I think London is one of the most attractive places to be in December, and that's not just because it’s incredibly picturesque this time of the year. There's a ton of beauty to appreciate with all of your senses — food and music and lights and letters and, of course, love. Now I know you’ll need some help finding all of these in the stacked city, and that’s why this article exists.
Here are 10 things to do in London this December:
1. The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre
Since the maiden edition two decades ago, this show hasn’t failed to thrill audiences with Christmas magic and allure. The stage rendition of Raymond Briggs bestseller, The Snowman, promises to reel you in with great storytelling, dance, live music and a magical spectacle. It started showing on the 25th of November and it’s on till the 2nd of January 2022 at the Peacock Theatre.
Get your tickets here.
2. Backyard Cinema Christmas Movie Spectacular at The Troxy
Few things are more enjoyable than getting to watch classic Christmas movies in December — they just never get old. You’ll also be serenaded by a gifted choir and get to listen to award-winning George the poet narrate a Christmas story as part of the Christmas specials at Troxy. From the 1st to the 30th of December, you have viewing options of “Elf”, “Home Alone” and “Love Actually”.
Head to their website for timing, age restrictions and ticket information.
3. Festive Fayre
The Hampton courts will be transformed into a food lover's haven from the 3rd to the 5th of December 2021, and for me, nothing screams festive more than food. Of course, the stars, the sweet melodies of Christmas classics and the shimmer of Christmas lights are what establish the yuletide feel of it all.
The stalls at Festive Fayre satisfy both edible and non-edible Christmas cravings (for example, gift shops), so book your tickets here.
4. Reading Beethoven's handwritten letters at The British Library
Don't you just love good content? Beethoven gave us a lot of that, and when it wasn’t great music, he was writing letters — many of which The British Library has. From the 4th of December, 2021 to the 3rd of April, 2022, there’ll be free displays of the collection of handwritten letters for the viewing and reading pleasure of the general public, enthusiasts and guests alike.
5. Christmas Carols at Trafalgar Square
Fundraising can be satisfying in the method as well as the outcome, and this event is longstanding proof. Buy yourself an hour of yuletide glee under the incredible Christmas Tree at Trafalgar square. There will be over 40 choirs taking turns to sing at this venue in the days leading up to Christmas — 9th to the 24th December — with a ‘Blessing of the Crib’ special event.
There’ll be beautiful harmony in the air across central London, so in some way, just being anywhere in that area makes you part of its audience. However, for a more wholesome experience, head over to the tree itself. It's as free as it would be if you were outside the square, so why not make the most of it?
6. Beauty and the Beast at Fairfield Halls
From the 10th of December, 2021 to the 2nd January, 2022, you can catch the popular “tale as old as time” in the Ashcroft Theatre, Fairfield Halls. Beauty and the Beast will be rendered as a pantomime with stars that shine as bright as the ones on the biggest of Christmas trees. The combination of lights, talent and love sounds like a recipe for great storytelling magic to me.
Book your tickets here.
7. Circus 1903 at Southbank Centre
I'm mostly a coward, so I love to witness audacity — something the Circus 1903 group has in abundance. Adventure stories aren't the only forms of entertainment that sell bravery and mastery. So, from the 16th of December, 2021 to the 2nd of January, 2022, go catch some of that from the award-winning crew.
8. The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum
I can barely stand for an hour without needing a few days off of work, but the dancers from the English national ballet team will enchant you for two hours with their graceful movements. They’ll tell Tchaikovsky's story of a girl who experiences magic because of a timely gift. Go on this journey any day from the 16th of December, 2021 to the 8th of January, 2022 at the London Coliseum.
Tickets are available here.
9. Christmas Eve Tour
On the 24th of December, 2021, the public is invited to celebrate Christmas Eve in London. The city's sparkling sights aren't the only thing to relish, as there’ll also be a sumptuous three-course dinner. After this, everyone’s welcome to attend the Midnight Mass held at iconic St Martin-in-the-Fields church.
10. Magic of Christmas at London Zoo
I didn't even know Santa Claus in the wild was such an appealing concept until I found out about this event at London Zoo. Parents and kids alike will be delighted as they not only get to see The Big Man in Red with animals, but they also get to engage in other — literally — sweet activities, such as visiting the forest of candy canes, the sensory sweet shop and more. Catch Father Christmas himself at the zoo from the 27th of December, 2021 till the 3rd of January, 2022, before he hops on his sleigh and leaves till next year.
Tickets must be booked online in advance.