The time has finally come to don your cosiest coat, scarf & gloves, and brave the winter chill. But fear not, we've put together a list of some fantastic festive events in London that are well worth embracing the cold!
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, Kensington, Nov 22 - Jan 06
You know that Christmas has arrived when Winter Wonderland comes to town. This year it includes a huge ice rink, two circuses, an observation wheel and the Magical Ice Kingdom, plus PLENTY of ski-lodge and festive themed bars for the grown-ups.
Harry Potter in the Snow, Leavesden, Watford, Nov 17 - Dec 31 and beyond
The Harry Potter studio tours get a festive makeover once more this Winter, with Christmas trees and a seasonal feast in the Great Hall, decorations in Gryffindor common room and snow drifts in Diagon Alley. Visitors will also be able to get up close with the different types of snow used during production. Remember to wrap up warm. Personalised knitted jumpers optional.
Chiswick House & Garden, Burlington Lane, Nov 15 - Dec 30
If you’re looking for an antidote to London’s traditional Christmas lights, head to Chiswick House and Gardens for the Magical Lantern Festival between Nov 24 – Jan 01. Between other dates listed, the gardens will be host to a super slick light display in the ancient 18th-century grounds. There's also tons of amazing food trucks and pop-up bars where you'll be able to warm up (and fill up) after the 45-minute trail.
The Gingerbread City is an annual exhibition where architects, designers and engineers create an city made entirely of gingerbread - YUM.
Look out for gingerbread house making workshops throughout the duration of the show (and try not to nibble on the creation!).
Disney’s Aladdin, Prince Edwards Theatre, Oct 27 - Mar 30
You can't beat a classic Disney film at Christmas time, or a panto, and Aladdin covers both! Whilst not quite in traditional panto format, Disney's Aladdin has "landed triumphantly in London's West End" (Daily Telegraph). Featuring all the songs from the Academy Award-winning classic film, this musical spectacle is everything you could wish for and more.
Watch a bunch of hardy folk try not to freeze in this Christmas Day swimming race in Hyde Park.
This one's strictly a spectator event (unless you happen to be a hardy member of the Serpentine Swimming Club).
Stylist Live, Olympia, London, Nov 09 - 11
Stylist Live brings together everything about Stylist magazine to life across three days. With tons of talks from experts, interviews with celebs and icons from the fashion world, some hilarious comedy acts, delicious food (and plenty to drink), and beauty and fashion exclusives. This is definitely one for the diary!
Merry Christmas, baby! The world's biggest Bruce Springsteen-dedicated night is back to spread all its festive cheer. Spinning the king's epic back catalogue of hits all night, expect live tracks, rarities and the biggest hits, it's not to be missed by any Springsteen fan (and the perfect excuse for a drink and a boogie with your BFFs).
Tower of London Ice Rink, Tower Hill, Nov 23 - Jan 06
A fabulous opportunity to get whizzing around one of London’s most famous landmarks. Located in the dry moat, the Tower of London ice rink offers a grand historical setting for seasonal skating sessions, along with views of London's ancient fortress and the river Thames.
The Greatest Snowman, Arch 63 Pedley Street, various dates from Nov 17
This Christmas join an eclectic group of passengers for the journey of a lifetime, filled with adventure, fun and great food. A unique immersive dining & theatre Christmas experience set on board the North Pole Express.
There's nothing better to get you in the Christmas mood than a dance off with your best pals... Silent Sounds provides you with the winning combo of silent disco, and boat party! Take in the best Thames-side views of London's most iconic landmarks, aboard the impressive two-storey Dutch Master. Departing from the Tower Millennium Pier opposite the Tower of London.
For the perfect Christmas outing, head to Hackney Downs Studios where they'll be putting on quite the spread of great films to get you in the festive spirit. Catch everyone's fave Christmas classics like Elf, Home Alone (1 & 2), Love Actually and Miracle on 34th Street.
Hundreds will be stripping down to their swimsuits as they take part in the traditional Christmas Day swim at the Hampstead Heath ponds. Are you brave enough?
Southbank Centre Wintertime Festival, Southbank, Nov 09 – Dec 27
Stock up on festive food and tipples, unique gifts, stocking fillers and treats. The market is just one part of the Wintertime at Southbank Centre festival.
The Big London Bake - Christmas Bake Off, Tooting, various dates in Nov and Dec
Challenge your friends at London's first pop up bake off! All the ingredients are good to go, a top baker at your side, an irresistible Christmas baking theme, an unforgettable experience and one winner. It’s time to unleash your competitive cooking streak (and more importantly, eat lots of cake).
Winterville Festival, Clapham Common, Nov 15-30
Street Feast, Backyard Cinema, Plonk Golf, an Ice Rink and the Solo Craft Fair Christmas Market will be popping up at WInterville Festival. Plus the Common will play host to the Spiegeltent that will be packed full with party people like Chivaree Circus, Lucha Britannia Mexican Wrestling, Mariah & Friends and the Mighty Hoopla’s Christmas Jumpergeddon!