Note: a combination of the ever-evolving Covid situation and the Christmas break means that things are likely to change or close at short notice or have differing opening hours, so do check before you travel.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: If you're in central London, why not take advantage of the main shopping areas being emptier (on Christmas Day, at least — Boxing Day can be a mad scramble) and wander around the Christmas lights? Here's our guide to this year's festive illuminations, including a map of the best ones — just note that seeing them by bus isn't an option on Saturday as no buses run on Christmas Day.
WINTER WALKS: Looking to work up an appetite before lunch, or walk off the turkey? Check out our weekend walks, with routes of varying lengths all around London.
QUIZZES: Whether you're hanging around waiting for family to arrive, or you've got a packed house to entertain, our library of quizzes about London will keep you entertained. We've covered everything from transport to Victorian history to Thames trivia, via anagrams, general knowledge and picture quizzes. Challenge your friends and family to a festive fact-off.
VOLUNTEERING: If you want to give something back this Christmas, you may still be able to find a spot at one of the projects in our guide to volunteering in London this Christmas. Otherwise, your local homeless shelter, food bank or other community project may be on the look out for volunteers over the festive period/
Saturday 25 December - Christmas Day
CHRISTMAS DAY EVENTS: London's a lot quieter than usual today, something which used to thrill us, but now just gives lockdown flashbacks. However, there is the occasional guided tour — here's out guide to Christmas Day events.
WHAT'S OPEN?: If you're heading out of the house today, take a look at what's likely to be open in central London. Most important, many cafes and pubs will be shut, as will all train stations, which means that most of the usual toilet pitstops will be off-limits — just something to consider before packing that flask of mulled wine.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT: If you are leaving your house, plan ahead for transport, as there's not a lot of it about today. No trains, buses, tubes or trams run in London on Christmas Day — here's our guide to public transport in London for the whole festive period.
CHRISTMAS DAY SWIM: If your main priority today is getting a few lengths in... well, you're a better person that us. That said, you might be surprised at home many options there are for swimming in London on Christmas Day, from Hampton to Brockwell to Hampstead Heath.
THE ALEXANDRA, WIMBLEDON: All hail The Alexandra, an SW19 pub which has been spreading Christmas joy for years. Every Christmas Day (with the exception of 2020), it throws open its doors and offers a free Christmas lunch to anyone who would otherwise be spending the day alone. Anyone's welcome, regardless of age or circumstances, the only requirement is that you must be alone. Just turn up between 12pm and 3pm and the lovely team at The Alex will introduce you to other guests and serve you a slap-up meal on the house.
Sunday 26 December - Boxing Day
BOXING DAY GUIDE: We've already covered your options for things to do in London on Boxing Day, including theatre shows, horse-drawn carriages and film screenings. Have a browse and get booking.
A few treats from our archive to get you in the festive spirit:
- As you tuck into the turkey, spare a thought for the Londoners who work on Christmas Day to keep the city moving, from ambulance crews to TV news presenters.
- Think the dodgy jumper your aunt gave you was bad? Have a look at the weirdest Christmas gifts ever offered or given in London. Anyone for a festive dose of radium?
- Did you know that Christmas crackers were invented right here in London? And that there's a monument to their invention, in plain sight?
- 8 things you probably didn't know about Christmas in London.