The most magical time of the year: Christmas! The lights are going up, the nights are getting chillier, and the smell of cinnamon, chestnuts and all things Christmassy is gracing the crisp December air. Whether this is your first festive season in London, or you are just looking for new things to do, here are 10 things to do in London during Christmas.
1. Explore the Christmas Markets
Possibly one of my favourite things to do during this time of year: explore the different Christmas markets. Full of hand-crafted gifts, hot chocolates galore, live performances and lots more, there’s nothing quite like a Christmas market to get you in the festive spirit. There are many to choose from, so you’re really spoiled for choice! Some of my favourites are the Kingston Market, Leicester Square Market, Southbank Winter Festival and Christmas by the River (next to Tower Bridge).
2. Roehampton’s Christmas Dinner
For a festive evening close to home, pop in to your college’s Christmas Dinner! Go with friends and meet other people from your college over food and drink. What could be better? Be sure to check in with your college’s social media pages with updates on dates and times for your Christmas Dinner. Some tickets are already on sale, so go to the Roehampton eStore to get your tickets now! (estore.roehampton.ac.uk)
3. Ice Skating
Whether you’re showing off your skating skills or you’re a Bambi on ice (like me) and just want a good time with your friends, get yourself to the rink this Christmas! To skate with a view, why not check out the rinks at Hampton Court Palace, Somerset House and the Natural History Museum.
4. See the Christmas Lights
A nice (and free) activity: go for a walk or make time in your day out to see some of the best Christmassy lights in London. Some of the most famous include the lights on Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden. Marvel at the lights this Christmas (and get some shopping done whilst you’re at it!)
5. UR Official Tree Lighting
Speaking of lights, why not come to the University of Roehampton’s official tree lighting? There will be one at The Quad from 3:45pm-4:15pm on Thursday 5th December, so make sure you’re on campus to see it!
6. Christmas at Kew
This really deserves at category of its own: Christmas at Kew is truly beautiful. Colourful light shows, music and Christmas drinks for all, you’re in for a truly magical experience (and a great Instagram photo!). Tickets start from £18.
7. Volunteer and spread Christmas cheer
Why not volunteer this Christmas and help the less fortunate or those alone during this time of year? There are plenty of charities around London that need volunteers or donations, so be sure to get involved and make a difference this Christmas. You can even get involved on campus: Growhampton hosted a ‘Thriftmas’ event in November at the Hive Café, in which they raised £130 for the Brixton Soup Kitchen through food and special guests who shared their creations. Keep your eyes peeled for more opportunities like this. Be conscious this Christmas.
8. Christmas-themed Movie Night
Take movie night to another level this Christmas: take your movie nights out of the dorm room in places you never expected. The Clapham Grand offers Christmas movie screenings, such as ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Love Actually’, so get yourself a ticket and do movie nights differently.
9. UR Carol Service
Do you really want to up your Christmas cheer? Join in on the University Carols Service on Thursday 5th December at 4:15pm in The Quad, later leading into Digby Chapel (at 5:00pm). Open to all! Check your college’s social media sites for more events happening this Christmas.
10. Winter Wonderland
Old but gold. You can’t really have a list like this and not include Winter Wonderland, can you? But with good reason: it’s everything you want in one place! You’ve got a massive Christmas market, rides, street food, hot chocolate, mulled wine, twinkling lights dotted around the area and an ice rink! Most importantly, there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s your first time or your tenth, you can’t have a Christmas in London without Winter Wonderland.