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New Year's in London

Old Aug 11th, 2007, 06:45 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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New Year's in London

What events are there to do in London over New Year's? We are a family of 5 with a 13, 18 and 20 year old. We have such a difference of interests but want to spend the holiday trip as a family.
teddybear87 is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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New Years Eve itself consists of huge--and sometimes inebriated--crowds in Trafalgar Square and other locations, lots of parties in clubs and restaurants (most not family events), and a fireworks display on the southbank at the London Eye. The latter is probably the highlight, but crowded conditions and variable weather have an impact.

New Years Day is quiet, except for the American-style parade through parts of central London. It isn't a very "British" event (think American high school bands), but...

The major tourist sights close early on NYE and some are closed on New Years Day...this varies. Since many offices are closed in the Christmas/New Years period, London's rush hours are lighter, which can be a plus.

A bit early to tell what other events will be going on (and you'll have to reconfirm the fireworks and parade). The holiday lights will still be up and these are worth a look in the evenings.

Hope this is helpful.

KidsToLondon is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 07:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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I wouldn't go anywhere near the festivities in central London -- especially w/ kids. Anywhere in the center and definitely near the river will be a zoo and getting around (even though the tube is free) is a near impossibility.

There is a semi-decent parade on New year's Day which is much more kid friendly. But as some of the Londoner fodorites say, "London doesn't do New Year well". Most sane locals go to friend's parties.

So you might contact your hotel and see what is planned there.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 07:34 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Spectacular fireworks at midnight over the Thames near the London Eye. Yes getting in the crowd to see them could be a nightmare or could be fun depending on how you look at it. I understand lots of people even LOVE Times Square at New Years!

There are wonderful pantomimes that week. If you don't know what a British panto is -- think fractured fairy tale with men playing women's roles and vice versa. Very funny and no they aren't just for children (in fact I'm amazed at some of the stuff they say, do, and suggest with the kiddies in the audience).

Great concerts of several types. We went to a nice Viennese style concert New Years Eve at the Barbican. Others were at Royal Albert Hall.

In another month or so, do a search. We saw the wonderful ballet for all ages of Edward Scissorhands year before last.

NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2007, 07:38 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
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yes - there is a LOT to do/events between Christmas and New Years. But NYE itself is a nightmare logistically.
janisj is online now  
Old Aug 12th, 2007, 05:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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janis, nightmare doesn't begin to describe it for NYE 2006. On New Year's Eve day they announced an Underground station workers strike, so nearly all the tube stations closed down -- certainly all the central ones did. We had that concert at Barbican and figured out which bus to take -- so no problem, but after the concert we waited and waited with others for the bus, which never came. Finally one bus which was off duty stopped by to tell all of us waiting that there would be no busses as they go to the Strand from there and the Strand was closed to traffic for the fireworks. We hunted and hunted for a taxi, and actually managed to get one outside a restaurant as it was delivering people there. But after about 15 minutes in the taxi and only going about two blocks, he had us get out -- didn't charge us anything -- and said there was no way he could get us into the West End.
We ended up walking from about 2 blocks from the Barbican to Covent Garden in sub freezing and windy weather. These two Floridians were pretty much icicles by the time we got there.
NeoPatrick is offline  
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