How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas 2016 In London With Kids - Family Twist – Bespoke Luxury Family HolidaysFamily Twist – Bespoke Luxury Family Holidays

How To Make The Most Of Your Christmas 2016 In London With Kids

13 December 2016 Holiday Treats 0 Comments


The question is always the same.

“What can I do during my family Christmas holiday in London?”

Apart from Christmas day (December 25th) when virtually everything is closed (even the London Underground is closed!), there are plenty of things to do in London with kids.

From traditional Christmas markets, street decorations and Christmas shopping to kid-friendly shows and fun-filled ice skating rinks, here are the best tips on how to make the most of your Christmas in London with kids.


1. What are the best family-friendly 2016 Christmas markets in London?



Spending time on Christmas markets is always a great moment, don’t you think.

Regardless of why you go, be it to find gift ideas for your friends and family or just out of pure curiosity, it’s one of the best ways to live the Christmas spirit.

Here are the best Christmas markets in London:


Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

For more than a month, the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland offers more than just a Christmas market. It is a place of fun and entertainment, especially for children. Attractions here include an ice-skating rink, a giant Ferris wheel, a circus shows and last but not least… Santa’s very own house! When it comes to food, Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is full of original restaurants such as the Ice bar, the Swiss chalet or even the Fire Pit Bar where you can roast marshmallows over a wood fire. For your Christmas gifts you will definitively find what you have always dreamed of inside one of the 200 wooden chalets.

  • When: From Friday November 18, 2016 to Monday January 2, 2017 (closed on Christmas day)
  • Address: Hyde Park
  • Tube station: Green Park (Piccadilly, Victoria, Jubilee lines)
  • Entrance: Free park entry, but paying attractions



 Here are some special private Christmas activities  you should book when in London with your children:

London Christmas Sightseeing Tour
Etiquette Lesson in the Christmas Spirit
Christmas Chocolate Workshop
Street Art Christmas Workshop









Tate Modern Christmas market

This traditional Christmas market is located between the Tate modern museum (London’s modern art museum) and the River Thames. Here, you will find traditional Christmas market products such as jewelry, Christmas decorations, wooden toys and much more. The Tate Modern Christmas market will enchant the whole family. And there is a good chance your children will want to hop on the merry-go-round. A great pick for a wonderful Christmas in London with kids.

  • When: From November 25 to December 24, 2016
  • Address: Bankside at the Tate Modern
  • Tube station: Blackfriars (Circle and District lines)
  • Entrance: Free


London Bridge City Christmas Market

The particularity about the London Bridge City Christmas Market is the view. From there, you’ll be able to snap a great picture of the Tower of London and Tower Bridge with the market’s Christmas specialties and decorations in the front. Just like other Christmas markets though, you will find a lot of unique gifts and food from all over the world.

  • When: From December 1, 2016 to January 3, 2017. Open from 10AM to 8PM
  • Address: London Bridge
  • Tube station: London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern lines)


2. Where are the most beautiful 2016 Christmas street decorations in London?


The wonderful thing about Christmas is that both streets and shop window come to life. Just like any major capital city in the world, London’s streets light up with Christmas decorations and garlands.

While many streets have their own cute decorations, some places are definitely worth visiting for their magnificent Christmas illuminations. These always make up for a memorable Christmas in London with kids.

London Eye: London’s famous Ferris wheel and the surroundings are decorated with beautiful Christmas lights.

Bond Street: The magic and beauty of the luxury brands of New and Old Bond Street is taken outside, with amazing Christmas lights and decorations hanging above your heads, as well as in the shop windows.

Carnaby Street: The pedestrian shopping street in Soho also has great Christmas decorations.

Trafalgar Square: The highlight of Trafalgar Square during Christmas is the huge Christmas tree donated by Norway to London. This happens every year and has been going on since 1947.

Covent Garden: Be it mistletoe arrangements, fake reindeers or elaborate Christmas lights, Covent Garden is a great place to witness beautiful decorations.

Regent Street & Oxford Street: These two streets are some of London’s most popular streets because of all the shops and boutiques. Both streets are therefore highly decorated.

Knightsbridge: This neighborhood is famous for one unavoidable shopping paradise: Harrods. All around London’s most prestigious and well known department store are magnificent Christmas lights and of course, Christmas decorations.


