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Dick Whittington and his Cat

Hackney Empire pantos are voted the best in London and this year’s will continue with the winning formula. Celebs include Joanna Riding and Steve Elias.

Dec 1-Jan 6, times vary, £10
291 Mare Street, E8 1EJ
Tube | Hackney Central; Homerton



Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink

There’s room for 250 skaters on the rink in front of the palace – Henry VIII’s Tudor mansion – illuminated at night. Warm up in the bar before and after you brave the ice.

Dec 1-Jan 13, 10am-10pm, £11+
East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
Tube | Hampton Court


Camden Lock Night Market

Buy crafts, jewellery, clothes and other gifts as you sip mulled wine and listen to live music. This is as pleasurable as Christmas shopping can get.

Thursdays Nov 22-Dec 20, free
Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8AF
Tube | Camden Town; Camden Road


Greenwich xmas craft market

Wander scenic Greenwich Market and shop for handcrafted clothes, toys, art, jewellery and clothes – it’s more Christmassy than ordering gifts online.

Until Dec 24, times vary, free
Greenwich Church St, SE10 9HZ
Tube | Cutty Sark; Greenwich


Great Christmas Pudding Race

This weird but funny event has taken place every year since 1980 and sees participants in Christmas fancy dress racing through an obstacle course set up in the Covent Garden Piazza.

The winning team will be awarded the prestigious Pudding Trophy.

If you want to join in, get a team of six together and find yourselves at least £100 each in sponsorship (proceeds go to Cancer Research UK).

There’s a £25 per person registration fee but it’s free to watch.

Dec 1, 11am, free
Between St Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane, WC2E 8RF
Tube | Covent Garden


Winter Wonderland

Fairground rides, a giant observation wheel, a circus and a slightly Disney-esque Christmas market will keep you busy.

Skate on the UK’s largest ice rink, drink mulled wine and eat market stall delicacies.

New this year is The Magical Ice Kingdom, an exhibition of snow and ice sculptures.

Entry is free, but you’ll have to cough up for rides, skating and shows.

Until Jan 6, 10am-10pm, free
Hyde Park, W2 2UH
Tube | Green Park

Read more: The countdown to Christmas has begun! Celebrate with cool festive activities and must-do events in London

Photos: Jeff Busby; Carl Court; Amber Hunt/;; Getty; Jim Marks


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