Christmas Events and Attractions in London

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Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

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Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race
Great Christmas Pudding Race
Great Christmas Pudding Race
Silent Night tours at Dennis Severs' House
Silent Night tours at Dennis Severs' House
Silent Night tours at Dennis Severs' House
Slava's Snowshow
Slava's Snowshow
Enchanted Woodland
Winter at Southbank Centre with NatWest (c) Belinda Lawley
Skylight London
Jimmy's Lodge On The River
Jimmy's Lodge On The River
Coppa Club Winter Igloos
Coppa Club Winter Igloos
Shard Lights
Christmess
Christmess
Winterland London
Backyard Cinema: Snow Kingdom
Magical Lantern Festival
Christmas at Kew
The Winter Forest
Sliders Curling Club
QUEENS Skate, Dine, Bowl
South Pole Saloon
St Pancras International Christmas Tree
Sketch at Christmas: Silent Light by Chris Levine
 

 

London boasts an exciting programme of events all year round but at Christmas things get truly special, with a series of weird and wonderful events, pop-ups and attractions to get you in the festive mood. So, here's our guide to some of the best Christmas events worth braving the chilly outdoors for.

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Skylight London

Ice hockey, rooftop ice skating, street food and fondue.

Tobacco Dock, Wapping Lane, London, E1W 2SF

Tube: Rotherhithe Overground Station

 
 

From 2nd November 2017, Skylight turns from a British urban lawn club into an apres ski lodge, combining fondue and street food with London's first rooftop ice rink at Tobacco Dock. The new winter season brings neon lights, real ice and an ice hockey penalty shooting game on the lower floor with prizes to be won. Set on the top three levels of a former car park in Wapping, the 600 capacity Skylight has multiple bars, indoor and outdoor heated seating areas, mulled wine and street food stalls, all set against some of the finest views in the city - you can see The Shard, The Gherkin and The Walkie Talkie from here. Favourite food traders return and a fondue station is set up for winter, serving chocolate as well as cheese fondue - for those with a sweet tooth.

 
 
 

Jimmy's Lodge On The River

Enjoy dinner in a snow globe alongside the Thames.

Thames Path, outside Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, SE1 8XT

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 
 

Dine in your own personal snow globe alongside the Thames this winter. The four private dining domes are part of Jimmy's Lodge On The River, created by Jimmy Garcia of Jimmy's Pop Ups fame. Serving a set menu which includes a trio of canapes followed by traditional Alpine fondue and the option of Cote de Boeuf to share, these snow globes are the ideal alternative option for a group get-together or a staff Christmas meal. An alpine foodie retreat, Jimmy's Lodge also serves a fondue menu at 'The Refuge', upstairs in the first-floor restaurant. In addition, there's a more accessible grab-and-go menu from the Winter Grill downstairs, so you can eat as you stroll along, taking in the winter market and views over the river.

 
 
 

Pergola Paddington Central

The rooftop is transformed once again for winter with giant day beds and snug blankets.

5 Kingdom Street, Paddington Central, London, W2 6PY

Tube: Paddington Station

 
 

Following its first summer, when the new Pergola in Paddington proved to be a big hit, Pergola Paddington Central is back for winter. Fully covered and fully winter-proofed, the food court for 850 comes e quipped with snug blankets and heating and furnished with dark woods and winter greenery. Joining favourites Patty & Bun and DF Mexico Pizza are champions Made of Dough, ramen masters Tonkotsu. and a modern take on bagels from Little Ghost Bagels. Guests will be able to take their pick from bespoke menus before taking a seat at one of the long, communal tables or giant day beds. On the top deck, through a new clear roof, you can enjoy stargazing with your street food - perfect for those long winter nights.

 
 
 

Coppa Club Winter Igloos

Cosy igloos for Christmas lunch with a festive feel.

Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, London, EC3R 6AH

Tube: Tower Hill Station

 

Dates: 16th October to 31st December 2017

 

The instagram hit of last winter, Coppa Club's igloos along the Thames are back and this year they're even better. They've been re-designed by Coppa Club's design manager, Theresa Obermoser, as timber frame structures with Perspex sliding doors, all fully furnished enclosures with heating, blankets and speakers. Serving a Christmas menu from Tuesday 21st November, these cosy igloos make an ideal venue for Christmas lunch with a festive feel. Last year they sold out within 48 hours, so be quick. Bookings are live from Monday 16th October.There is a limited amount held back for walk-ins only.

 
 
 

Backyard Cinema: Snow Kingdom

The cinema is transformed into an enchanted castle in a magical land.

