Details of outdoor and drive-in cinemas in and around London, including ticket prices, locations and more
This summer, our social lives have been changed beyond all recognition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the lockdown is gradually easing in stages, going to the cinema is a more complex activity as we practice social distancing. However, film fans missing their big screen experience can now book a ticket for one of London’s outdoor or drive-in cinemas. For those with a car and don’t mind travelling a bit further, there are also drive-ins appearing outside the capital in the home counties.
Key: 🧘 Seated viewings only (bring a blanket/cushion)
🚗 Can only attend in a car
- 3 – 19 July : Celestial Drive-In Cinema
Boasting London’s largest LED screen, Celestial Cinema are screening classic and modern favourites for drive-in audiences. Food and drink available. Daytime and evening screenings available. Tickets start from £29.50 for one car with two people. Flamingo Park, Sidcup By-Pass Road, Chislehurst, Kent BR7 6HL. For more information, visit the Celestial Cinema website. 🚗
- 4 July – 26 August : Rooftop Film Club
This summer, the Rooftop Film Club are launching a drive-in experience for those with cars while their usual rooftop experience is on hold. Food and drink will be available, delivered to your car by roller-skating servers. Daytime and evening screenings available. Tickets: One vehicle £27.50-£29 (depending on screening time). Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. For more information, visit the Rooftop Film Club website. 🚗
- 4 July – 23 September : The Drive In
A new 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. 🚗
- 5 July – 1 August : Sunset Cinema
Enjoy a US-style, vintage drive-in experience. Food and drink available to pre-order, as well as on the night. Movies include Rocketman, Dirty Dancing, La La Land, Mamma Mia!, Grease, Knives Out, Back To The Future, and more. Tickets: £50 (1 car and 2 passengers), £15 for each additional passenger. Twyford Avenue Sports Ground, Twyford Avenue, Acton, W3 9QA. For more information, visit the Sunset Cinema website. 🚗
- 5 July – 31 August : The Drive-In (from Secret Cinema and Goodwood)
Enjoy a drive in experience in Chichester, West Sussex (80 miles from London). The famous Goodwood Motor Circuit is teaming up with Secret Cinema and Häagen-Dazs to host screenings of classics and family favourites, such as Toy Story, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, The Incredibles and more. Tickets: £50-£57.50 (1 car and up to 5 passengers). Discounts available for NHS workers. Goodwood Motor Circuit, Chichester, West Sussex, PO18 0PX. For more information, visit the Secret Cinema website. 🚗 Read the rest of this entry
Things to do in London, including film festivals, celebrations for International Women’s Day, vegan and mindfulness festivals and St Patrick’s Day.
It’s spring… apparently! March is always a tricky month weather wise, with recent years experiencing extremes from heatwaves to snow. With that in mind, most of the special events on in London this month are fortunately under cover. In 2020, Easter may not be until April, but expect to see a busy, jam-packed schedule of festivals and events throughout March.
Searching for things to do in London in March 2020, then look no further.
Please note, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many events are subject to cancellations and postponements. Many museums and galleries have temporarily closed. Some cancellations or postponements have been detailed below, but please check the relevant website or event’s social media before you attend.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- Now until 1 March : Live Well London
Wellbeing, health and fitness festival, featuring different styles of meditation and fitness classes from beginner to expert, talks and shopping. 10am-5pm. Tickets: £11.43–£108.99. Old Billingsgate, 16 Lower Thames Street, City of London, EC3R 6DX. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Old Street. For tickets, visit the Live Well London website.
- Now until 1 March : The Stitch Festival
Haberdashery festival featuring hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features and 200 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. Open Thu-Sat 10am-5.30pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £6. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Stitch Festival website.
