Things to do in London this Winter

If you’re planning a trip to London this Winter, it’s worth thinking about the many options available for the season. As well as taking advantage of the shopping and the attractions in the West End, where you can take in a show and soak up the Christmas atmosphere, there are also opportunities to visit Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, new exhibits in the Victoria & Albert Museum, and activities for children at London Zoo. Other things worth checking out include the many free activities held around London during the Winter months.

The West End

The destination for most people heading to London during the Winter, the West End probably isn’t for you if you don’t like large crowds. However, you can quickly get used to the bustle of Regent Street and Oxford Street, while accepting that there’s going to be a lot of people around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

The West End is ideal if you want to shop, and particularly if you want to take children along to the always excellent toy displays at Hamley’s on Regent Street. Other attractions for a day or night out include taking in a musical at one of the area’s many theatres. Currently recommended musicals include Matilda at the Cambridge Theatre, Scrooge the Musical at the London Palladium, and the ever-popular The Lion King at the Lyceum. To beat the holiday prices, make sure you look for theatre vouchers for competitive deals before going.

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

Another excellent day out with children, Winter Wonderland runs from the 23rd of November to the 6th of January in Hyde Park. The event sees the park get transformed to include the UK’s largest ice rink, a Ferris wheel, and festive markets and treats. The Magical Ice Kingdom also involves a maze of sculptures, while a Bavarian Village provides mulled wine. When not exploring the attractions, you can enjoy the peace and quiet of Hyde Park from the busy streets of Central London.

Hollywood Costume at the V&A

The Victoria & Albert Museum, or the V&A, is one of the most eclectic museums in the world and is particularly excellent for its design and costume exhibitions. From the 20th October to the 27th January, the V&A hosts a Hollywood Costume exhibition that covers 1912 to 2012. You can view costumes from The Wizard of Oz, Avatar, and many other films, and can learn about how costume designers have played a role in the history of Hollywood. The paid exhibit is just one of many at the V&A this Winter, with others focusing on British rock photographs, ballgowns, and Lolita fashion.

London Zoo

One of the best zoos in the world, London Zoo puts on some special treats for Christmas that are ideal for children. Chief among these treats is a Reindeer Lodge that features Santa and real reindeer. The Lodge is open from the 17th of November to Christmas Eve. Alternatively, you can take in a Living Nativity with animals, and explore the regular sights around the Zoo, which include a new frog sanctuary, penguins, and giraffes.

Things for Free

There are many options for going out in London during the Winter without having to spend a lot of money. Some free ideas include ever popular events like the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, and the locking up of the Tower of London at night. You can also get great views from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath, as well as Primrose Hill. Moreover, as well as Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, it’s worth exploring the Chelsea Physic Garden’s Christmas Fair, and Kensington Gardens’ Christmas season.
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