Struggling to think of ways to keep the visiting in-laws this festive season? Need an excuse to not cook for the whole extended family? We’ve got your back with our guide of the very best things to do in that awkward bit between Christmas and New Year. 

From Hogwarts in the Snow to ice skating and the ultimate brunch hangover cure, here’s what to do.

Need more child-friendly inspo? Here’s what to do with the kids over Christmas.

Light up you Christmas at Wembley Park

Get lost in the lights through this fun, family-friendly light maze. This thrilling maze will take you on a magical and festive journey with state-of-the-art neon installations and a specially curated soundscape. You do not want to miss out on their show-stopping installation, The Hourglass, which is an audio-visual sculpture designed to deliver stories through animations and audio.

Head on over to Wembley Park to experience this amazing, one-of-a-kind Christmas light maze… and did we mention it’s free.

When: Until 2nd January

Where: 2 Wembley Park Boulevard, Wembley Park, HA9 0HP


Visit Hogwarts In The Snow

From flaming Christmas puddings to glittering Christmas trees, prepare to dive headfirst into a Christmas wonderland as the Harry Potter studio is transformed into Hogwarts in the Snow.

Whizz over on your Nimbus 2000 and fall in love with the epic Hogwarts castle model that’s been covered in a dusting of snow, before making your way through the Gryffindor common room and Boys’ dormitory. It’ll be as if Harry and his friends are still living in the space, with original props including handmade Christmas cards on display. John Richardson and the SFX team have used their expertise to create fireplaces that flicker and appear lifelike.

The Forbidden Forest will be given a festive makeover draped in layers of snow. Even the cobbled stone walkway and shop fronts of Diagon Alley will be adorned with filmmaking snow, for the first time ever. It’s so realistic that you’ll even hear a crunch underfoot and snowflakes floating around you.

A huge part of the Hogwarts experience sits inside the Great Halls, that’s been given a Winter makeover and are abrim with wreaths, garlands and trees topped with witches on miniature broomsticks.

When: Until 14th January

Where: Studio Tour Driver, Leavesden, WD25 7LR


Marvel at the Gingerbread City 

Need some inspiration for your festive gingerbread creation this Christmas? Look to the Gingerbread City, the annual exhibition that sees architects, designers and engineers build a city out of gingerbread. 

Running from 2nd December to 7th January, head down to get inspired by the creations, from the adorable little houses to windmills, and skyscrapers to cars. This year’s theme is ‘Nature in the City’, helping to raise awareness of pollution and the environment.

When: 2nd December – 7th January

Where: 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SWIX 8JU


Visit Some Christmassy Venues

Christmas may have passed but that doesn’t mean you can’t still soak up the festivities during the period between the 25th and 31st. Eke out every ounce of the festive season with a trip to one of London’s most Christmassy restaurants and bars.

From Daphne’s Nativà Mistica to Annabel’s festive frontier, here’s where to feel festive between Christmas and New Year.

22 places to feel extra festive

Take a trip outside London

There is no denying that the time between Christmas and New Year’s can be absolutely exhausting. Take a vacation from your vacation, and venture outside the city for a day or an overnight escape. From the Cotswolds to the coast there are endless options to choose from. We’ve got you covered with all the best places to stay, eat, drink, and soak up that invaluable festive time.

Start planning your holiday staycation

Have a Boxing Day Brunch

What is one thing you need after a day full of eating and drinking? More eating and drinking of course. There’s no Boxing Day without a Boxing Day brunch.

From prawn tempura to beef tartare and from avocado toast to delicious pancakes, kick off the day with us at The Gore London, and don’t forget to boost your meal with a breakfast martini or a bloody Mary.

Where: 190 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington, London SW7 5EX


Skate at Somerset House 

Grab your skates and whizz on over to Somerset House to experience the capital’s most magical Christmassy experience. 

Perfect for budding ice skaters or for just making a fool out of yourself, the ice rink is arguably the best in London and is complete with a giant 40ft Christmas tree. You’ll find food and drink offerings waiting for you at the finish line too, helping to warm you up with comforting favourites.

When: Until 14th January

Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA


Keep Christmas going at the Nutcracker 

A London Christmas staple, the Nutcracker returns to the London Coliseum for a limited run of performances. See over 100 dancers and musicians perform in front of what’s set to be a sold-out audience. 

Expect stunning set design and Tchaikovsky’s score to be performed live as you follow Clara and her Nutcracker’s story unfold. Book your tickets early as the return of the Nutcracker is set to sell like hotcakes.

