London has so much on offer, especially at Christmas time. But since many of us are spending all of our money on gifts, food and travel, we might need to penny-pinch when it comes to activities during the Christmas holidays. So I have put together a guide of some free/low cost activities/attractions the whole family can enjoy this winter.
Covent Garden Piazza - the Piazza is lovely anytime of year, but it becomes magical at Christmas. The Market building is adorned with more than 40 mistletoe chandeliers and about 100,000 pealights suspended all around. There is also a Lego Express train, made with 500,000 Lego bricks and comes complete with such special effects as lights, sounds and even smoke. Get to the Piazza by the 29th December 2015 to see its complete glory.
St. Paul's Cathedral - yes there are Christmas services at your local church. But St. Paul's Cathedral is the daddy of churches. It is divinely beautiful, and this week there will be plenty of carol services to make you fill you with the Christmas spirit.
Tower of London Ice Rink - okay, it's not cheap but I had to sneak this one in. A family ticket will set you back £38, but look at your surroundings - beautiful, historic views while you skate under the stars.
Winter Festival at the Southbank Centre - a host of entertainment, shopping, food and activities, with many of the latter for free. You could stroll through the Christmas market, people watch and enjoy some free face painting and workshops in the NatWest Family Fun Zone.
Winter Wonderland - Hyde Park's Christmas extravaganza has it all. Not only is it free to enter, but there is free live music, markets, food stalls and rides and attractions. There's a Magic Ice Kingdom, Ice Rink, Circus and Giant Wheel (not cheap, and most need to be pre-booked as it gets really busy). The Ice Kingdom looks especially cool, but at £32 for a family ticket, you might need to skip the other paid attractions.
Soho Hotel Children's Film Club - you can't go through the holiday season without watching at least one Christmas movie (or 54, if you're me). But for some reason, it is tough finding a cinema that shows Christmas films at this time of year. Luckily the Soho Hotel are on the case. If you're not familiar with the Soho Hotel, they are a gorgeous hotel in London, not too far from Oxford Street. They show kids movies in their cool screening room for families at the weekend. For £20 each, you can get a buffet lunch, which includes popcorn, ice cream and Prosecco (just for mums and dads) with your movie. Or it's just £10 for the movie. On Christmas Eve, they'll be playing Miracle on 34th Street, and on Sunday the 27th they will be showing Paddington.
So, those are some ideas for visiting London this Christmas break, without breaking the bank. Hope you make it to some of these attractions. Merry Christmas!