18 Things To Do Between Christmas And New Year

18 Things To Do Between Christmas And New Year

The space between Christmas and New Year is a bit of a limbo – you’ve opened your pressies, you’re awkwardly unsure of whether to check your e-mails or if it’s still Christmas break, but you’d be distracted by the festive chocolates and TV shows anyway. Boxing Day has seen you burn a sizeable chunk in the credit card and you don’t really know if it’s socially acceptable to hang out with your pals whilst your family are over visiting from some far-fetched land. Look, we’ve got your back. Fill up the six interim days with incredibly fun things to do as listed below, because the fun sure doesn’t stop just because Christmas Day ends.

The Absolutely Bonkers Alice In Wonderland Lantern Festival

We all love Christmas lights don’t we? Whether it’s a smattering of fairy lights here and there, to full blown light displays in cul de sacs. Whichever display lights up your life, there’s no denying they’re awesome. Which is why we think you’re going to love this one. This winter, you can fall down the rabbit hole at a lantern display based around Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, for six weeks only! There’ll be full blown lantern replicas of the famed Wonderland characters, including the Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit, playing cards and, larger than life, Alice herself. Not short of stuff to do, there’ll be 29 interactive scenes in total alongside 16o giant lanterns to retell the classic. You’ll wander across a giant chess board, sashay through the looking glass and take part in a whole hoo-ha of immersive events, carefully twirling around lanterns up to six metres high and 16 metres wide! Set in the winter wonderland that is Southwark Park, the festival makes for marvellous photo opportunities.

To keep you warm whilst you wander, there’ll be steaming cups of mulled wine and food and drink galore, making this display definitely one for the family! There’ll also be the opportunity to see Father Christmas at the end – have you been naughty or nice? I guess we’ll find out won’t we…

Where: Southwark Park, Paradise Gate entrance, Jamaica Road

Website: www.aliceinwinterland.co.uk

Rumpelstiltskin

A new take on a classic is always fun, especially when it’s the whacky and conniving Rumplestiltskin! He will be played by cabaret star Paul Capsis at the Southbank Centre, allowing kids of all ages to have a good old chuckle and what unfolds. The sneaky little imp experiences a tumultuous set of events and the performance itself displays a magnitude of kaleidoscopic-style outfits and abstract sets.

Rumplestiltskin will run until the 31st of December

Where: Belvedere Road, Waterloo, SE1 8XX

Website: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Harry Up And Check Out Hogwarts In The Snow

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 can reload by diving into a two-course meal set amongst the magical surroundings. Dinner In The Great Hall features a dining experience like no other, allowing you to enjoy dessert served on Platform 9 and 3/4… running into the wall not advisable!

Where: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR

Website: www.wbstudiotour.co.uk

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Poppins Returns

“Winds in the east, mist coming in. Like somethin’ is brewin’ and about to begin. Can’t put my finger on what lies in store, but I fear what’s to happen all happened before.” And that’s because it has. This Christmas sees the sequel to the 1964 classic, as Mary Poppins Returns hits our cinemas on the 21st December. This time Emily Blunt is stepping into the role as the nanny that everyone wished they had and whilst there was every chance that the sequel might not step up to Julie Andrew’s ‘practically perfect in every way’ original, the reviews are saying that this is a magical film that has captured the spirit of why we all love Mary Poppins. Brilliant for all the family, if you only see one new film this Christmas make it Mary Poppins.

Mary Poppins Returns is released in the UK on the 21st December 2018. 

Where: Cinemas Across The UK

Go To The Theatre

Go To The Theatre

With no shortage of theatre in London, it’s difficult to know where to begin when booking tickets. To save you some time, we’ve selected some must-sees for the coming winter season; whether you’re looking to get jolly with festive cheer or tip toe into unchartered water with some newly minted theatre- we’ve got you covered! To begin proceedings, we’ve compiled a short list of the best theatre for the festive period. With a line up this good, we don’t doubt your Christmas list may read a little like a theatre billing this year…

Find our theatre guide here with all of the festive shows across the city

Kew Gardens

With no shortage of theatre in London, it’s difficult to know where to begin when booking tickets. To save you some time, we’ve selected some must-sees for the coming winter season; whether you’re looking to get jolly with festive cheer or tip toe into unchartered water with some newly minted theatre- we’ve got you covered! To begin proceedings, we’ve compiled a short list of the best theatre for the festive period. With a line up this good, we don’t doubt your Christmas list may read a little like a theatre billing this year…

Website: christmasatkew.seetickets.com

The Luna Winter Cinema

Oh the great returneth of ye olde Luna Cinema has arrived in time for Christmas and we’re oh so jolly about the news. Luna Cinema is the unarguably popular film experience that pops up at pretty much all of the most elaborate buildings in the UK and, due to its namesake, there is always a darn good moon shining down as popcorn clutches enjoy their favourite flicks outdoors.

