Christmas lights 2016 on Oxford street

How to spend a festive weekend in London as a family

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During the festive season, London is a great place for families. Whether you’re able to visit for a day or an overnight break, find out what’s on in London this weekend.

Go on a tour of the Christmas lights

If you’re visiting as a family then the likelihood is that you want to keep the costs down where possible. Although London can be an expensive city to visit there are plenty of things to do that don’t cost a penny!

If you want to see more traditional lights, head to Regent Street or Oxford Street. Carnaby Street will be right up your alley for a more modern take on Christmas lights. By the time it gets dark though children might be quite tired. Why not hop on a London bus, for an alternative way to see the Christmas lights?

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

One of the ultimate Christmas experiences in London is to go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. After booking entry for a specific timeslot, you can then stay for as long as you like. Winter Wonderland has so many different attractions, each costing different amounts. There’s ice skating, the giant wheel, Circus and the Christmas market, just to name a few. What will you choose to do?

See a festive show

London, no matter when, is one of the best places to see a show. At Christmas there’s even more to see, especially for families. This year you can see shows such as Frozen the Musical, The Snowman, Elf!, The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol – A Ghost Story. For a younger audience, The Gruffalo’s Child or Father Christmas Needs a Wee might be more appropriate. Many shows have matinees as well as evening performances.

Hogwarts in the Snow

Harry Potter has recently come to be known as a Christmas film. Between mid November and mid January you can experience Hogwarts in the Snow at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. The wizarding world is transformed into a winter wonderland and you’re able to discover the magic of how the films were made. Tickets must be booked in advance online.

Christmas at Kew

Light trails are a popular aspect of Christmas now and Kew Gardens has an impressive event this year. Tickets need to be booked online, with timeslots starting at 4:20pm. A highlight of the trail at Kew Gardens is Snapper, the Venus Fly Trap from the John Lewis Christmas advert.

Visit with Santa

Each year, thousands of children visit Santa in London, making special trips to do so. There are so many different options for seeing Santa in London, from department stores to tourist attractions.

I really love the idea of seeing Santa in some really different places. The Museum of London has Santa in a Victorian Grotto, London Zoo children can learn to be Santa’s little helpers at elf school or see Santa at the London Transport Museum. For something really different, why not see Shrek as Santa at Shrek’s Adventure!

Marvel at the shop displays

Something I love doing at Christmas is seeing how the different shops have been decorated. Many of the more well-known shops will have huge displays that people travel to go and see each year. A few favourites to go and see include Harrods, Liberty London, Selfridges and Fornum & Mason. Some shops will also have special Christmas items. We have a tradition of buying one special bauble each year, and London is the ideal place to do this.

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