The Best Christmas Day Out in London

by Chiara C
Last Update: 17 July 2023

With so much to do in London over the festive period, it can be difficult to narrow down what to do in a day.

So in this article, we explore the best itineraries for the best Christmas days out in London. Whether you’re travelling as a family, a couple, solo or with a group of friends, there is so much to do to get you in that holly, jolly spirit. With Christmas markets, festive west end shows, giant Christmas trees and magical twinkling lights all over the city, you’ll love spending the most wonderful time of the year, in the most wonderful city.

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A great day out without compromise.


The best Christmas day out for families

Looking for the best London Christmas experiences for families? You’ve come to the right place. Travelling with little ones means you have to be a bit more organised, which is why we’ve put together a couple of options to make your family day out in London as stress-free as possible. Christmas is a magical time of year in the city, from the explosion of lights to the festive theme parks. Here are two options to make you and your family feel the festive cheer this year.

Option 1:

Morning: Walk along the Southbank
Get to London early and make your way to Southbank for a leisurely stroll along the River Thames. The area is dressed for Christmas with decorations and festive cheer. You’ll also be able to take in the sights of Big Ben, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Eye. The Southbank Christmas market opens at 11 am, where the smell of festive treats fills the air, and stalls open to buy stocking fillers fill the air. For lunch treat yourselves to a hot chocolate and a sizzling bratwurst.

Afternoon: Catch a matinee show
Escape the winter cold and take the family to see a matinee show. This year there is an adaptation of the popular Christmas movie in ELF The Musical. However, if you are visiting with really little ones you may want to take them to see Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever at Theatre Royal Haymarket.

And it doesn’t have to be a Christmas exclusive, classic shows like Lion King, Matilda and Frozen the Musical will still be on throughout December too.

Evening: Explore the magical Christmas lights
As the sun goes down, London becomes a vibrant land of lights and impressive displays. Go to Regents Street and walk towards Oxford Street before making your way to Carnaby Street. This route allows you to take in beautiful shop displays and famous street lights.

Option 2:

Morning: Explore Winter Wonderland
With so much to do at Winter Wonderland, families can easily spend a whole day there. Easily one of the best Christmas days out in London, there are roller coaster rides, fun houses, an ice rink, ice sculpture the Magical Kingdom and plenty of markets to explore. The best food is in the Barvarian Village where you can enjoy cosy chalets and a medley of bars, restaurants and cafes.

Afternoon: See a show at Winter Wonderland
Zippos Christmas Circus will have the whole family cheering as acrobats and a giant polar bear entertain the crowd.

Evening: Take in the botanical lights at Kew Gardens
End the day by walking through Christmas at Kew Gardens. The magical winter trail is bursting with lights and colour. Meet Father Christmas and enjoy sweet treats and hot drinks from vendors as you explore the spectacle of lights.

The best Christmas day out for couples

The best Christmas days out in London for couples are those that are packed full of romance and festive cheer. From holding hands as you explore the Christmas markets and glittering decorations to taking in a show on the Westend. Couples will fall in love with the magic of London during the Christmas period.

Option 1:

Morning: Go to Christmas by the River
There is nothing more romantic than walking hand-in-hand as you walk along London Bridge City. You can spend the morning exploring Borough Market and sampling cheeses and meat, before walking along towards the market Christmas by the River. As you discover unique trinkets and decorations you can take in the iconic London skyline and Tower Bridge.

For lunch head to the Southbank where you can book an igloo experience with Jimmy’s Lodge. Here you can cosy up together and enjoy a fondue for two with a glass of bubbly.

Afternoon: go ice skating at Somerset House
Hold your love’s hand as you glide around a massive Christmas tree. You can enjoy a glass of bubbly at the Moet & Chandon Skate lounge before taking to the ice. It’s the most romantic backdrop for a London Christmas date.

Evening: Go for dinner at the Sky Garden
Tuck into a festive menu of roast turkey, pumpkin and pavlova with some of the most stunning views of the city at night, whilst surrounded by the most beautiful plants and flowers.

Option 2:

Morning: go shopping in the iconic stores
Get in the festive mood by taking your partner to one of the most iconic stores in London. Harrods, Liberty and Selfridges are famous for their Christmas displays and are the perfect place to get some unique gifts.

Afternoon: Go to Covent Garden Christmas Village market
Carol singers fill the air with festive cheer as you explore the stalls selling jewellery, gifts, clothes and decorations. Grab a mulled wine, and enjoy the fake snow shower that fills the air as you shop.

