Guide to what’s on in London in December 2020

Find out what’s on in London over the Christmas period.

Christmas © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018Well, 2020 is nearly over, and I’m sure most of the country is glad to see the back of a very difficult year. While Christmas will undoubtedly be different to what we’re used to, plenty of London’s hospitality and entertainment businesses will be pulling out all the stops to offer a safe and entertaining social event. Expect social distancing, frequent cleaning and masks may be required so you can feel protected while enjoying the festivities. Among the events taking place are foodie fayres, film screenings, pantomimes and art exhibitions.

For December, London will be Tier 2, which means no mixing indoors with people outside your household or support bubble. Up to six people can meet outdoors in parks, private gardens and pub’s outdoor spaces.

20 Dec update: London is now in Tier 4 so a majority of events and attractions are likely to be cancelled or postponed. Please check the event website for further up-to-date information.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

Look out for the computer symbol 💻 for online events.

  • 2 – 24 December : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen

Enjoy cookalongs, masterclasses and talks from foodie experts and chefs streamed live from a special kitchen in the historic London market. Events take place Wed-Fri online. All live content will be streamed on the market’s Facebook page. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event. 💻 

  • 2 December – 27 February 2021 : Connected by Light

Although the Winter Lights festival has been postponed, Canary Wharf’s contemporary streets have been lit by a series of light installations. Dusk until 10pm. Free. Installations dotted throughout Canary Wharf estate, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. 🐻

  • 3 – 7 December : The Parking Lot Social @ Syon Park

A line-up of drive-in festive events, including Cinderella pantomime, film nights, car-a-oke, silent disco and festive food market, all from the safety of your car. Times vary. Tickets: £38.78 per car. Syon Park, Park Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. For tickets, visit the Parking Lot Social website. 🐻

  • 3 – 20 December : Cinema in the Snow

Enjoy a festive cinematic experience. Enter through a magical wardrobe and walk through a winter wonderland to the screening room. Watch a mix of classic and recent favourites. Covid-19 safety precautions being taken, including cleaning and socially-distanced seats. Tickets from £19.50. Unit 8, Copeland Park, Peckham, SE15 3SN. Nearest station: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Pop up Screens website. 🐻

  • 4 December – 31 January 2021 : Dante’s In-Furlough

Step into the Underworld to see The Devil getting married. An immersive, theatrical show with dining options. Social distancing and mandatory face coverings. Thur-Sat: Entry times from 5.30pm-8.30pm, Sun: Entry times from 4.30pm-7.30pm. Tickets: From £25, Dining from £55. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo, Lambeth North or Waterloo East. For more information, visit The Vaults website.

  • 11 – 13 December : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £24.50, Children 5-15yr £12.20, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website.

  • 11 – 13 and 18 – 21 December : Christmas @ Old Royal Naval College

A host of Christmas festivities are taking place at the Old Royal Naval College. Including the illuminated Christmas tree, festive market (12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 December), carol services, winter dining at the Painted Hall and a production of The Little Match Girl. Event timings and dates vary. Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Old Royal Naval College website. 🐻

  • 13 – 19 December : We’re All Human exhibition @ Pi Artworks

Dutch artist Jade van der Mark presents an exhibition of her large-scale paintings on city life. Open 11am-6pm. Pi Artworks, 55 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8EG. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit the artist’s website or the Pi Artworks website.

  • 17 – 20 December : Love Actually in Concert

Watch the iconic film’s soundtrack performed live by an orchestra accompanying the screening. Socially distanced seating. Times: Matinee 2pm, Evening 6.30pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: £65-£81. Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9QH. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information and booking, visit the Eventim Apollo website.

London’s largest LED Christmas tree @ Wembley Park
© Chris Winter

  • Now until 31 December : The Drive In

Drive-in cinema offers film screenings and live experiences (e.g. musical performances, theatre, etc) in Enfield. With refreshments available, social distancing guidelines and the audio beamed in through your car stereo. Tickets: One car £35. The Drive In, Troubadour Meridian Water, Harbet Road, Enfield, N18 3QQ. For tickets and more information, visit The Drive In website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2021 : United in Light @ Wembley Park

Wembley Park has unveiled a selection of light installations for the festive period, including London’s tallest LED Christmas tree, festive selfie spots and ‘United in Light’, a new Instagram artwork on the Spanish steps. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.

  • Now until 3 January 2021 : Summer Winter exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts

The summer exhibition is now winter as it was delayed due to Covid-19. Check out new art from a mix of established and emerging artists and architects, including Tracey Emin, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Gillian Wearing and Ai Weiwei. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20-£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the RA website.

  • Now until 3 January 2021 : Christmas at Kew

A glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. 4pm-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £19.50/£24.50, Children £14.50, Under 4 free. Select your entrance gate when booking. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2021: The Magic of Christmas @ London Zoo

London Zoo are hosting a series of festive events alongside the usual animal enclosures. You can meet Santa, enjoy VIP Santa Breakfasts and Animal Gift Giving sessions. Open 10am-4pm. Ticket prices vary depending on activities. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 January 2021 : ‘Traditionally Untraditional’ Christmas @ King’s Cross

Three alternative Christmas trees have been unveiled across King’s Cross. Installations on show at Coal Drops Yard, Battle Bridge Place and Granary Square, King’s Cross, NC1. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.  Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for details. 🐻

The Terrarium Tree © John Sturrock

The Terrarium Tree in Coal Drops Yard in one of King’s Cross’ Christmas installations
© John Sturrock

  • Now until 17 January 2021 : Hogwarts in the Snow

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover. Featuring a snowy visit to Diagon Alley and the Great Hall. Tickets: Adults £47, Children £38, 4yrs and under free. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website. 🐻

  • Now until 31 January 2021 : Remembering a Brave New World

A light installation by British artist Chila Kumari Singh Burman has been unveiled on the façade of the Tate Britain. Best viewed from dusk nightly. Tate Britain, Millbank, Westminster, SW1P 4RG. Nearest station: Pimlico. For more information, visit the Tate website.  Check out Metro Girl’s post for more details.

