Things to do in London in December 2020

See the capital transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland in December, and join in the New Year's Eve festivities.
Two girls look up as they walk through a tunnel of white lights at Christmas at Kew.
Christmas at Kew. Photo: Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
  • Celebrate Christmas in London with pop-up ice rinks, buzzing festive markets, dazzling Christmas lights and seasonal shows. 
  • Don't miss top London December events including Christmas at KewHogwarts in the Snow and Christmas in Leicester Square.
  • See unmissable Christmas pantos and London shows in December.
  • Plan ahead to welcome the arrival of 2021 during London New Year's Eve celebrations.

December is the most magical month to visit London, with lots of festive things to do as Londoners celebrate Christmas and New Year.

London's shopping streets sparkle with Christmas lights in December, and shops are full of gift hunters finishing off their Christmas shopping.

A focal point of the holiday season in London is Trafalgar Square, which resounds with carol singing around the capital’s biggest Christmas tree, and lights up with a giant menorah for Chanukah.

Get into the festive spirit during your December visit by experiencing some of London's favourite seasonal activities: shop for handmade gifts and festive food at a charming Christmas market; go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital; enjoy carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies; and watch a Christmas pantomime, ballet or family show.

Explore London's best December events

Make memories this December with fun events for all the family. From festive villages popping up across the capital, to Christmas shows and quirky goings on, there's plenty to enjoy. Take a look at our pick below.

Fun London winter festivals

Top winter and Christmas events in London

  • Follow a glittering trail of lights, music and colours around the famous botanic gardens after dark at the annual Christmas at Kew.
  • Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies and see the iconic sets dressed for Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow.
  • Stop by Covent Garden to watch teams in fancy dress battle it out in The Great Christmas Pudding Race.
  • Turn London's streets red as you join or cheer on the thousands of runners taking on the Santa Run.
  • Watch hard-fought tennis contests during Champions Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall.

London shows in December

Check back nearer the time for the top London theatre shows and festive plays, concerts and pantomimes in the capital this December.

Magical ways to spend Christmas in London

Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December) are both bank holidays (public holidays) in London, with reduced opening times and transport service. But there are still plenty of things to do during this festive period:

Celebrate New Year's Eve in London

London’s famous New Year's Eve fireworks usually take place every year at the London Eye on 31 December; however, this year the event has been cancelled. There are plenty of other things to do in London on New Year’s Eve during the day and right through the night, from family shows and ice skating, to drinks and dining – or discover ways to celebrate at home.

For more things to do in December in London, take a look at our events calendar, guide to what's on in London, the best London theatre shows, or our pick of 101 things to do this winter in the capital. Find last-minute ideas with events in London today or discover the best things to do this weekend in London

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London weather page.

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