Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? It’s the sound of Christmas approaching – and nonetheless Scrooge-like you’re feeling within the run-up to Christmas Day, there’s nothing to place me right into a festive temper sooner than a Christmas market.
Gluhwein and scorching chocolate to maintain out the chilliness, decorations and snuggly scarves among the many potential presents, plus something from ice skating and carousels to greater rides and child-friendly occasions. As a result of it’s not all about looking the stalls while you’ve received children.
After taking my daughter to a number of Christmas markets in London – in addition to some others close by, together with Winchester, one in all my favorite Christmas markets within the UK – I’ve made a listing of one of the best Christmas markets in London with children. I’ve even checked it twice… (Up to date 2023)
For extra of one of the best issues to do for Christmas in London with children, try my high picks
Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
I first went alongside to London’s largest and best-known Christmas market earlier than my daughter was born, squealing with glee on the rides whisking me excessive above Hyde Park and sipping a drink or two in Bar Ice. However even with an 11-year-old who’s undoubtedly not a thrill seeker, there’s lots to do at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
And Santaland returns as properly, with Christmas-themed rides and video games, and parades on numerous dates. Additionally try Santa’s Grotto (open day by day from 10am to 6pm besides Christmas Day, first come first served) the place you’ll be able to meet Father Christmas at no cost.
There are gentler rides for all ages, together with a helter skelter and the Santaland Specific Practice, plus the prospect to tackle the ice slide, in addition to extra adrenaline-fuelled festive thrills.
Wrap up heat for the ice and snow sculptures of the Magical Ice Kingdom (it’ll be -10C, brr) then look down on the lights of London from the Statement Wheel earlier than toasting marshmallows across the fireplace pit.
For extra locations to see Santa in London with children, try my high picks
Winter Wonderland ticket costs
As soon as once more for 2023, you’ll need a ticket to enter Winter Wonderland, with choices for off-peak, normal and peak entry relying while you go to. Costs begin from £5 for normal entry, though there are some off-peak morning classes the place it’s nonetheless free.
Everybody wants a ticket, together with infants and toddlers (though it’s free for kids aged two and below). Household tickets are additionally out there (for 2 adults + two kids, or one grownup + three kids).
In case you prebook rides, sights and video games price £25 upfront, your entry ticket is free, so long as you e-book all the things collectively.
With costs for ice skating, the Magical Ice Kingdom and exhibits costing round £12-13 for adults, it doesn’t take lengthy to hit that quantity so you could solely want so as to add one or two extras to get free entry. In any other case, you’ll be able to simply pay for any actions and exhibits as you go.
There’s additionally a brand new package deal out there in Santaland the place you will get limitless rides for £25: this solely applies to the rides with the Santaland Limitless Emblem and there could also be different age and peak restrictions – a fast strategy to hit the £25 price at no cost admission!
There are timed slots to enter and for the varied rides and sights (some are a number of hours lengthy so that you don’t need to be too exact). Skating also needs to be booked upfront.
Click on right here for extra particulars and to e-book tickets.
Winter Wonderland dates
For six weeks from November 17 2023, to January 1 2024.
Southbank Centre winter market
The Christmas market and winter pageant on the South Financial institution is one in all my favourites and for the previous few years, my husband and I’ve been joined on our conventional night time out by Minnie. I can by no means get sufficient of the lights alongside the riverside, and will fortunately simply wander between the stalls consuming all of it in.
This being London, there’s way more to drink in than the views – and way more to eat than bratwurst. I nonetheless have fond recollections of the confit duck burger we purchased one yr. It was so good, we went again for a second – you’ll be able to see my video right here.
However there’s an enormous selection on the stalls among the many Christmas timber, with lots for much less adventurous small eaters together with crepes and a few wonderful scorching chocolate, in addition to foodie pop-ups which have included cheese-themed meals, cocktails and the Circus bar housed in a circus tent.
There’s at all times one thing completely different taking place past the meals too, with household actions typically happening in December, together with storytelling, music and crafts, in addition to Christmas exhibits (though in style turn-of-the-century Circus 1903 moved to a brand new house in Hammersmith)
For extra of the finest Christmas theatre in London with children, try my high picks
Look out for the Winter Gentle show illuminating the timber on Queen’s Stroll, plus a string of wood huts promoting the proper tempting odds and ends for presents and the standard carousel to experience on.
And should you really need an statement wheel, there’s at all times the London Eye…
Southbank Winter Market ticket costs
Free to get in, price for exhibits varies.
Southbank Winter Market dates
October 28 to January 7, 2023.