  • Now until 31 January 2021 : The Murder Express

Enjoy an immersive fine dining experience on board a 19th century train carriage. Enjoy a four-course meal cooked by a Masterchef finalist, while sipping on cocktails and watching a murder mystery unfold. Times vary. Tickets from £60. Located at 63 Pedley Street, E1 5FB. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green, Shoreditch High Street or Whitechapel. For more information, visit Funicular Productions. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.

  • Now until 31 January 2021 : Dub London – Bassline of a City

A new exhibition explores dub reggae and its influence on the capital. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Museum of London website.

  • Now until 21 February 2021 : Black Greenwich Pensioners exhibition

A look at the stories and legacies of the Black Royal Navy pensioners who lived at Greenwich and served at sea. Open 10am-5pm. Mezzanine Gallery, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Old Royal Naval College website.

  • Now until 21 February 2021 : Nauman Neon @ Tate Modern

In Bruce Nauman’s first London exhibition in nearly 20 years, explore his immersive installations, including neon art and poetic sculptures. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £13 (free for members). Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information and booking, visit the Tate Modern website.

  • Now until 28 February 2021 : Winter Light @ Southbank Centre

Over 15 new artworks and installations have been dotted around the Southbank Centre complex to light up the gloomy evenings. Full exhibition from dusk to 11.30pm. Free. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • Now until TBA : Heart of the Nation: Migration and the Making of the NHS

The Migration Museum have launched a digital exhibition showcasing the valuable contribution of migrants to the National Health Service. Migration Museum, Lewisham Shopping Centre, SE13 7HB. Nearest station: Lewisham. For more information, visit the Migration Museum website. 💻

  • Now until 6 June 2021 : Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Witness the beauty and diversity of the natural world in this annual photography exhibition. Open Wed-Sun 11am-5.50pm (closed Mon-Tues). Tickets: Adults £14.95, Children £8.95. Natural History Museum, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM museum website. 🐻

  • Now until July 2023 : Scenes in the Square

Check out bronze sculptures of iconic film characters around Leicester Square. Eight interactive characters, such as Lauren & Hardy to Wonder Woman will be placed in the square for four months. Free. Leicester Square, Westminster, WC2H 7DE. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Leicester Square website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the exhibition. 🐻

London’s pantomimes and Christmas shows 2020

London’s arts industry has really struggled this year due to the pandemic so it’s great to see some theatre opening their doors again for the festive period. This Christmas, many theatres have pulled out all the stops to present Covid-safe productions of pantomimes, ballets and other Christmas entertainment. Expect socially distanced seating, mask-wearing and staggered arrival times.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Santa’s on his way!

  • 3 – 23 December : Cinderella – A Socially Distanced Ball

A saucy, socially-distanced pantomime comes to Battersea Power Station. Over 18s only. Tickets: Two-seat bubble £72, Single-seat bubble £36. The Turbine Theatre, Arches Lane, Circus West, Battersea, SW11 8AB. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Turbine Theatre website.

  • 3 – 31 December : Puss in Boots @ Millfield Theatre

Tickets: Adults £22.50, conc £19.50. Millfield Theatre, Silver Street, Edmonton, N18 1PJ. Nearest station: Silver Street. For more information, visit the Millfield Theatre website.

  • 5 December – 10 January 2021 : Potted Panto @ Garrick Theatre

Dan & Jeff return to the West End with the 10th anniversary season of the Potted Panto, including seven classic pantos in 70 minutes. Tickets from £20. Garrick Theatre, 2 Charing Cross Road, Westminster, WC2H 0HH. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Charing Cross. For tickets, visit the Nimax Theatre website.

  • 7 December – 2 January 2021 : A Christmas Carol – The Musical Staged Concert @ The Dominion

A musical adaptation of the classic Dickens’ tale, starring Brian Conley, Jacqueline Jossa, Matt Jay-Willis, Lucie Jones and Sandra Marvin. 3pm matinees, 7.30pm evening performances. Tickets from £28.75. Dominion Theatre, 268-269 Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia, W1T 7AQ. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. For tickets, visit the Nederlander website.

  • 10 December – 3 January 2021 : Stick Man @ Rose Theatre

Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s popular Stick Man has been adapted for a socially-distanced stage production. Tickets: Premium £22, Standard £17. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1 1HL. Nearest station: Kingston. For more information, visit the Rose Theatre website.

  • 11 December – 23 January 2021 : Dick Whittington @ National Theatre

Ned Bennett directs a new production of the classic tale for the National Theatre’s first panto. Tickets: £20-£89. National Theatre, Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit the National Theatre website.

  • 12 December – 3 January 2021 : Pantoland @ The Palladium

Starring Julian Clary, Elaine Paige, Ashley Banjo & Diversity, Paul Zerdin, Nigel Havers, Gary Wilmot and Beverley Knight. Tickets £65-£129. Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, W1F 7TE. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For tickets, visit the Palladium website.

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About Metro Girl

Media professional who was born, brought up and works in London. My blog is a guide to London - what's on, festivals, history, reviews and attractions. All images on my blog are © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl, unless otherwise specified. Do not use without seeking permission first.

Posted on 30 Nov 2020, in Christmas, Entertainment, Families, Festivals, Film, London, Museums, Shopping, Theatre and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

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