Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by Louise

Book a Free Christmas Walking Tour

Embark on a themed Christmas tour in November and December. Discover amazing Christmas trees, see Christmas lights and hear about Christmas in the past. 

A quick Google search brings up many free walking tours at Christmas. Here are a few to look at:

London with a Local

Strawberry Tours

Free Tour 

The tours are free but the guides don’t get paid so earn their money from tips they receive at the end of the tour. If you enjoyed the tour you can pay as much as you can afford or what you think it was worth at the end.

Marvel at the Christmas Tree at Trafalgar Square

Every year the people of Norway gift a Christmas tree as a token of gratitude for Britain’s support during World War II.

The tree is normally a 50 to 60 metre Norweigan Spruce which stands 20 metres tall.

Why not attend the tree lighting ceremony in Trafalgar Square which takes place on the first Thursday in December and is attended by thousands of people?

Or enjoy the Christmas carols which take place there from early December.

Bag Cheap Tickets to See A Play

Christmas is a traditional time to go to theatre in the UK but it can cost a small fortune.

The good news is that there are many places you can see a play without breaking the bank. Here are some ideas:

If you’re happy to stand you can see the Brother Grimm’s winter fairy tale ‘Hansel and Gretel‘ at the Globe for just £5! Other tickets can be bought for as little as £20 and are half price for children.

Join in the panto tradition and see Aladdin at the Hackney Empire with tickets from just £13.

Take the kids to the Little Angel Theatre in Islington where you can see Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book for just £8 a ticket on Thursday and Friday afternoons over the winter months.

Small children (aged 3 to 7) will also enjoy the Albany’s production of The Light Princess with all tickets at the Deptford theatre priced at just £12.

 

Discover the Magic of Christmas Markets

Stroll through one of London’s many Christmas markets. Soak up the festive atmosphere while browsing through unique Christmas themed stalls. If you have a few pennies you can induldge in a delicious treat or treat yourself warm cup of mulled wine.

There are pleny of markets to choose from:

Browse through unique gifts and handmade items at Covent Garden. Enjoy street performers and marvel at the giant Christmas tree in the piaza. On Thursdays between 6.15 and 7pm listen to music from the London International Gospel Choir. Marvel at the brand new Christmas installation which featues over 40 gigantic bells with bows, 12 giant baubles and 8 spinning mirror balls, all displayed in the iconic Market Building. Plus have a free Christmas selfie on a traditionally decorated sleigh or on the festively decorated Covent garden swing seat. Find out more about Christmas in Covent Garden.

Another place to join in the festive spirit is at Greenwich market. Combine the market with many of the free attractions available in Greenwich which include the National Martime Museum, The Queen’s House Museum and a winter stroll through Greenwich Park.

Alternatively, wander through the stunning Victorian architecture of Leadenhall Market, beautifully adorned with festive decorations. See the 8 metre high Christmas tree and LED light display. While you’re there, enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and perhaps pick up some last-minute Christmas goodies.

There’s also the market on the Southbank as part of the winter festival. Find out more below…

Visit the Southbank Centre Winter Festival

Head to the Southbank Centre for their Winter Festival.

Walk through the Christmas markets in the festive huts. See the color and outdoor artwork as part of the winter light event. Throughout the festive season there are also free choirs and concerts.

Visit the Museum of Docklands London for Free Entry and Christmas Events

The Museum of Docklands has free entry all year round. It’s a great day out, with many interactive exhibits which bring the history of the docklands to life.

During Christmas 2023, kids can enjoy the magic of the frost fair. You can also visit a Victorian Santa’s grotto at a small extra cost. Find out more about family Christmas events taking place.

Christmas Lights Bus Tour

Hop on a bus and take a tour of London’s dazzling Christmas lights. While there are paid tours available, you can create your own route with a public bus.

The 139 bus from Waterloo to Golders Green has been names the most Christmassy bus in London by Secret London.  It cruises across Waterloo bridge where you can see Christmas lights across the River Thames. Then it passes by the giant Christmas tree at Trafalgar Square. It also journeys by the beautiful lit up angels at Regent Street. The cost = £1.75!

