Things to do in London in December 2021

The ianVisits guide to December's unusual events, tours, lectures and exhibitions happening around London.


Coronavirus: Events may be cancelled and venues closed at short notice, you are advised to check on their websites before making a trip.

Wednesday 1st December

A Christmas shopping fair in the usually private Portman Square Gardens
12pm to 8pm
 
Marylebone
Marylebone Winter Garden
An evening of live performances, installations, talks and tours across RIBA to celebrate the Becontree Estate.
5:30pm to 9:30pm
 
Regent Street
Becontree takes over: A RIBA Late

Online events / webinars

Join curators and other experts as they share stories of the people, places, objects and ideas that reveal how science shaped London, and London shaped science. 
7pm to 8:15pm
 
Stories from Science City
In this talk Siddy will talk about the inception of the Hidden London programme, which takes visitors behind the scenes of London’s Transport Network into disused stations and tunnels to discover a different side to the Tube.
7pm to 8pm
 
An evening with Siddy Holloway from London Transport Museum: Hidden London
Dan Jones retells a medieval ghost story in crisp and creepy prose.
7:30pm to 8:30pm
 
A Medieval Ghost Story with Dan Jones

More London events on Wednesday 1st December

Thursday 2nd December

A Christmas shopping fair in the usually private Portman Square Gardens
12pm to 8pm
 
Marylebone
Marylebone Winter Garden
This lecture explores the destruction of libraries, archives and other knowledge, from Babylonian times until now, and its implications for society today.
1pm to 2pm
 
Holborn
Attacks on Knowledge from Ashurbanipal to Trump
Explore the museum after-hours, grab a drink and do some Christmas shopping.
5pm to 6:30pm
 
Barbican
Christmas late opening at the Museum of London
Step back in time and experience the House in true eighteenth-century style this winter.
5pm to 8pm
 
Trafalgar Square
Festive candlelit tours of Benjamin Franklin House
Don't miss the lighting of the world's most famous Christmas tree.
6pm to :
 
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lighting ceremony

Online events / webinars

Jeanette Rosenberg shares tips and tricks for researching Jewish genealogy and family history.
2pm to 3pm
 
An Introduction to Jewish Family History
This paper questions some of the received views about the papacy’s attitude towards crusader violence against Jews.
5:30pm to 7pm
 
Jews, Popes and Crusaders in 1236: A Case Study
You are a loser. For psychoanalysis, this isn’t a personal slight, but an impersonal truth. So why have we come to fear losing?
7pm to 8pm
 
Losers: An essay about politics, humility, and loss
Join art historian Alexander Nemerov in an online authors talk about his book Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York.
7pm to 8:30pm
 
Alexander Nemerov: Fierce Poise
Learn about the influences, conception, and construction of Frederick Leightons magnificent Arab Hall.
7pm to 8pm
 
The Making of the Arab Hall at Leighton House
A panel of climate scientists, policymakers and activists will come together to review the successes and shortcomings of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26).
7:30pm to 9pm
 
After COP26, What Next?

More London events on Thursday 2nd December

Friday 3rd December

Hampton Court Palace courtyards will be transformed into a food-lover's Christmas wonderland.
10am to 6pm
 
East Molesey
Festive Fayre
A Christmas shopping fair in the usually private Portman Square Gardens
12pm to 8pm
 
Marylebone
Marylebone Winter Garden
Join Professor Richard Grayson as he investigates the experiences of Irish soldiers in the First World War.
12pm to 1pm
 
Chelsea
 Irish Soldiers of the First World War
Enjoy an evening of fancy clothes and sugary delights with your hosts Miss B and Miss Kitty Pridden of the Georgian Dining Academy.
6pm to :
 
Clerkenwell
Georgian Sweet Treats

Online events / webinars

Turkey, trimmings, pudding and brandy butter – but where do our festive food traditions come from?
2pm to 3pm
 
At Christmas We Feast: The history of the Christmas dinner with Annie Gray

More London events on Friday 3rd December

Saturday 4th December

Hampton Court Palace courtyards will be transformed into a food-lover's Christmas wonderland.
10am to 6pm
 
