London with kids: 10 things you need to do if you are visiting this festive season 3 months ago

London with kids: 10 things you need to do if you are visiting this festive season

Sure, Christmas in New York, like we see in all the movies, is great, no doubt.

But guys – London is right on our doorstep, and this city is practically bursting with festive feels – especially if you are bringing the kids with you.

From glittering Christmas lights and al fresco ice skating to traditional markets, festivals and Christmas shows, London is a Christmas wonderland.

And if you do cross the pond this November or December, here are 10 things you don't want to miss:

1. Go ice skating at the National History Museum

Has there ever been an ice rink with a more beautiful backdrop?

 

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2. Admire the Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square

Every year, the City of London is given a huge Christmas tree from the city of Oslo, Norway.

The giant Norwegian spruce has been an annual gift to London from the people of Norway since 1947, in recognition of Britain’s support during the Second World War. Each year, the 25-metre (82-foot) tree is illuminated with hundreds of lightbulbs set in vertical strings of light.

And in the lead up to Christmas, you can come and watch carol singers perform festive favourites around the famous tree.

3. Get your Santa list inspiration at Hamley's

Possibly the most Christmas-y and amazing toy store in the world.

4. Experience Hogwarts in the Snow

The Harry Potter studio tours get a festive makeover once more this Winter, with Christmas trees and a seasonal feast in the Great Hall, decorations in Gryffindor common room and snow drifts in Diagon Alley. The beautiful scale model of Hogwarts that was used for sweeping shots over the school will also be looking wintry, with snow and ice effects carefully applied by hand.

5. Enjoy the magic of Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland

This free-to-enter family event features a host of festive fun and activities, including Winter Wonderland ice skating, circus shows, an observation wheel and a huge Christmas market.

6. Go meet Santa at the Royal Albert Hall

Once upon a time, nearly 150 years ago, Father Christmas and his workshop elves used Christmas magic to enchant the Royal Albert Hall and turn it into their secret London Headquarters. But the elves are a little behind schedule this year! Father Christmas needs some very special little helpers to visit his HQ, where they’ll learn Christmas magic, see the real sleigh and help the elves get the toys ready in time for Christmas Eve!

 

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It's beginning to feel a lot like #RAHChristmas ? ? @christiegoodwin #christmaswindow #RoyalAlbertHall

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7. Go for a festive hot chocolate at Choccywoccydoodah

Choccywoccydoodah is a magical chocolate shop in the heart of London. The shop's talented artists are real-life Willy Wonkas and can transform chocolate into the most amazing shapes.

 

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Azucar! ❤️#Choccywoccydoodah #hotchocolate #coventgarden

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8. Experience the magic of Christmas at Kew Gardens

If you visit Kew at Christmastime, you can enjoy a range of festive treats and activities. However, the real magic starts at twilight. A one mile path through the gardens is festooned with lights, making the plants, trees and structures of Kew glow. Be transported by the Christmas trees, scented fire garden, glittering trees and tunnel of light. Santa will be with his elves, plus there will be vintage family rides, Christmas gifts and heartwarming festive food and drink on offer.

 

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The most magical time of the year ✨ #christmas #kewgardens #fairylights #magical #christmaslights #winterishere

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9. Watch a classic Christmas movie at a pop-up cinema

At The Berkley, London, settle in for a series of evening showings of two Christmas classics, The Nutcracker (1986) and the original Miracle on 34th Street (1947) – with a festive menu and enough hot chocolate to warm even Scrooge himself.

10. Get all the festive feels at Somerset House

Somerset House's grand 18th-century courtyard is the stunning setting for an ice rink again this winter. No matter how unimpressive your skating skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will be the very definition of festive fun.