Mercato Metropolitano, 42 Newington Causeway, London, SE1 6DR

Tube: Borough Station , Elephant & Castle Station

 

Dates: 25th October - 12th November 2017

 

Following on from the festive Winter Night Garden last year, the Backyard Cinema presents the Snow Kingdom this winter. It will see the cinema's permanent home of Mercato Metropolitano in Borough transformed once again, this time as an enchanted castle deep in the snowy mountains of a magical land. Entering through a secret entrance at the foot of the mountain, visitors will embark on a journey through an ice cave and a frozen lake before reaching the grand ballroom to settle under a blanket and watch a movie while sipping on potion themed cocktails. Films on the line-up include Harry Potter, Beauty & the Beast, Titanic, Tangled, The Princess Bride, Baby Driver, Wonder Woman and Guardians of The Galaxy 2.

 
 
 
 

Sliders Curling Club

The bowling-on-ice club returns with igloos and festive food.

Roof East, Level 8 Stratford Multi-storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London, E15 1XE

Tube: Stratford Station

 

Dates: 2nd November to 23rd December 2017

 

The ultimate playground, Sliders, the bowling-on-ice that proved so popular at Roof East last winter, returns in 2017. Brought to you by the people behind Rooftop Film Club, it's a club where you can book one of the six neon lit curling lanes, sip on themed cocktails, enjoy street food and dine in your very own igloo, all on the 8th floor of a multi-storey car park in Stratford. Jimmy's Lodge will serve up raclette burgers, Crazy Pig will be offering hog roast and a retro-inspired ski-lodge bar will be pouring hot toddies and ski shots. Entry to the undercover, heated Winter Bar is free with space for 200 and 360 views of east London.

 
 
 

The Winter Forest

Tipi Cinema, dining booths and market surrounded by a snow-covered forest.

Exchange Square, Broadgate, London, EC2A 2BQ

Tube: Liverpool Street Station

 

Dates: 9th November 2017 to 12th January 2018

 

A new fairytale pop-up comes to Exchange Square in Broadgate for the first time this winter. Surrounded by a snow-covered forest, in the magical Winter Forest you can see favourite festive films like Elf, It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle On 34th Street in the Tipi Cinema - for 15, with free popcorn and drinks - enjoy mulled wine and prosecco at the Bar & Grill or book private-dining booths in The Hideaway (for up to eight people, minimum spend 250) and enjoy dinner with friends under the stars. Just outside The Winter Forest is the Winter Market - five stalls featuring independent artisans including Wonderland Collective, a one-stop shopping destination for all of your festive gifts. Broadgate also gets a new festive neon light tree, 'Lumen', by British artist David Ogle, installed at Finsbury Avenue Square.

 
 
 

Winterland London

A wintery adult playground with curling, ping pong, igloos and fondue.

Albert Wharf, , London, SW6 2TY

Tube: Parsons Green Station

 

Dates: 9th November to 22nd December 2017

 

Neverland London - Fulham's first Thameside beach - has frozen over and been given a makeover just in time for winter, transforming into Winterland London. The sand, beach huts and sun loungers are out and snow, wintery lodges, igloos and fur lined sofas are in. A wintery adult playground will feature four neon lit curling lanes, mini golf, ping pong and prosecco pong while food will come in the form of gooey fondue, steak frites and raclette burgers courtesy of Jimmy Garcia of Jimmy's Lodge. Just liked Neverland, it will be an affordable drinking experience with the option to bring your own booze if visiting on a Thursday, Friday or Sunday - you just need to pay the 5 entry fee. Alternatively, there's a full bar on site serving all the winter warmers you could possibly want.

 
 
 

Enchanted Woodland

The magical walking tour returns for another year.

Syon Park, Road, Brentford, London, TW8 8JF

Tube: Richmond Station

 

Dates: 10th - 26th November 2017

 

The beautiful oaks trees and gardens at Syon Park are illuminated in spectacular fashion once again this winter. Adding a significant veil of mystique to the festive season, the magical event invites visitors to enjoy a unique guided walk. The trail leads you around18th-centuryntury lake - where the shapes and textures of the ancient winter trees are reflected in the water - and past intriguing corners of the estate, all of it floodlit to maximum rainbow effect. The shadows and magic of a frosty winter's night make this an ideal opportunity for photographing the forest in a unique way. Warm clothing and stout footwear are advised and hot refreshments are available on the night.

