London’s Family Christmas Guide 2015

Dec 14, 2015 by

Are you looking to enjoy the most this great city has to offer without breaking the bank?  Check out my picks for this holiday season – nearly everything is under £15 with the exception of one show.  There is a lot on, enjoy!

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Royal Opera House, The Firework-Maker’s Daughter: Philip Pullman’s magical tale of courage and friendship staged as an opera.  Tickets from just £8 in the Linbury Studio.

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Unicorn Theatre:  The leader in quality children’s theatre has three shows on this season.  Baddies: The Musical, ages 6+.  Th Snow Child ages 3+.  Once Upon a Christmas ages 2-4.  Check performance times and pricing.

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V and A, Pop-up Performances: This is one of the more relaxed venues for small children and the events are well-attended, but you can always find a seat.  Come and see a free performance of  the Nutcracker with your little ones Monday 28th – Thursday 31st, 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Free, all ages

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The Bus King Theatre, Spitalfields Market: Enjoy puppet theatre on a double decker bus!!  Tickets £5 for kids, £7.50 adults.

 

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Puppet Theatre Barge, Mr. Rabbit meets Brer Santa : Head over to Little Venice and watch a magical retelling of the classic tale with puppets whilst floating on the canal.  This is so special and excellent value.  Tickets £8.50 kids, £12.00 adults.  Running December 22nd, 23rd and then 27th – 3rd at 3pm daily.  Check out my review from last Christmas

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Cadogan Hall, Family Holiday Concerts : take the kids to this fabulous concert hall just off Sloane Square and enjoy the Paddington Bear’s First Concert or The Snowman and Peter and the Wolf.  Various dates and times, tickets from £25 per person.

Little Angel Theatre, The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me; Wow! Said the Owl : A unique theatre experience for children and grown ups alike.  Tickets start at £10.

Peacock Theatre, The Snowman: The Snowman magically retold as a ballet, complete with flying snowmen – a wonderful production to inspire the most reluctant of children with an appreciation for ballet.  Tickets start at £15 (and all seats have great views).

Nutcracker, The Coliseum:  This is one very special London Christmas tradition, the Edwardian sets are just gorgeous and the hot air ballon ride over London is spectacular.  Tickets start at £14, call for children’s discounted tickets.  Check out my review from last Christmas 

Monkey Music Chelsea

Monkey Music Chelsea, Belgravia, Pimlico and Gloucester Road

Welcome in the New Year with lots of fun at

Monkey Music with your little one!

Monkey Music’s award winning, super popular music classes offer innovative curriculums for each stage of your little one’s development, beginning with specialist baby classes from 3 months up to 4 yrs old.

Classes are beautifully presented with fabulous puppets, hand crafted props, specialist percussion, dance and movement, magical bubbles and lots more!

Venues in Chelsea, Belgravia, Pimlico & Gloucester Road

Term begins on 8th January, to book your first FREE complimentary class click on the link below for full timetable and venue details. http://www.monkeymusic.co.uk/area/chelsea-belgravia-knightsbridge-gloucesterroad-westminster

chelsea.westminster@monkeymusic.co.uk

 

Unique and Convenient Santa’s Grottos

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King’s Cross, Santa’s Floating Grotto: Join Father Christmas and his elf on a 45 minute canal ride on a festive narrowboat cruising from Kings Cross to Camden and back.  Tickets are £10 for adults, £8 for children ages 3-15.  Children under 2 go free if they sit in the adults lap, mince pies and singing. Sunday 20th and Monday 21st running on the hour from 11am – 5pm.

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Museum of London Victorian Grotto: Running daily until Tuesday 23rd, you can book your place to meet with this period Santa in a vintage setting.  There are loads of interesting events on at the Museum of London to work into your visit.  Tickets from £7 per child and includes a gift.

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Duke of York Square Santa’s Grotto: I really enjoy this innovative grotto as not only is it free, it allows you to tick the box of visiting Father Christmas without having to queue uncomfortably in a crowded store.  You can schedule a time to see Father Christmas or just show up in Duke of York Square and see if they have any availability.  You can shop a bit, the kids can play in front of the Saatchi Gallery and then you can all head down The Kings Road for shopping and a play in St. Luke’s Playground.  Open daily 10am – 5pm, until Tuesday 23rd.

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If getting fit is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions this year, I have to tell you all about a site my friend (and client) is launching in January. Kerri Holland (who I’ve written about before, she ran the ever popular Buggy Bootcamp in Hyde Park), is launching Postparty, a website that encompasses safe and highly effective workout videos for prenatal and postnatal women, and beyond. It is like Netflix, just log in and click on any high intensity, low intensity, express or full length workout of your choice, which can be done anytime, anywhere! My favourite is the Mum Guilt Workout where she gets me to do a full minute plank for [accidentally on purpose] throwing out my kid’s artwork and then 20 press-ups for that cheeky glass of wine I had once [weekly] during conception. Stay tuned on this ladies, she is also posting delicious clean recipes to help you slim down, helpful parenting hacks, and opening an online community to help you meet mum’s in your area, find sitters, cleaners and the like. postparty.net

Christmas Carols and Services for Families:

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St. Paul’s Cathedral Family Carol Service:  Bring the warmly welcomed (and perhaps warmly dressed) children to St. Paul’s to listen to carols by performed by the Chamber Choir; Saturday 19th, 11am.  Free, all ages.  The Christmas Carol Service on Wednesday 23rd, 4pm will also be televised by big screen in Paternostre Square – a perfect way to enjoy the service in a more relaxed way.

Westminster Abbey: Crib Service, Thursday 24th, noon.

St. Martin-in-the-Fields Festive Family Carols :Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd, 4pm.  Bring the kids and enjoy this classic Christmas carol concert.  Tickets from £7.

Museum Activities and Events

Royal Museums Greenwich, Planetarium: Fully embrace the long winter nights and take the kids to see a fantastic planetarium show.  £6.50 adults, £4.50 kids, £20 family ticket, some shows specifically for children.  Book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Institute Francais: over the holiday period there will be cinema (in French and English), digital club (French and English), takes and workshops for kids in easy French and more.  This is a fabulous friendly place even for non-French speaking kids.

Southbank Centre: My kids could spend the entire holiday here.  There is the Southbank Winter Market with stalls, rides, lights and more.  There are free screenings of Casablanca and Its a Wonderful Life, the Bump Rollerdisco, Gamelan sessions, performances, knitting circles, poetry, and collaborative efforts to make the holiday season about helping others.

Wallace Collection, Cracking Christmas: Monday 21st, 11am-1pm.  Come to the education centre and make your very own Christmas cracker.  Free, ages 5+ (younger siblings welcome), drop-in.

Museum of London, Holiday Events: Head down to the Museum of London for loads of interesting activities for the kids over the school holidays including handling Hindu objects from beneath the Thames, watch a production of A Christmas Carol, a Tudor Frost Fair and more.  Events are free and drop-in.

National Portrait Gallery Family Portraits : Sunday 20th December, 1-4:30 pm.  Head over to the Portrait Gallery and make a beautiful, keepsake Victorian Christmas family photo in the pop up photo studio.  Ages 3+, free

National Gallery Family Events: Holiday Art Workshops for all ages – Monday 28th – Wednesday 30th December, 11am and repeated 2pm.  Make your own ringing bell towers, no booking but spaces allocated on arrival up to one hour before the session start. Messy Mondays and Talking Tuesdays, events for the under 5s over the holidays.

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