The first thing most people do when December arrives is to make a last minute Christmas list, and wonder how they are going to be able to get all their shopping done on time. For those that have been super organised all year round, however, and can indulge in a bit of Christmas entertainment; London is one of the best cities in the world to enjoy it. Some of the activities that occur during this festive time are:
- Winter Wonderland
Celebrating its tenth year in Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland has become an integral part of the Christmas season. This family friendly atmosphere can get very crowded and cold, but wrapping up warm and holding on to the kids really tightly is definitely worth the experience. See the entire city while riding the Giant Observation Wheel, or check out an exclusive performance of the award winning Christmas show The Nutcracker on Ice. There is an endless amount of things to do at this venue, so prepare to spend an entire afternoon enjoying.
- Snowy Storytelling
One of the most well-known Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, who spent much of his life in London. Adults and kids alike have appreciated his tale for decades, and it has encouraged numerous performances. The Charles Dickens Museum is located at the author’s first family home, and each year is decorated for Christmas in the 19th century. Special performances of the story take place, as well as candlelit tours of his Victorian residence. On Christmas Eve, there is an entire day of festivities including carol singing around the piano and additional performances.
- Christmas Carolling
There a millions of Christmas trees that are put up in the capital during the festive season, but one of the most special ones is erected in Trafalgar Square. This tree has been an annual gift from Norway since 1947 and a tradition of carolling around it has developed. Every December, in excess of 50 choirs grace the area with their amazing vocals in order to raise money for charity, and shoppers are always welcome to sing along.
For those that still love to be active during the season, one of the best winter sports is ice skating. Every year the Natural History Museum sets up an ice rink near its entrance surrounded by 76,000 fairly lights. If your skating skills are limiting to skidding across the rink on your rear, it is still possible to enjoy the beautiful (mostly graceful) environment from a seat in the nearby museum café while sampling their seasonal hot chocolate.
- Naughty or Nice
Perhaps the most important part of Christmas to any young child, is relaying their vital message to Santa Claus. Witness the joy he brings to little faces, in different personas in many venues around the city. These include a Blast from the Past Santa at the Museum of London, a Wild and Wet Santa on a River Thames Cruise or an Animal Loving Santa at the ZSL London Zoo.