Christmas is coming! Are you ready? This round-up is full of ideas to entertain your children in East London this festive season. I hope you make some wonderful memories together.
It’s time to get our jingle on, some of the events in this Festive roundup will sell out quickly! Victorian Santa at the Museum of London Docklands already has which is why it’s not on the list.
1 Christmas at Greenwich Peninsula
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Greenwich Peninsula with a 10m high traditional tree sparkling with 6,700 lights to illuminate the square. Families can follow an illuminated trail of festive lights and get cosy in the Canteen with spiced mulled wine and cider, boozy hot chocolates, delicious treats for kids, festive street food, live music and more. Make sure to check out the latest exhibition at the Now Gallery while you are there.
17th November 2023 to the 6th January 2024
Canteen Food Hall, Soames Walk, London SE10 0AX
Free to attend
2 Christmas at the Postal Museum
Immerse yourself in our magical collection of letters to Father Christmas, see the first ever Christmas card, take part in interactive storytelling sessions, festive tunnel walks and ride Mail Rail with a festive twist. Don’t forget to add a Sorted play session to your trip.
1st November to 2nd January 2024
The Postal Museum, 15-20 Phoenix Place, London, WC1X 0DA
£16 over 25, £11 16-24, £9 Children age 3-15
3 Jack & The Beanstalk
Stratford East is at it again. With over 130 years of entertaining East London families at Christmas, this pantomime is a sure bet for festive fun for all ages. Famous for tearing up the rulebook, Stratford East pantos are full of original music and outrageous characters telling classic stories with a special East London twist. We have a family ticket for Jack and the Beanstalk to give away – oh yes we do!
18th November 2023 – 6th January 2024 various times
Royal Theatre Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, London E15 1BN
Tickets from £10
Embark on a magical journey with Aladdin in Hackney this festive season! Aladdin’s quest for love and fortune takes an enchanted turn when he encounters a genie. Directed by Clive Rowe, this show features a stellar cast, laughter, and phenomenal song and dance numbers. A genie-us experience awaits!
18th November – 31st December 2023 various times
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare St, London, E8 1EJ
5 Baby Broadway & Baby Gospel Christmas
Experience the festive cheer at a family concert for all ages—Baby Gospel Christmas with London’s CK Gospel Choir or Baby Broadway Christmas with West End singers belting out holiday showtunes. From Christmas classics to soulful Motown hits, these concerts promise a joyful celebration for everyone. Bubbles, bells, puppetry, and more add to the enchantment. Join in the fun, sing, dance, and create lasting memories. It’s the perfect way to embrace the holiday spirit with your family in East London this Christmas!
Various dates from 4th December 2023
Locations across East London
Tickets from £13
6 Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book
Little ones aged 3- 8 years will love this puppet-filled musical adaptation of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s Charlie Cook’s Favourite Book. Charlie loves reading. Especially books about pirates. But his sister hates it. Can Charlie convince her that reading is fun? Perhaps if she read a book about a pirate, who is reading a book about Goldilocks, who is reading a book about a knight…
18th November 2023 – 4th February 2024 various times
Little Angel Studios, Community Centre, 132 Sebbon St, London N1 2EH
£16 Adult £14 Child (age 1-17) All tickets £8 on Thursdays and Fridays at 4.45pm
7 The Elves and the Magic Bear
Join Santa’s Elves in a heartwarming Christmas performance at Admiral’s House this festive season. The Elves discover untouched letters to Santa before Christmas morning, prompting a chaotic journey to ensure no child is left without a present. Assisted by Mrs. Claus and the audience, the interactive show includes singing, dancing, magic, and a surprise guest. Afterward, attendees can take photos with performers and receive a nice list certificate from Mrs. Claus. Book to see a Father Christmas story telling session (2nd to 23rd December) and admire the Coalescence exhibition while you’re there. Tickets must be purchased separately.
Saturday 9th – 21st December 2023
Admiral’s House, Old Royal Naval College, London SE10 9NN
8 The Bolds
Julian Clary’s adaptation of his best-selling book The Bolds returns this Christmas. Telling the story of a family of hyenas trying to fit in as a an ordinary human family. How long can they keep their beastly secret under their hats? Join the Bold family as they navigate work, school and friends whilst trying to keep up their disguise. Combining live music and songs by Julian Clary and Simon Wallace, The Bolds promises to have you laughing like a bunch of hyenas, in a show which revels in the joy of being anything but ordinary.
