If you love Christmas more than Buddy the Elf, let London be your playground.
This winter the capital is home to more winter pop-ups than ever before, with fairy lights, festive music and mulled wine in abundance.
There’s something to suit everyone with ice-skating, Christmassy cinema screenings and dinner in an igloo being just a few of the activities on offer.
Excited? Check out our round-up of some of the best venues below.
1. Coppa Club, Tower Bridge
Coppa Club’s popular igloos are back, bringing a little slice of Lapland to the restaurant’s Thames-side terrace. This year they’ve been revamped with timber frames and Perspex sliding doors, and are all fully furnished with heating, blankets and speakers.
A wide selection of dishes are available to enjoy inside the igloos, from the succulent Coppa Club burger to the sustainably caught hake. Or to really get in the festive spirit, head down between now and 31 December to try the set Christmas menu featuring roast turkey, lamb, duck or sea bream.
Sadly, open reservations for the igloos sold out within four hours of this year’s website going live, so you’ll have to chance your luck and head down on the day, where several walk-in tables have been left open on a first come, first served basis.
Open: Now until the end of February 2018.
Address: Coppa Club, 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, EC3R 6AH.
More info: coppaclub.co.uk/towerbridge.
2. The Winter Forest at Broadgate, Liverpool Street
Made up of majestic pine trees, Broadgate’s pop-up forest brings an unexpected slice of Nordic countryside to central London.
Walk through the trees surrounded by twinkling reactive lights and biodegradable snow, or visit the neighbouring Winter Forest Market, where you’ll find food, gifts and more.
Finish your visit in the bar and grill for mulled wine and Prosecco under the stars.
Top tip: This small pop-up is great if you’re looking for an alternative venue to catch up with mates after work, but probably isn’t big enough for a whole day out.
Open: Now until 12 January 2018.
Address: Exchange Square, Broadgate, Liverpool Street, EC2M 7QH.
More info and booking: thewinterforest.broadgate.co.uk.
3. Boxpark, Croydon
Crystal Palace FC turned on the Christmas lights at Boxpark Croydon on the 21 November, kicking off a season of festive pop-ups at the venue.
On Sunday 3 December, Columbia Creative will bring their floral magic to Croydon with a wreath-making masterclass while on Sunday 10 December, Croydon Philharmonic Choir will provide the space with a festive soundtrack.
Friday 15 December hails the arrival of Christmas Jumper Day, where £1 of every purchase made by someone wearing a Christmas jumper will be donated to Save The Children.
And finally, from Monday 18 December until Wednesday 20 December there will be free screenings of a selection of classic Christmas movie favourites, including ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ and ‘Jingle All The Way’.
Open: Now until 20 December.
Address: Boxpark Croydon, 99 George Street, Croydon, CR0 1LD.
4. Skylight, Wapping
Like many London rooftops, Skylight has transformed the top floors of an urban carpark for fun and frolics. But unlike its competitors, Skylight has the only rooftop ice skating rink in the capital.
Themed around an urban aprèskate bar, the east London venue also plays host to delicious seasonal drinks, fondue and street food from YIRO, cutting edge DJs, ice hockey shooting, indoor and outdoor heated areas, and some of the best views in the city.
Top tip: head up to Skylight late in the afternoon so you catch the sunset. The views of The Shard and London skyline are pretty spectacular – especially with a delicious cocktail or mulled wine in hand.
Open: Now until 14 January
Address: Tobacco Dock, Pennington St. Car Park entrance, Wapping, E1W 2SF.
More info and booking: skylightlondon.com.
5. Queen of Hoxton, Shoreditch
If you’re starting to get bored of alpine-themed winter pop-ups, head to Queen of Hoxton’s ‘Moroccan Medina’ this winter. The décor, inspired by the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakesh, comes complete with giant cacti set against dusty cobalt blue walls, with canopies of fairy lights and cast iron fire pits.
