10 Things to Do in London this December

Jenny Scott Russell

Updated January 17, 2020 Updated January 17

Whether you love or hate London in the winter, you cannot deny that there’s a lot of festive-themed fun to be had throughout the month of December. From markets to immersive cinema experiences, London comes alive in the build up to Christmas and lots of these events are perfect for students looking for something to do at the weekend. Make sure to look out for concession tickets and remember to bring your student card when you’re not booking online!

Secret Cinema Stranger Things

A must for all Stranger Things fans, Secret Cinema is back this December with a real-life Hawkins immersive experience and new storylines authorised by Netflix themselves. Secret Cinema have been building immersive cinema experiences for over a decade and reviews seem to agree that they are all amazing! Tickets tend to sell out quickly so get booking if you’re intrigued.

Christmas Lights in Carnaby Street

London in December is always memorable thanks to the beautiful Christmas light displays across the city. However, Carnaby Street consistently impresses with creative and original designs. This year the street is decorated in a sustainable ocean theme, highlighting the importance of reducing plastic waste and keeping our oceans clean.

Tutankhamun at the Saatchi Gallery

‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’ is one of the most anticipated exhibitions opening in London this winter. It includes over 150 artefacts, 60 of which have never left Egypt before. The exhibition is hosted by the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea and as students you can get concession tickets, making it a super affordable and cultural option for the weekend!

Festive Fayre at Hampton Court Palace

Described as a food-lover’s Christmas wonderland by the Palace themselves, this is one of the most festive Christmas markets in London. You’ll find endless options for delicious food made by world famous chefs, carol services in the chapel and lots of other artisan companies selling their produce in the Hampton Court Palace courtyards.

Santa Run

One of the most impressive and hilarious spectacles in London this December, Santa Run does what it says on the tin. Head to Victoria Park on December 8 to watch thousands of people, dressed up as Santa, run to raise money for charity. Better yet, sign up and take part raising money for a charity of your choice! You can also donate to the headline charity partner, Save the Children.

Portobello Winter Weekends

Portobello Road in Notting Hill is wonderful area of London to explore at the weekend and even more so in December. Locals put on four weekends of performances which tie in with Portobello Market to create festive fun aimed at 18-30 year olds.

Christmas at Kew

Now in its seventh year, Christmas at Kew is a remarkable light and laser projection display which illuminates the tree tops and beautiful Victorian glasshouses at Kew. It is a must do for December in London, just remember to wrap up warm!

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The Natural History Museum is one of the most impressive buildings in London, making ice skating in its shadow particularly spectacular. This ice rink is open throughout the month of December and as a student you can take advantage of the NHM’s student offer which includes a free drink along with you skating session.

Après Ski Christmas Party at Magazine London

Finally, if you’re looking for something a little livelier this December, Magazine London has you covered. Their Après Ski themed parties transform the popular event space in the heart of Battersea Park, into an alpine wonderland. Tickets include a canape reception, three course dinner and after party.

This article was originally published in November 2019 . It was last updated in January 2020

Written by

The author of London-based travel blog LocalLeo.co.uk, Jenny travels the world while working full time in the UK fashion industry. She has a passion for vegan street food and outdoor sports and in 2015 moved to Austria on an Erasmus exchange. She has since graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Textile Design and has visited over 25 different countries.

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