Guide to what’s on in London in December 2022
Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London this month.
This year has flown by and it’s finally December! After two pared-back Decembers thanks to the pandemic-that-should-not-be-named, many will be making up for lost time by fully embracing the festive season this year. However, with the cost of living crisis rumbling on, plenty of Londoners will be looking for more affordable celebrations to share with friend and families in the run-up to Christmas.
Among the events on in the capital this December include illumination and light trails, festive cinematic experiences, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.
Look out for the for family-friendly activities.
- 1 December 2022 : Christmas Late Night Shopping & Workshops @ Japan House
Japan House is opening its doors for an evening of demonstrations, workshops, and tastings of Japanese food and drink, as well as the opportunity to learn about Japanese card making and gift wrapping. 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Japan House London website.
- 1 – 4 December 2022 : Sparkle in the Park 2022
The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s annual light trail moves to a new location this year. Along with the lights, there will also be festive food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Well Hall Pleasaunce Park, Well Hall Road, Eltham, SE9 6SN. Nearest station: Eltham. For more information, visit the Greenwich Council website.
- 2, 9 and 16 December 2022 : Hackney Christmas Beer Festival
Sample beer from over 20 breweries, alongside cocktails, mulled wine, street food, and DJs on three consecutive Fridays. 6pm-10pm. Free entry. Bohemia Place Market, Hackney, E8 1DU. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.
- 2 – 4 December 2022 : Festive Fayre @ Hampton Court Palace
The courtyards of the historic royal palace will be transformed into a foodies’ paradise, with artisan food and drink, gift stalls, and carol services. From 10am-6pm. Tickets (included with palace admission): Adults from £26.10, Children from £13, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻
- 2 – 25 December 2022 : Shadow Play
Art installation sees shadow images and stories celebrating London’s diverse communities light up the windows of the Royal Albert Wharf. From 4pm-10pm. Free. Royal Albert Wharf, Dock Walk, E16 2GU. Nearest station: Gallions Reach. For more information, visit the Royal Docks website. 🐻
- 2 December 2022 – 3 January 2023 : Christmas @ Kenwood
The fabulous grounds and buildings at Kenwood will be lit up in a Christmas light trail. There will also be festive food and drink. From 4.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: Adults £29.50, Children £22.50. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7JR. Nearest stations: Highgate or Hampstead. For tickets, visit the Christmas at Kenwood website. 🐻
- 2 December 2022 – 31 January 2023 : Avora – A New World Cocktail Experience
Step into an immersive cocktail experience, featuring theartical sets, a talented cast of actors and unique cocktails. Over 18s only. Open Tues-Wed: 6pm–10:45pm, Thur 6pm-11:45pm, Fri 4pm-11.45pm, Sat 12pm-11.45pm, Sun 2pm-7.45pm. Tickets: £47 (includes 3 cocktails). Rosewood Building, Hackney Road, Hoxton, E2 8GY. Nearest station: Hoxton. For tickets, visit the Avora website.
- 3 – 4 December 2022 : London’s Greatest Weekends
The Museum of London marks its last weekend at its London Wall museum site before its big move with a festival-themed celebrations. Exploring music from the ’70s to present day, a late-night film festival, performances from the Walking Theatre Company and more. All ages welcome. Daily from 10am. Free entry. Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest station: Barbican or St Pauls. For more information, visit the MoL website. 🐻
- 3 December 2022 – 2 January 2023 : Gingerbread City
The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists, designers and engineers create five miniature cities made entirely of gingerbread and icing. There are also daily gingerbread house-making workshops. Open Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm, Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Under 12s £10. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻
- 4 December 2022 : Soul Royalty Winter Festival
Free evening of music in the courtyard of Devonshire Square, curated and headlined by Zalon, showcasing young emerging talent in soul, funk and reggae music. 4.30pm-9pm. Free to attend, but register on Eventbrite in advance. Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.
