What's New in December

What's New in December: WhatsNewDecember

In December, the UK capital transforms into a sparkling winter wonderland full of pop-up ice rinks, festive Christmas markets and dazzling light displays. From special Christmas theatre specials to other festive goings-on, there’s plenty to enjoy in London before the new year celebrations ring in 2020.

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Festive Events

Santa in the City

City of London, 5 December 2019

Santa in the City is London’s iconic 5k Santa Run. Back with a bang in 2019 this year’s festive Santa Run starts at 7pm at Millennium Bridge. Runners will speed past some of the world’s most iconic locations dressed as Father Christmas. For more information, contact sata@tfaltd.co.uk

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree Lighting

Trafalgar Square, 5 December 2019 – 4 January 2020

Every year since 1947, the people of Norway have gifted the people of London a Christmas tree which takes pride of place in Trafalgar Square over the festive season. The tree is usually a Norwegian Spruce standing at over 20m high and 50-60 years old. It is carefully selected from the forests surrounding Oslo several months in advance. Don’t miss the lighting of the world’s most famous Christmas tree. For more information, contact mayorspressoffice@london.gov.uk

Woolwich Winter Warmer 

Woolwich Town Centre and the Royal Arsenal, 7 December 2019

Join the Woolwich Town Centre and Royal Arsenal as they host festive activities, entertainment and a sparkline lantern parade. Grab bargains at the high street stops and stop by to say hello to the special guest of honour – Santa! For more information, contact artsgreenwich@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

The Great Christmas Pudding Race 

Covent Garden, 7 December 2019

One of the most exciting events of the Christmas season, this charity fun-run takes place in London’s iconic Covent Garden, helping to raise vital funds for the charity Cancer Research UK. Teams in fantastic fancy-dress costumes race to compete the festive course, navigating obstacles such as a giant inflatable slide and a crazy foam slalom all whist balancing a Christmas Pudding on a tray. For more information, contact Helena@xmaspuddingrace.org.uk

Sail with Santa on the Thames with City Cruises 

River Thames, 7 – 22 December 2019

Experience the magic of London at Christmas from a special viewpoint – the Thames itself! While elves serve festive treats onboard, littles ones each receive a gift from Father Christmas. Adults can enjoy river views and indulge in delicious mulled wine and mince pies. For more information, contact samuels@citycruises.com

London Santa Run

Victoria Park, 8 December 2019

Hitch up your sleigh for London’s largest Santa Run and bring a flash of red to the streets of London with thousands of runners dressed as Santa Claus. Run the course once for 5k or run it twice to complete 10k and burn off those mince pies. For more information, visit https://londonsantarun.co.uk/the-run/

Enchanted Eltham Palace 

Eltham Palace, 12 – 15 December 2019

Once a favoured medieval palace and then the childhood home of Henry VII, Eltham Palace was transformed into a striking Art Deco mansion by eccentric millionaires Stephen and Virginia Courtauld in the 1900s. Explore the stunning historic landscape lit up after dark with the return of their popular enchanting evening, with an illuminated trail, interactive colour displays and fairground rides. For more information, contact press@english-heritage.org.uk

Frost Fair festival

Museum of London Docklands, 21 – 22 December 2019

When the River Thames would freeze over, many years ago, huge celebrations called Frost Fairs were held on the ice. Join the Museum of London Docklands for a weekend of festivities recreating the magic of these special festivals, with interactive games and workshops, enchanting performances and arts and crafts. For more information, contact press@museumoflondon.org.uk

The Peter Pan Cup

Hyde Park, 25 December 2019

Watch one of the more unusual London events in December, as brave outdoor swimmers compete in the icy waters of the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park at the annual Christmas Day race. Swimmers have met in London’s Hyde Park on Christmas morning since 1864 to compete. For more information, contact serpentineswimmingclub@gmail.com

London New Year’s Eve fireworks

Thames Riverside, 31 December 2019

Hear Big Ben’s famous “bongs” ring out at midnight on New Year’s Eve in London, followed by the UK’s largest annual fireworks display over the Coca-Cola London Eye, presented by the Mayor of London. Tickets have now sold out, but there will be another chance to get tickets – stay tuned. For more information, contact mayorspressoffice@london.gov.uk

