Things to do on Christmas Eve in London

Take a spin on the ice, do some last-minute shopping, make one final trip to see Santa – there's still plenty of festive fun to be had on the night before Christmas

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Sing carols in candlelight

An evening of Christmas carols is a surefire way to get into the festive mood. If by Christmas Eve you're still feeling more like the Grinch than Santa, head to St Martin-in-the-Fields for a candlelit service of words, music and refelections on the Christmas story.

See more carol services in the capital this Christmas

Take a spin on the ice

Whether you dance on ice like Christopher Dean or simply scramble around like Bambi, the capital's outdoor ice rinks are some of the most magical locations you'll see all season. Perfect Christmas Eve fun, book your skating session before the rinks pack up for the year.

See London's most magical ice rinks this winter

Make a final trip to see Santa

Father Christmas is making his list and checking it twice so be sure to get your name down soon! London's grottos still welcome visitors on Christmas Eve so it's never too late to share what's on your wish list.

Check out the capital's best Christmas grottos

Sip on mulled wine at a market

Perfect for picking up stocking fillers and decorations, Christmas markets are also great places to wine and dine on festive foodstuffs. It's hard to not stuff yourself silly before the big day as mulled wine and cider, craft beer, fine cheeses, chocolate, candy floss and mince pies all line the stalls at the capital's best Xmas fairs.

See our guide to Christmas markets and fairs in London

Wander Winter Wonderland

There's more Christmas fun at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland than you can shake a foot-long Toblerone at. Santa's grotto, ice skating, mulled wine bars, candy cane stalls and fairy light-lit funfair rides – head here on Christmas Eve and it'll feel like Christmas has come a day early.

Read more about Winter Wonderland

Catch a Christmassy show

If you fancy spending your Christmas Eve screaming 'he's behind you' at an '80s celebrity dressed in a wig and tights then boy, have you come to the right place. Tons of silly but seriously entertaining pantos are taking place across the city this season. If you're looking for a little less madness and a little more magic, the stunning 'Fuerzabruta' starts up a new run at Roundhouse from Mon Dec 23.

See more Christmas shows in London this season

Fit in some last-minute shopping

If you're not one of the smug shopppers who finished their present-buying back in October, Christmas Eve may well involve a mad dash along Oxford Street. Guiding you in the right direction is our run-down of the capital's best shops for gifts, stocking fillers and decorations.

Sort your shopping at London's best Christmas shops


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New Year in London

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See our guide to Christmas in London

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Celebrate Christmas in London

Have the jolliest holiday with our complete guide to festive events, activities, parties and shows in the capital this Christmas

See our guide to Christmas in the capital

Plan your New Year now

Whether you're a Londoner or just visiting for the holidays, prepare to plan one hell of a New Year in the capital

See our guide to New Year in London

Public transport over Christmas

Be sure to plan your Christmas journey in advance with our guide to reduced timetables and disruptions across the holiday season

See our guide to Christmas public transport

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