Christmas Events in London 2015
Posted on October 19, 2015 by David
We look at the most exciting Christmas events happening across London throughout December and into January.
There’s no denying that one thing dominates the December events calendar – Christmas. Whilst there are hundreds of Christmas events across London there are also plenty of other fantastic experiences to enjoy, many of which have a festive edge but they also have their own character too. Below we take a look at just a few of those on offer in the Capital.
Hyper Japan Christmas Market
There is nothing more exciting than a Christmas market to get you in the mood for the festive season and whilst
Hyper Japan is different to most, it’s well worth visiting if you’re in the City. Running from 27
th until 29th November, Hyper Japan is a festive celebration of all things Japanese. From food to fluffy toys and plenty of festive spirit, Hyper Japan is an alternative way of shopping this Christmastime. Entertainment is also provided throughout the festival weekend and includes martial art displays, live j-pop musicians, Japanese Taiko drumming and food and drinks demos.
The Business Design Centre has ensured that you can have the finest chocolates in your home this Christmas time. From 4
th until 6th December, the Chocolate Festival is taking over and it’s your chance to see some of the finest artisan and hand-crafted chocolates from some of the most acclaimed and award-winning chocolatiers. As well as plenty of tasters and opportunities to buy delectable goodies, there will also be demonstrations and talks throughout the festival. There is also a pop-up Cocoa Spa on site where handmade cosmetics firm Lush will be offering spa treatments using a range of chocolate-based products.
Controversial but critically acclaimed, Chinese artist
Ai Weiwei's exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts has many of the major works of his career on displays. The exhibition includes three new large installations which art appreciators and lovers of Ai Weiwei's politically active profile won’t want to miss. The exhibition runs until Dec 15th.
Battersea Park Santa Run
The spectacle of grown men and women jogging along dressed in ill-fitting Father Christmas outfits has become something of a common sight as Santa Runs have become more and more popular up and down the country. However, the Santa Run at Battersea Park is a cut above your average festively-costumed lope! Taking place on 5th December and with over 2000 participants, the Battersea Park Santa Run makes its way through the Park with crowds of others and it really is great fun. The race is 6km long and you pick up your Santa suit when you get there and at the end there’s the chance to relax with mince pies, mulled wine and Christmas cake. All the funds raised by the Run are donated to Disability Snowsport UK which helps people with disabilities enjoy winter sports in the snow. There is another Santa Run a couple of days later at Victoria Park too so there is scope for you to try both or pick the one which suits your schedule best. Whether you’re actually running the race or just watching it is a really fun day out.
The Royal Ballet is offering up their seasonal favourite once more at the Royal Opera House.
The Nutcracker opens on December 8
th and invites people of all ages to come along and enjoy the classic Christmas tale. Very few performances and productions are as lavish and beautifully presented and the combination of Peter Wright’s re-staging and Tchaikovsky’s familiar and much-loved score ensures a wonderful day or evening out. It’s an opportunity to introduce ballet and the theatre to younger members of the family and it is a timelessly beautiful production which is bound to get you in the Christmas spirit.
For something a little less 'high-falutin' then there will be pantomimes throughout the city with Jack and the Beanstalk at the Hackney Empire, Snow White at the Compass Theatre and Cinderella at Richmond Theatre already announced.
Christmas in Trafalgar Square
Photo: Christmas in Trafalgar Square. Photo supplied by Wikipedia
Christmas in Trafalgar Square is a true British tradition that people flock to see each year. Since 1947, a huge Christmas tree has been donated by the people of Norway to London, in gratitude for the support of the British in Norway during World War Two. The Christmas tree arrives and it is traditionally when Christmas truly begins for many people, with carol singing under the tree. There is a whole programme of carol singing which runs from 7
th until 23rd December and many different groups get involved to offer up festive favourites.
The peak of London’s festive celebrations are at Hyde Park. The whole area is converted into a massive
Winter Wonderland and it is a free-to-enter event which is packed full of Christmas-themed fun and activities with shows, a gigantic observation wheel and a huge Christmas market packed with traditional European treats.
Winter Wonderland has such a wide range of different attractions there is something for people of all ages. There is the ice rink, an Ice Kingdom of frozen sculptures including a castle and fascinating circus acts packed with acrobats and other performers from both Zippos Circus and Cirque Beserk.
There is a huge expanse of markets to explore with traditional Christmas gifts available alongside hand-crafted trinkets and jewellery. Interspersed with the retail market are plenty of food stalls and the chance to enjoy a cup of mulled wine or two as well as delicacies from around the world - from huge German hot dogs to hot baked potatoes and churros.
A Room for London
Photo: A Room for London. Photo supplied by Living-architecture
Now this isn’t a festive event at all but this exceptional structure, originally built to be temporary, is leaving the City on December 31
st. If you haven’t already seen a Room for London, December is your last chance to do so This one-room art installation which looks just like a boat, is actually positioned on top of the roof of the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall. It offers some absolutely sensational views of the city and it’s pretty clear London will be sad to see it go.
New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Photo: New Year's Eve Fireworks. Photo supplied by Wikimedia Commons
Some people will tell you that the best firework displays are in Sydney or New York but London is pretty high on those lists too! The amazing
New Year’s Eve firework display is a world famous event which is streamed on screens around the world and as Big Ben ‘bongs’ it’s famous ‘bong’ the fireworks shoot high into the sky.
The New Year’s Eve Fireworks Display in London is now a ticketed event and tickets are all sold out. But, there are plenty of places across the city you can position yourself to enjoy the awe inspiring display that is on show – perhaps even from your hotel room.
London in December and even into January is full of events to suit travellers of every type of interest. There is plenty of festive fun to enjoy but there are also other events to keep you busy in London this winter.
Interested in any of these events? If so, why not make it a short break! Book a stay at the Kingsley Hotel, and receive a delicious breakfast and two Red Rover River Cruise tickets. Or, stay at either the Thistle City Barbican Hotel or the Thistle Kensington Gardens Hotel? Both of these great hotels are incredibly well-located for London's many Christmas events. What's more, with each break you'll also get two Red Rover River Cruise tickets, and breakfast in the morning.