Family in London for Christmas /New Year

Aug 11th, 2002, 07:15 PM
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Family in London for Christmas /New Year

We are a well traveled family with 3 yr and 5 yr old daughters. We will be in London from Christmas Day until Jan 3. We have lots to do but know that Jan 1 will be quite. What will be available to "do"? Any other suggestions for a good family friendly hotel and places to eat that are casual but not McD's are all appreciated! thanks
Aug 11th, 2002, 08:09 PM
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We traveled to London with our high school band a couple of years ago and were surprised at how many places were closed during that week or closed early, including some of the large department stores. With Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day all in one week, it is a fairly quiet time for tourists. We were trying to fill up most of our time with tourist activities, so it was a bit challenging. Do your research ahead of time and be aware of unusual hours of operation. Best wishes with your holiday - London is a great place to visit!
Aug 11th, 2002, 08:21 PM
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We will also be in London from just after Christmas through New Years day. Does anyone know if most of the sights will be open during this time - Tower of London, Windsor Castle, British Museum, etc? How about the West End plays - do they run through most of the holiday period?
Aug 12th, 2002, 05:48 AM
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Here's a thought - why not take the kids to see a pantomime? There are usually plenty on in the suburban theatres around London - Wimbledon, Richmond and Croydon spring to mind - and although they are aimed at children there is usually enough to keep the adults entertained. Most also have a number of well-known actors in them, often from Australian soaps which we get here but on occasion you will get someone who you might know! The pantomimes are usually advertised from about October onwards and will be on the stage during your stay, so if you're short of something to do (especially New Years Day) then this might be worth looking into.
Aug 12th, 2002, 08:42 AM
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Some of the best things about Christmas in London are the pantos (pantomimes), classical concerts, roasted chestnusts on the stret corners and the street/store decorations.

Maybe an explanation of panto - it is not what most American think when they see the word -- a mute act. They are hillarious farces usually based on fairy tales and equally entertaining for adults and children. There is usually a famous male celebrity in drag in the role of the female lead. They are hard to describe but a "must" over the holidays.

Tourist sites will be closed on Christmas Day, but some are open on Boxing Day and New Years so you will find plenty to do.
Aug 12th, 2002, 03:15 PM
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We have twice spent Christmas at the Rembrant Hotel. It is in Knightsbridge, just down the road from Harrods, in fact the building was once owned by Harrods and was used as accommodation for favoured clients. It is opposite the Vic and Alb Museum. The second visit was with our grandson who was 18 months old at the time. The hotel provided a cot and an extra room fridge for baby foods and allocated a larger room (more like a mini suite).They do special packages which include Christmas fare and Father Christmas handed out presents to the children after lunch on Christmas Day. The cost of the packages were very reasonable for a hotel of this standard. Part of Sarova hotels, you can get prices from their website.
Aug 12th, 2002, 04:22 PM
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For New Years day they have a nice Parade similar to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC with all the big Ballons Mickey Mouse {Ect} lots of American marching bands and dance teams take part the kids would enjoy the Parade.
Aug 12th, 2002, 04:39 PM
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I went to London over Christmas break last year.

The official London website, puts out a downloadable guide that lists the Christmas hours for every tourist attraction and special events that are going on. Have a good time.
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