- Now until 1 March : Lightopia Festival
Festival of lights featuring installations, 3D projections, interactive pieces, live music, acrobatics, food and drink, craft stalls and more. 5pm-10pm. Tickets: Adults £20/£22, Children £13/£15. Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For more information, visit the Lightopia Festival website. 🐻
- Now until 1 March : Luzia by Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil bring their show Luzia to Europe for the first time. The show is inspired by Mexico, with a mix of the traditional and modern acrobatics. Times vary. Tickets range from £28.50-£108. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website. 🐻
- Now until 1 March : London Film and Comic Con Spring
Film and Comic Con returns, giving you the opportunity for autograph sessions, photoshoots, and panels. Names include Jerome Flynn, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Englund, Dan Starkey, Afshan Azad, Femi Taylor, Brenock O’Connor, Ian McCulloch, Ian McDiarmid, Wendy Padbury, Charles Dance, Ashley Walters, Noel Clarke, Indira Varma, Samantha Bond, Colin Baker, Gethin Anthony, Sylvester McCoy, and more. Sat-Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£18, Children £10-£12. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the London Comic Con website. 🐻
- Now until 1 March : Secret Cinema presents Stranger Things
Step into the Upside Down as Secret Cinema bring this ’80s sci-fi horror to live for an immersive, cinematic experience. Visit Hawkins, Indiana for an interactive 80s experience. Times vary. Tickets: £52-£120. At a secret east London location to be revealed to ticket holders. For more information and tickets, visit the Secret Cinema website.
- 3 – 4 March : The Clumsies pop-up @ Sofitel St James
Acclaimed Athens cocktail bar The Clumsies – one of the World’s 50 Best Bars – is coming to the capital for just two days. Menu available 5pm–12am. At the St James Bar, Sofitel St James, 6 Waterloo Place, St James, SW1Y 4AN. Nearest station: Green Park or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Sofitel St James website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post to discover more.
- 5 – 28 March : Crystal Palace International Film Festival
The CPIFF returns for the 11th year, featuring shorts and feature-length screenings, animation night, premieres, horror/sci-fi night, and documentary night. Tickets: £9-£22. At various venues including Everyman Crystal Palace, PictureHouse West Norwood, Stanley Halls & Anerley Town Hall. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace, Norwood Junction and West Norwood. For more information, visit the CPIFF website.
- 5 March – 10 April : London Handel Festival
Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks celebrating Fredrick Handel, with this year’s theme being “Handel and the Hanoverians”. Venues includes Handel’s parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Bussey Building, Foundling Museum, Grosvenor Chapel, Linbury Theatre, St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall. Ticket prices range from £5-£59. For more information and booking, visit the London Handel Festival website.
- 6 – 7 March : Mindful Living
A show exploring mindfulness and meditation, featuring talks, workshops and more. Including Health & Science Theatre, Mindful Living Theatre, Sleep Theatre, Mind & Body Space, Creative Calm Space, Taster Zone, Guided Meditation Space, Mindfulness for the young, and more. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £7.20-£60 (includes entrance to The Sleep Show). Design Business Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Mindful Living Show website. Read the rest of this entry
Find out what’s on in London in February, including music, beer and literary festivals, immersive experiences, or meet your idol at a fan convention.
Winter is in full swing and with people’s bank balances starting to recover from the Christmas splurge, there’s more events on in London. There’s plenty of romantic events on in February for Valentine’s Day, while the half-term break (17-21 February) means parents will have to have to find things to entertain their children for a week.
Look out for 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- 31 January – 1 February : London Remixed Festival
A two-day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of Latin Grooves, Afro beats, Tropical Bass, Vintage-Remix, Desert Remix Balkan Beats, Urban Roots, Acoustic Soundclash and Brass Band Remix and more. Over 18s only. Open Fri 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £11.19–£16.49. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For tickets, visit the London Remixed Festival website.
- 1 – 2 February : Plant Powered Expo
New show celebrating the best of plant-based living. Featuring cookery classes, presentations, Vegan kitchen demos, health, fitness and over 230 stalls. Sat: 10am-6pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £15. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Expo website.
- 2 February : Festival of Confidence
A one-day festival on building confidence in women, including workshops, talks and activities. 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £19.76–£38.93. Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 2 February : Super Bowl Viewing Party @ Skylight
Fans of American football should head to rooftop destination Skylight for a screening of the big game. The game will be screened on the heated indoor level, with DJs, ping pong, air hockey tables, street food, and bookable cosy booths and igloos. 5pm-11pm. Tickets: £3-£8. Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell (DLR/TFL Rail) or Wapping. For more information, visit DesignMyNight.
