8 things to do with kids in London this Christmas
Whether you live in the capital or are planning a special trip, there are LOADS of festive things to see and do across the city this Christmas
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1. Head to the Southbank for some <klaxon> free festive
Get your Christmas hit in one quick fix at the Southbank
Christmas market. It's heavy on
atmosphere (think mulled wine, chestnuts, handicraft stalls and
entertainers) but light on the wallet (aside from any purchases, obvs).
"Definitely go to the Christmas market on the Southbank - it's lovely in the
evening with all the lights, the views of Parliament etc."
"Southbank Christmas market is cheaper than Winter Wonderland - and just as
2. Release your inner Torvil (or Bambi)
Zoom around some of London's finest
landmarks with an evening
session. This year you'll find rinks in the moat at
the Tower of London, in front of the Natural History Museum, opposite
the London Eye and in the grounds of Somerset House and Hampton
"I'd really recommend ice-skating. Somerset House and the Natural History
Museum are both lovely, but you'll need to book in advance."
3. Blow the budget with a family show
Watching a West End show is a fantastic Christmas treat, but alas, one that doesn't come cheap. Check out the likes of LoveTheatre.com
for promotions and discounted prices; if you haven't got your heart set on a specific show, head to the Leicester Square theatre ticket booth
on the day and see what's still available.
"We saw Matilda
last Christmas Eve, and it was fantastic!"
4. Take 'em to a toy shop
Brace yourself against the crowds and head to one of London's big department
stores for a mooch around the toy department. Yes, we know it will be
busy, but think of the children a
nd the large G&T
you've promised yourself afterwards: this is the stuff of childhood
"Harrods' toy department is excellent, even if you don't get tickets for
5. Escape the madness for a civilised evening in Kew
Head out to Kew for some magical Christmas illuminations - think dancing
fountains and a tunnel of lights, rather than gaudy Santas and comedy
"Kew Gardens do a really magical night with incredible lights and toasting
marshmallows on fires. Much much nicer than Winter Wonderland."
6. Fa la
la la la, la la la la
What could be more festive than belting out a few carols by
candlelight? Many churches and venues across the capital will be
holding special carol concerts - a favourite with Mumsnetters is the
centrally located St. Martin in the Fields
can also be really magical for chamber music concerts. It's a beautiful venue and very
close to Oxford Street."
7. Go walking in a Winter Wonderland
Mumsnetters are divided when it comes to London's Winter Wonderland
: some love
the bustling atmosphere and attractions, others can't
bear the crowds and the additional costs once you're
through the gate. Have a think about whether it's your sort of thing before you go - and understand that you'll be spending more than just the cost of the entrance tickets.
"My children were two and six last time we went, and although I kept them on a tight leash I easily spent £40 on the (baby) rides. We didn't buy much
food. It is quite nice though and I'm looking forward to going back."
8. Just... mooch
<Whispers> There's plenty to see without having to hoof to a specific Christmas-themed attraction. Mumsnetters suggest bagging a seat at the front of a double-decker for a trip down Oxford or Regent Street to admire the lights. Alternatively, stop by Selfridges or Harrods for a
nosey at the festively dressed windows, soak up the atmosphere
in Covent Garden or head to Trafalgar Square to se the ginormous tree.
"How about a walking tour of the best Christmas lights and shop windows - that will
keep everyone happy (tip: your partner can take the kids for emergency hot
chocolate breaks while you do a swift bit of shopping)."
about 1 year