30 Magical Things To Do In London This December

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It’s been quite a year, and we can’t believe we’re coming to the end of it. But it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and we are so ready. So let’s press play on Bublé and have a jolly festive time!

 

London is officially sparkly ✨

Photo by @levanterman

London is looking suitably sparkly and, frankly, we’re in our element. Check out all the best Christmas lights in the city, and discover all of the best ways to see them.

 

We can finally start watching Christmas movies without being judged… by most people.

elf-christmas-movie

Now is the time to fill your screens with Will Ferrell and Macaulay Culkin. And where better to watch them than in a wintery, pop-up cinema? Walk through a Narnia wardrobe and watch all your favourite festive films in a snowy cinema or float on the marina with a mulled wine in hand at St Katharine Docks.

Or, if you’ve had enough of watching Christmas films, why not head to the King’s Head in Fulham for a Nightmare Before Christmas-themed evening? There’s cocktails!

You can watch other, less Christmassy films, too.

jumanji

The new Jumanji film is coming out on the 20th which, frankly, we fundamentally disagree with. The new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, is released on December 15th. There’s also another (yes, another) Pitch Perfect movie hitting cinemas on the 22nd, and a moving film called Wonder, based on the novel by Stephen Chbosky, hitting screens on December 1st. December is always a good month for cinema! (Still bitter about the Jumanji film, though…)

The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree will return!

trafalgar-square
Photo by Peter Trimming

Cheers, Norway. This year marks 70 years since they first gifted us with a tree, and it will be unveiled on December 7th. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cause as much of a scene as it did last year, eh?

But if it is shit, there are plenty more to admire…

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Like Claridge’s majestic tree stolen straight from the Upside Down, or St Pancras’ big, beautiful, blooming tree.

And, now it’s December, it means it’s also time to buy your own.

Christmas tree

Here’s a concise little list of all the best places in London to shop for your beloved tree.

Bite the bullet and get your Christmas shopping done.

christmas shopping
Photo by @lukecabrahams

We recommend these sparkly shops but, be brave, a few of them require a trip to Oxford Street…

Or check out one of London’s magical Christmas markets.

Leicester Square Christmas Market
Leicester Square Christmas Market

Riverside markets, markets in abandoned warehouses… London really does have it all. Here’s a list of where and when they’re all happening.

Belgravia Christmas Market is a particularly lovely one to visit!

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Christmas comes but once a year, so we reckon everyone should be making the most of it with a visit to the annual Elizabeth Street Christmas market! If you’re looking for a slightly more upmarket market, this one in Belgravia is the perfect match. There’ll be over 60 boutique stalls selling a selection of handcrafted gifts and decorations, alongside loads of classic winter food offerings. It wouldn’t be Christmas without mulled wine and mince pies, right? It’s free to enter and it’ll be happening on Sunday 3rd December from 11am-5pm – so make sure you clear your diaries!

Meet Father Christmas!

This is real christmas story

Looking for somewhere to take the little ones to see St Nick but not sure where to go? This pop-up cosy living room on Elizabeth Street is acting as a temporary home for Mr Claus this festive season, and it’s well worth a visit. Step inside for a storytelling session with Father Christmas captured on film in a priceless souvenir digital photograph. Plus, they’re making the whole process completely stress-free with a clever booking system to avoid lengthy queues. It’s happening from the 9th – 20th December, so just pick your slot and turn up knowing you won’t be stuck waiting out in the cold. Book your tickets here.

Make your way through London’s extensive selection of festive sandwiches and burgers.

Pret Christmas Lunch Sandwich, £3.75 (Donates 50p to the PFT)

Everyone likes to get involved when it comes to Christmassy carbs. Pret launched a new vegan Christmas sandwich and vegans totally lost their sh*t. In total contrast, Meat Liquor have announced a festive burger with not one, not two, but SIX different meats in it. Our readers didn’t like that news quite as much. We clearly have a particular audience.

But festive food doesn’t have to be squashed between two bits of bread…

raclette-bar-clapham

Of course all restaurants have to make their menu at least a little bit festive, because avoiding it would be totally Scroogey. For many, Christmas time is a time for cheese. Lots and lots of cheese. Do you remember Clapham’s pop-up Raclette Bar? Well, it has returned, and it’s pairing gooey raclette with roast dinners. Turkey, cheese and gravy. It’s like a proper British poutine, and we’re keen. Find out more and book here.

Their menu is available between November 21-December 21, at The Treehouse, 409 Clapham Road, opposite Clapham North station, SW4 7SH. 

Or, why not tuck into a big, festive, Medieval banquet?

medieval-banquet

Within the Ivory Vaults in St Katharine’s Docks, you can indulge in a festive, Medieval extravaganza, as Londoners are invited to step back in time to the Middle Ages. Alongside a Christmassy banquet of food fit for a nobleman (featuring a fancy roast and mince pies), you can expect two hours of entertainment. From skilled, fighting knights to aerial acrobats and jugglers – you’re bound to be blown away at this ‘historical’ experience. (We say historical loosely – there is also unlimited white wine, so we can’t expect you to retain any factual information.) The whole escapade is £69 and you can book your places here.

St Katharine Docks, E1W 1BP

And then burn it all off with a bit of skating in a beautiful setting.

Tobacco Dock. The Dock. Winter Skylight. Photo by Steve Dunlop +447762084057 steve@stevedunlop.com
Photo by Steve Dunlop

Why not make a visit to London’s highest and mightiest ice rink? Atop the Tobacco Dock in Wapping sits Skylight, the winter pop-up that offers fondue, wine, and the all-important rink, all within a cosy Alpine den. Fever have got some sweet deals for this one, so if you’re looking for the perfect date night, why not head along for some fabulous cocktails or an evening of skating and fondue?

Or perhaps you’d prefer a trip down south to Clapham Common’s Winterville? Here you can skate on ice, or, if you’re feeling wheely adventurous, you can join in the roller disco (click the links for tickets)!

By now, there are festive pop-ups popping up left, right and centre.

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Dine in an igloo, drink hot gin in an old fairground teacup, or enjoy a Bratwurst in a viking-inspired tipi. Here’s a hefty list of wintery pop-ups happening in the city.

Dalston Roof Park are taking the festivities to whole new heights.

dalston roof park

Dalston Roof Park is throwing a big, festive bash on December 15th, with Christmas entertainment, a Santa’s Grotto and plenty of Christmas tunes mixed by DJ Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red Nosed DJ (not kidding, that’s a serious line up). Get your tickets here.

They’re also pandering to everyone’s wants (and, let’s be honest, needs) with a boozy raclette evening on December 7th. There’ll be unlimited raclette, plus a free mulled drink. Get your tickets here.

And last but not least, they’re also getting on the winter cinema hype, with showings of Home Alone, Human Traffic and a sing-a-long showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Get your tickets for that here.

Or perhaps you’re already sick of all the Christmas madness, and you’d rather just drink some rum…

rum-festival

Get special discounted entry to The Rum Festival on December 1st or 2nd and try 100 different rums (although maybe not all in one session… we endorse responsible drinking). There’ll be live entertainment, including steel drums and Cuban dance, and plenty of street food. Get your tickets here.

 

This post is supported by Fever and our brand partners. 

Georgie Hoole

Georgie Hoole

Georgie is Deputy Editor at Secret London. She loves a trendy café and is all too familiar with the extortionate price of a coffee in the capital. She enjoys the finer things in life (like red wine on a school night and eating Ben and Jerry's straight from the tub) and hasn't quite grasped the concept of adulthood yet.