Keep warm inside the rooftop’s wigwam-turned-Moroccan-feasting-hall, or find a spot by the bar under the stars.
Visitors can feast on a menu of Middle Eastern delights – from lamb and apricot tagine to a ‘rainbow vegan mezze board’ – or get a Henna tattoo while taking in the heady scents of spices and shisha pipes.
The venue will play host to a series of events throughout the winter, including a Moroccan shoe-making workshop (18 Nov and 3 Feb) and a rooftop hip-hop and meditation class (20 January).
Open: Now until end of March 2018.
Address: 1 Curtain Road, London, EC2A 3JX.
More info and tickets: queenofhoxton.com/rooftop/winter.
6. Winterland, Fulham
Winterland is something of a festive Mecca, with igloos, curling, street food and Christmas trees galore.
And better yet, it’s Bring Your Own Booze (BYOB) on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays making it a relatively cheap evening out. The amount of alcohol you’re permitted to bring into the venue per person is restricted to one bottle of wine (75cl)/Prosecco/Champagne, or six cans of beer, or half a bottle (35cl) of spirits.
On Saturdays you can purchase drinks at your pleasure from one of the two alcoholic bars, including glorious hot cocktails.
Open: Now until 22 December
Address: Winterland, Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2TY.
More info and booking: winterlandlondon.com.
7. Christmas at Kew 2017, Kew Gardens
With over one million twinkling lights used throughout its festive displays, you won’t be left disappointed by Christmas at Kew.
The gardens have been taken over by an array of awe-inspiring light and sound installations during the festive season, including an ultraviolet walkway of continuously moving bubbles and a ‘weeping tree’ covered in glittering lights.
Visitors can also marvel at the ‘sledge tree’ (an 11m-high structure constructed from over 360 wooden sledges) and the ‘singing trees’ (six large trees wrapped in dazzling coloured lights accompanied by familiar Christmas tunes).
Finish off the evening with the ‘palm house grand finale’ – an impressive display of laser beams, streams of light and kaleidoscopic projections, accompanied by Christmas music classics with the iconic greenhouse as a backdrop.
Open: Now until 1 January 2018.
Address: Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AE.
More info and booking: kew.org.
8. Winterville, Clapham Common
With a long list of activities on offer, Winterville has something to suit all ages and interests.
Active sorts can skate on Clapham Common’s first ever ice rink, play crazy golf on the UV-powered Plonk Golf course or ride the Big Wheel.
For a more chilled affair, enjoy street food from Street Feast, watch screenings of Christmas classics in Backyard Cinema’s ‘winter night garden’ or grab some last-minute gifts from the alternative Christmas market.
Top tip: If you’re looking for a pop-up that’s child-friendly, Winterville is our pick. Little ones will love the entirely free Kids Quarter, where they’ll be taught circus skills, make twinkly Christmas decorations and get glitter tattoos from Santa’s elves.
Open: Now until 1 January.
Address: Clapham Common, Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE.
More info: winterville.co.uk.
9. Sipsmith’s Winter Warming Terrace at Charlotte’s W5, Ealing
The ‘winter warming terrace’ in collaboration with Sipsmith at Charlotte’s W5 is the perfect hangout for gin-lovers this December.
Enjoy a selection of hot cocktails including a delightfully fruity take on mulled wine; winter sloe gin featuring gin, cinnamon, star anise and apple; Winter Negroni featuring gin, Campari, sweet vermouth and rooibos tea; and the Hot Espresso Martini, featuring vodka, Electric coffee and vanilla cream.
For those who fancy something non alcoholic, local Ealing chocolatier Lucy Savage has created a hot chocolate that will be served alongside the cocktails to warm up any chilly fingers and toes.
The terrace comes complete with blankets, fairy lights and roasted chestnuts, making it a cute venue for date night or a quiet catch up with friends.
Open: Now until end of Jan.
Address: Charlotte’s W5, Longfield Avenue, W5 2UQ.
More info and booking: charlottes.co.uk/w5/.