Alternative Christmas events in London
‘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.
Okay, so it’s essentially a Christmas wonderland, but Winterville’s festive events are anything but generic: think disco yoga, crazy golf and hidden cinemas.
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.
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.
Alternative comedy heroes John Kearns (double Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner) and Pat Cahill (multi-award winning nonsense merchant) present a special yuletide editions of their ramshackle comedy night. Expect festive singalongs, merry sketches and special guests.
Step into Christmas, circa 1724. This frozen-in-time house, tucked away down a Spitalfields side street 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 family of Huguenot silk-weavers never left.
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.
Everyone’s favourite dreamy-eyed scientist, Professor Brian Cox, and superb, erudite comedian Robin Ince join forces for their annual Christmas blow-out at the Hammersmith Apollo.
After the ultimate Harry Potter experience? Book yourself a seat at this festive feast where you can tuck into a two-course Christmas dinner in the Great Hall at the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio tour, which has been transformed for winter into the set of the Yule Ball.
Try something new in the run up to Christmas
Find more Christmas fun in London
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