Evening: Dinner and a show
Book a dinner and show combo to make the most of your London experience. You can book a swanky meal with the likes of Back to the Future The Musical, Dirty Dancing, Moulin Rouge, Pretty Woman or the more festive ELF, The Musical.

The best Christmas day out for solo visitors

You don’t need anyone to come with you to enjoy London at Christmas. There is so much for solo explorers to enjoy. Whether you want to grab a mince pie and a mulled wine and explore the Christmas markets or pick up some last-minute shopping gifts at one of the iconic department stores, you’ll love your solo adventure.

Option 1:

Morning: Borough market and Christmas tree at Leadenhall
One of the best Christmas days out in London is visiting Borough Market. It’s one of the ultimate things to do as a solo explorer. Sample the festive produce as you sip hot chocolate and take in the stunning festive decorations.

Afternoon: Shopping on Oxford Street
Pick up some Christmas bargains as you explore the famous Oxford Street shops. From Primark to John Lewis, you’re sure to find the perfect gifs. The shop window displays will have you feeling festive in no time.

Evening: Catch a show
The best thing about watching a solo show is you can usually bag a bargain seat. Take yourself on a date to see a top show like Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Wicked or Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol.

Option 2:

Morning: Christmas Canopy Market at Kings Cross
Spend the morning at Coals Drop Yard where you can get breakfast and a coffee whilst viewing the Christmas tree. Then head to Christmas Canopy Market at Kings Cross, for sweet treats, and crafts. You could even join an event to make your own bespoke gift.

Afternoon: Warner Bros. Studio Tour
If you’re a big Harry Potter fan. The Warner bros. Studio Tour, Hogwarts in the Snow is a fantastic solo experience. Make your way to Euston to get the train to Watford Junction, where you can hop on the Harry Potter bus to the studios. The sets are all dressed for the festive period but the highlight is the Hogwarts Castle model that is covered in snow.

Evening: Christmas at Kew Gardens
Let the magic continue into the evening at Kew Gardens. Make your way around the botanical gardens that are bursting with colour and lights. You’ll love taking some time for yourself at the fire garden where flickering flames create a peaceful ambience.

The best Christmas day out for friends

Whether it’s a best friend duo or a big group of you, there is so much fun to be had in the capital during the festive season. From drinks and fondue in a rented igloo to nostalgic festive films to sing-along to. You’re certain to get in the cheery spirit.

Option 1:

Morning: Explore the Greenwich market
Greenwich is a great place to visit with friends. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and cafes to explore whilst you catch up. The Christmas market is more low-key than some of the others in central London, so you’ll be able to get into the festive mood without the busy crowds.

Afternoon: Igloo dining and ice skating at Queens House
Grab your pals and hit the ice at Queen’s House in Greenwich. Located in a UNESCO World Heritage site, you can enjoy the most Insta-worthy views as you glide… or wobble around the rink. Book dinner and drinks in one of the cosy dining domes.

Evening: Go to the O2
Dance the night away at the O2 with acts like Blue, Bryan Adams and Westlife performing in December. Indigo at the O2 is great for partying pals with events like Soul Town Festival and One Night at the Disco.

Option 2:

Morning: Shopping in Soho
Meet up in Soho and marvel at the displays of Carnaby Street whilst stopping for coffee and shopping as you wander the streets.

Afternoon: Winter Wonderland
Then head to Hyde Park for an afternoon of fun and frolics. There is so much to do in Winter Wonderland. From ice-skating, drinks in a tipi with a firepit, Christmas markets and so much more. Make sure you sample some street food and the impressive Carousel Bar.

Evening: Sing along at Backyard Cinema
Go on an arctic voyage through constellations and Northern lights at Backyard Cinema. You can enjoy your festive favourites amongst snow-topped trees and decorations as you sink into your giant beanbag. If you want to get rowdy, sing-alongs like Greatest Showman and Frozen are the ones for you.

You’ve just got the one day in London to get as festive as possible, so don’t waste a second of it, and pack in as many seasonal treats as possible. Make sure to download the Keetoo app to keep all your plans in one place.

Welcome to our Blog!

Hello! I’m Chiara, an Italian who’s called London home for 8 wonderful years. As a travel enthusiast and the founder of Hidden Gem, I’m on a mission to uncover the city’s best-kept secrets and share them with you. Join me on this exciting journey to explore the hidden treasures of London and beyond!

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