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London at Christmas?

(113 Posts)
Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:24:15

Thinking of taking kids ( 14+ years) to London over Christmas weekend...any suggestions on how/what to do to make it an extra special Christmas after a very horrible year?

LocalEditorMerton Mon 22-Aug-16 19:27:05

Hi Potentialmadcatlady, what type of budget are you thinking about (per person)? Christmas can be very expensive, particularly in London...(although obviously some things can be done for free).

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:33:02

Not a massive budget.. Infact quite small but I intend to save as Much as I can before and stick rest on credit card. It's our Christmas present to each other so no big Christmas presents to be bought so that will help the budget. Hotel is booked ( nice and central) and have booked a show for Christmas Eve..was planning on doing a museum in the morning ( free) and a paid activity in afternoon but the museums all shut 24/25/26!

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:39:45

Winter wonderland will be open on 24th and 26th ... Maybe book ice skating and the circus. It will be quite expensive (rides wise) but will be festive! Will have a think for you of other ideas. I think the 25th will be the most difficult.

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:41:34

Sorry just noticed age of your DC - there is also an ice bar and a big wheel (but that's s bit rubbish sights wise...) have a look at the London eye, I would think that will be open but again pricey.

What sort of things were you thinking of?

TheNaze73 Mon 22-Aug-16 19:42:51

The shop window displays of the department stores in London are well worth a look.
Maybe a walk up the Monument, cheap as chips & great festive views. London is great at Christmas

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:43:56

London eye is open 24th and 26th so other Merlin attractions (aquarium/dungeons) are likely to be as well.

You can use tesco vouchers for Merlin attractions.

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:45:01

Was thinking of doing winter wonderland on the 23rd- does it open into the evening? 25th- I know there's no transport- was thinking early breakfast then Peter Pan race ( any good? Worth getting up for?) then a wander round sights Palace etc at our own place ( cold/rain we are used too!) then back to hotel for Christmas tv with pre bought Christmas treats ( chocolate etc) when we have sore feet or are bored... Palace is two miles from where we are staying- need to plan the route well before we go...

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:48:13

Yes it will be open til late at night.

WaccaWacca Mon 22-Aug-16 19:48:45

Ice skating at Somerset House?

There is usually a nice festive food market on the south bank.

Mooching around harrods or fortnums?

Ooh, carols at the Royal Albert Hall is great. I love doing that and don't think it's too expensive. Everyone joins in, it's really fun.

WaccaWacca Mon 22-Aug-16 19:50:14

It's called carols by candlelight

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:50:37

Yes going to use up tesco vouchers but don't have that many so was going to use them for pizza express etc..I get a 'carers' admission ticket so that helps bring the cost down...was thinking of doing the London eye on the morning of day we flying home.. I looked at some restaurants for Christmas dinner but they all £85+ a head and my kids vegetarian so they don't really enjoy a 'big roast dinner' so I think it's silly to try and find that sort of money when they would be happier with a pot noodle and chocolate!

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:52:14

There is a company called London walks .... They seem to have quite a large number of walks taking place on Christmas Day (and Boxing Day )

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:52:35

Oh I would like the Carols- will check that out and see if I can talk teens into it!

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:54:09

The Harry Potter locations walk might appeal to your DC or the Christmas Day Charles Dickens walk (meets by the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square)

WaccaWacca Mon 22-Aug-16 19:54:12

You could book to do the slide down the arcelor mittal tower at the Olympic park, followed by dinner somewhere fun in Westfield like Shake Shack?

Bohemond Mon 22-Aug-16 19:55:48

Definitely yes to the festive food market along the South Bank. Think there is probably an ice rink there as well.
St James' park is always nice in winter.
I also always like to go to the cinema when in London - every film under the sun to choose from and might be enjoyable for teens.
I'd recommend not using the tube and using buses and foot only. Tube is a pita and you see lots of stuff on foot.

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 19:56:03

Ice skating won't work for one of the kids unfortunately ( or me- hate ice skating!) long walks can be difficult too but I'm planning on taking his wheelchair with me In case it's needed ( doesn't use it often)

supercaliforniasurfer Mon 22-Aug-16 19:58:15

Westminster abbey have Christmas Eve/day services but you need to get tickets in advance

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 20:00:11

Am writing all these ideas down for teen to research! I'm trying to let them choose the plans as much as possible..want it to be a Christmas to remember for good reasons not the bad ones ( first Christmas after their Granny/my Mum died) Thankyou for your help so far

LocalEditorMerton Mon 22-Aug-16 20:08:52

A Christmas carol concert somewhere fabulous like St Paul's Cathedral.

A panto is a must (a quirky but brilliant place to go is Wiltons Music Hall tucked away in all its glory down a side street just beyond The Tower of London. 'Mother Goose' is their panto this year.

A 'flight' on The London Eye (magical in the evening for a twinkling view) and/or trip up The Shard - often kids go free with paying adult during school holiday times.

Doing Oxford/Regent Street/Knightsbridge on a bus/on foot for Christmas lights and Christmas themed department stores' displays.

An outdoor ice-rink (Somerset House, Tower of London or the Natural History Museum ones would be my personal choices).

Trip along the Thames by boat (to the London Barrier in one direction and as far as you can go in the other direction - Richmond/Hampton Court).

Or depending how adventurous/energetic you're feeling possibly a trip to Hampton Court or even Windsor Castle

A bracing walk up on Hampstead Heath gives great views over London and some cosy pubs for a meal.

If you and your DCs are 'foodies' a trip to Borough Market is a must and is bound to be full of tempting Christmas goodies to buy and eat.

As an antidote to all things Christmas, an Indian meal (usually gets a thumbs up from teens we know). There are loads of first class Indian restaurants in London, many of them in Tooting and Southall.

And Covent Garden has really upped its game in recent years and now always looks super-festive at twilight. Full of very pukka shops and more quirky shops/restaurants as you venture along Neal Street.

And if retail therapy is a given, Selfridges, Harvey Nicks and Harrods are still 'awesome' particularly at Christmas, with a visit to their respective 'food halls' a must.

That's just for starters though...

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 20:14:41

Think we need to stay longer!! Or not sleep! Teens love Harry Potter.. One teen very keen to go to 'sales' on Boxing Day but getting her up in time might be fun and she will last half hour once we get there!

WaccaWacca Mon 22-Aug-16 20:16:30

flowers for you. Sounds like a lovely plan to create some happy memories. Hope you have a wonderful time.

Potentialmadcatlady Mon 22-Aug-16 20:20:50

Thankyou everyone and Thankyou for the flowers Wacca..just want them to have a happy end to the year one they will remember for the right reasons instead of sad ones

Avebury Mon 22-Aug-16 21:52:10

Sky Garden is always fun especially if you book tickets at dusk and can see all the lights coming on.

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