- 5 – 11 December 2022 : Floating Film Festival
Cosy up on a deckchair with a blanket and watch classic Christmas films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm and 2pm on weekends. Tickets: £16.76-£32.93.St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website. 🐻
- 7 – 26 December 2022 : Palace of Light
Follow a light and lantern trail around the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. Street food and drink available from KERB. From 5.15pm-8.15pm. Tickets: Light trail only: Adult: £14.50, Child: £9.50 (palace & trail combi tickets also available). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻
- 10 December 2022 : All the Wonder of Jermyn Street
Jermyn Street in St James will be closed to traffic for one day only for a festive celebration. Featuring lights, live entertainment, stilt walkers, craft workshops, pop-up stores and KERB street food market. 12pm-6pm. Free to attend. Jermyn Street, St James, SW1Y. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park. For more information, visit the Regent Street website. 🐻
- Now until 11 December 2022 : Supermodels exhibition
Architectural and design studio Piercy & Co presents an exhibition of its architectural models. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-7pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm. Free entry. Jahn Court, Regent Quarter, 34 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AB. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Piercy & Co website.
- 13 December 2022 – 5 February 2023 : The Museum of the Moon
British artist Luke Jerram is returning to the Painted Hall following his popular ‘Gaia’ installation of the Earth with a to-scale installation of the Moon, internally lit. Late-night events are also taking place during the exhibition period. Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children 16yr and under free. Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Greenwich, Cutty Sark or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website. 🐻
- 15 December 2022 : An Evening of Cheese
Borough Market’s annual celebration the cheese returns, with tastings and expert advice from cheesemongers. From 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
- 15 December 2022 : Miracle on Leake Street
Alternative festive celebration returns to the graffitied tunnels under Waterloo station, including cabaret performances, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’ screening, wreath-making workshop, festive face-painting and a craft market, as well as food and drink. 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1. Nearest stations: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the We Are Waterloo website.
- 16 December 2022 : London Christmas Beer Festival
Over 40 breweries serving 100s of craft beer, along with other winter booze and seasonal food. Open Fri 8pm-11pm, Sat 11.30am-4.30pm and 6pm-11pm. Tickets (inc beer glass): £20. Tobacco Dock, 50 Porters Walk, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the beer festival website.
- Now until 18 December 2022 : Christmas Workshops @ Leadenhall Market
Get ready for Christmas with festive craft and wreath-making workshops at the City’s historic Leadenhall Market. Wed-Fri 7pm-9.30pm. Sat-Sun10.30am-1pm and 3pm–5.30pm. Tickets: £75. Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.
- Now until 23 December 2022 : Inspired!
Exhibition explores how visual artists have taken inspiration from the literary arts. Opening hours TBC. Tickets: £8. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.
- 23 December 2022 – 25 February 2023 : Dalí Cybernetics – The Immersive Experience
Salvador Dalí’s weird and wonderful artworks are brought to life in an immersive exhibiton. Open: Mon, Wed, Thu – 10am-7pm, Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £24.90, Children £15.90. The Boiler House. 152 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6RU. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit the Immersive Dalí website.
- Now until 31 December 2022 : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience
An immersive experience inspired by the classic story. Travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Over 12s only. Times vary. Tickets: £40-£130. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the War of the World’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the show.