 
 
 

Southbank Centre's Winter Festival

Danish theatre, an ABBA exhibition and rooftop sauna come to the South Bank.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 10th November 2017 to 4th January 2018

 

Wintertime at Southbank Centre, the last chapter in the year-long Nordic Matters, brings a rooftop Finnish Rooftop Sauna, ABBA-oke and the ever-popular winter market to the South Bank. Danish children's theatre company Teater Refleksion and theatre artist Andy Manley invite families and young children on a magical, poetic journey through the dark and beautiful night with Night Light (19th to 31st December), Norwegian musician and the pioneer of ice instruments Terje Isungset presents a live performance of his ice music (on 15th December) and there's an afternoon of Nordic themed activities, with music, storytelling and craft for all the family on 23rd December. The entire 21 acre site is transformed into a winter landscape with a Nordic feel, designed by Hemingway Design, with hundreds of Christmas trees, an immersive ABBA exhibition, Super Troupers, Slava's Snowshow, choirs, carols and classical music. As well as free Tango classes and East London Drag Star Ginger Johnson there's a day inspired by ABBA and A Vintage New Year's Eve Party with fantastic views of the London fireworks.

 
 
 
 

Christmess

Live music, mindful talks, Sunday storytelling and tables for dancing on.

Hunter Penrose, 32 Southwark Street, London, SE1 1TU

Tube: Borough Station , London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 15th November to 17th December 2017

 

A Christmas event with a twist, Christmess moves to an old warehouse in Southwark, once home to Hunter Penrose, for one hell of a dinner party. St. Nick is hosting the party, he's spinning the rules on their head, replacing Ps & Qs with Gs & Ts and table etiquette consisting of dancing on them. Here you'll find Mama Claus' hidden parlour and blues room, the glittering Green Fairy who grants wishes from a hidden absinthe bar and a Santa's Whiskey Grotto where you can find out if you've been naughty or nice... and pay the consequences. Cajun roasted turkey and candied yams feature at festive, 12-dish feasts served by Slap Ya Papa and served for lunch or dinner. Downstairs there's a workshop filled craftspeople from across the capital selling stocking fillers plus they'll show you how to make your own with classes on floral wreaths and beeswax candles. It's all part of Nicky's Imaginarium, a naughty and anarchistic world filled with Santa's little helpers, live music and plenty of Christmas sparkle.

 
 
 

St Pancras International Christmas Tree

Made with over 15,000 flowers, the 47 foot floral Christmas tree took 1,151 man hours to create.

St Pancras International Station, Euston Road, London, NW1 2QP

Tube: King's Cross Station

 

Dates: 14th November 2017 to 3rd January 2018

 

Hand crafted from over 15,000 flowers, this year's Christmas tree at St Pancras is a stunning spectacle. Made by expert florists Moyses Stevens, the 47 foot floral tree took 1,151 man hours to create and forms the centrepiece for a festive season of music as a different choir performing in the station every day throughout December until Christmas Eve. Travellers and shoppers can also visit the Hatchards Christmas pop up, on the station concourse from the 11th to 23rd December, visit new shops by Calvin Klein, Ted Baker, Chanel and kikki.K which all open for their first Christmas season. Share your pictures of the Christmas tree using #JingleBlooms and you could win one of ten prizes of two tickets for the Moyses Stevens Flower School at Battersea Power Station.

 
 
 

Sketch at Christmas: Silent Light

Light artist Chris Levine creates an immersive laser and sound installation.

Sketch - The Glade, 9 Conduit Street, London, W1S 2XG

Tube: Oxford Circus Station

 

Dates: 16th November 2017 to 5th January 2018

 

Always a magical experience at Christmas, sketch has called on light artist, Chris Levine, to create Silent Light, an immersive laser and sound installation, made using suspended crystals. In the Lecture Room & Library, four of London's leading florists have come together to create a Christmas Tree crowned by Rebel Rebel and filled the middle with whimsical decorations by JamJar Flowers while Carly Rogers has created her world at the bottom and Figa & Co has created a floral peacock that winds around the tree. Come for Christmas Afternoon Tea in the Gallery and you'll be served seasonal Buche de Noels. Even the famous loo pods get a Christmas makeover, transformed with a snow and rain installation of LED lighting and sensors by Yuki Anai.

 
 
 

Silent Night tours at Dennis Severs' House

Take a candle-lit trip back to the 18th Century at Dennis Severs' historic home.

