As the song goes, Christmas really is “the most wonderful time of the year” – especially if you are living in London. If you are going to be here over the festive period, you’ll be spoilt for choice of things to do. From food and drink to Christmas markets and movie marathons, we have shortlisted the top things to do in London over the holidays.
1. Go ice skating.
What’s more festive than putting on your warm winter clothes and going skating at an outdoor ice rink with your friends? Temporary rinks will be popping up all over the capital throughout the winter, so put on your hat and gloves and go for a skate in historical London settings. Not sure where to go? Check out six places to go ice skating this winter.
2. See a festive play at the theatre.
Are you a fan of the theatre? Why not get in to the seasonal spirit by going to see a festive play or musical. There really is something for everyone, with hundreds of pantomimes and productions happening across London. And don’t worry if you are watching the pennies; for cheaper options to suit your student budget, have a look at last minute offers for discounts on tickets.
3. Try mulled wine.
A favourite of many at Christmas-time, mulled wine is an alcoholic wine and spices drink (normally including cinnamon, cloves and a bit of fruit) which is enjoyed warm. If you fancy making it for yourself, cheap out this easy recipe. And if you prefer a non-alcoholic version, try heating up apple juice and adding in the same spices – delicious!
4. Have a movie marathon with friends.
If you prefer staying in to going out, why not have a movie marathon with your friends or flatmates. Hot chocolates, popcorn, festive family favourites and onesies; what more could you ask for? If you don’t know where to start, have a browse of the best Christmas movies of all time for inspiration.
5. Sing classic Christmas carols.
There’s nothing quite like a Christmas carol to help you get in to the festive spirit. Search ‘Christmas carols’ on Spotify and all of the classics will come up so you can enjoy them at home. If you fancy the real thing, go along to one of the many carol concerts taking place across London this December.
6. Take part in Secret Santa.
This is a great one for friends and family. Get a group together, put all of your names in a hat and each draw one name – that person is who you need to buy a gift for. You can set a limit of £5 per gift, so it’s a cheap way of spreading Christmas cheer with your loved ones. You can even use a Secret Santa generator to do all of the hard work for you. But make sure you keep it a secret!
7. Go to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
Open from mid-November to the beginning of January, Winter Wonderland is a festive extravaganza of gift and food stalls, ice skating, rides, bars and music; taking place in London’s Hyde Park. It is busiest during weekends and evenings so take advantage of your time off from uni and go along on a week day – and make sure you wrap up warm!
8. Make a gingerbread house.
If you have a spare day and it is cold outside, spend the day making a delicious and super festive gingerbread house. You can buy a kit from Tesco for only a few pounds. Need some help? Watch this video for tips.
9. Check out the lights on Oxford Street.
The Christmas lights on Oxford Street are well known to be the most impressive in London; so take a trip with friends to experience the festivities and a bit of Christmas shopping. If Oxford Street is too crowded there are plenty of other lights to see as well.
10. Watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve.
London’s New Year’s Eve fireworks is the largest annual fireworks display in the UK; taking place over the scenic skyline of Big Ben and the London Eye. The event is hugely popular, and tickets normally sell out early; but you can still experience it from further away or the comfort of your uni digs live on the TV.