- Now until 2 February : Destinations – the Holiday & Travel Show
Travel show, featuring tourist boards, travel agencies, cultural entertainment, world food and drink, travel celebrities, talks, presentations, workshops, panel sessions and more. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- Now until 2 February : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £10-£45. Venues include the Shoreditch Town Hall, Soho Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Barbican, Wilton’s Music Hall, The Puppet Barge, Southbank Centre and more. For more information, visit the Mime London website.
- 6 – 8 February : Classical Vauxhall
An inaugural series of classical music concerts in Vauxhall. From 8pm. Tickets: £20. At St Peter’s Church (6 Feb), Brunswick House (7 Feb) and Garden Museum (8 Feb). Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the BeInVauxhall website.
- 7 February – 21 May : Meet Vincent Van Gogh
An immersive, multi-sensory exhibition bringing the world of legendary artist Vincent Van Gogh to life. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sat 10am-10pm. Tickets: Standard box office Mon-Fri £19, Sat-Sun £21. Advance online – Mon-Fri £18, Sat-Sun £20. Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience, 99 Upper Ground, South Bank, SE1 9PP. Nearest station: Waterloo or Waterloo East. For tickets, visit the Meet Vincent website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post, for more information.
- 8 February – 8 March : Orchid Festival
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Indonesia. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £18.15, Children (4-15yr) £4.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 12 – 16 February : Ealing Music and Film Festival
Five day festival in Ealing featuring musical performances, film screenings (two on Valentine’s Day) and walks. Events take place at various venues, including Weston Hall, St Barnabas, William Barry Theatre and Lawrence Hall. Tickets range from free to £25. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For booking, visit the Ealing Music & Film website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post, for more information.
- 12 – 23 February : Imagine Children’s Festival
Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including Michael Rosen, Dermot O’Leary, Cressida Cowell, Konnie Huq and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Many activities and events are free, but some go up to £16. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
Treat your love or celebrate your fabulous singledom at one of London’s many Valentine’s events, from film screenings to workshops to 1920s themed ‘dos.
If doesn’t matter if you’re single or coupled up, there’s plenty going on in London in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. If you’re loved up and fancy something a bit different from dinner at your favourite local restaurant, why not treat your other half to a party, film screening or evening of poetry? Meanwhile, if you’re still looking for your Mr or Miss Right, head to one of London’s Valentine’s parties or dating events.
Here’s a guide to the best Valentine’s Day events on in London this February 2020.
- 12 February : Fashion Roundtable
Q&A and workshop celebration of love for Valentine’s Day, discussing music, vintage, identity, inclusion and all things love with singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor and LGBTQ+ writer, model and activist Jamie Windust. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £35.08–£57.18. The Curtain, 45 Curtain Road, Shoreditch, EC2A 3PT. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 12 February : Cinema Night @ View from the Shard
Watch A Star Is Born (2019) while enjoying 360 views of London from the top of The Shard. You’ll also be served complimentary Mermaid Gin and Tonic and fresh popcorn. From 8pm. Tickets: £45. View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit The View From The Shard website.
- 12 February : Murder on the Barts Floor… Valentine’s Special
Murder mystery experience at a 1920s Chelsea speakeasy. Collect all the clues and interrogate the suspects to find out whodunnit. 7pm-9pm. Tickets: £30pp (inc complimentary cocktail). Barts, 87 Sloane Avenue, Chelsea, SW3 3DW. Nearest stations: Sloane Square or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Barts website.
- 12 – 14 February : Pop-up cinema @ Rivoli Ballroom
Vintage ’50s ballroom hosts a pop-up cinema, featuring screenings of The Notebook, Pretty Women and Romeo + Juliet. 8pm. Tickets: £12. Rivoli Ballroom, 350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY. Nearest station: Crofton Park. For more information, visit the Rivoli Ballroom website.
