These are the best Christmassy things to do in London that aren’t Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland is so 2012


There are SO many things to do in London over the Christmas period it all becomes a bit overwhelming.

The endless suggestion to have festive fun is to trek around Winter Wonderland.

But because Winter Wonderland is tarnished with the bitter memories of dates with three different exes who were Definitely the One, here are some alternative festive days out to get you in the Christmas spirit.

Friends Festive

The most iconic seasonal sets from tv show Friends are coming to Shoreditch this Christmas. Visit the Holiday Armadillo’s Grotto, ring Phoebe’s bell outside the mall, and bring an entourage to recreate the opening credits couch scene with a festive twist. You’ll get to explore the classic sets like Central Perk and the apartments, then put your hours of compulsive binge-watching to good use in the ultimate Friends quiz. Plus, there will be exclusive merch for sale if you need to nab any last-minute presents for Friends-loving mates. Could it be any more Christmassy?

When: Until 21st December

Cost: £34.50pp

Booking: Book online

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Hogwarts in the Snow – Harry Potter Studio Tour

Disclaimer: If you’re over 14 and still think that liking Harry Potter is a defining personality trait then please have a word with yourself.

But in the spirit of Christmas cheer and generosity, I will still let you know that the Warner Bros Studio Tour has revamped for Christmas with ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’. The place is impressively decked out with Christmas trees, snow and a replica festive feast, but the main attraction has to be the recreation of the Yule Ball, inviting you to live out your wildest Cedric Diggory fantasies.

When: Until 26th January 2020

Cost: £85pp upwards, depending on your travel arrangements

Booking: Book online ASAP as tickets can sell out weeks in advance

Skating at Somerset House:

Okay, so this one’s hardly news for anyone at Strand campus, but in case you need reminding, Somerset House has its annual skating rink up and running for the festive season. The courtyard is beautifully decorated, with a massive Fortnum & Mason Christmas tree completing the scene. If you’re hopeless at ice skating its worth popping by even for a photo, just so you can brag about what a picturesque uni it is to everyone back home.

When: Until 12th January 2020

Cost: From £11pp

Booking: Book online or at the Box Office

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Festive Films at ZSL London Zoo

Have a day at the zoo, then stick around for a screening of a Christmas classic like Elf, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Love Actually or Die Hard. Yes, Die Hard is and always has been a Christmas film, how dare you suggest otherwise? Cosy up with some drinks and snacks on what is undoubtedly a cuter date than winter wonderland could ever be, surrounded by sloths and baby monkeys rather than a hundred awkward Tinder meet-ups.

When: Until Christmas Eve

Cost: Film admission is free when you buy a zoo ticket or membership

Booking: Book your film in advance here

Christmas Lights EVERYWHERE

If you’re looking for something festive and free to brighten up your Insta feed, London is absolutely decked out in Christmas lights right now. Just in case you hadn’t noticed. The prime spots for photogenic decoration are of course Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Regent Street, Carnaby Street, and the Trafalgar Square tree. Kill two birds with one stone and get all your gift shopping sorted at the same time, just try not to get too frustrated towing your bags through the hordes of people doing exactly the same.

Christmas Markets EVERYWHERE

Have another picturesque evening out (i.e. more lights), and pick up some last minute kitschy homemade gifts, perfect for that one kooky, ornament-hoarding aunt we all seem to have. The best in London can be found at Leicester Square, Southbank, Bankside, Greenwich Market, Camden and Kingston.

Christmas Pub Quiz at Broadgate Winter Forest

Broadgate’s annual Winter Forest is holding weekly festive pub quizzes in the run up to Christmas. Round up a team, brush up on your seasonal trivia and go enjoy drinks and street food snacks from Franco Manca and The Botanist in the overwhelmingly instagrammable wonderland. It’s £3 per person, and the winning team gets “host of amazing prizes donated by Broadgate’s best bars and restaurants”. Plus, all proceeds go to the mental health charity Mind, so you can feel good about getting pissed on craft beer on a Monday evening.

When: Monday, weekly until Christmas

Cost: £3 per person

Booking: No booking required!

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