We’re slap bang in the middle of December, and there are tons of fun events coming up in the London Kids Weekend Scoop: Christmas Edition.
If you want to know the best places to go ice skating in London, meet Santa and friends, browse a Christmas market or visit a winter wonderland, then head on straight over to my fabulous guide to LONDON AT CHRISTMAS 2019.
Planning to see some family shows over the holidays? Take a look at all the listings on my CHRISTMAS THEATRE GUIDE.
Stuck for New Year’s Eve ideas? See 31 WAYS TO CELEBRATE WITH KIDS.
Have a super sparkly weekend x
London Kids Weekend Scoop: 13 Magical and Festive Ideas
Thu-Sun: Oi Frog & Friends! at Lyric Theatre, 29 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1D 7ES (Piccadilly Circus tube)
It’s a new day at Sittingbottom school and FROG needs somewhere to sit,e DOG is doing as he’s told and CAT has plans of his own… Enjoy this lively adaptation of the bestselling picture books by Kes Gray and Jim Field, with puppets, laughs, songs and more rhymes than you can shake a chime at. Ages 3+ and families. Various shows from 11am or 11am & 2pm (select weekdays) and 10am & 12pm (Sat-Sun); from £15.50-£23.50 (until Jan 5)
Thu-Sun: Santa’s Grotto + Camden Market Ice Rink, Unit 16, Stables Market/North Yard, Camden Market, NW1 8AF (Camden Town tube/Camden Rd overground)
Head to the Norf Pole (aka North London) to Santa’s workshop and grotto, where you can make gingerbread with elves and soak up some Christmas spirit. Or have a go on Camden’s First Ice Rink (pictured up top), where kids as young as 2 can take to the ice with a willing adult skater. All children under 11 must be accompanied by a grown-up. Santa’s Gingerbread Workshop and Grotto is open 9.30am-3.30pm; £15 per child + 1 FREE adult, booking ahead recommended. Ice skating sessions last 40 minutes: 9am-11am (toddler sessions), 11am-9pm (all); adult £11/child £7-£8 (Santa’s grotto until Dec 23; ice rink Dec 10-Jan 9)
Thu-Sun: The Wolf, the Duck and the Mouse, Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, Southwark, SE1 2HZ (London Bridge tube)
Wrap up your year with this fun adaptation of Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen’s subversive picture book. A wolf eats a mouse who finds a duck napping in the wolf’s belly. Turns out, it’s quite warm and comfy in there, with lots to munch on and no more fear of getting eaten. But wolf is having problems of his own… A modern fairytale for ages 3-7. Various shows from 10.15am & 1.30pm, 10.30 & 1.45pm, 11am & 2.30pm; adult from £18/child from £12 (until Jan 5)
Fri-Mon: Pinocchio on Ice at Ally Pally, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY (Wood Green tube then W3 bus to the park, Gate 6 recommended entry)
He’s a puppet who wants to be a real boy and this Christmas he’s getting his skates on. This festive treat at Ally Pally promises a spectacle to remember with ice skaters from adults to tiny tots. Best for ages 2+ due to temperature, sound and lights. 7pm (weekdays), 1pm & 5.30pm (Sat-Sun); adult £15.50/child £13/family £12.50 per person (Dec 13-16)
Sat: Caribbean Christmas Party at Southbank Centre (Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall), Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX (Waterloo/Embankment tube)
Once again, Just Vibez are bringing the tunes to put you in a tropical mood at their festive shebang for Southbank Centre. Jump ’n’ whine at this mash-up of West Indian vibes and local traditions. Watch guest poets and entertainers, then party on with DJs in the Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer. All ages welcome. 4.30pm, FREE (Dec 14)
Sat: House of Illustration Winter Fair, The Crossing, Central Saint Martin’s, Granary Square, King’s Cross London N1C 4BH (Kings Cross St Pancras tube/rail)
Browse 100+ stalls featuring original and handmade works by designers, makers and illustrators. You’ll find anything from prints and posters to ceramics and illustrations to brighten up the kids’ room. Why not stop by Ruby Violet nearby for some delicious hot chocolate? 11am-5pm, FREE (Dec 14)
Sat: Fun DMC Christmas and New Year’s Eve Parties at POP Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PQ (Brixton tube)
