Where? Victoria Park
Do you like horse and carriage rides, funfairs, markets, beer, pantomimes and hot cider? This was a silly, rhetorical question, because OF COURSE you do! Winterville is a Christmas paradise with all of these things included in the long, long list of things you can do once inside. They even have a roller disco. A ROLLER DISCO.
Where? Hyde Park
The famous winter paradise is completely FREE, you can explore the child friendly Santa Land, the Christmas markets, and this year there is even a Christmas Circus to check out. It also boasts of having the biggest outdoor ice rink in the UK, so as busy as it is you won’t have any problems bumping into fellow ice skaters.
If that all sounds a little juvenile, you could just go straight to the Ice Bar (even the glasses are made of ice, say whaaaat) and get absolutely iced!
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
If you want to walk under canopies of glittering lights right by the Thames, drink hot cider and the Scandinavian Lodge courtesy of Rekorderlig Cider or even get lost in the Christmas Tree Maze, this is the festival for you!
Dusty Fingers German Winter Wunderland
If you can think of nothing better than some Herman ze German bratwurst as you wander round vintage arts and crafts markets, this is definitely the market for you. Be frosted with fake snow as you watch the black and white films projected onto the walls and add the finishing touches to your Christmas gifts. Weihnachtsgrüße!
Christmas Light Trial
Where? Hampton Court Palace
Wrap yourself up warm and take a stroll through the stunning palace gardens and its maze - a light trial leads your way, reacting to your route and the actions that you make. Cool huh? The front of the palace changes colour too depending on how the audience moves, and obviously you can have all the food and drink you can dream of.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This Sam Mendes production is dazzling, fun and charming. The staging is spectacular, and the Oompa Loompas are everything you could ever want and more!
My personal favourite of the bunch though HAD to be the bratty Golden Ticket winners Veruca Salt and Mike Teevee and their innate awfulness. This musical is perfect to take the kids to this Christmas!
The Hidden House
Where? Westfield Stratford
Back in Victorian times it was tradition at Christmas to tell scary stories on Christmas Eve, and so you can bring it back into fashion with Westfield Stratford’s immersive journey into an enchanted wood. Your journey explores the truth behind Little Red Riding Hood’s disappearance, and is perfect for any kids over the age of 8. So go ahead and spook yourself and your kids silly!
Ice skating at the Natural History Museum
There are so many options for ice skating this year, but the Natural History Museum’s rink is our favourite. We wouldn’t even mind falling on our faces with all of those gloriously Christmassy lights and the lovely surrounding area of London to hand.
Where? Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street have some of the prettiest lights around, but our personal favourite has to be Covent Garden. With it’s ginormous glittering reindeer, huge Christmas tree and oversized Christmas baubles, it’s worth a wander around!
Inappropriate Christmas Card Making
Where? Kings Cross
Want to get crafty this year? Head down to Drink Shop Do and pick up a cocktail in one hand and a glitter glue pen in the other and get to work! Entry is free with a drink and your friends and family are sure to love the gesture!
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Where? Westminster Bridge
Settle yourself onto Westminster Bridge for around six in the evening, armed with picnic blankets, food and booze (so much booze), and settle in for a night of chatting to excited and similarly drunken tourists from all over the world, blasting music, and of course, a stunning firework display when the clock chimes midnight. Don't forget this year you have to pay to attend so bag your tickets soon! It’s an amazing experience for anyone who likes the outdoors and doesn’t mind wiling away time with friends!
Palace of the Snow Queen
Where? Secret location
Fancy an evening of fine dining followed by partying until the early hours of the morning? In a pop-up secret venue, sit back with your food and watch the Christmassy performance, then get up and dance to the Christmassy tunes! Naturally there is a dress code, so be sure you’re dressed like you’re ready for Narnia, you are a character in a dark fairytale or you’ve stumbled into a winter wonderland! Or, you know, just put some tinsel around your head.
Memphis The Musical
Memphis follows the story of Huey Calhoun and Felicia Farrell as they navigate their relationship in a prejudiced Memphis in the 1950s whilst bringing RnB music into the mainstream.
As an avid Theatre fan, I didn’t really know what to expect before seeing this show, and by the end I was giving them a cheering standing ovation. It seems like an understatement to say that the leads Killian Donnally and Beverley Knight absolutely smash it, but it’s also altogether one of the most talented West End casts I’ve EVER seen. Watch it now or regret it forever!
Happy to splurge a little for a great NYE? Climb aboard and get ready to party! With all the wine, beer, food and two cheeky glasses of champagne included with the around £200 ticket price, this is the perfect opportunity to glam up and have a boat party - it also gives you a PERFECT viewing platform for the spectacular fireworks!
Hot Tub Christmas Cinema
It does what it says on the tin – let’s you simmer in a steaming hot tub whilst watching a movie. It will feel like you’re in an Icelandic thermal bath, BUT WITH ENTERTAINMENT. Following the movie, prepare for a soapy and alcohol-driven party to follow! So what to watch? Here are the options:
9th – Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
10th – Aladdin
11th – Bad Santa
12th – Edward Scissorhands
13th – Die Hard
14th – Hot Tub Karaoke
16th – Love Actually
17th – Frozen
18th – Hot Tub Cinema Christmas Party