Guide to what’s on in London this Christmas 2013
December is one of the best months to be in London. Yes, the weather is rather cold, but there’s so much going on. Obviously, most of it involves Christmassy stuff. Just because the temperatures have plummeted, it doesn’t mean outside is totally off-limits – there’s plenty of fairs, winter wonderlands and other places to have fun in the fresh air. Or if you can’t stomach being outside, there’s also tons of activities and places to visit in the warm too.
For the 2014 guide to what’s on in London this Christmas, click here.
- 3 – 7 December : Pig’s Ear Beer Festival
Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA at the Round Chapel in Hackney. Over 200 beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Round Chapel, Powerscroft Road, Hackney, E5 0PU. Admission £2 for CAMRA members, £4 for non-members. Open from noon until 11pm. Nearest rail station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. Visit the Pig’s Ear website for more information.
- 3 December : Candlelight evening opening at Sir John Soane’s Museum
The former home of 19th century architect Sir John Soane is a treasure trove of sculptures, painting and antiquities which he collected over his lifetime. Once a month, the museum is open on the first Tuesday of the month for an evening candlelight opening Bookings are not taken in advance, with tickets only issued to the first 200 people. Open from 6-9pm, however tickets are issued at 5.30pm. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.
- Now until 4 December : Nordic Film Festival
A celebration of the best films to come out of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden at various locations across London, including Riverside Studios, ICA and Ciné Lumière. For more information, visit the Nordic Film Festival website.
- 5 – 8 December : East London Design Show
Showcasing the best in UK contemporary design, including homewares, ceramics, furniture, jewellery, lighting and fashion. Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LT. Nearest tube: Old Street, Shoreditch High Street or Hoxton. For more information, visit the East London Design Show website.
- 5 – 22 December : Christmas at Trafalgar Square
After the lighting of the Christmas Tree on December 5 (a gift from Norway), there is annual carol singing in the Square. Carol singing weekdays 4-8pm, weekends 2-6pm. Trafalgar Square. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 6 – 17 December : Spitalfields Winter Festival
Music festival in the Spitalfields area of the East End featuring music old and new. For listings and more information, visit the Spitalfields Music website.
- 7 December : Great Christmas Pudding Race
Watch or take part in the annual Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden, which sees participants dressing up and raising money for Cancer Research UK. Covent Garden Piazza, WC1. Nearest tube: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and details on entering, visit the Xmas Pudding Race website.
- 7 December : OSS December Dip
This is not for the faint-hearted! The Outdoor Swimming Society host their annual December Dip – inviting swimmers to plunge into the Parliament Hill Lido, where temperatures will be between 0.1 and 6 degrees!!! All swimmers will receive a swimming hat, hot drinks, mince pies and a warming tipple for after. Entertainment will be provided by the North London Brass Band. 11am-1pm. Dippers tickets: £15 (book in advance), Spectators: £1. Parliament Hill Lido, Gordon House Road, NW5 1NB. Nearest tube: Gospel Oak. For more information, visit the OSS website.
- Now until 8 December : Enchanted Woodland
Syon Park in South West London is open after hours every Friday, Saturday and Sun for three weekends, with an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum. Exciting lighting effects will transform the trees, plants and lake into a magical place. Hot food and drinks also available. Open 5-9pm, last entry 8pm. Tickets: Adults £7, Children £3. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest train station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 11 and 18 December : Backyard Cinemas Presents Luxury Christmas Selection
Pop-up cinema firm Backyard Cinema will transform the original council chamber of Bethnal Green’s old town hall – now the Town Hall Hotel – into a luxury cinema experience for screenings of The Great Gatsby (11 Dec) and Much Ado About Nothing (18 Dec). Sit in old leather sofas while feasting on sumptuous snack boxes and sipping luxury cocktails, served by 1950s cigarette girls. Tickets £16-£29. Booking must be done in advance. Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, Bethnal Green, E2 9NF. Nearest tube/train: Bethnal Green or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Backyard Cinema website.
- 13 – 15 December : Chocolate Festival
Outdoor festival in the square behind the Royal Festival Hall on the Southbank. A celebration of all things chocolate, with tastings, lessons on how to make your own chocolate, recipes, masterclasses and plenty of opportunity to purchase chocolate. Fri and Sat: 11am-8pm. Sun 9: 11am-6pm. Southbank Centre Square, Belvedere Road, SE1 8xx. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Chocolate Festival website.
- 22 December : Christmas Carnaval del Pueblo
Latin festival at the Coronet Theatre in Elephant & Castle. Featuring live music, talent contest, salsa classes, Latin DJs, art and craft stalls, food and drink. 3-11pm. Coronet, 28 New Kent Road, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6TJ. Nearest tube: Elephant & Castle. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 4 January 2014 : Christmas Festival @ Kew Gardens
An array of day and night time activities, including Christmas After Dark Illuminated Trail, Christmas Village, Santa’s Grotto, Boutique Christmas Market. Kews Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- Now until 5 January 2014 : Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland does exactly what is say on the tin – the south east corner of the park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and lots of mulled wine, as well as Christmas gifts. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. There is also an open air ice rink for those who fancy a twirl and Zippos Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s visit to Winter Wonderland last year.
Now until 6 January 2014 : Hogwarts In The Snow
A must for all Harry Potter fans. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover with props and decorations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £29.00, Children £21.90. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
Ballet Productions this Christmas
3 December – 26 January 2014 : Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake – New Adventures @ Sadler’s Wells. Rosebery Avenue, Farringdon, EC1R. For tickets, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.
4 December – 16 January 2014 : The Nutcracker @ Royal Opera House. Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. For tickets, visit the ROH website.
11 December – 5 January 2014 : The Nutcracker @ English National Opera. London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross WC2N 4ES. For tickets visit the ENO website.
Pantomime productions this Christmas
21 November – 5 January 2014 : Puss In Boots at the Greenwich Theatre. Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.
23 November – 4 January 2014 : Jack And The Beanstalk at The Lyric Hammersmith. Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.
23 November – 5 January 2014 : Puss In Boots at the Hackney Empire. 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.
23 November – 11 January 2014 : Dick Whittington at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Gerry Raffles Square, E15 1BN. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.
29 November – 5 January 2014: Cinderella at The Churchill Theatre. High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1HA. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
6 December – 12 January 2014 : Peter Pan at Richmond Theatre. The Green, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1QJ. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
6 December – 12 January 2014 : Aladdin at the New Wimbledon Theatre. 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1QG. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
6 December – 5 January 2014 : Peter Pan at Fairfield Halls. Park Lane, Croydon, Surrey, CR9 1DG. For tickets, visit the Fairfield Halls website.
13 – 31 December : Cinderella at The Shaw Theatre. 100-110 Euston Road, Somers Town, NW1 2AJ. For tickets, visit the Shaw Theatre website.
13 – 31 December : Cinderella at The Broadway Theatre. Catford Road, Catford, SE6 4RU. For tickets, visit the Broadway Theatre website.
14 December – 5 January 2014 : Cinderella at The Beck Theatre. Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 2UE. For tickets, visit the Beck Theatre website.
Posted on 1 Dec 2013, in Activities, Festivals, Grub, London, Tourist Attractions and tagged ballet, Christmas, Christmas fair, ice skating, London, pantomime, Things to do in London, Trafalgar Square, What's On Guide, Winter Wonderland. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.