Things To Do In London On Christmas Eve 2021

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 7 months ago

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Things To Do In London On Christmas Eve 2021
Kickstart your Christmas with some ice skating

Christmas Eve is a funny one. There aren't too many one-off events happening in London, but if you've got all your shopping done and find yourself with a few hours to spare, there are still plenty of festive things to do — just bear in mind, places may well close earlier than normal.

ICE SKATING: What better way to start your Christmas than at one of London's seasonal ice skating rinks? Take to the ice in festive surroundings — Somerset House, Hyde Park, Natural History Museum... the list goes on. Most rinks have a café or bar nearby, where less adventurous family members can tuck into a hot chocolate or mulled wine and watch the action.

WINTER WONDERLAND: Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is business as usual today. The outdoor festival has a Christmas market where you can do your last bits of shopping, plus food and drink stalls, funfair rides, an ice skating rink and a circus. Hyde Park, from £5 entry, book ahead, 10am-10pm (although may close earlier today).

Spend Christmas Eve at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

WINTER MARKET: Last chance to do your Christmas shopping at this year's Winter Market at Southbank Centre. Wander among traditional wooden chalets selling gifts, food and drink under a fairy-lit canopy. Treat yourself to a hot chocolate or mulled wine from the pop-up bar as you shop — it's Christmas, after all. Southbank Centre, free entry, just turn up, from 11am

CAROLS: It's the final day of Carols at the Hall, a programme of traditional and modern festive carols performed at the Royal Albert Hall, with audience members invited to join in. Royal Albert Hall, from £22.49, book ahead, 11am/3pm

Join in with Christmas Eve carols at the Royal Albert Hall

BACKYARD CINEMA: Head to Troxy for screenings of Home Alone (11.30am) or Elf (2.30pm) as part of Backyard Cinema's Christmas Movie Spectacular. Back in its Wandsworth home, Backyard Cinema's Winter Night Garden screens Miracle On 34th Street (12pm) and It's A Wonderful Life (4pm), while The Snow Kingdom shows The Muppets Christmas Carol (12.30pm). Alas, the later screening of Elf has sold out.

CHRISTMAS FILMS: Leicester Square's legendary Prince Charles Cinema has a few festive offerings on the bill today. Choose between It's A Wonderful Life (12.30pm), The Muppet Christmas Carol (3.30pm) or Home Alone (3.45pm).

Visit one of Backyard Cinema's three festive set-ups

DICKENSIAN LONDON: Join Footprints of London guide David Charnick for a guided walk through the London of Charles Dickens, explored through the author's own words. Visit sites Dickens would have been familiar with, and hear his urban insights as you go. Borough High Street, £12/£9, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.30pm

SEE THE LIGHTS: Once it starts getting dark, why not take the opportunity to see London's many fantastic Christmas light displays? Wander through central London gazing up at angels, stars, mistletoe and more — twinkling in the urban heavens above you. If you're planning a hot chocolate or mulled wine pitstop, bear in mind that cafes and bars may close earlier than usual tonight.

It's worth checking venue opening hours before you travel, as lots of places will close early today — and don't miss your last train home!

Last Updated 01 December 2021

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