Top 7 London attractions for family fun this Christmas
Guest blog post by Emily Foran at Family Four Fun – part of the Festive Tube Map series
London puts on quite a spectacular display at Christmas time but many families find the idea of braving the crowds and tourists at this time of year daunting. However, with a little advance planning and knowledge where to go, a visit can be an utter treat! This line shares the attractions and sights that are family friendly and sure to leave you all feeling festive. A seasonal visit will, for many, become a family tradition in the lead up to Christmas and is sure to create magical memories!
We all have to do the Christmas shopping and with a family in tow this is usually anything but fun. With lots of fun events, including an ice-skating rink, 5D Santa’s Grotto and in store promotions, there’s plenty to entertain the children whilst you shop. What’s more, Westfield offers a host of concierge services to take the hassle out of your day the best for this time of year being handsfree shopping. Instead of being weighed down by shopping bags you can have your items collected from store and collect them when you leave. If you’re visiting on the 13th December don’t forget to wear your Christmas jumper and help “Save the Children” make it better with a sweater.
Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland
This spectacular Christmas destination is a treat for all the family. Open from 10am-10pm with free access there really is something for everyone. Wrap up warm for lots of festive sparkle in The Ice Kingdom which features a beautiful display of ice-sculptures. The thrill seekers can warm up flying around on the enormous rides whilst there’s plenty of more sedate options for younger members of the family. Skate around the UK’s largest ice-skating rink or take a scenic rotation on the Giant Observation Wheel. Then grab hot chocolates and mulled wine and let Zippo’s Circus entertain and amaze you.
Covent Garden Christmas Lights
This attraction is an absolute must for family fun. If your children have been pestering you for a Lego Advent Calendar or are lucky enough to have one, Covent Garden has its very own giant version on display with a special festive model to be discovered behind each door. If that’s not enough to amaze everyone then head into the Market Building which has been completely transformed into a festive wonderland. 150,000 lights sparkle overhead and illuminate the over sided candy canes and glitterballs.
Piccadilly Circus, Eros Snow Globe
Just a short stroll away, the Eros Snow Globe is an utterly fantastic sight! The statue of Eros has been encased in a 30ft high ultra-tough PVC membrane, inside of which fans blow snowflakes around. Initially an idea to protect the statue from vandals over the festive season it has created an amazing sight at the end of Regent Street’s lights.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
If you’re really looking to treat the kids, be lured into Ripley’s Believe It or Not, where super-friendly guides will amaze them with incredible facts. You could also treat them to a meal in The Rainforest Cafe and search for Santa in the jungle!
London by Night Tour
For a really wonderful way to see London in her festive glory I suggest you jump aboard a London by Night Tour. Including the lights on Regent’s Street, Oxford Street & Selfridges’s windows which are a must see at this time of year there’s so much more festive cheer in the city. Having said that, with a family in tow it can feel busy, crowded and end up being far more tiring and stressful than fun. So instead of doing the leg work, relax in comfort and get a guided tour of it all.
Warner Bros Studios, Harry Potter Tour
Last but certainly not least is the Harry Potter Studios Tour, which won’t disappoint if you want a magical Christmas outing or to give a Harry Potter fan the ultimate gift. Currently Hogwarts is decorated in the castle’s festive finery, from the huge trees that line the great hall to Mrs Weasley’s Christmas jumpers hanging in the boy’s dorm. Secrets will be revealed including how film-makers work their weather magic to make it snow. Not for one second does the knowledge of the tricks used in the making of the films detract from their wonder; in fact the talent of the creators only inspire further. It’s hard not to look on in awe at the huge 1:24 scale-model of Hogwarts in the snow!
About the author
Emily is West London Mummy to four fun and lively children who inspire her to write about their fun and adventures on her blog Family Four Fun. Voted into the Top 25 London Mummy blogs and a finalist in the family fun category at the 2013 Mum and Dad Blog Awards; Emily and the children regularly explore the capital and enjoy sharing how to make the most of it as a family.