The lights in London come out to play and we’ve compiled our top picks for 2019. So grab your children, scarves and gloves and get some festive lights in your lives.
November 13 Christmas Lights at Kings Cross
Join the party and celebrate the switching on of the King’s Cross Christmas lights at Coal Drops Yard! The yard will be transformed into an enchanted winter forest, there will be music from Spiritland DJs, the London Gay Men’s Chorus and special entertainment from Famous First Words, the singing game show with a twist. Plus food, festive tipples and shopping. The fun kicks off at 5:30.
November 13: Marylebone Christmas Lights
With a Santa’s Grotto, food and market stalls, the Marylebone Christmas lights are making one of the most beautiful places in London that much prettier.
November 14: Regent Street Christmas Lights
Is it really Christmas in London if you haven’t seen the Regent Street lights? This is London’s largest light installation and as 2019 marks the 200th anniversary of this famous shopping street there will be plenty of festive fun to be had. There will be celebs, music and more. The theme will be a throwback to the first ever Christmas light display in 1954. For further details check www.regentstreetonline.com
November 15: The Enchanted Woodland
The Enchanted Woodland is back at Syon Park and it promises to transform the 600 year old gardens into a scene from a fairytale with interactive lights, beautiful light sculptures and illuminations. Tickets start at £10, more info and booking here.
November 20: Christmas at Kew
See Kew like you have never seen it before. Adorned with thousands of pea lights, laser beams in the Temperate House and a waterfall of lights from a tree canopy. There will be lots of interaction with the lights too from singing Holly Bushes, to light tunnels and canopies and a flickering fire garden. Possibly the sparkliest ticket in town. There will also be a selection of street foods and the usual hot chocolate (or mulled wine) to warm you up as you wander through the trail. Tickets are £18 for an adult and expected to sell out so book now via their website here.
November 20 Old Royal Naval College
Join the Old Royal Naval College and Greenwich Market for the spectacular Greenwich lantern procession and the switching on of the Market’s Christmas sparkly lights.
Children from five local schools, led by jazz band Tunnel Chops, will parade their handmade colourful lanterns through our stunning grounds, round Cutty Sark Gardens and into Greenwich Market for the big Christmas Countdown and Lights On with a special guest Jack Rose (JCK), followed by performances on stage by the Angelina Jandolo Dance Showcase and Greenwich Stagecoach singers. Father Christmas also be joining the event to welcome our little visitors in his Greenwich Grotto. Visitors can make their own lanterns at a special free Lantern making workshop, sponsored by RBGC, in Greenwich Market on Saturday 16th November, 1pm to 4pm. Event is free but more info here.
November 21: Oxford Street Christmas Lights
The busiest shopping street in Europa attracts over 1 million people for its annual Christmas light switch on so this is not one for the faint hearted amongst us. This year there will be LED curtains adorning the street, each made up of 222,000 lights. Capital Xtra are getting in on the action and there will be a bunch of gigs taking place throughout stores up and down the street.
November 23 Chelsea Christmas Lights
Returning with magical displays across Sloane Square, Sloane Street, Duke of York Square and Pavilion Road and for the first time, new lights on the King’s Road. The new displays will see decorative lights inspired by the crown of King Charles II, for whom the Road was originally built as a private route to travel between palaces. He famously restored Christmas to the nation following Oliver Cromwell’s ban on festivities for over a decade. From 2pm there will be an array of entertainment across the neighbourhood, including carol singers and performers perfect for little Londoners. At 5pm, Father Christmas and his ‘special helper’, will turn on the Christmas Lights from the stage on Sloane Square, lighting up Duke of York Square, Pavilion Road, Sloane Street and the King’s Road marking the start of the Christmas season. Hurah.
November 28 Wave at Eccleston Yards
Squidsoup artist collective is bringing a load of magical orbs to Eccleston Yards for families and London visitors to enjoy, interact with, touch and get lost in. ‘Wave’ is an interactive light and voice experience that explores the wonders of colourful illuminations, taking inspiration from the ancient healing concept of Chromotherapy: the science of using the powers of light and colour to balance energy in the body and mind and we are there for it! More info here.
December 5 Enchanted Eltham Palace
Make the most of winter evenings this December with an enchanting experience of light, colour and sound as Eltham Palace is transformed into an illuminated world. Follow the charming trail to discover the garden in a new light. Then join the crowd for mulled wines & mince pies, enjoy a fairground ride and browse for Christmas gifts in the shop. Book early to avoid disappointment. More info and booking here.
December 6 Squidsoup Installation at Southbank Centre
Seems like the team at Squidsoup have been rather busy. This time they have created a swirling, sweeping swarm of light and sound suspended from the iconic ceiling of Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer in an immersive new artwork. Consisting of 200 beautiful orbs, the work creates the impression of sounds and lit presences in motion. This piece by Squidsoup is a continuation of a series of works that include Kew Gardens’ Bloom, Salisbury Cathedral’s Wave, and Desert Wave from Burning Man. Sound by Emma Gillespie.