Christmas in South Kensington

Visit South Kensington to experience a truly magical Christmas this year. Our members offer a huge range of events for a festive season to remember. From tasty treats to awe-inspiring music, have a look and make sure you don't miss out on the festive fun. 

The Museum of Architecture's Gingerbread City

8th Dec - 6th Jan 2019
V&A
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Consisting of over 60 gingerbread buildings designed and created by architects, designers and engineers, the Gingerbread City is a playful way to encourage conversation around the future of our built environment.

Family
Christmas

RCM Sparks Family Create: A Christmas Countdown

15th Dec
11am; 1pm; 3pm
Royal College of Music
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Add some sparkle to your festive season with a family-friendly creative workshop exploring the orchestra, with a Christmassy twist! After the workshop, head across the road to the Royal Albert Hall for My Great Christmas Orchestral Adventure where you’ll zip around the world to track down Father Christmas.

Lecture
Free

Christmas Lecture: Prof Sir Paul Nurse

10th Dec
5.30-6.30pm
Imperial College London
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The Hammersmith and White City Campus Distinguished Christmas Lecture. Prof Sir Paul Nurse will be presenting Great Ideas of Biology. This will be followed by a drinks and canape reception to celebrate the festive season.

Free
Music
Christmas

College Carol Service by Candlelight

10th Dec
6-7pm
Imperial College London
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The Chaplaincy warmly invites you to the College Carol Service by Candlelight, After the service, please join for drinks and mince pies in the Church. Amidst all the busy preparations for the Christmas holiday the Carol Service offers a space to reflect on what has been happening in our lives in the past year.

Outdoors
Drop-in

Christmas Choirs

2-23rd Dec
12-5pm
V&A
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Festive music fills our Grand Entrance this Christmas season. Special recitals are taking place almost daily, performed by our friends and favourite choirs from London's choral scene. Read more to find out how to catch them during the day and special evenings!

Family

Festive Family Rave

29th Dec
2-4pm
V&A
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World famous, award winning, Glastonbury Festival performing, family rave sensation Big Fish Little Fish returns to the V&A. They'll be putting on a fun, modern twist on the traditional Christmas family event - bringing their own unique combination of rave music, crafting, fancy dress and intergenerational merry-making.

Free

Pop-up Performance: Festive Weekends 2018

1 December-22 December
11am; 1pm; 3pm
V&A
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You are warmly invited to a Victorian Christmas party exploring all things festive, from Christmas cards to trees. Find out how Victorian children entertained themselves on Christmas Day.

Concert
Family

The BT Christmas Carol Concert

17th Dec
7.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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You are invited to join the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for this wonderful concert of festive delights. You can expect all your favourite carols, traditional sing-alongs, and even a sprinkling of stardust as we celebrate the Christmas season together. Hosted by BT sport presenters Clare Balding and Jake Humphrey.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Opens 19th Oct
Natural History Museum
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See the world through a new lens. Now in its fifty-fourth year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases extraordinary animal behaviour and the breathtaking diversity of life on Earth. Explore the world's best nature photography, exhibited on 100 exquisite light panels.

Life in the Dark

Until 6 Jan 2019
All day
Natural History Museum
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Meet creatures that thrive at night, in the total darkness of caves and deep in the ocean. Get up-close to specimens with fascinating adaptations and find out how they navigate their environment, hunt, mate and evade predators. Discover nocturnal animals through sight, sound, touch and smell.

Free

Subtle: Delicate or Infinitesimal

13th Nov - 24th Dec
Japan House London
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The exhibition is the ultimate exploration of Japanese minimalism and the delicate art of paper; it intends to reawaken our sense to the limitless possibilities of what can be done with fine paper. The works are designed and crafted from among 15 creators living and working in Japan.

Beazley Designs of the Year

12th Sept - 6th Jan 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Every year since 2008 hundreds of design experts from around the world nominate the most innovative and thought-provoking designs from the past 12 months. Discover this year’s top picks across fashion, architecture, digital, transport, product and graphic design.

Creative

The Making of Christmas Present

6, 13, 15, 20 Dec
11am, 12, 2 & 3pm
Kensington Palace
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Have you ever wondered why there is a sixpence in a Christmas pudding, why we send Christmas cards or what the origins of Boxing Day are? Join a fun and interactive talk with our social historians and discover how the Victorians shaped your Christmas.

Family
Christmas
Film

The Nutcracker and The Four Realms

15, 16, 19 Dec & 2, 5, 13 Jan
Various
Institut français
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In search of a special key, Clara travels to a strange and mysterious world where new companions and perils await… Capture the magic of Christmas and watch this new release at the Institut Français cinema.

Concert
Music

London Community Gospel Choir at Christmas

18th Dec
7.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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The Royal Albert Hall and the London Community Gospel Choir welcome you to one of their legendary Christmas shows, and our first gospel Christmas concert, featuring seasonal favourites including Joy To The World, Oh Holy Night, Joyful Joyful and many more, plus special guest appearances.

Concert
Music

Late Night Jazz - Shirt Tail Stompers: Vintage Christmas Show

13th Dec
9.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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The intimate Late Night Jazz series presents sensational music by the Shirt Tail Stompers, who return to the Elgar Room with their swinging Christmas show. Inspired by the Harlem Swing and Hot Jazz of the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the London-based band is making waves on the international swing music scene.