Leicester Sq. Christmas market
Proper within the coronary heart of London, Leicester Sq. is house to one of many newer Christmas markets in central London.
It’s again for 2023 once more with a spread of outside bars, scrumptious meals and conventional market stalls deliberate as common for Leicester Sq. Christmas market.
For now, there are not any exhibits introduced for households (though grownup cabaret La Clique is lined up) – in earlier years, the family-friendly headliners have included a brand new tackle Sleeping Magnificence, magic, high notch puppetry, kids’s theatre firm Les Petits and performances from theatreland’s finest younger performers, in addition to interactive leisure and improvised exhibits. There are additionally no plans for Santa’s Grotto this yr.
As you’re within the coronary heart of Theatreland, it’s an ideal Christmas market to mix with a few of the finest Christmas theatre in London with children
Leicester Sq. Christmas market ticket costs
Free to enter, though there’s a cost for any performances (costs range).
Leicester Sq. Christmas market dates
Runs from November 8 to January 7 2024.
For extra issues to do round Leicester Sq. with children, try my high picks
Trafalgar Sq. Christmas Market
2023 TBC: A stone’s throw from Leicester Sq., there’s a small Christmas market in Trafalgar Sq. as properly, run by the identical firm.
Whereas there aren’t large numbers of stalls to browse, it’s a stunning location to get pleasure from Christmas within the metropolis with London’s large Christmas tree lit up, plus common carol performances.
Try my tips about one of the best issues to do at Christmas in London with children for extra particulars
Trafalgar Sq. Christmas market ticket costs
Trafalgar Sq. Christmas market dates
2023 dates TBC
Christmas By The River at London Bridge Metropolis
One other implausible London location, this time with Tower Bridge within the background and the skyscrapers of town alongside the Thames. Christmas by the River is a quieter occasion than a number of the others, however you’ll discover free workshops in addition to stalls.
You’re promised a novel expertise right here, with yearly twists on the same old theme. Earlier years included a classic ski theme aiming to move everybody to the snowy slopes of the Alps, full with scorching toddy on the apres-ski themed bar.
There’s additionally normally a sequence of workshops to be careful for, in addition to tastings, and storytelling occasions, with earlier festive crafts together with Christmas wreath and Christmas jumper adorning, many in help of charity.
Together with the humanities and crafts, you’ll be able to attempt food and drinks tastings with greater than 70 pop-up stalls – plus conventional presents galore to purchase. And you can at all times hop on a riverboat from London Bridge Metropolis Pier close by to make extra of a time out (wrap up heat for the river in winter although!)
Christmas by The River ticket costs
Christmas by The River dates
From November 15 2023, to January 1 2024
Covent Backyard Christmas Market
The final couple of years, you’ve been assured a white Christmas at Covent Backyard, with pretend snow swirling over the piazza each hour – however whether or not the flurries return for 2023 or not, Covent Backyard is at all times a fantastic possibility for a Christmas market in London with children.
In addition to the large baubles adorning the market itself, plus some beautiful Christmas lights, you’ll be able to anticipate a forest of Christmas timber and a few nice festive food and drinks within the Covent Backyard Christmas village.
Inside the principle Christmas in Covent Backyard celebrations, there are additionally further pop-up occasions to be careful for – the Winter Hotter pageant will get you within the festive temper throughout November, with a complete string of mulled wines and festive drinks.
Preserve an eye fixed out for the standard sleigh (though no Santa or reindeer), in addition to the enchanting Surprise Wooden pop-up, excellent for just a few festive selfies among the many fantastically embellished timber.
Try the following tips for the finest scorching chocolate in London with children, should you’re seeking to heat up after looking
Covent Backyard Christmas market ticket costs
Covent Backyard Christmas market dates
Festive celebrations will run from the start of November till January (exact 2023 timings tbc).
Greenwich Christmas market
2023 TBC: Enterprise additional down the river to Greenwich to find how the common market transforms in time for Christmas – its 150 stalls, with some fabulous issues to purchase year-round, get illuminated by the lights in addition to the Greenwich Kids’s Lantern Procession to kick all the things off.
It’s straightforward to mix with a skate on the ice rink on the Queen’s Home, whereas Greenwich normally has numerous festive occasions at the museums and the Cutty Sark throughout December – whether or not there’s one thing happening or not, it’s price climbing on board the Cutty Sark between Christmas market looking, with lots for youths of all ages.
Good should you’re in search of a time out with added Christmas markets in south-east London.
Greenwich Christmas market ticket costs
Greenwich Christmas market dates
Beforehand, there have been Christmas late markets each Wednesday in December, from 10am to 8pm so it’s price checking for further festive occasions. In any other case, the overall market took day by day from 10am to five.30pm (actual 2023 dates TBC).
