phone mail2 facebook twitter play whatsapp
The Best Family Events in London this December
Image Credit: Shiori Kase as Clara, James Forbat as The Nutcracker and Fabian Reimar as Drosslymyer (c) Laurent Liotardo

The Best Family Events in London this December

5 December 2017 Eva de Valk

Are you in the mood for lots of seasonal family fun? We certainly hope so, because that’s pretty much all you’re getting this month. Oh, and some ABBA.

If you are more about spectating than participating, we’ve got you covered as well. Slightly wacky entertainment can be had at the Great Christmas Pudding Race, which takes place in Covent Garden each year. On 2 December, teams will attempt to tackle an obstacle course without dropping th  eir puddings, which can make for some pretty tense viewing. Those who are more serious about their sports, or who just enjoy watching other people suffer, might consider a Christmas Day visit to the Peter Pan Cup. This involves members of the local swim club taking the plunge in the very cold water of the Serpentine, preferably while enjoying a hot chocolate yourself.


Image credit: Great Pudding Race 2016
 
The Geffrye Museum – a museum dedicated to showing the changes to London home life since 1600 - is absolutely worth a visit any time of year. This month is extra special, however, as each of the museum’s time travelling living rooms has been decked out with period-typical decorations and music. Visitors can find out how Christmas celebrations have changed over the past 400 years, and try their hand at a variety of seasonal activities, including a workshop where you can make your own festive decorations on 9 December. Entry to the museum is free, but there is a charge to join in some of the extra workshops.

A tour of London’s Christmas lights is another great way to get the whole family into the festive spirit, and there are plenty of places to get your fairy light fix. Kew Gardens hosts its usual holiday extravaganza, with a trail of over one million lights guiding the way through the park. The Palm House will be lit up with a laser show, and visitors can also warm up in the ‘Fire Garden’. Christmas at Kew Gardens is on until 1 January; ticket prices start at £16 for adults, with family discounts available. For some free sparkle, the Carnaby Street Christmas lights are always highly recommended.

If you’re feeling decidedly un-Christmassy, check out Southbank Centre’s new exhibition ABBA: Super Troupers, opening on 14 December. Billed as an immersive experience, this big new show will include items from the ABBA museum in Stockholm alongside pieces from private collections. Objects on display will include personal photos, handwritten notes and original costumes. Knowing the Swedish superstars’, um, vibrant style, this should make for a colourful outing. While you’re there, why not have a look around some of the other activities on offer during Southbank Centre’s Wintertime festival (until 4 January). There will be the usual Christmas market, free workshops including Nordic crafts and an ABBA dance class, and lots of carolling.

Last but not least, it wouldn’t be the festive season without a panto on every street corner, so this roundup would be incomplete without a mention of some the most weird and wonderful ones. The Hackney Empire usually takes the top spot in the panto listings, but since The New Wimbledon Theatre have managed to steal away everybody’s favourite dame Clive Rowe, it could be a tight race this year. Check out both the Empire’s Cinderella and Wimbledon’s Jack in the Beanstalk if you want to do a proper compare and contrast. For a more off-beat panto experience, try the King’s Head Theatre’s King Tut: A Pyramid Panto or Theatre Royal Stratford East’s Rapunzel, or go classic with Dick Whittington at the London Palladium.

If you can’t bear the thought of sitting through another round of ‘he’s behind you’, you might also consider a trip to one of the theatres that aren’t in on the panto game. The Nutcracker is always a sure-fire Christmas hit – on at both the Royal Opera House and the Coliseum, so take your pick – or consider interactive dance show Sponge at Battersea Arts Centre if you need to keep some very little ones entertained.


Image credit: Sponge at Battersea Arts Centre

Tell us what you think

You may also like

Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World

Amy Conway’s Super Awesome World

Depression, growing up, and video games - join Amy Conway on a dark and difficult quest

This week: 5 – 11 February

This week: 5 – 11 February

Escape the miserable weather with meditative opera, dream yourself away on an elegant ocean liner or give in to the darkness with an H. P.…

Folk at the Foundling

Folk at the Foundling

You Are Wolf & Duotone Album Launch

Succubus comedy night

Succubus comedy night

Razor-sharp women’s satirical magazine, Succubus, launches a brand new comedy night championing female comedy writers and stand ups.

Win 2 tickets to see Good Girl

Trafalgar Studios - Win 2 tickets to see Good Girl

Here is your chance to see Naomi Sheldon’s award-winning debut play

Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre

Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre

The Bridge Theatre in Southwark opened in winter 2017 and now proudly calls itself "the first wholly new theatre of scale to be added to London’s…

The Best Family Events in London this February

The Best Family Events in London this February

This month’s family calendar is, unsurprisingly, full of half term activities in all shapes and sizes.

An Interview with Justin Edwards

An Interview with Justin Edwards

Lauded as the play of the year in 2017, Jez Butterworth's play about a family of farmers touched by the political troubles in 1980' Northern…

Glitterbox X Jealous Gallery

Glitterbox X Jealous Gallery

an artistic extravaganza of photography and design

Most popular

Win Tickets to Best of Broadway!

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Win Tickets to Best of Broadway!

Experience an evening showcasing the finest shows on Broadway and in the West End live at the Royal Albert Hall.
Win 2 tickets to see Good Girl

Trafalgar Studios - Win 2 tickets to see Good Girl

Naomi Sheldon’s award-winning debut play
Win Tickets to The Enchanted Room

Estorick Collection - Win Tickets to The Enchanted Room

We've got two tickets to give away to a unique display of Italian art.
Win Tickets to Lab Late: Managing the Biosphere

The Imagination Lab - Win Tickets to Lab Late: Managing the Biosphere

Are you concerned about rapid changes facing the planet? Hear about a movement that advocates for action, driven by the people!
Top 5: Brutalist Buildings in London

Top 5: Brutalist Buildings in London

Concrete beasts in the city
Top 5: Escape room games in London

Top 5: Escape room games in London

Exciting quest for adventurous explorers
Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre

Julius Caesar at The Bridge Theatre

Ben Whishaw, Michelle Fairley, David Calder and David Morrissey take to London’s newest stage.

Your inbox deserves a little culture!!