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15 Best Things to Do in London This Weekend (22nd – 24th December)

15 Best Things to Do in London This Weekend (22nd – 24th December)

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Looking for something to spice up the Christmas Eve weekend? We’ve totally got you covered. 

Whoever you are, this weekend is a biggun. It’s the blowout before Christmas. Naturally London is offering you more wonderful ways to get into the Christmas spirit than you could feasibly attend. In order to make things easy for you in this oh-so-busy time, we’ve curated the best of them right here. 

That’s everything from festive sip and paint sessions to haunting walking tours around Ebeneezer Scrooge’s real-life hangouts. 

Saturday is the shortest day of the year and there are chances to bring a little colour to the gloom with wreath-making classes or at the wild strobe-lit interior of a classic London venue hosting none other than Korean superstar DJ Hunee. 

It’s not all go though. If you need a chance to chill out, you’ll find a festive meditation session that should do the trick (as well as our tips for how best to spend the big day). Let’s make this weekend count…

And most importantly, happy Christmas everybody!

The Best Things to Do in London This Weekend 

Explore the Natural History Museum with Mulled Wine and Mince Pie in Hand 


Friday 22nd 

Natural History Museum
(c) Trustees of the Natural History Museum

If you want to combine a little mental stimulation with a good bit of festive fun, The Natural History Museum will be open late this Friday night. 

The night is going to see the museum packed out with festive activities and games suitable for people of all ages. There’s also going to be a special prize (what that is remains a closely guarded secret) for the best Christmas outfit. 

Not only that, they’ll be serving up mulled wine and mince pies to really ease you into the evening. Trust us when we say you’ll need that wine. The famous T-rex has been decked out in Christmas gear and if you thought that was a scary sight before, wait till you see it now. 

More information here

See Christmas Hits Sung by Candlelight 

London Bridge 

Friday 22nd 

Christmas Carols Candlelight

Candlelight have been busy in the build-up to Christmas. Last week they were holding carol service in stunning churches, this week they’re taking things modern with all your favourite festive pop hits. 

The numbers they’re covering have got some serious vibes to them, think Mariah Carey and Wham! Covers, faithful renditions of Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande, Beiber’s Mistletoe and heaps more, all performed by an orchestra in a setting that will likely leave your jaw on the floor. 

More info and tickets here

Do a Festive Sip and Paint


Friday 22nd 

The creativity (and boozin’) don’t stop for Christmas folks. If you want to carry on a bit of both over the Xmas weekend you can with Pop Up Painting

They’ve been running classes all over the country for years now so they really know what they’re up to, delivering fun-filled (and prosecco-fuelled) events that provide no end of laughs as well as a good chance to socialise with some fellow arty types. 

For this event they’re laying on a playlist of festive classics and Christmas-themed treats with all the art supplies you need to get going. All you have to do is show up. 

More info and tickets here

Celebrate a Decade of RnB at Village Underground 


Friday 22nd 

It’s not just the birth of Christ we’ll be celebrating this weekend. RnB crew So Fresh So Clean are also turning ten. 

If you’ve not been to any of their parties in the past decade you’re missing out. They kicked things off in Ladbroke Grove looking to spice up the RnB scene and went on to collaborate on nights with stars from The Wu-Tang Clan, Pete Rock, Eve, and Ms Dynamite. 

This Friday they’re taking over Village Underground with Children of Zeus, Shola Ama and US DJ/producer/legend Harry Love behind the decks. Fans of the genre or people after a big night out don’t want to miss this, trust us. 

Book tickets here

Make a Festive Wreath 

Shepherd’s Bush 

Saturday 23rd 

The 22nd of December is the shortest day of the year, traditionally this gloomy period is kept at bay by the introduction of a little greenery into the household in the form of a festive wreath. 

This weekend Malina’s Plants and Terrariums are holding a wreath-making class where you can design and construct a wreath of your own. 

They’ve got some experts on hand to show you how to do it and provide all the greenery, ribbons and decorations you need to run wild. 

More information and booking here

See a Killer Korean DJ at Koko 


Saturday 23rd

It looks like Christmas has come early for electronic music fans. Korean DJ (and one of our faves in the biz) Hunnee is coming to London. He’s going to be playing at one of the city’s coolest venues too…

That would be Koko Electronic, the new(ish) nightclub section of the venue that’s staged legends from Charlie Chaplin to The Rolling Stones. He’s going back-to-back with Amsterdam-based DJ Antal, also a bit of a legend in his own right. 

It’s going to be a biggun – but if ever there was an occasion for it, the last Saturday before Xmas might just be the one. 

Tickets here

Get Boozed up on a Festive Pub Crawl 

Covent Garden 

Saturday 23rd

Christmas (for us at least) often becomes a time of wild boozing. Rarely though, does it get as wild as this: a fully organised and solidly planned pub crawl around central London. 

These guys have a route through five of the most popular bars and pubs in the area and you get free shots and drinks at each. On top of that, when you’ve drunk your free booze dry there are discounts on whatever else you want. 

They also lay on a photographer to document the madness (queue the embarrassing photos the morning after), and as it’s Christmas they’ve promised to dish out plenty of festive freebies along the route. 

Don your Santa hats and let’s get going!

More info and tickets here

See Handel’s Messiah Performed at a Famous London Church


Saturday 23rd 

Until the advent of Mariah Carey and Nat King Cole, Handel’s Messiah was probably one of the most famous bits of Christmas music there was. 

