23 Free Things To Do This Festive Season In London
Christmas is very much happening soon…ish, we get that getting into the Xmas spirit in November can feel a little much, but even the Grinch’s out there can’t say no to a freebie…right?! With that in mind we at Kip thought we’d combine three of our favourite things, London, Christmas and free things, here’s our list of 23 free things to do in London, this festive season…oh and if you get to the end of this blog post, you may find a cheeky discount treat 😉
Outernet @ Tottenham Court Rd
Immerse yourself quite literally in this incredible art installation right outside of Tottenham Court rd station, curated by Outernet. All you have to do is simply stand there and witness that absolute epicness of the moving artworks that surround you, leaving you feeling as if you’ve stepped into another galaxy. Make sure your phone is fully charged up, as you’re definitely going to want to capture this moment!
The British Museum
If you’re looking for a bit of culture without breaking the bank, then you have to check out the British Museum. It’s completely free and is a brilliant chance to learn more about cultures all over the world from past to present, spanning over 2 million years…if you’re a bit of a history obsessive, then this is definitely for you!
The Christmas Lights
Of course….London is renowned for setting the bar high when it comes to the Christmas lights display, you just have to walk past Harrods or stroll down Regents Street and you’re transported into some kind of magical Christmas fairytale. The Christmas lights kick off on 2nd November on Oxford Street, followed by Regents Street and Carnaby Street. Central London is for sure the place to be if you’re partial to a Christmas light…or 500.
Southbank Centre Winter Market
It’s becoming more and more common for our favourite Christmas markets to start charging for tickets, which really doesn’t align with the theme of this article…which is all about freebies 😉 Southbank Centre winter market will not let us down this year though, it’ll return for another year with tasty wholesome food, Christmassy drinks, and cosy twinkling lights which give the Thames that extra glow. If you’re looking for a cute date spot, we definitely recommend hitting up Southbank winter market, strolling down the Thames under fairy lights is the new definition of romance.
Christmas Design Collective at Connaught Village
A cute little Christmassy pop-up tucked away in Connaught Village is the vibe of the Christmas Design Collective, it’s the ideal spot to pick up kitsch pressies that nobody else will have…you’ll definitely be receiving brownie points from your loved ones if you do your xmas shopping here!
Portobello Road Market Xmas Style
You’re probably thinking, Portobello Road market…been there, done that. HOWEVER, have you ever been during festive season (if yes, then maybe skip this part…or don’t)?! If not, then you’re going to want to give it a spin, each Sunday in the lead up to the big day, expect to find one off Christmas items that’ll spice up your festive wardrobe, or end up as the ideal stocking filler.
Queens Park Farmers Market
If you’re in West London and have already done the Portobello market thing, then head over to Queens Park for one of the most delightful farmers market experiences you’ll ever have…no we’re not exaggerating! Potter around, trying out all the fresh produce, tasty baked goods, and of course you MUST try an oyster…even if they don’t seem like a festive food, trust us when we say, they’re totally worth it.
Sophie’s Tea Art
A different type of art gallery, where you can interact with the art in an immersive way, using NFT art and curating an experience which also makes you feel super cosy and at home, which is the perfect vibe for festive season. The gallery also focuses on spreading uplifting messages, such as, body positivity, and encouraging the viewers to feel safe and beautiful in their own skin, it’s one of those experiences that is different for each individual, so get yourself over there and see it for yourself.
Chelsea Christmas Market And Book Fair
It does what it says on the tin really…but we’ve got a lot of time for this one, because who doesn’t love a good book to get into over the Christmas period, cosy up in front of the fire with a mince pie, mulled wine, and the book you bought at the Chelsea Christmas market. It’s ideal!
The Natural History Museum
Another free museum in London…we LOVE! The Natural History Museum is one of those that you have to experience at least once in your life, even if it is just to see the GIANT dinosaurs, but weirdly not enough people have actually been. The Christmas period is an ideal time to go, not only does the museum look gorgeous in the winter air, but it there’s a huge ice rink set up right outside, which transports you into that fuzzy festive feeling, and it really is a beautiful sight to see.