3. Where can I do the best 2016 Christmas shopping in London?

Harrods in London at Christmas time


Here is a list of some of the best department stores where you can buy all kinds of gifts for Christmas. Not only are the displays full of wonderful items to buy, but the decoration in these stores is absolutely stunning.



When you go to London, there is one luxury department store you just can’t miss: Harrods. You will find plenty of high-end things to by there. Be it clothing, accessories or gifts, your whole family will be delighted to spend some time in this iconic and beautiful department store. Here’s a piece of advice: it’s always nice to bring something back from Harrods when you traveled to London with your family.

  • Address: 87-135 Brompton Rd, London SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom
  • Tube station: Knightsbridge (Picadilly Line)
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday 10AM – 9PM. Sunday from 11:30AM to 6PM
  • Website:



Selfridges is a chain of high end department stores in the UK and their flagship store is located on Oxford Street. It is the second largest department store in London after Harrods. Here, you will find all the most luxurious brands in the world, from fashion to jewelry and cosmetics. There is also a nice food court on the basement floor for when you get hungry after all this shopping!

  • Address: 400 Oxford St, London W1A 1AB
  • Tube Station: Bond Street Station (Central and Jubilee lines)
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday 9:30AM – 10PM. Sunday from 11:30PM to 6PM
  • Website:


Fortnum & Mason:

Generally referred to as “Fortnum’s”, Fortnum & Mason is a great upmarket department store in Piccadilly. If you are looking for gifts such as handbags, body & bath products, clothing accessories, homeware, tableware or food, than this is the place to be. Perfectly located and with attractive high end products, Fortnum & Mason is a great place to go shopping during Christmas in London with kids.

  •  Address: 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER
  • Tube Station: Piccadilly Circus Station (Piccadilly and Bakerloo lines)
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday 10AM – 9PM. Sunday from 11:30PM to 6PM
  • Website:



If you are looking for luxury goods such as men’s, women’s and children’s fashion, accessories, homeware and cosmetics & perfume, then head out to Liberty, another upmarket department store in London. It is located on Great Marlborough Street in the West End of London. Treat yourself and your loved ones with something nice for Christmas here at Liberty.

  • Address: Regent St, London W1B 5AH
  • Tube Station: Oxford Circus Station (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines)
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday 10AM – 8PM. Sunday from 12PM to 6PM
  • Website:



Hamleys is one of the most famous toy stores in the world, if not THE most famous! It was created in 1760, making it the oldest toy store in the world, and it is now located on Regent Street. More than 50,000 toys are found on the 7 floors of London’s flagship store, making it also the biggest toy store in the world. If you visit Hamleys while on a family vacation in London during Christmas (or at any time of the year), know this: you will not leave empty handed!

  • Address: 188-196 Regent Street, London W1B 5BT
  • Tube Station: Oxford Circus Station (Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines)
  • Opening Hours: Monday through Saturday 10AM – 8PM. Sunday from 12PM to 6PM
  • Website


4. What are the best family-friendly Christmas 2016 activities in London?


There are so many things to do in London during Christmas. But are all those things fun to do with children?

Not really!

That is why we have listed 5 activities that will undoubtedly please both you and your children when spending your family Christmas in London with kids.


Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland has already been mentioned in our best Christmas markets section, but, as mentioned earlier, it is more than just a market. It is probably the place in London that feels the most Christmassy.

“Why?” you might ask?

If you add up that cool Christmas market mentioned above, a child-friendly Santa land (with his own grotto) and lots of fairground rides, you’ll easily understand why this place feels so Christmassy!

And if that’s still not good enough for you, throw in beautiful Christmas decorations and lights, an ice skating rink, and never ending Christmas songs and I can guarantee your children will definitely feel that special Christmas spirit they have been dreaming of.

The entrance is free, but activities have to be paid for once inside Winter Wonderland.

Dates: From Friday November 18, 2016 to Monday January 2, 2017


London Eye

An attraction that needs no introduction. London’s famous Ferris wheel has become one of the most popular attractions of the capital. The bird’s eye view of London from the top of the London Eye is really amazing, and the children will love the experience, especially with all the Christmas lights and decorations.

