If you are looking for an authentic Christmas experience in London, look no further! London is a city that is full of holiday history, tradition, and seasonal spirit making Christmas time an incredible time of the year to enjoy London. Wait, who am I kidding… it is always a good time to enjoy London, but especially during the Christmas holidays!
From Hogwarts in the snow and ice skating rinks with spectacular views, Christmas shopping at the most festive markets and many Christmas shows, there are so many holiday musts to put on your list when visiting this magnificent city and we are here to help!
English National Ballet: Nutcracker at London Coliseum | From 13 December 2018 – 30 December 2018
Featuring more than 100 dancers and musicians, this ballet has been delighting audience members since 1950. Set in London on Christmas Eve, Clara and her magical Nutcracker doll discover a magical world where she faces the Mouse King. In 2017 and 2016, The English National Ballet completely sold out, so you know this is one not to miss. Enjoy beautiful sets, and Tchaikovsky’s famous scores live, as dancers grace the stage. Book early and make the Nutcracker a part of your family’s holiday traditions.
Hogwarts in the Snow | 17 November 2018 – 27 January 2019
Hogwarts is always magical, but experiencing Christmas at the Wizarding World where the Studio Tour is magically made over for the holidays to celebrate its annual yuletide celebration is even better! Beginning in the Great Hall, guests will view the stage decorated exactly how it was for that memorable and breathtaking scene from the Yule Ball. The Great Hall is not the only place where the Christmas festivities will be happening, as guests stroll from set to set,
As guests stroll from the stunningly recreated Yule Ball, Christmas festivities will continue in most of the sets including the Gryffindor common room, the Boy’s Dormitory, the Weasley’s kitchen at the Burrow, and the even the massive Hogwarts Castle model. Fireplaces throughout the Studio Tour including those within the Leaky Cauldron and the Great Hall will be ‘lit’ with the illusion of fire that’s recreated by the extremely talented special effects team.
To attend Hogwarts in the Snow, one must pre-book their tickets, so do not hesitate if you are a Harry Potter fan!
Ice Skating in London | Dates and Time Vary Depending on Venue
There are several places one can venture to for a fun time ice-skating with friends and or loved ones around London. The awesome thing about ice-skating in London is that it becomes so much more magical when one thinks back on the history that some of these amazing locations have. Here is our list of the best places to create your best memories.
- Tower of London’s Ice Rink – Until 6 Jan 2019
- Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink – Until 6 Jan 2019
- Hyde Park Winter Wonderland – Until 6 Jan 2019
- Natural History Museum Ice Rink – Until 6 Jan 2019
- Queen’s Skate Dine Bowl
Take in London view on a cool night in a toasty igloo* | Dates and Time Vary Depending on Venue
*Note that these igloos are more London and less Greenland meaning there is no actual ice involved, these igloos are transparent structures that are heated.
- Igloos next to the Thames at the Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
- Igloos along Southbank with views of the Thames, Jimmy’s Lodge London
- Igloos on the Skylight Rooftop at Tobacco Dock, London (there is also ice-skating here too).
- Igloo with a view at Aviary Rooftop Restaurant and Terrace
Christmas and Chanukah at Trafalgar Square | Dates and Time Vary Depending on Event
See the giant menorah lit up through the eight days of Chanukah, the official lighting ceremony takes place on 5 December with live music, performances, and fun.
Since 1947, Trafalgar Square has been a great place to gather for holiday festivities. There is an official lighting ceremony-taking place of the gifted (from the people of Norway) Norwegian Christmas tree, which is over 20 meters high on the 6th of December at 6 pm.
There is a Blessing of the crib ceremony on 9th of December. This event is a dramatization of the Christmas nativity and includes carols, action, music, prayer, a live donkey, a torch-lit procession beginning from the church steps of St Martin in the Fields to Trafalgar Square led by the Lakeside Brass Quintet and the Choir and Clergy of St Martin in the Fields. This event begins at St Martin in the Fields steps at 5.20pm.
Carolers from the 10th-21st of December (excluding the 15th ) there will be 40 carol signing groups that will gather under the giant spruce from 4-8pm on weekdays and from 2-6pm on weekends. Learn more about the participating choirs here.