London is an absolute paradise filled with fun kids’ activities and shows throughout the year. But it is true to say that you will be amazed by the amount of Christmas events for kids in London. There is a lot going on in summer due to the favorable weather conditions, but there is even more happening in fall and winter when we all get closer to the festive season. So, nothing can be better than spending Christmas in London with kids.
Let’s plan days out with toddlers in London and take a close look at Christmas things to do in London with your family.
IMPORTANT: It is great to have a list of festive things to do in London for your family at the beginning of September. Then check the web pages and socials of each event and add in your calendar the date when the tickets start to sell out.
Regardless of how much it may cost, all the Christmas events in London usually get sold out very quickly, and by that, I mean, the availability is gone within a week, and some in a few days. There is literally no time to check on the details of the event, just proceed to the checkout as fast as you can.
Did you know there are Santa Grottos in London and throughout the whole UK?
There are quite a few free options too. Your children can meet Santa, sit on his lap, listen to the elves’ story, and see the reindeers. You will also receive a small gift from Santa which is an amazing treat for your kids.
Santa Grottos in the UK
You should check garden centers, farms, zoos, and the biggest leisure activities in your area to see when Santa is there. Usually, the above-mentioned places organize Christmas activities for kids and Meet Santa events.
One of the most famous Father Christmas experiences is called Lapland UK located in Berkshire. It is the best Santa’s Grotto in the UK, and only 1 – 1.5 away from London. It comes at a cost, but the tickets are quite limited, and the event is proved to sell out within a couple of days.
Santa Grottos in London
If you didn’t get to one of the biggest Santa Grottos in the UK, not to worry. One of the best Christmas activities in London can be found in Santa Grottos all around the city.
One of the best Santa Grotto in London is considered to be Chelsea Grotto. It is located on Pavilion Road. With time it gained the title of being “London’s most interactive grotto” with loads of games, storytelling, and children’s Christmas activities.
Santa’s Grotto in Leicester Square
Santa’s Grotto at Christmas in Leicester Square is quite a nice event that hosts around 20 people at a time when Santa tells the story and then takes time to greet personally every child and hand over a little gift.
The Winter Dream Garden and Grotto
An amazing theatrical family experience right in the city center on Bond Street. This event is best for kids aged 4 to 11 years old. You will be invited to wander through the Fairy Kingdom, discover some magic and mysteries, and meet Father Christmas in London who will leave you with a little gift and a souvenir photo.
Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall
This is a perfect event for kids aged 3+ because they will be engaged in puppetry and live music meeting various characters of the North Pole, and of course, receiving a little gift too.
Santa’s Victorian Grotto
Santa’s Victorian Grotto is located at the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands. Each year one part of the museum is transformed into a Christmas Victorian walk with Santa waiting at the end. A top-secret conversation with Santa and a little gift is guaranteed.
The Harrods Christmas Grotto
Celebrate Christmas in London with kids at Harrods, especially if you are planning to do the shopping there. You will get to meet Santa and enjoy some time talking to him too.
Meet Santa in London and nearby
Apart from visiting Santa’s Grottos, there are so many amazing places to visit with family and things to do in London during Christmas. How about taking part in “Meet Santa” events?
ZSL London Zoo
This one sells out quickly, literally within a day or two. You can visit Santa’s Grotto, sit on his lap, chat with him, and receive a beautiful little gift. There are Christmas quizzes, games, and Christmas activities for children while visiting animals too. And for early birds, there is a special breakfast event with Santa at 8 am. How cool is that?
Paradise Wildlife Park
Paradise Wildlife Park is located in Hertfordshire which is not far from London at all. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from the northern part of London.
This park hosts a special Meet Santa event but also welcomes everyone to explore the wildlife zoo, try out various playgrounds, pirate ships, soft play area, discover who lives in the forest and visit one of the most brilliant dinosaur parks. Our family is a frequent guest of this park, especially it is incredible for days out at Christmas.
Willows Farm that is also located in Hertfordshire offers a variety of festive events and shows, such as Halloween and Christmas. Not only your kids will meet Santa and receive a little cute gift from him, but they will also be able to enjoy the farm feeding animals, visit playgrounds, a massive soft play area where you can literally spend a day, a huge park with carousels, trampolines, inflatable bouncers, sand playground area, 3D movie and craft area, an ice rink and tractor area for toddlers, take a tractor tour, dance with Peter Rabbit and much more. It is guaranteed you will spend the best Christmas in London for toddlers.
Meet Father Christmas at Fulham Palace
Fulham Palace transforms into a fantastic fairy tale with roaring fires, a Christmas tree where you can meet Santa, and even see his desk where he writes letters to his little friends.
Meet Santa at The Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle
Another great event during Christmas in London for families is Winter Forest at Broadgate Circle. It is one spectacular place where you can enjoy live music, food, drinks, pub quizzes, participate in various tastings, workshops, and activities. Most importantly, all children will be able to meet Santa at Winter Forest from 12-3 pm, and this is free.
Meet Father Christmas at Hamleys
Meet Santa at Hamleys, a world-famous toy store. You will not only shop for Christmas but be able to talk to Santa, take part in festive activities, games and sing songs with elves.
Meet Father Christmas at Fortnum & Mason
If you have decided to shop at Fortnum & Mason, young shoppers will be treated with storytelling coming personally from Santa, also an opportunity to have a chat with him personally and receive a little Christmas gift.
Breakfast with Santa at the Hard Rock Café
Grab a buffet breakfast at Hard Rock Café in Mayfair and enjoy festive activities and games along.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Winter Wonderland is one of the epic events of all times filled with hundreds of Christmas activities in London. It is also one of the biggest Christmas occurrences in the whole of Europe. Winter Wonderland usually starts around the 20th of November and lasts until the first week of January in Hyde Park.
