Here are some of the best things to do in London with the kids this Christmas:
ZSL London Zoo
The ZSL London Zoo are holding a special event this Christmas where you can meet Santa and his reindeer in the wonderful surroundings of the zoo. The event focuses on Santa's antlered friends and gets the children involved in helping prepare treats for all the animals in the zoo and to learn more about the reindeers and other animals while they are at it. There are also various Christmas craft activities including gingerbread decorating (after which they can add their wishes to the Wishing Tree) and a colouring competition. The event ticket price includes zoo entry so that you can explore all the other animal exhibits in the zoo as well including The Gorilla Kingdom and Penguin Beach. This is one of the top Christmas events for families in London so book your tickets early in order to beat the crowds.
Location: ZSL London Zoo, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY
Tickets: £25.50 including Zoo entry (includes fast-track entry to the Zoo, a mince pie on arrival, and a special event planner).
Website: ZSL London Zoo
Nearest tube station: Camden Town
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland is a great choice for adults and children alike as there is something here for people of all ages. You can visit Santa in Santa Land, stare in awe at the ice sculptures in the Magic Ice Kingdom or be amazed at the acrobats at Zippos Christmas Circus. There are also plenty of rides for the children to have fun on with carousels and funhouses galore in this land of wonder. The Christmas markets are also a huge attraction here with festive gifts and treats for all the family. Get here early to avoid the evening rush and special discounted family tickets are available for most attractions at the event (see website for more details).
Location: Hyde Park, London W2 2UH
Tickets: Free entry but you do need to purchase tokens for rides and tickets for events such as the Magical Ice Kingdom, ice-skating and Zippos Christmas Circus.
Website: Winter Wonderland
Nearest tube station: Green Park, Marble Arch or Hyde Park Corner
Kew Gardens Illuminated Trail
The Illuminated Trail in Kew Gardens is a fun, family event with a magical woodland feel. This evening event shows off the gardens with special lighting effects and highlights the important plant specimens in the collection. There are also some colourful characters along the trail who will tell stories about the gardens especially aimed towards the younger audience. The Royal Association of Plant Whisperers have also devised a game along the route where the little ones are encouraged to find special seeds that have escaped the association's grasp! The Christmas Village located at the Victoria Gate entrance allows you to have some festive treats before you head into the illuminated gardens.
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB
Tickets: Adult: £12.50, Children (5yrs -16yrs): £8.00. Children under 5 go FREE, Family ticket (2 adults and 2 children, 5yrs -16yrs) £38.00.
Website: Kew Gardens Illuminated Trail
Nearest tube station: Kew Gardens
Syon Park Enchanted Woodland
The Enchanted Woodland in the grounds of Syon House is sure to get the children (and the adults!) excited. Opening at 5 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the park is lit with a variety of colours and lighting effects which makes it a magical experience for young and old. Each night there is also music and food available in the Great Conservatory which is a spectacle in of itself. This weekend is the last weekend for this event so be sure to catch it before the gardens close for the Winter as this is one of the top Christmas things to do in London with kids and it is a stunning spectacle that you do not want to miss!
Location: Syon House, Brentford, TW8 8JF
Tickets: £7.00 Adults, £3.00 Children (3 - 16 inclusive)
Website: Syon Park Enchanted Woodland