Things to do in London this Weekend (22-23 December)
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With Christmas fast approaching, and the holiday season amongst us, we’re all hurriedly looking for things to do! Well, to save you the trouble this weekend, we wanted to compile together some of our favourite happenings around the Capital so you can enjoy the Christmas season rather than worry about planning what to do.
These are a selection of events that will be running all weekend, or things that you can do whenever.
Enjoy Christmas at the London Zoo
There will be a winding light festival throughout the London Zoo, once its inhabitants have drifted off to sleep. There will be animal-shaped lanterns, light tunnels which are great for photos, and a Christmas tree made of sledges. There will also be a choreographed light show in the famous former penguin pool, which is now a listed building.
The event runs until the 1st January, and tickets are £16.50 (child £10.50).
Do you know what wassailing is? Neither did we. It’s a Medieval Christmastide drinking ritual to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year. If you’re looking forward to some hot mulled cider then make your way down to the Shakespeare’s Globe for a more modern twist on this holiday ritual. There’s be drinks, family-friendly shows of stories, dancing and music.
22-23 December (Tickets £5-35).
Make your own Christmas Cards
If you’re considering visiting the Museum of London Docklands, then this weekend would be a good time to go. For the whole weekend, the museum is inviting children to make their own Christmas cards inspired by the museum’s winter celebrations. What’s more? The event is free, all you have to do is turn up.
22-23 December. Free event.
Step on the ice!
If you’re an avid ice skater, or never tried it, then make sure to pay the ice rinks popping up around London a visit. Twirl and glide to rejuvenate yourself whilst you’re Christmas shopping. Get yourself some exercise and then head to the nearby cafes and bars for a quick drink.
The ice rinks will be busy this weekend, so it’s normally best to try and book ahead.
Best Events of Saturday 22nd December
Baileys Treat Bar
This bar serves a selection of hot and cold boozy drinks. Sip on a Bailey’s spiked latte or hot chocolate, or go full festive and drink Bailey’s from a chocolate reindeer. Saturday will be the final day of this pop-up bar in Short Gardens (Seven Dials).
The event is free, and drinks start from £6. 12pm – 10pm.
Home Alone at the Royal Albert Hall
A classic Christmas film brought to live in the Royal Albert Hall. The film will be screened with the score performed live by the Cinematic Sinfonia and the Crouch End Festival Chorus.
Tickets between £19-£60. The event takes place from 2.30-7pm.
If you’re curious to see some history of the city, take a walk and visit parts of London familiar to Charles Dickens, and see some of the buildings and streets that sinpired his work. This guided walk is wonderful, and also includes readings from his novels as you go around.
It starts at St George the Martyr (Borough), and costs £12/£9.
Best Events of Sunday 23rd December
A Christmas Carol
175 years from when it was published, A Christmas Carol is still a wonderful story that is retold every Christmas. Hear a complete and unabridged readong of it, as it was first written by Charles Dickens in 1843, read by actor Dominic Gerrard in the author’s former home.
Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury). Tickets are £60.
Escape some of the madness of the festive season and visit the tropical conservatory in London. Wander amongst 2000 species of places and trees, and keep an eye out for the terrapins!
The tropical conservatory is free entry, and can be found in the Barbican Centre. The event takes place between 12pm and 5pm.