I absolutely love Christmas in London. The lights, the glamour, the atmosphere… It’s a truly wonderful time of the year to visit our Capital City and even when we move we shall be coming back to do our favourite festive activities. From amazing theatre trips to ice skating, London has it all on offer and with something for every budget you just can’t go wrong.
It took me a while to whitte down my top ten favourites but here they are – we hope you enjoy them, in no particular order, as much as we do!
- SKATE at Somerset House with Fortnum and Mason. 18th November 2015 – 16th January 2016 – From £7.50.
Every year since Florence was nearly two we have skated at Somerset House with the children. For me it’s the best place in London for tiny tot skating because they have a baby rink with polar bear skating aids to help the children under 8 learn to skate. We went yesterday (read all about it here) for press opening and although we didn’t get to try out the baby rink we DID have lots of fun on the ice. The stewards are ALWAYS friendly, kind and super helpful which makes things MUCH easier when you have little ones in tow.
2. The Snowman, Birmingham Repertory Theatre with Sadlers Wells at The Peacock Theatre. 25th November 2015 – 3rd January 2016. Tickets £15-£35 (Family ticket: £110 4 tickes (must include at least one child) – Performances times vary, see website. Ticket office: 020 7863 8222/www.sadlerswells.com.
The Birmingham Rep created this wonderful ballet adaption of the Raymond Briggs classic ‘The Snowman’ 22 years ago and it’s been playing at The Peacock in London for the last 18. We are relatively new fans then as last year was our debut at being in the audience but we came away knowing we wanted to go back! Florence and I went with Save The Children as part of their 2014 Christmas Jumper Day campaign and were mesmerised by every beautiful minute. The Snowman is the perfect introductory for small children to the ballet and something we have very fond memories of indeed. It’s a must see for us again in 2015 especially as this time we will be taking Daddy and Jimmy along for the magic. I can’t wait for Jimmy to catch a glimpse of Jack Frost – it really has to be seen to be believed! I will be writing a review for this year shortly but do take a peek at my post from last year if you need any more cajoling.
3. The Oxford Street Lights and Selfiridges Window Display. Novemner 12th 2014 – January 5th 2016. FREE.
Bringing the children into town for some festive magic needn’t cost a single penny if you don’t want it to. Not only do children travel for FREE on public transport in London but it doesn’t cost a dime to show them the lights – and boy do we have lights here! Walk, stroll, meander, take a ride on the bus, a trip in a rickshaw… However you wish to see them just make sure you do! I always take Florence and Jimmy up to Marble Arch and then we wander back down Oxford Street soaking up the lights as we go. You simply CAN’T miss the amazing window displays in Selfridges and then once we get to Oxford Circus we tend do drift off down side streets where the displays change and have different themes. Just beautiful!
4. The Harrods Christmas Grotto. 6th November 2014 – 24th December 2014. Classic Visit from £10 Booking Fee Per Child (refundable to Harrods Reward card on the day and can be spent until 31st December anywhere in store (exceptions on selected items apply – please see website for more information).
We went to see Father Christmas at Harrods in 2012 and although it was a LONG queue (we hadn’t booked and just turned up on the day) it was all you’d expect it to be. Totally touristy but very magical and when you consider the £10 deposit is refunded to you to spend in store (we didn’t actaully have to pay anything in 2012 when we turned up on the day but I’m not sure how this will work for 2015) it’s also quite an economical way of visitng Father Christmas. It’s obviously one of the most iconic department stores in the world and they totally pushed the boat out when we visited their Christmas Grotto with a special Harrods story book being the gift given by the big man to the children.
5. Stick Man Live IN The West End, Scamp Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre. 7th November 2014 – 3rd January 2016. Adults £17.50, Children £14.50, Family (4 tickets, must include one adult) £55, Restricted View £12. Book your tickets here or call 020 7734 2222.
Now I’ve only JUST written my 2015 review for Stick Man Live In The West End (If you didn’t see it then please click here) and just like the four years previously, we enjoyed it immensely. It was the first time our friends had seen the show and they too thought it was amazing. Check out Modern Mummy’s review here. For us this is the perfect way to kick off the Christmas season and we continue to sing the catchy songs from the show all year round (Please Scamp theatre, release a CD)! I would go again and again and again to this one because it’s clever, funny, slick, beautiful, true to the story and EXACTLY as yo imagine it to be when you read the book. The children love it but what makes it even more special is that all the grown ups do too!
(Don’t forget, you can win a family ticket to the show on my blog as part of my #WinChristmas competition that I am running with the other #SantasLittleHelpers ModernMummy, MummyEndeavours and FamilyFourFun. See details here.)
6. Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park. 20th November 2014 – 3rd January 2016. FREE Entry, rides, attractions and food vary.
We’ve enjoyed attending Winter Wonderland for the opening press nights over the past few years very much. Although we won’t be there for the launch this year I’m sure we will find time to make a visit to one of our favourite London Christmas jaunts at some point! Last year we particularly enjoyed Zippos Christmas Circus and the Ice Palace (remember to wrap up VERY warm)! There’s something for everyone here from ice skating to a giant observation wheel and it can be as romantic as you like if you’re a couple or as brilliantly fun as you can make it with the litle ones. There are dedicated areas for tiny tots and the rides in these areas, although not cheap, won’t break the bank if you can gree on a set number before you go in. We’ve loved it the past few years and highly recommend it even if just for a stroll around the Christmas markets or a drink stop in the Bavarian pubs!
7. Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas, The Hammersmith Lyric. 20th November 2014 – 24th December 2015. All Tickets £10 (Children under 18 months can sit on laps for free).
We have seen this show for the past few years and not only is oit one of the more affordable theatre trips to take the little ones too but it’s also one of the best. I remember laughing and laughing with Florence the first time we saw it and again, like with so many of our favourites on this list, it’s something we talk about all throughout the year. One main actor, two supports and a musician are all it takes to bring the story to life and is such an imaginative way. I’m a massive fan of simple set design but an even bigger fan of simple set design which manages to look incredibly intricate. I honestly don’t know how the imagination of some people can work so beautifully to create such visual spectacles. I simply couldn’t do it myself but the peope behind this show are brilliant! From the intimate atmosphere as soon as you sit down in the theatre this show has us captured in the christmas magic. I am super excited about seeing it again in a few weeks when I will write an updated review but for now, click here to see what we thought in detail from 2014. I have to, as I ALWAYS do when talking about this show, mention the toilet scene… It’s utterly, fabulously, brilliant!
(A family ticket for Raymod Briggs’ Father Christmas is yet another of the amazing prizes in the #WinChristmas competition that I am running with the other #SantasLittleHelpers as mentioned above. See here for how to enter!)
8. Christmas At The South Bank. Attractions (varied) from 14th November – 16th January. Varied Prices (Please see website for more details).
So much goes on at The Southbank and from simply strolling along their beautifully lit up Winter Festival Christmas market (FREE), exploring Florence Nightingale’s Christmas Grotto (Free with admission. Tickets: £7.50 per adult, £3.80 per child) or taking in one of the amazing shows (we like the sound of Dr, Seuss’s The Lorax – Tickets from £12) you will absolutely find something up your street. we usually meet my best friend and her children on one of the days leading up to Christmas and The Southbank is often a stop on our list. We love the Festive Fun Fair which has FREE entry and not wild prices for the rides like the carousel. It’s a wonderfully festive place to be and the full line up of activitie, events and performances can be found here.
9. The London Eye. Open As Usual. From £19.35 per adult, £16,65 per senior, £13.95 per child 4-15 and under 4s FREE.
We love the London Eye and have been on it quite a few times now. There;s no better time than at Christmas with all the twinkling London lights to look out on. I think the best time to go would be just as it’s starting to get dar so that you can still see everything but the magic of the lights is in full force. Jimmy and I went recently and we have been a few times with our friend when out for our Southbank Christmas meet up. It’s worth noting that from 14th November 2015 – 3rd january 2016 The Lnodn Eye will also be offering Eyeskate from £9.45 per adult so that you can skate in this beautiful setting too.
10. Peppa Pig’s Surprise, The Duke Of York’s Theatre, St Martin’s Lane. 18th December 2016 – 17th January 2016. Tickets £13.50 – £25.
This is the Christmas Sepcial of the nationwide tour of Peppa Pig’s latest stage offering, Peppa Pig’s Surprise. We’ve seen the show many times and Christmas time is our favourite because it always has a special guest (I’ll give you a clue who, he wears red and says ho, ho, ho!). This time the show is all new and a little bit different as it has life sized puppets for the first time. We love it, it’s fun, festive and wonderfully interactive! I love singing along with all the songs and so do the children! We will be seeing this ourselves late December and can’t wait, it’s the perfect break up from school treat and although the whizzing Pepa and George wands are not inexpensive, I do highly recommend them as we have fun with ours all year round – we also have managed to not break ours from last year so they’ll be getting a second outing! I will write an updated review very soon but for now you can read what I wrote about the show last year here.
(Please also note that I am currently running a competition on my blog to win a family ticket (up to four people with a minium of one adult) to see the show on Friday the 8th of January at 11am. See here for your chance to win!)
Happy Christmas London Style!