Christmas events in London to please festive fanatics and even the biggest Grinch

Note: Mariah Carey included.

christmas events

It goes without saying that Christmas in London is a pretty big deal, with every inch of central London strewn in Christmas lights and gigantic ornamented trees popping up like daisies wherever you look. It’s hard to be a Grinch around this time of year as the English capital really gets into the spirit, with a whole range of festive activities packing out the city’s events calendar. While there’s no denying the charm of Winter Wonderland or a classic Christmas panto, there’s a ton of other things going on that you’ll want to get involved with.

For anybody who wants to give a new winter carnival a go, Clapham Common’s Winterville is fast emerging as the hipster’s alternative to Hyde Park’s major offering with a street food market, roller disco rink and more. If you’re looking for something fun to do with your pals, some of the city’s most beautiful locations make ice skating in London a reality with pop up rinks at the Natural History Museum and Somerset House. And of course, if you’re sick of hearing the carols and bells – you can give Sink the Pink’s drag horror show or new musical kid on the block Hadestown a go.

Ready for some festive cheer? Here’s a few Christmas events in London to keep your eye on…

Winter Wonderland

christmas events

Winter Wonderland in London is always one of the most hotly anticipated events of the year, transforming Hyde Park into a festive paradise. Every year, people flock to the Christmas escape to chow down on mulled wine, bratwurst and other festive delights and hop onto various theme park rides. With classics like the ice skating rink, Christmas circus,  Bar Hutte’s Christmas karaoke booths and the ice bar returning, they’re introducing a brand new Peter Pan on Ice show, a Teletubbies extravaganza as well as a new theme for the Magical Ice Kingdom: the Secret Forest.

Where is Winter Wonderland?

Hyde Park, London

Winter Wonderland opening hours

Opens November 22, 4pm-10pm; November 23 – January 6, 10am – 10pm (Closed on Christmas day)

Winter Wonderland tickets

It’s totally free to enter the park, however certain Winter Wonderland attractions require that you book tickets in advance. These include ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom, bar ice, the giant wheel, Zippo’s Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, the Snowman Experience, Peter Pan on Ice, the Teletubbies Christmas Show, Bar Hutte, the Comedy Club and Ice Sculpting Workshops.

Winterville 2018

christmas events

If you’re somebody who prefers the offbeat things in life, Winterville’s emerged as the hipster’s alternative to Winter Wonderland. Fittingly, it takes place in Clapham Common and it’s run by the team behind both Field Day and Street Feast – meaning you can expect banging live music led by Sporty Spice herself with a throwback DJ set and food from London’s most promising culinary geniuses. You can also expect Backyard Cinema to be screening some festive flicks, neon mini golf antics, roller disco, ice rinks, stand up comedy and even Mexican wrestling (because why not). With so much to see and do, you’ll definitely want to drop by and check it out.

Where is Winterville?

Clapham Common

Winterville opening hours

Open November 15 – December 23

Winterville tickets

Entry to the park is free, however attractions including the ice rink, roller disco, Plonk Golf, Backyard Cinema, Chivaree Circus, Bus King Theatre are paid. The full list of ticketed attractions is available here.

Ice skating in London

Ice Skating at Somerset House

David Jensen

Somerset House becomes a dreamy Christmas getaway every year and 2018’s no different. This year, they’ve returned with their gigantic ice skating rink and brought a 40 foot Christmas tree to the table. This year, Fortnum & Mason are actually helping sponsor the rink and they’ve also thrown in an alpine-inspired restaurant lodge and a Christmas arcade for all your gift-buying needs. Plus, there’s also going to be Skate Lates where a number of DJs will light up the ice with some banging tunes.

Where is it?

Somerset House, London

When is it? 

14 November 2018 – 13 January 2019

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are priced at £11 for adults and £8.50 for children. They can be booked through Somerset House’s website.

Ice Skating at Natural History Museum

There’s nothing quite like skating at the Natural History Museum’s rink in the shadow of the architectural masterpiece. It’s an experience that’ll send goosebumps across your skin (and not just because the weather’s freezing) as you skate around a gigantic Christmas tree and under the surrounding tree’s canopy of fairy lights. If you’ve had enough of gliding around, you can also retreat for a mulled wine at the Cafe Bar and balcony where you’ll be able to watch the skaters down below.

Where is it?

Natural History Museum, South Kensington, London

When is it? 

Open 25 October 2018 – 20 January 2019, 10am – 9pm (closed on Christmas Day)

How can I get tickets?