Ahead of their New Year’s Eve party (details in my London Christmas Guide), have a Christmas boogie with the babes at this session of hip hop, R&B and old school for families. The FUN DMC crew (of Charlie Dark and Spin Doctor fame) present DJs Russ Ryan and host Tama, plus hip hop colouring-in, fancy dress, dance offs and more fun and games. Ages 0-10 and families. 1pm-3.30pm; FREE (Dec 14)
Sat-Sun: Christmas Lights and Sights Tours, London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza (south east corner), WC2E 7BB (Covent Garden tube)
If there’s a more festive trip happening in central London, I’ll eat my Santa hat. Start off with a Christmas film, crafts and treats at the museum. Then climb aboard the cosy vintage bus for a one-of-a-kind tour through London’s sparkling Christmas lights. You’ll visit areas like Regent St, Piccadilly Circus and Covent Garden on this heritage day out. Hurry, tickets going going gone – advanced booking essential! All ages welcome. Family tours from 2.30pm (over 18s from 8.30pm); adults £17/child £10/concs & friends of LTM £15 (Dec 14-15, Dec 20-22)
Sat-Sun: Christmas Weekends at London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT (Hammersmith tube, then bus 283/Barnes rail)
Help the Elves make toys, ride a sleigh pulled by live huskies (for ages 2-8) or hop on a Christmas donkey (weight restrictions apply). All ages welcome. The centre is open from 10am-4pm; regular admission adult from £11.70/child from £7.11/family from £31.99/under 4s FREE (Dec 11, Nov 30-Dec 1 & Dec 14-15)
Sat-Sun: Meet Bjorn the Polar Bear at Coal Drops Yard, off Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH (King’s Cross St Pancras tube/rail) Bjorn is a polar bear, once abandoned as a cub, who now travels the world with an Arctic conservationist. Bjorn and his pal share their story in this interactive performance for all ages. NB: no actual bears appearing (Bjorn is animatronic). 1.30pm, 3.30pm & 5.30pm (Sat), 11.30am, 1.30pm & 2.30pm (Sun); FREE (Dec 14-15)
Sat-Sun: Santa’s Grotto at Spitalfields City Farm, Buxton St, London E1 5AR (Shoreditch High St overground)
If you’re doing some vintage shopping on Brick Lane, be sure to pop in to see the big man at Spitalfields City Farm around the corner. You can meet Santa in his yurt and give him any last minute requests, then say hi to sheep, cows and other nativity animals. All ages welcome. 1pm-3pm, £1 suggested donation (until Dec 22)
Sun: Nine Lessons and Carols for Curious People Family Matinee, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG (Kings Cross St Pancras tube/rail)
Grab one of the last few tickets for this annual celebration of ideas, experiments, songs, silliness and storytelling. As always there’s an eclectic line-up featuring guest performers, ranging from singers to statisticians. This year is the first ever family matinee for this popular event. Best for ages 10+. 11.30am; from £17.50-£22.50 (Dec 15)
Sun: Baby Loves Disco Roadshow at Boulevard Theatre, 6 Walker’s Court, Soho W1F 0BT (Leicester Square/Piccadilly Circus tube)
It’s the original baby boogie with resident DJs playing party anthems for families who love dancing. Also on offer: inflatables, bubbles and balloons, dress-up, arts and crafts, healthy snacks, games and giveaways. Best for ages 0-7 plus families (must come with a child for entry). 10am-12pm, £12/£10 per ticket for parties of 3 or more/non-walking babies FREE (Dec 15)
Sun: Carols by Candlelight, Union Chapel, Compton Terrace, Islington, N1 2UN (Highbury & Islington tube/overground)
Experience the true magic of Christmas at this atmospheric concert, where singers tell the story of the nativity through lyrics and music. Bask in the ambience of beautiful Union Chapel, lit by candlelight. No age restriction but best for slightly older kids (all under 16s must be accompanied by an adult). 6pm doors open; FREE (Dec 15)
London Kids Cinema
There’s a Kids Club Christmas Party at the plush Electric Cinema White City this Sunday, with a screening of Paddington at 10.30am (Dec 15).
Find venue info and other Kids Club film listings (tickets for under £5) on our LONDON FAMILY CINEMA page.
**NB: Please note that all event timings and prices are subject to change/cancellation at short notice, so always check ahead with the venue before making a trip!**