1. Horse Drawn Carriage Rides : Richmond Park
This has to be a dreamy experience, that will impress even the most cynical of Christmas critics. After a visit to the working stables at Holly Lodge at Richmond Park, having sipped warming drinks and munched a few snacks you will venture out wrapped in cosy blankets, in a Landau horse drawn carriage for four. Your night will be surely magical as the charming Grey’s whisk you through the whispering beautiful surrounds of Richmond Park, and if you’re really lucky, they might even show you how they can fly over their reindeer buddies too. Don’t forget your sugar cubes…
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout December, at 12pm or 1.30pm, experience Richmond Park like never before on a Landau carriage drawn by beautiful greys. £125 for 2 people including carriage blankets and warm refreshments.
2. Storytelling with Mr Claus : Fortnum and Mason
Have you made it to the 4th floor Christmas shop at Fortnum’s yet? Check out my Instagram, and you will see that we popped over on the first day it opened in August, (I hope you are impressed with my level of commitment this festive post). If you fancy a truly memorable ‘Santa’ moment for the kids, and remember that Harrods was totally sold out in early September, then this is the one for you. You will be in a stately part of town, and can take a trip along Piccadilly to Waterstones for a browse, or cocktail on the top floor bar. Look forward to bragging to your BFF’s that you sat on the knee of a well groomed hairy man, whom is the Queens very favourite Lord Santa Claus OBE.
Storytelling in the Board Room, at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: £20.00 per child. For reservations please call 020 7734 8040
3. ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ : Pop Up Movies : Hyde Park‘s Cosy Hideaway ‘ The Lookout’
Step into Hyde Park and be drawn into a world of yuletide joy with a little help from George Bailey and the people of Bedford Falls.
The LookOut, a haven in the heart of Hyde Park, will be transformed into a magical venue for this festive film screening of It’s a Wonderful Life (also showing on other dates in Dec, Edwards Scissorhands, The Gremlins and Nightmare Before Christmas). Settle into the warm cocoon in this award winning building (with underfloor heating!) to enjoy this beautiful story of despair turning to hope, apparently one of director Frank Capra’s favourite films, and one of the best-loved Christmas films ever made.
Doors open 7.30pm; screening 8.30pm : Ticket price of £25 includes a glass of mulled wine and supper, and a seasonal quiz and Christmas decoration making for the craft lovers. Seating is provided but you may like to bring a cushion or goose-down duvet socks (drinks and snacks will be on offer too).
4. A Glittering Trail, Grotto and Fairground : Kew Gardens
Everyone, who knows about jingly sparkly and family fun Christmas events is bragging about having booked their tickets to Kew this year. It is probably up there on Santa’s top 5, of events to actually add to his rather busy calendar, well that’s what his P.A Miss Jingle-Belle tweeted me last night.
When you get there, you will be dazzled by glowing waterside reflections, illuminated fountains and grand glasshouses. Along the way gaze at giant light sculptures, walk the shimmering Tunnel of Lights and warm up around the holly bushes and Christmas trees. Not forgetting the festive music inspired by The Nutcracker set against a frosty, snow-flaked Palm House panorama.
Of course there will be buckets of mulled wine, spiced cider or hot chocolate and a few well selected gifts to buy at the Christmas Market, and shops. What else? Well there is the Victorian carousel, the family rides and an outdoor adventure playground provide fun for the younger ones – and don’t forget to make time for a memorable visit with Santa in his Snowflake Grotto.
Event dates : 26 November 2014 to 3 January 2015, 5pm to 10pm
Event details: 5pm to 10pm (Closed on 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 24 and 25 December 2014). Timed entrance between 5pm and 8.15pm.
Venue: Main entrance – Victoria Gate. Tickets with pre-paid parking – entrance at Brentford Gate. Entry price excludes Santa’s Snowflake Grotto and rides.
5. Carols by Candlelight : The Royal Albert Hall
This evening is one that is 100% perfect for the in-laws. The night is full of cheer, sing-alongs with a mere 5000+ people singing the most heart warming, and popular carols, and an orchestra dressed in full 18th century period costume. Oh! I nearly forgot the icing on the cake is that Robert Powell (that fella that was stuck on Big Ben remember?!) will be running the show. Now that’s what I call Christmas.
Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. (Closest tube: Kensington or Knightsbridge) : 13th, 20th, 21st December 2014 at 8pm; 23rd December 2014 at 7:30pm; 24th December 2014 at 2:30pm – 7pm. : Ticket prices vary from £13.50 – £52