If you’re lucky enough to be spending the holiday season in London, England, you’re in for a treat. There are always plenty of family activities going on in this city, but at Christmas it steps up another gear. Here’s my round up of where to soak up the festive spirit:
Oh no you shouldn’t. Oh yes you should… get tickets for a Panto
Before you arrive you must book tickets for a Panto. Pantomines are a peculiarly British tradition and are comic takes on traditional fairy tales. Expect lots of audience participation and interaction and be ready to scream out ‘She’s behind you,’ or ‘Oh yes he is’. Book up for Cinderella at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith before it’s too late.
For more traditional theatre, check out The Snowman, Peter and the Wolf double bill at the Barbican and the Prince and the Pauper at dedicated children’s theatre, The Unicorn.
Santa Claus is coming to town… and here’s where to meet and greet him
Hamleys, Selfridges and Harrods always used to be the stores you made a bee line for for their Christmas Grottos. But now Hamley’s has started charging A LOT, Selfridges isn’t running one this year and Harrods’ Santa has been booked up for months. So ,it’s time to go a little more low key. Find him in the Duke of York’s Square, just off the upmarket shopping street, The Kings Road; in London’s buzzing Docklands at Canary Wharf and at the wonderful Royal botanical gardens at Kew.
Get your skates on
This city has gone ice crazy over the last few years and each Winter sees ever more rinks opening in ever more stunning locations. Glide across the ice in the shadow of historic buildings at the Tower of London, The Natural History Museum and Somerset House. Whilst Hyde Park also turns itself in to a Winter Wonderland over the Christmas period and there is a rather wonderful ice rink there, as well as a Christmas market, Santa’s Grotto, fairground rides and a circus.
Christmas shopping streets One other thing you have to do in London over the festive period is take a stroll down a shopping street dressed up in all its festive finery. South Molton Street, Carnaby Street, Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street all right by Oxford Circus tube always look really pretty. And be sure to check out the magical windows at Liberty, Selfridges, Hamleys and Fortnum and Mason too.