Londons Best Winter Events 2020
In the words of Andy Williams, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”! The capital has been transformed into an adult’s playground and the booziest months have officially begun. Whether you’re searching for London’s best winter events this December or activities to see you through the January blues, this magical city has got you covered.
London’s Best Winter Events this December
Christmas Pudding Race
Although we didn’t think it possible, Covent Garden, with its Christmas tree-covered piazza and bauble-adorned market, just got a whole lot more Christmassy. Cancer Research’s Christmas Pudding Race is back for its 39th year and you don’t want to miss it. www.xmaspuddingrace.org.uk
On 7th December at 11 am, gather at Covent Garden’s cobbled West Piazza to watch excited, Christmas-loving contestants navigate the obstacle course which will be assembled there. Those racing will be dressed in Santa Claus, snowmen and even entire Christmas dinner costumes while tackling the course and balancing Christmas puddings on trays.
Grab a sherry and spectate or enter a team of friends or colleagues at this charity event.
For more ideas about how you can celebrate with your colleagues this year, check out London’s best venues for Christmas Corporate events.
Bush Hall’s Christmas Knees Up
Used as a dancehall in the twenties, a soup kitchen during the Second World War and to host the likes of The Who in the decades that followed, Bush Hall’s fascinating history contributes toward its charming aesthetic.
Now the product of both restoration and a Christmas makeover, this music-hall-turned-winter-wonderland is home to one of London’s best winter events.
We caught up with Betsy, Bush Hall’s Music and Events Coordinator, to find out more about their Christmas Knees Up on 20th December.
“We have a 10-piece brass band performing all the Christmas classics alongside some absolute bangers!” Betsy explained. “Wintery cocktails served from a wood lodge, more mince pies than you can handle and a DJ till 1 am! Everyone who wants to dance, get merry and sing at the top of their voices will love this event.”
Carols at East London’s Skylight
Move aside Somerset House, because East London’s Skylight is has taken the lead as London’s coolest skate spot.
Boasting Europe’s only rooftop ice rink, views spanning London’s skyline and food stalls serving hearty winter dishes, this London winter event welcomes both the professional skater and the Bambi on ice.
As if this isn’t enough to spread those festive feels, Skylight is hosting one of London’s best winter events. London City Voices Choir will be (literally) singing to the rooftops as they lead a sing-along session made up of carols and Christmas songs. Head over on 15th and 22nd December for brunch, drinks, carols, games and prizes.
Starting at 2 pm and over by 5, spend the rest of the evening playing ice hockey slap shot and sipping warming winter cocktails.
Drag Syndrome Night at The Southbank Centre’s Wintertime Festival
Feeling Christmas-marketed-to-the-max. and looking for new ways to welcome the festive period? Consider Southbank Centre’s Wintertime Festival.
Renowned for hosting some of London’s best winter events, this year’s festival includes some of the most compelling art exhibitions and performances yet. Showcasing their critically acclaimed version of Black Beauty (14th December – 5th January), dare devilish Circus 1903 acts (19th December – 5th January) and a truly unique cabaret show (15th December), this festival is perfect for the artsy-types.
Watch the world’s first-ever collective of drag kings and queens with Down’s syndrome in a multi-sensory experience made up of extravagant outfits, lip-syncing and dancing. Fresh from their international tour, Drag Syndrome at Christmas is made up of a dazzling line-up including talents like Justin Bond, Lady Francesca and more.
Watching the Serpentine Christmas Swim
Hyde Park at Christmas time is so much more than Winter Wonderland. Every Christmas morning, for over 150 years, the Big Smoke’s bravest folk take the plunge and swim the Serpentine to race for the cup. The water is often as cold as 4C and 1935 even saw it freeze over, but these hardy Londoners, determined to complete their Christmas ritual, smash through the ice and swim the waters whatever the weather.
Break up your Christmas day stroll by watching this historical event; it’s utterly brrrr-illiant.
Christmas at Kew
We couldn’t write an article about London’s best winter events without including the stellar spectacle that is Christmas at Kew. These twinkling UNESCO World Heritage gardens provide the perfect date spot for those seeking a heavy helping of Christmas spirit.
Walk beneath the dazzling arches, through the walkway of glittering cherry trees and atop the 18-meter-high walkway, which has been decorated with a waterfall of cascading lights.
Then, source yourself a spiced cider or mulled wine and head over to Kew’s impressive, cathedral-like Temperate House to watch a laser show on its 15,000 panes of shimmering glass. Can you think of anything more Instagrammable?
Post-Christmas London Events this Winter
Burns Night with Rhythm and Booze
There’s no better way to beat that post-Christmas slump and avoid the dreaded Dry January than by celebrating one of the biggest nights in the Scottish calendar – Burns Night. Fusing live music with whiskey-tasting (and throwing in some poetry and veggie haggis canapés for good measure), The Rhythm and Booze Project’s Burns Night Party is one of London’s best winter events.
Hosted at Harrison bar by the project’s Felipe and Paul, head down to the speakeasy-style basement for folk, blues and plenty of booze at the open whiskey bar. (Yes, you read that right… the whiskey bar really is unlimited).
With whiskey knowledge and musical talent that’s second to none, gift your favourite whiskey lover a night watching this passionate pair in action. Or, check out our whiskey gift guide for more whiskey-inspired presents.
Touring London’s Haunted Pubs
Join the most fearless ghost-hunters and embark on a leisurely 2km walk, hopping between London’s eeriest drinking holes.
Led by one of Haunted London Ghost Tour’s knowledgeable guides, you’ll have a pint in the pub that inspired Sweeney Todd’s barbershop, visit a haunted bar and learn all about the capital’s ghostly past.
Silent Disco at Queen of Hoxton’s Emerald City
One of London’s trendiest rooftops, the Queen of Hoxton, has been transformed into The Emerald City.
Donned one of London’s best winter events, The Emerald City’s Secret Sunsets silent disco is the perfect place to shake off the day. So, grab your greenest garments and climb the yellow brick road to toast marshmallows, sip ‘spiked’ hot chocolates and take part in immersive emerald evenings.
Looking for more winter activities? London’s coolest bars will be sure to keep you entertained.