- 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, Winter Wonderland, Hogwarts in the Snow and Christmas in Leicester Square.
- See Mary Poppins, Nativity! The Musical and La Clique – some of the most unmissable London shows in December.
- Plan ahead to welcome the arrival of 2020 during London New Year's Eve celebrations.
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
- Visit London's biggest Christmas experience, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, for ice skating, an observation wheel, fairground rides, stalls brimming with handmade gifts, and exciting shows this December.
- Enjoy wintry activities, including a Christmas market, festive shows and seasonal food, along the river at Southbank Centre's Winter festival.
- Find a festive haven in the centre of London's bustling West End with Christmas in Leicester Square.
- Browse twinkling wooden stalls, set against Insta-worthy views of Tower Bridge, at Christmas by the River.
- Shop till you drop, indulge in warming treats and enjoy entertainment with a seasonal twist during the Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace.
- Get crafting while learning about winter traditions at Museum of London Docklands’ Frost Fair festival.
- Find more seasonal activities for all the family at the top London Christmas markets this December.
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.
- Sail with Santa on the Thames with City Cruises to party it up before his world travels on the big day!
- Sing your heart out to Disney classics at Disney on Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic.
- Spend a magical winter evening wandering the illuminated trails of Enchanted Eltham Palace, topped off with rides, games and festive fare.
- Stop by Covent Garden to watch teams in fancy dress battle it out in The Great Christmas Pudding Race.
- Taste delicious street food and watch cooking demonstrations all weekend long at BBC Good Food's Festive FEAST.
- Turn Victoria Park'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
- Watch a spectacle of strength, acrobats, knife-throwing and music in Circus 1903 at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall or La Clique at Christmas at Leicester Square.
- Sing along to your favourite tunes with Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre this month.
- Enter a Christmas fantasy land filled with love, music and dance as you watch Irving Berlin's White Christmas at the Dominion Theatre.
- Venture out on a road trip with Peppa and friends at Peppa Pig's Best Day Ever at the Duke of York's Theatre.
- Join A Festival of Carols by Candlelight and more festive concerts in the atmospheric St Martin-in-the-Fields church.
- Feel the festive cheer at Nativity! The Musical at Eventim Apollo, featuring sing-alongs and plenty of Christmas magic.
- Laugh away at the clumsy-yet-charming performance of a classic tale in Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Alexandra Palace Theatre.
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:
- Get up early to watch brave members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete for the Peter Pan Cup in the icy waters of the Hyde Park lake on Christmas Day.
- Shop for great deals on fashion, electronics and more during the Boxing Day and January sales.
- Find more things to do on 25 December in London, including tours, ice skating and events.
Celebrate New Year's Eve in London
London’s famous New Year's Eve fireworks take place every year at the Coca-Cola London Eye on 31 December: buy your ticket in advance to secure a place at this popular London December event. Alternatively, 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 parties and dining on the river.
For more things to do in December in London, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London, including the best London theatre shows.. For last-minute ideas, check out events in London today, things to do this weekend in London. Or work through these 101 things to do this winter in the capital.
WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London weather page.
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