Tickets start at £12.65 for adults, £8.80 for children and £9.90 for families. Students pay £9 for access to the rink and a drink and there’s also a parent and toddler package, which is priced at £11 and also comes with a beverage. Tickets can be booked through Ticketmaster.

Christmas Events in London

Christmas Pantomime: Snow White at the London Palladium

christmas events in london

There’s nothing like a panto to put you and the family in good spirits and this is set to be one of the biggest this year. Snow White will be taking over the London Palladium this year with the likes of Dawn French, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin, Charlie Stemp and Danielle Hope ready to banter. Given that last year’s show snagged an Olivier Award, we’re betting this one’s going to be just as impressive.

When is it?

December 8 – January 13

Where is it?

The London Palladium, London

How can I get tickets?

Tickets can be booked online here.

Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You Tour

christmas events in london

Greg Pace/REX/Shutterstock

We’re not kidding you, this is actually happening. After bringing festive cheer across the United States last year with a Christmas-themed tour, Mariah Carey is taking Europe by storm with a concert full of carols, her biggest hits and of course that eternal classic: All I Want For Christmas Is You. Your biggest issue is going to be trying to snag tickets at a reasonable price…

When is it?

December 11, 7.30pm

Where is it?

The O2 in London, however she’s also touring across the UK at locations like Nottingham and Leeds.

How can I get tickets?

Live NationTickets are available through .

Pinocchio

christmas events in london

Think you know this age old tale? Nearly There Yet theatre has taken puppetry to the next level with this family-friendly show, in which Pinocchio ventures out into the great unknown and tries to become a real boy. With circus elements, singing and some pretty crafty puppet mastery, it’s a great shout if you’ve got little ones with you over the festive period.

When is it? 

Runs until 29 December

Where is it?

The Albany, London

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets are priced at £12 each and are available at The Albany’s website.

Sink the Pink x Pleasance Theatre: How to Catch a Krampus

christmas events

Sick of the panto? This show run by drag collective Sink the Pink promises to be unlike any other Christmas show you’ve seen before, with a creepy spine-tingling thriller. Based on the monster myth of the same name, a spiritual medium is put to the test when her latest trick takes on a life of its own and the Krampus is unleashed upon the world. In fact, it promises to be so scary that the show’s even “arranged for first aiders to be present at every performance”. Yikes. Merry Christmas?

Where is it?

Pleasance Theatre, London

When is it?

13 November – 23 December

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets can be booked online through Pleasance Theatre’s website here.

Hadestown

Helen Maybanks

This brave new musical has just opened in London and it’s racking up favourable reviews left, right and centre. Forget all the traditional shows on the West End, this folk musicals centres on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice – transported to an alternate depression-era America. Orpheus, an optimistic musician ventures into a mining town to find his fiance, only to be confronted with its imposing overlord Hades. I’ve personally seen it and I’m not going to lie, I’m seeing it again. It. Is. Glorious.

Where is it?

Olivier Theatre, National Theatre, London

When is it?

Now till January 26

How can I get tickets?

Tickets are available through the National Theatre’s website.

Christmas Activities

Rekorderlig Cider Lodge

christmas events in london

This cosy little spot on the Southbank is back for the fifth year running, serving up a taste of Scandinavia from the heart of London. With fire pits, a massive Christmas tree and healthy servings of Rekorderlig’s Spiced Plum cider (served cold or hot on those icy nights), you’ll be able to clink your glasses with as the London skyline in full view. Plus, you don’t have to pay entrance – just wander in.

When is it open?

Sunday – Thursday, 10am – 11pm, Friday – Saturday, 10am – midnight

Where is it?

Entrance off Southbank Centre’s Queen’s Walk, London SE1

The Four Realms at Christmas

christmas events in london

The Nutcracker is nothing short of a Christmas classic and Disney’s going to be releasing a brand new take on the beloved story with their film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms. To celebrate the movie, Bombas and Parr has created an immersive experience inspired by it where you’ll be able to travel through all four of the magical universes. From the candy-themed Land of Sweets to the mysterious circus realm, this half hour experience is the perfect way to make the magic last.

When is it? 

10 – 31 December, 12 – 8pm daily except Sundays, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve (open 12 – 6pm).

Where is it? 

The Atrium, Westfield London, Ariel Way, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 7GF

How can I get tickets? 

Tickets are priced at £5 for adults, while children aged 12 and under go free. They can be booked through Eventbrite here.

So whether you’re hanging out with friends, family or just trying to figure out a cheeky date night – we’ve got you sorted.

Merry Christmas, everybody!

The post Christmas events in London to please festive fanatics and even the biggest Grinch appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Author: Megan C. Hills

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