- 13 February : Late Night Keats – ‘Sick of Love’
Late-night opening of poet John Keats’ former London home, featuring readings, activities and a bar. 6.30pm-9pm. Tickets: £10. Keats’ House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, NW3 2RR. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the Eventbrite website.
- 14 February : The Godfathers’ Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre
The Godfathers return with their Valentine’s rock ‘n’ roll gig. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £18.15. Dingwalls, Middle Yard, Camden Yard, NW1 8AB. Nearest station: Camden Town or Camden Road. For tickets, visit Ticketweb.
- 14 February : The Soul of Nine Simone @ Jazz Cafe
The Black Voices Quintet perform music legend Nina Simone’s greatest hits. 7pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £15 (standing), £25 (restaurant). Jazz Café, 5 Parkway, Camden Town, NW1 7PG. Nearest station: Camden Town. For more information, visit the Jazz Café website.
- 14 February : Valentine in Paris
The London Philharmonic Orchestra performs music by Ravel and Saint-Saëns. From 7.30pm. Tickets £14-£65. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo or Embankment. For tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 14 February : Valentine’s Day Speed Dating
Charity speed dating evening with money raised going to The Foundation for Live Research. Registration from 7pm, speed dating 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: £25 (inc welcome drink). The Prince Albert, 85 Albert Bridge Road, Battersea, SW11 4PF. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For tickets, visit Eventbrite. Read the rest of this entry
Find out where to celebrate the birthday of Robbie Burns in London this January 2020.
Whether you’re Scottish or not, there’s plenty of reason to take part in the annual Burns’ Night celebrations. The event marks the birthday of Scottish poet Robert ‘Robbie’ Burns, who died in 1796. Expect a feast of haggis, soup, tatties and neeps with plenty of whisky.
Although Burns’ Night is officially 25 January, there are other suppers, parties and Ceilidhs taking place in the weeks leading up to and after the big night. Here’s some of the best events on in London this Burns’ Night.
- 18, 24, 25 & 31 January & 1 February : Ceilidh Club presents Burns’ Night London
The Ceilidh Club are hosting four Burns’ Night celebrations. Expect a traditional evening of dancing, live music, poetry, drinking and dining. 8pm-11pm. Tickets: £29-£39. Porchester Hall, 45 Porchester Road, Bayswater, W2 5HS. Nearest station: Royal Oak. For more information and tickets, visit the Ceilidh Club website.
- 21 – 25 January : A Week Of Burns Celebrations @ Mac & Wild
Scottish restaurants Mac & Wild are hosting a week of celebrations at their Fitzrovia and City locations. Events including Chivas Blend Burn’s Masterclass (21 Jan), Highland Park House of Haggis Masterclass (22 Jan), Burns Dram in the Dark (24 Jan), Mac & Wild X Copper Dog Burns Pop Up (24 & 25 Jan), Burns Bottomless Brunch (25 Jan) and Burns Night dinner (25 Jan). Times and prices vary. Mac & Wild Fitzrovia: 65 Great Titchfield Street, W1W 7PS (Nearest station: Oxford Circus) or Mac & Wild City: 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YN (Nearest station: Liverpool Street). For booking and more information, visit the Mac & Wild website.
- 23 – 24 January : Burns on the Barge
Take to the canals for an evening of revelry. Featuring live music, toasts to the haggis, whisky, and a 4-course Scottish feast. 7pm-11pm. Tickets: £45pp. Barge East, White Post Lane, Hackney Wick, E9 5EN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Barge East website.
- 23 – 25 January : Burns’ Night Celebrations @ Boisdale
Scottish restaurant chain Boisdale are hosting Burns’ Night celebrations across their venues. Featuring traditional Scottish set menus, live music, stabbing of the haggis and whisky from the Annandale Distillery. Times and prices vary. At Boisdale venues in Belgravia, Bishopsgate, Canary Wharf and Mayfair. For more information, visit the Boisdale website. Read the rest of this entry
Find out what events, art exhibitions and festivals are on in London this month.
Welcome to 2020! It’s a brand new decade! All the busy schedules and heavy spending of December, no doubt many Londoners are feeling broke and tired. Fortunately, there are plenty of free events on around London to lift you out of the January blues. Expect light shows, art exhibitions, travel shows, and immersive experiences.
