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. Those three wintery weeks 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. And if you need a place to stay, check out our family friendly hotels and apartments in London for inspiration. Christmas Holidays in London never looked so magical….
1. Visit The Gingerbread City
This unique exhibition at Somerset House 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 2019 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. This one is fairly pricey (£11 for a child and £16 for an adult) but under 4’s go free. 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 Show
There are some fantastic shows this winter in London, with plenty of family-friendly options to choose from. Little ones will love the classic tale of The Snowman, whilst older children can appreciate their first taste of ballet at The Nutcracker. And for the whole family, the pantomime is always fun – this year Goldilocks and the Three Bears is on at London Palladium. The hilarious adaptation starring big names such as Julian Clary and Paul O’Grady is guaranteed to be a riotous affair.
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