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What’s On in London for Kids this Christmas

keep calm xmas is comingIf you are staying in London this Christmas, you will find loads of things to keep little and older children entertained and happy this festive season. Just wrap up warm and enjoy the fun!  Have a look at this fab list of Christmas kids events those lovely mums over at Kensington Mums have compiled for us… If you have any other activities you think we’ve missed out, just add them below.

Christmas Storytelling at Fortnum and Mason (every weekend, until Christmas). 
Please click here for more information.

Designers Christmas Market 14 – 16 December 2012.This fantastic market showcases 50 UK design and craft practitioners. Enjoy browsing and shopping for great original gifts, including ceramics, jewellery, textiles, homewares and print. Click here for more information.

Family Event: Horrible Histories Christmas Special at the National Portrait Gallery.
Come and celebrate the festive season in Tudor style… Pop into the theatre to meet cast members from Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain and find out all about Tudor life.  Take your pick from a range of free activities including making royal crowns, designing a festive wreath and making a pomander to ward off bad smells! Some activities require a ticket available on the day, please click here for more information.

Christmas festive fun at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. Click here for more information.

Christmas activities in london 1Christmas workshops at Lauderdale House. Saturdays 15, 18 20 and 21. Booking essential. Click here for more information.

Ice Rink Canary Wharf, is already open and is a lot of fun! Head to Canary Wharf  during the festive season for the children to enjoy a range of free festive activities  during all weekends in December and Christmas Eve throughout Canary Wharf’s malls including art and craft workshops, festive face painting and a magical treasure hunt. These are all FREE. Also, don’t forget to visit Santa’s Grotto (from 1-24 December 2012).

Winter Wonderland workshops at the National Gallery. Friday 14 December. Various times. FREE. Click here for more information.

Mirror Mirror’s Christmas Magic Lantern Show at the Museum of Childhood. Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 December 2012. Join Victorian sisters Anna and Bea for their annual family magic lantern show – an atmospheric tale of mystery and adventure! Suitable for ages 3+. Click here for more information.

Jigsaw Japes at Bank of England Museum. During the Christmas and New Year break (17 – 21, 24, 27, 28 and 31 December and 2 – 4 January), the Museum presents Jigsaw Japes, a special event to entertain the whole family. Children of all ages can draw their favourite Museum object on a pre-cut jigsaw to take home. Click here for more information.

Enjoy a day at the Science Museum this festive season, with museum tours, storytelling and a visit to the Garden is a must (suitable for under 5s). Click here for more information. Also don’t miss your chance to watch Santa vs. the Snowman 3D (U) at the IMAX, Science Museum. Showing every weekend in December. For only £5 your little one will enjoy watching duck snowballs, elves and jet-propelled reindeers as Santa takes on a lonely snowman who wants nothing more than to take over Christmas and become the world’s most beloved festive character. Click here for more information.

Christmas activities in london 2

Westfield London Ice Rink and Santa’s Grotto. This Christmas, Westfield London will be cooler than ever as an indoor Ice Rink takes over the Atrium, it’s the perfect place to go ice skating in London with your little ones. Westfield London’s Grotto will have a 5D film that each child’s name and picture will feature in the film, as Elbow the Elf saves Christmas. Click here for more information.

RBKC Library. Make a Christmas decoration 10 Dec, 3.30 to 5.30pm Kensington Central Library. Winter Storytelling 2 Jan,2 to 3pm Kensington Central Library.

London New Year’s Day Parade will be taking place on the 1st January 2013. The Parade starts at 11.45am on Piccadilly at the junction with Berkeley Street outside the Ritz Hotel and finishes around 3pm at Parliament Street. Click here for more information.

Christmas Grotto at Whiteleys. Click here for more information.

Kids’ Zone at the National Army Museum. Kids Zone is great for children aged 0-8 with forest and arctic themed climbing frames for kids to scale, slide and run through. There is also a soft play area for babies, toys, and arts and crafts. It is open daily from 10.10am to 5.15pm. For only £2.50 per child this is a great way for little ones to let off some steam. Tickets for all day sessions tend to sell out before 11.00am during school holidays, so it is always best to book online to avoid disappointment. Please note the Museum is not open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Adults are FREE.

Meet Santa at Whole Foods Kensington! Grotto is open Saturdays 11am-7pm and Sundays 10am-6pm. There are only six family slots per hour so book early to avoid disappointment. The Room with a View. Email for more information.

Christmas Crafts and Seasonal Stories at Museum of Childhood. FREE, drop in. Saturdays 15, 22 December Sundays 16, 23 December. Thursday 27 December – Sunday 6 January Excluding New Years Day 10.30-16.00. Find out how families celebrated Christmas 100 years ago! Enjoy a creative re-telling of The Nutcracker and create seasonal crackers, baubles, retro decorations and cards with help from the Retired and Senior Service Volunteers. Click here for more information.

