When we at TRVLBEES think Christmas, we think London. Do you agree? This magical city lights up even more in the weeks leading up to Christmas, and the amount of fairs, events and markets is massive. So where to start? To get you in the mood, we have selected 5 family must do’s in London during Christmas time:
TRVLBEES member Alice Brown (from London, currently living in Buenos Aires): “As a family we love Covent Garden during Christmas time, because there’s always an amazing tree there. They have beautiful huge trees all over London so just doing a walk of all these masterpieces is incredible. Make sure to visit the ones at The Eye and Tower Bridge – those are gorgeous!”
The huge Christmas tree at Covent Garden (© England’s Historic Cities)
Can you picture yourself slowly strolling through London, gawking at all the beautiful lights, only to stop for some hot cocoa (with a dash of rum for the grownups!)…
Other favorites: Somerset House Christmas Tree, the Christmas lights at Regent Street and the light trail at the London Zoo.
It’s become quite the London Christmas Classic: ice-skating with your family in this wonderful city. And we could not agree more!
One of our favorite places for some honest ‘Londen-on-ice’ would be the National History Museum as it’s surrounded by beautiful buildings, extremely cozy with all the little lights and there’s a huge Christmas tree right in the middle of the ice. The rink at the courtyard of Somerset House is even more romantic, plus there’s a huge Christmas tree there as well. It does not get much better, right? Bundle up and enjoy!
Christmas Markets and Festivals
The festive season and cozy markets go hand in hand – and London offers so many…
Winter Wonderland (© Winter Wonderland)
You could easily fill your days wandering from one to the other, but definite must go’s are the Southbank Winter Festival (street food! shopping! shows!), Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park (an ice rink, a Magical Ice Kingdom Secret Forest, Circus shows, mulled wine and hot chocolate, a giant observation wheel… need we go on?), Hogwarts in the Snow (think Harry Potter in a wintry setting) and the Broadgate Festive Craft Classes (free crafting sessions for kids and families in the Winter Forest – create your own wreath!).
Winter Wonderland (© Winter Wonderland)
Where to start? Harrods and Selfridges are obvious destinations to get inspired and take a peek at the latest decorating trends, just like Fortnum & Mason. However, there are so many other places to go (window) shopping! We absolutely love this year’s Carnaby Street as it has the world’s first ever Queen-inspired light installation: Bohemian Rhapsody’s lyrics are manifested in neon lights above the 14 pedestrianized streets with independent boutiques.
Kids and families will love the Covent Garden area as it is packed with toyshops. Absolute must-visits are Benjamin Pollock’s Toy Shop (all sorts of traditional toys with a theatrical theme), the Disney Store (Frozen, anyone?) and The Moomin Shop. Want to spend serious money on your family’s wardrobe and interior?Wander around Oxford Street and Regent Street (the Christmas lights!!) or check out the amazing boutiques along the King’s Road. Seasonal vibes at their best…
As tipped by TRVBEES member Louise O’Donnell: Number 16 in beautiful Kensington. Why? Because of its small and cozy feel, the kids meals and amenities (milk and cookie service at bedtime!), some rooms can be connected for larger families and its perfect location. Plus: in room spa treatments for grownups…
Edition Hotel London (© Edition Hotel London)
Another family-friendly gem would be The London Edition Hotel, as experienced by TRVLBEES member Charlotte Groeneveld (@thefashionguitar). Situated in superb Soho, this stylish hotel offers a family package that will blow you away!
Milk & Biscuits (©The Fashion Guitar)
A loft with a connecting room, London-inspired-in-room tent, mini bathrobes, kid’s city guides, treats (milk and biscuits! Organic snacks in the minibar!), a movie night and a qualified babysitting service. Oh, and dinner at their popular restaurant is amazing too, as the kids’ menu is great ánd healthy. Book away!
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Written by Contributing Editor, Felicia da Costa.