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Things to do on Christmas Eve in London

Take a spin on the ice, do some last-minute shopping, make one final trip to see Santa – there's still plenty of festive fun to be had on the night before Christmas

© David Jensen

Spending Christmas eve in London?

Sing carols in candlelight

An evening of Christmas carols is a surefire way to get into the festive mood. If by Christmas Eve you're still feeling more like the Grinch than Santa, head to one of London's carol services for a candlelight, music and as many Christmas songs as you can handle. 

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Take a spin on the ice

Whether you dance on ice like Christopher Dean or simply scramble around like Bambi, the capital's outdoor ice rinks are some of the most magical locations you'll see all season. Perfect Christmas Eve fun, book your skating session before the rinks pack up for the year.

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Make a final trip to see Santa

Father Christmas is making his list and checking it twice so be sure to get your name down soon! London's grottos still welcome visitors on Christmas Eve so it's never too late to share what's on your wish list.

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Sip on mulled wine at a market

Perfect for picking up stocking fillers and decorations, Christmas markets are also great places to wine and dine on festive foodstuffs. It's hard to not stuff yourself silly before the big day as mulled wine and cider, craft beer, fine cheeses, chocolate, candy floss and mince pies all line the stalls at the capital's best Christmas fairs.

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Squeeze in some last-minute shopping

If you're not one of the smug shopppers who finished their present-buying back in October, Christmas Eve may well involve a mad dash along Oxford Street. Guiding you in the right direction is our run-down of the capital's best shops for gifts, stocking fillers and decorations.

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Wander Winter Wonderland

There's more Christmas fun at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland than you can shake a foot-long Toblerone at. Santa's grotto, ice skating, mulled wine bars, candy cane stalls and fairy light-lit funfair rides – head here on Christmas Eve and it'll feel like Christmas has come a day early.

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See our full guide to Christmas in London

Christmas in London

There's nothing quite as festive as Christmas in London. Find ideas for fun family outings throughout the Christmas period as well as things to do on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

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By: Time Out London editors