Dennis Severs' House, 18 Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London, E1 6BX

Tube: Liverpool Street Station

 

Dates: 20th November 2017 to 4th January 2018

 

The atmospheric Silent Night candle-lit tours of Dennis Severs' House are particularly fun at this time of year. The house was created by Dennis Severs to give an insight into family life in the 18th century and he lived here up until 1999 much as they would have done, without electricity. Through a series of special 'Silent Night' Christmas openings you can experience this spectacularly original 'living theatre' in London's East End by torch or candle light. You'll follow a guide through the house, in silence, seeing signs of their presence - the smell of baking, a half-eaten apple, or similar - but never actually quite catching them. It'll make you want to drink mulled wine and sit by an open fire wrapped in a shawl. There is now an option to enjoy an exclusive visit to the house, for those that want to delve a little deeper into the past. An unusual but entirely appropriate outing for Christmas. Booking essential for evening tours.

 
 
 

Christmas at Kew

Singing trees, laser beams and a fire garden light up Kew.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station

 

Dates: 22nd November 2017 to 1st January 2018

 

A chorus of singing trees, a giant light-up piano keys connected to a real-life piano and laser beams over water await visitors to the mile-long illuminated trail that forms the centrepiece of Christmas at Kew. In 2017, for the first time the great broad walk borders form part of the trail, transformed by hundreds of shining petals and gigantic flower pots. After dusk, Kew Gardens is lit up by giant light sculptures, a fire garden and light projections on the Palm House. Stop off to see Santa and his elves performing panto along the way, enjoy carousel and helter skelter rides as well as mulled wine, mince pies and traditional festive fare.

 
 
 
 

South Pole Saloon

The rooftop is transformed into a woodland lodge bar.

Brixton Rooftop, Popes Road, London, SW9 8JH

Tube: Brixton Station

 

Dates: 23rd November 2017 to 1st January 2018

 

Brixton Rooftop is transformed into the South Pole Saloon this winter, inviting Londoners to escape the dark winter nights and the busy streets of Brixton. Themed around a decadent and debaucherous dive bar hidden in the snow drifts of the South Pole, it will see guests greeted by candy canes and lead through swinging doors into a heated and covered woodland brimming with creative cocktails, festive street food, live music and interactive entertainment. The saloon bar will be decorated with a woodland lodge theme eight candy cane cabins will be available to hire. Food comes from Mac To The Future, The Lambassadors, Fancy Funkin Chicken and Vudu Food while entertainment will be served up by Cirque Du Soul, For The Love Of Garage, Applebum and a series of DJs.

 
 
 

Magical Lantern Festival

Santa and his Reindeers are lit up in lights at the magical festival.

Chiswick House, Burlington Lane, London, W4 2RP

Tube: Turnham Green Station

 

Dates: 24th November 2017 to 1st January 2018

 

Good news for those who love a festive light show. The Magical Lantern Festival is returning to Chiswick Gardens and this time its here for Christmas so, naturally, Santa and his Reindeers are taking part - appearing both as a lantern and in his grotto. Taking the idea of Chinese lanterns to the next level, these 50 or so giant lanterns include seasonal additions - two metre high snowmen and penguins on a glacier - as well as Noah's ark with life size giraffes and zebras and a magnificent giant lantern recreation of an ancient city from the Song Dynasty. In addition to the lantern trail there's entertainment, a bar, food and drink area, not forgetting Santa's Grotto and fairground rides for children.

 
 
 

Great Christmas Pudding Race

Get down to Covent Garden to watch 150 Christmas puddings tackle a festive obstacle course.

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station, Charing Cross Station

 

Dates: Saturday 2nd December 2017

 

You're familiar with the egg and spoon race. Well how about the Christmas Pudding Race? Covent Garden Piazza swells with spectators as about 150 contestants in teams of six don fancy dress and race around a course strewn with flour-filled balloons, foam jets and other obstacles - all while trying to balance a Christmas pudding on a flimsy plate! The race has been going on every year since 1980 and it raises money for Cancer Research. At this time of year Covent Garden is a great place to be, with shops full of Christmas decorations and street entertainers putting on some diverting shows before and after the main event. The perfect way to break up a day of Christmas shopping in Covent Garden's collection of stylish stores.

 
 
 

Shard Lights

The tallest building in town puts on a free festive light show.

