The River Thames is almost as famous as London itself. Winding its way through the heart of the city, it draws in locals and...
We all know that it’s really the little ones that make Christmas such a festival of fun. Families with smaller kids need perfectly pitched entertainments to maximise festive cheer for the younger generation, so take a look at some of our suggestions for children under ten. Draped in lights and decked with holly, London in December is bound to make their eyes shine.
Start the day by pumping up the jam at Doughnut Time.
What’s the sweetest possible treat for a hungry young one at breakfast time? If it’s ever OK to have doughnuts for breakfast, it’s got to be at Christmas. Take a child in each hand and race straight to Doughnut Time on Shaftesbury Avenue. Hailing from Australia (where they really know how to do sugar highs), Doughnut Time has finally come to London in a flurry of jam, dough, salted caramel and chocolate.
Top Tip: Send the kids upstairs to the Doughnut Academy where they can learn to customise their doughnuts with icing while you forgo your morning tea and sample the Earl Grey glaze in peace.
Once you’ve had your fill of jammy-dodger decorated doughnuts and golden honeycomb garnishes, it’ll be time for a more traditional Christmas pursuit, so make your way to Santa’s Grotto at London’s Hamleys.
You’ll need to book your time in the Hamleys grotto as far in advance as possible – it’ one of the most sought after experiences for kids in London at Christmas. And no wonder – the sense of silliness and excitement is palpable on every one of the seven floors at this Regent Street flagship store. The children’s tickets will give them plenty of time to explore the grotto, meet the elves, spend some time with Santa himself and walk away with an extra special gift.
And if your tiny team happen to be Santa enthusiasts to the bone, the next natural step would be to the river for one of City Cruises’ ‘Sail with Santa’ experiences.
This water-based sightseeing tour delivers spectacular views in its own right, but by now it’s Santa who’s driving the boat. Children will be showered with gifts and treats aplenty while they spend time with Father Christmas, and adults can sip on mulled wine, nibble their way through mountains of mince pies, and head to and from the bar for top ups as they take in the enchanting views of London.
Having spent some time relaxing on your City Cruise, it’s back on your feet for the day’s final festive hurrah. No Christmas trip to London is complete without a few hours exploring the glittering stalls at Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park.
The sprawling fair is big, bold and bursting with fun. Get your skates on and make a beeline for the atmospheric rink, pack in one more Father Christmas meet and greet in Santa Land or investigate the mysterious Deep Sea Adventure. The park will be brimming with enticing trinkets, tankards of beer, cups of hot chocolate and steaming glasses of mulled wine. So throw a scarf around your shoulders, grab a bag of candy floss and venture forth.
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