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The best Christmas events in London

Feel like getting festive this weekend? Here’s our guide to the best Christmas events in London

By Katie McCabe and Things To Do Editors |
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It’s good news for all you Christmas enthusiasts, because the season to be jolly is right round the corner. We’re talking mulled wines in fake Bavarian huts, stuffing yourself with an excessive amount of mince pies and chowing down on a festive pig in blankets sandwich without judgement (okay, maybe a little). 

But beyond the sweet treats, it’s all the events that make this time of the year as special as it is. Whether you're perusing a Christmas market or treating yourself to a warming carol concert, there are all sorts of things to get up to this Xmas and because we're feeling merry, we've pulled together some of our top festive picks.

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

RECOMMENDED: Check out our full guide to Christmas in London

Classic Christmas events on this week

Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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Kew’s incredible botanical gardens will be undergoing another magnificent seasonal makeover in 2019, as Christmas at Kew lights up the space’s iconic buildings and the weird and wonderful plants that call it home. 

Things to do, Festivals

Southbank Centre Winter Festival

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank
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The Southbank Centre Winter Festival returns is back for 2019 with another sparkling programme of festive shows and performances, family fun and music. 

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Things to do, Ice skating

Skate at Somerset House

icon-location-pin Somerset House, Aldwych
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Now in its twentieth year, the arrival of the ice rink in Somerset House’s grand eighteenth-century courtyard is something of a festive institution. The 900-square-metre outdoor rink returns to the spot from November 13 to January 12, and is a great way to spend the day no matter how impressive your skating skills are.

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

icon-location-pin Hyde Park, Hyde Park
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The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park’s huge tribute to festive fun. The annual favourite is back for its thirteenth year in 2019. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and you can head along for cheerily-lit fairground rides, a child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto) and quaint Christmas markets. 

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Things to do, Ice skating

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

icon-location-pin Natural History Museum, South Kensington
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The Natural History Museum is home to London’s most enchanting ice rink, thanks to the beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's buildings, a row of trees dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice. 

Things to do, Quirky events

Peter Pan Cup

icon-location-pin Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park
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Strictly a spectator event - unless you happen to be a regular, not to mention hardy, member of the Serpentine Swimming Club - this swimming race takes place each year on Christmas morning. Make watching the race the focus of a brisk walk across Hyde Park to work up an appetite for the excesses to come.

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Things to do

Christmas by the River

icon-location-pin London Bridge City, Tower Bridge
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The annual Christmas market is back at London Bridge City. Go for an ace combination of homemade gifts, delicious food from German-style chalets and amazing views of the London landmarks the Tower of London and Tower Bridge. 

Things to do, Walks and tours

Enchanted Eltham Palace

icon-location-pin Eltham Palace, Eltham
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Get your history fix or just feed your Insta feed with pretty lights at Enchanted Eltham. South London's fancy art deco mansion will get a festive makeover, beams of light criss-crossing through the night sky, illuminated projections over the palace walls, glowing fountains in the ancient moat and tunnels and pathways of fairy lights. 

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Things to do, Exhibitions

Museum of Architecture Gingerbread City

icon-location-pin Somerset House, Aldwych
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The Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City is back and this year it's filling the mighty Somerset House with impressive models made of dough. 

Things to do, Food and drink events

Miracle

icon-location-pin The Henrietta Hotel, Covent Garden
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Dreaming of a kitsch Christmas? New York's famous Miracle on Ninth Street bar is popping up in London for the festive season, bringing ’50s Christmas decorations, nostalgic alpine-themed accessories and creative takes on old school cocktails to Covent Garden. 

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Things to do, Quirky events

London Pantomime Horse Race

icon-location-pin Various London locations, London
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In scenes only slightly less dramatic and probably far more entertaining than the Grand National, more than 40 pantomime horses (plus a few pretenders in the form of zebras and cows) will gallop through Greenwich on this race raising money for charity, this year with a ‘Star Wars’ theme.

Things to do, Quirky events

The Great Christmas Pudding Race

icon-location-pin Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden
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Watch runners dressed as your favourite Christmas characters trying to navigate through foam slaloms and other inflatable hazards whilst balancing a plate of Crimbo pud. All the wackiness is for a good cause for Cancer Research UK. 

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Things to do, Walks and tours

Dennis Severs' Annual Christmas Installation

icon-location-pin Dennis Severs’ House, Spitalfields
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Step into Christmas, circa 1724. This frozen-in-time house, tucked away down a Liverpool St sidestreet has been given a festive makeover, complete with freshly wrapped presents, the sound of carollers and the aroma of a Christmas dinner – almost as if the Huguenot family never left. 

Fancy something more unusual?

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