Now, Luna Cinema has returned for a few festive shenanigans, showing a bunch of Christmas films that we all know, love and want to watch again and again and again and… you get the picture. Spread across locations Kensington Palace, EartH Evolutionary Arts in Hackney and St. George’s Hall, the cinema is turning to the warm, heated spaces of the aforementioned to schmooze you into some film. So what can you expect:

18th December: Elf, Miracle on 34th Street, The Greatest Showman, Die Hard

19th December: The Muppets Christmas Carol, Elf, Home Alone, Die Hard, The Holiday (sold out)

20th December: Miracle on 34th Street, The Muppets Christmas Carol, Die Hard, Elf, Love Actually

21st December: The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Muppets Christmas Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Holiday, Home Alone, Elf (sold out)

22nd December: The Greatest Showman, It’s A Wonderful life (twice), Love Actually (twice)

Website: www.thelunacinema.com

More Festive Cinema...

More Festive Cinema...

As well as the Luna cinema there are an array of other festive cinemas spread across the city to enjoy between Christmas and New Year! Find them here.

Coppa Club Tower Bridge

When is it officially winter? When the clocks change? When Slade comes on the radio? When Coca Cola’s ghastly ‘holidays are coming’ ads air? No, we measure the season of goodwill to the moment that Coppa Club open their infamous igloos. And you’d better grab some eggnog because bookings open tomorrow!

Thames-side Coppa Club launched the igloos two years ago and they’ve already become an institution. Come winter the plastic-covered domes sit alongside the river and provide the perfect respite from the biting cold outside. With table service to your little cocoon from Coppa Club’s extensive menu of European classics, the igloos are snug pockets of warmth and hospitality. Not only are they individually heated but in case you weren’t already sitting incredibly comfortably, drape a sheepskin rug over your lap, adjust the heat and order another glass of wine from your table.

Find more ways to igloose yourself here

Where: Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH

Website: www.coppaclub.co.uk

Ice-Skating

The Natural History Museum is the natural place to start any guide to London’s outdoor skating rinks. Whizz round and round under the gaze of this, one of London’s most majestic buildings, and afterwards grab a warming drink at the Café Bar.

Find more places to get your skates on here, including the dazzling Somerset House

Where: Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD

Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

Winter Markets

Winter at Southbank isn’t just your average Christmas market, alongside buying stocking fillers and gifts you’ll also be eating fondue in a snow globe, sipping mulled wine in a bar, listening to choirs and concerts. Plus this year there will be some new pop-up bars and restaurants on site; Bar Under the Bridge will be serving cheese- based food and cocktails, alongside sizzling fire pits serving steaks and hot mulled wines and ciders. There will also be a daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus with animal puppetry.

You can eggnog yourself at more Christmas markets here

Where: Southbank, Waterloo, SE1

Website: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Bumper Cars On Ice? Yes Please!

Bumper cars on ice. You and I both know that, in those four words, I’ve already conveyed all the facts you need to know so that you’re 100% sold. Here’s the link for tickets, I’m not paid by the word anyway, so thank me later and read this article complaining about Harrods instead. Or this one about slugs. In case anyone’s still reading, there are a couple of catches (it’s in Elephant and a £6 session lasts about the length of an average YouTube video), but otherwise it really is as good as it sounds. Actual dodgems on actual ice. Presumably along the way someone with a physics GCSE stepped in and pointed out that mixing actual bumper cars (famously powered by mains electricity) and water might be sort of not a great plan, so instead of the usual setup (itinerant market town fairground, lapsed Health and Safety certificate and so on) expect a whole professional ice rink, no constant sparks raining down on you, or being told off for actually bumping the bumper cars and, importantly, even more fun. We all know how enjoyable bumper cars are, right? Well picture that mayhem but on ice. Add in DJs, lights and street food and you’ve basically got a winning formula.

Website: www.elephantandcastle.org.uk

Festive Afternoon Tea

Festive Afternoon Tea

The only thing better than afternoon tea? A Christmas afternoon tea! Escaping from the cold, curling up on a sofa with a pot of tea (I mean, a glass of Champagne), turkey sandwiches, mince pies, snowman profiteroles and yule logs. We’ve rounded up the best Christmas teas, or as we like to call them… festivi-teas…

Find all of the best festive afternoon teas here!

