Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and is right around the corner. If you’re planning on heading to one of the liveliest capitals in the world for the festivities, then you have a ton in store for you. London loves Christmas time, and the people of the city put on a wide range of events for you to get involved in.
But with so much available, how do you choose what to do with your friends and family? Lucky for you, we’ve compiled the seven biggest events in London to get involved in around Christmas. There is something for everyone, so whether you want to go by yourself, with a loved one, or with children, you’ll certainly find something great to do.
Visit Winter Wonderland
Prepare for the ultimate festive day by heading over to Hyde Park for Winter Wonderland. Around since 2007, this Christmassy event has boasted over two million visitors a year, and this is no surprise. You feel like you’re heading to the North Pole itself with tons of fun-filled activities related to the most wonderful time of the year.
You can browse the markets for a gift for your loved ones, get a thrill on one of the rides, have a drink in the Winter Wonderland ice bar, or grab a bite to eat in the Bavarian Village. Running from November to January, there is plenty of time to check out the magic of this event.
Explore London’s Christmas markets
Almost every city in the United Kingdom tries to compete to see who can host the most spectacular Christmas market each year, but no one can quite beat the ones held throughout London. Not only can you find beautiful and intricate handmade gifts, but they often have delicious food stalls where you can enjoy delicious treats and mulled wine.
The market you choose to visit is entirely up to you, and they each have their own special quirks. You can either head to the Southbank Centre’s Winter Market for something unique or the popular Camden Market for something a little more mainstream.
London Christmas lights
What shows you that Christmas in London has really started? Christmas lights, of course! No matter where you are in the world, the most magical part of the festive season is driving by houses and buildings to see the bright displays. But nothing quite beats the festive feeling you get from admiring the lights in London.
Oxford Street and Regent Street are the two main locations to see the Christmas lights in England’s capital city. However, these can get extremely busy, so if you want something a little more intimate, you can check out Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Seven Dials, or Bond Street.
Go ice skating
How’s your balance? If it’s good, then you may want to put on your ice skates and hit the rink during the Christmas season in London. There’s nothing better than gliding your way through the ice with friends and family (even if you happen to fall a few times). And there are tons of amazing places in the city where you can get involved in this activity.
The most popular spot to go ice skating in London over the winter season is Canary Wharf. You may have to book in advance, but it is certainly something spectacular once you’re on the ice. Other rinks to visit include Battersea Power Station, Somerset House, Westfield Winter Village, and Hampton Court Palace.
Carols at Trafalgar Square
You don’t have to sit at home and wait for someone to knock on your door and sing carols this year because you can head on over to Trafalgar Square and hear them immediately. You can listen to over 40 carol groups sing for an hour each day leading up to Christmas and for a good cause.
Each of the carollers is there to raise money for charity, and you can donate money to support their angelic voices. You can take the entire family with you, grab a warm cup of hot chocolate, and huddle around the bright and beautiful Christmas tree to sing along with some of the best groups in the city.
Giving is a better feeling than receiving, which must be why Christmas shopping is a great activity to do during the festive season. If you need to buy your loved ones their presents for the year, there are plenty of fantastic streets, markets, and shopping centres in the city's heart for you to explore.
There is of course the most popular Oxford Street, but you may also want to head to Covent Garden for its annual Christmas pop-up. You can also head to any of the above-mentioned Christmas Markets, Winter Wonderland, or Westfield Shopping Centre to find that perfect gift.
Go to a festive afternoon tea
There’s nothing more British than afternoon tea, and they are especially great when you have one around Christmas time. Luckily, there are a ton of especially festive afternoon teas set up each year in London that you can book with some of your best friends, equipped with mince pies, sandwiches, cakes, and glasses of bubbly.
This Christmas activity is a little bit more upmarket and comes with a hefty price tag, however it is definitely worth it and an experience you’ll remember. If this is something that interests you, then you can book your afternoon tea at some of the most luxurious places in London, like Claridges, The Connaught, and The Ritz.
You can’t beat spending time with friends and family in London at Christmas doing some of the most magical activities in one of the best cities in the world. Even if you want to wander through the Christmas markets yourself or check out the carols, it is definitely something you’ll remember for years to come. Try one (or all) of these activities this festive season, and you certainly won’t regret it.