Over Christmas and New Year’s, an almost overwhelming number of events touch down in London. From concerts and curated food festivals to wintertime staples like The Nutcracker, December is invariably a busy time of year. For those staying at one of our central London hotels, you’ll be perfectly placed to access a wealth of activities and cultural happenings, whether you’re travelling en famille or are enjoying a romantic weekend away. With so much on offer across the city, we’ve selected our favourite London December events, to make sure you’re fully entertained over the festive period.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland at the Royal Opera House
The Royal Ballet takes to the stage this winter in Christopher Wheeldon’s elegant rendition of Lewis Carroll’s timeless story. Dive down the rabbit hole with Alice and encounter favourite characters from the Cheshire Cat to the utterly Mad Hatter.
From Saturday, 6 December 2014 – Friday, 16 January 2015.
Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton at the Royal Albert Hall
Join the London Concert Orchestra as they perform Danny Elfman’s iconic and ominous film scores from a number of Tim Burton classics, including The Nightmare Before Christmas and Edward Scissorhands. While not the most traditional of London December events, the two performances will also feature a special appearance from Elfman himself, making this one to catch for visiting film fans.
Friday, 12 December 2014.
Statoil Masters Tennis at Royal Albert Hall
Retired titans of the tennis world come together this December at the Royal Albert Hall for a special tournament. Expect to see some of the biggest names in the sport battle it out over the five-day event, with legends like John McEnroe, Tim Henman and Andy Roddick taking to the courts.
From Wednesday, 3 December – Sunday, 7 December 2014.
The Chocolate Festival at Business Design Centre, Islington
Islington will celebrate all things cocoa this December when The Chocolate Festival comes to town. Set within the Business Design Centre, chocolate fiends will discover truffle making workshops, cocoa butter beauty treatments and copious stalls that tantalise with all manner of delicious treats. Follow our lead and be sure to sample from London-based luxury chocolatier Rococo Chocolates, among many others.
From Friday, 12 December – Sunday, 14 December 2014.
The Art of the Brick at The Old Truman Brewery
This renowned, East London Lego exhibition’s run has just been extended into the spring, which is a testament to its incredible reception in the capital. But just because of the chosen medium, don’t assume that the works within are childish. The Lego-made sculptures are enormous in scale and powerful in subject, and will make you think twice about what you can do with a starter set of your own.
Until Sunday, 12 April 2015.
Ming: 50 Years That Changed China at British Museum
Quench your thirst for culture at the Ming Dynasty exhibition at the British Museum, a stunning and expansive homage to China’s artistic golden age. A collection of rare porcelain pieces and rich textiles are on display, many sourced from excavations as recent as the past decade.
Until Monday, 5 January 2015.
The Nutcracker at London Coliseum
Winter without The Nutcracker? Never! One of our favourite London December events, the English National Ballet’s production of Tchaikovsky’s most festive work is certain to be a standout. Many of the company’s biggest stars will take on roles this season, including Alina Cojocaru, Tamara Rojo, and Yonah Acosta. Follow Clara as she journeys through magical kingdoms in this beloved seasonal ballet.
Thursday, 11 December 2014 – Sunday, 4 January 2015.
Edward Scissorhands at Sadler’s Wells
One of Tim Burton’s most critically acclaimed films is coming to Sadler’s Wells this December. The revival of Matthew Bourne’s acclaimed production, this dark fairytale tells the story of a gruesome – but tender-hearted – character who finds love for the first time. The New Adventures Orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment, and will perform compositions from the original film score.
Tuesday, 2 December 2014 – Sunday, 11 January 2015.
Michael Bublé at The O2 Arena
Michael Bublé’s silky vocals are set to return to the O2 for two successive nights, following sell-out performances at the same venue last year. Expect to hear hit singles spanning his six-album Grammy-winning career, as well as many of the chanteur’s acclaimed Christmas tracks.
Monday, 15 December & Tuesday, 16 December 2014.
Anselm Kiefer at Royal Academy of Arts
Labelled by many as the world’s greatest living artist, the acclaimed Anselm Kiefer is being celebrated in a broad, career-sweeping retrospective at the Royal Academy of Arts. Before the show closes in mid-December, stop by to witness his moody, dark, and atmospheric pieces in person. From paintings to mammoth installations and sculptures, Kiefer’s work draws from political and mythological inspirations to devise something completely new.
Until Sunday, 14 December 2014.
Header Image © Annabel Moeller