December in London: What not to miss

Monday 11 December 2017 by Jessica Mendoza

Check out the events in London this December that really are the crème de la crème of seasonal activities.

 

December is always a special time of year with plenty of seasonal events taking place, so it’s not surprising that London is no exception. In fact, the capital is brimming with Christmas and wintry activities, meaning you wouldn’t run out of exciting things to do, even if you booked your serviced apartment stay for the entire month.

 

So, which ones stand out from the crowd? Here’s five of the best:

 

Greenwich Wintertime Festival – Old Royal Naval College – December 1st to 31st

Throughout the whole of December, you can enjoy a wonderful wintry experience in a historic part of Greenwich. With the Old Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark as a backdrop, you’re bound to be charmed by the surroundings. Then there’s all the things to do – from ice skating below the twinkling lights and browsing the Christmas market; enjoying artisan street food at the Greenwich Kitchen and catching a screening of The Snowman, accompanied by live music. You can even meet Santa Claus.

Tickets to the festival are priced at £8.80 for children and between £16.50 - £19.80 for adults.

 

Magical Lantern Festival – Chiswick House and Gardens – until January 1st

Brighten up a dark night with a visit to the Magical Lantern Festival. This incredible display of handmade lanterns takes the craft to a whole new dimension. From Father Christmas to an ancient Chinese Song Dynasty-era city, it’s all made out of sculptures that light up. The kids will love the colourful characters – penguins, dolphins and snowmen – while the adults will enjoy the street food market and pop-up bar.

Children’s tickets start at £10, while an adult’s entry starts at £16.50 and family packages begin at £48.

 

Dali/Duchamp – Royal Academy of Arts – until January 3rd

Spanish surrealist Salvador Dali needs little introduction, but the name Marcel Duchamp may not be as familiar. Even if you haven’t heard of the man who practically invented conceptualism himself, you’re probably aware of the time he put a urinal in a gallery and called it art! Despite coming from opposite ends of the artistic spectrum, the two men became friends and this exhibition brings their work together for the first time. Expect to see some iconic pieces among the 80 items on display.

Entry is priced at £15.

 

Peter Pan Cup – Hyde Park Lake – December 25th

If you like to blow the cobwebs away before doing anything else on Christmas morning, then taking a walk around Hyde Park could be perfect. Head to the lake for 9am and you’ll find members of the Serpentine Swimming Club doing something even more refreshing than just clearing their minds. Since 1864, swimmers have plunged into the icy waters on Christmas Day to compete for a gold medal. In 1904, novelist JM Barrie donated a trophy and the ritual has become known as the Peter Pan Cup ever since.

It’s free to spectate at the Peter Pan Cup.

 

New Year’s Eve: Under the Sea – Natural History Museum – December 31st

Say goodbye to December and 2017 for that matter with a unique celebration in one of London’s most fantastic museums. Taking inspiration from the massive blue whale skeleton that has been installed in the Hintze Hall, the National History Museum is throwing an under the sea-themed New Year’s extravaganza. Dance the night away in these incredible surroundings, sip on ocean-inspired cocktails and play musical bingo.

Tickets cost £129 for non-members and £116 for those affiliated with the museum.

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