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26 Nov 2009

Winter in Hyde Park

Christmas is here .. and its a winter wonderland in Hyde park with 20 acres of christmas bonanza including christmas markets, cafes, bards, rides and attractions, ice rinks and Father Christmas himself..

Winter Wonderland’s Father Christmas was voted ‘Best Outdoor Experience’ by Time Out London. He and his entertaining elves welcome children to his Hyde Park grotto every day from 12 noon to 6pm, and 4pm on Christmas Eve – from Boxing Day onwards he takes well earned rest! There is no charge to meet Santa, and he receives kids of all ages on a ‘first-come first-served basis’, treating children who have been very, very good to a special gift.

Visitors are welcome to take their own photographs with Santa, however an official Winter Wonderland photographer will be on hand to take special souvenir shots available for purchase on the day.

Don't miss the GIANT WHEEL and New for 2009 is Zippos Christmas Circus, and at 7pm every night the heated big top will present thePalace of Grand Illusionhour-long performance.


The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House

The Royal Ballet's 'Nutcracker' reigns supreme for sparkling technique, shimmering sets, dancing snowflakes and the whole seasonal shebang. The flawless Miyako Yoshida, now based in Japan and working as a guest principal with the RB, returns to dance the Sugar Plum Fairy on opening night.

Despite its sugary connotations as the bonbon of the ballet world, The Nutcracker is far from a cliché. Its plot is as crazy as it is convincing, mirrored by Tchaikovsky’s zanily eccentric orchestration, and Lev Ivanov’s inventive choreography.

The action surreally nosedives into an increasingly fantastical world, leaving the cosy domesticity of Clara’s parents' house increasingly far behind. Almost as soon as we adapt to one new world, another follows swiftly on as transformation scene follows transformation scene.

The magician Drosselmeyer sets out to find a young girl who can break the curse imposed by the Rat King on his nephew Hans Peter and restore him to human form. Mice and toys stage a pitched battle. Clara travels to the Lands of the Snow and then the Sweets accompanied by a handsome prince transformed from a broken old Nutcracker doll. All is presided over by the strange and mysterious Drosselmeyer.

Don't miss this magical performance..

The Royal Opera House

12 Nov 2009

Christmas Fairs at the National Gallery

The National Gallery's seasonal shopping evenings are classy affairs, with present hunters plied with complimentary mulled wine and mince pies while serenaded by live classical music. On offer are Christmas cards featuring paintings from the collection (with 20 per cent off on the night), handmade tree decorations, fine art books and a free goody bag for the first 50 customers through the doors on each evening.

You will find something for everyone in the National Gallery shops, from handmade and fair-trade gifts inspired by our most festive paintings, to fascinating books about the Collection with an extensive range for both children and adults. Many of our products are designed exclusively for the National Gallery so you won’t find them elsewhere.

Sainsbury Wing Shop

London Jazz Festival

The London Jazz Festival, in association with BBC Radio 3, returns to Southbank Centre promising another exceptional line-up for this year’s ten day celebration of jazz.

From Friday 13 through to Sunday 22 November this pan-London festival brings together an eclectic mix of jazz talents from across the globe, presenting international stars alongside the best emerging talent. The landmark music event offers the chance to catch an array of premieres, new commissions, free events and the Festival’s renowned learning and participation programme.

The spectacular opening celebration of the London Jazz Festival focuses on a century of song. The sumptuously arranged programme draws on significant anniversaries of jazz songs, films, singers and songwriters down the decades. Guy Barker's specially assembled London Jazz Festival Orchestra showcases brand new arrangements, highlighting the durability of these timeless works as well as the stunning vocal skills of an array of stellar vocalists, including:Cibelle, Kirsty Almeida, Krystle Warren, Kurt Elling, Natalie Merchant, Natalie Williams, Roachford, Sarah Jane Morris, Sheila Jordan“Magnificent entertainment.

Backed by Guy Barker’s terrific big band, one superb singer after another came on stage.”
The Daily Telegraph (Jazz Voice 2008)