The Christmas season is almost upon us and there are a whole host of wonderful festive happenings in and around the area!

As it’s such a busy time of year with school plays, carol concerts and buying of presents, it can be difficult to get our act together and plan those family days out – so to help, we have hand picked some local (ish) family friendly outings to get you in the Christmas spirit.  What’s more, we have rounded up a selection of local Christmas school fairs open to the public, as it’s such a lovely way to bring together and support our beautiful community! If you think we’ve missed anything, we’re always happy to hear from you and we will endeavour to include it.

Festivals, Christmas Markets & Carols:

Homeworks Christmas Bazaar 
When: Sunday 3rd & Sunday 10th December
Where:  Queen’s Park Farmer’s Market, Salusbury Road, NW6
Time: 10am – 2pm both days
What to expect: Local designer fair – unique jewellery – ceramics – printed kidswear – knits – cult fashion labels – handmade prints

Portobello Winter Festival
When: Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December
Where:  Portobello Road & Acklam Village
Time: 10am – 6pm
What to expect: Festive street performances with steel bands – Santas Grotto – Alternative Christmas Market (incl. Elves & Winter Wizards) – Made in London Market – A Winter Moorish Bazaar (incl. live entertainment) – Hamper & Stockings market

Queen’s Park Community Council’s Winter Fair 
When: Saturday 9th December
Where:  Queen’s Park Gardens, Ilbert Street, W10 4QJ
Time: 2-4pm
What to expect: Live music & choirs – donkey rides – wreath making – craft sellers – hot food & mulled wine. Free entry 

The Coop Christmas Market
When: Thursday 30th November –  Saturday 2nd December
Where:  34 Clifton Road, NW10 4RB
Time: 6-10pm (30th) / 12pm – 10pm (1st – 2nd)
What to expect: A multitude of stalls supporting local designers – selling items including jewellery, cards, perfume & candles, home accessories, xmas wreaths, contemporary art, hand woven bags and photography.  Free mince pies and mulled wine also on offer. 

The King Alfred School Christmas Market (raising money for Crisis)
When: Saturday 9th December
Where:  149 N End Rd,  NW11 7HY
Time: 2-6pm
What to expect: Santas grotto with live reindeer to feed – mulled wine & mince pies – Salvation Army band – street food stalls – xmas craft activities – raffle – kids xmas photoshoot +more
Free entry.

Winter Wonderland  
When: 17th November 2017 – 1st January 2018
Where: Hyde Park, W2
Time: 10am – 10pm
What to expect: The UK’s largest Winter Festival, in the heart of Hyde Park.  Attractions include fairground rides, an open air ice rink (see below), deep sea adventures in the Magical Ice Kingdom, circus shows, Cinderella on Ice, Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto) plus stunning views across London in the Giant Observation Wheel.  Your Christmas gift shopping can also be on the agenda at the Christmas market housing over two hundred stalls.


Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

Wreath Making Festival
When: Saturday 9th December 2017
Where: St Mark’s Kensal Rise, Church Hall, Bathurst Gardens, NW10
Time: 2-6pm
What to expect: Make Christmas wreaths for £20 or pop by for a chat and buy a hand-crafted wreath for £25. Mulled wine & refreshments on sale

Christmas Carols
When: 18th December 2017
Where: Mapesbury Dell, Hoveden Road, London NW2 3XD
Time: 6.30pm
What to expect: St. Gabriel’s Church Choir, mulled wine, mince pies, Father Christmas with treats for your children, all around the Christmas tree within a beautifully lit up setting.

Ice Skating

JW3 Ice Rink
When: 3rd December – 7th January
Where: JW3, 341-351 Finchley Rd, NW3
Time: 50 min sessions.  Opening times vary so please check website in advance of attending.
What to expect: A 200m2 skating area complete with glimmering lights and vibrant music.  Penguins available for those less steady on their skates. 


JW3 Ice Rink

Winter Wonderland Ice Rink 
When: 17th November 2017 – 1st January 2018
Where: Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park, W2
Time: 10am – 10pm (last session 9pm).  Sessions every hour, duration 50min.
What to expect: The largest open air ice rink in the UK, set around Hyde Park’s Victorian bandstand under a canopy of sparkling lights.  Spectators gallery serves hot drinks.


Jack & The Beanstalk Pantomime
When: 18th November 2017 – 6th January 2018
Where: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL
Time: Matinees & evening performances (check website for details). Running time 130min.
What to expect: Join Jack on her quest for fortune as Jack and the Beanstalk gets the full Lyric treatment with wonderful characters, live music, dancing, singing and loads of laughs.  Age 6+

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas (under 6’s)
When: 22nd November – 24th December 2017
Where: Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL
Time: Matinees & evening performances (check website for details). Running time 60min.
What to expect: Watch as he prepares his Christmas deliveries, feeds his reindeer and finally takes flight into the snowy night. Full of merry touches with plenty of live music, songs and playful puppetry.

Raymond Briggs' Father Christmas

Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas

Sleeping Beauty Pantomime
When: 14th December 2017
Where: Sheriff Centre
Time: 5.15pm – 7pm
What to expect: Sleeping Beauty is coming to The Sherriff Centre, for one night only.  ‘The Panto Company’ will perform this classic tale, lasting 90 minutes with a 15 minute interval.

