See the capital transformed into a sparkling winter wonderland in December, and join in the New Year's Eve festivities.
December is the most magical month to visit London, with lots of festive things to do as Londoners celebrate Christmas and New Year.
London's shopping streets sparkle with Christmas lights in December, and shops are full of gift hunters finishing off their Christmas shopping.
A focal point of the holiday season in London is Trafalgar Square, which resounds with carol singing around the capital’s biggest Christmas tree, and lights up with a giant Menorah for Chanukah.
Get into the festive spirit during your December visit by experiencing some of London's favourite seasonal activities: shop for handmade gifts and festive food at a charming Christmas market; go ice skating on one of the stunning outdoor ice rinks that pop up across the capital; take children to meet Santa in a magical Christmas grotto; enjoy carols and concerts accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies; and watch a Christmas pantomime, ballet or family show.
December events in London
London's Christmas festivals and pop-up festive villages
- Explore London's biggest and most popular Christmas experience, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, for ice skating, an observation wheel and fairground rides, stalls brimming with toys and sweets, festive shows and more. 17 Nov-1 Jan
- Enjoy Nordic-themed activities, including a rooftop sauna, plus a Christmas market, festive shows and seasonal food along the river at Southbank Centre's Wintertime Festival. 10 Nov-4 Jan
- Find a festive haven in the centre of London's bustling West End with Christmas in Leicester Square. 10 Nov-7 Jan
- Discover the Greenwich Wintertime Festival, London's new festive experience set in the grounds of the majestic Old Royal Naval College, which features ice skating, live music, Christmas shopping and more activities for all ages. 1-31 Dec
- Step into Winterville, a Christmas-themed adventure park featuring classic and alternative seasonal activities, such as ice skating, roller disco, crazy golf, Christmas movies and street food. 23 Nov-1 Jan
Top London winter events
- Follow a glittering trail of lights, music and colours around the famous botanic gardens after dark at the annual Christmas at Kew. 22 Nov-1 Jan
- Go behind the scenes of the Harry Potter movies and see the iconic sets dressed for Christmas with Hogwarts in the Snow. 18 Nov-28 Jan
- Wander past huge illuminated lanterns including enchanting Christmas-themed installations and traditional Chinese handmade sculptures as the Magical Lantern Festival returns to Chiswick Gardens. 24 Nov-1 Jan
Christmas Day and Boxing Day in London
Christmas Day and Boxing Day (25 and 26 December) are both bank holidays (public holidays) in London, with reduced opening times and transport service. But there are still plenty of things to do during this festive period:
- Get up early to watch hardy members of the Serpentine Swimming Club compete for the Peter Pan Cup in the icy waters of the Hyde Park lake. 25 Dec
- Shop for great deals on fashion, electronics and more during the Boxing Day and January sales. From 26 Dec
New Year's Eve in London
London’s famous New Year's Eve fireworks take place every year at the Coca-Cola London Eye on 31 December: buy your ticket in advance to secure a place at this popular London December event. Alternatively, there are plenty of other things to do in London on New Year’s Eve during the day and right through the night, from family shows and ice skating, to parties and dining on the river.