Christmas Week in London

Old Jul 19th, 2016, 06:05 AM
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Christmas Week in London

I am planning a trip to London from December 21-28, 2016. I am looking for ideas/things to do with my husband and two daughters (ages 17 & 20). While we look forward to seeing the holiday spirit and decorations in Hyde Park, we do not celebrate Christmas, so we aren't really interested in Christmas shows, etc. Any suggestions? Thank you!
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 06:08 AM
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Go see some shows. With any luck you can see part 1 and 2 of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 06:44 AM
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Pantomimes are only Christmas shows in the sense that are only on at Christmas.

There are several temporary outdoor skating rinks, I like the one at Somerset House.

Not sure what holiday spirit you are looking for. If it is mega-crowds of shoppers you will have come to the right place.
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 06:54 AM
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Hyde Park is just one of many London parks, with a small part given over to a commercial pop-up Christmas theme park with some silly brand name, practically indistinguishable from other commercial Christmas theme parks in many other European cities. And, to my mind, part of the reason many people get iffy about public Christmas events. Other than that, there are no particular Christmas decorations in the park - or any others I can think of.

What London does moderately well are street decorations through most of the main thoroughfares in the centre from early Dec to Jan 6). We don't really do department-store Christmas windows (we don't really do department stores much these days really: they are a bit 1950s), and most are stripped out by Christmas Eve anyway.

I suspect by "Christmas shows" you mean things like Radio City: we don't do that sort of thing either. BUT:

- You'd be absurdly dogmatic if you allowed your distaste for our national celebration of the family to keep you away from pantomimes, Britain's traditional Christmas-time theatrical treat. Usually about a dozen somewhere around the London tube system.

- Dozens going on scores of light classical concerts and the like in all sorts of venues from churches to the very largest classical auditoria. Opera houses and specialist dance theatres do a decent line in pop classics, like Nutcracker and the Mozart biggies

- London's incomparable range of other kinds of theatre typically sells out fast over Xmas, so you need to book in advance (https://www.londontheatre.co.uk/whats-on is reasonably complete)

One other set of pop-ups is ice-skating rinks in grand picturesque settings. Christmas temps here are VERY mild by most North American or Continental standards, so there's something rather weird about ice-skating at 50 F. A list of last year's at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/de...est-ice-rinks/

Time Out, London's major listings magazines, has now published its first stab at its 2016 Xmas edition (http://www.timeout.com/london/christmas ). Most of the blurbs so far DO seem to refer to Xmas 2016: typically the runup to Xmas DOES start in mid-July here.
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 08:20 AM
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>>Pantomimes are only Christmas shows in the sense that are only on at Christmas.
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Old Jul 19th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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If you don't celebrate Christmas, why bother to go then ? Perhaps because the kids have vacation time ? The weather is likely to be miserable ( rain and yet more rain), and it will make you miserable. Christmas 2007 was SO bad that I vowed never to return at that time. May is the best month to go, and that is after many years to living there.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 02:00 PM
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We are in the early planning stages of the same Christmas trip with 19 and 21 yr old children as well! Curious whether the rain comments scared you off? We are currently deciding between Marriotts.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 03:03 PM
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I'm sure the OP knows that London can be a rainy place at most any time of year. There are so many indoor things to do in London I would never be put off by rain.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 03:38 PM
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brighton: >>Curious whether the rain comments scared you off>We are currently deciding between Marriotts.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 04:18 PM
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Never seen rain in UK.
That's an urban legend.
Same goes for Belgium.
BTW 25 or 26 ? is completely shut down in London.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 04:53 PM
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Well that was a first. I wonder who I offended, if only for the entertainment value of knowing.
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Old Aug 27th, 2016, 06:08 PM
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Yes, be aware that public transit does not operate on the 25th and MANY restaurants are closed so you need to have reservations or have picked a place within walking distance of your hotel. The 26th is also a holiday in the UK, but I believe that some public transit is operational.
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