It’s more than manic at mine between juggling projects, term ending, nativity dramas (luckily all played out on stage, how cute are they in their costumes?) and keeping my 12 Days of Xmas competition running without (hardly) any hiccups. Have you entered? Some fantastic prizes to be won!
I’ll have a Last Minute Christmas Gift Guide up later, to inspire my fellow deadline surfers. In the meantime, here’s all the fun things to do for London kids and families the weekend before Christmas.
And ho ho ho, it’s your LAST CHANCE TO CATCH FATHER CHRISTMAS! Find out the best Santa’s grottos in our 30 Coolest Things to do in London with Kids Christmas 2013, along with ice skating, Christmas family theatre, Christmas markets and more.
Thu-Sun: Ready Steady Colour with Anna Bruder at Unit 3, Camden Lock Market, NW1 (Camden Town tube/Camden Rd overground)
We love the sound of this interactive pop-up theatre experience by artist Anna Bruder. Visitors are treated like restaurant guests, seated and invited to choose from the illustrated food menu and colour their own dishes. At the end of your ‘meal’, you’re welcome to take it away! Table service by ReadySteadyColour performers – NB: no real food is served. 10am-5pm (hourly reservations), £6 per plate (until Dec 22)
Thu-Sun: Slava’s Snow Show at Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 (Embankment/Waterloo tube)
The multiple award-winning show featuring Slava’s clowns has taken audiences around the world on a breathtaking imaginative journey for decades. Expect dazzling spectacle, soaring music and blizzard finale! We saw it this week and I can’t wait to tell you all about this amazing piece of theatre. Recommended for ages 8+, although suitable for younger audiences BUT no under 3s allowed in the auditorium. 2.30pm & 7.30pm, also 6pm Suns; £20-£65 (Dec 17-Jan 7)
Thu-Sun: Lego Snow Globe in Covent Garden Piazza, WC2 (Covent Garden tube)
If you can brave the Christmas crowds in Covent Garden, don’t miss your chance to see this giant snow globe made of 120,000 bricks. Push a button and snow magically appears on the LEGO scene and you’ll find a Santa on every London landmark! Wonderful. Daily, FREE (until Dec 22)
Fri: Kinetica Bloco’s Festive Fela at Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, SE1 (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
Get your groove on to a Fela Kuti inspired musical set by Kinetica Bloco, with 70 young musicians and dancers performing ‘Christmas Kuti’ along with pieces by John Coltrane, The Clash and perhaps a festive sing-song or two. See you there! 5.30pm, FREE (Dec 20)
Fri: Royal Philharmonic Orchestra presents The Snow Queen/The Griffin and the Grail at Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, SW1 (Sloane Square tube)
An exciting family concert featuring musical adaptations of popular children’s fables, with the world premiere of The Griffin and the Grail by Adrian Sutton (creator of War Horse musical) and the tale of Kay’s dramatic rescue from The Snow Queen (by Paul K Joyce). Told through songs, projections and narration and promising brilliant fun for Harry Potter and Narnia fans. 3.30pm, adult £15-£40/under 18s £15 (Dec 20)
Fri-Sat: Mr & Mrs Moon at Stratford Circus, Theatre Square, E15 (Stratford overground/tube)
The brilliant and hugely popular Oily Cart present another bewitching production aimed at the very young. What happens when the Woman in the Moon comes down to earth and has so much fun she doesn’t want to go back? An interactive, playful and musical experience for ages 2-5. 10am & 1.15pm (Fri) and 10.30am & 2pm (Sat) – NB: times vary on other dates; £7.50-£10 (until Jan 5)
Sat: London Fields Brewery Christmas Fair, 370 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 (Hackney Central overground)
Chestnuts roasting, hot spiced beer cocktails, make your own decoration and face painting for kids, Grumpy Grotto for adults, delicious street food, last minute gift shopping and a Bad Santa DJ for late night arrivals or hangers-on. 12pm-12am, FREE entry
Sun: Christmas Carnaval del Pueblo at The Coronet, 28 New Kent Rd, Elephant & Castle, SE16 (Elephant & Castle tube)
Come along for another daytime family fiesta featuring the sounds of David Pabon and his orchestra direct from Puerto Rico, Mariachis Jalisco & Paraiso School of Samba Olympic Closing Ceremony & Rio handover. Live music, arts and crafts, food stalls, dancing and more. 3-11pm, £10/family £30/under 5s FREE (Dec 22)
Thu-Sat: Hey Presto! at Pleasance Theatre, Carpenters Mews, North Rd, N7 (Caledonian Rd tube)
Presto the cat magician and his friend Monty the dog join a funfair and start their own show. But things go wrong when fame goes to Presto’s head, can sense and friendship prevail? A heart-warming tale with mischief, songs and humour from Peaceful Lion. Author Nadia Shireen will sign copies of the book Hey Presto! Shows at 10.30am, 12.30pm (Mon-Fri) & 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm; £9/family £30 (until Dec 21)
Thu-Sun: Enchanted Christmas House at London Art House, 2-18 Britannia Row, N1 (Angel tube)
Enter a world of enchantment where kids can play in the Garden of Winter Wonder, decorate Gingerbread Men in the Gingerbread Kitchen, help Santa’s elves in the Busy Elves’ Workshop, enjoy a winter picnic and a festive show. And of course there’s a chance to meet Santa in his grotto! Times 10.30am-1.30pm, 2.30-5.30pm, & 4.30-7.30pm; family tickets from £129 for 2 people to £260 for 6 people (until Dec 20) and £159 for 2 people to £300 for 6 people. Babies under 15 months go FREE (until Dec 24)
Thu-Sun: The Snowman at Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, WC2 (Holborn tube)
The Snowman has arrived! Opening this weekend, the magical Christmas show, adapted from Raymond Briggs’ beloved tale takes over Sadlers’ Wells Peacock Theatre. Expect dancing snowmen and Jack Frost sending shivers down little spines. Plus the heart-soaring moment when the boy and snowman take flight! We LOVE it, don’t miss this seasonal treat. For all ages (recommended 2+). 11am, 2.30pm & 7pm; £12-£32/family £95 (until Jan 5)
We also like
Last chance to view the Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree (until Sun); catch Xmas flicks at Snapshots Christmas Festival at Rich Mix, E1 (Sat, 2pm, £2.50); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 is playing at Everyman Screen on the Green, Islington (Sat, 9.45am); and don’t miss the 4th annual Pantomime Horse Race in Greenwich, followed by after-party with Freddie Mercury and The Beatles tribute acts (Sun)
Check out our Top 20 Christmas Kids Theatre in London!