There’s nothing more excitable than a little kid in the lead up to Christmas. And keeping the little ones entertained during the excitement is hard work. So in an attempt to keep them from scouting the house for their Mr C gifts, we’ve rounded up the very best of festive happenings in and around the city. From gingerbread castles to Harry Potter escapades, here’s where to channel your inner childish wonder this Christmas:
Let your own little prince and princesses head on an adventure with The Little Prince who meets a stranded pilot and her damaged aeroplane. You’ll journey across the globe and out into the intergalactic, from desserts to planets, moons to volcanoes. It’s a wonderful blend of puppetry, live music and festive magic.
Running from the 4th until the 30th of December
Have yourself a Nordic little Christmas courtesy of Ekte. Get stuck into the Christmas holidays as the kiddies settle in for a gingerbread decorating masterclass, while the adults can learn the art of mulled wine making, Ekte style. Following you’ll be diving into a traditional dining experience of herring smørrebrød, roast pork, frikadeller (meatballs), and risalamande (classic Danish rice pudding) before heading off to the Danish Church in Regent’s Park for a service.
Sunday 15th December
If you haven’t tried to throw a newt at your least favourite tutor with your eyes, have you even lived?
This Christmas watch the magic unfold with your children in the vivid reimagining of Matilda. It’s irresistibly good fun that’ll have you laughing, crying and singing your way from start to finish. The production will leave you rooting for Matilda and dreading Miss Trunchball.
Skip the kew and grab your tickets now for the most enchanting light installation at Kew Gardens. Now in its seventh year, Christmas at Kew is littered with glittery spiral trees, wow-worthy laser projections and endless tunnels of fun. The kiddies can dive into buckets of moreish churros and hot choccies while the parents enjoy a glass or two of mulled wine.
We’re well and truly on the countdown to Christmas and where better the celebrate than none other than Battersea Power Station. Nestled in The Winter Village find riverside curling lanes, family friendly ice rinks and hilarious performances and films showing at The Turbine Theatre and Archlight Cinema. Wander on down and take a peruse for yourself.
Harry up and look at this! Hogwarts has had a festive makeover and we may just love it more than Ron does Hermione. The spellbinding occurrence is taking place at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and features a festive gathering of glittering Christmas trees, flaming Christmas puddings set upon tables in a Great Hall replica and special effects galore. Instagram has already played host to thousands of #hogwartsinthesnow and we can vouch for it looking totes spectacular after having a scroll (and getting distracted from everything else we were meant to be doing!) The top section of the hall has been transformed into a Yule Ball; essentially one of the most magical places you’ve ever seen with icicles, magical instruments and more adorning the space.
You’ll be able to wander into Gryffindor common room and take in sights of Christmas treats. And there’ll also be a huge display of props from the films… whether or not you’ll wander into one of the stars themselves well, that would be Sirius-ly cool. Topping off the fun, you’ll drift past a Hogwarts castle model under a blanket of snow, making this an idyllic day-out and perfect spot to grab some snaps for the old Insta feed. For those who can’t get enough, and after the exhaustion of having so much fun, you’ll want to reload by diving into a meal amongst the magical surroundings. So, if you’re ready to have a Potter around in this enchanting space then jump on your Nimbus 3000 and visit up until 26th January.
Gather round for a storytelling experience like no other. Darling and Edge and Patchlarks have teamed up for December to take you on a journey throughout the labyrinth of Hello Darling. The magical building is already filled with quirks but throw in a mysterious storytelling adventure and it’s one to bring the Christmas spirit to life.
Every Saturday and Sunday in the run up to Christmas
A blurring of fairytales arise this Christmas as Goldilocks flurries away from the taunting Three Bears and scurries into a woodland. She soon finds herself tumbling down a peculiar yet familiar looking rabbit hole. And as if that wasn’t enough she bumps into The Three Musketeers too… The Sleeping Trees will have your little ones captivated from start to finish in their Goldilocks and The Three Musketeers production.
Running until 31st December
One thing we miss now that we’re older is getting to sit with Santa for a quick photo and opening presents atop his lap, but this year why not channel your inner child at Sharky & George’s festive grotto? Nestled in the heart of Chelsea, you and your little ones will be whisked off to the Winter Wonderland for an hour worth of festive fun, games and crafts. Mr C will also be doing a Christmassy reading too.
The experience runs on various dates from Saturday 23rd November – Tuesday 24th December
Let’s get messy! Wander on over to Balthazar and encompass all things Christmas with their gingerbread making sessions running every day in the lead up to Christmas. Mr C himself will be making a whistle stop tour and visiting on the 17th and 17th of December too. So make sure you save ol’ Santa a gingerbread cookie!
Watch the wonderful world of Lapland come to life this Christmas courtesy of Hotel Café Royal. Join Mr C himself and uncover the secretive world of the pottering elves in a four hour immersive experience. Afterwards settle down for dinner with the kiddies, or leave them to curl up with a movie night in-room with the assistance of our concierge team who’ll help organise a babysitter.