East Molesey
Festive Fayre
Eel Pie Island, a private island on the Thames at Twickenham is having an open weekend to see the artists studios.
10:30am to 5pm
 
Twickenham
An exhibition of Meccano models of all types and sizes.
10:30am to 5pm
 
Barkingside
Hainault Meccano Hangout
A festive makers market will take place in Brixton Station Passageway underneath the railway station.
11am to 4pm
 
Stockwell
Annual fundraising fair for the city farm in Rotherhithe.
11am to 4pm
 
Rotherhithe

More London events on Saturday 4th December

Sunday 5th December

Step back in time to 1838 and enjoy a tour of Charles Dickens's London home with his own housemaid.
10am to 11am
 
Clerkenwell
The Housemaid's Christmas Tour
Hampton Court Palace courtyards will be transformed into a food-lover's Christmas wonderland.
10am to 6pm
 
East Molesey
Festive Fayre
Better than half price entry to the Painted Hall on the first Sunday of the month.
10am to 5pm
 
Greenwich
Monthly cheap entry to the Painted Hall
Now in its fourth year, the annual craft fair is returning with a selection of artists, designers and makers.
10am to 5pm
 
Southwark
Beautiful & Useful Craft Fair 2021
Eel Pie Island, a private island on the Thames at Twickenham is having an open weekend to see the artists studios.
10:30am to 5pm
 
Twickenham
Broadcaster and author Aled Jones discusses his new children's book Bobby Dean Saves Christmas with the Dean of Southwark.
12:45pm to 1:30pm
 
Southwark
Bobby Dean Saves Christmas with Aled Jones

More London events on Sunday 5th December

Monday 6th December


Online events / webinars

The story of gold and its significance and symbolism within the history of art.
2pm to 3pm
 
As Good As Gold

More London events on Monday 6th December

Tuesday 7th December

Live demonstrations, tastings, festive tips-and-tricks, masterclasses and much more from Borough Market traders and chefs
10am to 5pm
 
Southwark
Explore one of the most famous dreams in the history of psychoanalysis.
10:30am to 1pm
 
Hampstead
Workshop: The Wolf Man’s Dream
This lecture will explore the role of judicial racism in perpetuating injustice and inequality in the legal system.
6pm to 7pm
 
Holborn
Judicial Racism and the Lammy Review
Richard Atkinson has spent ten years piecing together their unsettling story, from aweather-beaten house in Cumbria to the ruins of their sugar estates in Jamaica – exposing many dark secrets along the way.
6:30pm to :
 
Harley Street
Mr Atkinson’s Rum Contract: The rise and fall of a slave-owning family

Online events / webinars

A talk about the new James Webb Space Telescope Dr Olivia Jones
1pm to 2pm
 
The James Webb Space Telescope
Online talk exploring the history of the London Pub
2pm to 3pm
 
Anyone for the pub?
Marking 100 years since the signing of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, historian Roy Foster talks to Richard English about his life, career and the making of modern Ireland.
4pm to 5pm
 
Leaders in SHAPE: Roy Foster
This paper suggests that the individual and social effects of the daily journey to work has long been the source of concern in Britain.
4pm to 5:15pm
 
A series of short presentations on the experience of spending Christmas at sea.
5:15pm to 6:45pm
 
Christmas at Sea: 400 Years of the Festive Season Afloat
Practicing architect and professor of architecture, Dave King, will cover the reinterpretation and sustainable reuse of the terrace house.
7pm to 10pm
 
The terrace house plan in the 20th and 21st centuries by Dave King

More London events on Tuesday 7th December

Wednesday 8th December

Live demonstrations, tastings, festive tips-and-tricks, masterclasses and much more from Borough Market traders and chefs
10am to 5pm
 
Southwark
A late night shopping event - with (prebooking) events throughout the evening.
6pm to 10pm
 
Southwark
Leadenhall Market Christmas Workshops
A note that three local Morris Dancer groups will converge on a pub for a dance evening.
7pm to :
 