The Luna Winter Cinema

16th - 22nd Dec
5pm, 8.30pm
Kensington Palace
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Experience iconic films from It's A Wonderful Life and Elf to Home Alone and Love Actually on the big screen at Kensington Palace this Christmas season. Located at the Pavilion on the Orangery Lawn, this is the perfect place to enjoy a festive film with the stunning Kensington Palace in the background.

Free

Festive Play Session for Under Fives: December 2018

5th December-21st December
11:30-12:00; 12:30-1pm
V&A
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ake part in a multi-sensory play session especially for the under 5s and their families, inspired by The 12 Days of Christmas. These sessions are led by our very own Visitor Experience Gallery Assistants.

The Wider Earth

2nd Oct - 24th Feb 2019
2.30pm, 7.30pm
Natural History Museum
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A new theatre in the Jerwood Gallery will be unveiled for the premiere of award-winning drama The Wider Earth. The play, about the story of a young Charles Darwin, features a cast of seven, remarkable puppetry, an original score and cinematic animations to bring to life uncharted landscapes.

New Year's Eve: Party Animals

31st Dec
8pm - 1am
Natural History Museum
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Channel your inner-party animal and send off 2018 by dancing beneath the largest creature to have ever lived, hosted in collaboration with experiential events company It's Unknown. Pick up your drink before trying your luck at Musical Bingo, sampling edible insects, or having a hoot in the silent disco.

Free

Acoustic Lates at the Ice Rink

Every Thursday
6:30pm-9:30pm
Natural History Museum
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Join us for Acoustic Lates, live every Thursday evening in the Ice Rink Café Bar – brought to you by Ticketmaster. Come along to experience a showcase of emerging talent, while enjoying a mulled wine or glass of bubbles. This is a series of free events featuring artists to be announced.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

25th Oct - 6th Jan
10am - 9pm (times vary)
Natural History Museum
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Set against the backdrop of the Waterhouse building, the Ice Rink at the Natural History Museum is one of the most magical places to be this winter. Experience the thrill of skating surrounded by fairy lights nestled in frost-covered trees, with the smell of mulled wine in the air.

Winter Wonderland 2018

23rd Nov - 6th Jan 2019
10am - 10pm
Hyde Park
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This year will see new and exciting attractions as well as the return of the Magical Ice Kingdom, the UK's largest outdoor Ice Rink, the iconic Giant Observation Wheel and shows from Zippos Circus in the Big Top plus a huge selection of food and drink stalls and more!

The Nutcracker

28th - 31st Dec
12pm, 1pm, 2pm, 4pm, 5.30pm, 7pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Birmingham Royal Ballet brings its especially-created version of this Christmas ballet back to the Hall. This enchanting production wowed audiences with its spectacular setting, grand ensemble pieces and ravishing Tchaikovsky score – it is without a doubt the quintessential Christmas treat for all the family.

Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

8th Sep - 24th Feb 2019
V&A
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This exhibition will explore the design and culture of videogames since the mid-2000s, investigating ground-breaking contemporary design work, creative and rebellious player communities and the political conversations that define this movement.

Christmas
Food

A Victorian Christmas Extravaganza at Leighton House Museum

18th Dec
6-9pm
Leighton House Museum
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From turkey and crackers to figgy pudding and Father Christmas, the festive season as we know it today has its roots in the Victorian era. Join us in this special evening with greedy queens, jolly canapés and festive music. Featuring Dr Annie Gray, presenter of BBC2's Victorian Bakers and The Confectioners.

Concert
Music

Guy Barker's Big Band Christmas

14th Dec
7.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Guy Barker’s inimitable mixture of jazz classics, unearthed treasures and Christmas oddities will put a swing in your step as the festive season kicks off. Jazz singer and BBC Radio 2 presenter Clare Teal will be co-presenting the evening, performing alongside a range of very special guests.

Kids
Family
Music
Film

A Charlie Brown Christmas

14th Dec
1pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Enjoy a festive family screening of 1965 classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. Join the Peanuts gang as they remind us what’s most important during the festive season! Introducing little ears to the jazzy sounds of the film, the screening will be followed by a performance from The Jason Frederick Cinematic Trio.

The Snowman and Paddington Bear

20th Dec
2.15pm, 5.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Delight your family with a double-bill of classic musical stories for children at the Royal Albert Hall, with the charming Paddington Bear’s First Concert and seasonal favourite The Snowman™. The score is performed by Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Sun: Living with our Star

6th Oct - 6th May 2019
Times vary
Science Museum
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The awesome power, beauty and dark side of the sun is revealed in a major new exhibition this Autumn. Spectacular interactive experiences, unique artefacts, and stunning imagery shed fresh light on our evolving relationship with our closest star.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Opens 19th Oct
Natural History Museum
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See the world through a new lens. Now in its fifty-fourth year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year showcases extraordinary animal behaviour and the breathtaking diversity of life on Earth. Explore the world's best nature photography, exhibited on 100 exquisite light panels.

Home Futures

7th Nov - 24th March 2019
Design Museum Kensington
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Explore today’s home through the prism of yesterday’s imagination. Are we living in the way that pioneering architects and designers throughout the 20th century predicted, or has our idea of home proved resistant to real change?

Family

My Christmas Orchestral Adventure

15th Dec
11am, 2.45pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Track down Father Christmas on an orchestral adventure. Along the way you will ice skate on frozen lakes, go on a Sleigh Ride and enjoy a white Christmas, all without leaving the magical auditorium. You'll be singing, dancing and best of all, a full symphony orchestra will bring the adventure to life.