The Young Londoner has you covered with our top things to do for families in the last five days of the decade.
Make a day of it with ‘All Wrapped Up’ at Arts Depot
This show is a gift that you won’t regret wrapping. All Wrapped Up is a multi sensory feast for the whole family that is very interactive, colourful and fun – if you need some help deciding on whether to go we have compiled 5 reasons here. Plus Arts Depot has a little onsite gallery, a fairly priced cafe and a soft play area so you can spend a day there.
Get wild at ZSL London Zoo
Pack up those Christmas leftovers and take them along to the Zoo. Take a stroll in the aquarium, meet the bugs and say Happy Christmas to the animals. Enjoy some interactive play alongside some of the residents and have a play in the Animal Adventure playground. ZSL London Zoo is open from the 26th of December onwards. More info and booking here.
Spend a day at the V&A Museum of Childhood
Join in the fun at the V&A Museum of Childhood for their Make & Do Christmas activities which include pop-up performances on how the Victorians celebrated Christmas, festive stories and lots of opportunities to get arty and crafty with the kids. All activities as well as entry to the museum is free, full details here.
Mouse around with Disney on Ice
Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and pals take to the ice to honour the legacy of Walt Disney and welcome audiences on a magical journey through classic and modern Disney tales. Families will join the fun in an exciting opening number that salutes Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as the original hosts of Disney On Ice. Tickets from £26, more info here.
Send Letters Home at the RAF Museum
This trail is inspired by the letters that were sent during the War from serving personnel. Women and Men serving in the Armed Forces over the Christmas holidays have always written home to family, friends and loved ones with great fondness. In their letters they talk of the Christmases they experience when they are deployed. Some are sad, others quite funny! The museum has created their own letter home and you need to find the missing items around the Museum and fill them in. Museum reopens on the 27th of December and the trail is £3 per person, more info can be found here.
Check out Battersea Power Station Winter Village
The Coaling Jetty has been transformed into a magical Winter Village complete with a child-friendly synthetic ice rink with cute skate aids for the little ones, and London’s only riverside curling lanes. The Winter Village is closed for Boxing day but open from the 27th of December for families to explore and there is a cinema, The Cat in the Hat is playing at the Turbine Hall and there are lots of foodie pop-ups (if you find yourself still peckish)
Go see a Show
What better time of year to cozy up to a festive show! Go for tea with a tiger at the Theatre Royal Haymarket or join the Circus at the Southbank Centre with the brilliant elephant puppets, Queenie and Peanut. Choose to have the Best Day Ever alongside Peppa Pig or take a stroll in the air with The Snowman and if you fancy sausages made of dinosaurs then look no further than Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs in Leicester Square. Go on an adventure with a Little Price at Omnibus Theatre, have some rhythmic fun with Oi Frog and friends or climb in the belly of the beast with The Wolf, The Duck and The Mouse.
Get some Instagram pics at this Immersive Pop-up Art installation
The Wonder Factory in Dalston is an Instagrammable paradise with 15 immersive art installations that can be touched, interacted with and photographed (and let’s face it, we all love a decent picture!) Expect a pink indoor beach complete with sand and beach huts, an orchard of blossom trees and a 3m wall of LED lamps you can interact with to create your own artwork. Plus there is an infinite star-filled mirror room and floating balloons. We were SOLD. They are selling a limited number of tickets for £1 (plus booking fee) so get in quick here.
Dance Around at Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground Barn Dance
Hackney Marsh Adventure Playground is hosting a barn dance for families on Sunday 29th of December and we are so there for it. There will be food, festive cheer, live music and barn dancing and lots of tinsel. This is alongside the usual array of activities like clay sculpting, kinetic sand, cookie making as well as the outdoor fun, den building, fire making and more. All activities are free, just turn up from 12pm until 4pm.
Get some fresh air in the Royal Parks
Brave the cold weather and take a stroll through the Royal Parks. Hyde Park has Winter Wonderland which is jam packed with rides, shows, ice rinks and foodie delights. Kensington Gardens has one of our favourite children’s play areas, the Diana Memorial Playground, where kids can enjoy the huge wooden pirate ship, play sculptures and sensory trail inspired by the adventures of fictional park hero Peter Pan. If you fancy seeing the closest thing to reindeer in London then check out Richmond Park or look out for the bronze Diana fountain at the end of the mile-long Chestnut Avenue, designed by Sir Christopher Wren in Bushy Park. St James’ Park is at the heart of everything, it has pelicans, an enviable view of Buckingham Palace and a number of play areas suitable for children so if you are happy to mingle with tourists and practice your Duo Lingo in action – this is the park for you. Head over to Greenwich Park for enviable views over the city, a festive ice rink at the Queen’s House and lots of family friendly activities at the Royal Museums Greenwich. The play area in Greenwich Park has recently had a refurb and will entertain little Londoners for hours. Finally take a stroll in the Regent’s Park which also houses an interesting play space for children as well as ZSL London Zoo where you may spot an animal or two.