We are walking on the air, in a chocolate haze, as you can tell from our what’s on guide for things to do with London kids this weekend. Two versions of The Snowman are among the highlights and both happening in my hood #Islington!
Still searching for gifts? Check out the local Christmas fairs and whatever you do, don’t miss our coolest Christmas for London Kids Guide ever, telling you where to find Santa, go ice skating, catch a Christmas show, shop at Christmas markets and much more!
Thu-Fri: The Snowman & The Snow Dog at Union Chapel, Compton Avenue, N1 (Highbury & Islington tube)
The London Metropolitan Orchestra and special guests join BAFTA nominees Andy Burrows and Ilan Eshkeri in live musical performances to accompany screenings of the Christmas classic animations. Union Chapel is transformed into a winter wonderland and rumour has it a mystery man in scarf and green hat will turn up. 7pm (Fri), 3.30pm & 7pm (Sat); £20 (Dec 12 & 13)
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! between 12.30pm & 2.30pm shows (Sat Dec 7). Shows at 10.30am, 12.30pm (Mon-Fri) & 10.30am, 12.30pm & 2.30pm; £9/family £30 (Dec 4-21)
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)
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! 10.30am & 1.30pm for three hour sessions; £44-£64 (Nov 30-Dec 24)
Fri-Sun: Chocolate Festival at Southbank Centre (behind Royal Festival Hall), Belvedere Rd, SE1 (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
It’s back! The annual gastronomic feast for fans of all things cocoa takes over Southbank Centre as part of its Winter Festival of programming. Savour samples and demos from master chocolatiers, take part in workshops and pick up chocolate gifts for your favourite people. 11am-8pm (Fri-Sat) and 11am-6pm, FREE (Dec 13-15)
Sat: Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave at Effra Social, Effra Rd, SW2 (Brixton tube)
After their stupendous north London launch at The Dome Tufnell Park, the pre-school party for the post-rave generation is coming back with a bang to its Brixton home. We’re advising you to book ahead as these parties sell out fast! The theme is Panto-A-Go-Go and DJs Joe Muggs and JC Mighty will be spinning the good tunes, laced with Christmas cheer. As usual there’s a Happy Monkey craft room for dancefloor breaks, snacks and booze and a baby chill-out area. 2-4.30pm, adult £8/child £4.50/non-walkers FREE (Dec 14)
Sat: The Magic of Books at Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, 43 White Horse Rd, E1 (Limehouse DLR/Stepney Green tube)
Some of London’s leading children’s book authors and illustrators come together for an afternoon of comedy mayhem, edible fun, hands-on activities and readings aimed at kids ages 2-12. Join Ross Montgomery, Sian Pattenden, Jessica Spanyol, Karen Littlewood and more. 12-2pm, FREE (Dec 14)
Sat: Christmas Fun Day at The Golden Hinde, St Mary Overie Dock, Cathedral St, SE1 (London Bridge tube)
All aboard Sir Francis Drake’s historic ship for the first of two cracking Christmas family events. Join the crew of Golden Hinde II for festive games, yuletide gifts and perhaps a visit from the man in the red suit. 11am & 2pm (NB: 2PM SESSIONS ON DEC 14 SOLD OUT); adult £7/child £5/family £20 (Dec 14 & 21)
Sun: Drop in & Design Christmas Special at London Design Museum, Shad Thames, SE1 (Tower Hill tube/Tower Gateway DLR)
The monthly Sunday family design workshop gets a sparkly makeover at this one-off Christmas themed event. Expect glitter, fairies and all things festive. 2-5pm, drop-in; FREE with regular museum entry adult £11.85/child under 12 FREE (Dec 15)
Sat: Bloomsbury Babies Christmas Fair at Exmouth Market Centre, Exmouth Market, EC2 (Angel tube)
Come along for some seasonal shopping, with handmade goods on offer and pre-loved clothes to snap up, including a wide selection from The Giving Tree. Buy gifts, munch on cupcakes and other treats, get your face painted, take part in a tombola and raffle in aid of NCT, visit Santa in his grotto and more! 1-4pm, adult £1/child FREE (Dec 14)
We also like
Shop for treats and trinkets at the Islington Christmas Gift Fair in N1 (Fri-Sun); Spitalfields Music Winter Festival runs through the weekend (until Tue); join in with carol singing and more at the Royal Albert Hall Christmas Festival (Fri-Sun); and there are still a few tickets left for The Muppets Christmas Carol Sing Along at Prince Charles Cinema, Leicester Square (Sat-Sun)!