Look out for 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
Guide to Burns’ Night celebrations in London.
- 1 January : New Year’s Day Parade
Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website. 🐻
- Now until 3 January : Winterfest
A new immersive light festival comes to Wembley Park. Featuring huge light and sound installations, an LED Christmas tree, live bands, community choirs, DJs, and the hit West End production of Fame coming to the new Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre. Free admission. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for further details. 🐻
- 5 January : Twelfth Night Celebration
Theatre company the Lions Part host their annual celebration of the new year, ‘mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity’ in the Bankside area of London. From 2pm. Free. Outside Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT. Nearest stations: Blackfriars, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Lions Part website. 🐻
- Now until 5 January : Winter Wonderland
The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show, The Magical Ice Kingdom and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Free to enter. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻
- Now until 5 January : Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life
Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson brings his interactive installations to the Tate. Times vary. Tickets: £18 (free for members). Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information and tickets, visit the Tate Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition. 🐻
- Now until 5 January : Christmas at Kew
A one-mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be Santa at the North Pole Village, a Tunnel of Light, the singing Holly Bushes, a light dance show, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5pm-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults from £18, Children from £11, Under 4 free. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
- Now until 5 January : Christmas In Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market, while a Spiegeltent will play host shows including Austentatious: An Improvised Jane Austen Novel, La Clique, the Showstoppers’ Christmas Show, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass and more. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for the Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Christmas In Leicester Square website. 🐻
- Now until 5 January : Walking with The Snowman
Follow an art trail around the London Bridge district. Twelve Snowmen have been customised by 12 different artists, each inspired by a verse from the 12 Days of Christmas. Free. At London Bridge City, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge. To download a map of the sculptures, visit the Walking with The Snowman website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post to find out more. 🐻
- 8 January – 2 February : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £10-£45. Venues include the Shoreditch Town Hall, Soho Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Barbican, Wilton’s Music Hall, The Puppet Barge, Southbank Centre and more. For more information, visit the Mime London website.
- 8 January – 16 February : Light Festival @ Battersea Power Station
Battersea’s first ever light festival features four installations from international artists. Free. Circus West Village, Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW11 8AH. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻
- 10 – 19 January : London Short Film Festival
Ten day festival celebrating the best in short film-making at venues across the capital, including the BFI South Bank, Curzon Soho, the ICA, Regent Street Cinema, Rich Mix, the Pickle Factory and the Rio Cinema. For more information, visit the London Short Film Festival website. Read the rest of this entry
Find out what beer and cocktail festivals, art exhibitions and Christmas events are on in London this December.
It’s December! When it comes to events on around town, you can be guaranteed most of them will have a festive feel. At this time of year, a host of venues are hosting festivals and activities for both children and adults to enjoy as a family. Fans of Friends, Stranger Things or The Wolf Of Wall Street will also have a chance to live for real with special immersive experiences. Of course, there will be plenty of Christmas themed fun on around town.
For a guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs, click here.
To find out where London’s Christmas pantomimes, ballets and shows are on, click here.
Discover London’s winter terraces, and Christmas cocktails menus.
- Now until 1 December : London Illustration Fair
Three-day event celebrating illustration, featuring artist-led stands, talks, workshops, music, DJs, live signings. Fri-Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Entry: £10 in advance, £12.50 on the door, Children under 12 free. Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bankside, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars or Waterloo. For more information, visit the London Illustration Fair website.
- Now until 1 December : William Blake’s ‘Ancient of Days’ projection
William Blake’s ambition of having his art exhibited on churches is realised as his masterpiece ‘Ancient of Days’ is projected on the dome of St Paul’s to mark his 262nd birthday. 4.30pm-9pm. Free. St Paul’s Cathedral, St. Paul’s Churchyard, City of London, EC4M 8AD (best vantage point from the Millennium Bridge). Nearest station: St Paul’s or Mansion House. See Metro Girl’s blog post for photos and video.
