London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Christmas in London with kids is such a joyous affair and we are all spoilt again with choices – so much wintery fun to be had! Here are our favourites and our best winter selection over the years and updated for 2021. After 2020 lockdowns, December in London with children is thankfully back to the usual feasts and treats!
Christmas at Kew returns in 2021 with over one million glittering lights, a celebration of nature by night and wonder of biodiversity. Start the festive season with a spectacular shows light by the Temperate House and Palm House, alongside installations on the Lake and across Kew’s Arboretum, 2021 at Kew is just WOW!
For more lights and festive cheer, we warmly recommend Silverstone Lap of Lights : the heart of British motor racing spoiled us with over 400 laser beams, 400,000 festive light pixels and a trip around the world – all with a self drive by the iconic Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit. And it is very difficult to say which one got us more festive and more excited after: Silverstone lodge full of winter fun: children’s cinema, racing games, curling , ‘Santa’s letter’ corner, live concerts, great food and drinks or Silverstone iceskating: an illuminated rink that is built in and around the Formula 1 garages and pit lane.
Iceskating at Royal Palaces. Our favourites tested historically have been Hampton Court, Queens House Greenwich and Tower of London icerinks. A Royal palace in the background illuminated magically with festive lights, Hampton Court is superbly atmospherical and quintessence of London heritage and festive fun.
We were very lucky to be invited on a Sunday afternoon – not too crowded but just about the right ratio of iceskaters and kids. The mulled wine and hot chocolate after are the regular treat and we loved sipping them over the magic lights and ice glimmering on Hampton Court Palace, Henry VIII’s historic home.
Tower of London icerink similarly breathes history and more festive fun but in 2021 will not re-open, some major renovations on, so hopefully back in 2022.
We raved about extensively in here: one feels blessed to take in the dramatic setting of the fortress beside the Thames whilst whizzing around on ice in one of London’s most famous landmarks!
Christmas shows. We love to start the winter festivities season with the Snowman at the Peacock theatre – what a treat! Our eldest adored it at 6, 5 and 4, no doubt his favourite part was the flying above mountains to the North Pole! For me the music is superb and la mise en scene simply fantastic -tears in my eyes at the end every time, very emotional and Christmassy. Dedicated article in here.
Pair it with Covent Garden for more festive fun, an iconic market and street entertainers – an absolute must see Christmas in London with kids.
For scrumptious lunches nearby for sushi lovers, we adore Sushi Samba overlooking Covent Garden or Sticks and Sushi for something more casual.
And whilst we are talking about gastro treats December in London with kids, the afternoon teas are particularly festive and joyous and One Aldwych afternoon tea themed Charlie and the Chocolate factory must be our favourite.
Christmas in London with kids will not be Christmas without Royal Albert Hall and what an array of magic shows and performances have been lined up at this iconic institution!
Father Christmas at the Hall has been a favourite for years and 2021 will bring to the Hall the revamped version including a Sleigh!
We were very lucky to have in our diaries as well My Christmas Orchestral Adventure and The Snowman and Paddington Bear – both of them fabulous, wrote about in here. My Christmas Orchestral Adventure introduces kids to classical music via a full symphony orchestra and encouraging them to sing, dance and join in as they help getting Santa’s map ahead of the Big Delivery on Christmas Eve!
The Snowman and Paddington Bear live in concert as one could guess, celebrates two national institutions. And for a wonderful arty wrap up, look no further than Nutcracker wonderfully performed by Birmingham Royal Ballet – a three generations treat that we raved about extensively in here. All these shows make also sparkling Christmas gift ideas – so much better than toys going in a cupboard ! No tidy up needed either – true festive magic points!
Huddle at Unicorn Theatre was another Christmas treat and a precious memory as we attempted a first time 4 of us at a show, including one energetic and 2 years old troublemaker. 2021 Unicorn Theatre shows are in here.
For more festive arts and crafts head to the Gingerbread City Exhibition – architects, builders, engineers – big and young kids alike in the busy stunning Sommerset House. In 2021 GingerBread City pops up 4 December 2021 to 9 January 2022 in Belgravia and we are counting down once again ! This year the theme is nature in the City as a theme is brilliant and the green and ecological side very COP26 and topical, we all need more of it for so many reasons! We are so looking forward to seeing once again gingerbread landscapes in their innovative and spectacular ways and hoping we could chip in with 1 creation or 2 in dough and icing with eco-buildings and healthier and greener infrastructure.
For another winter classic close to Belgravia, National History Museum icerink needs little introduction. Sadly on its last year, we loved over the years its gorgeous backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse’s building, fairy lights, Austrian chalet set up and vibes just above the icerink.
What else do we have planned for December in London ? There’s Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park with its endless entertainment options, from Nutcracker on Ice to Circus, to its many rides and cute and lively Bavarian villages.
What do YOU have planned or YOU’d like to hear about? Have a lovely festive December ALL!