Thinking of spending Christmas Eve in London? There are plenty of festive things to do that will make the day before Christmas feel extra special. Once you’ve got your last minute Christmas shopping out the way, wrapped your presents and placed them under the tree, head out into the Big Smoke with your loved ones and soak up the festive atmosphere the day before Christmas Day. From Christmas carols, ice skating to Christmas markets and cosy pub lunches, we’ve rounded up the best things to do in London for Christmas Eve.
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Ice skating is the perfect Christmas Eve activity so if you want to enjoy a spot of skating in London, there are several ice rinks that stay open on 24th December. Our two favourites include the Natural History Museum ice rink in South Kensington and Somerset House’s ice rink in Covent Garden. Feel the festive atmosphere as you glide around the iconic Natural History Museum, a beautiful building that will make you feel even more Christmassy. Or enjoy some Baileys hot chocolate in the Fortnum’s lodge after you’ve had a skate at Somerset House’s impressive ice rink that lies beneath a giant Christmas tree. Whichever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed a fun day. The Natural History Museum ice rink stays open until 9.50pm and the Somerset House stays open until 6pm.
Do Christmas Eve right and indulge in a hearty British lunch at one of London’s traditional pubs. There are some great value for money pubs around London where you can escape from the cold and enjoy some food and drink. We’ve rounded up so get cosy in one of our local spots.
Save plenty of space in your tummy for Christmas Day though!
See a theatre show or pantomime
There’s nothing like magical pantomime or West End show to get you into the Christmas spirit. London’s theatre district plays hosts to plenty of entertainment throughout the festive season but we recommend A Christmas Carol which is playing at The Old Vic at 1pm. Or how about the Cinderella pantomime at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith? If you need some inspiration first, see what takes your fancy whether you’re looking for some laughs, a popular West End hit or a good old Christmas story. Here are (School of Rock is one of our favourites at the moment).
Some of London’s magical Christmas markets will still be open on Christmas Eve so head to one of the best ones to do last minute Christmas shopping or to soak up the festive atmosphere. For foodies, we recommend the Southbank Winter Market by the river which is playing host to some amazing food vendors offering tasty grub from all over the world. Christmas in Leicester Square is also open if you’re looking for a charming, Bavarian-style market in the West End. Then of course, there’s Winter Wonderland, London’s biggest and most electric Christmas market with roller coasters, rides, food stands, amazing light displays, souvenir shops and an incredible atmosphere.
These are the
Christmas carolling is such a lovely tradition and it always reminds us of being back at school singing hymns and Christmas songs. You can attend one of the Christmas carol events in London where you can sing along with the carollers and really get into the spirit of Christmas. The Christmas Carols in Trafalgar Square is free to attend on 24th December where more than 40 carol groups each sing for an hour beneath the Christmas tree in the square. If you fancy something a little more luxury, then get tickets to the annual Carols concert at the Royal Albert Hall in Kensington where you can sing along to festive favourites. Tickets are from £20-75 (depending on where you choose to sit).
Last minute Christmas shopping
Last but not least, where better to do your last minute Christmas shopping that on London’s main shopping streets, Oxford Street and Regent’s Street? Head down nice and early and pick up your last minute bits and pieces from the many amazing stores around the area. From high street shops, confectionary stores to big department stores like Selfridges, Liberty and John Lewis, the areas surrounding Oxford Circus has it all. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to check out the Christmas lights set up in the area.