Forget EastEnders and getting fat, don’t spend Xmas and Boxing days cooped up indoors. Here’s what else to do.

Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!

If you haven’t already checked out this London attraction, Christmas Day will be the best time, away from the maddening crowds.

Gawp at more than 700 weird and wonderful exhibits, including a two-headed calf, three shrunken heads from Ecuador and the blue-faced man from China.

Then make your way through the mirror maze and spinning tunnel just to finish off your hangover.

Christmas Day, 10am-midnight,m £26.95
1 Piccadilly Circus, W1J 0DA
Tube | Piccadilly Circus 
ripleyslondon.com

 

%TNT Magazine% swimming christmas

Hampton Pool

What is it with swimming on Xmas Day? Rather than the hardcore Serpentine race, this is a suitable-for-all, 36m heated (28˚C) pool overlooking a woodland area on the Bushy Park outskirts.

There’s also a 12.5m learner pool.

Get up early, work off last night’s booze then pack a picnic to eat on the grass for a Christmas with a difference.

Christmas Day, 8am-midday, £6.60
High Street, TW12 2ST
Station | Hampton 
hamptonpool.co.uk

 

1660 – The London of Samuel Pepys

This festive-themed walk around the traffic-free streets of London takes in the spirit of Xmas past. Learn about Samuel Pepys – diarist extraordinaire and chronicler of the 17th century.

For two hours, walk in his footsteps – where Pepys lived and worked, then head to Westminster Abbey to hear how the bodies of Oliver Cromwell and others were dug up so they could be hanged.

Learned guides will tell tales about the Plague, the Fire of London, and about Pepys’ career, which went downhill.

Much more interesting than an EastEnders omnibus.

Christmas Day, 11am-1pm, £9
Meet by the Christmas tree
in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Tube | Charing Cross 
walks.com

 

Windmill on the Common

This friendly boozer is opening up its doors on Crimbo Day, so swan in for a pint of ale.

Or, if you haven’t got your roast sorted, book now to tuck in to a four-course dinner with all the trimmings at £70.

Christmas Day, 11.45am-3pm, free
Clapham Common, South Side,
SW4 9DE 
Tube | Clapham Common

windmillclapham.co.uk

 

La Brasserie

Christmas dinner tastes even better when it’s prepared (and cleared away) by someone else.

Chow down on salmon, roast turkey and proper pud at this traditional, brasserie-style French restaurant.

Christmas Day, 12-3pm, 3.30-5pm, £52.50
27 Brompton Road, SW3 2AW
Tube | South Kensington
labrasserielondon.com

 

The Brook Green Hotel

You’re in London for Crimbo, so visiting a traditional boozer is a must.

With fireplaces and a tops bar menu, wile away the hours over a few pints or opt for the four-course Christmas roast for £60.

Christmas Day, 8am-3pm, free
107 Shepherd’s Bush Road,
W6 7PB 
Tube | Hammersmith

brookgreenhotel.co.uk

 

Cinnamon Soho

Spice up Christmas lunch at this Indian restaurant.

Munch mixed game balls with hot and sweet pumpkin chutney, Kadhai-seasoned duck, saffron-poached peer and sip spicy signature cocktails.

Christmas Day, 12pm-4pm, £40
5 Kingly Street, W1B 5PF
Tube | Oxford Circus
cinnamon-kitchen.com

 

More Christmas and Boxing Day events in London: From the Peter Pan Cup to the Charles Dickens Museum

%TNT Magazine% soho nightime

Soho’s Seven Noses

Legend has it if you see all of the Seven Noses of Soho, you’ll attain infinite wealth.

Well, we can’t guarantee that, but this popular tour promises a Crimbo with a difference, exploring the deserted streets of Soho and learning about its fascinating – and sometimes dark – history. And you may even get to see the secret eighth nose…

Christmas Day, 4pm, £30
Meet at Covent Garden
or Trafalgar Square
peterberthoud.co.uk

 

Charles Dickens’ London Walk

What better way to walk off a hefty Xmas lunch than strolling around the capital, exploring it according to Dickens?

Discover the finest Georgian alleyways off The Strand and Covent Garden – a surviving part of Victorian underworld – as well as Dickensian associations. Copperfield, Oliver Twist and Pickwick all make an appearance.

After all that walking, reward yourself with a pint in a nearby cafe.

