During the Christmas period, London’s buzzing with different events up until the big day. Many are free, and fun for kids and adults alike.
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
Hyde Park puts on the great Winter Wonderland, which includes a Christmas Food Market and Christmas Market in the German style. There’s also a huge ferris wheel, a winter-themed fun fair, and an outdoor skating rink (more London skating rinks here).
The Winter Wonderland is free to enter, but the attractions will cost you a fee. Open until 4 January 2009, times daily are 10am to 10pm 7 days a week. Nearest tube is Green Park or Hyde Park Corner.
Frost Fair on Bankside
The Frost Fair on Bankside brings to mind the Frost Fayres that took place when the Thames froze over in centuries past. It takes place between 12-21 December and is free. The event is near Tate Modern and has 40 -50 stalls selling arts and crafts, including handmade jewellery, fine ceramics, wooden Christmas crafts, leather goods and other beautiful handcrafted accessories.
There will also be food stands aplenty. On the 13th at 11am, there’s a procession of traditional Thames cutters on the Thames, watch from the Millenium Bridge. Nearest tube is Blackfriars.
Covent Garden Christmas concerts
The covered Covent Garden Market holds a series of free concerts in the main Market building to entertain Christmas shoppers.
On 11 December at 6pm you can hear Schlomo and the vocal Orchestra – a choir which uses only human voice to create rich musical experiences – as they reinterpret carols and traditional Christmas songs in a modern take on the traditional choir.
Then on 19 December at 6pm you can hear The Choir With No Name – what began life as an advert in London homeless magazine The Pavement (‘Can you sing? No? Oh well, come along anyway!’) has now become a fully fledged choir comprising wholly of homeless people.
Finally, on 22 December at 6pm, you can hear Nathan Lee play a combination of flute and beatbox – his crazy blend of sounds, which have seen him work with Prodigy and Asian Dub Foundation among others, takes in hip hop, drum ‘n’ bass and ragga on a magic carpet trip to the realms of sonic possibility
Southbank Centre’s Cologne Christmas Market
The German inspired South Bank Christmas Market runs between 21 November and 23 December and is placed between the South Bank Centre and the London Eye. There are 40 stalls selling Christmas gifts and Gluhwein and a carousel for the children. Nearest tube Waterloo or Embankment.
This is of course only a small selection of the great events taking place. If you know of more, please let us know in the comments below.
You should follow me on twitter here.