Looking for things to do in London at Christmas? The festive spirit is on in this bustling cosmopolitan city, with cozy winter pop-up stores, places to skate, impressive Christmas lights, events and a whole lot more!
Here we share our list of some interesting places to visit and things to do in London in December.
And then there were lights!
Some of the most dazzling London Christmas lights and awesome London Christmas decorations can be found in the city’s well-known spots, such as Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Oxford Street and Covent Garden.
Carnaby Street: Dive into the ocean
Carnaby Street boasts quirky and unique London Christmas decorations every year, and 2019 is no different!
This year, Carnaby collaborated with ocean conservation charity Project ZERO for its lights installation. The impressive ocean-inspired decorations, which will illuminate visitors from November 7, 2019 until New Year’s Day, make use of recycled, repurposed or reusable materials. After the holidays, Carnaby said it will donate the installation to Project Zero to be re-used.
It’s definitely a colorful a sight!
Regent Street: The Spirit of Christmas
Around 5 minutes’ walk from Carnaby is Regent Street, where the Spirit of Christmas comes alive!
Built in 1819, Regent Street has got something extra to celebrate in 2019 — its 200th anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, Regent Street’s LED lights installation is thus inspired by its Christmas lights in 1954. It switched on the lights on November 14, 2019 and they are slated to stay up until January 1, 2020. So drop by the area and see the “angelic” lights decorations over the holiday season!
Regent Street is lined with a myriad of restaurants and stores, so you can do some London Christmas shopping while you’re there too.
Oxford Street: Festive Feelings
Just a few minutes’ walk from Regent Street is Oxford Street, where equally impressive lights can also be seen. In 2019, Oxford Street marks its 60th year of lighting up the street, with “Festive Feelings” as theme. An installation of LED screens line up Oxford Street, flashing various messages as you explore the street and its various shops and restaurants. The installations are lit up from November 21, 2019 until January 1, 2020.
Getting there: You can take the Underground and alight at Oxford Circus to get to Regent, Oxford and Carnaby Streets, where you can walk around and do loads of Christmas shopping in London.
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Christmas in Leicester Square
The Christmas market in Leicester Square is back in 2019, running from November 8, 2019 until January 5, 2020. Apart from the market (free), it offers shows and events (paid tickets) aplenty for everybody. If you’re spending Christmas in London with kids, this could be one of the places to visit!
It’s open daily (except Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from 12 pm to 10 pm Monday to Friday, and 10 am to 10 pm Saturday and Sunday.
Getting there: You can take the Tube and alight at Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.
We enjoy going to Covent Garden for its market, restaurants, and food and craft stalls, among other things. And the piazza becomes even more alive with holiday lights and decorations from early November! Christmas season kicked off at Covent Garden on November 12, 2019 and runs until New Year’s Day, and the place offers lots of festive cheer to visitors.
But wait, there’s more!
From November 29 to December 26, Covent Garden visitors can also enjoy the Tiffany & Co. Winter Wonderland and ice rink. And the best part is tickets are free and they will provide you skates! However, visitors are advised to book in advance as limited tickets are available.
Getting there: You can take the Tube (Piccadilly Line) and get off at Covent Garden station. You can also alight at Leicester Square, just a short walk away from Covent Garden.
Ice, ice baby!
Get your ice on at these literally cool places to visit in London in December.
Skating at the Natural History Museum
South Kensington is the place to go if you want to visit the Natural History Museum (free entry). During Christmas season the museum also offers something extra — an ice rink where you can enjoy some skating time with your friends and family!
Spending Christmas in London with kids? We reckon the museum on its own is great to explore with children, the rink is just a bonus! (The Science Museum is also just a short walk away).
The ice rink is open from October 12 to January 12 (closed December 25). Ice rink admission tickets for adults start from £12.65, children from £8.80 and families from £39.60 during off-peak sessions. More details on prices and business hours here.
There are also some free acoustic performances from emerging artists at the Ice Rink Café Bar (see event dates here).
Even if you don’t plan on showcasing your ice skating skills at the rink, the Natural History Museum itself is always worth a visit (have we mentioned that it’s free?). The museum is open daily from 10:00 to 17:50, with last entry at 17:30 (closed December 24 to 26).
Getting there: The nearest Tube station to the museum is South Kensington on the District, Piccadilly and Circle lines. You can enter the museum from its Cromwell Road, Exhibition Road or Queen’s Gate entrances.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park in Central London is one of the UK’s famous Royal Parks. Every year, it has a Winter Wonderland (free entry) where you can walk around, eat and explore the Christmas markets. There are also ticketed shows, rides ice skating and other attractions. Another great place to visit if you’re spending Christmas in London with kids.
The wonderland is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm, from November 21, 2019 until January 5, 2020.
Getting there: You can take the Tube and get off at these stations: Victoria, Bond Street, Knightsbridge, Green Park, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner. It can also be reached by bus, car, taxi or bicycle (more details here).
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Somerset House ice rink
Somerset House, a beautiful neoclassical building in Central London, has an ice skating rink every winter season right at its courtyard. And 2019 marks the 20th year of this Christmas tradition, with the rink open from November 13, 2019 to January 12, 2020 (closed December 25).
Admission to Somerset House itself is free, though you may need to pay for some exhibitions and events. Meanwhile, skating tickets for adults are priced from £11 and for children from £8.50. You can find more details here.
To welcome 2020, Somerset House will also have a special New Year’s Eve party on December 31, in partnership with the House Gospel Choir (general admission ticket £50, general admission + skate £70).
So there you have it, folks. And these are just some of the best things to do at Christmas in London! There are surely lots of others.
Let us know about your favorite places to visit in London in December in the comments below — We’d love to hear from you!
~Safe travels and happy holidays!