Croydon
Morris Dancing in Croydon

Online events / webinars

These monthly talks explore the story of the clock tower from its beginnings, to the most complex conservation project in its history.
6pm to 7pm
 
Elizabeth Tower: from construction to conservation
Responding to 50 genuine questions from the public, Greg whisks you off on an entertaining tour through the ages.
7:30pm to 8:30pm
 
Ask a Historian: In conversation with Greg Jenner

More London events on Wednesday 8th December

Thursday 9th December

Live demonstrations, tastings, festive tips-and-tricks, masterclasses and much more from Borough Market traders and chefs
10am to 5pm
 
Southwark
A Christmas market and fair all happening in the graffiti-covered tunnels of Leake Street.
6pm to 9pm
 
Southwark
Miracle on Leake Street
This lecture takes a trip down Christmas’s unique and emotionally complex memory lane via the Christmas Carol.
6pm to 7pm
 
Holborn
Christmas Carols and Nostalgia

Online events / webinars

Julian Pooley opens the pages of the world’s first magazine – the Gentleman’s Magazine.
2pm to 3pm
 
The Gentleman's Magazine: A Panorama of Georgian Britain
Learn how a “smooth field” where horses were sold and tournaments took place became London’s biggest meat market.
2pm to 3pm
 
Smithfield
Fungi are extraordinary organisms. Join Merlin Shaldrake on his explorations on how fungi change the ways that we think, feel, and behave
6pm to 7pm
 
Entangled Life: How Fungi Change our Minds & Shape our Futures
An online talk about clerical canines in history presented by Dr Kathleen Walker-Meikle
6:30pm to 7:30pm
 
Clerical Canines in History - An Online Talk by Dr Kathleen Walker-Meikle
A panel of experts from ESA will discuss the recruitment and training programme required for astronauts with a physical disability
7:30pm to 8:45pm
 
Transforming Space: Recruiting The World’s First Parastronauts
A raft of incredible zoological stand-up comedy talent.
7:30pm to 9pm
 
Zoo-Lol-Ogy! 5 - It's Christmaaaaaas!

More London events on Thursday 9th December

Friday 10th December

Join Christopher Somerville as he reveals the life-changing stories of people across the British Commonwealth who served in the Second World War.
12pm to 1pm
 
Chelsea
 Our War: How the British Commonwealth Fought WW2
A sea of illuminated spheres will cover Woolwich's General Gordon Square.
5pm to 9pm
 
Woolwich
Globoscope

Online events / webinars

The vicinity of Smithfield Market has been associated with bloodshed and butchery for a thousand years Meet outside the entrance to Barbican Tube Station at 11am
11am to 12:30pm
 
Blood, Black Hearts & Booze

More London events on Friday 10th December

Saturday 11th December

35 stalls offering delicious seasonal produce and festive crafts.
10am to 5pm
 
Whitechapel
Christmas Fair at Stepney City Farm
Watch the Fowlers Molly Dancers dance a traditional form of winter Morris dance around Deptford in the afternoon.
12pm to 3pm
 
Fowlers Molly Dancers - Deptford tour
A sea of illuminated spheres will cover Woolwich's General Gordon Square.
5pm to 9pm
 
Woolwich
Globoscope

Online events / webinars

Simon Costin will be speaking about his project to establish the UK’s first ever museum dedicated to our seasonal customs and events.
4pm to 5:30pm
 
Morris Dolls in the Museum of British Folklore

More London events on Saturday 11th December

Sunday 12th December

Occasional open day at a victorian steam engine.
11am to 4pm
 
South Tottenham
Steaming Open Day
Explore traditional and contemporary Japanese arts & crafts, culture and food, and find gifts for Christmas.
11am to 6pm
 
Hackney
Yokimono Japanese Xmas Market
Dark Arts & Crafts, bizarre bric-a-brac, macabre merchandise, tarot reading, illustration, toys, pyrography, embroidery jewellery, comix and witch vintage.
12pm to 6pm
 
Clerkenwell
Satanic Flea Market - Antichristmas Fayre

Online events / webinars

Brian Kell will talk about the history of the Whittlesea Straw Bear from the past to the present.
4pm to 5:30pm
 
