Festive fun for your young ones
Get your skates on: London's outdoor ice rinks Popular events this week Lord Mayor's Show and Fireworks 2013 The flamboyant procession involves thousands of people from a huge variety of London organisations and hundreds of horses, along with marching bands and floats. Starting from Mansion House at 11am, it winds its way through the historic streets of the Square Mile to the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand. At 11.45am the State Coach leaves Guildhall and travels to Mansion House to pick up the new Lord Mayor, joining the procession near the back. Going out, the parade travels past St Paul’s Cathedral, where the Lord Mayor will pause to receive a blessing. On the way back, between 1pm and 2.30pm, the route goes via Embankment. It’s not Boris who’s the centre of attention on this occasion. The new mayor being celebrated is the annually elected ambassador of the City of London. In 2013 the incumbent is leading lawyer Fiona Woolf, only the second woman ever to hold the post (the first, Mary Donaldson, served from 1983 to 1984). What began as a reassuringly public way for the Lord Mayor to swear an oath of loyalty to King John had become a popular pageant by the sixteenth century. It featured in Pepys’s diaries and in works by Canaletto and Hogarth. Originally, the mayor travelled by river; later he rode on horseback – until 1711, when Sir Gilbert Heathcote fell off and broke his leg. The magnificent State Coach subsequently commissioned from
Christmas in London Discover all the festive activities to be enjoyed in London this Christmas, including markets, Christmas lights, pantomimes and carols. What could make Christmas more magical than an encounter with Father Christmas himself? Find out where to meet the man in red this winter with Time Out's guide to Santa's Christmas grottos in London. Santa's grottos in London The London Zoo Christmas Journey What sets this grotto apart from the rest is that your little ones can actually meet Santa’s reindeer – adding that extra touch of magic and wonder. In the daily keeper’s talk, you’ll find out why the critters all have to be of the female persuasion. Of course they’ll also meet Father Christmas, and carousel rides and other animal demonstrations complete the experience. Make sure to book your tickets in advance. Harrods Christmas Grotto Christmas shopping while dragging grumbling children behind is hardly going to put you in the festive spirit. Luckily, Harrods Christmas Grotto is back this season to give your little ones magical memories – and give your shopping schedule a little breathing room as you take a break with your kiddies. New this year is the 'Pre-School Experience', specifically for tots under four: just like the 'Classic Experience' for the bigger kids, the sessions give toddlers a chance to meet Father Christmas and take home a Harrods book, badge and Christmas chocolate (Mon-Fri 10am-11:30am, throughout November). You ca
Help make Christmas even more magical while they're still gullible with a festive theatre show created especially with small people in mind. Christmas in London Discover all the festive activities to be enjoyed in London this Christmas, including markets, Christmas lights, pantomimes and carols. See our guide to Christmas in London Christmas shows for kids (5-8 years) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland When she falls down the rabbit hole, Alice discovers a strange fantasy world, with Cheshire cats and mad march hares. Simon Reade's thrilling adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic features original songs. Ages 6+. Cinderella: A Fairytale Travelling Light and the Bristol Tobacco Factory's fiesty take on the story of Cinderella gave the St James Theatre an enchanting 2012 Christmas show, which was nominated for an Olivier Award. Lisa Kerr was wonderful as Ella, a young girl who takes solace in her woodland bird friends after her father remarries. She's not named in the current publiicty, so presumably a cast change is likely, though the fact she performed here earlier this year in Complicite's 'Lionboy' gives us some hope. Ages 6+. Christmas Claytime Encourage your kids to make up theatre of their own by taking them to this show from Indefinite Articles. Sally Brown and Steve Tiplady perform this Christmas treat which is created with the help of audience members who share their ideas. Ages 7 and under. Dickens Abridged This fast-paced musical comedy sprints through Charles Dicken
We're still hearing which 'celebrities' and pop 'artists' will be flicking the switch to light up London's high streets this Christmas and when they'll do it, and will continue to add to this page as we receive news. In the meantime, satisfy your festive decoration cravings with our gallery of lights from Christmases past. Christmas in London Discover all the festive activities to be enjoyed in London this Christmas, including markets, Christmas lights, pantomimes and carols. See our guide to Christmas in London More festive features Ice skating in London With the advent of winter, atmospheric ice rinks pop up all over London. Get your skates on!Read more Christmas shows and pantos Pantomimes, family shows and something a little more alternative for theatrical delights this DecemberRead more London's Christmas lights See London at its dazzling best as it reveals its decorations for the festive periodRead more Christmas markets and fairs Wrap up your festive shopping with London's Christmas markets and fairsRead more Santa's grottos What could make Christmas more magical than an encounter with Father Christmas himself?Read more Christmas carol concerts Get into the seasonal spirit with a rousing chorus or two at one of these festive carol concertsRead more Christmas party venues London venues that are ready and waiting to help you have a good time this winterRead more Where to buy a Christmas tree Will you be going for real fir? Here's our guide to getting the perfect tree
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