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Things to do on Boxing Day in London

Christmas Day might be over but the festive fun doesn't have to stop just yet...

Father Christmas may have been and gone, but the fun doesn't end there. Boxing Day in London is a great time to visit some of London's best attractions, who fire things up for the festivities. So if you've had your share of Christmas telly by December 26, grab your woolly jumper and hit the streets of London for these fun Boxing Day activities.

RECOMMENDED: Find more festive fun with our guide to Christmas in London

Attractions open on Boxing Day

Kew Gardens

Clear the Xmas drinking fog with a breath of fresh air, literally, among the natural splendour of Kew Gardens. You can also Once take your Christmas tree for recycling by the arboretum team.

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EDF Energy London Eye

On a clear day the London Eye, the world's largest observation wheel, offers views as far as Windsor Castle, 25 miles away. Booking is advised but a number of tickets are held back for same-day sale on site, so it may be worth turning up and taking pot luck if you haven't booked, although weekends and school holidays tend to sell out in advance.

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South Bank

London Wetland Centre

Take the chance to discover this incredible city wildlife area comprised of an extensive landscape of lagoons, islets and pastures inhabited by birds and other animals.

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Novelty Automation

This attraction promises an intoxicating mix of end-of-pier fun and eccentric artistry. Its owner, Tim Hunkin, makes coin-operated machines, some of which were once displayed in Covent Garden, others are still at his Southwold arcade The Under the Pier Show. At his new arcade you can see such machines as Is It Art? (an expert determines whether any presented object is art), Alien Probe ('Investigate the captive alien, but try not to annoy it'), the self-explanatory Autofrisk and, best of all, the regulator-evasion game of Money Laundering.

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Tate Modern

Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. Built after World War II as Bankside Power Station, it was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, architect of Battersea Power Station. The power station shut in 1981; nearly 20 years later, it opened as an art museum, and has enjoyed spectacular popularity ever since. The gallery attracts five million visitors a year to a building intended for half that number; the first fruits of work on the immensely ambitious, £215m TM2 extension opened in 2012: the Tanks, so-called because they occupy vast, subterranean former oil tanks, will stage performance and film art. As for the rest of the extension, a huge new origami structure, designed by Herzog & de Meuron (who were behind the original conversion), will gradually unfold above the Tanks until perhaps 2016, but the work won’t interrupt normal service in the main galleries. In the main galleries themselves, the original cavernous turbine hall is still used to jaw-dropping effect as the home of large-scale, temporary installations. Beyond, the permanent collection draws from the Tate’s collections of modern art (international works from 1900) and features heavy hitters such as Matisse, Rothko and Beuys – a genuinely world-class collection, expertly curated. There are vertiginous views down inside the building from outside the galleries, which group artworks according to movement (Surrealism, Minimalism, Post-war abstraction)

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South Bank

London Zoo

It's all happening at the zoo, which is home to more than 600 animal species. Make time to visit the walk-through aviary, the Meet the Monkeys attraction and the Animal Adventure children's zone.

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Regent's Park

Madame Tussauds

Madame Tussaud's stock in trade is waxworks of the famous and infamous, plus a dark ride – 'The Spirit of London' – which provides a whistle-stop tour of London's history.

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Regent's Park

Original London Sightseeing Tour

Hop-on, hop-off, open-top bus tour covering most of tourist London on three different routes, with commentary in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian and Japanese. The ticket price includes a river cruise and two walking tours.

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Trafalgar Square

Ripley's Believe It or Not!

This attraction showcases weird and wonderful items from around the world, such a 13-foot-long Tower Bridge made out of matchsticks, a piece of the Berlin Wall, shrunken heads, a copy of 'The Last Supper' painted on a grain of rice and a Swarovski crystal-covered Mini Cooper. New displays include the laser beam LaseRace.

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Piccadilly Circus
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See London sparkle this Christmas

Christmas lights in London

There's nothing like the sparkle of London Christmas lights to give the city an instant festive makeover. Why not plan an outing to gaze upon Christmas lights in London ahead of a festive spot of ice skating or hitting the Christmas shops. 

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By: Time Out London Things To Do


Bryn Dentinger
Bryn Dentinger

I'm disappointed that you didn't include Kew Gardens as a destination for Boxing Day. A welcome respite from the post-Christmas shopping madness!