Things To Do In London Over Christmas And New Year

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 12 months ago

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Things To Do In London Over Christmas And New Year
Ice skating at Natural History Museum: Things to do in London between Christmas and New Year 2018
Take to the ice at Natural History Museum and other rinks around the capital

Looking for things to do once Christmas Day is out of the way? Wondering what's open between then and New Year? Just want to get out of the house and away from the Monopoly/cheese board?

All week

ICE SKATING: Get out in the fresh air and take to the ice on London's winter pop-up skating rinks. From Royal Parks to museum gardens, they're appearing all over the place. Most of them have bars and cafes on site, if turkey stocks are running low at home.

WEEKEND WALKS: This week is practically one long weekend anyway, so grab your walking boots and head out on one of our weekend walk routes. See a part of London you haven't visited before, and best of all, it's free — unless you stop in a pub for a pint or two...

Somerset House is one of the ice rinks open between Christmas and New Year. Photo: Londonist

DUVET DAY: Can't be bothered with the outside world? Stock up on mince pies, kick back and work your way through the videos on our YouTube channel.

DAY TRIPS: Want to get out of London for a day?  We've mapped some of our favourite day trips from the capital — perhaps leave the seaside trips until the summer, but why not visit a new town, city or museum.

PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA: From new releases to old classics, Leicester Square favourite Prince Charles Cinema screens a wealth of films between Christmas and New Year — think Blade Runner, Magnolia, The French Dispatch and Dune,

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Richmond Park

THEATRE SHOWS: If the pre-Christmas frenzy left you with no time to head to the theatre, why not check out the festive shows which are still on? We've picked the best theatre shows in London this Christmas, the family-friendly performances to take the kids to, and of course, pantomime.

EXHIBITIONS: Why not use this downtime to catch up on a bit of culture? Several of London's large exhibitions are still running between Christmas and the New Year, although do check gallery and museum websites for changes in opening times this week.

HORSE DRAWN CARRIAGES: Experience Richmond Park or Bushy Park  from the luxury of a horse-drawn carriage (or brake, if you want to get technical about it). Take a 75-minute ride through Richmond Park, preceded by a behind the scenes tour of the working stables, or a shorter (and less pricy) ride through Bushy Park. Until 2 January 2022

Christmas at Kew is one of the light festivals which continues into the new year

LIGHT FESTIVALS: Just because the big day is over, doesn't mean London's lights are all coming down. Light trails and illumination festivals continue into the new year, including perennial favourite Christmas at Kew and newcomer Lightopia Crystal Palace. Browse all your glowing options.

WINTER WONDERLAND: The Hyde Park behemoth is open until the new year, and in the past we've found that's a bit less crowded after Christmas — though bear in mind that whenever you go, you now have to book an entry ticket in advance. As well as the funfair rides, this year's event hosts a circus, ice kingdom and more. Until 3 January 2022

Gingerbread City is on display at in Belgravia. © Luke Hayes

GINGERBREAD CITY: Clap eyes (but not teeth) on a model city made entirely of gingerbread. The festive installation is the work of teams of architects, engineers and designers who compete against each other to try to create the winning design. Until 9 January 2022

CHRISTMAS EVE: Instead of pacing the floor by the fireplace waiting for Santa to come, get out and enjoy London this Christmas Eve. Here's our guide to things to do in London on 24 December.

CHRISTMAS DAY: Yep, we've got a guide for that to. Here's our pick of things to do in London on Christmas Day, as well as all-important information on what's open on 25 December.

BOXING DAY: You guessed it — we've already covered that too. Aren't we good to you? Here's the lowdown on Boxing Day events in London.

NEW YEAR'S EVE: Whether you're looking to get glammed up and go out on the town, or usher in 2022 in a more sedate manner, we've got it all covered. There's no fireworks this year, but plenty of places are throwing their own shindigs, including an Aussie party which begins at 11.30am. Bottoms up, indeed.

Last Updated 16 December 2021