With Christmas almost upon us and with schools out for the holidays Mogg Hercules, Headteacher and Founder of Dallington School looks at the best places to get the kids out and about and entertain this festive period.
Skating, sing-alongs and the chance to catch the big man in red; celebrate the festive season with these magical family Christmas events for all ages
HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
No Christmas round-up would be complete without Hyde Park’s gigantic tribute to festive frivolity, Winter Wonderland. This extraordinary annual gathering of winter stalls, markets, food stands and fun boasts the UK’s largest ice rink at its centre. Not even Scrooge could fail to feel festive after spending a day within this seasonal set-up.
No need to fly to Finland to get a glimpse of the Father Christmas, he's right here in Lapland UK. One of the most unforgettable family Christmas events, guests are invited into the home of the Father Christmas and his elves in the run-up to the busiest day of their year. Guests will get the chance to meet his reindeer and will receive a charming present to take home.
WINTERTIME AT SOUTHBANK CENTRE
Wintertime at Southbank Centre is back for an extravaganza edition. Enjoy one of London's most festive markets offering a wide range of seasonal food and drink, along with a range of Christmas workshops and activities. A number of shows are offered for all ages, including the amazing Slava’s Snow Show and hilarious Abba’s Super Troupers.
SKATE AT SOMERSET HOUSE
The stately surrounds of this iconic house have once again been transformed into the ultimate winter destination. Somerset House’s icy extravaganza is one of the most magical rinks in London. Warm up after in the Fortnum & Mason Lodge with a Double Chocolossus Hot Chocolate and a spot of rinkside shopping.
SAIL WITH SANTA ON THE RIVER THAMES
Ho, ho, ho - Santa Claus is coming to town. Or to the river Thames to be exact, with a fun festive event for all ages. Join him as he makes his way down the waterway on the City Cruises Sail Experience. Santa comes bearing gifts for every child, as well as edible treats and entertainment for all the family. Children can enjoy a soft drink and a cookie, while parents can warm up with a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie.
SANTA AT BATTERSEA PARK CHILDREN'S ZOO
Catch St. Nick at Battersea Park Children's Zoo this December where he'll be granting Christmas wishes. Children can play on the swings and slides while they wait to see the man in red. Once they've told him what they'd like, they can head out to enjoy time with the animals, while parents warm up with a festive foodie treat.
Looking to steer clear of the crowds? Embrace Christmas with an educational entertainment experience this year. The Geffrye Museum's Christmas Past series of festive events take place now until 7th January and take a journey of discovery into Christmas' gone by. With various hands-on activities, such as jewellery making, Christmas greenery workshops and a sparkle family workshop, there is much to do for all.
THE MAGIC CIRCLE CHRISTMAS SHOW
The Magic Circle offers an enchanting show, packed with awe-inspiring tricks and plenty of festive treats. Families are invited to step inside the headquarters of The Magic Circle to experience the artistry first-hand. Tickets also afford access to the Magic Circle museum for continued Christmas magic.
DISNEY ON ICE: PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE
Celebrate the most memorable Disney tales with all your favourite characters in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure. Join Mickey, Minney, Peter Pan, Frozen's Anna and more as they put on a sensational skate show in London's O2. Truly one of the most magical Christmas family events this year.
HOGWARTS IN THE SNOW
Celebrate a magical winter at Hogwarts where the fires are roaring and the tables of the Great Hall groaning under a replica Harry Potter festive feast in what's sure to be one of the most spell-binding family Christmas events this year. For the first time ever, the top section of the hall is transformed for the Yule Ball with snow, icicles and an orchestra of spellbinding instruments, while the rest of the studio is adorned with glittering Christmas trees, treats and a blanket of snow. Get up close to props, costumes and models, and explore the movie sets to discover the magic behind the enchanting winter scenes in the Harry Potter film series.