It’s a three-movement piece that conveys through music the story of the life of Christ from his birth to his death, and finally his resurrection. You might recognise it from the sound of a choir singing hallelujah at the top of their voices. 

For Christmas, you’ve got a special chance to see it performed at the grand St Mary Le Strand Church – probably one of the finest places for it. If you want to be wowed, you’ll want to be here.  

More info and bookings here

Get Festive with a Christmas Cabaret


Until Saturday 30th (except Christmas Day) 

Any regular readers of this London x London will know we love a good bit of over-the-top theatre. If you’re the same, the Phoenix Arts Club will probably already be on your radar. They’re pretty much the go-to spot for a bit of cabaret in London

For a couple of weeks over the festive season, they’re running a festive cabaret special. It’s a mix of comedy, burlesque and drag shows strung together to make an evening of serious fun. 

Their shows are a hoot at the best of times, but with the added energy of this magic time of the year, we’re expecting them to be going into overdrive. 

More info and bookings here

Hear Christmas Carols at What Might be the Most Impressive Venue Possible 


Saturday 23rd + Sunday 24th 

If you want to sink into the Xmas holidays in a big way, you can’t do better than Christmas carols. And as carols go you can’t do much better than this: the annual festive service at Westminster Abbey. 

They’re running service throughout the weekend but we’ve got our eye on the 23rd and 24th as (at the time of writing) there were still tickets available. We doubt that will last long though so hop on this ASAP if you want to go. 

You’ll be a party to the abbey’s choir doing all the anthems and the priest reading passages from the bible. It’s about as traditional as it gets. We love it. 

More info and booking here

Pick Up your Christmas Meat at the Return of this Great Xmas Tradition


Saturday 23rd 

Have you heard about the return of the Smithfield Market Christmas meat auction? It’s one of our favourite things that happens in London at this time of year, a tradition that dates back to a time before fridges when meat needed to be bought as close to the date of consumption as possible. 

It’s also a spectacle. Butchers yell prices and cuts over a manic crowd of cash-waving bargain hunters. Your purchase is then (no joke) linged to you over the top of the crowd. We assure you, you’ve never seen anything like it.  

More info here

See The Snowman Performed Live 


Until December 30th 

Since we were children The Snowman has been an integral part of our Christmas festivities. This year it’s going to be holding the very same place in our hearts in a special run of shows at The Peacock Theatre. 

They’ve reproduced the beloved book (and animation) in what’s always a beautiful performance (we aren’t ashamed to admit we will probably shed a tear) under the direction of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s highly talented Bill Alexander. 

The performance is a staple of the Xmas period, now in its 26th year. If you’ve not seen it yet and you love The Snowman as much as us, you should go. 

Book tickets here

Take a Dickensian Christmas Carol Walking Tour

The City of London 

Sunday 24th 

Charles Dickens

For generations, A Christmas Carol has been impressed on the imagination of children at Christmas time. Dickens’ tale of ghostly Christmas happenings is nothing but a classic. 

This Christmas Eve you can follow in the footsteps of the man himself and the characters that populate his pages on a special A Christmas Carol walking tour. 

It’ll take you through The City of London visiting the real-life places where Ebeneezer Scrooge lived and worked with an expert on the history of the time, and Dickens’ work as your guide.

More info and tickets here

Do Some Meditation 


Sunday 24th 

As much as we love it, the Christmas period can become pretty stressful. There are always so many people to see and last-minute presents to pick up, the turkey to get in the fridge and visiting relatives to welcome. 

It’s a wonder you ever find a moment to breathe. If you need a good excuse to take a couple of hours of downtime, Lees Spiritual Healing are running a special Christmas Eve meditation class to help you get zen before Christmas. 

It’s only £5 and it promised to blast any Xmas stress right away. 

More info and booking here

Attend Midnight Mass at St Paul’s

St Paul’s

Sunday 24th 

If you want something to really put the magic into your Christmas, don’t miss the Midnight Eucharist at St Pauls – it’s about as magical as it gets, but for a church service in the UK’s most famous Cathedral we suppose magic isn’t exactly hard to come by. 

The service begins at 11:30pm and brings Christmas day in with readings from the story of the nativity and choir singing. It’s a very traditional affair, they even offer out communion to the congregation in the form of bread and wine. 

In the true spirit of Christmas, it’s also free to attend.

More info here

And If You’re Looking for Something to Do on Christmas Day…


Monday 25th 

London Snow Christmas

So there you have it, heaps of events to keep you busy for the build-up to the big day. The fun doesn’t entirely stop there though. 

While many venues will shut their doors for the day, some places keep open and in full swing, offering sumptuous Christmas feasts for those who don’t want to cook and plenty of festive drinks to get the day’s spirit in full swing. 

We’ve written a guide to all the best places open on Christmas Day 2023, and a few tips of our own for making it a magical one in London. You can read that below. 

Read More: Christmas Day In London 2023 Guide: Fabulous Restaurants and Things to Do

What’s Hot in London Right Now? 

  • TodayTix are offering a £10,000 annual theatre passes to ten people rich enough to afford them. The tickets get you premium Band-A seats at any West End show you want to see for the whole of 2024. Theatre lovers, get gathering your pennies. 
  • The National Theatre has announced its new Artistic Director. Filling the fabled role will be Indhu Rubasingham, previous AD of the Kiln Theatre. She’s a big name in the business and has previously directed plays at the National Theatre. We’re excited to see what she’d got up her sleeve going forward. 

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