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37 best Christmas activities for kids in London

Wrap up warm and have some festive family fun this Christmas in London.
A boy smiles as he's given a present by Santa within Hamleys' Santa's Grotto.
Hamleys' Santa's Grotto. Image courtesy of Thirty8 London

Experience the magic of Christmas in London. Because there is nothing like Christmas in the capital

There are so many things to do for families over the festive season, including special festive tours, fun seasonal shows and even the chance to meet Santa himself! Plan magical days out with 37 top tips below. 

Unmissable Christmas things to do in London for families

Three women take a selfie among strings of green and white fairy lights at night.
Christmas at Kew © RBG Kew. Image courtesy of Kew Gardens.
  1. Step inside a winter wonderland as Hogwarts in the Snow arrives at the wizarding world of Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Nov-Jan TBC
  2. Book onto a special Christmas lights bus tour to see some of the capital's best festive displays and iconic attractions. 18 Nov-2 Jan
  3. Follow a glittering trail made up of more than one million lights through the famous botanical gardens with Christmas at Kew. Nov-Jan TBC
  4. Find all sorts of magical Christmas activities and lovely decorated wooden huts in one place at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Nov-Jan TBC
  5. Or hop on open-top bus tour to see the capital sparkle after dark with Christmas lights and decorations. 
  6. Take in the magic of Christmas Eve on the Illuminations of London tour, where you can see iconic landmarks such as Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge lit up as night falls. 24 Dec
  7. See more of festive London and beyond over the holidays by taking your pick of Christmas tours and day trips, from spotting where the royal family live, to cruising the river Thames or visiting mysterious Stonehenge.
  8. Celebrate the festive season in style with the ultimate Total London Experience; a one-day tour around London’s top landmarks.
  9. See London from a different perspective on a Christmas Day hop-on hop-off bus tour. See a number of attractions including Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge. 25 Dec

Discover more fun activities this Christmas in London. 

Top London attractions to see this Christmas

Two women and three children look at up pantomime pictures on the wall of the Waterloo Chamber.
Pantomime pictures on display in Windsor Castle's Waterloo Chamber. Image courtesy of The Royal Collection Trust.
  1. See Windsor Castle dressed for Christmas, including its famous Christmas tree.
  2. Get up close and personal with exhibits and collections spanning 4.5 billion years at the Natural History Museum, including fossils of dinosaurs and meteorites from outer space.
  3. Pick up a money-saving sightseeing pass to use during the Christmas school holidays. Access more than 80 attractions with The London Pass, discover top attractions such as the London EyeSEA LIFE London Aquarium and Madame Tussauds London with the Merlin London Attractions Pass; or see the sights with the 60-day Go City London Explorer Pass.
  4. Or let the kids learn something new during the holidays at KidZania, a dedicated children's city where they can try out an exciting range of careers.
  5. Visit exciting exhibits at some of the best London museums for kids, or explore on a budget with these free museums and galleries.
  6. Explore the festive family activities at the London Transport Museum including a winter trail and meeting Santa in the cosy winter wonderland scene.

Explore more London attractions, including the top attractions for kids.

London theatre and cinema

A girl dressed in white sits on some books, as a man dressed in green crouches near her, as part of the production of Matilda The Musical.
Royal Shakespeare Company's Matilda The Musical. Photo by Manuel Harlan. Image courtesy of The Corner Shop.
  1. Treat the family to a night at the theatre with a festive show, classic ballet or hilarious pantomime.
  2. Book a spot for top musicals and favourite kids shows, from Matilda to the Lion King and Wicked.
  3. Grab some popcorn and get comfy for festive film favourites at Christmas pop-up cinemas across London including The Luna Cinema and Backyard Cinema. Dates TBC
  4. Secure your tickets for the annual London Palladium pantomime, for hours of laughter, mischief and silliness with a star-studded cast. Dates TBC

Find more kids shows in London.

Places to meet Santa

Santa claus, dressed in a classic red outfit, stands in an old english underground train at the christmas event at the London Transport Museum.
Santa rides the tube at the London Transport Museum. Image courtesy of London Transport Museum.
  1. Book well ahead for a chance to meet the man himself at the popular Santa's Grotto at Hamleys, in Regent Street. Dates TBC
  2.  Meet Father Christmas, explore a festive trail and stock up at the sweet shop as The Magic of Christmas arrives at ZSL London Zoo. Dates TBC
  3. Keep an eye out for appearances from Santa at top attractions and popular kids' attractions across London – check back nearer the time for more details.

Family-friendly places to shop in London

Hamleys Christmas shop featuring two lifesize toy reindeer pulling a sleigh.
Hamleys Christmas shop. Image courtesy of Hamleys.
  1. Let the kids explore seven floors of incredible toys and games in Hamleys.
  2. Little ones and not-so-little ones will love exploring the choctastic M&M's World.
  3. Have some brick-filled fun at The LEGO Store London Leicester Square. It's the largest LEGO store in the world!   
  4. Browse the shelves for cute childrenswear, books and toys at Trotters in King's Road, Chelsea.
  5. Explore the toy-filled wonderland of Benjamin Pollock's Toyshop in Covent Garden.
  6. Hunt for gifts on world-famous shopping streets, including Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street.
  7. Or pick up presents from some of the top shopping destinations in London, from Covent Garden and Carnaby to Camden.
  8. Get in the festive spirit with a visit to the Christmas shops at Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Liberty London.
  9. Finish off your Christmas shopping in one place at Westfield London or Westfield Stratford City.

Find more places to go Christmas shopping in London. 

Outdoor adventures for families

A girl jumps on giant lily pads illuminated in green as trees behind are lit with green lighting.
Interactive lily pads at ILLUMINATURE, London Wetland Centre. Image courtesy of Four.
  1. See the capital sparkle with dazzling displays of Christmas lights and decorations across the city, including Oxford Street, Carnaby, Regent Street, Bond Street and Covent Garden.
  2. Pose for family selfies in front of these Insta-worthy Christmas trees across London.
  3. Get your skates on and go for a twirl on one of London’s best ice-skating rinks.
  4. Explore fun and interactive light trails as part of light festivals throughout the city.
  5. Immerse yourself into the spirit of Christmas with our Christmas tours in London and beyond.
  6. Find the perfect Christmas gifts and enjoy delicious street food at some of the top Christmas markets in London.

Check out more things to do outdoors in London. 

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