Straw Bear – 40 Years of Straw & String

More London events on Sunday 12th December

Monday 13th December


Online events / webinars

A talk on mistletoe includes some biology, background history, Christmas harvest, distribution studies and changing environments.
7pm to 8pm
 
Mistletoe, then and now

More London events on Monday 13th December

Tuesday 14th December


Online events / webinars

This talk will outline the basis of Islamic environmental ethic within the Qur’an and Hadith and highlight the challenges faced with connecting Muslims to these teachings.
6pm to :
 
British Muslims and the Natural World

More London events on Tuesday 14th December

Wednesday 15th December

A lecture about the "northern lights" that take place on other planets.
5:30pm to 6:30pm
 
South Kensington
Aurora in the Solar System: What they can teach us.
Cheese stalls will be spread across the Market with experts on hand to offer recommendations, advice on drinks pairings and delicious cheese recipes.
6pm to 8pm
 
Southwark
An Evening of Cheese

Online events / webinars

Oranges and Lemons is an English nursery rhyme which refers to the bells of several churches, all within or close to the City of London.
2pm to 3pm
 
Oranges & Lemons: A City Nursery Rhyme
Records of education, schools and pupils at London Metropolitan Archives Are you interested in records held at LMA which concern London Schools – especially during the time of the School Board fo
2pm to 3pm
 
London School Records at LMA – a presentation with Q&A.
Witness the battlefield at Balaklava like never before in this special virtual tour led by Crimean War expert, Patrick Mercer.
7:30pm to :
 
Virtual Battlefield Tour: Balaklava
Join Lucinda Dickens Hawksley and discover what Christmas was really like in the 19th century.
7:30pm to 8:30pm
 
Dickens and Christmas by Lucinda Dickens Hawksley

More London events on Wednesday 15th December

Thursday 16th December

Dominiek Dendooven launches his new book exploring what life was like for Chinese and Indians serving on the Western Front.
6:30pm to :
 
Chelsea
Asia in Flanders Fields

Online events / webinars

Using examples from different collections hear about seal styles and materials and how we preserve and conserve them for future generations
4pm to 5pm
 
Wax seals: Styles, Materials, Preservation and Conservation
Food historian Seren Charrington-Hollins explores the food related rituals that surround life and death.
7pm to 8:30pm
 
Recipes & Rituals - feasts for days of death and days of life

More London events on Thursday 16th December

Friday 17th December

Join Peter Doyle as he tells the story of Princess Mary's appeal to fund Christmas gifts for those serving in the First World War.
12pm to 1pm
 
Chelsea
Princess Mary’s Christmas Gift
Chocolate as a material exhibits a plethora of interesting chemical principles, and knowledge of these has great importance for engineers to understand.
2pm to 3:30pm
 
Strand
An evening with Sam Jacob to learn about the research, design and making of the model of the most photographed barn in the world – the T.A. Moulton Barn in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
6pm to 7:30pm
 
Euston
The most photographed barn in America
This December, step into the former home of Dickens, as actor James Swanton brings this wonderful story to life.
6pm to 7pm
 
Clerkenwell
A Christmas Carol
Experience a Georgian Christmas at the Soane at this exclusive evening candlelit event.
6pm to 9pm
 
Holborn
Soane Lates: A Georgian Christmas

More London events on Friday 17th December

Saturday 18th December

The London Artisan is a sales fair that celebrates independent producers and makers.
All Day
 
Whitechapel
The London Artisan fair
Rummage through a selection of salvaged treasures from 30 handpicked vintage traders.
11am to 6pm
 
Stoke Newington
Hackney Flea-Mas Market
Cara Hamilton peels back the skin of history to reveal the story and bring it to life with a mix of talk and performance.
7pm to 8:15pm
 
Southwark

More London events on Saturday 18th December

Sunday 19th December

The London Artisan is a sales fair that celebrates independent producers and makers.
All Day
 
Whitechapel
The London Artisan fair
A winter walking tour of London taking in locations from the new Doctor Who.
10:30am to 1pm
 
Southwark
Doctor Who Walking Tour of London
This December, step into the former home of Dickens, as actor James Swanton brings this wonderful story to life.
4pm to 5pm
 
Clerkenwell
A Christmas Carol
£22.00
Share one of Dickens's lesser known festive tales: The Chimes. Watch James Swanton in his solo performance of this tale.
6pm to 7pm
 
Clerkenwell
The Chimes

More London events on Sunday 19th December

Monday 20th December

Unfortunately, there seems to be nothing special happening today. Sorry about that!

