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SKATE at Somerset House
Photograph: David Jensen

Things to do on Christmas Eve in London

It’s the big day in lots of countries, but in the UK Christmas Eve is often just a retail frenzy. Do this stuff instead

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell

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

Don’t just spend Christmas Eve doing last-minute shopping, prepping veg or sitting glumly in the pub. Make the most of every minute of this year’s festive season and have a Christmas Eve to remember, by taking in some of London’s most Christmassy things to do before everything shuts down for Christmas Day. From twinkling lights to the city’s loveliest Christmas trees to make you feel all warm and anticipatory, take a look at our top picks for things to do on December 24 2022

RECOMMENDED: Our full guide to Christmas in London.

Best things to do on Christmas Eve in London

  • Things to do
  • Ice skating

Slide into Christmas by spinning around on one of London’s best ice rinks, all of which are open on Christmas Eve. Winter Wonderland’s is the biggest; Canary Wharf’s is open for the longest period (18 sweet weeks!); Somerset House’s is the most fabulous; and Glide at Battersea Power Station is the newbie. Take your pick, lace up your skates and get swishing.

Sink a mulled wine
  • Bars and pubs

Pub mulled wine can be a bit hit and miss. So we’ve sought out the best cosy London pubs pouring mulled wine that’s a cut above the rest. Find yourself a nook and wrap your mitts around one of these steaming, spicy bevvies.  

  • Museums
  • Bloomsbury

Can you get any more Christmassy than wandering around the home of the man who wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ on Christmas Eve – the very night when all the ghostly shit went down in the story? We don’t think so. See the museum’s original Victorian furniture and fittings kitted out festive greenery and tour the house as carols play in the background. Every Christmas Eve visitor guest will receive a free mince pie and mulled wine, be able to see adaptations of ‘A Christmas Carol’, and be entered into a festive prize competition. 

  • Theatre

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. Check out our comprehensive panto guide for the best places to sample this most entirely British of festive traditions. But if fabulous dames and shouts of ‘He’s BEHIND you!’ aren’t your particular bag of brussels sprouts, then don’t worry: there’s something out there for all tastes. 

Looking for things to do in London on Christmas Day?


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