Whether you are going back home to the capital for the Christmas break or are staying in your student housing in London, there are plenty of ways to have festive fun this December. Ever since Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and countless snowy stories London has been a city synonymous with Christmas. The English capital goes all-out to show its many visitors the best Christmas possible with lots of special festive events taking place across the city. Here are a few ideas for you to experience a special Christmas in London and take in special pop-up venues, activities and events all being held this year.
Go Ice Skating
One way to get into the swing of a London Christmas is to go ice skating on one of the pop-up ice rinks which appear in various places at this time of year. Hyde Park, the National History Museum and Somerset House all host outdoor ice rinks for great active fun.
Have a Traditional Christmas Dinner
The highlight of most people’s festive seasons is Christmas Dinner. A large turkey with all the trimmings, crackers to pull and a couple of glasses of wine are a great way to mark this special occasion. If you are planning on cooking your own Christmas dinner you should prepare early before all the turkeys get bought. Alternatively, you could go out for a full Christmas Dinner as many London restaurants stay open on the 25th December.
Walk in a Winter Wonderland
Hype Park in Central London is transformed during the festive period (21st November-4th January) into a Christmas fairground of seasonal fun. With an ice rink, a circus, giant wheel and magical ice kingdom there is plenty to keep you occupied and get you into the Christmas spirit. The closest tube stations are Marble Arch, Hyde Park Corner, Victoria and Knightsbridge and it’s free to enter.
See a Panto
Another traditional Christmas pastime is the festive pantomime. Usually starring celebrities from the television and often tongue-in-cheek with plenty of innuendo and crowd participation. This is by no means high culture but can be great fun. Amongst the highlights in the West End this year are Snow While starring Jerry Hall, Peter Panto at The Tabernacle and, for adults only, Sleeping Booty.
Winterville in Victoria Park is a new Christmas-themed village set up throughout December featuring a roller disco, Cirque du Cabaret and a pop-up events space. If you are living in East London this is a must-visit. The Spiegeltent hosts a variety of entertainment with comedy, cabaret and a night club all taking place in it’s canvas walls. However, it is wise to book the ice skating, roller disco and performance tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.