- Now until 1 December : Architecture of London
Exhibition of 400 years of London architecture. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 12pm-4pm. Tickets: Adults £10, concs £7. 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.
- Now until 1 December : Enchanted Woodland
Follow an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum of Syon Park. Lighting will transform the trees, plants and lake. Hot food and drinks available for sale. Open Fri-Sun, entry times every 20 minutes from 5pm-7.40pm. Tickets: Adults £10 (Fri), £12 (Sat-Sun), Children £5. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website.
- 1 December – 25 January 2020 : Big Screen on the Ice
Watch your favourite movie on ice while cosying up with blankets and hot toddies. Screening on Saturday and Sunday evenings at 5pm (family films)or 8pm (adults films). Tickets: Ice skating + film (no seats) – Adults £12, Children £11. Ice skating + film (with seating) – Adults from £16, Children from £13. Skate hire £2.50. QUEENS, 17 Queensway, W2 4PQ. Nearest stations: Queensway or Bayswater. For tickets, visit the Big Screen on the Ice website. or the QUEENS website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 3 December : Antony Gormley @ RA
One of the Britain’s most famous living artists displays a series of large-scale artworks in this interactive exhibition. Open daily 10am-6pm, late opening on Fri until 8pm. Tickets: £18-£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Royal Academy of Arts website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition.
- 3 – 7 December : Pig’s Ear Beer And Cider Festival
Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Opening hours TBC. Tickets: (check the website). Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, Hackney, E5 0LY. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.
- 4 December : Christmas Lights Walk @ Baker Street Quarter
Explore the light installations of the Baker Street Quarter, telling the story of famous people and places from the district. 6pm. Free. Meet at 55 Baker Street, Marylebone, W1U 7DA. Nearest station: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s lights.
- 5 December : Marylebone Lane Christmas Shopping Evening
A festive evening of live music, activities, workshop, a free cocktail at the 108 Brasserie and exclusive discounts at the area’s retailers. 5pm-8pm. Free. Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, NW1. Nearest station: Bond Street. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website.
- 5 December : Tower Bridge & the Thames on Film
Late-night opening of Tower Bridge, featuring an illustrated talk by British Film Institute curator Simon McCallum presenting clips from the BFI National Archive’s collection of footage about London, with a particular focus the Thames. Arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets: £20pp (includes a welcome drink and a return ticket to visit Tower Bridge within 12 months). Tower Bridge Learning Space, Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, SE1 2UP. Nearest stations: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or London Bridge. For booking, visit the Tower Bridge website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the 125th anniversary of Tower Bridge.
- 5 December : Imperial Lates – Winter Wonderlab
Evening of science and engineering, with live demos, workshops, interactive experiments and inspiring talks. Accompanied with drinks from the bar and liquid nitrogen ice cream. 6pm-9pm. Free. Imperial College London (Main Entrance), Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2AZ. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets, visit Eventbrite. Read the rest of this entry
Find out where London’s seasonal terraces and pop-ups are and which bars are serving Christmas cocktail menus.
Christmas is that time of year when your social life kicks into high-gear. If you’re planning a catch-up with friends and family and looking for a suitably festive environment, then why not head to one of London’s seasonal pop-ups or winter terraces. Alternatively, some of the capital’s top bars have curated special Christmas cocktail menus.
London Winter Pop-ups
- 18 October – 5 January 2020 : The Winter Garden @ John Lewis
The flagship department store transforms its roof garden for the winter season, featuring Sage cocktails and candy floss, curling and street food from Jimmy’s Carnival Diner. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-9pm.
– John Lewis rooftop, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, W1C 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- 29 October – 5 January 2020 : Montague Ski Lodge
The ski lodge returns to the Montague Hotel for another year. The Wood Deck will be transformed into a alpine hideaway, with pine trees, falling snow, reindeer, snowmen, and ski racks. The bar will be serving mulled wine, hot cider, hot chocolate, schnapps, flavoured vodka and more.
– The Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BJ. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit The Montague hotel website.