Crumbs! The Gingerbread City We’re Obsessing Over

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 a 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 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. Now in its third year, the innovative exhibition will not only inspire any budding Bake Off Lutyens, but will also get you in the mood for Christmas. Partly through the overtly Christmassy feel to the whole endeavour, but also because of the sweet sweet whiff of gingerbread.

Where: The V&A, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL

Website: www.thegingerbreadcity.com

Sleepovers And Silent Discos In The Natural History Museum

It’s all going down at the Natural History Museum this Christmas – we’re talking sleeping over Night at the Museum style, alongside a wow-worthy NYE bash, and yoga to calm you down afterwards! Clearly not one’s to shy away from adventure, the major London staple may be informative when it comes to the historical, but boy are they party animals once the lights go down. Here’s just some of what’s on offer:

Catch a Killer

Whilst we really do hope this isn’t in the literal sense, Catch a Killer is presented as a game whereby a killer is on the loose and it’s up to you, an untrained, unassuming member of the public to catch said killer based on gathering evidence, carrying out experiments and bringing criminals to justice. Totally one for those who love a bit of whodunnit and boss Cluedo whenever it’s put on the table.

Silent Disco 

We all love a silent disco! Especially when you remove one headphone and indulge in the complete awkwardness of people all dancing silently in a room, and the museum are on side. The event will see you party in a grand ‘ol space in one of the most iconic spaces, alongside a full bar offering a wide selection of drinks. Three DJs will dance you into the evening under neon lights – it’s a real must-boogie!

Did Someone Say Slumber Party?

Fed up of sleeping in your own bed? Not to fear, Dino Snores for grown-ups are here! As intrigued as we were? Well, the night will begin with you grabbing a tipple in Hintze Hall as you set up camp, and as the evening begins to unfold you’ll experience a roaring amount of events, as follows: a delicious three-course dinner, a trip to the galleries and temporary exhibitions, live music, gin sampling with Sipsmith, stand-up comedy, science show, dinosaur-themed games room, live animal workshop, a pub quiz, edible insect tasting and an all-night monster movie marathon. Essentially, it’s the strangest sleepover you’ve ever attended, and there can’t be much amiss with that!

A Whale Of A Workout

If you’re more into the relaxing side of things, and eating bugs at the Dino Snores slumber party doesn’t sound too appealing, then indulge in some whale yoga. No, you’re not positioned delicately upon a humpback, but rather under one. Yogis will gather up under the whale skeleton in Hintze Hall and energise the body through a series of ancient yogic movements and poses that connect with the Museum’s collections and ties to the natural world. To finish off, you’ll be able to wander through one of the museum’s exhibitions before the museum opens!

Visit here for more events at the Natural History Museum

Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

Bluebird Chelsea

Narnia comes to the King’s Road with the arrival of  three new heated wooden chalets on the Bluebird Chelsea’s courtyard this winter, while the space around them is transformed into a magical white wonderland. A warming menu of fondue, apple pie and boozy hot chocolate will be available in the chalets. Wander through the festive archway past frosted trees and fur rugs before being transported to the land of Narnia by stepping through the wardrobe into the restaurant.

Running until the 31st of December

Website: www.bluebird-restaurant.co.uk

Hide

What’s s’mores exciting than a winter sanctuary in Belgravia? Not much we don’t think, and so we’ll be heading down to Lowndes Bar & Kitchen for a bit of the good stuff (mulled wine that is), and many more festive drinks and treats. For those who binge on hot chocolate like it’s going out of fashion you can create-your-own or go for something a little stronger in the way of cider. And, if the alcohol blanket doesn’t keep your warm, there are blankets on the fairy light embellished veranda. Sounds like something of a dream!

Where: 85 Piccadilly, W1J 7NB

Website: www.hide.co.uk

Because We Love An Igloo

Venture 10 storeys up to the Aviary’s expansive terrace to find some of the most stylish, Nordic-inspired igloos in town. Accommodating up to ten, the igloos will provide a nod to traditional Icelandic-style, with rustic natural wood decor, hints of stone, hanging winter foliage and pine, alongside flashes of copper, plush faux fur and warm lighting. There will be an exclusive Reyka cocktail menu and a delicious, expertly crafted Christmas menu.

Find more winter igloos here!

Where: 10th Floor, Montcalm Royal London House Hotel, 22-25 Finsbury Square, EC2A 1DX

Website: www.aviarylondon.com

Looking for other cool stuff to do?
For other great things to do in London click here 
For the Londons coolest Pop up’s and Supper clubs go here
To get access to  London’s MOST exclusive VIP events, go here

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