Christmas lights were switched on on Marylebone High Street last night which has given me the red light to go into full Christmas mode. What better way to start the Festive season on The London Mummy, with a ‘What’s On’. The lovely Melissa Gauge from Spare My Time is sharing her top 3 places to visit this Christmas with your family to get you in the festive mood.
Take it away…
Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT
2 & 3 December
Christmas is coming early thanks to a magical Santa’s Grotto with free husky and donkey rides for little visitors at the WWT Wetland Centre, Barnes Father Christmas tickets are selling out fast but there are plenty of other festive activities on that weekend – husky and donkey rides are free with admission (children 8 or younger, with weight restrictions) or you can lend a hand at the Elves workshop, making festive decorations or small Christmas gifts to take home.
(If you’ve not been to the Wetland Centre before it’s a must even without the Christmas activities – over 100 acres of managed wetland reserve, nature at its best.)
Top Tip: Apart from Father Christmas, there is no advance booking so make sure you get there early to avoid disappointment.
Belvedere Rd, London, SE18XX
10 November – 4th January (10am-11pm)
From Christmas Markets to roof top saunas, from Skandi rooftop bars to giant snow globes, from ABBA sing alongs to Nordic folk tales there really is something everyone at the Southbank Centre.
Top tip: try visiting the cosy Rekorderlig Cider Lodge for a glass or two of mulled wine
Hyde Park, London, W2
Friday 17th – 1st January
A Christmas Bonanza – your only problem will be where to start!
Here is a pick of what’s on:
Skate on the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink
Take a journey in the deep sea at The Magical Ice Kingdom
See the enchanting fairy-tale Cinderella on Ice
Watch jaw-dropping acts in the Circus Megadome
Experience spectacular views from the Giant Wheel
Join the family fun in The Sooty Christmas Show!
Drink festive cocktails at Bar Ice
Tickets get booked up fast however there is still plenty to see and do even if you do miss out on the big events.
Top tips : Keep your children close – this is a very busy event! We write our telephone numbers on our children’s arm just in case they decide to go for a wander.
Outdoor Ice Skating
With so many options of outdoor ice skating on offer we’ve narrowed it down to our top 5:
Hampton court palace: Open from November 24th – January 7th 2018.
This has to be one of the most picturesque ice rinks, overlooking Henry VIII spectacular home beside the Thames.
Open from 17th November – January 2nd 2018.
Tip: visit in the morning if you are taking children, it does get busy later in the
Open from 15th November – January 14th 2018.
In our view, one of the most romantic ice rinks – perfect for that elusive date night. For an extra special touch try one of the Fortnum’s Skate Extras
Open from 26th October -7th January 2018. The Natural History Museum is our die-hard Christmas visit. Be sure to book a penguin for the kids – they do run out quickly
Top tip: Outdoor ice skating does get VERY wet and cold! Bring plenty of layers, gloves and hats (possibly waterproofs for children!).
Did you know that for the past 36 years there has been a Christmas Pudding race to raise money for cancer research? This fancy dress fun run is full of entertainment and amusements.
Children are not able to enter but not to worry, there will be a lot to see!
Be a part of changing a child’s life this Christmas and donate a shoe box with a few small gifts and necessities inside. This wonderful tradition started in 1990 and has helped over 146 million children in 150 countries.
Spend the morning compiling your gifts with your children and drop them into your local centre.
Here is a link giving you do’s and don’ts to put inside your box.
Top tip: Remember to wrap the box and the lid separately so they aren’t stuck together when checks are done.
Shoeboxes need to be in by 18 November.
Melissa’s blog is well worth signing up for if you want to be kept informed of new businesses and what’s on in and around London and sign up to Spare My Time if you need any jobs done in your house or garden with a trusted tradesmen recommended by Melissa.
Read her Spotlight interview here!