From Home Alone in Concert at The Royal Albert Hall to Christmas at Windsor Castle, we pick this year’s hottest festive tickets for panto, comedy, ballet and more.
The Snowman at Sadler’s Wells
19 November – 31 December
Nothing beats the nostalgia of the evocative music in The Snowman. Got the tune in your head? All ages will enjoy this wintry dance showstopper where a snowman comes to life in the stage adaptation of the much-loved picture book by Raymond Briggs and the film directed by Dianne Jackson. Almost three decades from its first performance, this show is running for its 25th London season, at Peacock Theatre. Unforgettable. Book it.
Jack and the Beanstalk at the Palladium
10 December – 15 January 2023
Roll up! roll up! Indulge in what will be one of the noisiest and warm-hearted pantos in London. Brace yourself as Dawn French, Julian Clary and Nigel Havers take to the stage for a full-scale panto spectacle of Jack and the Beanstalk. Expect glitz, expect glamour and a whole lot of silliness at London’s iconic home of the pantomime. Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum. Book it.
Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol
8 December – 8 January 2023
Dust off your cowboy boots and Santa hats, Dolly Parton has written an alternative Christmas show with a country twist showing at the Southbank Centre. This new holiday-themed musical is based on both Parton’s feel-good hit Smoky Mountain Christmas and the Yuletide classic A Christmas Carol. The story is set in the mountains of Tennessee where mining company boss Ebenezer Scrooge reigns tyrannically. Just as in the original, Scrooge meets with ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future to discover that love is the greatest and most precious gift we have. Book it.
Christmas at Kew Gardens
16 November – 8 January 2023
Looking for an after-dark adventure? Returning for its tenth year, the evening skies will be all a blaze at Kew Gardens as their magical winter trail lights up once again for Christmas. New installations for 2022 include suspended illuminations and optical illusions featuring over a million twinkling lights. Look out for larger-than-life illuminations, the fire garden, street food vendors and Father Christmas along the way. Book it.
ELF the Musical
14 November – 7 January 2023
For eight weeks only, the Christmas smash hit musical is back in London at the Dominion Theatre. ELF the Musical is the hilarious adaptation of the much-loved Christmas movie featuring Will Ferrell. Funny and silly, this feel-good musical follows the heart-warming story of Buddy, a young orphan who mistakenly crawls into Father Christmas’ bag. Book it.
Hogwarts in the Snow
12 November – 15 January 2023
Just outside London in Leavesden is Warner Bros. Studio Tour, always a fun place to visit during the festive season. Visit areas of the Harry Potter set, and the Hogwarts castle model, decorated as if it is winter and Christmas scenes in the movies. See first-hand how special effects flames are created without fire. Book it.
18 November – 2 January 2023
Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park is promising special new additions alongside old favourites such as Zippo’s Christmas Circus, the Giant Wheel and the UK’s largest outdoor ice rink. New attractions for 2022 include a new obstacle course called the Edelweiss Runhouse and new street food stalls. Book it.
Ice Skating at Hampton Court Palace
17 November – 8 January 2023
Glide across the ice at the iconic open-air ice rink in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace. Over 85,000 skaters are expected this year. It’s even more magical come evening when the lights twinkle within Henry VIII’s sixteenth-century home. Book it.
London Santa Run
Bigger and better each year, the London Santa Run is a jolly event where all ages, dressed in red Santa suits, run around the 5k and 10k Victoria Park course. The entry fee is £25 with proceeds going to Get Kids Going!, a national charity which gives disabled children and young people the opportunity to participate in sport. Book your spot.
Home Alone in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall
This year the Royal Albert Hall is pulling out the stops for Christmas with several festive favourites lined up. Home Alone in concert is returning with a live orchestra as well as one of the nation’s most loved mezzo-sopranos Katherine Jenkins OBE who will perform on 8 December. What’s more, on 3 December, the Royal Albert Hall are hosting A Christmas Gaiety, a camp evening of drag queens and the BBC Concert Orchestra. Book it.
Christmas at the Tower of London
23 November – 3 January 2023
See the 12 days of Christmas brought to life, as never before, at the Tower of London. The fortress will be transformed with festive displays. Book it.
The London International Horse Show
15 – 19 December
Held annually in December, this breath-taking spectacle of stunts and tricks on horseback is a family Christmas tradition. Expect show jumping, dressage, driving and displays. This year, the leading film-industry horse supplier in Europe, The Devil’s Horsemen is taking centre stage at ExCel London. The act, which includes 10 horses and nine stunt riders, includes stunts that were performed in Hollywood films such as Game of Thrones and Wonder Woman. Book it.