Whether planning festive days out with children or just soaking up the seasonal vibes with friends - here are 8 ways to explore London while finding your Christmas spirit...
1. Get your skates on
Glide under the stars at London’s longest-running outdoor ice rink at Exchange Square (just two minutes from Liverpool Street and across the road from Spitalfields). With penguin and seal skate aids for younger visitors, incredible street food from Urban Food Fest and festive drinks courtesy of Davy’s On Ice Wine Bar - this is the ice rink to visit for winter 2016.
2. Be wowed by Christmas lights and art
Broadgate Circle (one of east London’s acclaimed foodie destinations) has some gorgeous seasonal lights and - perfectly complementing them - just round the corner is a brilliant exhibition of long-exposure light photography by artist Andrew Whyte in Finsbury Avenue Square. And that’s not all, walk over to Exchange Square and you’ll discover an explosion of colours from the brilliant artist Liz West.
3. See a giant snowglobe
To kick off December and the official countdown to Christmas, a giant snowglobe will be stationed at Exchange Square for you to take the perfect snowy photo.
4. Make your own Christmas decorations
And stockings... Designed for children aged 3+, our festive craft classes are utterly free and lots of fun. Taking place in the cosy setting of Rinkside, book your spot now for Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 December from 12pm - there's also the chance to...
5. ...Meet Santa and see some real reindeer…
Yes Santa and his real-life reindeer are heading to Rinkside on Exchange Square on Wednesday 21 December from 12pm. The perfect pre-Christmas celebration for kids of all ages - whether you're on your lunch break or on the first day of the school holidays, head to Broadgate for a festive afternoon. (The reindeer will also be making an extra special appearance on Thursday from 12-2pm.)
6. Discover the best festive menus in the city
Sharing platters at Beany Green, a signature menu at Gaucho (rib-eye served with chimichurri anyone?) and a full set menu at The Botanist. And if you’re heading to the ice rink, do not miss these awesome Skate & Dine offers from Jose Pizarro, Piccolino, Crab Tavern, All Bar One, Aubain, Comptoir Libanais and Shoryu Ramen. Hello complimentary cocktails!
7. Revitalise your mind, body and soul
Survive December’s social onslaught with some inspired workouts: Rebel 1 are offering 20% discount on your first class and Virgin Active will give you December free and no sign-up fee if you book now. Meanwhile, in 2017 our early morning Skatercise classes will be just the way to jumpstart your mood and fitness during the winter months. See you on the ice!
8. Do all of your Christmas shopping
From thoughtful gifts, cards and wrapping at Oliver Bonas, luxe stocking fillers at Space NK (you really can't go wrong) and brilliantly beautiful chocolates at Charbonnel et Walker, Broadgate means getting your shopping done without any of the stress.