If you want to combine it with a family-friendly tour, we recommend Family Twist’s Adventure on the Thames, which is a fun and educative way to discover the Thames River, its history, curiosities and secrets.

  • Dates: Open every day from 10AM to 8:30PM


Leicester Square

Who’s in for Leicester Square this year?


Ok, how about if I told you that there will be a great Christmas market there and Santa’s grotto?

Getting second thoughts I see…

Wait, there is more: the organizers of this event have also planned a cozy wooden venue which will be welcome a multitude of Christmas shows including The English Gents, Hamish McCann’s pole act, Denis Lock’s bubble act, Ursula Martinez and La Soirée circus.

Convinced? I am sure you are. Resisting to this is unhuman!

The Christmas market is free, but tickets will have to be purchased for the Grotto and the performances.

  • Dates: From Friday November 11 2016 to Sunday January 8 2017.


Kew Gardens

Kew gardens, the royal botanical gardens located slightly outside the city center is a beautiful place during any time of the year. But come Christmas, the gardens turn into a magical place. All the buildings trees and trails are illuminated to create this fantasy world that you and your children have always dreamed of. Add to that a vintage carousel, Santa’s Snowflake Grotto, huge Christmas trees and a scented garden and you have the perfect place to entertain your children when spending Christmas in London with kids.

  • Dates: During the Holiday Season, Kew Gardens is open daily from 10AM to 3:45PM. Closed on December 24 and 25.
  • Tube: Kew Gardens Rail: Kew Bridge
  • Price: On the day tickets: £20 on peak hours for adults, £12 for children above 4, £58 for a family of 4 (2 adults + 2 kids).
  • Website:


Family Twist activities

Family Twist has created special Christmas activities to make sure to turn your family’s Christmas holiday in London into an unforgettable experience that you will all cherish for years to come.

These unique, luxury activities include:

London Christmas Sightseeing Tour

This 2 hour walking tour will take you through London’s most fabulous shopping area where you and your children will be able to witness the beautiful street and shop window decorations.

Etiquette Lesson in the Christmas Spirit

Over the course of 2 hours, our etiquette specialist will teach you how to become the perfect Lady or Gentleman for any Christmas event in a magical area in the heart of London.

Christmas Chocolate Workshop

Christmas would not be Christmas without delicious chocolate! Make your own special chocolate treats with the help of a private chocolate expert.

Street Art Christmas Workshop

Get your inspiration from a real street artist and design your own Christmas decorations with a street art touch in an off-the-beaten-path East London workshop.


5. What is the traditional Christmas food in London?


If you really want to have a traditional English Christmas meal, this is what you and your children should get:

Roast turkey with cranberry sauce (or any roast meats, like goose, which as the traditional roast in the 19th century),

A side of roast potatoes and vegetables such as Brussel sprouts or parsnips,

The classic Christmas pudding, which is a rich pudding made out of dry fruits. Although it is also referred to as plum pudding, there are no plums in the pudding! The name comes from the fact that in the old days, “plums” was the word used for raisins.

A real Christmas dinner would not be complete without the famous Christmas crackers. Traditionally, a Christmas cracker is placed next to each plate on the Christmas table. When the crackers are pulled, out falls a colorful party crown, a toy or gift and a festive joke.


6. Where are the best ice skating rinks for Christmas 2016 with kids in London?


There’s nothing quite like ice-skating on a sunny day in winter. And this year, London has some great outdoor ice skating rinks for you to enjoy with your children.

Here is a list of the best ice skating rings for Christmas in London:


Winter Wonderland Hyde Park:

Once again, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park makes a remarkable appearance in the top ice skating rinks in London category. One of the main reasons is because it’s the largest open air ice rink in the UK. It’s also very welcoming and the beautiful lights and decorations make it a place You wouldn’t want to miss.

  • Address: Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park
  • Dates and Time: From November 18, 2016 to January 2, 2017 from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £14.50 for adults, £9.50 for children, £38 for a family of 4



This outdoor ice skating rink is located right in front of the London Eye. Needless to say that the view on the famous Ferris wheel and the Houses of Parliament in the back, and the lovely animated ambiance are two great reasons to come here when spending Christmas in London with kids.

