The C word


When I was growing up, my mum banned all mention of Christmas until December. It was no fun at all. My toddler has been singing jingle bells for weeks now. I love it… Really.

If you’re not yet in the festive mood, perhaps it’s worth planning some Christmas 2016 activities. There’s tons on – some free, some not. Most of them require booking, so get cracking.

Here are a few I’ve spotted:

Visiting Father Christmas

If you want your child to meet Father Christmas, head to the Museum of London and/or the Museum of London Docklands from 3-23 December 2016. For £7, your child gets to visit the man in red in his grotto and receive a gift.

You might want to combine it with another Christmassy activity at the museum. I like the sound of the Frost Fair at the Museum of London Docklands on Saturday 3 & Sunday 4th December, which includes free crafts and activities for under 5s.

Father Christmas gets around…

Father Christmas is also appearing – free this time (bless him) – at the Roman Road Christmas Fair Saturday 3 December, 11am-4pm. There’s also Christmas food and gifts to snap up.

… And if you don’t catch him there…

Father Christmas will be at the Family Festive day in Victoria Park, Saturday 10 December (12 noon– 3pm). Join in arts, crafts and sing-a-longs.

Is there room on your broom for me?

We’ve seen tons of really great things at Stratford Circus this year and we’re really looking forward to Room on the Broom (2-18 December). If you can’t get a ticket at a time that suits, you might want to try Stickman at the Leicester Square theatre from 26 November-30 December instead.

Alternatively if you prefer your Christmas treats really close to the big day, Stratford Circus is then showing Breaking the Ice (Monday 19-Saturday 24 December), which is about a polar bear who makes friends with a husky.

And of course for toddlers who can sit still long enough there are pantomimes all over London, including Sinbad the Sailor at Stratford East and Sleeping Beauty at the Hackney Empire.

Need to do some shopping?

Combine shopping for unique gifts with entertaining your toddler at the Urban Makers Christmas market, at the Mile End Ecology Pavilion, Saturday 10-11 December. There’s craft activities for kids while you snap up some lovely gifts from local designers and makers.

Join the Kew

I’m pretty sure Christmas at Kew is worth a trip over to west London – there’s a mile of sparking lights for a start, plus vintage rides, and an appearance from Father Christmas. The fun starts at 5pm-10pm, from 23 November-2 January.

Christmas through the decades

The Geffrye museum is all dressed up for Christmas from now – the rooms now reflect celebrations through the decades. And on Saturday 10 December, 10.30am-12.30pm & 2 – 4pm, you and your Christmas elf can make some Christmas decorations for your own home.

Bah humbug!

Don’t want Christmas shoved down your throat? The Barbican has a show for toddlers called Sponge (13-21 December) that makes no mention at all of Christmas. Intriguing. Instead there’s music, dance and… sponges.


Author: Aline Reed

I am a freelance copywriter.

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