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Alternative Christmas events in London

If festive tradition isn't your thing, check out these weird and wonderful Christmas events taking place in London this winter

Swimmers Compete For The Peter Pan Cup In The Icy Waters Of The Serpentine
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By Time Out London Things To Do |

Listen, we love a good old-fashioned Christmas. Mulled wine, festive marketscarol services and ice skating, winter wonderlands: it’s all good stuff when you’re in the right mood. But there's nothing wrong with trying something a little different once in a while. Thankfully, London is blessed with all the alternative festive events that you could ever want, so get out of your festive comfort zone have yourself a quirky little Christmas in 2019. 

We’ll be updating this page with more events for Christmas 2019 as they are announced.

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

Alternative Christmas events in London

Best buildings in London: Smithfield Market
© Cedric Weber
Things to do, Food and drink events

Hart's of Smithfield Christmas Auction

'Spend your money and take your chance' is the rather mysterious advice given to the 1,500-odd Londoners expected to turn up to Smithfield meat market for what must be London's most boisterous Christmas traditions. Harts of Smithfield run an auction just before Christmas each year, flogging great hunks of every kind of meat at bargain prices. 

Things to do, Festivals


Ok, so its essentially a Christmas wonderland, but Winterville’s festive events are anything but generic: think disco yoga, crazy golf and hidden cinemas.

Things to do, Quirky events

Peter Pan Cup

Strictly a spectator event, unless you happen to be a regular, not to say hardy, member of the Serpentine Swimming Club, the Peter Pan Cup race takes place each year on Christmas morning. 

Things to do, Quirky events

The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Every year Londoners turn out to watch runners try to navitage through foam slaloms and other inflatable hazards whilst balancing a plate of Christmas pud. All the wackiness is for a good cause for Cancer Research UK. Take part, or just turn up on the day to laugh and point. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

Dennis Severs' Annual Christmas Installation

Step into Christmas, circa 1724. This frozen-in-time house, tucked away down a Liverpool St sidestreet is given a festive makeover each Christmas, complete with freshly wrapped presents, the sound of carollers and the aroma of a Christmas dinner – almost as if the Huguenot family never left. 

Things to do, Exhibitions

Hogwarts in the Snow

The Harry Potter studio tours get a festive makeover once more this Winter, with Christmas trees and a seasonal feast in the Great Hall, decorations in Gryffindor common room and snow drifts in Diagon Alley. 

Try something new in the run up to Christmas

Things to do, Classes and workshops

Weird and wonderful hobbies in London

Bored? You need to get yourself a new hobby. And we're not talking stamp collecting here – we're talking alternative, freaky, fun activities, like trapezing, making wine and learning to paddleboard.

Find more Christmas fun in London

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