December is now upon us and it's about time you started getting into the festive spirit. We've compiled a list of all the things you need to be doing, seeing and going to this month, with everything from Winter Wonderland to the epic new release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi on offer. This is set to be a cracking end to the year and there's loads to keep you occupied.
December is undoubtedly one of the most exciting months of the year and there are more events that ever happening across London for you to get into the festive spirit. Sure, you've probably got plenty of Christmas shopping to do, but there's lots of things to do in London at Christmas. Here we give you our top picks for the month ahead and why you need to get down to them.
London is undoubtedly the best place to be at Christmas and no city does it quite like us. While there are Christmas lights up across the capitals (these were switched on during November and will stay up until the festive season ends) the Christmas markets popping up will really get you in the Christmas mood. Grab some festive food, some festive drinks while listening to Christmas music and get into the spirit - what more could you want?
Back for the second year running, Leicester Square will play host to its own Christmas market. The square will be transformed into a festive area with Santa's Grotto being the main attraction. The Christmas market itself will feature 25 festive stalls, which will sells gifts, food and drink. A special attraction and what will probably make you visit is the vintage Spiegeltent, which is a wooden venue which will be home to a host of events put on by the Udderbelly team. These include performances and shows by Fascinating Aida, Cabaret at Christmas, Al Murray, a Christmas Baby Disco Dance Hall for the under fives and Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Medicine show. The Leicester Square market is open now until January 6th 2018.
Winter Wonderland plays host to the biggest Christmas market in the capital, with over 200 Bavarian market stalls already having been put up. The market houses plenty of stalls which will sell everything from gifts to food and drink (the bratwursts in particular are what most people head down there for). Situated in Hyde Park for another year, Winter Wonderland is free to enter, but we must forewarn you that it is pretty expensive once you're in there.
If you fancy getting out of central London then we suggest heading down to Clapham Common for Winterville. While you might think this is just going to be a smaller and less impressive version of Winter Wonderland, think again. It is probably the most eccentric Christmas market in London and you'll find everything from Mexican wrestling to drag performances here. You may even find time for nine holes on a UV-powered golf course with Plonk Golf or a Yoga on Ice session. Winterville also has a Spiegeltent, while you can also head to one of the roller discos where themes include Abba, ’50s and ’60s rock ’n’ roll hits and big-hair ’80s classics. Winterville is open until January 1st.
Portobello Winter Fest
For the second year, Portobello Road will put on it's Winter Festival which will reflect the best of Notting Hill, including Notting Hill Carnival and Portobello Road Market, in one big 2 day extravaganza. Expect live performances throughout the day on one of the many stages, a Santa's Grotto, an alternative Christmas market in Acklam village, a 'Made in London' market in Tavistock Square and plenty more across the Kensington borough.
The festival will take place on the 9th and 10th December, with a launch party kicking off on Friday 8th December.
Winter Film Club - Electric Pavillion, Peckham
The guys behind the London Rooftop Film Club are moving their sights (and sites) to something a little more unusual this winter. For the month of December, the Winter Film Club will see the cherished Electric Theatre in Peckham revived for a showcase of some of the best in cinema, from new releases to old classics.
The Edwardian theatre was first opened to the public in 1908 and was one of the first and pioneering electric theatres in London. Next year, the space is being completely renovated to make way for Peckham market, but before that the cinematic experience will allow you to enjoy the theatre as it is, with decaying walls and original features transporting you back in time. Enjoy watching a movie on a 16' x 9' screen, with a bar upstairs and snacks available to buy.
Magical Lantern Festival
Chiswick House and Garden's stunning landscaped grounds will be completely transformed for December as it will become the home of the Magical Lantern Festival. Open until January 1st, the festival will see the arrangement of life-size lanterns, celebrating all things Christmas. This year the festival will have everything from lantern versions of 'Santa and his Reindeers' to a magnificent giant lantern recreation of an 'Ancient city from the Song Dynasty'.
The festival will also host a fairground for kids, a Santa's Grotto, a bar and a food and drink area. Looking for an alternative way to celebrate Christmas this December? This is where we would head. Tickets range from £11.21-£20.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Perhaps one of the biggest things happening across the world in December (bar Christmas of course) is the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It will be the 8th episode in the Star Wars franchise and is probably one of the most anticipated to date. It follows on from 2015's The Force Awakens and sees the return of Mark Hamill, the late Carrie Fisher, John Boyega, Adam Driver and Daisy Ridley.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released on December 15th here in the UK and we expect it will be on track to smash box office records. The latest film will see the rumoured and yet-to-be-confirmed arrival of Tom Hardy in the Star Wars universe, who will play a stormtrooper and a rumoured cameo from Justin Theroux. This will undoubtedly be the film of the winter season.
Post Malone - Beerbongs & Bentleys
Post Malone was originally meant to release his album Beerbongs & Bentleys on December 1st, but he delayed its release through a Tweet. He said "hey guys, I know a lot of you guys were expecting a project today, it won't be dropping for a little while. I'm sorry to let you down, but I need to make sure this album is perfect for you. I'm gonna keep working my ass off and make the best fucking album ever. I love ya."
While we have no release date of of yet, we are hopeful that December is the month the album drops. His current single 'Rockstar' which features 21 Savage is at the top of the Billboard 100 chart, so a number one album would end 2017 for him in pretty spectacular fashion.
Backyard Cinema and HBO screen Game Of Thrones
For one night only, Backyard Cinema and HBO will host an exclusive VIP Game Of Thrones experience. Celebrating the home entertainment release of Game of Thrones Season 7, HBO is taking over Backyard Cinema for an immersive red carpet experience which will be hosted by Chris Stark.
The Snow Kingdom castle will be transformed into a Game Of Thrones' fans dream, just in time for the DVD and digital release of Game Of Thrones Season 7 on December 11th. Backyard Cinema is London's most recognised and sought after cinematic experience and stands as London's first theme changing cinema. Previous themes have included The Lost World, The Last Chapel, Miami Beach and now the current Snow Kingdom. It is situated at Mercato Metropolitano at 42 Newington Causeway and on the 11th December you need to get down there to fulfil all your Game Of Thrones needs.
New Year's Eve Fireworks
While there are plenty of places to head to for some stellar New Year's Eve events (we've got our eye on a party put on by Oval Space and The Pickle Factory), there really is only one New Year's Eve fireworks display that you need to see. Southbank will once again play host to one of the best fireworks events this country puts on (it is the one that is televised nationally and globally after all) and Big Ben and the London Eye will be illuminated for another year running.
On That Note
December is set to be a pretty busy month and with plenty of stuff going on, you can't say you're having a quiet Christmas. With Christmas markets galore and a new Star Wars film to look forward to, December is set to be a very enjoyable month.