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The Nutcracker

Telling the take of a young girl swept away into a magical world on Christmas Eve, this ballet – with its spectacular sets and glorious costumes – is hard not to enjoy, even if ballet isn’t your thing.

On top of that, visiting the Royal Opera House is an experience in its own right; one best enjoyed with a glass of champagne during the interval.

Dec 10-Jan 16, times vary, £5
Bow Street, WC2E 9DD
Tube | Covent Garden


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Ticking all the panto boxes – OTT sets, spangly costumes, singing, dancing and loads of audience participation – Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs promises to be provide full “he’s behind you” satisfaction for those who believe this is a Christmas essential.

Celebs on the bill at the New Wimbledon Theatre include Priscilla Presley, in her pantomime and London stage debut, as the Wicked Queen, actor Warwick Davis as Prof and Kiwi comedian Jarred Christmas as Herman the Henchman.

Dec 7- Jan 13, times vary, £10
93 The Broadway, SW19 1QG
Tube | Wimbledon; South Wimbledon


Tingle Creek Christmas Festival

As well as horse races, there will be pantomime Sleeping Beauty and a Christmas shop selling gifts from around the globe. You will be met at the station by a horse and sleigh and, on your arrival, will be serenaded with carols.

The Friday is National Brownie Day (yes, it exists) and will be celebrated with free samples of said chocolatey cakes. Yum.

Dec 7-8; 11am-3.40pm (last race)
Sandown Park, Esher, KT10 9AJ, £15
Station | Esher


St Paul’s Cathedral Christmas Carols

Religious or not, St Paul’s Cathedral is awe-inspiring. One of the best times to check out the three-centuries-old landmark is at Christmas, when the site of the former Occupy protest comes into its own.

There’s a programme of events that include carol services, choral concerts by the Cathedral Choir and a Christmas Eve service that includes well-known hymns.

Nov 25-Dec 24, times vary, free
St Paul’s Cathedral, EC4M 8AD
Tube | St Paul’s; Mansion House



London Santa Run

Join 2000 other Father Christmases running around Battersea Park.

The Santa Run is organised to raise funds for Disability Snowsport UK, a charity helping people with disabilities to access snowsports.

The annual 6km event is always exuberant and your running prowess becomes irrelevant given the innate ridiculousness of jogging alongside thousands of adults dressed in red and white.

Costumes are provided. Bring your own beard.

Dec 1, 10am, £20
Battersea Park, SW11 
Tube | Battersea Park


Christmas events and activities in London: From pantomime and ice skating to winter wonderland
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