Christmas in London
A few years ago our family went to London for Christmas. I know London isn't probably the first city you think of for Christmas but we were actually very surprised at how much we loved our London Christmas. Here are a few tips for navigating London during the holidays.
Where to Stay
We stayed at The Athenaeum Hotel and we couldn't have chosen a better hotel to enjoy the holidays. Upon our arrival the girls got a teddy bear which is a bonus for us because our girls adore stuffed animals. This hotel is so family friendly! Their kids concierge can help you plan the perfect day in London from kite flying to babysitting, they will plan it all.
It's no secret that shopping in London is awesome. We arrived with basically no presents for our kids but were able to get everything we needed for the perfect holiday. Our favorite shops were Hamleys for toys, Harrods for toys and clothes and Selfridges for toys, clothes, electronics. All of these stores are large but they were easy for us to take our girls into. If you are looking for more boutique shopping I would read this post from Time Out London. We aren't big shoppers so we wanted a quick in and out so the department stores were perfect for us.
If you are into Disney then go to Harrods Disney store and pay a visit to the Bippity Boppity Boutique it's the perfect place to get your little princess outfitted in their favorite princess dress.
London has some amazing Christmas markets. Our favorite was Winter Wonder Land in Hyde park. This is more than a market, it's a full blown Christmas festival with rides, activities, ice skating, food and shops. It's your one stop Christmas festival. Taylar still talks about how fun Winter Wonderland was. There really is something for everyone at this festival.
Riding horses in Hyde Park with Hyde Park stables is one of our favorite things to do in London. We usually reserve a private ride/lesson is an hour long. During the ride your instructor gives you tips on riding horses if your a beginner. The horses are lovely and the instructors are knowledgable. Overall its a very unique and fun experience while in London.
While in London you should definitely see a broadway show. We saw Lion King while in London and Taylar thought it was the greatest show ever. London has a large number of shows so it's the perfect place to see your favorite broadway musical . We buy tickets in advance because they fill up quickly.
London has amazing food. You can pretty much find anything your craving which is a plus with kids. We ate so much good food, I think I gained 10 lbs. Our favorite places to eat are: The Orangerie for afternoon tea. For a good Steak and family friendly atmosphere go to JW Steakhouse and make sure you get their cheese cakel. It's amazing! The Dishoom has wonderful Indian food. We found this restaurant from our friend Eric at Travel Babbo and is top on our list of places to eat as well.
Visiting Santa was a big deal for us because we were coming from Switzerland and you can't really visit Santa there. We went to Santa's Grotto in Westfield Shopping Center and the girls (especially Tay) loved it so much! You have to make a reservation but it's a very fun Santa experience for the kids.
London is crowded during the holidays. To get around our family used Taxi's and a private driver simply because Ava was still in a stroller and going down to the subway seemed a bit too much for our family. London Taxi drivers are kind and reliable and will get you where you need to go fast. The subway is also reliable if you have bigger kids who can do stairs.
I would love to know your recommendations for London during Christmas! Comment below and we will add them to our to do list for next time.