What’s On In London This Xmas – Including Freebies


This year’s festivities are looking particularly appealing with businesses ramping it up after last year’s chagrin.

Yes, 2020’s shambolic festive season has made us all re-think some stuff. Many have decided to cut down on consumerism, others are prioritizing family more than ever, whereas businesses are cranking up the Xmas ads and festive-inspired treats.

A lovely walk on Trafalgar Square may have you stumble upon magic with the lights of the Xmas tree at full throttle to the tune of a lovely Carol choir. And if you want to jingle all the way, a short trip to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland or to the Borealis can get your holiday vibe going.

With so many Christmassy vibes in the air, we at Junkie wanted to do our bit and help you get your Xmas’ fix with a wholesome selection of what’s on in London this post-apocalyptic Xmas.

Hogwarts in the snow

It’s Harry Potter plus Christmas! Our two fave things combined! The Warner Bros Studio tour includes a look at the studios’ famous movie sets. You can also see a replica festive feast featuring flaming Xmas puddings laid out on the long tables. The Great Hall is ornate with glittering Christmas trees, whereas special effect fires roar galore in the fireplaces! The classic Gryffindor Common Room and the Boys’ Dormitory are their usual adorable selves, but Christmassy and the Hogwarts Castle model and the Diagon Alley are looking even more wintry covered in snow. Speaking of snow, you can learn about the different types of artificial snow, ice and fires created and used in the HP films. Studio tour tickets start from £47 per person.

Hogwarts Castle Model at Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Credit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London- The Making of Harry Potter

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree (free)

This is no regular tree, it’s a Norwegian spruce gifted to Britain by Norway as a thank you for their support during the Second World War. Norway has been sending this beau to London via sea every year since 1947. The 20 metres tall tree is then decorated in the traditional Norwegian fashion with vertical strings of light. Normally, they will take it down before the Twelfth Night of Christmas which is on January 5 but, until then, you can witness the lighting of the tree on the first Thursday in December, the blessing of the crib ceremony, besides carol concerts.

Trafalgar Square Christmas tree. Credit: James O Jenkins

Art installation reproducing the Polar Northern Lights (free)

An immersive light installation by artist Dan Acher, Borealis takes you to the Northern Lights right from the Guildhall Yard in London. The real-life Northern Lights are an astronomical phenomenon also known as polar lights where you can see shafts or curtains of colour in the night sky. More frequent at higher latitudes like Alaska, Canada and Antarctica it is a privilege to be able to see an art installation reproduce it in London, for free and without the long trip. It’s like a Christmas gift, even. Advance tickets have sold out, but walk-in tickets are available on the day.

Borealis. Credit: FESTIVAL.ORG

Musical Back to the Future at Adelphi Theatre

Based on the classic holiday film of the same name, this musical features Tony® Award-winning director John Rando plus a Tony® and Olivier Award-winning creative team. With a star cast, the musical has original music alongside hits from the movie including The Power of Love, Johnny B. Goode, Earth Angel and Back in Time. Back to the future is the story of Marty McFly who gets transported back to the year 1955 and accidentally changes the course of history. Tickets are available from £19.55.

Back to the future musical. Credit: ATG

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

What started 15 years ago as a humble Christmas market in Hyde Park has now become a Christmas extravaganza with ice skating, shows, roller coaster rides, street food stalls, festive bars and live music. As a covid safety measure, people are asked to arrive at their slotted time but you can stay for as long as you wish. Tickets go from off-peak (free) to standard and peak at £5 and £7.50 respectively.

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. Credit: Winter Wonderland.
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