Fun and Games

Kidzania Christmas Around the World
When: Every day throughout December
Where: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
Time: 9.30am – 7pm
What to expect: Celebrating global traditions, kids will experience how children from other countries celebrate this magical time of year. From the Christmas markets and ‘AdventsKranz’ in Germany, to India’s celebration of ‘Christmas Baba’, young visitors can follow the trail, stopping at the variety of Christmas carts on a fun journey through the festive traditions of Mexico, China, Italy, Australia, India, UK and Ethiopia. Further activities include festive ‘Frozen’ face painting at the Snazaroo painting studio and a Christmas parade around the City.

KZ_Christmas2017_03_with Flags

Christmas at Kidzania

Kube Family Club Holiday Festivities
When: Wednesday 13th December 2017
Where: Emmanuel Church, Lyncroft Gardens, West Hampstead, NW6 1JU
Time: 10am – 6pm
What to expect: This day-long event will feature a host of activities, workshops, snacks, treats and festive family fun including indoor snowball fights, festive face painting, cookie decorating station, pop up gift shop, mulled wine and cider and much more.

Santas Grotto

Brent Cross Shopping Centre
When: 16th November – 24th December 2017
Where: Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP
Time: 10am – 7pm
What to expect: Santa next to a crackling fire, sleigh bells ringing and plenty of Christmas cheer.  Grotto is free.  Booking advised.

London Zoo
When: 9th – 24th December 2017
Where: ZSL London Zoo, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
What to expect: Throughout every weekend in December the final week leading up to Christmas, visitors can book to Meet Santa at ZSL London Zoo.  Join in arts and crafts with Mrs Claus and chat with cheeky elves before heading into Santa’s grotto to meet the main man himself and receive an early Christmas gift.

Every child meeting Santa will receive a special gift. Parents will also have the opportunity to purchase a photo as a festive keepsake.

Royal Albert Hall
When: 5th – 24th December
Where: Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP
What to expect: This winter, the Royal Albert Hall has been transformed into a festive wonderland, complete with snowy scenes and enchanting characters behind mysterious doorways. You will enjoy an interactive journey through this wonderful world, guided by several magical characters, including the Snow Queen. Includes interactive games, sing songs and work together to help Father Christmas set off in time for the big day.

Your magical quest will end at Father Christmas’ magical sleigh, where children will meet Father Christmas, receive a present and have the opportunity for a photo with him. Recommended for age 2+ and lasts for 1 hour.

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 13

Father Christmas at the Royal Albert Hall

When: 23rd November – 24th December 2017
Where: Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA
Time: 11am – 6pm
What to expect: Guests will be transported to a spellbinding Snow Factory in the North Pole, where Santa’s elves are making all the snow in the world. During their visit, children will create their own snowflake and explore the various activities within the factory.  You’ll meet Santa in his Snow Cavern, where every child will receive a gift and have their photo taken with him. The visit finishes with an opportunity to experience falling snow.

The visit lasts approximately 20-25 minutes, and photos can be purchased in the Crystal Cave shop at the end.  Booking strongly advised.

School Christmas Fairs*:

Malorees Infant & Junior Winter Bazaar
When: Saturday 2nd December
Where: Infant Assembly hall, Christchurch Avenue, NW6 6PB
Time: 1pm – 5pm
What to expect: Grotto – Face painting – Illuminated orchard trail – Cakes – Xmas wreaths – Boutique – Crafts – Raffle

Maple Walk Christmas Fair
When: Sunday 3rd December
Where: 62a Crownhill  Road, NW10 4EB
Time: 12pm – 4pm
What to expect: Grotto – Tombola – Gift Shop – Hot Food & Mulled Wine – Cakes – Games Rooms – Performances – Disco

Princess Frederica Christmas Fair
When: Saturday 2nd December
Where: College Road, NW10 5TP
Time: 2pm – 5pm
What to expect: Santa’s Grotto – paper chain making – biscuit decorating – tombolas and a raffle – mulled wine – cakes and lots more

Salusbury School Christmas Fair 
When: Saturday, 2 December
Where: Salusbury Road, NW6 6RG
Time: 11am to 3pm
What to expect: Santa’s Grotto — Christmas Trees and Wreaths — Wreath Making Workshops — Pottery (throw your own pot) — Virtual Reality — Fair Ground Rides — Cakes — Books/DVDs/CDs  — Arts & Crafts — Pre-Loved Toys — The New & Nearly Boutique (new/nearly new children’s clothes, 2nd hand uniform and good quality homeware)  — Face Painting  — Cookie Decorating — Human Fruit Machine — Filled Jars — Tombola — Wand Dipping — Food (Christmas in a Bun and more) — Waffles — Popcorn — Mulled Wine — Hot Chocolate

*Only includes school fairs open to the public. If your school is open and would like to be included,  please e mail us .

Local Restaurants & Bars

Festive Menus are being served at restaurants in and around Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise – with Parlour serving Reindeer Pie and Turkey Kyiv as part of their Christmas menu (plus mulled wine every day from 1st December) and Bob’s Cafe on Salusbury Rd is serving up Roast Norfolk Turkey with all the trimmings, accompanied with Aperol Holiday Spritzers.


Norfolk Turkey at Bob’s Cafe

If you’re looking for a very different culinary experience, try out the brilliant Taste Film at Parlour on 22nd December. This is the perfect outing for film loving foodies looking for a gastronomic journey.  You will be treated to a timed menu tailored to the film you are watching, placing you in a virtual film set.  This year’s Christmas film will be Home Alone.

parlour taste

Merry Christmas Everyone!


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