Christmas in London

It's beginning to look a bit like Christmas in London. These festive events, markets and (safe) cosy pop-ups will provide a much-needed dose of festive cheer

Photograph: Sarah Bray/Shutterstock.com

Almost as soon as the temperature drops and the clocks go back, London is transformed into a wintery wonderland. Ice rinks appear in squares, on rooftops and outside London icons while the city glitters with Christmas lights and creatively decorated trees. Suddenly, you can fill your free time sipping hot booze in kitsch pop-up bars (like this Miracle on Ninth Street one), wandering through a 200-tree woodland or spreading the cheer (but no singing along!) at massive concerts, including ones at the Royal Albert Hall

There’s no use denying that Christmas 2020 will be unlike any Christmas in London before it. We’re still unsure if rules will be adjusted in time for the big day, but current restrictions will limit Christmas parties and get-togethers to groups of six. And annual events where social distancing is a big challenge have already been called off, from panto at Hackney Empire to the annual icon of London’s Christmas calendar, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

Still, there’s enough Christmas spirit in the capital to find a way through. From distanced and virtual craft markets to ice skating with a strict time slot; from panto for a limited audience to safe, outdoor activities galore. While you probably shouldn’t sit on Santa’s lap this year, you can go forth and have fun in a London stuffed like a stocking full of magical things to do at Christmas. 

RECOMMENDED: Plan a spectacular New Year in London too

Festive things to do in London

Ace places to skate in London
Things to do

Ace places to skate in London

Glide in style at these awesome ice rinks

Christmas events in London
Things to do

Christmas events in London

We’ve got your plans wrapped up in a bow

London's loveliest Christmas lights
Things to do

London's loveliest Christmas lights

See our city at its most bling

Where to find winter igloos in London
Things to do

Where to find winter igloos in London

These boozy domes are still as popular as ever 

Find the cosiest winter pop-ups in the city
Things to do

Find the cosiest winter pop-ups in the city

Snuggle up under a blanket, it’s hot chocolate season 

Christmas parties in London
Clubs

Christmas parties in London

Soak up as much festive fun as possible 

Christmas shopping in London

The best Christmas shops in London
Shopping

The best Christmas shops in London

Tackle your Christmas shopping tasks in the most joyful way

Christmas markets in London
Shopping

Christmas markets in London

Swap Oxford Street for one of these festive fairs

Planning Christmas in London?

Quintessential Christmas activities
Things to do

Quintessential Christmas activities

We love the uniqueness of London's festive season 

The most festive hotels in the city
Hotels

The most festive hotels in the city

For truly magical sleepovers

Restaurants open on Christmas Day
Restaurants

Restaurants open on Christmas Day

Where to dine out deliciously on December 25 

Where to buy a Christmas tree in London
Shopping

Where to buy a Christmas tree in London

We've got you covered for this important festive task

Get into the Christmas spirit

The 50 best Christmas songs
Music

The 50 best Christmas songs

Not all festive tunes are totally naff

Things to do when it snows in London
Things to do

Things to do when it snows in London

Snowball fight, anyone?

The 50 best Christmas movies
Film

The 50 best Christmas movies

We count down our favourite films of the season

Favourite Christmas memories

Favourite Christmas memories

20 Londoners share their festive stories

More festive things to do in London

Christmas pop-up cinema in London
Film

Christmas pop-up cinema in London

Book up screenings of all your favourite festive films

Christmas pantomimes in London
Theatre

Christmas pantomimes in London

Are the best ones behind you? Nope: they’re in this list

The twelve shows of Christmas
Theatre

The twelve shows of Christmas

Want to see Danny and Dani Dyer on stage together?

Christmas shows in London
Theatre

Christmas shows in London

The best festive shows out there

Festive fun with kids in London

Christmas activities
Kids

Christmas activities

Who’s excited?

Santa’s grottos
Kids

Santa’s grottos

Meet the man himself

Christmas pantomimes
Theatre

Christmas pantomimes

They’re behind you!

Festive family shows
Theatre

Festive family shows

Christmassy fun for the whole family

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