The build-up and anticipation of the events surrounding Christmas seem to come sooner every year and whether you celebrate it or not, it is impossible to ignore the celebratory cheer. Which department store will bring us the most magical, nostalgic TV advert; which high street coffee retailer will release the most festive themed latte? But more than that, we find ourselves fondly reviewing the last year, thinking about our achievements, the changes that have occurred and wondering how our little babies have all of a sudden become little people (and quite possibly how we exited Europe and Trump became president – but we’ll leave this for another time!).
It cannot be argued that Christmas is a time to get together with friends and family and what better place to make these memories than in London? So we’ve rounded up some special festive themed activities to suit the whole family; things to see and visit that will capture the spirit of Christmas and leave you engaged, inspired and exhausted!
It’s Panto…..Oh yes it is!
There is nothing like a bit of live theatre to stimulate creativity and enhance literary knowledge. Whilst Panto is probably at the bottom of the pile when it comes to classic interpretations, it is a fun way to introduce children to this wonderful cultural and very British pastime. So what’s on? Here are some of the front runners:
- Aladdin at the Lyric (19 November 2016 – 7 January 2017)
- Cinderella at the London Palladium (10 December 2016 – 15 January 2017)
- Sleeping Beauty at the Hackney Empire (26 November 2016 – 8 January 2017)
- The Adventures of Dick at Leicester Square Theatre (13 December 2016 – 30 December 2016)
- The Snowman at the Peacock Theatre (23 Nov 2016 – 1 Jan 2017)
Historic Ice Skating
One thing we do well in London is history. We are blessed with incredible heritage, that has been both protected and documented for us to enjoy. And this December many of our favourite London historical venues are going all out in the ‘cool’ stakes and offering a spot of ice skating. So you can glide around and soak up the wonderful architecture and imagine what life was like in a past century!
Top venues for Ice Skating
- Hampton Court Palace – Ice Skate and explore this Tudor Palace and former home of King Henry the VIII.
- Somerset House – Skate with this stunning neoclassical facade as a backdrop, which is beautifully lit by night. Older kids may want to check out the ‘cool club’ nights and mums, look out for the Fortnum & Mason pop-up shop!
- Natural History Museum – Finish a trip to one of TTN’s favourite London museums by skating amongst the fairy lights and Christmas Tree.
- The Tower of London – Get beyond the castle walls and skate in the moat of this historic iconic landmark.
The Southbank Festival
This Christmas festival is a must-see attraction for kids of all ages and interests. The programme of events runs throughout December and celebrates everything beautiful and creative about Christmas, with a twist of culture and a good helping of cheer.
A snapshot of the events:
- Shopping – Visit the German inspired market of wooden chalets, where you can find affordable gifts, crafts, handmade items and festive produce.
- BIANCO – This live, contemporary circus promises drama, thrills and excitement with ‘a touch of vagabond glamour’. Presented by NoFit State Circus, it is advisable to book ahead.
- Slava’s Snowshow – This interactive and award-winning production returns for a fifth year at the Royal Festival Hall, expect a magical production with snow blizzards and visual effects. This is recommended for children aged 8 and over.
- Frozen Sing-Along – Little girls (and some little guys) will simply adore getting dressed up as their favourite Frozen cast members and joining their peers for a free, Disney themed sing-along. Held at The Clore Ballroom at Royal Festival Hall 10.30 – 12.15 on the 21 December 2016.
While the masses continue to hit the shops and load up on last minute Christmas presents, take advantage and plan a visit to one of London’s marvellous museums.
Festive fun at the museums:
● The Geffrye – From 22 November 2016, the Geffrye museum will run an exhibition, presenting the traditions of Christmas over the past 400 years. Expect to step back in time and discover room-sets, Christmas games and decorations from years gone by. (This exhibit is free of charge).
- The Charles Dickens Museum – This alternative day out offers an insight to the famous Victorian ‘A Christmas Carol’ author and how he might have celebrated the Christmas festivities many years ago. The museum is also running a Christmas programme of events including walks and performances.
- V&A – From 3rd December – 6th January, both V&A sites will be hosting seasonal themed activities in Victorian style, from screenings to performances and curated trails and inventive displays.
If you discover something fun you think we should share with our Tuition Network families, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cinderella – http://www.cinderellapalladium.com/
Sleeping Beauty – https://hackneyempire.co.uk/whats-on/sleeping-beauty/
The Adventures of Dick – http://www.leicestersquaretheatre.com/whats-on
The Snowman – http://www.sadlerswells.com/whats-on/2016/the-snowman/
Ice Skating Links
Hampton Court Palace – http://www.hrp.org.uk/hampton-court-palace/whats-on/hampton-court-palace-ice-rink/
Natural History Museum – http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/ice-rink.html
The Southbank Festival
The Geffrye Museum – http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk/
The Charles Dickens Museum – http://dickensmuseum.com/
V&A – https://www.vam.ac.uk/