For extra concepts of festive gentle trails in London with children, try this put up
Battersea Energy Station Winter Village
A comparatively new festive addition in one in all London’s iconic landmarks – December normally sees Battersea Energy Station being reworked right into a magical Winter Village with food and drinks pop-ups, Christmas timber and cosy alpine wood huts to snuggle up towards the chilly.
For 2023, Glide at Battersea Energy Station, town’s solely riverside ice rink, is again, created by the folks behind the Pure Historical past Museum ice rink. In actual fact, there are three interconnecting rinks, surrounded by twinkling lights and a 30ft Christmas tree.
Final yr additionally featured classic funfair rides, meals stalls and mulled wine to get pleasure from afterwards, together with a Christmas path that includes large baubles.
Earlier years have seen riverside curling lanes on the previous Coaling Jetty alongside the Thames, festive movies on the cinema and household favourites at The Turbine Theatre.
Battersea Energy Station Winter Village ticket costs
Free to go to, ice rink and exercise prices range.
Battersea Energy Station Winter Village dates
Glide is open from November 10 till January 7 2024.
Kingston Christmas Market
Head out of the centre for top-of-the-line Christmas markets in west London (properly, southwest London) as Kingston’s Historical Market Place will get its personal conventional Christmas Market with a string of particular actions for youths, in addition to 40 embellished wooden cabins promoting presents, stocking fillers and mulled wine.
Together with the stalls within the Alpine Village, there are additionally fairground rides, together with a carousel, for youths, in addition to road meals and a few dwell leisure – particulars nonetheless to return for 2023’s occasion.
In earlier years, there have additionally been trails to get kids exploring additional together with a Fairy Story Path, in addition to a Letter to Santa competitors with a reply and small reward again, plus prizes together with a ticket to Kingston’s Rose theatre.
For extra issues to do in Kingston with children, try this put up
Kingston Christmas Market ticket costs
Kingston Christmas Market dates
November 16, to December 31, 2023
Wembley Park Festive market
2023 TBC: There are sometimes nice family-friendly occasions happening round Wembley Park and the festive season is not any completely different, with its personal little Christmas market operating in December and an art work doubling as a tree.
With merchants promoting mince piles, mulled wine and handmade presents, it’s a fantastic excuse to go over to Market Sq. and discover – don’t miss the particular selfie spots, together with a starry reward field.
There’s additionally dwell music on weekends, in addition to seven immersive artworks as a part of the free Wembley Park Artwork Path, themed round ‘Winter’s Wander.’
Three everlasting items of art work are additionally heading to the world, together with a brand new mural and lightweight sculpture, plus Unimaginable Greenhouses, which transforms six electrical cupboards throughout Wembley Park into imagined greenhouses.
Wembley Park Festive market ticket costs
Wembley Park Festive market dates
2023 dates TBC
For extra issues to do in Wembley Park with children, try this put up
London Christmas markets with children: better of the remaining
Hampton Court docket Palace Festive Fayre
Hampton Court docket Palace will get dressed up for Christmas with its Festive Fayre from December 1-3 and 8-10, the place the palace courtyards are reworked with food and drinks stalls, dwell cooking demos and carol singing.
Try my video for a style of the ice skating
The market normally will get a festive facelift in addition to longer opening hours, so it’s simpler than ever to wander round selecting up a number of the fantastic meals, whereas bells ring and carols sound, plus particular occasions throughout December – tbc for 2023.
Artful Fox Christmas markets
Good should you’re in search of an uncommon inventive reward, the Artful Fox markets are stuffed with items from impartial designers, with a unique combine every time, together with art work, jewelry, and kids’s gadgets.
Takes place in November and December, at Mercato Metropolitano in Elephant and Fort and The Crossing at Kings Cross, whereas different earlier areas have included The Division Retailer, Brixton.
Winterville Clapham Widespread
Promising another Christmas, Winterville is a great distance from gingerbread hearts and conventional wood stalls – nonetheless, the occasions haven’t taken place for the final 4 years for numerous causes, and there may be nothing confirmed for 2023 both.
With UV-powered Plonk Golf, a Curler Disco and road meals galore previously, entry was free should you had an occasion ticket and for some weekday classes.
For extra strategies of one of the best Christmas markets in Europe for kids, try this choice from Suitcases & Sandcastles
PIN FOR LATER: CHRISTMAS MARKETS IN LONDON WITH KIDS
Pictures: South Financial institution and Hampton courtroom, copyright MummyTravels. All others courtesy Depositphotos