London events in December

Your month-by-month guide to the best new events in London



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© Brandon Douglas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the capital – the trees are up, the lights are on and the Crimbo tunes are cranked to full volume. This December, indulge in some serious festive cheers and head to some of London's biggest, best and darn-right coolest happenings.

A few of our December highlights

  1. The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
  2. Thu Dec 11
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  • Rated as: 4/5
  1. Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank, SE1 8XX
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Wed Dec 31
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  1. Sadler's Wells Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN
  2. Tue Dec 2 - Sun Jan 11
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  1. O2 Academy Brixton Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL
  2. Sat Dec 13
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  1. Arch 402 Gallery Cremer St, E2 8HD
  2. Fri Dec 5 - Sun Dec 7
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  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Mon Dec 8 - Sat Dec 20
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  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sat Dec 27
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  1. Earls Court Warwick Road, SW5 9TA
  2. Sat Dec 13
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Real Food Market

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Now weekly, the Real Food Market features around 40 food and drink producers selling seasonal produce directly to the public. Typical stalls include Spinach and Agusi with spicy Ghanaian stews; the Meantime Brewing Company with Greenwich-made beers; and Ash Green Organics with seasonal fruit and veg. There's a focus on sustainably and ethically produced food, and the market proudly supports small producers and independent traders. Whether you're coming to shop or snack, you can

  1. Southbank Centre Square Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Fri Mar 21 - Sun Mar 22
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Silent Disco at The View from The Shard

The silent disco phenomenon reaches new heights at these exclusive Time Out events. Pick your channel and choose your side as three DJs battle it out over separate wireless channels, playing the best in pop, rock and party classics, while you dance the night away at 1,000ft. The View from The Shard is the visitor attraction at the top of Western Europe's tallest building, The Shard. With unparalleled, panoramic views, it offers visitors a unique perspective on the capital.

  1. The View from the Shard Joiner St, SE1 9QU
  2. Sat Sep 27 - Sun Feb 8
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The Alternative London Tour

  • Free

East London's 'alternative' side is revealed on this leftfield tour. Expect to be introduced to the history and culture of the Brick Lane 'Banglatown' and Shoreditch areas as well as current issues and street art. Booking essential via

  1. Old Spitalfields Market Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sat Dec 20
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Astronomy Photographer of the Year

  • Free

Among the awe-inspiring shortlisted entries for this year’s competition are pics of psychedelic auroras, spine-tingling meteor showers and the centre of the Heart Nebula. The last example is a star-clustered region of glowing gas in the Cassiopeia constellation – in case you didn’t already know. The free exhibition features remarkable photos from a record number of submissions, showcasing remarkable feats of astrophotography for a sixth year. It’s a chance to see magical

  1. Royal Observatory Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Feb 1
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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

  • Free

The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for 2014 from Friday November 21 at 5pm. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you're ready to hear all those songs as you potter. Other attractions at Hyde

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Fri Nov 21 - Sun Jan 4
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Urban Food Fest

  • Free

A revolving cast of dozens of food stalls and trucks serve a frankly intimidating variety of global cuisine at the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch. Jerk chicken, wood-fired oven pizza, pad thai, halloumi souvlaki, sushi, schwarma, fried chicken, burritos – we could go on. And we will, quickly, to make special mention of the deep-fried frogs' legs at Geaux Cajun. Those things are amazing. Organiser Jessica Tucker (who's a City lawyer by day) has ensured that visitors couldn't want

  1. Euro Car Parks 163-175 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sat Dec 20
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Horst: Photographer of Style

A retrospective exhibtion of Horst P Horst's prolific 60-year career. The German-American photographer did shoots for couturiers such as Chanel, Schiaparelli and Vionnet in the ’30s, as well as experimenting with early colour techniques. His most renowned images will be on display alongside rarities and unpublished pictures, plus there will be a recreation of Horst's 1940s studio. Archive film footage, sketchbooks and letters will also give an insight into his creative

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Jan 4
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Truth and Memory: British Art of the First World War

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Free

The war was just too big, confided Eric Kennington after he had completed his masterpiece ‘The Kensingtons at Laventie’ in 1915, one of the first things you’ll see in the ‘Memory’ section of this captivating two-part show. The authorities had hoped that Kennington would make more paintings to rival his pin-sharp, quietly devastating depiction of his unit – knackered, wounded, each soldier caught in a moment of reflection after their march back to billets from the

  1. Imperial War Museum Lambeth Rd, SE1 6HZ
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Mar 8
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Constable: The Making of a Master

Suffolk-born romantic painter John Constable was never a success in his own lifetime. His paintings did well in France, but he only ever sold 20 in England, and it wasn't until his fifties that he was appointed a visiting lecturer at the Royal Academy of Arts, where he taught for a short time before his death, aged 60. Now, of course, he's a hugely influential name in the art world and the V&A is hosting this exhibition of Constable's works – alongside classical landscape

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Sep 20 - Sun Jan 11
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Christmas at Kew Gardens

Kew's annual seasonal makeover is back. For 2014, a glittery, mile-long trail, guided by snowflakes, will wind its way through the landscape. French studio design team TILT are creating 27 botanically-inspired light installations, which will be dotted along the route. The large-scale pieces (the biggest is 12 by 12 meters), designed to give the appearance of fireworks frozen in time, include giant luminous lily-of-the-valleys and light-up thistles. We're imagining something like

  1. Kew Gardens
  2. Wed Nov 26 - Sat Jan 3
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See more events in London this December


Say goodbye to summer in style – get out and get stuck into the last of the capital's festivals, pop-up and outdoor shindigs this month



The return of crisp days and cold evenings mean we're on the verge of winter, but that's no excuse to hibernate



It might be warmer to stay at home, but there's plenty taking place this November to warrant ditching the duvet for a day



It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the capital – the trees are up, the lights are on and the Crimbo tunes are cranked to full volume


Check out our London events calendar

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