Spending the holidays in London? These top London Christmas attractions are a great way to spend your family vacation.
Christmas is one of the best times to visit London as a family. The summer months may bring out the glorious sunshine, but the end of the year comes with spectacular light displays that you can see just by walking the streets. The parks and squares are lit up with colorful displays, and there are holiday events taking place throughout the city.
Many of those events aren’t suitable for families traveling London with small kids. We created this quick guide to some of our favorite kid-friendly options because we know how difficult it is to keep the little ones full of Christmas cheer while away from home.
Hogwarts in the Snow
Do you have little Potter fans in the family? If so, you’ll want to treat them to this special Harry Potter tour. Each year, they transform some of the movie sets, turning them into beautiful snowy scenes without losing that touch of Potter magic.
The Harry Potter set tours are already extremely popular in London, but they get even better when you add the snow. You can buy tickets online, and there are different features to this special tour every year. It never gets old and is appropriate for Potter fans of all ages.
Holiday Theatre in London
London is home to a variety of top-notch theatres, and many put on holiday productions around Christmas. Kid-friendly characters like Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph make an appearance quite often, making this the perfect time to introduce young children to the theatre.
For productions put on just for young kids, check out London’s Unicorn Theatre. It’s a beautiful glass-front building that lights up at night and presents nothing but live shows by and for the little ones. The Peacock Theatre at Sadlers Wells may also have holiday productions that appeal to young kids.
Ice Skating at the Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum in London puts up a beautiful Christmas tree in the middle of their ice-skating rink every year. You can book tickets online to ensure there’s room for your family when you arrive. There are ice skating aids available to help little ones keep their balance on the ice, but they’re given out on a first-come, first-serve basis.
There are other ice-skating rinks throughout London. We highly recommend the Tower of London rink for its beautiful holiday décor, and of course, the tower in the backdrop is lovely. You can book skate sessions at that rink online as well.
Kew Gardens Christmas Display
The nighttime trail at Kew Gardens is one of the best places to take the family for Christmas celebrations. The trail will lead you through a dazzling light display that includes a “tunnel of bells” and a waterfall with beams of light darting into the night.
Kids of all ages can walk through the trail to take in the lights and then enjoy hot cocoa while soaking up the holiday atmosphere. There are also food vendors on sight, so consider making this your dinner treat one night.
Sing-a-Longs at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre
This is one of the best theatres in London for young children, and they don’t disappoint when it comes to the holiday festivities. They’re known for their outdoor sing-a-longs that feature all of your favorite Christmas carols plus perhaps some you aren’t familiar with just yet.
Check the What’s On page on their website to see what holiday events are offered while you’re in town. You may need to book tickets in advance because these popular holiday events fill up fast.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
This is a great Christmas event in London because it offers activities and rides that suit all age groups. It’s free to enter, but you will need to pay for the rides, shows, and other attractions. If you don’t want to spend money, simply wander around to see the lights and soak up the live entertainment offered for free. There’s a lot of food floating around as well.
On Christmas Day, many of London’s restaurants and entertainment venues will close their doors. That doesn’t mean that there’s nothing to do because some will stay open for limited hours, and you always have those beautiful light displays available throughout the streets. It’s a great time to simply walk the streets to see the beauty of London.
Of course, you will want to spend time with your family at your hotel or apartment as well, so make sure you have everything you need for a fun day indoors.
The days leading up to Christmas are filled with fun. You can ask your hotel’s concierge about kid-friendly events that aren’t on this list. Sometimes restaurant staff members will help as well if you ask nicely. You may find even more holiday events taking place through New Year’s, so consider extending your London trip for even more holiday fun with the family.