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Things to do on Boxing Day 2022 in London

The festive fun doesn’t end with Christmas Day. Make the most of the holidays with great things to do on Boxing Day

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell
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The information on this page was correct at time of publication, but please check with venues before you head out

As you come round from your turkey-and-‘Home Alone’ stupor, don’t write off Boxing Day. There are always lots of great things to do in London on December 26. 

Take a hangover-busting winter walk through one of London’s glorious green spaces; gawp at the city’s eyebending Christmas light displays; or go to a panto (cos you couldn’t last year, remember?). This year, let’s make December 26 great again.

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

Things to do on Boxing Day in London

  • Theatre

London's theatres are back to their best for Christmas 2021, with a spectacular array of shows for all comers. Whether it's a cutesy puppet show for toddlers, a traditional family trip to see a pantomime, or a dazzling night at the circus, our guide to Christmas theatre in London has got you covered.

 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Lightopia London is an immersive illumination experience in Crystal Palace. This year’s all-new display features interactive lights and lanterns that together create a multi-sensory wintry wonderland. It includes 22 trees representing unity and growth! This year, visitors can walk a two-kilometre trail to experience the unique display, which includes lit-up water and lasers. Tickets are available on the Lightopia website. Blow those Boxing Day cobwebs away.

 

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Treat the kids to a Christmas show
  • Theatre
  • Children's

Why not book one of London’s many joyful kid-friendly Christmas shows? Traditionally, the first port of call for anyone who wants to keep grannies, dads and toddlers on side is visit to the pantomime: if that’s what you're after, check out our comprehensive guide to the best pantos across London. But there plenty of other ways to keep everyone aged one to 101 entertained with a Christmassy theatre trip.

  • Things to do
  • City Life

Who needs actual flowers and glorious SAD-dispelling sunshine when you can goggle at gigantic light-up blooms, against a backdrop of fairy-lit trees? Each year’s Kew display is bigger and more awe-inspiring than the year before. This time round, there’s a focus on the majesty of the gardens’ central lake, which has been decked out with glowing stars and highlighted with lasers that fill the night sky.  

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens

Yes it's cold out. Yes the trees are bare. Yes, even the birds sound a bit depressed. But we're lucky to have some amazing parks in London, and walking around in them (as long as you live close by) is one of the only things you're currently allowed to do. So get out there and enjoy some bracing green space. 

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

 

Our skating wings were clipped last year, with even the outdoor rinks having to close prematurely. The good news is, most of London’s best ice-skating rinks are back in full force for the 2021-22 season. Take your pick from all the classics, lace up your boots and get swishing.

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Ensconce yourself in a cosy pub
  • Bars and pubs

Lounge around on roughed-up sofas and bask in the glow of a burning fire – these cosy London pubs are crying out to be treated like your home away from home in the autumn months. Whether you want to get warmed-up after a brisk walk through Hampstead Heath or you feel like getting all aglow while in Soho, these pubs will work wonders on your post-summer, not-quite-winter complexion.

  • Things to do

London is 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 round the city taking in the sparkling sights on Boxing Day. If you live local to central London, it’s the perfect way to add some sparkle to your daily walk. Remember, always try to stay at a 2m distance from anyone outside your social bubble. 

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Eltham Palace
  • Attractions
  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Eltham

Winter walks don’t get more stunning than a stroll through the grounds of Eltham Palace. So, lucky us, because it’s open on Boxing Day.

 

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

A staple of London’s winter activities scene will be returning to us from October – but it’ll be your last chance ever to enjoy its icy charms. The ice rink at the Natural History Museum will take up residence at the South Kensington venue for a final season this year before it gets transformed into a new urban garden. That means you have from October 22 to January 16 to cram in as many festive skate sessions as you can.

 

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Chill out with a Christmas movie
  • Film

In the last few years, the Christmas movie has made a comeback. Thanks to our insatiable appetite for content, Netflix has hunkered down and produced an avalanche of schmaltzy Christmas rom-coms, many of which inexplicably feature ‘High School Musical’ star Vanessa Hudgens. With that in mind, we’ve counted down the most charming, entertaining and occasionally even terrifying festive movies.

See London sparkle on Boxing Day

More Christmas? Check out the best lights in London
  • Things to do

There’s nothing like the sparkle of London’s Christmas lights to give the city an instant festive makeover. Why not plan an outing to gaze upon Christmas lights in London ahead of a spot of ice skating or hitting the Christmas shops?

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