Kick-start the Christmas season with live theatre, beguiling light displays and cinema screenings with a Yuletide twist
Rooftop Winter Cinema at The Berkeley, Knightsbridge
The Berkeley hotel has once again transformed its prestigious rooftop into a festive forest, festooned with twinkling lights and lanterns. Hunker down beneath a heated blanket in a log cabin and enjoy warming hot drinks, freshly made mince pies, mulled wine and festive films. Classic screenings include Miracle on 34th Street and The Nutcracker. If you're looking for a memorable festive date, this is it.
Date: 1-31 December Time: 5.15pm and 7.30pm Price: £75 per person, including food and hot drinks Location: The Berkeley Hotel, Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RL Closest Station: Knightsbridge
After Dark at Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick
For the first time, Chiswick House Gardens will be illuminated by a series of light installations, transforming the 18th century property into a beguiling showcase of light and sound. The dog-friendly trail is complemented by a curated soundtrack and the option of warming food and drinks. In addition to this, After Dark will host an exclusive supperclub, held within a heated undercover area of the gardens.
Date: 15 November-18 December Time: 5pm-10pm (Thursdays-Sundays) Price: From £15.50 for an adult, £8 for a child Location: Chiswick House and Gardens Trust, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 2RP Closest Station: Chiswick
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
The iconic Winter Wonderland is once again transforming Hyde Park into a twinkling paradise of Christmas entertainment. Lose yourself in the array of seasonal markets, hone your ice-sculpting skills in a creative workshop and find your inner-child on one of the many rides. This festive extravaganza, frequented by adults and children of all ages, is sure to ignite Christmas spirit in even the most reluctant of scrooges.
Date: 22 November-6 January Time: 10am-10pm Price: Free Entry Location: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2 Closest Station: Green Park
The Snowman, Sadler's Wells
Sadler's Wells presents The Snowman, back in the West End this winter for its 21st year. Based upon the iconic book by Raymond Briggs, the heartwarming show will transport young and old into a magical winter wonderland of joyful costumes, dramatic sets and meticulous dance, set to a live orchestra. Directed by Bill Alexander, with music and lyrics by Howard Blake – including the infamous Walking in the Air – and choreography by Robert North, this uplifting Christmas classic will leave you glowing.
Date: 22 November-6 January Time: Varies Price: From £15 Location: Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT Closest Station: Holborn Website: sadlerswells.com
The Enchanted Woodland, Syon Park
Syon Park's historic 600-year-old gardens, ornamental lake and observatory are once again aglow this winter. Wrap up warm and enjoy a woodland walk like no other, resplendent with vivid colour. The light show is accompanied by music and warming drinks from the Garden Kitchen Restaurant. As the name suggests, you will be utterly enchanted.
Date: 9-25 November Time: 5pm-9pm Price: From £10 for an adult, £5 for a child, Free for under 2s Location: Syon House, Brentford, TW8 8JF Closest Station: Syon Lane
Oblix Wonderland, London Bridge
Oblix East, located the on the 32nd floor of the Shard, has been transformed into a glittering festive wonderland, replete with twinkling lights, frosty branches and a signature dash of oriental opulence. The beguiling decor is complemented by a bespoke cocktail menu created in partnership with Hendrick’s Gin and panoramic views over London.
Date: 22 November-1 January Location: Oblix East, Level 32, The Shard, SE1 9RY Closest Station: London Bridge Website: oblixrestaurant.com
Alpine Winter Club, Winterland
Fulham's riverside pop-up, Winterland, is revamped this year as an Alpine Winter Club, with all the seasonal trimmings. Forget you're in Fulham and explore heated lodges, chairlifts and festive gondolas, accompanied by bauble-filled igloos, live music, pop-up bars and street food.
Date: 8 November- Time: 6pm-11pm (Thursday and Friday), 12pm-11pm/8pm (Saturday/Sunday) Price: From £5 Location: Neverland, Wandsworth Bridge Road Fulham,SW6 2TY Closest Station: Wandsworth Town
Neighbourhood Cinema’s Frozen Island, Covent Garden
This month, Neighbourhood Cinema is launching Frozen Island – a pop-up venue for lovers of Christmas movies. Every Sunday from 11 November until 27 January, families can watch films such as Elf, The Santa Clause, and Frozen during the afternoon showings, whilst adults can enjoy Love Actually, The Holiday, and the not-so-festive Die Hard during the 8.30pm shows. The magical winter wonderland in Covent Garden will be full of frosted palm trees, icicles, snowflakes and giant snow globes. Islanders can enjoy frozen cocktails (or mocktails) and popcorn, as well as gourmet Christmas sliders and other hot dishes. Neighbourhood Cinema has produced some hugely successful immersive cinematic experiences, and this is sure to be their next hit.
