Despite being among the most crowded and expensive times to visit the city, December in London is so worth it.
There are loads of markets, displays, caroling, and Christmas-themed theater.
You won't want to miss the London Christmas lights and perhaps even go ice skating as well.
All of this is on top of the typical things the city has to offer.
The weather in December is also quite mild compared to other cities in the northern hemisphere.
As local London tour guides, we have drawn upon our extensive experience to come up with this list of December activities and events.
We also run the very popular London Travel Tips Facebook group, with roughly 125k members.
We've incorporated some of the suggestions for December events and things to do in this post.
The group consists of locals, like our tour guides, expats, regular visitors, and newbies to London.
A link to the group can be found at the end of this post.
- Top 10
- Free Things to Do
- Nighttime Activities
- How's the Weather
- Things to Do in London (any time of year)
This section will feature our top 10 activities to enjoy in London throughout December.
For tips on the most popular activities in London, check out our other popular posts:
1. Go on a Christmas Lights Tour
2. Enjoy Christmas Carols at Royal Albert Hall
There will be shows from December 16th through December 24th.
Other holiday concerts will take place at Royal Albert Hall in December, including:
- John Rutter's Christmas Celebration | December 6th
- My Christmas Orchestral Adventure | December 10th
- Christmas with the Royal Choral Society | December 11th
3. See The Nutcracker
The Royal Ballet puts on a production of the family-friendly ballet, The Nutcracker.
Going to this show each year has become a beloved Christmas tradition for many.
Clara, the heroine, her Nutcracker, a Mouse King, and a Sugar Plum Fairy are part of an adventure set against Tchaikovsky's score.
The show runs from December 6th, 2023 to January 13th, 2024.
Visit the Royal Opera House website for tickets.
4. Attend the Theatre
The West End of London is home to some of the most well-known theatres in the city, such as the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Gielgud Theatre, Apollo Theatre, Palace Theatre, and many more.
Performances have been taking place in this part of the city since 1663!
From long-term residencies to short runs, here is a list of musicals and plays you can see in December.
- The Phantom of the Opera
- Les Miserables
- Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations | through January 2024
- Matilda - The Musical
- TINA - The Tina Turner Musical
- Six The Musical
- Moulin Rouge - The Musical
- The Lion King
- Back to the Future
5. Visit Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland
6. See The Muppet Christmas Carol in Concert
Note that the Eventim Apollo has other Holiday movies set to live music planned including:
- The Holiday In Concert | December 2nd
- Love Actually In Concert | December 9th
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas | December 10th
7. See a Concert
London is full of music venues, and you can be sure that no matter which month you’re in town there will be a big-name artist or group performing.
This December is no different, with multiple big tours coming through the London area.
- ABBA Voyage | December 1st-30th
- Sophie Ellis-Baxtor | December 5th
- Madonna | December 5th, 6th
- Electric Six | December 9th
- The Darkness | December 9th, 22nd
- Noel Gallagher | December 14th
8. Enjoy a Night of Stand-Up Comedy
Who doesn't need a good laugh? Luckily, London is chock full of comedians, many of whom have shows in December.
- Lucy Beaumont | December 3rd
- Eddie Izzard | December 2nd
- Ricky Gervais | December 13th
- Peter Kay | December 16th
- Always Be Comedy
- The 99 Club
- Camden Comedy Club
- The Bill Murray Comedy Club
- Headliners Comedy Club
- Laugh Train
For more great stand-up, check this list of comedy shows in London.
9. Celebrate New Year's Eve in London
One experience not to be missed is the iconic London New Year's Eve Fireworks.
10. Save Money With a Tourist Pass
- Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Tour
- Charles Dickens Museum
- Chelsea FC Stadium Tour
- Twickenham Stadium Tour
- Emirates Stadium Tour
- Science Museum IMAX
- View From the Shard
- Westminster Abbey
- Royal Albert Hall
- Tower of London
- London Zoo
- And more!
Go to a Christmas Market
Listen to Trafalgar Square Caroling
Attend Advent and Christmas Services at Westminster Abbey
Visit Hamley’s Toy Store
Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace
Experience London's Christmas Lights
Tip: If you do go inside, be sure to pick up a decadent and delectable Christmas pudding, a traditional holiday dessert that dates back to the 17th century.
Visit the Sky Garden
See Christmas at Kew
Christmas is the most enchanting time of year at Kew, London's Royal Botanic Gardens.
Many of Kew’s 12,000 trees and bushes are lit up in jewel-like colours along a path that winds throughout the gardens.
There are also sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections, food, and fairground rides.
For more information, visit our post on Christmas at Kew.
Join us on a tour!
Like our walking tours mentioned above, our evening tours are also offered on a pay-what-you-like basis so no matter what your budget, you can join us.