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12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London

So, on the 12th day of Christmas…No, don’t worry! I’m not about to burst into a full rendition of the Christmas carol, but I am going to reveal the best places to enjoy all the fun, frivolity and festive cheer in London.

Things to do in London at Christmas

From Christmas events, cosy pops, Christmas lights, shows and winter markets this seasonal guide with have you celebrating Christmas with style in London. There is a festive experience for everyone, whether you’re a barfly or a bah, humbug!

Ice Skating at the Tower of London

For the winter sports enthusiasts

Tower of London Ice Skating rink

Experience London’s most famous Tower as it gets festive. Whizz around dramatic surroundings as you skate in the dry moat of the Tower of London. It’s a unique and magical setting and in the evening becomes even more stunning. The iconic historical landmark is illuminated for some spectacular views. If you don’t fancy skating enjoy the rink-side bar serving seasonal fayre from mulled wine, hot chocolate, mince pies to champagne.

Tower of London

Festive afternoon tea at aqua Shard

For those with a sweeth tooth

Aqua Shard probably serves the highest afternoon tea in London. The magnificent panoramic views of London is breathtaking from the 31st floor of the Shard. This year the festive afternoon tea offers a seasonal twist on afternoon tea favourites, with sandwiches such as turkey and cranberry, black truffle and egg, fig chutney and brie and a crumpet with smoked salmon. The perfect way to enjoy yuletide.

Eat out this Christmas and help London’s homeless

For the foodies

picture of chunky chips in a silver bowl

During the season of goodwill when you eat out this Christmas help the homeless. Rough sleeping in the UK has nearly tripled since 2010, and last year over 300,000 people in Britain were recorded as homeless. You can help by simply heading to the nearest restaurant participating in StreetSmart. The UK homeless charity raises funds to tackle the growing crisis by asking restaurant customers to add a voluntary extra quid to their bill. Founded in London in 1998, it has raised more than 8.8 million in total. Three hundred London restaurants are involved this year from Fera at Claridges, Barrafina, Tredwells to Hoppers and many more. For a list of participating restaurants, click the link below.

StreetSmart – London Restaurants

The Pixie and the pudding at The Little Angel Theatre

For the kids

It’s Christmas Eve on the farm, and the chickens, pigs and cows are fast asleep. Inside the farmhouse, the fire is roaring and a delicious, steaming pudding is left out on the windowsill…

Yes there is actually a production about a curious pixie and the pudding she likes to eat on Christmas Eve. This brand new musical brings a tale from Scandinavian folklore to life with puppetry, original music and a sprinkling of pixie magic. Perfect for kids aged 4 – 11.

Little Angel Theatre – The Pixie and the Pudding

Day 5: Marvel at the Christmas lights

For the light fanatics

London Christmas Lights in covent garden looking up to the ceiling

All of London’s Christmas lights are now illuminated. Let your eyes be dazzled by the twinkling installments from Covent Garden, Oxford and Regent Street, it’s a magical time of the year on the London streets.

Christmas at Dennis Severs House

For A step back in time

Credit: Dennis Severs House

The Annual Christmas Installation will return this year from the 24th of November to the 6th of January 2020 in all its festive glory! Step back in time to the house that time forgot and experience Christmas as it was in the early 18th century

Dennis Severs House

Christmas film in a Ballroom


Credit: Rivoli Ballroom

Watch Christmas films in sumptuous surroundings at the Rivoli Ballroom’s pop-up cinema. It’s one of the last remaining ballrooms in London. Doors open at 8pm and the film begins 8.30pm. There will be a food stall serving all the sweet and savoury cinema favourites as well as a bar.

Rivoli Ballroom – Popup Cinema

Indulge in a Hot Chocolate at Venchi

For the chocolate lovers

London at Christmas | 12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London | Hot Chocolate Venchi

Head to Venchi, fine Italian gourmet chocolate manufacturers since 1878. The chocolate boutique is full of sweet temptations, but when the temperature falls there is only one thing I crave – Warm delicious hot chocolate. Venchi do three flavours, traditional, Giandujotti (milk chocolate and hazelnut) and Cuba Rhum. Or yes you can have one spiked with Rum and it’s the tastiest, creamiest thing this side of Christmas! There are three stores in London, Covent Garden, Chelsea and Hampstead. Make sure you go get your chocolate fix this Christmas!


Christmas Charles Dickens style

For the museum geeks

London at Christmas | 12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London | Charles Dickens Museum
Credit: Charles Dickens Museum

Experience a Dickensian Christmas in the home of the author who created the modern concept of Christmas with A Christmas Carol. Each year the museum provides a charming glimpse into how Charles Dickens celebrated the festive season. Wander around the very rooms he lived and worked with a magically festive feel. This Christmas the Holborn museum will be hosting a whole host of events including special Christmas Lates featuring a candlelit bar, as well as readings of A Christmas Carol.

Charles Dickens Museum

Step into Christmas at Winter Wonderland

For the fun seekers

view of the Winter Wonderland at hyde park in the dark all lit up from the air
Credit: Winter Wonderland

Back for its twelfth year, there is no better place to get into the Christmas spirit than Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. Entry is free to the family friendly event where you can enjoy plenty of festive fun and activities, including fairground rides, a child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto), ice skating, circus shows and a massive Christmas market.

Winter Wonderland London

Go Watch a Panto!

