What's on in December in London?
- Celebrate Christmas in London with pop-up ice rinks, buzzing festive markets, dazzling Christmas lights and seasonal shows.
- Don't miss top London December events including Christmas at Kew, Hogwarts in the Snow and Winter Wonderland.
- Wrap up warm and see the city sparkle on a Christmas Lights by Night tour.
- Watch Christmas pantos and unmissable London shows in December.
- Plan ahead to welcome the arrival of 2022 during London New Year's Eve celebrations.
Shop for handmade gifts and festive food at a charming Christmas market; go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital; enjoy carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies.
Enjoy London's best December events
- Don't miss the spectacular Christmas at Kew: Follow a glittering trail of lights, music and colours around the famous botanic gardens after dark.
- Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies with Hogwarts in the Snow: See the iconic sets dressed for Christmas.
- Make the most of London's outdoor ice rinks: Go ice skating on one of the stunning ice rinks that pop up across the capital.
- Enjoy carols and concerts across the city: Accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies, naturally.
Magical ways to spend Christmas in London
Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December) are both bank holidays (public holidays) in London, with reduced opening times and transport service. But there are still plenty of things to do during this festive period:
- Book a Christmas tour: Explore the city during the festive season or enjoy a day trip to historic sites such as Stonehenge, Canterbury or Bath.
- See the sights on a Christmas Day hop on hop off bus tour: Enjoy a scenic ride as you explore London without the crowds.
- Be dazzled by the Christmas Lights London by Night tour: See iconic London landmarks sparkle on a special guided tour.
- Set sail on a Christmas Day Lunch Cruise and Guided City Tour: Sip on bubbly, sing carols and tuck into on traditional Christmas lunch as you cruise along the Thames.
- Treat yourself to a luxury experience: Raise a glass of Champagne as you enjoy a luxury spa day or a unique experience in London.
- Celebrate at a top London restaurant: Book in advance to get a seat at your favourite restaurant for a festive feast.
- Get up early to watch the Peter Pan Cup: Brave members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete in the icy waters of the Hyde Park lake on Christmas Day.
- Shop for great deals during the Boxing Day and January sales: Find top discounts on fashion, electronics and more.
- Find more things to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in London: Book tours, go ice skating and find fun events.
London shows in December
London is buzzing with epic shows during the festive season, here are some you can enjoy this December.
- Watch Love Actually In Concert at Eventim Apollo: See one of the world's most loved Christmas movies in a new light. 11 Dec
- Book your seats to see Stick Man at Leicester Square Theatre: Take the kids on a wintry adventure with the famous character. Until
- Don't miss Nutcracker at the London Coliseum: Enter an enchanted world of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet.
- Sleigh over to Royal Albert Hall for a festive show: See Carols at The Royal Albert Hall, My Christmas Orchestral Adventure, Guy Barker's Big Band Christmas and more festive treats.
- Catch a performance of Potted Panto at Garrick Theatre: Be taken on a journey of show-stopping pantos and comedy this December.
- Marvel at The Fir Tree at Shakespeare's Globe: Step into Hans Christian Andersen's magical fairy tale, re-imagined for Christmas. From 20 Dec
- Be dazzled by Cinderella at Gillian Lynne Theatre: Enjoy Andrew Lloyd Webber's re-invention of the classic Christmas panto favourite.
- Listen to carols at Christmas with King's College Choir at the Barbican: Hear seasonal classics from the world-famous choir from Cambridge. 21 Dec
- Get chills at A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story at Alexandra Palace: Experience the classic Charles Dickens tale filled with spine-tingling special effects. Until 9 Jan
- Or see The Old Vic's A Christmas Carol: Warm up the winter nights with a humorous adaptation of the famous tale, full of music and merriment. Until 8 Jan
- Beat the cold at Frozen at Theatre Royal Drury Lane: Be amazed by special effects, beautiful costumes and soaring songs at Disney's magical musical.
- Walk in the air with The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre: Feel festive as Raymond Briggs' much-loved children's story returns to the stage. Until 2 Jan
- Be thrilled by La Clique at the Leicester Square Spiegeltent: Watch world-class circus and cabaret acts and expect the unexpected! Until 8 Jan
- Check out more top London theatre shows: Also discover festive plays, concerts and pantomimes in the capital this December.
Fun London winter festivals
- Shop till you drop during Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace: Indulge in warming treats and enjoy entertainment with a seasonal twist. 3-5 Dec
- Step into Selfridges Christmas Market at Edwards Mews: Flock to the foodie and fashionista favourite, complete with its own Helter-Skelter for some festive fun. Until 24 Dec
- Check out Greenwich Market: Browse wooden stalls for stocking fillers and tick off your Christmas list.
- Venture to Kingston Christmas Market: Find unique Christmas gifts in the picturesque town's Ancient Market Place. Until 24 Dec
- Discover more of London's charming Christmas markets: Shop for handmade gifts and treat yourself to festive food.
What else is on in December?
- Discover Amy: Beyond the Stage at The Design Museum: Celebrate the legacy of the iconic singer Amy Winehouse and see a collection of stage outfits, handwritten lyrics and personal items. 26 Nov-10 Apr
- Relax and unwind at Backyard Cinema's Christmas Movie Spectacular at the Troxy: Get in Christmas spirit with a mix of music, movies and special performances. 1-31 Dec
- Take a Festive Candlelit Tour of The Benjamin Franklin House: Explore the 18th-century house of one of America's Founding Fathers. 2 Dec
- Read Beethoven's handwritten letters at the British Library: See into the mind of one of the most influential composers of all time. 3 Dec-24 Apr
- Don't miss The Great Christmas Pudding Race in Covent Garden: Watch as teams race around a festive obstacle course whilst trying to balance their Christmas Pudding on a tray. 11 Dec
Celebrate New Year's Eve in London
- Find ways to welcome 2022 in London: see top shows, enjoy wintry activities and seek out celebratory dining spots. Stay tuned for news on London’s famous New Year's Eve fireworks in 2021.
- Save 15% when booking a special adults-only New Year's eve cruise: Board the Silver Sockeye to see London at night on New Year's Eve.
For more things to do in December in London, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London, find the best London theatre shows or look at these best things to do this winter in the capital.
WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see this London weather page.