- 5 November – 31 January 2020 : Swan Lake @ Bluebird
Bluebird’s courtyard has been transformed into a mythical woodland inspired by Swan Lake. Featuring heated winter chalets and warm Ciroc vodka cocktails like ‘Sygnet Sour’, ‘White Ember’, and ‘Spellbound’. Open Mon-Fri 8am -9pm, Sat-Sun 9am-9pm.
– Bluebird Chelsea, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest stations: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Bluebird Chelsea website.
- 6 November – 20 December : The Winter Forest
Seasonal pop-up returns to Broadgate Circle, with snowy pine trees, twinkling lights, live music and food and drink. During the festive period, there will also be gin tastings, charity pub quizzes, wellbeing workshops, winter floral workshops, and visits from Santa.
– Broadgate Circle, Broadgate, EC2. Nearest station: Liverpool Street or Moorgate. For more information, visit The Broadgate website.
- 7 November – 29 February 2020 : The Elyx Chalet @ Rosewood London
The Terrace at the Rosewood London has become a Swedish-inspired hideaway, with sparkling trees, snow and festive cocktails with a Swedish twist. Open daily from 4pm.
– Rosewood London, 252 High Holborn, Holborn, WC1V 7EN. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Rosewood Hotels website.
- 7 November – late February 2020 : The Enchanted Woods @ Madison
St Paul’s rooftop bar Madison’s terrace has been given a winter makeover. Cosy up under a blanket in wooden chalet surrounded by twinkling lights and heaters and sip hot cocktails while gazing at the City views. Open Mon-Thu 11am-late, Fri-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 12pm-9.30pm.
– Madison rooftop terrace, 1 New Change, City of London, EC4M 9AF. Nearest station: Mansion House or St Paul’s. For more information, visit the Madison London website.
- 7 November – late March 2020 : Winterland
Riverside, alpine wonderland returns, with plenty of heated winter lodges, cabin and igloos, fire pits, hot tubs, games, hot and cold cocktails, comfort food and more. Open: Wed-Thu 6pm-12am, Fri 5pm-12am, Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Entry: Wed-Fri, Sun £5pp, Sat £10pp. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.
Find out which Christmas shows are on in London this 2019 season, including ticket prices, transport options and more.
For many, the festive seasons is a time for entertainment and is a great opportunity to check out a Christmas show. From the West End to the fringes of outer London, there’s a huge choice of festive shows on across the capital. From ballets to pantomimes to ice skating spectaculars, there’s a huge choice of productions to suit all ages.
Here’s a guide to London Christmas pantomimes, ballets and shows this 2019 season.
Oh no he isn’t… oh yes, he is! Head to one of London’s classic family festive shows – the pantomime, with plenty of jokes, songs and camp.
- 16 November 2019 – 5 January 2020 : Cinderella (Hammersmith)
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. Tickets: £10‐£44. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.
- 22 November 2019 – 12 January 2020 : Sleeping Beauty (Greenwich)
Greenwich Theatre, Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. Nearest station: Greenwich or Cutty Sark (DLR). Tickets: Adults £30, Children £15.50. For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.
- 23 November 2019 – 5 January 2020 : Dick Whittington and His Cat (Hackney)
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. Nearest station: Hackney Central. Tickets: £10-£38. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.
- 23 November 2019 – 11 January 2020 : Dick Whittington (Stratford)
Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, E15 1BN. Nearest station: Stratford. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.
- 28 November 2019 – 8 January 2020 : Slipped! Cinderella… Rebooted (Vauxhall)
A saucy panto for adults-only. Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. Tickets: £18 (over 18s only). For more information, visit the Vauxhall Tavern’s website.
- 6 – 29 December 2019 : Sleeping Beauty (Hayes)
The Beck Theatre, Grange Road, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 2UE. Nearest station: Hayes & Harlington. Tickets: £26-£29.50. For tickets, visit the Beck Theatre website.
- 7 – 29 December 2019 : Cinderella (Euston)
Shaw Theatre, 100-110 Euston Road, Somers Town, NW1 2AJ. Nearest station: Euston and Kings Cross St Pancras. For tickets, visit the Shaw Theatre website.
