8 Ideas For Festive Days Out With National Art Pass

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8 Ideas For Festive Days Out With National Art Pass

This is a sponsored article on behalf of National Art Pass with Art Fund.

The Signing Tree at the V&A by Es Devlin (c) Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Looking for an unusual way to mark Christmas in London this year? National Art Pass with Art Fund has you covered with plenty of cultural and festive days out in the capital — and plenty of savings to be had too.

Greenwich Wintertime Festival at Old Royal Naval College

Chapel of St Peter and St Paul © Old Royal l Naval College

With its 17th century maritime buildings, and stunning river views, Greenwich is picture perfect year-round. But this Christmas, it's even more picturesque, thanks to the Greenwich Wintertime Festival.

The festival is set in the grounds of the Old Royal Naval College, so arrive early and make a day of it; look heavenward, to the heavenly Painted Ceiling, and board the Cutty Sark (one of the last tea clippers ever built) before getting stuck into live entertainment, a winter market, ice skating and much more at the festival.

Entry to Old Royal Naval College is free. Visitors with a National Art Pass get 50% off painted hall ceiling tours and 50% off Cutty Sark nearby. Normal ticket price applies to Greenwich Wintertime Festival.

The Singing Tree at the V&A

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without a novelty tree or two. This year, the Victoria and Albert Museum is focusing on the sound of Christmas, and its Singing Tree installation is brought to life from words collected from the public.

While you're there, add a dash of thespian to your festivities at the Opera: Passion, Power and Politics exhibition, or enjoy the museum's huge permanent collection.

Entry to the V&A is free. Visitors with a National Art Pass get 50% off exhibitions. The Singing Tree is free, running until 6 January 2018.

Visit Christmas Past at the Geffrye Museum

A living room in 1965. Geffrye Museum. Photo by Chris Ridley.

If the Geffrye Museum's been on your must-visit list for a while, make it snappy; it'll close for two years on 7 January 2018 for a large refurbishment. It's the perfect time then to see the museum's rooms dressed for Christmas, with decorations true to the time period of each room.

Entry to the Geffrye Museum of the Home and Christmas Past is free. Visitors with a National Art Pass get 50% off entry to charging exhibitions.

Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum

Charles Dickens Museum, Siobhan Doran Photography (c) Charles Dickens Museum

This is one of our favourite places at Christmas; a gorgeous Bloomsbury townhouse — once lived in by Dickens himself — decked out in stylish Victorian Christmas decor. This year, focus is on festive novella A Christmas Carol, with a special exhibition telling the story of how Dickens wrote his best-known work in just six weeks. You'll also be able to see costumes from the new film The Man Who Invented Christmas. A must-see for fans of all things festive.

Standard entry is £9. Visitors with a National Art Pass get free entry to the Charles Dickens Museum and all exhibitions.

Victorian festivities at Kensington Palace

Interior at Kensington Palace © Historic Royal Palaces

With the recent news of the Harry/Meghan engagement, royal interest is likely to reach fever pitch in the next few months. Brace yourself with a trip to Kensington Palace, home to William and Kate, and soon, Harry and Meghan. Learn about Christmas their ancestors' way with Victorian-themed Christmas activities, including a chance to make old-fashioned decorations, a look at Victorian toys, and a storytelling session with Queen Victoria and her family.

Can't get enough of the Royal Family? Don't miss the current exhibition, Diana: Her Fashion Story, which tells the story of her style through the garments she wore.

Visitors with a National Art Pass get free entry to Kensington Palace (standard entry price £15.50). Diana: Her Fashion Story and Under The Christmas Tree are both included in Palace admission and takes place on 3, 10 and 17 December.

Christmas at Osterley Park & House

Osterley Park, Middlesex, showing Boucher's medallion tapestries © NTPL/Bill Batten

Osterley House is more than just a manor house; it's an entire country estate, and as far as possible, is designed to resemble how it would have looked in the 1780s. It's a fascinating place to visit all year round, but it really comes into its own at Christmas, when visitors can see servants preparing the house for the festivities as would have been done back then.

Visitors with a National Art Pass get free entry to Osterley Park & House (standard entry price £10.90). Christmas at Osterley Park & House is included in admission.

Horniman Museum's Christmas Fair

It's worth making a trip to Forest Hill's Horniman Museum for the London skyline views alone. But while you're there, don't miss the fantastic natural history galleries (including that famously overstuffed walrus) and the Aquarium. Current exhibitions include the British Wildlife Photography Awards and India Unplugged, a look at traditional Indian music. And if the winter weather's getting a bit much for you, warm up in the tropical butterfly house as beautiful creatures from all over the world flutter around you — it'll enchant visitors of all ages.

Don't miss the Horniman Christmas Fair, taking place in the gardens on the 16 December. Swoon over those views while you get your last-minute shopping done, or tuck into mince pies and mulled wine and enjoy the carol concert.

Entry to Horniman Museum and the Christmas Fair is free for all. Visitors with a National Art Pass get free entry to charging exhibitions and the Aquarium.

A glowing Christmas at Tate Britain

Tate Britain is doing Christmas in a big way this year, the whole of that iconic façade converted into a glowing display. You'll want your camera with you for this one. While you're there, don't miss the current exhibition Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile.

Entry to Tate Britain is free for all. Visitors with a National Art Pass get 50% off exhibitions.


These are just a small sample of the galleries, museums and exhibitions you can access with a National Art Pass. Buy your annual membership today for just £65.

Last Updated 18 December 2017