2017 is getting closer with each passing day and Londoners are wasting no time whilst preparing for the upcoming festivities. From jolly concerts, to huge fairs, from carnival rides to museum exhibitions, the capital has it all. It's safe to say, London offers enough festivities to satisfy even the most pretentious person. So, what are some good examples of activities, one should go to? How about:
Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park - (From 18 November 2016 to 2 January 2017)
If you enjoy carnival rides and cotton candy, then this year definitely visit Hyde Park. On its 10th anniversary the Winter Wonderland festival will amaze visitors with attractions such as ice skating, giant observation wheel, the Nutcracker on ice, Bar Ice where everything is made of… you guessed it, frozen water and lots more. The kids will have a chance to see The Sooty Christmas Show and everyone's favourite Richard Cadell while the thrill seekers will have the chance to witness death-defying stunts at Cirque Berserk. Entry to the carnival is free, while different attractions have their own ticket pricing. For more information please visit the official website.
Hogwarts in The Snow - (From 19 November 2016 to 29 January 2017)
All the fans of J. K. Rowling's little wizard will have the chance to enter the Warner Brothers Studio in London and enjoy an interactive program complete with snacks and drinks. The event offers several special packages, all of which include a Studio Tour. Visitors will have a chance to see first-hand iconic sets and costumes at the place where all eight films have been shot. The studio lobby will also be transformed into a jolly dance hall equipped with a Dj and special lighting and effects show. For more information, ticket purchase and opening times, visit the WB website.
Meet Santa at the ZSL London Zoo - (From 3 December 2016 to 24 December 2016)
What child doesn't know and love Santa Claus? Well, this year, youngsters have the chance to meet him in person at the London ZSL Zoo. Every child will receive a special gift upon meeting Santa. Tickets cost £10 per child including kids under 3 years old. It's highly recommended you make a booking in advance. Tickets for adults are free, however full admission charges to the Zoo for non-members still apply. For more information be sure to go to the ZSL Zoo website.
Christmas Festival at Royal Albert Hall - (From 13 December 2016 to 24 December 2016)
What is Christmas without music? Certainly nothing special, right? Both casual and serious listeners will have the chance to experience a grand musical spectacle at the historic Royal Albert Hall. We're not talking about one show being repeated either. There is an entire programme. Some examples: Handel's Messiah played by a 500-strong choir; the Mozart Festival Orchestra dressed in 18th-century costumes performing Carols by Candlelight and the well-known Christmas Classics performed by the Royal Choral Society. Each ticket costs £34.58, for bookings, be sure to check the Royal Albert Hall website for more information.
Winter Festival at Southbank Centre - (Until 25 January 2017)
If you happen to be in central London, be sure to check the winter festivities at South bank. People of all ages are welcome. A great deal of free and ticketed events await you. Concerts? No problem, the Million Dollar Quartet will play all kinds of famous and favourite tunes. Need some thrills? The BIANCO circus professionals perform elegant and dangerous stunts. Besides and other similar activities, visitors can also go shopping and enjoy seasonal food and drinks. While the entrance in the winter festival itself is free, certain activities require tickets. For more information on the Southbank winter festival, go to their website.
London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre - (From 18 January 2017 to 22 January 2017)
Those of you who love modern art would have the chance to do so at the London Art Fair. You would have the chance to visit 125 galleries full of masterpieces from today's leading artists as well as take part of a special programme involving new media initiatives and collaborative film. Prices range from £15.00 to £22.00 per ticket whereas children under 12 years old can go in for free. Two day tickets range from £25.00 to £32.00 per ticket. For more information on the London art fair, visit the official website.
Oxford Street Christmas Lights - (Until 5 January 2017)
No Christmas festivities are complete without some great lights. What better place to enjoy some great gold and silver baubles than Oxford Street? In addition to the regular lights, this year, the event also has special twinkling stars. They can be dedicated to close friends or family members in exchange for a small donation. This year Oxford Street works with children's charity organisation NSPCC to form the Little Stars Campaign. Each donation costs only £5*.
Do not miss the colourful festivities as we enter the year of the rooster according to the Chinese calendar. This year the traditional Asian new year falls on the 28th of January and will be celebrated on the next day. The incredible atmosphere consisting of dancing dragons, colourful outfits and fireworks will take place at at Trafalgar Square, across the West End and, of course, Chinatown. Traffic will be pretty bad, so better plan your schedule in advance. For more information, check Visit London.