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 in the city or from a cosy corner of your home.
A lit-up Christmas tree in front of the Tower Bridge in the evening.
Find the best things to do this December. Credits: Shutterstock.

What's on in December in London?

  • 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 Kew and Hogwarts in the Snow.
  • See Christmas pantos and unmissable 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 gift hunters are finishing off their Christmas shopping.

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

Some December events have been cancelled in light of the coronavirus pandemic, but there are still lots of events to enjoy and make this month one to remember.

Events and exhibitions to check out this month

  • View ballet costumes from iconic shows with the On Point: Royal Academy of Dance at 100 exhibition which is beginning its residence at the Victoria and Albert museum early this month.
  • Gaze at art by Titian, Rembrandt, Van Dyck and more during the Masterpieces from Buckingham Palace exhibition, which features works usually displayed at the Picture Gallery of Buckingham Palace.

Explore London's annual December events

Make memories this December with fun, contact-free 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.

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.
  • Go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital.
  • Enjoy socially-distanced carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies.

London shows in 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, the annual London New Year’s Eve fireworks event has been cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Check back nearer the time for details of exciting New Year’s Eve London celebrations to enjoy from your own home.

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

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

Sign up to the monthly newsletter for year-round updates about what's on in London.