Get Crafty with the Kids at the Royal Navel College, Greenwich

Make a Christmas craker or a shiny cornucopia on 10th December at this free drop in craft session. Why not combine your trip to the musuem with a browse round Greenwich Christmas market (see above).

Free Off Peak Entry Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

While most attractions within the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland may come with a cost, you can get off peak entry to the park is free. Explore the Christmas markets, admire the lights, and soak in the festive atmosphere with your kids.

You can also see Santa for free and get a free gift (although expect long queues!)

Experience Christmas in Leicester Square

Leicester Square is transformed into a festive haven during Christmas. Most events may require tickets but the square itself is open to the public for free. Visit the seasonal Market, and enjoy the enchanting festive lights illuminating Leicester Square and St Martin’s Lane.

Find out more about Christmas in Leicester Square.

Enjoy the Winter Festival at the Museum of the Home

Located in East London, the Museum of the Home is well worth a visit at any time of year and has free entry. During the festive months it’s even better as the period rooms are dressed specifically for the winter festival. Journey through different rooms to see how the home has changed from the 17th Century through to the present day. The rooms are based on real London homes and their owners.

During the Winter festival visitors can explore 400 years of winter festivities, from a joyful Midwinter in 1630 to a fabulous Millenium party.

On 7th December 2023 the Museum of Home will hold it’s winter gathering. There is a small charge for the event (£5 to £7). Some of the rooms are decorated for Christmas and enjoy seasonal music, crafting and mulled wine.

Enjoy Carols at St Paul’s Cathedral

Listen and sing carols in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Cathedral.

There are free carol services taking place throughout December incuding on Christmas Eve. Some servies require you to book a free ticket so check dates and time online at St Paul’s Cathedral before you go.

Christmas Views from the Sky Garden

Book tickets to the Sky Garden, for a free view of London’s magnificent skyline in all it’s festive glory.

The Sky Garden is located on 43rd floor of The Fenchurch Building (alson known as the Walkie Talkie) and has panoramic views over London.

Why not also dine in the restaurants and bars there while enjoying the magnificent views?

A Christmas Ride in a Cable Car

Take the IFS cloud cable car over the River Thames. It gives amazing views of Canary Wharf with London spread in the distance. It’s another way to get a festive view of London at Christmas time.

Tickets for the cable car are just £6 for a return trip for kids and £12 for adults.

Read our review of the IFS cloud cable car.

Wander the the Luminaze Light Festival at Wembly Park

Embark on a magical festive journey at the Luminaze light festival at Wembly Park in North London.

From 2nd December to 4th January, visitors of all ages can enjoy cutting edge neon lights and art installations. It’s open from 12pm to 8pm but of course the best time to enjoy it is after dark from around 4pm.

Also look out for the Winter in Wembley Park where you can walk around festive markets on 2nd December.

Head to Oxford Streets for more Free Events.

At Christmas, Oxford Street becomes much more that one of the best shopping streets in London. There are lots of free things to see and do if you know where to look.

Between 4pm and 11pm, wander down Oxford street and admire the “sky fall of star” display. Thousands of bright stars (which are made of more than 300,000 energy-efficient LED lightbulbs and recycled materials) float above the iconic shopping area.

On the corner of Oxford Street and South Molton Street, don’t miss the the Starlight Faerie,a beautiful sculpture by local artists, made using waste materials from across Westminster.

Selfridges department store is a great place to see Santa for free. Santa and his eleves roam the store spreading Christmas cheer most days over the festive period. Check out the times to see Santa here. In addition, live DJs and choirs play Christmas music while you shop.

Right next to Oxford Street, in Tottenham Court Rd’s the Now building, immersive yourself in a snowglobe, the latest interactive festive art installation presented by UNIQLO. It’s family friendly and free everyday during the festive period. Walk into an enchanting life-size snow globe filled with floor-to-ceiling screens. See hand-illustrated villagers going about their day, having snowball fights and shopping. Making digital snow angels on the central screen and challenge family and friends to a virtual snowball fight. Find out more.

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