There’s a lot to get done over the Christmas season. And while it’s wonderful to have the kids around the house, sometimes you just need to get on with the festive chores in peace. Send your other half, parents, or babysitter with your kids along to some of these London Christmas events, and get on with wrapping the presents and readying the house.
Rumour has it there is more than one Santa in London this Christmas… Kids always love visiting the man in red, and the choice of Santa’s grottos this year is immense. The Harrods Christmas Grotto is set in a magical Harry Potter style library, and children get to take away a book, badge and chocolate. At London Zoo, there’s the chance to meet not only Santa and his helpers, but to pet the reindeer too! Another option is to step back in time at the Museum of London Docklands, where Santa is waiting in a mock-up of Victorian London.
Christmas season means panto season. As ever, London is hosting a heap of them. Catch the London-based classic Dick Whittington at Sadler’s Wells and at The Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Aladdin seems to be everywhere this year; pantomimes include those at the Courtyard Theatre, New Wimbledon Theatre, and Questors Theatre. Otherwise, Henry Winkler is playing Hook at Richmond Theatre (not that your kids will recognize him) and X-Factor winner Joe McElderry has his panto debut in Cinderella at the Beck Theatre in Middlesex.
Is there anything that kids find more enchanting than Hogwarts? How about Hogwarts in the Snow. Right now, Warner Bros studios is festooned with trees, holly, (fake) food and tonnes of snow (fake too, unfortunately). This is the first time Warner Bros has dressed the attraction up in the festive spirit, and children are guaranteed to be enraptured by it. There’s even the chance to see the hand-knitted jumpers that Molly Weasley gave Ron and Harry for Christmas.
If the children are old enough for it, ice skating is an ideal Christmas acitvity, and it’ll wear them out too, making them less hassle when they get home! Ice rinks are already dotted all over the capital. The Natural History Museum and Somerset House are firm favourites. But there are plenty of other offerings too, including the one at Canary Wharf (part of the ice path here goes underneath trees), Hampton Court Palace (which could be tied in with a whole day out), and Eyeskate (no other pun was even considered for this rink below the iconic London Eye).