Christmas really gets going in London today

Today it seems as though London’s Christmas is well and truly arriving: several of the capital’s biggest festive sights are opening, so grab some tinsel and make your way to one of these events. 

Winter Wonderland until 6 Jan, every day, 10am-10pm
Opening at 4pm today, this isn’t just London’s biggest winter festival, but it’s also one of the largest in the United Kingdom. It’s a free, glittering Christmas city in the middle of Hyde Park, with fairground rides, a Bavarian market, food, drinks, ice skating, shows for all ages and more. If possible, walk from Green Park, Paddington or Victoria stations to avoid big crowds at the closest Tube stations.
Christmas at Kew gardens london Royal Botanical Gardens Kew light canopy
Christmas at Kew until 5 Jan, Wed-Sun, 5pm-10pm
This is Kew Garden’s sixth annual lights festival, with more than one million lights! There are also laser-beam displays, a Fire Garden, a forest of disco balls and a lake of floating paper boats that change colour – all within one of London’s most beautiful gardens. This popular event sells out very quickly, so book tickets as soon as you can. 
Image courtesy of Sarah Riches @Healthy_Holiday

Watch our video guide to spooky London here 
Christmas at ZSL London Zoo regent's park london
Christmas at ZSL London Zoo until 1 Jan, most days, 4.45pm-8pm
Once the animals are asleep, this zoo at Regent’s Park is illuminated. Walk along a mile-long path, including a canopy featuring over 100,000 tiny lights. 
St Katharine Docks london marina Christmas Lights Switch On
St Katharine Docks Christmas Lights Switch-On from 6pm
Of course, there are lots and lots of Christmas lights in London, but not many of them are over water. St Katharine Docks is central London’s only marina and this occasion is sure to be particularly beautiful. Head to Marble Quay for the big switch-on, where you’ll also find carol singers and Santa on a speedboat. 
The View from The Shard london bridge london sunset renzo piano
The Drinks Are On Us at The View from The Shard until 13 Dec, Thur-Fri, 6pm-8pm
Yes, this is London’s highest happy hour. Get festive at The Shard’s viewing platform, where anybody visiting between 6pm and 8pm today, or any other Thursday or Friday until 13 December, will receive free drinks at the bar. 

If the falling temperatures are ruining your Christmas spirit, why not read our new review of cocktail bar Nine Lives in London Bridge – it’s a warm, cosy basement bar with great drinks 

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