Christmas at Kensington Palace. 1 – 23 December 2012. Prepare to be spellbound as Kensington Palace is transformed into a unique palace-sized Advent Calendar this December. Click here for more information.

Hampton Court Palace ice rink opens Saturday 1 December 2012 – until Sunday 13 January 2013. Great for a festive family gathering. Clickhere for more information.

Christmas Party at Bramley’s Big Adventure.Thursday 20th December 2012. There will be disco, fancy dress, Santa and goody bag. £10 per child. Click here for more information.

Santa’s Grotto is coming to Kew Gardens. London’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew has loads of festive family events this Christmas. From 08 December 2012 – Sun 06 January 2013, excluding 24 and 25 December. Enjoy a magical visit to Santa’s Grotto in the Princess of Wales Conservatory and then continue the fun with a ride on the enchanting carousel. There will also be face painting during the whole of December. Parents and carers can enjoy this hands on session and discover and learn about Christmas plants.

Meet Santa and London’s reindeer herd at London Zoo. Running until 24 Dec 2012 – All Day. Come and visit Santa at his winter lodge, a custom-designed grotto built in the fairytale setting of ZSL London Zoo’s memorial gardens –and also visit London’s very own reindeer herd! Suitable for children 10 years and under. Click here for more information.

Skate at Somerset House. Celebrate the festive season in style at London’s most glamorous ice rink. Click here for more information. Also check out club nights, for your date night with your other half, it sounds great! They also have the penguin club where children under 8 years old can skate in a safe environment to take their first steps on the ice at the training rink, and those over 8 years old can take part in Skate Lessons.

Southbank Centre Christmas Market will be open from Friday 16 November 2012 – Monday 24 December 2012. FREE. Wooden chalets filled with festive food, drink, gifts and treats run along the twinkling riverside. Enjoy mulled wine, bratwurst and gingerbread while taking in the lights, sights and sounds of London at Christmas time. Come along and get in the Christmas mood! Click here for more information.

Outdoor Ice Skating at Westfield Stratford City. Skate under the stars in the awesome surroundings of Europe’s largest shopping centre at Westfield Stratford City’s Outdoor Ice Rink in Market Square. Also don’t miss Santa’s Grotto at Westfield Stratford City.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink is now open. Embrace winter in their 950-square-metre ice rink, London’s most spectacular winter attraction. Plan your visit and book your tickets online.NHM ice rink

Santa’s Grotto at the Duke of York Square -23 December 2012. FREE

The Tower of London Ice Rink. London’s most dramatic open-air ice rink returns to the spectacular setting of the Tower of London. Located in the moat, the ice rink is set against the magnificent fortress battlements, providing a stunning setting for winter skating in the City. This makes the perfect winter treat for the whole family. Click here for more information.

Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys this Christmas!  Click here for more information.

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. . This is probably one of my favourite winter events. It is absolutely wonderful, its got everything from roller coaster rides, circus, Santa’s land, Magical Ice Kingdom to name just a few and one of the best Christmas markets I have been to. This year’s ice ring is Ice Age 4. Just make sure you wrap up warm! Winter Wonderland is free to enter. However you will need to buy tickets for the attractions & rides.

Pop-Up Performances:Festive Performance at Victoria and Albert Museum. Sat 29 December 2012 –Sun 6 January 2013. Watch the dance of ‘The Nutcracker’ on weekends or see a fun gallery play during the week. Click here for more information. Also showing The Imagination Station – Christmas & New Year. Sat 29 December 2012 –Sun 6 January 2013. Create imaginative Victorian Christmas decorations. Suitable for ages 4+. Click here for more information.

LEGO’s countdown to Christmas with the LEGO advent calendar. This is really impressive work. Head to South Hall of Covent Garden at 4 pm every day until Christmas to witness a special guest opening a door of the giant LEGO advent calendar. While you are there, don’t forget to Meet a real-life Rudolf every Saturday atCovent Garden Piazza from 12pm to 4pm. Kids will love to hand-feed and pet them.

Christmas Storytime at the Museum of London Docklands. Thursday 27 Dec, 10.30-11am, 11.30am – 12pm & 2-2.30pm. FREE.  Enjoy a festive story together, told using puppets, museum objects and music – then come and play in the Mudlarks children’s gallery if you have energy to spare! Suitable for 1year+. Clickhere for more information.

Winter Festival at Southbank Centre, is all about a season of magical encounters including magical Christmas shows, free music and events. Click here for more information.

Did we miss anything? Add a comment below to let us know about more Christmas activities in London for kids.

Wishing you all a lovely Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

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Written by Janis P.


  1. My three-and-a-half year old niece is visiting this year, so thanks very much for this page: great source of info!

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