off to see Santa and his elves performing panto along the route, enjoy carousel and helter skelter rides as well as mulled wine, mince pies and traditional festive fare. If you want to sit down to a traditional Christmas dinner you can enjoy a feast at Kew's Botanical restaurant.


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

All the fun of the fair with rides, giant wheel, circus, Christmas market, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and an ice rink.

Hyde Park, Rangers Lodge, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: 21st November - 05th January 2020


Throughout late November and December a large area of Hyde Park near Hyde Park Corner is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, complete with fairground rides, giant wheel, circus, Christmas market, food and drink stalls, Santa's grotto and, of course, an ice rink. Now in its 12th year, Winter Wonderland has become a favourite in many Londoners' calendars. There's a huge choice of things to do from festive karaoke to the Magical Ice Kingdom where you'll meet a frozen Scrooge and other characters from A Christmas Carol. Think you can do it? Have a go at one of the ice sculpting workshops. Other popular features are the ice slide, a 70-metre-high Observational Wheel, and the circus tent - always a hit, especially when temperatures plummet - with the new Mr. Men & Little Miss Show, aimed at younger children, Zippo's Circus, Cirque Berserk and late night comedy. (Remember: advanced booking on the main attractions is advised while ticket booths are dotted around the site for the many rides.) Also new this year is Paddington On Ice, a 45-minute show about the loveable bear, and bistro-inspired restaurant Cedar & Spruce by chef Ani Arora. Sunday 1st December is The Elf on The Shelf Day with free activities including a scavenger hunt, a Christmas crafts workshop and movie time. Free entry to the site means you can just walk around and absorb the festive ambiance - but it will take a strong will not to succumb to the smells and fun on offer.


Hogwarts in the Snow

The studio is given its most magical makeover yet this Christmas.

Warner Bros Studio Tour London, Aerodrome Way, Leavesden, Watford, London, WD25 7LS

Tube: Watford Station


Dates: 19th November - 26th January 2020


The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is being transformed for the festive season once again this year, inviting visitors to see Hogwarts in the Snow and learn all about how the Christmas scenes in the films were made, including how a mixture of granulated paper and grains of salt were used to create snow the same method that will be used to decorate the Studio Tour this November. A number of the famous scenes will be decorated with snow including the model of Hogwarts castle. For three nights only, from 9th to 11th December, the Great Hall - transformed with wreaths, garlands, roast turkeys, Christmas puddings, cakes and Christmas trees for the festive season - is open for 'Dinner in the Great Hall' offering drinks and canapes on a platter before a two-course sit-down Christmas feast. Dessert is served on Platform 9 3%u201E4 next to the original Hogwarts Express and you're free to explore the tour after hours. Be sure to visit and see the Studio's most magical makeover yet.


Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

This brave, barmy bunch love nothing more than an icy dip in the Serpentine.

Serpentine Boating Lake, The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station


Dates: 25th December 2019


This lot are a hardy bunch but tradition is tradition and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have been plunging themselves into the Serpentine lake's icy waters every Christmas Day since 1864. At temperatures of below four degrees Celsius in winter, the swimmers will want to get a wiggle on so it's lucky that they are all in hot pursuit of the prestigious Peter Pan Cup. The name of the 100-yard race dates back to 1904 when J.M Barrie, the creator of the boy who refused to grow up, presented the first cup. While most of us are still tucked up in bed or delving into our stocking between 80 and 90 competitors line up (and pretend not to shiver) for their 9am start, a jolly crowd gathers to witness the spectacle. It's a great way to get some fresh air on Christmas morning and you'll feel like you've earned your post-lunch snooze. Behind you, Hyde Park offers a wonderful wintry landscape and, if you want to continue the Peter Pan theme, why not nip across to see the famous statue in Kensington Gardens. It was so cold and snowy in 2010 that the race had to be cancelled - although some intrepid souls still broke holes in the ice in order to have a quick dip.


John Lewis Rooftop: The Winter Carnival

Curling lanes, fairground horses and bumper cars are placed high above Oxford Street.

John Lewis Rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, London, W1A 1EX

Tube: Oxford Circus Station , Bond Street Station


Dates: 18th October - 05th January 2020


Boasting one of the largest rooftop gardens in London, John Lewis Oxford Street makes full use of the space with The Winter Carnival, placing curling lanes, fairground horses, bumper cars, street food stalls and a cocktail bar high above London's most famous street. Created in partnership with Philips Hue and Google, there's the chance to have a go on the Google Claw Machine where Google Nest products and a Google Pixel phone are available to win while the mounted Google Pixel means guests can capture photos of their curling game any time of day or night. Philips Hue, meanwhile, have helped to transform the rooftop dens into the House of Mirrors, House of Lights and the House of Fortune - customisable colourful escapes that are available for groups to hire. Jimmy Garcia joins in on the carnival fun by serving an American-style feast of popcorn shrimp and loaded corn dogs at The Carnival Diner and Background Bars present a menu of winter warmers at the bar.


Winter at Vinegar Yard

The street food hot spot is partially covered for winter.

Vinegar Yard, 80-82 St Thomas Street, London, SE1 3QU

Tube: London Bridge Station


Dates: 25th October - 24th December 2019


Street food hotspot Vinegar Yard, which sits in the shadow of The Shard, is given a makeover for winter with a heated tent structure covering part of the courtyard. Created especially for the occasion by founder Benj Scrimgeour, the tent creates a cosy space to escape the winter cold while blankets, hot spiced plum ciders and mulled wine provide even more winter warmers. The winter street food traders are all serving special one-off festive specials including The Tinseltown burger from Nanny Bills featuring buttermilk fried chicken in a stuffing coating, maple bacon, smoked cheddar, Dijon mustard and a brioche bun, topped with ultimate festive treat: a mini pig in blanket. A Christmas market will be popping up on Saturday 30th November and 1st December with Christmas choirs, live music, wreath making and over 40 stalls selling seasonal treats and gifts. With part of the garden remaining uncovered, Vinegar Yard is also a great spot to watch the annual Shard Lights display. Newly launched for winter 2019, Abigail's Bar can be found hidden away in the main building at Vinegar Yard.


The Winter Forest

A fairytale pop-up with snow-covered pine trees, twinkling lights and festive weekend workshops.

Broadgate Circle, Broadgate, London, EC2M 2QS

Tube: Liverpool Street Station , Moorgate Station


Dates: 06th November - 20th December 2019


A fairytale pop-up, The Winter Forest returns to Broadgate Circle this winter with snow-covered pine trees, twinkling lights and festive weekend workshops. As well as winter floral workshops there will also be ones on how to build resilience, how to beat stress and how to get a great night's sleep. A gin tasting with Mrs Fogg's, charity pub quiz nights and live music are among the events as well as film screenings and the chance to meet Santa. There will also be food from Farmer J, Nyoke and Butterscotch.

Call now: hotel deals 0207 420 4960