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Christmas in South Kensington

The festive season is upon on us in all its glory and South Kensington is full of Christmas treats to get you in the spirit. Prepare to indulge yourself in all that South Kensington has to offer from brisk walks and gingerbread hot chocolates to a light spot of Christmas browsing. Hide from the cold with magical museum displays or get outside and enjoy an enchanting day in the frosty parks before cozying up at the cinema for a feel-good festive favorite! Discover the range of fun activities to get involved with this December.

Did you know that the first Christmas card is said to be invented by South Ken’s very own Henry Cole! Cole, founder of the V&A Museum, was so embedded in the area that people joked that a letter addressed to “Mr. South Kensington, England” would reach him! In this spirit, the V&A have available a range of wonderful Christmas cards covered with wonderlands, wreaths, robins and Christmas cakes along with many more beautiful designs for you to get your hands on. Check them out here.

If your more interested in creating your own Christmas designs, why not get involved with the Festive Screen Printing Workshop at Leighton House. Create your own unique Christmas gift and learn how to screen print, as you are expertly guided through the process from sketching out design ideas, to cutting stencils through to working with screens and inks.

Why not head to Hyde Park’s Wreath Making Workshop with afternoon tea! Brighten up your home with a handmade Christmas wreath inspired by the wonderful season. Embrace warm colors and natural flourishes to craft your own seasonal wreath that friends and neighbors will love.

If your more interested in browsing for Christmas presents, head to Japan House London for an exclusive late-night shopping event. The evening includes a range of demonstrations, workshops and tastings to introduce you to a variety of Japanese food and drink and giving you a chance to learn about and practice card making and gift wrapping in the run-up to Christmas.

You may find you’re a little tired with all the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, so what better time to visit Kensington Palace’s Luna Winter Cinema. The Luna Cinema is adding some serious sparkle to the big screen for a whole month of Christmas cinema this December and have lined up just about every classic, heart-warming and cheesy Christmas film you can think of!

The Royal Albert Hall has been the home of Christmas in London for 150 years. They open their doors again this December to share the magic of our favorite season. This year’s programme is full of heart-warming live events to be enjoyed with your loved ones. And this year, there’s something for everyone, from Christmas carols to traditional concerts, jazz, drag, soul, classic ballet and so much more.

Home Alone in Concert returns to the Hall as renowned composer John Williams’ score is performed live to picture by a symphony orchestra. Nominated for Best Original Score and Best Original Song, Home Alone has become a seasonal classic.

Or check out another Christmas classic and experience the true magic of The Nutcracker at the hall. As Clara’s toys come to life at the stroke of midnight. Take a journey through a fantastical winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes to the kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy.

You can't possibly think of Christmas in South Kensington without being reminded of the glorious return of Hyde Park Winter Wonderland! The UK's most iconic festive event welcoming back loved attractions including the UK's largest outdoor ice rink, the giant wheel, and thrilling shows at Zippo's Circus and Cirque Beserk as well as introducing some super exciting, brand new and improved rides.

And this year, Discover South Kensington has 4 tickets for 3 attractions to give away! The lucky winner's prize includes entry to Hyde Park Winter Wonderland PLUS a skate around the largest outdoor Ice Rink in London, entry in the spectacular Magical Ice Kingdom and a ride on the iconic Giant Wheel. For a chance to win, simply sign up here!

If you need a break from all the festivities, you can still the range of other interesting winter exhibitions and events that are on offer this December. Why not ignite your nostalgia and visit the V&A’s Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature. This cozy exhibition takes visitors on a journey to discover Potter's life as a scientist and conservationist and explores the places and animals that inspired her most beloved characters.

South Kensington's museums and galleries online and onsite shops are bursting with imaginative ideas for sustainable Christmas presents. But the best gift of all is an annual membership to one of our cultural venues. Fill your stockings with treats from South Kensington here.

With an array of Christmas fun, South Kensington is the place to be this winter. So, wrap up warm and head out to enjoy the festive, family friendly events that are being held throughout the area! And if you're still on the lookout for even more festive treats, then check out everything happening in South Ken here. 

first ever christmas card
The first Christmas card, commissioned by Henry Cole. 

Wreath Making and Afternoon Tea at Hyde Park
luna cinema
The Luna Cinema, Kensington Palace

Home Alone in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park
Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park