The Christmas season in London brings a range of additional attractions, from seasonal shows to festive markets and carol singing. Here’s our round-up of some of the top Christmas events in London:
Oxford Street Lights Switch On, 5th November
One of the earliest and biggest Christmas events in London is the Oxford Street Lights Switch On. Marmite has fittingly sponsored this year’s event: whether you love or hate the large crowds or the pop stars flicking the switch, there is no doubt that this is an iconic event in the West End calendar.
If you can’t make this free party on Oxford Street, other London thoroughfares switch on their Christmas lights at events throughout November. Look out for the celebrations in Regent Street, Marylebone High Street, Greenwich Market, the Westgate shopping centres, and many other locations.
Outdoor Ice Rinks, November – January
A trip to an outdoor ice rink is one of the most popular Christmas events in London. There’s plenty of opportunity for fun for the whole family on the ice in front of a scenic backdrop like the Natural History Museum, the Tower of London, or Hampton Court Palace.
The courtyard of Somerset House (16th November – 6th January) provides one of the most glorious settings for an adventure on the ice. Canary Wharf ice rink (3rd November – 13th January) ups the skate stakes this year with an ice path that carries skaters on a loop away from the main rink.
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park, 23rd November – 6th January
Hyde Park is transformed for the Christmas season into a festive theme park where you can find the biggest outdoor ice rink of all. Entrance to Winter Wonderland is free, so everyone can stroll amongst the markets, bars and food stalls. Tickets are sold separately for the rides and attractions, notably a 60 metre high observation wheel, Zippos circus, and the unique ice sculpture experience.
Santa can be visited at Winter Wonderland, as well many other London attractions during his busy run-in to Christmas.
The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House, 10th December – 16th January
For a more restful evening out, away from the office parties and present shopping, The Nutcracker ballet is one of the classic Christmas events in London. The Royal Ballet will perform in Peter Wright’s production at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The stunning set and Tchaikovsky’s famous score beautifully evoke the childhood magic of Christmas.
At the time of writing, the 5 performances before Christmas are already sold out, but tickets are available for the rest of the run. The 13th December show will be filmed as part of the Royal Opera House Cinema programme and the live broadcast may be shown at a cinema near you!
Navigate your way around all the London festive events with the A-Z London Visitors’ Map. This A-Z London Visitors’ Map is ideal for tourists wishing to explore the many attractions central London has to offer.