Exhibitions

London Is Love

Southbank Centre, 6 December 2019 – 5 January 2020

London and its diverse and pioneering communities are revealed and celebrated in a dynamic photographic project by artist Liz Johnson Artur exploring the nuances of south London life. The exhibition includes photographs displayed on a large scale across the windows of Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, including rolling projections across the building façade. For more information, contact press@southbankcentre.co.uk

ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition

The O2, 6 December 2019 – 31 August 2020

ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition brings to life the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation, ABBA. This new and immersive exhibition charts the band’s music, lyrics, creative process and influence as one of the most iconic pop icons of the modern age. Transforming the traditional exhibition experience, this interpretation of the ABBA journey will take visitors and fans into the heart of the stories of each band member. For more information, contact communications.team@theo2.co.uk

Entertainment & Theatre

Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

Royal Albert Hall, 3 – 31 December

Christmas is a magical time to celebrate together at the Royal Albert Hall. With a full line-up of solo stars, sing-along carols, traditional concerts and a classic ballet, there’s something for everyone at the Hall this festive season. For more information and a full line-up of events, contact rickb@royalalberthall.com

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

London Palladium, 7 Dec – 12 January 2019

Join a star-studded cast for the annual festive family pantomime at the London Palladium. Dame Betty Barnum and her daughter Goldilock’s circus is under threat from an evil rival circus owner. All seems lost until three bears join the gang! This year’s Christmas production includes stars Paul O’Grady, Matt Baker and Julian Clary. For more information, contact info@thepalladium.net

Carol Singing at Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square, 9 – 24 December 2019

From Monday 9 to Tuesday 24 December 2019 (excluding 14 and 22 December), over 40 carol singing groups will gather beneath the famous Trafalgar Square Christmas tree to delight bystanders. Performances will take place from 4-9pm on weekdays, and from 2-7pm on weekends. For more information, contact mayorspressoffice@london.gov.uk

English National Ballet’s Nutcracker

London Coliseum, 11 December 2019 – 5 January 2020

Step into a magical world where toys come to life in the annual production of the Nutcracker. More than 100 dancers and musicians tell the story of a young girl’s Christmas adventure that begins in snowy Edwardian London. For more information, contact press@ballet.org.uk

Nativity! The Musical 

Eventim Apollo, 11 – 29 December 2019

Chuckle at a primary school’s hapless attempt to put together a festive production during Nativity! The Musical. Based on the Christmas film series, this family-friendly stage adaptation features many of its catchy tunes, including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth and One Night One Moment. For more information, contact simon@rawpr.co.uk

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Alexandra Palace Theatre, 13 December 2019 – 5 January 2020

Catch this hilarious farce at the newly reopened Alexandra Palace Theatre this winter. Watch the clumsy members of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society disastrously attempt to put together a production of J.M. Barrie’s most famous tale, in West End smash hit Peter Pan Goes Wrong. For more information, contact press@alexandrapalace.com

Circus 1903

Southbank Centre, 19 December – 5 January 2020

Step back in time to the golden age of the circus, with daredevils, acrobats and even life-size elephants thanks to the expert puppeteers behind stage phenomenon War Horse. Circus 1903 returns to the Southbank for a special Christmas season. For more information, contact press@southbankcentre.co.uk 

Food & Drink

Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre 

Hampton Court Palace, 6 – 8 December 2019

Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre is a stunning festive food lover’s wonderland, full of delicious artisan food and drink and inspiring seasonal cookery demonstrations. Eat, drink, shop and be merry, all whilst soaking up the atmosphere and spirit of the season. For more information, contact hrpfoodfestivals@riverstreetevents.co.uk

Muse

Belgravia, Date TBA – December 2019

Opening its doors in December 2019, Tom Aikens’ new restaurant space. Muse, a cosy 25-seater renovated mews house in Belgravia. Tom will be drawing inspiration from poignant memories of his early childhood and professional path throughout the years when creating the seasonal, stripped-back tasting menu. For more information, contact info@tomskitchen.co.uk


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