Things To Do In London This Weekend: 24-25 December 2016

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Just because it's Christmas weekend, that doesn't mean London shuts down completely. Take a look at what's on in London over the Christmas weekend, and see our full guide to spending Christmas in London for further inspiration. Once Christmas Day is out of the way, see what's happening in London in that odd week between Christmas and New Year.

Christmas walks

Leadenhall Market. Photo: st_hart

A STROLL AROUND GREENWICH: Celebrate the Christmas season with Advent Windows: 2016. Greenwich's St Alfege's Church is unveiling a newly decorated window in its living advent calendar every day until Christmas Eve. You can check the locations of each window here. Free, just turn up, windows on display until 2 January

REGENT'S CANAL: Take a stroll from Paddington to Camden along Regent's Canal and see the contrasting sides of London, the old and the new, the beautiful and the, er, not so beautiful. Check out our guide here.

WEST LONDON STROLL: Look out for swans and the occasional parakeet on this peaceful stroll around West London, or make a reservation at the Swan & Bottle for a Christmas meal. Check out our full guide here.

ERITH TO GREENWICH: Discover south east London on this 13 mile walk along the Thames from Erith to Greenwich. Gaze at the Tate & Lyle sugar factory and explore this ever-changing corner of London. Check out our full guide here.

For the full guide to London walks, click here.

Please note that opening times for pubs or restaurants may be subject to change for the Christmas weekend.

Saturday 24 December

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is open on Christmas Eve. Photo: Winter Wonderland

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 including Somerset House, Hyde Park or the Natural History Museum. Don't fancy skating? 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. Various prices, advance booking recommended.

WINTER WONDERLAND: Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is business as usual today. The free festival has a Christmas market where you can do your last bits of shopping, food and drink stalls, funfair rides, an ice skating rink and more. Free entry (charge for some events), 10am-10pm (liable to close early though)

A DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS: The Charles Dickens Museum's festivities peak today with a theatre production where you can meet the characters of, and participate in, A Christmas Carol. £24/£12, book in advance, from 10am

MOOMINLAND: Southbank Centre is open for various events today, including Adventures in Moominland, a recreation of the eccentric world of Moominland, where you can learn how Tove Jansson created the characters. Age 7+. £15/£12, book in advance until 23 April (entry today is 10am-2pm)

Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum.

CAT IN THE HAT: The Pleasance Theatre in Islington is putting on performances of Dr Seuss book The Cat In The Hat, aimed at children aged 3+ and their families. £12.50/£11, book in advance, 11am/2pm

ROLLERDISCO: Bump Rollerdisco is back on South Bank, with everyone age 3+ welcome to have a go. £9-£12, book in advance, 11am-5pm

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT: The Royal Albert Hall has two Carols by Candlelight performances today, at 2.30pm and 7pm. Both have the same programme, featuring works by the likes of Bach, Corelli, Handel, Mozart and more, as well as carols for everyone to join in with. Various prices, book in advance, 2.30pm/7pm

PRINCE CHARLES CINEMA: Leicester Square's excellent Prince Charles Cinema has a veritable feast of film screenings today, including a Frozen singalong(£16/£9.50, 12.30pm), Home Alone (£11/£8.50, 12.45pm), It's A Wonderful Life(£8, 3pm/5.50pm), The Muppet Christmas Carol singalong (£13.50/£11, 3.15pm) and Die Hard (£12.50/£10, 5.35pm). We recommend booking in advance for all screenings.

ELF: Head to Hush restaurant in Mayfair for Classics in the Courtyard, which hosts a special Christmas Eve screening of Elf, with a steak and lobster set menu. £10 per table + cost of your meal, book in advance, 6pm

Sunday 25 December

The Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park. Photo: sinister dexter

CHURCH SERVICES: Take a look at the services at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey (free tickets require booking), St Martin-in-the Fields and St Paul's Cathedral. Of course, churches all over London will run services on Christmas Day; check with your local for details. From 8am

GOLDEN TOURS: Golden Tours run a number of Christmas Day tours including a morning tour, a lunch cruise on the Thames, and a night time tour of the Christmas lights. Various prices and times, book in advance, from 8.30am

PETER PAN CUP: Every year, a group of hardy swimmers takes to the water in Hyde Park's Serpentine, in pursuit of the Peter Pan Cup. You can't take part unless you're a member of the Serpentine Swimming Club (and really, would you want to?), but you can drop by and offer your support from the safety of dry land and the warmth of proper clothing. Find out more about the history of the Peter Pan Cup here. Free to watch, just turn up, from 9am

CITY CRUISE: City Cruises run a number of Christmas Day river cruises; choose from an hour-long sightseeing cruise (£18 adult) or a longer Christmas lunch cruise (£119 adult). All depart from Westminster Pier. Book in advance, various times 9.45am-2.45pm

RIPLEYS: Believe it or not, Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Piccadilly Circus is open on Christmas Day. If you fancy coming face to face with an 8-ft 11" man, Michelle Obama made from drink lids or other weird and wonderful things, this is the place. From £13.98, advance booking recommended, 10am-midnight

LONDON WALKS: London Walks don't stop on Christmas Day — choose from a Samuel Pepys themed walk in the morning, or a Charles Dickens themed walk in the afternoon. Both begin in Trafalgar Square. £10/£8, just turn up, 11am/2pm

CHANUKAH FUNUKAH: JW3 Jewish Centre opens for Chanukah Funukah, a family friendly event with a bouncy castle, crafts, music, dancing and more. The centre's ice rink will also open on Christmas Day, with seven skating sessions taking place. From 11am

CHRISTMAS LUNCH: Looking for places that are open for Christmas lunch? Take a look at our recommendations — but bear in mind it's not cheap and you'll have to book in advance. Here's a more comprehensive list of places open for Christmas Day lunch. The Anchor in Bankside is also offering a Christmas Dinner, as is Brewmaster near Leicester Square.

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

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London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

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