Of course there are many lovely parks around London, we’re always raving about the ones local to us at Kip, but Richmond Park is a must during festive season. It’s essentially London’s very own Lapland, you can grab a coffee or hot choc, go for a crisp winter stroll, and be greeted by deer…like your very own UK Rudolph.
Columbia Rd Flower Market
This iconic flower market in Hackney is right on our doorstep, home to some of the freshest flowers and most stunning plants which always leave you feeling wholesome and like every day is a Sunday, it’s on all year round, but has that extra special feeling during festive season…and lets be honest, you’ve got to love a Christmassy plant, or a little wreath for your front door.
Hackney City Farm
Seeing as we’re talking about Hackney at Christmas time, it feels fitting to mention the Hackney City farm, a spot where you can go along and hang out with some animals for FREE. Hanging out with lil pigs, donkeys, goats…that’s free therapy at its best!
One of the most colourful and vibrant little hubs in central London, filled with artwork, cute coffee shops, skin care spots, and muti-coloured benches to perch on and take in the glorious energy. It’s one of those must-see London spots!
Clissold Park & Stoke Newington
We couldn’t get through this blog post without mentioning at least two parks…here comes the second one, Clissold Park in Stoke Newington. A lesser known park for tourists, which means there’s a little more space to breathe…and do some interpretive dancing, if that’s your thing. Clissold Park is a beautiful little place to hang out, made even better by the fact that it’s right next to Stoke Newington high street, home to some of the cosiest independent coffee shops, authentic pubs, and little shops where you can get all sorts of unique Christmas pressies.
A multi-storey car park transformed into an artistic hub of creativity…do we need to say any more? It’s the spot to catch live music, up-and-coming djs, and check out theatre performances, it really is the spot for creative discovery.
White Cube Bermondsey
Home to some of the most esteemed art exhibitions by incredible artists, and all in all a super cool space, White Cube is one of the top galleries to visit in London. Even if you’re not so keen on the art presented, the space itself is just EPIC, and not to be missed out on.
Think Santas Grotto, but right in the middle of central London… Somerset House is just magic during the Christmas period, with festive decorations, and an epic ice skating rink right in the middle. It’s amazing just to go and see the spectacle that is Somerset House, but if you’re wanting to really get involved and go ice skating, then be sure to book in advance.
If you’re dyiiingg to go to New York this Christmas, but budget is a little tight or you simply don’t have the time, then we could recommend getting yourself over to Hackney Wick. It’s basically New York in the 80s, think warehouses covered in street art, independent bars, coffee shops, and a cheeky canal which is a great spot for a cute walk and somewhere to grab a bite and a beverage.
Visit Platform 9 3/4
The ultimate Harry Potter fans out there, this one is for you. Head over to Kings Cross, which is a spectacle itself this time of year, and go see the ultimate magical platform, and who knows, maybe you’ll end up in the world of witches and wizardry.
One of Londons most iconic and typically British department stores, takes it up a notch during the Christmas period, with outstanding window decorations, which are a must see even if you aren’t planning on buying anything. BUT, if you are, then there are plenty of festive trinkets to get your hands on, and who knows, maybe you could pick up a Crimbo gift for your friends and family.
A quintessentially British, historic riverside district, which will leave you feeling as though you’ve been transported to Old Victorian England. It’s really something special this time of year.
And finally, number 23! You cannot have a list of free festive things to do in London without mentioning Covent Garden. Home to one of the biggest Christmas trees you’ve ever seen, as well as street acts putting on a show, and of course the classic Covent Garden market, which is festive themed during the Christmas period.
Of course we are feeling super festive and want to spread that holiday cheer, with that in mind we thought we’d treat you to a secret 23% discount on all rooms throughout the Christmas period (23rd-27th December), we’ll be sure to send you out of 2023 feeling cosy and festive!