For the theatre-goers

London at Christmas | 12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London

Is Christmas even Christmas without a panto? ‘Oh no isn’t!’ You’re completely spoilt for choice in London with Goldilocks and the Three Bears at the Palladium, Dick Whittington at the Hackney Empire and Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith to name a few. It’s an integral part of the festive calendar, book those tickets.

Timeout – Christmas Pantomimes in London

Christmas Carols in Trafalgar Square

For the music lovers

London at Christmas | 12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London
Credit: @mikecleggphotography – Creative Commons Image

In the fortnight leading up to Christmas head to Trafalgar Square to listen to festive songs and carols for free. Each evening from 4pm to 8pm on weekdays, and from 2pm to 6pm at weekends more than 40 different carol groups will sing for an hour beneath the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square raising money for voluntary of charity organisations.

Are there any Christmas treats you love experiencing in London. Let me know in the comments box below.

Wishing you all a jolly festive season – Merry Christmas!



London at Christmas | 12 Days of Christmas Experiences in London


  • Bejal 3rd December 2018 at 8:38 am

    I love these London Christmas ideas Sima, obviously I’m up for all the foodie ones!!! The immersive dining experience sounds right up my street!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 5th December 2018 at 9:51 am

      You must do a funicular production when next in town Bejal. I know you’d love them.

  • binita 3rd December 2018 at 11:24 am

    Fantastic list Sima!! I now need a hot chocolate from Venchi xx

    • Sima Sthanakiya 5th December 2018 at 9:52 am

      In December everyone should have an hot chocolate a day!

  • Laura 3rd December 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Oh so many things to make you full of festive cheer!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 5th December 2018 at 9:52 am

      I know! I love this time of year.

  • Lara Olivia 4th December 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Great post Sima! Immersive Diners sounds super interesting, I must look into that 😉


    • Sima Sthanakiya 5th December 2018 at 9:53 am

      They’re so good. You must try to go to one.

  • Ayla 5th December 2018 at 1:26 pm

    London is just the best at Christmas time!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 6th December 2018 at 9:45 am

      It sure is…just magic!

  • Aaron (@1dish4the4road) 6th December 2018 at 11:26 am

    Some great ideas and initiatives there, Sima! Thanks for all the tips. Happy Christmas!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 7th December 2018 at 11:57 am

      Thank you Aaron, so glad you enjoyed the read. Merry Christmas to you and yours too x

  • Angie 7th December 2018 at 7:34 pm

    Aw such lovely ideas!!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 9th December 2018 at 11:31 am

      Thanks Angie.

  • Emma 8th December 2018 at 5:34 am

    I LOVE these ideas! Will be sharing to my Facebook page 🙂 Thanks for linking up to the #travellinkup xx

    • Sima Sthanakiya 9th December 2018 at 11:31 am

      Thank you Emma!

  • Keri | Ladies What Travel 10th December 2018 at 12:19 pm

    Ok, the Winter Snowman sounds amazing – as done the winter wonderland ballpit! Man, I do wish I lived closer to London! I went to Ballie Ballerson for my birthday this year and it was such fun. (Yep, big kid!) #TravelLinkUp

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th December 2018 at 6:21 pm

      The ball pit was great. Spent more time in it than I thought I would!

  • Dylan Jones 11th December 2018 at 5:38 pm

    Excellent post Sima, I do love London in December. I am heading across to Winter Wonderland later this week actually.

    • Sima Sthanakiya 11th December 2018 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you! Oh enjoy Dylan. I love Winter Wonderland.

  • Bill Fonda 13th December 2018 at 10:26 pm

    These look … awesome!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 14th December 2018 at 1:51 pm

      Thanks so much Bill!

  • Catherine’s Cultural Wednesdays 14th December 2018 at 10:28 pm

    Venchi …. I have to go ASAP and fret how I have not heard of them until now. #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 16th December 2018 at 12:59 pm

      You sure do Catherine. The best chocolate!

  • Zenbabytravel 17th December 2018 at 2:53 pm

    This is such a wonderful collection Sima ❤️ We just revisited this weekend in a long marathon of festivities Covent Garden, the carols in Trafalgar Square and WinterWonderland! The funicular production sounds amazing as well, will see if we manage to squeeze in this year! Feeling very spoilt ! Thank you so much for joining us at #CulturedKids!

    • Sima Sthanakiya 18th December 2018 at 2:58 pm

      Ahh glad you enjoyed lovely. London is the best at Christmas.

  • Kids of the Wild 20th December 2018 at 11:37 am

    I have to say Christmas in London is looking more and more on the cards for me one year, a bit busier than Northumberland but what a great choice of festive activities. Wild wishes for a happy Christmas #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 20th December 2018 at 11:36 pm

      London is just even more beautiful at Christmas. Hopefully you will experience it soon too. Merry Christmas to you too.

  • Vyki from Museum Mum 20th December 2018 at 6:44 pm

    Wow, those Venchi hot chocolates look delicious! I must try and make the carols at Trafalgar Square too. I’m definitely appreciating London more this Christmas #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 20th December 2018 at 11:37 pm

      The hot chocolate is just divine, a real treat. London does Christmas so well.

  • Nicky@ Go Live Young 20th December 2018 at 7:59 pm

    Just love this post. Fantastic ideas for Christmas time in London #CulturedKids

    • Sima Sthanakiya 20th December 2018 at 11:37 pm

      Thanks Nicky. So many things to do, it was hard narrowing it down.

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