Christmas Day, 2pm-4pm, £9
Meet by the Christmas tree
in Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Tube | Charing Cross 
walks.com

 

%TNT Magazine% dinosaur natural history

Walking With Dinosaurs

This must-see exhibition kicks off its 11-day run on Boxing Day.

Based on the award-winning TV series of the same name, this spectacular event brings the life-size giant reptiles back to life to tell the story of their 200-million-year reign.

Expect a T-Rex the size of a two-storey house in this puppet show, which has grossed £84m around the world and took six years to perfect. Well worth a trip.

Boxing Day, 7pm, £20+
The O2 Arena, Peninsula Square, SE10 0BB
Tube | Greenwich
dinosaurlive.com

 

 

Kiss Me Kate

This show-within-a-show production  has received top reviews.

It’s a combination of gun-wielding gangsters, high-maintenance actors and love triangles revolving around a touring musical production of The Taming Of The Shrew.

It’s the first musical the Old Vic has staged since Kevin Spacey joined as artistic director in 2003.

An award-winning night out.

Boxing Day, 2.30pm, 7.30pm, £11
The Cut, SE1 8NB
Tube | Waterloo
oldvictheatre.com

 

Boxing Day Baroque

Got friends visiting? Show them how cultured you’ve become since moving to London and take them to this classical concert featuring the likes of Vivaldi, Mozart and Bach.

Boxing Day, 7pm, £8+
St Martin-In-The-Fields,
WC2N 4JJ 
Tube | Charing Cross
concert-diary.com

%TNT Magazine% slava snowshow

Slava’s Snowshow

Having toured 80 cities to rave reviews, this dream-like spectacular is back in the capital.

Pull yourself out of one festive slumber and drift into another as clowns combine theatrical performances and special effects to create a surreal world.

Sure, it’s good for big kids, but you’ll end up knee-deep in snow at the end after a blizzard, getting the white Christmas you’ve always wanted.

Boxing Day, 7.30pm, £20
Southbank Centre, Royal Festival Hall,
Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Tube | Waterloo 
southbankcentre.co.uk

 

Harvey Nichols

Sod the budget turkey and celebrate the festive season in style.

Dine on a fancy two-course brunch – think lobster, Cote de boeuf, sea bass – in Season on the first day of the sales.

Or head to the bar for a super-posh cocktail.

Boxing Day, bar open until 11pm, £25+
Fifth Floor, SW1X 7RJ
Tube | Knightsbridge
harveynichols.com

 

Boxing Day Sales

We can’t mention Boxing Day without mentioning sales.

This is heaven for bargain-hunters. Head to Westfield Stratford for impressive discounts, to catch a glimpse of the Olympic venues and for top bars to chill out in.

Boxing Day, 9am-11pm, free
2 Stratford Place, E20 1EJ
Station | Stratford
uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity

 

Somerset House Ice Rink

Work up an appetite for another full-on meal with a session on the ice.

Somerset House reopens its rink on Boxing Day so you can glide in beautiful surrounds.

Boxing Day, 10am-10.30pm, £9.60+
Strand, WC2R 1LA
Tube | Temple
somersethouse.org.uk

 

%TNT Magazine% stack cars christmas

Boxing Day Bash

Watch more than 1000 stock cars smashing into each other during this ‘you must be mad’ annual bash at Wimbledon Stadium.

This derby of destruction is bound to wake you from your turkey-induced comatosed state, as vehicles bump and crash their way around the track, doing serious damage during the London Championship and the National Big Van Bangers. Top fun.

Boxing Day, 2pm, £13
Wimbledon Stadium, Plough Lane, SW17 0BL
Tube | Wimbledon Park
stockcar.co.uk

 

Exhibition & Globe Theatre Tour

Spend the day after Christmas learning something new at this popular tourist attraction.

Hear all about the Bard, where he lived in London and his work for the Globe during this 30-minute tour.

Wander around with expert guides who’ll fascinate you with tales of the venue as an open-air playhouse in 1599 to its reconstruction in 1997.

If that whets your appetite, book to see Twelfth Night at the Apollo later. It kicks off at 7.30pm and tickets cost from £25.

Boxing Day, 10am-5pm, free
21 New Globe Walk,
Bankside, SE1 9DT 
Tube | Waterloo
shakespearesglobe.com

 

More Christmas and Boxing Day events in London: From the Peter Pan Cup to the Charles Dickens Museum

 

Photos: Getty; Andrea Artz