Date: 11 November-27 January Time: 12.30pm, 4.30pm, and 8.30pm Price: From £25 for an adult and £18.50 for a child Location: Tropicana Beach Club
Parker Street, London, WC2B 5PW Closest Station: Holborn
Christmas Lights Switch on Across London
London is lighting up this month, as twinkling Christmas displays turn on across the capital. Top picks include Seven Dials in Covent Garden, which will light up on 15 November and celebrate with an evening of discounts, live music and a Christmas cocktail bar pop-up. The Chelsea Christmas lights on Sloane Street will be switched on at 5pm on 17 November, following an afternoon of carol singers and festive cheer (including a rumoured appearance from Santa Clause). Mayfair celebrates the Mount Street Christmas Lights with an evening of festive tipples, nibbles and live entertainment on 22 November, alongside the unveiling of the Connaught Christmas Tree.
Date: From 6 November
All That Glitters Is Gold Pop Up at South Place Hotel, City of London
The South Place Hotel's heated outdoor Secret Garden bar has been doused in sparkle for Christmas. The All that Glitters is Gold pop-up takes its cue from infamous Studio 54 in New York, infused with retro glamour. Settle in amongst disco-balls, sequined sofas and faux sheepskin rugs and enjoy Moët & Chandon champagne, festive bites and a disco hits until late.
Date: 27 November-30 December Location: South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, EC2M 2AF Closest Station: Moorgate
The Winter City Cinema at Devonshire Club, Liverpool Street
Private members' club and boutique hotel, Devonshire Club, is opening its doors to the public every Friday for a festive film club. Enjoy al fresco screenings of Elf and Home Alone, accompanied by glowing heaters and twinkling lights. Guests can enjoy their chosen movie with a cup (or two) of infused hot chocolate, as well as warm blankets and even hot water bottles.
Date: 16 November-21 December Time: 6.30pm Price: £20 Location: 5 Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YD Closest Station: Liverpool Street
Christmas Workshops in St James's
St James's End is hosting a calendar of complimentary Christmas workshops throughout the festive season. Enjoy gingerbread decorating at The Urban Tearoom and SMEG; calligraphy classes at Aspinal of London and lino printing at Jigsaw. Each workshop provides guests with a drink on arrival, exclusive in-store promotions and a St James's goodie bag. View the complete schedule and book your place here.
Date: 15 November- 21 December Time: Varies Location: St James’s Market, SW1 Closest Station: Piccadilly Circus Website: stjameslondon.co.uk
Looking for more festive workshops in London? View our round-up HERE
A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic Theatre, Lambeth
This famous Charles Dickens' Christmas classic returns to The Old Vic theatre, following a sell-out run last year. This uplifting stage adaptation of the story of Scrooge (played by Stephen Tompkinson) is full of music, merriment and even a few mince pies.
Date: 24 November-19 January Time: Varies Location: The Old Vic, Lambeth, SE1 8NB Closest Station: Waterloo Station
It’s A Wonderful Life, cinemas across London
Capra Dickensian's Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, is being screened throughout the country in a new 4K restoration. First released in 1946, the film follows James Stewart as George Bailey, a man whose attempted suicide on Christmas Eve gains the attention of his guardian angel who shows George how much the people around him need him.
Date: 1-25 December 2018
Christmas at ZSL London Zoo
Experience something truly unique at the London Zoo this Christmas. With the animals safely tucked up in bed, explore the trail where fairy-tale meets fantasy, as illuminated animal sculptures light up the trial whilst a specially-curated festive soundtrack plays in the background. There's something for everyone as the one mile lightened path winds its way through ZSL London Zoo in a magical after-hours experience. Treat yourself to festive food and drink, as well as a little something from the gift shop, once the walk is over.
Date: 22 November-1 January Time: 4.30pm-10pm (last entry: 8.30pm) Price: From £16.50 (adult) and £10.50 (child) Location: ZSL London Zoo Regent's Park, NW1 4RY Closest Station: Camden Town