With less than two weeks to go until the big day, we imagine you’re on the search to soak up the last of London’s festivities, all the while cramming in any last minute Christmas shopping and knocking back as many eggnogs as humanly possible. From pop up shops to Christmas markets galore, here’s 14 ways to celebrate the festive season this weekend:
Think marshmallow swimming pools, confetti cyclones and mirrors that’ll make it look as though you’re in the intergalactic. Yep, you’re going to want to buckle in as this weekend a new Instagrammable sensation will be rocking its way into the city. The Wonder Factory is flinging open its doors for the first time this weekend and is bringing with it a 6,000 square-feet Instaworthy playground for budding ‘grammers alike. And, if you book with the code DEC20, you’ll receive 20% off your booking, winner!
Opens Saturday 14th December
Rum lovers, this one’s for you! Get racing over to Battersea Power Station this weekend and prepare to be guided on a journey through rum. During ‘The 12 Rums of Christmas’ masterclass, you’ll be guided by experienced mixologists and rummaging up your own cocktails including a festive apple and cinnamon daiquiri and how you should be serving it.
It’s part of the Winter Village extravaganza taking over Battersea Power Station this festive season. Expect festoon lighting, super adorable alpine wooden huts and cosy fun for all the family. Get your skates on, you won’t want to miss it.
Masterclasses running Thursday 12th – Sunday 15th December
Shop local this Christmas at The House of Illustration’s Winter Fair. From stocking fillers to one-of-a-kind Christmas cards, homeware to wall prints, support talented illustrators at the city’s largest free illustration fair.
Saturday 14th December
All I want for Christmas is a… Mariah Carey-sing a long!
Celebrate in style this weekend with Lucky Voice’s festive Mariah Carey-themed bottomless brunch all in honour of the Queen of Christmas. Expect bottomless Mariah-inspired cocktails, festive food and party games abrim! Maybe the lady herself will even pop along…
Saturday 14th December
Uncover gin in a whole new way as you step inside the Tanqueray Townhouse, and to put it lightly, your senses will be put to the test. Magic Circle artists will travel around the house, all while performing illusions that’ll surprise and excite you. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll be invited to head into The Secret Bar and take part in Head vs Heart, a pioneering brainwave technology to determine only the perfect cocktail for your own unique taste profile. Expect excitement, magic and festive spirit, you won’t want to miss it.
Running until Saturday 14th December
It’s certainly looking a lot like Christmas over at London City Island thanks to the arrival of the Hopewell Square open-air ice rink, Christmas market and festive workshops galore! Opening the festivities will be English National Ballet’s Singonietta on Thursday 12th with their very own Nutcracker themed musical performance. And, don’t think you’re getting away from sampling a mince pie (or ten) as the Christmas market is abrim with them as well as wine tasting, street food vendors and gift stalls.
Running Thursday 12th – Sunday 22nd December
Enjoy a taste of French alpine this weekend with Coq d’Argent’s aprés-ski inspired pop-up, Lodge D’Argent. And, what better way to champion the last weekend of Christmas shopping by stopping off for a breather and indulging in mountains of classic French fondue, accompanied with charcuterie, new potatoes, croutons and cornichons. It’s gonna be gouda.
Pulling out all the stops is The Perception. From their candy land brunch series to their giant disco ball gracing the ceiling, the bar has it all and their new winter cocktail menu will satisfy all your pleasures. For us, it’s the ‘Matcha Made in Heaven’ cocktail that’s won us over, bursting with antioxidant properties and glitteringly beautiful in the eye-catching bird shaped glass.
Think cheesy covered giant pretzels, traditional bratwurst slathered with sauerkraut and apple pie toppled with lashings of Jagermeister toffee sauce. Sounds divine, doesn’t it? Well, you lucky lot can get your hands on just so at the Winter Lawn as it returns to The Tower Hotel for the festive season. Sit back, relax and enjoy views over London’s legendary skyline.
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. This 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
Get your cameras at the ready as the finale of Waltham Forest’s year as the first-ever London Borough of Culture draws to a close. This weekend, discover an illumination light up tree-like structures to create an urban winter forest at Leyton Sports Ground.
Running Friday 13th – Sunday 15th December
Feeling a little hazy after one too many at your Christmas work-do? We might have found just the cure.
For the fourth year running, TABASCO will be here to cure your fuzzy head thanks to their personal DIY Bloody Mary kits that can be delivered directly to your door via Deliveroo. TABASCO’s Pick-Me-Up Café will be allowing Battersea-based consumers to get their hands on a bespoke advent calendar-style kit, filled with everything you could need to whip a Bloody Mary (or alternative) for two, without even leaving your front door. For those who don’t live in the Battersea area, you can head down to the Hot Sauce Society Christmas Market at Brixton’s Dogstar pub to get your hands on your own Bloody Mary.
Saturday 14th December
Watch Grosvenor Square light up this Christmas as 27,000 illuminated white flowers will take centre stage across Mayfair’s iconic square. If you fancy lighting your own flower in memory of a loved one, you can donate £10 to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and plant your very own white rose.
Catch the flowers Saturday 30th November – Sunday 22nd December
Let’s be honest Secret Santa is a bit of a faff and we all end up with presents we’ll never even take out of the wrapping. But, how about this year instead donate a gift with meaning to a vulnerable child. Action For Children has launched their very first Secret Santa Pop-Up Store in Covent Garden allowing Londoners the chance of being a Secret Santa for a child in need.
Adding a festive spin on the experience, the charity is working with Capgemini, a consulting, technology services and digital transformation company, creating an fun, immersive gifting experience: Elf.ai. The little elves will help you find the perfect gift using artificial intelligence.
Y’all can also support the charity by nabbing up one of their celebrity-inspired t-shirts and jumper too. All of the proceeds, of course, go towards the young people Action for Children help support.
Running until Wednesday 18th December