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18th September 2017

1. Ice Skating

Wrapping up warm and ice skating at some of London’s most prestigious locations has become a favourite wintry pastime of many-a-Londoner. One of the best spots is the ice rink at the Natural History Museum, where you can skate around an enchanting Christmas tree.

Somerset House is another prestigious spot, where you can skate in the courtyard of the amazing neoclassical building, which was originally a Tudor Palace. New to the ice skating scene this year is the Greenwich Wintertime Festival at the pristine Old Royal Naval College. As well as a covered ice skating rink, there will be a winter market and other seasonal entertainment throughout the month.

Date: Throughout December
Location: Multiple Locations

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2. Walking Tour – Christmas with Victoria and Albert

There are 5,000 acres of Royal parkland across London and these amazing open spaces make London a city like no other.

On 9 December 2017, The Royal Parks charity is organising an expert guided walk in Hyde Park’s Kensington Gardens. This is a chance to find out how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert introduced many winter traditions that are still happening in the UK today.

Date: 9th December 2017
Location: Hyde Park; Kensington Gardens

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3. Christmas theatre

December is a popular time of year to take in the world-class theatre London has to offer, and there are plenty of festive productions to choose from. Watch a stage version of The Snowman at The Peacock theatre, which has been running for 20 years. Alternatively, Slava’s Snowshow at the Royal Festival Hall involves a range of different performance art; it is also the winner of both Tony and Olivier awards.

Elsewhere, the Royal Ballet is presenting The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House this year, while lovers of the traditional London pantomime should head over to the London Palladium for Dick Whittington. Other favourites include a throwback to glitzy Las Vegas at Christmas With The Rat Pack in Theatre Royal Haymarket, and A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic Theatre, starring Rhys Ifans.

Date: Throughout December
Location: Multiple Locations

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4. Magical Lantern Festival London

Short wintry days and dark evenings provide the perfect opportunity to brighten London up with magical lights. The city is home to some amazing Christmas lights every year, but this concept comes into its own at the Magical Lantern Festival.

Held at Chiswick House and Gardens, the festival shows a whole new side to the gardens of the finest remaining example of Neo-Palladium architecture in London. With huge lanterns and artistic light sculptures, it’s a place to truly feel the magic of London in the wintertime.

Date: 24th November 2017 to 1st January 2018
Location: Chiswick House and Gardens

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5. Eat, drink and be merry

Indulgent dining is an important part of the festive season for Londoners. There’s no better way to warm up on wintry days, not to mention taking advantage of all the foods only found at this time of year. At The Athenaeum, our festive foodie treats come in the form of our Chef’s Sparkling Menu and our special Christmas Afternoon Tea Menu.

The three course Chef’s Sparkling Menu includes everything from game terrine and Brixham Pollack with shrimps, to roast Norfolk turkey and Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. Our Christmas Afternoon Tea includes seasonal specials ranging from orange drizzle cake to spiced fig jam.

Date: 27 November 2017 to 1 January 2018
Location: The Athenaeum

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