Can you hear those sleigh bells jingling? Of course you can. It’s December in London and it is the most magical month to visit the city. London’s shopping streets sparkle with Christmas lights in December, and shops are full of gift hunters finishing off their Christmas shopping. A focal point of the holiday season in London is Trafalgar Square, which resounds with carol singing around the capital’s biggest Christmas tree, and lights up with a giant Menorah for Chanukah.
Here at The Washington Mayfair we want to guide you to the best activities, events and fun stuff happening in London throughout December 2018.
TOP CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Winter Wonderland – until 6th January 2019
Only a 15 minutes’ walk from The Washington Hotel, is the extravagant Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Get together with family and friends for a festive adventure in Hyde Park, with ice skating, fairground rides, big top shows, Christmas markets and seasonal food under sparkling Christmas lights. New attractions for 2018 include the Magical Ice Kingdom’s Secret Forest, the immersive cinematic adventure with The Snowman™ Experience, presented by Backyard Cinema and the Ice Sculpting workshops where you can create your own ice sculpture. Visit the official website and book your favourite attractions.
Winter Christmas Market at Southbank Centre – until 6th January 2019
Celebrate the winter season at Southbank Centre with festive shows, a Christmas market, seasonal food and drink, and family activities under the glittering lights. The majority of the Southbank Centre’s outdoor attractions are usually open from 10am-10pm daily. The Southbank Centre is normally entirely closed on Christmas Day, with outdoor attractions staying closed on New Year’s Eve. Visit the official website for more information.
Leicester Square Christmas Market – until 6th January 2019
See one of London’s most famous squares transformed for the festive during Christmas in Leicester Square. Browse more than 25 stalls for handcrafted gifts, festive decorations and more at the traditional Christmas market, plus treat yourself to some warming winter fare. Families with young children can also enjoy exploring Santa’s grotto and meet the man himself in the square’s enchanting festive atmosphere. Visit the official website for further information.
Christmas by the River at London Bridge City – 3rd January 2019
With stunning views of Tower Bridge, The Tower of London and the iconic City skyline, Christmas by the River is the perfect setting for the market which boasts 68 stalls selling gifts, food and drink. Christmas by the River will be the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a true Christmas market. Visit the official website for further information.
TOP CHRISTMAS SHOWS AND PANTOMIMES IN LONDON
The Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House – from 3rd December to 15th January 2019
Loosely based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet begins in the 19th-century German home of the Stahlbaums, where they are hosting a lively Christmas party. The period setting is captured in opulent detail by Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs, which include authentic Christmas tree decorations that are magically brought to life. Wright’s choreography ingeniously incorporates surviving fragments of the ballet’s original material, including the sublime pas de deux for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince. But in emphasizing the relationship between Clara and the Nutcracker, the production also gains a touching subtext of first love. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
Snow White at the London Palladium – from 8th December to 13th January 2019
Produced by the team behind Olivier award-winning Dick Whittington, this classic tale of good and evil is retold with the help of a stellar cast, including Dawn French, Julian Clary, Paul Zerdin and Nigel Havers. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
Mariah Carey’s all I want for Christmas is you Tour at the O2 – 11th December 2018
Join record-breaking performer Mariah Carey for a musical celebration of Christmas. The superstar singer entertains audiences with a collection of festive favourites, including All I Want for Christmas is You. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
Circus 1903 at the Royal Festival Hall – from 19th December to 5th January 2019
Fresh from the Paris Theatre in Las Vegas, Circus 1903 visits Southbank Centre for its European premiere. The show includes sensational life-sized elephants stunningly created by puppeteers from War Horse, putting elephants back in the ring as never before. The circus boasts a huge cast of jaw-dropping and dangerous acts from all corners of the globe. Featuring acrobats, contortionists, jugglers, trapeze and high-wire performers and more, this show captivates and transports audiences of all ages to the golden age of circus. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular at SSE Arena Wembley – from 27th to 30th December 2018
After a worldwide tour seen by over 7 million people in 206 cities, the stunning theatrical event Walking with Dinosaurs – The Arena Spectacular is back!Internationally renowned designers have worked with scientists to create 20 life-size dinosaurs, including the terror of the ancient terrain, Tyrannosaurus rex. Be amazed and thrilled as the greatest creatures ever to walk the earth return before your eyes. It’s a dazzling £10,000,000 arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality set to captivate young and old alike. Marvel at the story of their 200 million year domination of life on earth. Watch them walk. Hear the roar. Be there as they fight for survival and supremacy. From the ripple of their skin to the glint in their eye, you will know the dinosaurs really have returned. Book your tickets here: website.
The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre – until 6th January 2019
The Snowman, tells the story of a boy and his magical snowman’s wintery wonderland adventure. As a friendship is kindled, the two embark on a starry-skied journey to the North Pole, where they meet dancing penguins, Ice Princess, Father Christmas and escape the clutches of Jack Frost. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS – 31st December 2018
Hear Big Ben’s famous “bongs” ring out at midnight on New Year’s Eve in London, followed by the UK’s largest annual fireworks display over the Coca-Cola London Eye, presented by the Mayor of London. If you want to join in the celebrations on the night, you must have a ticket to attend. Visit the official website for further information or to book your tickets.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ICE RINK – until 6th January 2019
Skate in a magical winter haven in the heart of the city at the Natural History Museum’s open-air ice rink. The spectacular rink is surrounded by thousands of fairy lights and features a glittering 30ft (9m) Christmas tree. Book your skate session online to guarantee your place or buy your tickets from the box office when you arrive. Remember, you may have to wait for your turn on the ice if you haven’t booked your session in advance, especially during peak times. Visit the museum’s Café Bar for winter warmers, and watch the skaters glide on the ice from the cafe’s balcony. Non-skaters are welcome. Visit the official website for more information.
Don’t miss our special packages:
Winter Wonderland – click and learn more
Winter Warmer – click and learn more