The entrance is free, although you will be checked at the gate. The rest that you purchase or attend inside Winter Wonderland comes at a cost. You usually buy coins to use for different rollercoasters and fun activities. Some shows are paid separately. However, it is highly recommended to visit Winter Wonderland’s webpage and look through all the activities and shows. You should book the slots as fast as you can because some events sell out quickly.
Note: Consider the parking area or transport. If you park at the Winter Wonderland’s parking lot, you will pay around £50 GBP per day, so it is wise to use the transport or book the parking space online. We usually use JustPark.
Winter Wonderland has everything for everyone. There is no doubt you will spend one of the best Christmas in London with kids at Winter Wonderland. You can wander through the Christmas market filled with hundreds of unique kiosks selling souvenirs and interesting things you may have never thought of. There are lots of food and drink stalls that include different cuisines, some come with live music too. Everything is facilitated for family leisure, so restaurants and bathrooms are well-equipped for babies and toddlers.
Winter Wonderland offers a variety of shows, magic, circus for kids, and theatre, including a puppet show. You can meet Santa and have a chat with him for a while. Although it is absolutely free, you may stand in a queue, so try to come as early as possible to get a unique opportunity talking to Santa.
The ice rink is huge. Starting from 2019, Ice Kingdom is introduced to the event too. It contains hundreds of ice sculptures made specifically for the Winter Wonderland.
Not to mention that the biggest Christmas attractions are there too! Hyde Park is so huge that it fits loads of roller coasters, carousels, and dream slides for all ages.
Christmas London Lights Festival
Wonder what to do in London for Christmas?
There is always a lot to do for Christmas in London with kids. One of the magic experiences is to visit Christmas London Lights. There are lots of places around London where you can enjoy Lights Festivals, but we will mention the greatest among them.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
The greatest Lights Festival happens at Kew Gardens. This light show is so famous and popular that all the tickets get sold out within a few days.
Note: there are three entrances, when you book the tickets, you should check what entrance you will be using and arrange the parking in advance.
As you enter you will pass through a fantastic winter trail of the amazingly illuminated Rose Garden. The whole route may take around two hours. You will be able to enjoy glittering tunnels of bells, wrapped in light trees and plants, and glowing statues.
Winterfest in Wembley
Another amazing light festival happens at Winterfest in Wembley. It is a fairly new event, but already has a lot of advantages. The entrance to the beautifully illuminated park is free. Besides the walk-through spectacular beams of lights, you can stop at a nearby pub, restaurant, or café shop and enjoy your time with family and friends.
Christmas Lights at Mayfair
Mayfair area is full of magic lights and illumination collection. Mount Street has one of the brightest and largest light collections in the area. Bond Street is the second worth wandering the street.
Plus, do not forget to visit London’s West End shopping district which includes
- Oxford Street
- Carnaby Street
- Regents Street
- Covent Garden
- Piccadilly Circus
- John Lewis
- Hamleys, and more.
Lightopia at Chiswick House & Gardens
Occasionally, Chiswick House and Gardens offers special Christmas Light events for kids. It is recommended to check on their website for the agenda. But the good thing about Lghtopia is that if you missed all of the Christmas Lights in the town, this show happens in late January and lasts up to March.
This place is full of illuminated animals, sculptures, and paper-made characters, which is a lot of fun for toddlers and children. At the end of the park, there is a huge area for resting filled with cafes offering hot drinks and nicely illuminated children’s playgrounds. You will also be exiting through the artificially made rose garden and light tunnel.
Other good Lights Festivals in London include
- Southbank Centre Winter Market
- Seven Dials Christmas lights
- Shard Lights
- Canary Wharf Winter Lights
Who doesn’t love Christmas Markets? Luckily, there are tons of Christmas Markets in London. They are usually filled with nice illuminations, food and drink stalls, and kiosks full of unique souvenirs and gifts.
Here are some fantastic Christmas markets in London to visit:
- Leicester Square Christmas Market
- Christmas By the River at London Bridge
- Greenwich Christmas Market
- Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
- Christmas under the Canopy at King’s Cross
- Westfield London Christmas Market
- Camden Town Christmas Market
- Kingston Christmas Market
- Christmas Market at Alexandra Palace
Christmas London ice skating is a thing here.
What Londoners enjoy the most during the winter is ice skating. London is filled with ice rinks at Christmas which is a lot of fun for families. Kids will love to learn one or two new tricks and enjoy a real winter mood as it doesn’t really snow in London.
- Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink
- Skylight London Ice Rink
- The Queen’s House Ice Rink
- Natural History Museum Ice Rink
- Somerset House Ice Rink
- Tower of London Ice Rink
- Winter Wonderland Ice Rink
- Ice Rink Canary Wharf
There are also London indoor ice rink options, and some of them work all-year-round:
- Alexandra Palace Ice Rink (includes Christmas market and Santa Grotto)
- Lee Valley Ice Centre
- Streatham Ice Arena
Theatre, dance shows, and circus for kids
London is abundant in shows, circus, and theatre for kids. It is important to say that British culture is all about the theatre, there are 1,100 theatres in the UK with the majority located in London.
You can find the performance for your child at any time throughout the year, but Christmas always has a special vibe offering one of the best theatrical performances for kids.
Enjoy winter festivities and Christmas in London with kids!
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Also, check out:
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- The Ultimate Guide To Children’s Centers And The Best Free Baby Activities In London.
- Day Trips From London For Families.
- A weekend in Vienna with a toddler in winter.
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