The Shard, 96 Tooley Street, Bankside, London, SE1 9SG

Tube: London Bridge Station

 

Dates: 4th to 31st December 2017

 

Shining like a beacon over London, the tallest building in town puts on a free festive light show throughout December as the top 20 storeys of The Shard are lit up, illuminating the city's skyline. With a very special theme, unveiled on the first night, Shard Lights makes us look up and enjoy the night sky, illuminated from dusk until early morning with one of five colours each day, on rotation. There will be an array of visual effects including gradients, patterns and sparkles throughout the evening. The show builds to a crescendo at midnight and features special one-off displays to mark the first night, on Monday 4th December, and New Year's Eve. Returning for a fifth year, the Shard Lights are an alternative to the traditional Christmas Lights in the capital.

 
 
 

Pop-Up Screens Cinema in the Snow

This cinema guarantees a white Christmas.

Hackney Showroom, Amhurst Terrace, London, E8 2BT

Tube: Manor House Station

 

Dates: 8th to 24th December 2017

 

Pop Up Screens returns to the Hackney Showroom for a winter residency this year, transforming the former print works into a Cinema in the Snow. The winter wonderland will be a snow-filled world of film, accessed through a magic wardrobe, and feature a line-up of festive favourites, kicking off with Elf on 8th and 9th December. Other films being screened include Love Actually, Frozen, Home Alone, Toy Story, Sleepless in Seattle and Muppets Christmas Carol as well the multi Oscar award-winning La La Land. Hot Chocolate, handmade brownies, popcorn and mulled wine will be on offer and you can bet on a white Christmas here - on entering through the wardrobe, visitors will be greeted by falling snow.

 
 
 
 

Slava's Snowshow

This award-winning theatrical sensation will leave you knee deep in snow.

Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX

Tube: Waterloo Station , Embankment Underground Station

 

Dates: 18th December 2017 to 4th January 2018

 

The multi-award winning sensation, Slava's Snowshow has delighted audiences in over 80 cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong and Moscow. And now this visual masterpiece returns to London for a fourth year for another Christmas season at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre this December. Loved by children and adults alike, Slava's Snowshow is a combination of theatrical clowning and stunning spectacle performed by the internationally renowned company of clowns lead by Slava Polunin. Experience a unique dream-like world which culminates in a breathtaking blizzard leaving you (literally) knee deep in snow! The Independent was moved to describe it as "simply thrilling - an unmissable comedy masterpiece." Recommended for ages 8 and above, this is definitely one not to miss.

 
 
 

Peter Pan Cup Swimming Race

This brave (and crazy) bunch love nothing more than an icy dip in the Serpentine.

Serpentine Boating Lake, The Boat House, Serpentine Road, Hyde Park, London, W2 2UH

Tube: Knightsbridge Station

 

Dates: Monday 25th December 2017

 

This lot are a hardy bunch but tradition is tradition and members of the Serpentine Swimming Club have been plunging themselves into the Serpentine lake's icy waters every Christmas Day since 1864. At temperatures of below four degrees Celsius in winter, the swimmers will want to get a wiggle on so it's lucky that they are all in hot pursuit of the prestigious Peter Pan Cup. The name of the 100-yard race dates back to 1904 when J.M Barrie, the creator of the boy who refused to grow up, presented the first cup. While most of us are still tucked up in bed or delving into our stocking the competitors line up (and pretend not to shiver) for their 9am start, a jolly crowd gathers to witness the spectacle. It's a great way to get some fresh air on Christmas morning and you'll feel like you've earned your post-lunch snooze. Behind you, Hyde Park offers a wonderful wintry landscape and, if you want to continue the Peter Pan theme, why not nip across to see the famous statue in Kensington Gardens. It was so cold and snowy in 2010 that the race had to be cancelled - although some intrepid souls still broke holes in the ice in order to have a quick dip.

 
 
 

QUEENS Skate, Dine, Bowl

A huge indoor ice rink, 12 bowling lanes, plenty of retro arcade machines and a British diner.

17 Queensway, Bayswater, London, W2 4QP

Tube: Bayswater Underground Station , Queensway Station

 
 

A huge indoor ice rink, 12 bowling lanes, plenty of retro arcade machines and a British diner by MEATliquor - QUEENS Skate, Dine, Bowl has been entertaining Londoners since the 1930s and underwent a massive refurb at the end of 2016. With an interior that pays homage to ice skaters and bowling lovers of decades gone by, Queens is a 45,000 square foot entertainment venue with eating, drinking, skating and bowling under one roof, appealing to teenagers and corporate bookings alike. Two bars have been designed in an industrial, British-retro style and you can eat MEATLiquor burgers at the 200-capacity bar, which also has a pool table, fruit machines, table football and dart board, or have food and craft beers brought to your bowling lane or served at the spectators' area by the ice rink.

 
 
 
 
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