More London events on Monday 20th December

Tuesday 21st December


Online events / webinars

A reading aloud adventure - no need to prepare! Read aloud with the group, comment on the story or just listen
2pm to 3pm
 
Aloud in the Cloud 2021 - Tuesday afternoons

More London events on Tuesday 21st December

Wednesday 22nd December

£22.00
Share one of Dickens's lesser known festive tales: The Chimes. Watch James Swanton in his solo performance of this tale.
4pm to 5pm
 
Clerkenwell
The Chimes
This December, step into the former home of Dickens, as actor James Swanton brings this wonderful story to life.
6pm to 7pm
 
Clerkenwell
A Christmas Carol

More London events on Wednesday 22nd December

Thursday 23rd December

Meet Professor Redlaw as he encounters an eerie phantom, who bestows upon Redlaw an extraordinary gift, which will change Redlaw's life forever.
12pm to 1pm
 
Clerkenwell
The Haunted Man
£22.00
Share one of Dickens's lesser known festive tales: The Chimes. Watch James Swanton in his solo performance of this tale.
4pm to 5pm
 
Clerkenwell
The Chimes
This December, step into the former home of Dickens, as actor James Swanton brings this wonderful story to life.
6pm to 7pm
 
Clerkenwell
A Christmas Carol

More London events on Thursday 23rd December

Friday 24th December

Step into a magical setting, with sumptuous Victorian Christmas decorations throughout, and see for yourself how Dickens would have celebrated Christmas.
10am to 5pm
 
Clerkenwell
Christmas Eve at the Charles Dickens Museum

More London events on Friday 24th December

Saturday 25th December

A vintage bus hire company will be offering a free vintage bus service on Route 430 between Roehampton and Putney Bridge.
9am to 3:30pm
 
Vintage bus to run along Route 430
Annual early morning swimming event in Hyde Park - to watch from the shoreline.
9am to :
 
Kensington
 The 'Peter Pan Cup' Christmas Morning Handicap Swim

More London events on Saturday 25th December

Sunday 26th December

Occasional open day of a nature reserve that runs alongside a railway.
11am to 2pm
 
Brockley
New Cross Gate Cutting open day
Low tide walks let you get on to the river bed safely with the help of a guide.
11am to :
 
Deptford
Creekside Low Tide Walk

More London events on Sunday 26th December

Monday 27th December

Unfortunately, there seems to be nothing special happening today. Sorry about that!

More London events on Monday 27th December

Tuesday 28th December


Online events / webinars

An online wander through some of London's festive decorations looking at the lights and sights, and hearing about history and traditions
9pm to 10pm
 
Virtual Tour – A Covent Garden Christmas – Turkey, Trees and Traditions

More London events on Tuesday 28th December

Wednesday 29th December

Walking Tour exploring the London Blitz of 29 December 1940
11am to 1pm
 
The City of London
The Second Great Fire of London: 29 December 1940
A walk through the seasonal cheer of London's vibrant shopping and entertainment district ending at the Trafalgar Square tree
8pm to 10pm
 
Strand
Walking Tour – Covent Garden Christmas – Baubles, Bright Lights and Beasts

More London events on Wednesday 29th December

Thursday 30th December

Unfortunately, there seems to be nothing special happening today. Sorry about that!

More London events on Thursday 30th December

Friday 31st December

A rare chance to catch the London Overground to Battersea Park station in the daytime.
All Day
 
South Lambeth
London Overground trains to call at Battersea Park Station all day

More London events on Friday 31st December

Home > What's on in London > 2021 >  2021