When: Until 7th January

Where: London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2N 4ES

Website: www.

Sample a festive afternoon tea 

You’ll find all of your favourite festive teas last longer than you think… If you’re looking to take your visiting nan out for a pot of tea or want to entertain the kids during the period between Christmas and New Year, try one of London’s festive teas. 

Choose from a range of great options in London, from The Lanesborough’s charming edible baubles to TĪNG Restaurant’s out-of-this-world tea. 

20 wonderful teas to try…

Embrace a Dazzling Light Show

London is famous for its twinkling holiday light show. If you haven’t seen one already this holiday season, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is the perfect time to do so. With so many to choose from, it can be quite overwhelming, so here are two of The Handbook’s favourites.

Lightopia returns this winter, bringing a magical instalment of mesmerising light displays, interesting trails and plenty of family-friendly fun. The light display takes over Crystal Palace Park every year, with a brilliant line-up of immersive installations and pretty lights to explore. Perfect for kids, teens and parents, this is the ultimate day out to book this season.

Skip the Kew and grab your tickets now for the most enchanting light installation at Kew Gardens. Now in its tenth year, Christmas at Kew is littered with glittery spiral trees, wow-worthy laser projections and endless tunnels of fun. The kids can dive into buckets of moreish churros and hot chocolates while the parents enjoy a glass of mulled wine or two.

Click here to find more of London’s light shows.

Step Into a Wintery Haven

The Winter Garden is an outdoor oasis here in the heart of London. Offering immersive dining experiences for every season, it is the perfect destination to treat yourself and your loved ones.

Enjoy the ambient terrace filled with twinkling lights, mosaic detailing, roaring fireplaces and blankets to keep warm. While taking in the ornate terrace, indulge in the finest pre-embargo Cuban cigar and the alpine-inspired menu.

Where: 10A Northumberland Ave, London, SW1A 2BD


Enjoy A Bond Christmas at The London Cabaret Club

London Cabaret

This Christmas, The London Cabaret Club presents ‘Christmas Royale’, a dazzling, full-scale Bond theme Christmas extravaganza in the heart of Bloomsbury.

Be transported to the glamorous Bond world of romance and espionage, from vintage classics to explosive blockbusters in a mind-blowing, immersive experience merging a glittery magical winter wonderland for a unique festive entertainment experience that combines an amazing performance with luxury.

Where: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, Holborn, London WCIB 4DA


Take Advantage Of Some Great Restaurant Deals

Smith's Grill and Wine Bar
Smiths Bar & Grill

Looking to indulge in a sumptuous dining experience without breaking the bank? Some of the best restaurants in London are offering great deals for you to enjoy a long lunch or indulgent dinner, offering the perfect opportunity to catch-up with friends, family or colleagues. 

Smith’s Bar & Grill and Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant Ayllu, both nestled in the heart of Paddington, are offering 50% of their menus exclusively on the 26th, 28th, 29th and 30th December.

Where: 25 Sheldon Square, London W2 6EP 

Website: Learn more about the 50% off offers at Smiths and Ayllu

Treat Yourself To A Luxe Cinema Trip

Hunger Games

Twixmas is pure cinematic bliss – and the only time of the year you can put on a film in the morning while sipping a Bailey’s and get away with it. But it’s also nice to go out to see one of the many great films that are released during the festive period. For an extra special cinema experience, why not head to the Curzon-powered screen in One Aldwych. With only 30 seats, it makes for a cozy screening (with good views guaranteed from all angles). 

On show is new blockbuster The Hunger Games: The Ballad Of Songbirds And Snakes, which follows a young Coriolanus Snow (Tom Blyth) who is the last hope for his failing lineage, the once-proud Snow family that has fallen from grace in a post-war Capitol. With his livelihood threatened, Snow is reluctantly assigned to mentor Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler), a tribute from the impoverished District 12. But after Lucy Gray’s charm captivates the audience of Panem, Snow sees an opportunity to shift their fates. 

Where: One Aldwych, London WC2B 4BZ


Plot Your Escape At Great Fosters

Great Fosters

Why not combine it with the light trail running through Windsor Great Park (AKA the King’s back garden). Great Fosters is full of roaring fires, fabulous food and their team makes an excellent espresso martini – why not combine it with the light trail running through Windsor Great Park (AKA the King’s back garden).

Their bedrooms are cosy and full of charm and their afternoon tea is legendary – enjoyed by the fire before venturing out to the light trail and returning for supper in The Estate Grill.

Where: Stroude Rd, Egham TW20 9UR


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