Four festive things to do in London this Christmas
The capital is alive with lights and Christmas events, from towering trees to pop-up ice skating rinks and Royal parks turned into winter wonderlands. Pick as many as you can from our quartet of ideas and join in the Christmas fun, says Jo Fernández
The neoclassical façade of this good-looking London landmark provides the perfect backdrop for the annual skating rink. This year they’ve partnered with posh purveyors of Champagne Moët & Chandon, whose skate lounge is as much a draw as the rink itself. Rink-side DJs and a glittering 40-foot Christmas tree are the icing on the cake. But there’s more, or should I say s’more – the après-skate pop-up chalet serves s’mores toasted giant marshmallows and chocolate sandwiched between buttery biscuits with brandy-infused hot chocolate. On until 16 January, from £11 per adult and £8 per child.
As much a part of Christmas – for Londoners, at least – as turkey, this annual experience turns a corner of Hyde Park into exactly a winter wonderland with the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink, fairground rides, a Magical Ice Kingdom of sculpted ice and snow, street food stalls and festive bars. On until 3 January, free during off-peak hours, £5 or £7.50 (attractions priced separately).
Ooh and aah at the festive displays on this open-top bus tour, led by an expert guide pointing out the dazzling shop window displays, sparkling fairy lights and illuminated landmarks. Rest your feet as you drive past Regent Street Christmas lights and attractions including Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Marble Arch, and Tower Bridge. Board at the London Eye at 5pm and 8pm. On until 3 January, £24 per adult and £13 per child.
What could be more seasonal than watching Peter Wright’s production of The Nutcracker ballet at the Royal Opera House? The magical Christmas setting sees Clara stealing downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a nutcracker – before a magician sweeps her off on an adventure. All set to Tchaikovsky’s sweet soundtrack. On until 8 January, from £10–£135.