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What's on December

Ends 31 Dec 2019 at 11:59 PM

Sunset over Canary Wharf

The Sun is setting on another year but 2019's not quite over yet!

Here are some of the great things taking place along London's riverside this month.

Ice skating by the Thames

What better way to celebrate the start of the season than ice skating beside London's landmarks?! Check out some of the great places to get your skates on along our route:

  • Tower of London Ice Rink

    Ice skate in the moat of the 1,000 year old fortress that protects the crown jewels with views of Tower Bridge, the City and City Hall.
    Nearest pier: Tower

  • Skate at Somerset House

    Skate at Somerset House with Fortnum & Mason is one of London's favourite Christmas traditions.This year, Somerset House introduces 'Skate Lates' featuring live DJs and the Fortnum & Mason Christmas Arcade, all in the iconic Strand building's famous courtyard.
    Nearest pier: Embankment

  • The Queen's House Ice Rink

    Admire the glorious surroundings of Royal Museums Greenwich as you slip, slide and skate beside the Queen's House.
    Nearest pier: Greenwich

  • Battersea Power Station's Winter Village
    Visit Battersea Power Station's Winter Village where a synthetic ice-rink has taken up residence in the shadow of the art-deco masterpiece.
    Nearest pier: Battersea Power Station

Southbank Centre Winter Market

Featuring family-friendly shows, pop-up Christmas markets, comedy, cabaret and sparkling lights, there’ll be season’s greetings galore at Southbank Centre’s Winter Market. With daredevil shows, storytelling, music and puppetry, the market will be bringing Christmas cheer to the Southbank from Friday 8 November.

Nearest pier: London Eye (Waterloo)

Official Illuminated River Boat Tours

Add some sparkle to the festive season and see London's bridges bathed in energy-efficient LED light as part of the world's longest art project. We'll be running three more Official Illuminated River Boat Tours this month; our tour on Saturday 21 December has now sold out but tickets are available for the tours on Saturday 7 and Tuesday 10 December.

Nearest pier: Tower

Dock the Halls

Head to the Royal Docks for a brand-new free festive film season. Dock the Halls takes place on Fridays and Saturdays until Saturday 21 December and features 13 film screenings including ‘Home Alone’, ‘Love Actually’ and ‘Die Hard'. All screenings also feature live music and fun workshops at seven Royal Docks venues and most of the screenings and activities are family-friendly. All are free to attend, perfect for getting into the festive spirit.

Nearest pier: Royal Wharf

The Winter Village at Battersea Power Station

Brighten these darker days with a trip to Batter-sleigh Power Station. This December, The Coaling Jetty is buzzing with Christmas charm including drink pop-ups, wooden alpine huts and festive lighting. There will be workshops in Christmas Wreath making, as well as a 12 Rums of Christmas Masterclass for those looking for merriment this Christmas. Family-friendly fun can be found at Turbine Theatre which will be hosting The Cat in the Hat Saturday 11 December - Saturday 11 January and a festive River Walk Market will be held every day until Sunday 22 December.

Nearest pier: Battersea Power Station

Tate Britain: Steve McQueen Year 3 and William Blake

Have you spotted the school portraits dotted around London? Steve McQueen, Year 3 is now open at Tate Britain and presents an epic portrait of London’s Year 3 pupils explored through the vehicle of the traditional school class photograph. The Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker invited every Year 3 primary school class in London to be photographed for this project and stitched all the images together into a single large-scale installation.

Also taking place at Tate Britain, William Blake opened to rave reviews in October and explores some of the visionary poet, painter, and printmaker's most striking images. Showcasing over 300 original works, including watercolours, paintings and prints, William Blake at Tate Britain is the largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years.

Travelling to Tate Britain for Steve McQueen’s Year 3? Click here to find out how children can travel for free and school groups can benefit from special discounts and sailings!

Nearest pier: Millbank

Christmas by the River

Take a wintery stroll along the river and discover picture-perfect cabins in the heart of London Bridge City. Featuring an avalanche of food, fashion, homeware, jewellery and gifts, Christmas by the River brings merriment to London Bridge's riverside. There'll also be creative workshops, pop-up markets and live music taking place until Thursday 5 January.

Nearest pier: London Bridge City

Trafalgar Square Christmas Tree

On Thursday 5 December, the world-famous Christmas Tree at the centre of Trafalgar Square will be lit up. A tradition dating back to 1947, the enormous tree is a token of thanks from the people of Norway for Britain's support during the Second World War and signals the start of the Christmas season for many Londoners. Unusually for the UK, the lights on Trafalgar Square's Christmas Tree are hung vertically, as is the Norwegian tradition.

Nearest pier: Embankment

Super Troupers The Exhibition

How well do you know the Swedish pop sensations? ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition opens at The O2 on Friday 6 December. Featuring lyrics, costumes, instruments, backdrops, album artwork, photography, film and more, ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition unveils the story of one of the most enduring music acts of all time.

Nearest pier: North Greenwich

SAMPLE Christmas

Discover your winter look at SAMPLE Christmas! The pop-up design market returns to Greenwich Peninsula Saturday 7 - Sunday 8 December bringing together fashion, homeware and craft with a focus on sustainability. This holiday season, SAMPLE will also be bringing the added magic of a vintage Helter Skelter and Tatty Devine's Rainbow Halo to Greenwich Peninsula.

Nearest pier: North Greenwich

Woolwich Winter Warmer

Woolwich Winter Warmer returns to Woolwich Town Centre and Royal Arsenal Saturday 7 December, 12:00 - 18:00. Featuring festive activities, a sparkling lantern parade and a special guest appearance by Santa Claus, this free event promises to warm even the Scroogiest of souls.

Nearest pier: Woolwich (Royal Arsenal)

Illuminate Nine Elms

See the Nine Elms neighbourhood reimagined as an urban wilderness. From Friday 13 to Saturday 21 December, Artist Jony Easterby projects Pippa Taylor's wintery illustrations of the famous nine elms, which gave their name to the locale, onto buildings across the Nine Elms neighbourhood. There will be walking tours of the projections, as well nighttime photography classes but for those not wishing to brave the cold weather, the illustrations can also be viewed at Battersea Power Station's Turbine Theatre.

Nearest pier: St George Wharf (Vauxhall) or Battersea Power Station

New at The O2

There's even more to do at The O2! Now open at ICON Outlet, ProCook brings timeless kitchenware at discount prices to Greenwich Peninsula. Meanwhile, on The Avenue at The O2, Australian eatery Butcher and the Farmer has opened its first UK restaurant. With a focus on honest, delicious and carefully sourced food, Butcher and The Farmer was founded by Steve Flood and Will Stewart after they won the TV cooking show My Kitchen Rules. A unique new football experience also kicks off at The O2 this month. KickTown at The O2 will be the world's first KickTown Arena, utilising the latest tech to bring epic football challenges to life through its mobile app.

Nearest pier: North Greenwich

Feeling inspired?