Saturday 11th Nov – Sunday 31st December 2023
Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley St, London, SE1 2HZ
Under 18s £10.50 – £22.50 / Adults £12.50 – £31.50
9 Ice Rink Canary Wharf
East London’s longest running ice rink is back with its frosty patch in Canary Wharf. Get your skates on and enjoy their covered yet still open air rink rain or shine! Apres skate you can head to The Grandstand Bar, where you can enjoy watching the tumbles and twirls of those skating on the rink. All children must be attended. Ages 4+
21st October 2023 – 24th February 2024 9 am -9 pm
Ice Rink Canary Wharf, Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AB
4-13 yrs £13.50 -£15.95, 13+ £17.95-£20.95 family from £53.95
10 Queens House Ice Skating
Take in the breathtaking sites of Greenwich’s UNESCO World Heritage site, that is, once you can take your eyes off your feet! This is London at it’s most magical with iconic views of Greenwich Park to the south and the glittering lights of Canary Wharf to the north.
23rd November 2023 – 7th January 2024
Queen’s House, Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF
Adults from £17 Children from £10 Students from £11.90
11 The Little Mermaid
Hoxton Hall is set to be transformed into an underwater festive kingdom as the much-loved fairytale The Little Mermaid is reimagined as a pantomime. Take your family on a nautical adventure with colourful creatures, catchy songs and more joining in silliness than you can shake a flipper at. While the pantomime format remains traditional (oh yes it is!), audiences can expect a wonderfully splashy twist in this folk tale. This little mermaid is an empowered young heroine not so ready to trade in her fantastic fins for a pair of clunky feet!
Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6SH
Thursday 21st to Friday 29th December 2023
Tickets: £13.50 children,Tickets: £13.50 children, £15.50 adults, £13.50 concessions
12 Cut a Shine Xmas Special
Get your folk on with Cut A Shine! Join the giddy fun of a Ceilidh at the Roundchapel with a Halloween theme. A live band on stage provides the music while a “Dance Caller”, calls out and teaches you all the moves from really easy dances for the smallest kids to a couple of proper ones for the grown ups. All ages and abilities are welcome and while the dances may be traditional, Cut a Shine welcomes families of all sizes, genders and ethnicities. Food and drink available. Soft play area of crawlers. Face painting for just £2!
Saturday 23rd December 2023 1 pm – 4 pm
Round Chapel, 1D Glenarm Road, London, E5 0LY
£6 advance per human, under 1s are free (£7 on the door)
13 Santa’s Special Train
Tell your kids you’re taking the train to Essex but you’ll need to get off Epping Underground station or Ongar for a bus replacement service. From there, you’ll board a vintage London bus to North Weald Station, where it’s all aboard the Santa express. The platform will be buzzing with holiday spirit including festive treats and a live brass band with all the seasonal classics. Character actors will be making sure only the nice children board Santa’s Special Train. Your children will love this scenic vintage train journey through ancient Epping Forest. While the kids anticipate Santa’s arrival and gifts, entertainers engage them in letter writing or a drawing competition.
Various dates from 25th November to 24th December
Vintage London bus service at Epping or Ongar station
Prices range from £110 (4 people) – £270 (8 people)
14 Can Bears ski?
Little Bear is unable to hear his Dad’s calls or catch the funny joke at school when friends are laughing. He navigates the world by feeling vibrations and sensations like the crunch of fresh snow underfoot. Join Little Bear and Dad Bear as they learn how there are many ways to communicate love and to find your place in the world. Based on Raymond Antrobus’ award-winning book, who draws on his own experience as a deaf child in a hearing world. The British Sign Language (BSL) integrated show emphasizes inclusivity. Download engaging home activities to enhance the experience.
Saturday 16th December 2023
Half Moon Young People’s Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, London E1 0ND
15 Bach to Baby Christmas Family Concerts
Immerse yourself in magical melodies, festive fun, and a dash of sparkle at a Bach to Baby Christmas concert near you. All are invited, from babies to school children, parents, grandparents, and caregivers of every kind. Each adult entry grants free access for up to two children. The Christmas concerts promise a delightful musical spread spanning various periods, locations, and beloved festive stories. Hear the sleigh bells ringaling and singalong to carols with dates in Greenwich, Walthamstow and Borough.
Various dates and locations
£15 per adult
16 Raymond Gubbay’s Christmas Festival
Christmas Carol concerts including a singalong, festive films with festive workshops, Christmas theatre including Horrible Histories. There’s so much fun to be had at the Barbican this holiday season taking you right into the New Year.
Barbican Cinema 2, Beech Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Saturday 16th December 2023 – Monday 1st January 2024, various times
17 Meet Father Christmas at Sutton House
Experience the magic of Christmas at Sutton House as the jolly old man himself pays a visit. This beautiful National Trust house in Homerton will be adorned with historical decorations like mistletoe, festive greenery, and twinkling candles. Explore a range of Christmas traditions, from a Tudor feast to Victorian crackers, and even a special 1980s Christmas tree. This year, families visiting can hunt for elves, meet Father Christmas, and enjoy Christmas coloring and Santa letter writing in the Wenlock barn.