- 7 December 2019 – 5 January 2020 : Aladdin (Bromley)
Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA. Nearest station: Bromley South or Bromley North. Tickets: Adults £20-£43, Children £16-£39. For tickets, visit the Churchill Theatre website.
- 7 December 2019 – 5 January 2020 : Snow White (Richmond)
Christmas markets and fairs in north, south, east, west and central London this November and December 2019.
Christmas is fast approaching and no doubt, many of us are feeling the pressure of the countdown to the big day. It’s that time of year when our usual monthly spending budgets go out the window and we get ready to splash the cash. However, if you’re struggling for gift ideas and want to get your loved ones something a little different, then why not pay a visit to one of London’s Christmas markets or fairs. As well as a host of stalls, many of the festive events offer entertainment, hot food and drink and other immersive Christmassy experiences. Many of the markets and fairs are free entry, although some have a small entry fee, with money raised going to help charities.
Whether you live in north, south, east or west London, or just visiting the capital, there’s plenty of festive shopping opportunities around town.
Here’s a guide to London’s best Christmas markets and fairs this 2019.
Long-term Christmas fairs
Some markets are opening throughout the run-up to Christmas, with some still going into the new year. Most of these markets will close earlier than usual on Christmas Eve and be closed all day on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
- 8 November – 5 January 2020 : Christmas in Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market in Bavarian-style huts and Santa’s Grotto. A Spiegeltent will play host shows. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Santa’s Grotto and the Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Christmas In Leicester Square website.
- 8 November – 5 January 2020 : Southbank Centre Winter Market
Wooden chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats alongside the river on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thu 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm. Free. Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 21 November – 5 January 2020 : Winter Wonderland Market
Winter Wonderland covers a huge expanse in Hyde Park and offers a German market selling gifts, as well as food and drink. You can bring the whole family and get into the festive spirit with a fun fair, circus, live shows and an ice rink. 10am-10pm. Free entry. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.
- 23 November – 22 December : Christmas Market on the Piazza
Festive market at Wimbledon every weekend and occasional Fridays (13, 20 December). Featuring over 50 stalls, street food and drink. 11am-6pm. Free entry. The Piazza, Wimbledon, SW19 1QB. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information, visit the Love Wimbledon website.
- 26 November – 5 January 2020 : Christmas by the River
Annual festive market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. 11am-10pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the Tudor Markets website.
- 27 November – 24 December : Ealing Christmas Market
A host of traditional Christmas cabins pop up in Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre for an annual festive market. There will also be hot food and drink, Santa and his elves, as well as carol singers and local choirs. 11am-6pm. Free entry. Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre, Ealing, W5 5JY. Nearest station: Ealing Broadway. For more information, visit the Eat Me Drink Me website.
- 28 November – 22 December : River Walk Christmas Market
Buy Christmas food, drink and gifts at the riverside market near Battersea Power Station. Open Thu-Sun. Free entry. Riverside Walk, Battersea Power Station, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website.
One-off or short-term Christmas fairs
- 4 – 10 November : Spirit Of Christmas Fair
For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 750 independent boutiques. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets from £25. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website.
- 13 November : A Merry Marylebone Christmas launch
Marylebone’s annual Christmas Lights charity switch-on, food and drink, gift stalls, tombola and live music performances. 3pm-7pm (lights switch on at 6pm). Free. North end of Marylebone High Street, Paddington Street and Devonshire Street, Marylebone, W1G. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Baker Street. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website.
- 13 – 17 November : Country Living Christmas
Handmade gifts from hundreds of artisan designers and makers. There will also be a lifestyle theatre with experts giving talks and demonstrations, crafting studio, Hampstead tea room and Champagne bar. Opening times vary. Tickets start from £19 (Adults), £8.50 (Children). Business Design Centre, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and tickets, visit the Country Living Fair website.
- 14 November : Christmas Shopping Event @ Seven Dials
Get into the festive spirit with an evening of fashion, food and more as Seven Dials is closed off to traffic. Featuring music from a live orchestra and switching on the Christmas lights. The boutiques and eateries will be offering 20% discount. 5pm-9pm. Register for a free ticket on the website for discounts and freebies. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website.