Our guide to what’s on in London this Christmas. Discover one of the most exciting times to visit the city, which is transformed for the festive season. You’ll find dazzling Christmas decorations lighting up London’s major streets, Christmas festivals and markets popping up all over the capital, as well as fantastic festive concerts, shows and events.
Update 2020: You can find information about events taking place during Christmas 2020 on our Christmas 2020 Events page.
Christmas in London
Christmas Theatre in London 2020
Get ready for COVID safe Christmas Theatre performances taking place in London this year. A traditional part of the festive season in the city, get into the Christmas spirit with some magical performances!
A Christmas Carol, a Christmas classic that returns for a magical display at London’s West End, this time as a concert production. See Charles Dickens Christmas classic brought to life with a cast of West End favourites in this musical staged concert at the Dominion Theatre.
The Nutcracker returns to the London Coliseum in a performance by the English National Ballet. A favourite for the Christmas season that is perfect for audiences both young and old. This year, see an adapted programme of favourite moments from the beloved ballet in a socially distanced performance.
A festive celebration of musical theatre and all things Christmas! See the West End’s biggest stars and some very special guests in this socially distanced show. Brought to you by the producers of ‘West End Musical Drive In’ and ‘West End Musical Brunch’, its on show at the Palace Theatre for six performances only!
Potted Panto returns to London’s Garrick Theatre for Christmas 2020. See 7 classic pantomimes in 70 hilarious minutes! Take a ride through the biggest stories and best-loved characters from the wonderful world of pantomime, from rubbing Aladdin’s lamp to roaming the golden streets of Dick Whittington’s London and making sure that Cinderella gets to the Ball.
Adam Kay: Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas at the Palace Theatre. A COVID friendly show that’s a love letter to all our hardworking healthcare workers who spend their time on the frontlines, even when holiday celebrations are in full swing.
The Play That Goes Wrong is reopening in time for Christmas 2020. This light-hearted comedy is sure to get into the festive season! And if you’re into things going wrong, then also check out Magic Goes Wrong which is opening at Vaudeville theatre.
Head to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London this Christmas and discover Hogwarts in the Snow! The annual festive display returns this Christmas 2020, bringing much-needed comfort and joy to Harry Potter fans. Tickets are included in a regular entrance ticket, and are likely to sell out fast!
Christmas Events on in London 2020
Our pick of some of the events on in London this Christmas.
The Royal Albert Hall Christmas concert series returns from 9 December to 2 January 2021. Highlights include: Christmas with the Royal Choral Society (9 Dec); Handel’s Messiah (15 Dec); Carols at the Royal Albert Hall (18-23 Dec)
St Martin-in-the-Fields are offering Carols at Home concerts to enjoy all through December. Their autumn choral concerts will be broadcast online this year as well: Haydn Nelson Mass (5 Dec); A Renaissance Christmas (17 Dec); A Christmas Celebration (24 Dec).
Christmas Concerts (throughout December): There are lots of Christmas themed concerts in London, from carol singing to performances of Handel’s Messiah and special family events
Christmas Lights London
Update 2020: Hooray! Christmas lights will be turning on in streets acroos the capital this year. However unlike previous years, there will not be public switch on events due to COVID. The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree will be lit up on 3rd December 2020 and the ceremony will be available to watch via Youtube and Facebook.
Kew Gardens magical Christmas lights trail returns for 2020, turning the gardens into an incredible sea of light.
See the dazzling Christmas Lights in London, with some incredible installations in some of the capitals most famous streets and locations. Highlights include Oxford Street, Carnaby Street, Covent Garden, Marylebone High Street, Regent Street, Kew Gardens and Winterfest.
Winter Wonderland’s in London 2020
Update 2020: Most of the Winter Wonderlands won’t be taking place this year due to COVID. However, Winter Market at Southbank Centre is opening from 5 November until 27 December 2020
Update 2020: Hooray! Get ready for the best tours in and around London this Christmas 2020. These are also very useful ways of getting around the city on Christmas Day.
A Christmas Lights bus tour of London – see London’s Christmas Lights on an evening tour travelling in a vintage 1950’s double-decker bus
Special Christmas Day tours with trips to Stonehenge, the Cotswolds, Canterbury Cathedral, Bath and more. These are the best way to explore London or southern England since there is no public transportation on Christmas Day
A hop on hop off bus on Christmas day. Since there is no public transport in London on Christmas Day, this is one of the best ways to get around the city.
There are lots of New Year’s Eve Cruises where you can watch the fireworks over the River Thames. Most of the cruises also include dinner.
Update: Matches are likely to be held behind closed doors due to COVID restrictions.
Football matches in London this December: Dec 3 – Arsenal vs. SK Rapid Wien; Dec 5 – Chelsea vs Leeds; West Ham vs. Man Utd; Dec 8 – Chelsea vs. Krasnodar; Dec 10 – Spurs vs Antwerp; Dec 19 – Chelsea vs. West Ham; Crystal Palace vs. Liverpool; Spurs vs. Leicester; 22 Dec – Arsenal vs. Man City; Dec 26 – Arsenal vs. Chelsea; Fulham vs. Southampton; West Ham vs. Brighton; Dec 28 – Chelsea vs. Aston Villa; Crystal Palace vs. Leicester; Spurs vs. Fulham; 2 Jan – Chelsea vs. Man City; Crystal Palace vs. Sheffield Utd; Spurs vs. Leeds
What’s Closed in London – Christmas 2020
Special closures that you should know about this Christmas 2020
Constantly changing COVID restrictions means you should regularly check the government website for the latest news on what is and isn’t open. You should also check individual attraction and event websites before travelling for the most up to date information.
All attractions in London are closed on Christmas Day
Most restaurants and bars are closed. There are a few food & drink places are open on Christmas Day, but it is best to check and book in advance since they will get booked up. Hotels are always a good option for finding food and drink.