Christmas is a particularly special time for kids - the anticipation, the presents, the family, and if the kids are really young, the wrapping paper. But in London there are always lots of fun things to do from themed events to meeting santa (father christmas) in one of his many grottos.
You may also want to find out about ice skating and all the great Christmas pantomimes and theatre shows for families.
The Enchanted Christmas House From 26th November. Created for children aged 1 to 8, the tour includes Santa's Magical friends, the Garden of Winter Wonder, the Busy Elves Workshop, decorating gingerbread in Mrs Claus' Gingerbread Kitchen and visiting Santa Claus.
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland 21st November to early Jan. The Winter Wonderland is now an annual event in Hyde Park, featuring an Ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus, Zippos Cirque Extreme, Giant Observation Wheel, Rides and Sand Land... Lots of fun to be had.
Some of London's greatest stores have a Santa's Grotto in November and December. Your kids can meet Santa Claus (aka Father Christmas) himself, tell him what they wish for Christmas and maybe, if they've been good, receive a small present to keep them happy on the journey home.
Harrods - Harrod's Christmas Grotto is always extra special, and made more manageable by a booking system that allows you to choose when to visit. Obviously it gets booked very quickly when it opens in the beginning of November.
Selfridges - Santa's Christmas Grotto at Selfridges - like Harrods, you can usually book your appointment with Father Christmas at Selfridges.
Hamleys - Santa roams the giant toy store at Christmas, through most of December. They usually also have Hamley's Christmas Grotto where you can meet Santa Claus and get a present, if you've been a good little boy or girl!
Westfield London - Santa's Wish Kingdom is a recent addition to the Father Christmas activities in London.
Southbank Christmas Market - Santa's Secret Village at the Southbank is worth a visit, although it can be pretty cold queuing outside.
Finally, you can even rent a Santa who'll come bearing gifts to your hotel room or restaurant table!
Don't forget to take a look at our page on what to buy the man who has everything. Or woman!
A Divorced Christmas
They say Christmas is the time for family. Bah Humbug. But for a good ten years, Christmas for me was actually the time to escape family and have a rollicking drunken afternoon with friends
by Louisa Leontiades
see all xmas blog posts
Sir Henry Cole commissioned the first commercial christmas card in the mid 19th Century. The card was illustrated by John Callcott Horsley and showed a family drinking wine. He sold out of his first 2000 print run.