Whether you’re visiting London for the weekend or you’re a born and bred local, you’ll know the capital is one of the best cities to be in for the Christmas Holidays.
I have found 10 Things you could do with your toddlers in London during the Christmas festive season.
Those three wintery weeks before Christmas are so exciting for young children, and there’s lots of events to get adults in the festive mood too.
So forget about the wrapping, the shopping and the cooking, and focus instead of having some wonderful family experiences.
Christmas Holidays in London never looked so magical….
1. Visit The Gingerbread City at Westfield
This unique exhibition is taking place at Westfield White City between 2nd December 2023 until 7th January 2024.
With this activity, you will get your tastebuds tingling and creative flair sparking.
Organised by the Museum of Architecture, the exhibition features a miniature city made entirely of gingerbread.
Leading engineers, architects and designers were challenged to take part, and their creations are truly amazing.
A really unique activity for the Christmas Holidays in London, and a great way to inspire your child’s inner Star Baker!
2. Get Your Skates On
A classic family activity, ice skating in London is guaranteed to please all ages. Some of the capital’s most iconic venues offer ice rinks, from the beautiful Natural History Museum to Hampton Court Palace.
And they are often surrounded by festive stalls and a cheerful cosy cafes to warm up in afterwards.
Even little ones can enjoy the ice as many ice rinks offer kids sessions with skate aids to help them gain confidence.
However, if you’re not sure where to go, check out our list of the Best Ice Rinks in London.
3. Enjoy Christmas at Kew
Christmas at Kew is a magical affair, a celebration of sparkling lights that the kids will love.
Their 2023 Winter Trail guides you through twinkling tunnels, a Treetop Walkway festooned with ribbons, and a flickering Fire Garden.
Along the way you will glimpse Santa’s helpers and woodland creatures, ending at the spectacular Palm House Pond where a light show set to festive tunes will enthral all ages.
Undoubtedly one of the most impressive things to do with toddlers in London at Christmas.
4. Meet Santa
It wouldn’t be Christmas without Santa, and luckily the capital has numerous places where you can meet the big man himself.
There are options for all budgets too, so you don’t necessarily have to splash the cash, but you do usually need to book ahead.
High end options include Santa’s Grotto at Hamleys, which includes seasonal activities and a great gift bag.
Similarly, Father Christmas at The Royal Albert Hall is an amazing immersive experience including puppetry and live music.
However, parents will rejoice there are also some free options to meet Santa, such as at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Just make sure you arrive early to avoid long queues.
5. See a Christmas Show
There are some fantastic shows this winter in London, with plenty of family-friendly options to choose from.
And for the whole family, the pantomime is always fun – this year Peter Pan is on at London Palladium.
6. Visit Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Visit Winter Wonderland for a festive atmosphere with ice skating, a Christmas market, rides, and live shows.
It’s a fantastic place for families with children, and the Christmas-themed attractions are sure to delight.
Get a panoramic view of Winter Wonderland and the surrounding area by taking a ride on the Giant Observation Wheel. The view is particularly stunning at night when the lights of London twinkle below.
From traditional fairground rides to thrilling roller coasters, there’s a wide range of attractions suitable for different age groups. Whether it’s the Christmas Coaster or the gentle rides for younger children, there’s something for everyone.
7. Visit London Christmas Markets
Explore the various Christmas markets across London, such as the Southbank Centre Christmas Market, Leicester Square Christmas Market, and new Battersea Power Station Christmas Market.
These markets offer festive treats, handmade crafts, and a joyful atmosphere.
London’s Christmas markets are a festive highlight, offering a charming atmosphere, seasonal decorations, and a wide variety of goods for holiday shopping.
8. Book a Christmas Afternoon Tea
Treat your family to a Christmas-themed afternoon tea at one of London’s charming tea rooms or hotels.
This is a delightful way to experience the festive season with tasty treats and warm beverages.
The savoury tier typically includes a selection of finger sandwiches with seasonal fillings. Expect to find classics like smoked salmon and cream cheese, turkey with cranberry sauce, and other Christmas-inspired creations.
The sweet tier is where the festive magic truly shines. Indulge in an array of Christmas-themed pastries and cakes, including mince pies, yule logs, gingerbread cookies, and other seasonal delights. Pastry chefs often showcase their creativity in crafting visually stunning and delicious treats.
Given the popularity of Christmas Afternoon Tea in London, it’s advisable to make reservations well in advance, especially for popular venues. Many hotels provide online booking options for convenience.
Have a look at these Kids Afternoon Teas in London and check if they have some availability on the dates you are visiting London.
9. Watch a Christmas Themed Movie on the Big Screen
Watch a family-friendly Christmas movie at one of London’s iconic cinemas. Some cinemas host special screenings of holiday classics during the festive season.
For instance, you could consider visiting venues like the Electric Cinema in Notting Hill, the Odeon Leicester Square, or the BFI Southbank for a special cinematic experience.
Some cinemas may also host events, screenings, or themed decorations during the Christmas season.
Look for family-friendly screenings that cater to children and provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all ages. Some cinemas offer special screenings with activities for kids, such as face painting or photo opportunities with Christmas characters.
10. Take a Bus Tour to Explore London Christmas Lights
These tours provide a unique and enchanting way to experience the city’s Christmas decorations and lights.
The open-top bus tour typically follows a specially curated route that takes you through some of London’s most iconic landmarks and neighborhoods adorned with festive lights.
Popular locations often include Oxford Street, Regent Street, Trafalgar Square, and more.
Riding on an open-top bus allows you to enjoy unobstructed views of the Christmas lights and decorations. This provides a unique perspective, especially when passing through beautifully illuminated streets and landmarks.
Given that these tours are open-top, be prepared for the weather. It’s advisable to dress warmly and bring any necessary weather protection, such as a jacket or blanket.
As you can see, there are quite a lot of things to do with your toddlers during your visit London during Christmas time.
Depending of the weather, you might want to split your time between outdoor activities like a Tour Bus and some educational fun activities like watching a West End show.
I wish you a super festive holiday season in London!
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