- Now until 2 January 2023 : Lightopia Festival
The award-winning festival of lights is return to the capital, but this time to south London’s Crystal Palace. Talk a winter walk through a light display with illuminations, interactive displays and installations. Open 5pm-10pm (last entry 8.30pm). Tickets: Adults £19.50/£24.50, Child 3-15yrs £13/£16.50. Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace or Penge West. For more information and booking, visit the Lightopia website. 🐻
- Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Festival Brent Cross
Take a break from your Christmas shopping at the Winter Festival, featuring Santa’s Grotto, ice rink, fun fair rides and food and drink. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-9pm (From 17 December onwards, opening times extend to 12pm-9pm daily). Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For more information and booking, visit the Winter Festival Brent Cross website. 🐻
- Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Wonderland
The south-east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Wheel, Bar Ice, Real Ice Slide, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Bavarian Village, and more. Open daily 10am-10pm. Tickets (must be pre-booked) Standard £5, Peak £7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £25 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻
- Now until 3 January 2023 : The Magic of Christmas
London Zoo are hosting a series of festive events alongside the usual animal enclosures. Meet Santa, visit the Polar Post Room, enjoy Christmas festivities, animal crafts, Christmas-themed animal talks, marshmallow toasting and more. Open 10am-4pm. General entry: Adults range from £26.50-£33, Children 3-15yrs £17.25-£21.45. Additional charges apply for some 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 8 January 2023 : Winter Festival @ Southbank Centre
Winter market, The Curling Club, pop-up food and drink experiences, including Jimmy’s Lodge igloos and festive shows, such as Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol and Hey Duggee – The Live Theatre Show. Times and prices vary. Free entry to winter market. South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Waterloo East or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- Now until 8 January 2023 : Illuminature @ WWT
Explore nature after dark in this unique illuminated trail around the London Wetland Centre. Open 4.30pm-9pm. Tickets: Adults £18.50, Children £14.50, under 4s free. WWT London, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the WWT website. 🐻
- Now until 8 January 2023 : Christmas at Kew
Follow a magical trail around Kew Gardens, through tunnels of light, past dancing waterfalls, illuminations and the Fire Garden, and a light display at the Palm House. 4pm-10pm. Tickets: Standard advance adult: Off peak £21.50/Peak £28, Children: Off peak £14/peak £18. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
- Now until 15 January 2023 : Hogwarts in the Snow
Visit your favourite Harry Potter sets, such as the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut, the Hogwarts castle and the Great Hall, which have been transformed with snow for the festive season. Tickets from £49.95. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information and tickets, visit the WB Studio Tour website. 🐻
- Now until 15 January 2023 : The Great Christmas Feast
Experience Charles Dickens’s classic tale A Christmas Carol like never before, with Victorian feasting, mixology, live music and theatre. Tickets: Dining from £129.50, Experience-only from £49.50. The Lost Estate, 9 Beaumont Avenue, W14 9LP. Nearest stations: Earl’s Court or Baron’s Court. For tickets, visit the Great Christmas Feast website.
- Now until 17 January 2023 : The Witches of Oz
An immersive dining and theatrical experience as you head to the Emerald City in this Wizard of Oz-inspired extravaganza. Over 18s only. Dress code: Emerald glam. Doors open 6.30pm, Show starts 7.15pm. Tickets: General £20-£35, Dining £45-£59. The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Lambeth North or Waterloo East. For more information, visit the Vaults website.
- Now until 29 January 2023 : The Carpenters’ Line
New exhibition explores the art of woodworking from the densely forested Hida region of Gifu Prefecture in Japan. Open Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Free entry. Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Japan House London website.
- Now until 31 January 2023 : Frameless
Explore a new way to engage with art in an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Visitors can travel through four galleries, coming up close to masterpieces from the likes of Cezanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Dalí, Van Gogh, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt, among others. Opening hours vary. Tickets from £15, Kids under 5 yrs free. 6 Marble Arch Place, Marylebone, W1H 7AP. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For tickets, visit the Frameless website.
- Now until 19 February 2023 : The Horror Show!
New exhibition explores some of Britain’s most provocative artists from the past 50 years of creative rebellion, featuring 200 artworks and historical artefacts. Open Tues-Wed, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm. Tickets: £16.50. Embankment Galleries (South Wing), Somerset House, The Strand, Aldwych, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- Now until 26 February 2023 : Club Curling
Try your hand at curling as the winter sports pops up at King’s Cross for the festive season. Visitors can enjoy a 45-minute curling slot on one of the six synthetic ice rinks, before enjoying a cocktail at the bar. Open daily 11am-9pm. Tickets: Adults £7, Children under 12 free. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information and booking, visit the King’s Cross website. 🐻
- Now until 5 March 2023 : When Flowers Dream
An exhibition from artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop) featuring installations made from sugar, candy and assorted craft materials. Opening times vary depending on season. Tickets included with gardens entrance. Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
- Now until 23 March 2023 : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience
An immersive experience inspired by the classic story. Travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Overs 12 only. Times vary. Tickets: £40-£130. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the War of the World’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the show.
- Now until Spring 2023 : Sculpture in the City 2022/2023
Free public art exhibition, bringing 19 contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. Free. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the Sculpture in the City website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition. 🐻
- Now until July 2023 : Scenes in the Square
Check out bronze sculptures of iconic film characters around Leicester Square. Eight interactive characters, such as Laurel & 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. 🐻