25th November & 2nd & 9th December 2023 various times available
Sutton House, 2 and 4 Homerton High St, London E9 6JQ
£7 1 Child & up to 2 Accompanying Adults £5 for additional children
18 We Can Be Heroes
The very popular We Can Be Heroes family disco is throwing a Christmas party at The Willow Tree Arts Cafe near Blackhorse Road station. This party for grown-up geeks and kids will feature 80s and 90s music, with a festive twist. Enjoy live band Dom Green’s Yule School for Christmas karaoke, a Christmas jumper competition, free comic books, and drawing for kids. Limited tickets are available and these events normally sell out quickly so snap yours up.
Sunday 10th December 2023 1 pm
The Willow Tree Arts Cafe, 4 Wickford Way, London, E17 6ZH
19 Coronation Christmas at the Tower of London
Experience the Tower of London’s new light show, illuminating the Crown Jewels and Coronations on the walls of this near 1,000 year old historic site. This visual will take visitors through the centuries of English history, showcasing the coronations of iconic monarchs like William the Conqueror, Elizabeth I, and Queen Victoria. Families can enjoy the Tower’s festive transformation with royal regalia, Christmas trees, and jewels including special new displays; an extravagant banquet inspired by George IV’s 1821 feast, and a newly designed Coronation throne where you can capture memories together.
Crown and Coronation light show 17th to 25th November
Coronation Christmas at the Tower 29th November – 6th January
Tower of London, London, EC3N 4AB
Check out this immersive Christmas adventure from the creators of Secret Cinema. Ever wondered where all your wishes go? Step into the magical world of Wishmas, an enchanted realm where your wishes take flight. Meet Wishkeepers, Robins and Father Christmas himself as you explore magical rooms and play your part to ensure that no wish is ever forgotten.
14th November 2023- 7th January 2024 various times
The Old Bauble Factory, 1 Launcelot St, London, SE1 7AD
Tickets from £29
21 The Santa Claus Experience
Lea Valley Animal Adventure Park pulls out all the stops for children during the holidays. Definitely worth making the trip. From meeting Reindeer to magic shows, decorating a gingerbread person in Ms Claus’s kitchen to meeting the jolly old man himself. Lea Valley Animal Adventure Park has lots of activities available and is always full of surprises. We had a great time during our trip at Halloween and recommend a visit for children in East London even though it’s a bit far for some.
Every weekend in December then 21st – 24th various times
Lea Valley Animal Adventure Park, Stubbins Hall Ln, Waltham Abbey, EN9 2EF
£16.99 per person under 1s free
22 Winter Festival
Families can enjoy a festive extravaganza at Southbank Centre, featuring Bluey’s Big Play for little ones and The House with Chicken Legs for a magical puppetry experience or a glittering reimagining of the Nutcracker. Book your place for classical music performances including Christmas Classics, ET in Concert with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Christmas in Tinseltown. Free events include luminous art at the Winter Light exhibition and indoor displays along withree choirs and concerts including winter classics at Fab-YULE-ous Voices, and the Southbank Centre Youth Voices Winter Showcase.
28th October 2023 – 7th January 2024 various dates and times
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
23 Potted Panto
This Christmas, the West End’s longest-running pantomime, “Potted Panto,” is coming to Wilton’s Music Hall. In just 80 minutes, this Olivier Award-nominated celebration whirls through seven classic pantomimes, delivering laughs and mayhem. The dynamic duo races from Aladdin’s lamp to Dick Whittington’s golden London, ensuring Cinderella makes it to the Ball. Unmissable fun for ages six to 106, it’s a madcap journey through the beloved tales and characters of the pantomime world, promising a joyous festive experience in the heart of the East End.
29th November to 30th December 7.15pm or 7.30pm, Matinees at 1.30pm or 2.30pm
Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, London E1 8JB
£12.00 – £32.00 full price / £10.00 – £29.50 concessions
24 The Snowman
This winter classic at the Peacock theatre tells the timeless tale of a boy and a snowman who comes to life through the medium of dance. Back for it’s 26th year, The Snowman is a magical stage adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson. This is a really beautifully put together performance full of the magic of the season. The orchestra will have you ‘Walking in the Air’ when you leave the theatre.
Sadler’s Wells Peacock Theatre, Portugal St, London WC2A 2HT
18th November to the 30th of December 2023 various times
Prices from: £18.00 Families from £30