Can you hear those sleigh bells jingling? Of course, you can. It’s December in London and that means winter has truly arrived and Christmas in London has begun. See the city skies sparkling with glimmering Christmas lights, fill your ears with Christmas songs, swap your lunchtime sushi for an indulgent Christmas sandwich, pig out on even more luxurious menus at London's best restaurants and watch the pubs in London get even buzzier than normal and head one of the festive parties popping up all around town.
If Christmas is just one big old bore for you, don’t worry! There are huge helpings of cosy winter pop-ups and brilliant events without the tinsel trappings to enjoy in London. Plus, there's the epic New Year celebrations to start planning. Read our guide for the lowdown on the events, parties, cultural happenings and things to do taking place in London in December 2020.
RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar
Our December 2020 highlights
London at Christmas time is pretty darn magical. Discover ideas for fun family outings throughout the Christmas period, plus fun things to do on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day in the capital.
Dazzle your eyes be taking a peek at London's twinkling Christmas lights. The illuminations give London an instant festive makeover. Plan a wintery outing with our guide to all the main lights in London.
Bryan Adams (yes, that Bryan Adams) and Jim Vallance’s take on Julia Roberts’s breakthrough hit received mixed reviews when it premiered on Broadway last year, but it lasted for a respectable enough year. That’s something the UK debut for Jerry Mitchell’s production hopes to repeat.
There’ll be plenty to feast your eyes on in this ambitious retrospective of the radical French artist's painting. Over his 50 year career (he died in 1985), Jean Dubuffet pushed constantly at the boundaries of artistic representation.
The Bridge will be transformed into a 1930s dancehall for Marianne Elliott and Steven Hoggett’s production of this new stage adaptation of Horace McCoy’s 1935 classic novel. It follows a Great Depression-era dance competition, as couples grind themselves down for $1,000 prize.
This major exhibition at Tate Modern emphasizes just how radical Rodin was. In a sort-of ‘behind the scenes’ approach, the show draws attention to the artist’s use of clay and plaster in producing his best-known marble and bronze creations.
This new musical about all-male singing group The Drifters centres on the woman behind the band, Faye Treadwell, who was the first African-American female manager and who helped propel the group to stardom over three decades. Expect all the Drifters hits like 'Stand By Me', 'Down By the Boardwalk' and 'Save the Last Dance For Me'.
Emin is a long-term fan of the Norweigan Expressionist. This exhibition will show how Munch has long been an inspiration to her.
Director Dominic Cooke and actress Imelda Staunton reunite in the classic musical, which hasn't had a London revival in over a decade. It's got music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (‘La Cage aux Folles’) including the wonderful title number, plus 'Put on Your Sunday Clothes' and 'Before the Parade Passes By'.
This shows aims to illuminate just what a radical Turner was during his lifetime, including his fascination with new inventions of the Industrial Revolution, as captured in the 100% glorious ‘Rail, Steam and Speed’. And - guess what? - you can see it irl in this show! Which basically justifies the price of an entry ticket.
Maria Baruszová was a Slovakian artist who lived and worked in Košice, the second-largest city in her home country. This major retrospective concentrates on her output from 1960s onwards, when she first started making plaster sculptures by pouring the liquid into rubber balloons.
Whether your ice skating skills are jaw-droppingly magnificent or utterly non-existent, you'll still find London's ice rinks as enchanting as ever.
Swap stressful Christmas shopping in busy department stores for something a little more laid back. We've got you covered with our guide to London’s loveliest Christmas markets and festive fairs.
Where's the best place to catch a London pantomime for Christmas 2019? Is it behind you? Nope: it's in the panto list right here.
London is one of the best places in the world to be for New Year celebrations. Fact. The capital is fully prepared with loads of New Year's Eve parties and events up its sparkly sleeve, as well as the mighty NYE firework display over the Thames.
GYG London Widget
You may also like
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...