Top 8 local things to do on Christmas eve
Christmas Eve is full of anticipation for the big day ahead and almost feels like the calm before the (snow) storm. The shopping will be done, the roast dinner prepped, and the house decked in twinkling lights, so now it’s time to relax and really ramp up the festive factor. Here are the top 10 things to do on Christmas Eve near you
Christmas at Battersea Power Station, Battersea
Christmas evokes real nostalgia, so spending Christmas Eve at Battersea Power Station seems apt as it’s an iconic building that has made its mark in popular culture. This Christmas, it plays host to numerous festive events and has something for everyone. As well as picking up a last-minute gift at the shops, you can enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants including Wright Brothers, No.29 Power Station West and Fiume. There is also a giant mistletoe at Grosvenor Arch with a snowy backdrop of the Power Station in the background so you can take a few Instagram-worthy photos. Alternatively, you can take a selfie in the sleigh next to the Christmas tree. You may also win a prize if you tag @BatterseaPwrStn and #justfollowthelights in your post. www.batterseapowerstation.co.uk
Festive Flicks at The Bishop, Kingston
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a heart-warming festive movie and there’s plenty on offer at The Bishop pub in Kingston. Located on the banks of the Thames, Festive Flicks at The Bishop is an ideal way to spend a cosy Christmas Eve. Movies will be shown upstairs in the evening so you can spend some quality festive time with your family or friends. The event is free and starts at 5pm and finishes at 10pm.
Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, Hampton Court
For something a little different, you can skate around the historic grounds of Hampton Court. The popular ice rink has taken up residency on the iconic courts since November and is a great place for a skate with the backdrop the towering Tudor palace looming in the background. If you’re not an expert on the ice, the rink is suitable for all types of skaters, with penguins available to help little ones out. Join in a daytime session from 11am to 7pm during which skate aids will be available to hire. Adult tickets are £14.50 each which includes skate hire and 45 minutes on the ice rink. Children aged 15 and under are £12.50 and children aged 12 and under are £10.50.
Aladdin, New Wimbledon Theatre, Wimbledon
The panto season is full swing and a trip to the theatre sounds like just the ticket for Christmas Eve. This year, New Wimbledon Theatre takes on the magical tale of Aladdin with a star-studded cast that includes Have I Got News For You panellist Paul Merton as Widow Twankey and EastEnders star and former Blue member Lee Ryan as Aladdin. As with most pantomimes, expect lots of colourful costumes, lots of comedy and lots of boos and ‘he’s behind you!’s. General tickets start from £16.90-£45.40.
Cinderella at New Victoria Theatre, Woking
Packed with all the fun of the panto, this family friendly production of Cinderella features Craig Revel Horwood as The Wicked Stepmother and Paul Chuckle as Baron Hardup and is a great Christmas eve event for the kids. Expect a fabulously festive performance with a dose of laugh-out-loud comedy and full on pantomime costumes. What’s more, enjoy the magic of the excellent set, which has been designed to transport audiences to the faraway kingdom where our heroine goes from rags to riches.
Christmas Eve performances at 1pm & 5pm
Christmas Eve Festive Outdoor Swim, Richmond
Why not pop out in the morning for a swim? Pools on the Park in Richmond are open this Christmas for a fun, festive swim early in the morning until early afternoon. Just what you need to get your blood pumping and some much-needed exercise before the big day of gorging arrives. You can also enjoy some hot food and drink afterwards in the café. The pool opens from 8.45am to 1.45pm and normal swim charges apply.
Hansel and Gretel, Rose Theatre, Kingston
For a Christmas treat why not take the family to the Rose Theatre on Christmas Eve and follow the mystical tale of Hansel and Gretel. The classic Grimm tale gets a festive makeover directed by Rosie Jones and opens with a giant onstage storybook sure to bring the story alive to excitable children. You’ll also meet a host of other fairy tale characters along the way including Snow White, Red Riding Hood and Cinderella. Tickets are £20-£35 each and concessions save £10 on all price bands.
Christmas Carols at St Anne’s Church, Wandsworth
Those looking for a traditional way to spend Christmas Eve can attend the Christmas Carol services at St Anne’s Church in Wandsworth. These services are mainly for children but it is an ideal event for the whole family to immerse themselves in the true spirit of Christmas. Christingle events are 4pm and 5.30pm. If you want to return for midnight mass, it starts at 11.30pm.