Christmas is everywhere in London, and that means markets, gingerbread houses and plenty of illuminations! If you have shopping to do or want a cheapo-friendly festive evening out, look no further than our top events of December.
Take your pick from our listings both festive and regular, but if you’re on the lookout for something particularly Christmas-y, then be sure to have a look at our Festive Events round-up too! It has all the best markets, festivals and events to get you in the mood for carol singing and mulled wine!
Greenwich Winter Time Festival | Dec 1st – 31st | Greenwich | £15 – £18
With plenty of non-festive attractions like the Cutty Sark and the Greenwich Maritime Museum, there’s already plenty to see here before you add the entertainment, ice skating and Christmas market. With the Hackney Colliery Band, The Puppini Sisters, Sons of Pitches ready to entertain and live screenings of the Snowman accompanied by a live brass band, you’ll be busy from open to close.
Njinga Santa Cycle | Dec 2nd | Richmond | FREE
If you love cycling, Santa and charity, then this is the event for you. All rolled up into one festive and feel-good event, you can join a casual cycle of 18km dressed as everyone’s favorite Christmas gift-bringer and deliver presents to the children at Shooting Star Chase Children’s Hospice. You have to register to participate but it’s free—and you must wear a Santa suit and come with an unwrapped gift for a child if you’re joining in.
The St John’s Hospice Christmas Fayre | Dec 3rd | St John’s Wood | FREE
Stockpiling for you Christmas stockings while listening to carols and sipping on mulled wine—if that’s not your perfect festive Sunday I don’t know what is. At the St John’s Fayre you can enjoy browsing through stalls run by locals, kids can ride reindeer and visit Santa’s grotto and there are fair rides too!
The Garmhaus Vintage Pop-up Christmas Market | Dec 3rd | Hoxton | FREE
If your Christmas list needs a vintage twist to it then look no further. The vintage market with a variety of well-known-names was a success in Leeds last year and is coming to London for Christmas. With stalls like Varsity Vintage, Ricks Retro and of course Couture Costumes and Secret Street Tailors and a host of entertainment including live art and workshops as well as DJs and even barbers offering a quick trim, it’s a whole day out in itself.
Gingerbread City | Dec 6th – 22nd | Kensington | £3
Release your inner child and gaze in a mixture of wonder and jealousy at the structures created by a whole host of architects and engineers in a display that would knock Mary and Paul off their showstopper-round-feet. Created by the Museum of Architecture, the display was designed by a city-planning company and is an intricate and creative scene well worth exploring.
Portobello Winter Festival | Dec 9th – 10th | Notting Hill | FREE
Enjoy a fresh new festival that only started last year but promises a lively environment for all your shopping needs this December weekend. With plenty of street entertainment from steel pans to calypso and street food too, you might get distracted from all the stalls if you’re not careful! The market has a variety of smaller themed markets including the ‘Made in London’ street market at Tavistock Square and a ‘Hamper and Stockings’ market on the Sunday.
E17 Designer’s Christmas Markets | Dec 10th & 16th | Walthamstowe | FREE
Another great spot for your Christmas shopping, this market focuses on crafters and creators from E17. There will be two separate markets in two locations, part one and part two, so do check which date you want to attend. You can peruse the stalls, enjoy cake and tea as well as meeting the makers of your new gifts (always helps to have a backstory!).
The Everyday Heroines Exhibition | Dec 18th | London Bridge | FREE
Celebrating the women of 2017, this one-day exhibition is held by the charity Youmanity to highlight the success and struggles of women around the world. With each year focusing on a different theme, this year’s topic was opened on International Women’s Day 2017 and has received over 3,300 entries from over 50 countries.