Available until 24th December
Spruce up your Christmas with a festive visit to London’s iconic zoo. In the run up to Christmas enjoy ZSL London Zoo’s ’12 animals at Christmas’ talks, festive craft sessions with Mrs Claus and chillax to your favourite Christmas classics on the big screen. You might find a monkey roaming around by your feet though…
30th November – 24th December
One timeless Christmas performance that whisks us away year after year with its exquisite dancing and popular score returns for another festive season. Watch as Clara and her beloved Nutcracker doll discovers a magical world which sees her battled with the Mouse King and meet a rather handsome fella.
Wednesday 11th December – Sunday 5th January
Christmas isn’t Christmas without a snow queen making an appearance and this year it’s in the form of Elsa. Yup, the much anticipated Frozen 2 is out in cinemas this Christmas so make sure to nab, nab, nab yourself a ticket for you and the family. Frozen 2 sees Elsa the fabulous Snow Queen and her little sister Anna embark on one hell of an adventure far away from the little kingdom of Arendelle that they’d grown to know and love. Of course, they’re joined by their fiery friends Kristoff, Olaf and Sven.
Website: Showing In Cinemas Across The UK
After watching Frozen 2, let it go at Hamley’s Frozen inspired castle. The fully immersive pop-up features an impressive 2.8 meter tall and 9.5 meter wide castle (it sounds more impressive to the under 5s) and will transport wannabe Elsas, Annas and Kristoffs into a magical kingdom inspired by the new film.
Peter Rabbit gets a festive makeover this Christmas. Stroll over to Terrace on Piccadilly and enjoy your favourite childhood story come to life in the shape of afternoon tea. Enjoy everything from Mr McGregor’s Garden, a baguettini filled with fresh veggies, hummus and topped with chestnuts for a sprinkling of festive touch, to Peter’s Snowman, a while chocolate shell filled with passionfruit atop a coconut macaron.
Like this? Try these winter inspired afternoon teas
Channel your inner child with bundles and bundles of LEGO at The Savoy this festive season. The LEGO Group recently unveiled the ‘Twelve Rebuilds of Christmas’ and have taken over The Savoy to rewrite the classic tune ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ through the wonderful world of LEGO. From the dragon shaped Christmas tree to Santa’s new wheels (a take on the five gold rings), watch the magic unfold through LEGO this Christmas. There’ll even be festive workshops where the kids can create their own Christmas decoration. Share your build on social media with the #BuildToGive, The LEGO Group will then donate a product to a child in need in hospitals, children’s homes an under-served communities.
Running until 3rd January
Places That Will Make You Feel Seriously Christmassy
If you’re keen to indulge in all things Yuletide or are a bit of a humbug in need of sparking some Christmas joy, here are the top 15 places to visit that will leave you as happy as Buddy the Elf on Christmas Eve.
As if things weren’t quite weird enough you can now catch Sharon Osbourne, Danny Dyer, Dani Dyer, Rylan Clark-Neal and Simon Lipkin in a musical together… Yep, it’s a cast and a half. Nativity! The Musical returns for a third Christmas bringing with it all your favourite hits and hilarious moments. Expect to be grooving on your feet from beginning to end.
Running 11th – 29th December 2019
If you’re planning on rocking over to London Bridge this Christmas you might meet a friendly face… or twelve. This year, London Bridge City has been taken over by twelve wonderfully adorable snowmen. Drawing influences from The Snowman, Wild in Art have partnered with Penguin Random House to design twelve festive snowmen all inspired by the Christmas classic The Twelve Days of Christmas.
Running 26th November – 5th January
Is London the food capital of the world? Or is it Paris? Or maybe somewhere in the far east, Tokyo perhaps? No, the food capital of the world is, in fact, inside the V&A. Because there’s an entire city made of actual food.
If you’ve ever spent an afternoon making Gingerbread houses, hours spent arduously trying to get the icing to stick that pitched roof together without collapsing the entire property, then spare a thought for the guys who came up with this; The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City. The annual exhibition brings together architects, designers and engineers to create an entire metropolis constructed entirely of gingerbread. The RSJ-free zone is meant to connect the public with architecture, and the best way to do that is appealing to our innate love of gingerbread. The result is intricate designs, gingerbread houses, businesses and civic buildings, and in fact everything that the gingerbread men and women who will presumably populate this city will need.
Wander Around London's Finest Christmas Markets
Explore the best of Christmas at one of London’s winter markets. From fairground rides to stalls bursting with stocking ideas for the kiddies, we’ve rounded up our favourites here.
Explore London's Wild Igloos
Impress the kiddies and igloose yourself at one of London’s wildly wonderful igloos. Cosy up with fluffy blankets, candles and fairy lights and enjoy London’s iconic skyline at one of these igloos.