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Things to do on Boxing Day in London

The festive fun doesn't end after Christmas Day. Here's our guide to fun things to do on Boxing Day 2019 in London

By Time Out London Things To Do |
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reindeer, christmas lights

You've watched more festive films than you thought possible, your stomach is near bursting, and you've opened every last present under the Christmas tree. But guess what? Christmas isn't over yet. While Christmas Day brings London to a standstill, a lot of the city's best attractions re-open the next day. And if you don't feel like checking out London's top tourist spots, the Boxing Day options are still endless.

Whether you're taking a winter walk through one of London's green spaces, cutting up the ice at a skating rink or taking in the city's glorious light displays, there's no reason why you should write off the day after Christmas. So if you've watched as much Christmas TV as you can take by Thursday December 26 2019, it's time to unglue yourself from the sofa and get busy in London with some of these top Boxing Day activities.

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

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

Things to do on Boxing Day in London

Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens, Kew

Kew Gardens always go big for Christmas. Book tickets to see a mile-long, twinkling trail leads visitors past singing trees, kaleidoscopic projections and giant flora-inspired lights. 

Things to do, Ice skating

Skate at Somerset House

Somerset House, Aldwych

Get your skates on and make room for turkey sandwiches at Somerset House's grand 18th-century courtyard. It's the stunning setting for an ice rink. No matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be the very definition of festive fun. 

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Things to do, Walks and tours

Boxing Day Walk in Richmond Park

Walk off that extra helping of roast spuds with a crisp 2-hour guided trail through Richmond Park. Awaken from your festive slumber and stretch those legs out while you take in the natural beauty and learn about London's largest park. 

Things to do, Markets and fairs

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun. Spend December 26 wandering past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets, sipping festive mulled drinks. 

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Things to do, Ice skating

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Natural History Museum, South Kensington

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, Markets and fairs

Southbank Centre Wintertime Market

Southbank Centre, South Bank

Stroll along the South Bank, stopping off at the little huts outside Royal Festival Hall to stock up on festive food and any (really) last minute gifts. 

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Things to do, Ice skating

Tower of London Ice Rink

Tower of London, Tower Hill

Fancy whizzing around one of London’s most famous landmarks? Located in the dry moat, the Tower of London ice rink offers a grand historical setting for seasonal skating sessions, along with views of London's ancient fortress and the river Thames. 

Things to do, Ice skating

Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

Hampton Court Palace, Hampton

Skate around Henry VIII's sixteenth-century pad this festive season. Hampton Court Palace makes a mighty picturesque backdrop for this outdoor rink, especially when lit up after dark. 

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Christmas Lights in London: Bond Street
© Andrew Lalchan
Things to do

Christmas lights in London

London at its most bling this time of year, when the city becomes covered in glittering decorations and glowing bulbs. There's nothing lovelier than walking in the city and taking in the sparkling sites on Boxing Day. 

Venues open on Boxing Day in London

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© Garry Samuels
Attractions

Madame Tussauds

Marylebone

Once you're done with stuffing the turkey, go and hang out with something else stuffed at Madame Tussaud's (open 10am-6pm). Their stock in trade is waxworks of the famous and infamous, plus a dark ride – 'The Spirit of London' – which provides a whistle-stop tour of London's history.

Attractions, Rivers, lakes and ponds

London Wetland Centre

Barnes

The early bird gets the worm and other forms of wildlife at west London's Wetland Centre. Hiding amid the extensive landscape of lagoons, islets and pastures are all manner of birds, including kingfishers, snipes and redpolls, plus box-tree moths, speckle wood butterflies, common darter dragonflies, the harlequin ladybird and many more species.

Venue says Award-winning nature reserve in the heart of the capital. Enjoy fantastic views, wildlife, lakes, gardens. Plus shop, café and playground

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Things to do, Games and hobbies

Novelty Automation

Holborn

Forget 'Frozen' and 'Shrek' and all the other animations you'll be watching on your telly boxes this season. Take in some old school animation at Novelt Automation's intoxicating mix of end-of-pier fun and eccentric artistry. Its owner, Tim Hunkin, makes coin-operated machines, some of which were once displayed in Covent Garden, others are still at his Southwold arcade The Under the Pier Show.

Attractions

The London Dungeon

South Bank

Shake off that festive feeling and delve into the depths of this Medieval-style horror museum. There are gory waxwork displays of plagues, tortures, executions and other grisly reminders of the not so distant past.

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© RBG Kew
Attractions, Parks and gardens

Kew Gardens

Kew

Clear the Christmas drinking fog with a breath of fresh air, literally, among the natural splendour of Kew Gardens. Gates open at 10am and last entry is at 3.30pm - or visit after dark, as this year the gardens are illuminated at night with a flickering Fire Garden, kaleidoscopic projections and giant flora-inspired lights.

London Eye
Andrew Brackenbury / Time Out
Things to do, Event spaces

London Eye

South Bank

When better than Boxing Day to hop on the world's largest observation wheel to get a good nosey at the city while the majority of its inhabitants rest? On a clear day you can even see Windsor Castle, 25 miles away. Booking is advised but a number of tickets are held back for same-day sale on site, so it may be worth turning up and taking pot luck if you haven't booked.

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Museums, Specialist interest

Sherlock Holmes Museum

Baker Street

Doing nothing to disabuse tourists of the belief Sherlock Holmes was a real person, this charmingly ramshackle attraction is open at 221b Baker Street. Magnifying glasses at the ready for murder weapons, Victoriana, waxworks depicting scenes from the stories and an august person wearing a bowler hat and whiskers going by the name of Watson.

Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

London Zoo

Regent’s Park

While everyone else is chilling at home after a hefty day of festivities, join the animals who'll be out and about at London Zoo. It's home to more than 600 animal species, so make time to visit most of them, if not all. The walk-through aviary, the Meet the Monkeys attraction and the Animal Adventure children's zone are all worth a look-in.

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Attractions, Zoos and aquariums

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

South Bank

Brave the Shark Walk and waddle along with the Gentoo penguins at the London Aquarium this Boxing Day because it's open all day (9am-7pm). Just make sure you peel yourselves from a post-Chrimbo slump before 5.45pm because that's when last admissions are allowed in.

Attractions, Theme parks

Shrek's Adventure! London

South Bank

Everyone loves the ugly old green beast and his gentle ways, so Shrek's Adventure! is a perfect post-Christmas day out. Kids will enjoy the old school romp and parents will no doubt revel in the opportunity to let the little ones loose, away from all the noise and relentless games playing that goes on over Chrimbo.

See London sparkle on Boxing Day

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