Here at Kidadl, we know that Christmas isn’t just the most wonderful time of the year, it’s also the most expensive! From presents to meals out to entertaining the kids, it can all add up pretty quickly. But don’t worry! We’ve found some of the best free Christmas activities so you can enjoy the festive season without breaking the bank.
The Twelve Rebuilds Of Christmas
This Christmas The Savoy are decking their halls with lego for The Twelve Rebuilds of Christmas! Head to the famous London hotel to see some brilliant builds, from a fairytale tower to a Christmas tree dragon! Your kids will be amazed by what they've managed to create.
A Miracle on Leake Street
Head to A Miracle Leake Street on the 17th of December for an evening off festive fun. There's a free screening of ELF, wreath making, a Christmas Cabaret and plenty more to get you in the holiday mood.
Selfridges Christmas Window
Selfridges were the first department store in the world to unveil their Christmas windows this year and they're already attracting the crowds! This year the creative theme is 'Future Fantasy: A Christmas For Modern Times'
Walking With The Snowman
This festive sculpture trail adds something extra to your Christmas Market visit. The Snowman sculptures have landed at Christmas By The River so go and see if you can spot them all!
Elephant and Castle Christmas Party
The Elephant and Castle Community Hub are hosting a Christmas Party for the whole family on the 11th of December. There'll be arts and crafts, carols and tasty treats for you to enjoy.
Fortnum & Mason Christmas Window
Fortnum & Mason's Christmas windows will definitely leave you feline festive! Cats are the focus of the displays, we get to see them in action working behind the scenes of the famous shop.
Head to Oxford Street for a huge dose of Christmas cheer! They’ve got beautiful new lights for the first time in 6 years and the shop windows are some of the city’s most impressive.
Victorian Ghost Stories
This is a great story-time session based on the Victorian tradition of telling spine-tingling tales around the festive season. It’s happening at both The Museum of London and The Museum of London Docklands.
Kingston Christmas Market
Head to Kingston for an afternoon or evening to soak up the atmosphere at this traditional local market. It’s a great excuse to get out of the city and explore somewhere new.
Pop-up Performances at the V&A
The V&A are putting on interactive pop-up performances over the Christmas holidays. They’ve got one all about Christmas in Victorian times and a slightly less educational but just as fun dance show!
Eccleston Yards is tucked away in Victoria and has some Christmas lights with a difference. Chromotherapy Christmas is an art installation made up of individually lit vibrating orbs!
Charlie and Her Magic Ukulele
If you’ve got some budding musicians in the family, this is the free activity for you. Join Charlie at The Museum of London or The Museum of London Docklands to jingle your bells and have a singalong.
People often worry about the cost of Winter Wonderland but did you know it’s actually free to enter? Wandering around the market is a great was to soak up some festive fun.
Festive Play at the V&A
The V&A are putting on free festive play sessions for under-5s. These sessions are a great way to get out of the cold and into the Christmas Spirit.
Carnaby Street is a little bit of magic tucked just behind Oxford Circus and Regent Street. Their Christmas Lights always have a fun twist and this year they’ve got an underwater theme. It’s a great place to do a bit of window shopping too.
Calling all budding comedians! Head to this workshop to learn how to build your own jokes and perfect your puns. We’re sure you’ll come up with some Christmas crackers!
Southbank Winter Festival
As always, there’s plenty happening at the Southbank Centre this Christmas. Their Christmas Market is free and there’s always a great atmosphere. If you do fancy treating the family and paying for something, we love Circus 1903.
The Great Christmas Pudding Race
If you haven’t ever seen hundreds of people in festive fancy-dress running around an obstacle course in Covent Garden, now’s your chance! You can take part in the Great Christmas Pudding Race but it’s almost as much fun to watch for free.
A Docklands Christmas Carol
Watching a performance of A Christmas Carol is always a great way to feel festive. Even better, this one is free! There’s an arts and craft activity to go with the show as well. Make sure you take full advantage of the rest of The Museum of London Docklands while you’re there.
The famous Christmas angels are flying back over Regent Street to light the way for shoppers. Go and have a look at the beautiful lights and some of the stunning window displays.
Learn about different festive cakes from around the world at this interactive and creative workshop. Get creative and bring cultures together by creating your very own cake collage.
You can’t get more festive than Covent Garden at Christmas Time. From the huge tree to the reindeer and Christmas buskers, it’s definitely worth a visit.
The Peter Pan Cup
This one is actually for Christmas Day Itself! Wrap up warm and head to the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park to see people brave the freezing waters for the annual Peter Pan Cup Race! If you’re kids have been up since the crack of dawn, it’s a great way to get out of the house.
Design a Christmas Decoration
Take inspiration from the V&A architecture at this drop-in design workshop and create your own tree decoration! Mould your ornament from clay and take it home to hang in pride of place on your Christmas Tree.
Christmas By The River
This Christmas Market by Tower Bridge has an incredible backdrop of the Tower of London and the city’s iconic skyline. The views, combined with the market’s vintage ski theme make it well worth a visit.
Chelsea’s Christmas Lights
Chelsea’s Christmas lights are always worth a visit but we definitely recommend saving the date of the switch-on event. From 2pm on the 23rd of November there’ll be plenty happening, from reindeer to roasted chestnuts to horse and carriage rides.
Festive Folk Tales
Sometimes you can’t beat a good story time. The Lord of Misrule is telling the tale of Dick Whittington in an interactive and fun way for the whole family!
Carols at Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is home not only to arguably the most impressive Christmas Tree in London, but some of the best carols too. Over 40 performers take to the square’s stage over the festive season to spread Christmas joy and raise money for good causes!
Dia De Los Reyes
The celebrations continue into January with Epiphany. If you don’t know much about Dia De Los Reyes, head to The Museum of London or The Museum of London Docklands to learn more and make your own traditional bread.
Leicester Square Christmas Market
Leicester Square is home to one of the city’s most central Christmas Markets. Although it can get quite busy, it’s a great break from the surrounding high street shops and definitely a good way to feel festive.
At Kidadl we pride ourselves on offering families original ideas to make the most of time spent together at home or out and about, wherever you are in the world. We strive to recommend the very best things, that are suggested by our community and are things we would do ourselves - our aim is to be the trusted friend to parents.
We try our very best, but cannot guarantee perfection. We will always aim to give you accurate information at the date of publication - however, information does change, so it's important you do your own research, double-check and make the decision that is right for your family.
Kidadl provides inspiration for everything from family days out to online classes, arts, crafts and science experiments. We recognise that not all activities and ideas are appropriate and suitable for all children and families or in all circumstances. Our recommended activities are based on age but these are a guide. We recommend that these ideas are used as inspiration, that ideas are undertaken with appropriate adult supervision, and that each adult uses their own discretion and knowledge of their children to consider the safety and suitability.
Kidadl cannot accept liability for the execution of these ideas, and parental supervision is advised at all times, as safety is paramount. Anyone using the information provided by Kidadl does so at their own risk and we can not accept liability if things go wrong.
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