  • Address: The London Eye
  • Dates and Time: to be confirmed
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): to be confirmed


Somerset House Ice Rink:

Nicely located on the Edmond J. Sadra Fountain courtyard not too far away Covent Garden, the Somerset House ice rink offers two ambiances. During the day, it’s the perfect time for families and friends to glide on the ice. There is a skate school and a Polar Cub Club for children. But when the sun has set, on selected days (Club Nights) international DJs come warm up the ambiance!

  • Dates and Time: Open from November 17, 2016 to January 15, 2017 from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £14 for adults, £7.50 for kids of 12 and under.


Canary Wharf Ice Rink:

This very nice ice rink is one of the largest in London and for those who don’t like being on skates, there is a large heated outdoor viewing terrace where you will be able to view the more adventurous family members!

  • Address: Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AB
  • Dates and Time: Open from November 4, 2016 to February 25, 2017, from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £16.95 for adults, £10.95 for children and £46.50 for families (2+2 or 1+3)


Broadgate Ice Rink:

Located in Exchange Square, just a stone’s throw away from Liverpool Street Station, Broadgate ice rink is the perfect place for skaters of all ages and levels.

  • Address: Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square EC2A 2BQ
  • Dates and Time: Open from mid-November to end of February from 10AM to 10PM
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): £13 for adults, £9 for kids between the ages of 4 and 13, £35 for families (2+2 or 1+3)


Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink:

Located outside of London, in the South Western suburb, the Hampton Court Palace ice skating rink offers spectacular views on the Hampton Court Palace, where King Henry VIII once lived. A great place to share a great moment with your family is you have already seen all the classics in London.

  • Address: Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU
  • Dates and Time: to be confirmed
  • Price (1 hour sessions, rental included): to be confirmed


8. What are the best family-friendly shows during Christmas 2016 in London?


When spending Christmas in London with kids, a great way to entertain your whole family is to go watch a show.

And there are quite a many family-friendly shows in London that both you and your children will love.

Here is a list of some of the best shows playing during the 2016-2017 Holiday season in London:


All the Angels:

This play retraces the story behind baroque composer George Frideric Handel’s famous composition “Messiah”, from its origins as an ordinary “song” in a pub to one of the most famous piece of choral music ever written.

  • Where: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT London
  • Performances: from December 6, 2016 to February 12, 2017 (closed on December 24 and 25)


Kiki’s Delivery Service:

This magical play follows a 13 year old witch who leaves her family behind to start a new life on her own. It is perfect for children aged seven and up.

  • Where: Southwark Playhouse, 77-85 Newington Causeway, SE1 6BD London
  • Performances: from December 8, 2016 to January 8, 2017 (closed on December 24, 25 and 26)


The Little Match Girl (and Other Happier Tales):

This play, suitable for children aged 8 and above, is an adaptation of some of the most famous stories written by Hans Christian Andersen.

  • Where: Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, 21 New Globe Walk, Bankside, SE1 9DT London
  • Performances: from November 24, 2016 to January 21, 2017 (closed on December 24 and 25)


NoFit State Circus – Bianco:

The British contemporary circus company NoFit State come back with an upgraded version of their show “Bianco”. This troop of talented acrobats and their jaw dropping stunts will keep both you and your children amazed!

  • Where: Hungerford Bridge Car park, Waterloo
  • Performances: from November 23, 2016 to January 22, 2017 (closed on December 24 and 25)


Peter Pan:

A modern adaptation of the story of the boy who would not grow up, which will fascinate all Peter Pan fans, both young and old.

  • Where: National Theatre, South Bank, London SE1 9PX
  • Performances: from November 16, 2016 to December 29, 2017 (closed on December 24 and 25)


Disney on Ice – Frozen:

A show that needs no introduction as the movie was an enormous success. Young children will love watching their favorite characters and listen to the classic music, which I am sure they all know by heart!

  • Where: O2, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0DX
  • Performances: From December 21 to Dec 30 2016 (closed on December 25)


If you need us to book something for you, or arrange your Christmas holiday with your family in London, Paris or Rome, contact us! We will be happy to turn your dream Christmas family holiday into a reality!

Submit a comment