Don’t want to go to Winter Wonderland for the fourth time already this year? Put off by the millions tramping up and down Oxford Street? Don’t let Christmas lose its magic! The Pretty Pages has collected a list of our top ten places to go this month to infuse a little novelty into the age-old traditions of a London Christmas. Your little one won’t be the only one enjoying the fun!
1. Christmas at Kew Gardens
Transformed trails and Victorian carousels make this a classic experience not to be missed. Before you pass under the breathtaking lights of the Illuminated Trail, take a moment to enjoy a festive nibble of two in the central Winter Village.
Children (5 – 16): £8
Under 5s: Free
2. Meet Rudolph
Father Christmas has given some of his reindeer time off to see you and your little ones in Covent Garden. While enjoying the company of these semi-mythical beasts you can sing along to the classic Christmas Carols (and probably some Slade, too) playing throughout Covent Garden.
3. Pop-Up Screens Cinema in Notting Hill
Oh, the weather outside is frightful – but cinema’s so delightful! Notting Hill’s very own Pop-Up Screen Cinema has been transformed into a wintry landscape which you enter through a magic wardrobe C. S. Lewis would be proud of. Showings include such Christmas classics as Home Alone, Elf and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
Under 10s: £10
4. The Snowman at The Peacock Theatre
Join the Peacock Theatre as they tell the story of a boy who, on Christmas Eve, wishes that his snowman will come to life. Follow a very talented cast on a magical adventure where you’ll encounter dancing penguins, reindeer and (of course) a rather nimble Father Christmas.
Tickets from £32
5. Christmas workshop with Spencer Stage School
Are you finding that all the ‘he’s behind you!’s are getting old? Now you and your little ones have the chance to be behind the action and make your very own pantomime. Spencer Stage School is giving the audience the chance to create their own costumes, choreograph their own dancing, singing and acting and play lots of games while doing it, too!
Check the dates for this, because we want to make sure we haven’t missed out on this
£50 (£25/day for two days)
6. Christmas carols at Hampton Court Palace
Get into the festive spirit with an hour of carol singing in the courtyards of the historic Hampton Court Palace, accompanied by the sweet sounds of the Epsom & Ewell Silver Band. There will be two opportunities to join in the carols every night – the first starting at 6PM and the second at 8PM.
Children (5 – 15): £3.75
Under 5s: Free
7. Christmas at the Museum of Childhood
Following their hugely popular ‘War Games’ exhibition earlier this year, this Christmas the Museum of Childhood will be decorated like a 1940s womderland with homemade lanterns and paper chains. You and your little ones will be treated to a number of free activities including storytelling, arts and crafts, tours and treasure hunts.
8. Chocolate Festival at the Southbank Centre
Sessions with Masters of Chocolate and build-you-own-bar are two of the highlights of this festival, along with the Valrhona Chocolate Afternoon Tea based on Joanne Harris’s international best-selling novel Chocolat. This delectable festival also sells a number of delicious presents from Hotel Chocolat, Rococo Chocolates, Choco Passion, Pacari and many more, so all your friends and family can benefit too!
9. The Little Mermaid at Riverside Studios
No Disney singalongs here: the otherworldly Hans Christian Andersen tale is performed at the beautiful Riverside Studios with all the magic of the original story. Join a young mermaid as she makes a deal with a wicked sea-witch that takes her (and her audience!) on a voyage of discovery and adventure.
Tickets £15 – £20
10. Santa’s Grotto at Selfridges
Children would adore this fantastically decorated grotto at Selfridges this year even if it didn’t contain cheeky snowmen, playful elves and the jolly man in red himself. But these Christmas characters certainly don’t hurt! Explore the Ice Cave with the elves and watch the delight on your little one’s face as they receive a gift straight from Santa.