Christmas Theatre Breaks are a lovely idea, whether you take a break in the run up to the festival or actually over the Christmas and New Year period. There are some great shows on that will help you get into the holiday mood. London pulls out all the stops at this time of year too, so there is lots to see and do, whether you want to visit winter attractions, to do some serious shopping or just have a mooch round and window shop under the festive lights!
I’m going to suggest 3 great shows and then we will have a look at what else you might like to do in the capital this Christmas.
3 Shows for Christmas Theatre Breaks
Matilda the Musical is not just for kids! It is a good story, well told, with great songs. Perfect for the Christmas season.
Another Roald Dahl classic and this time, well yes, a bit more child orientated. However like all Dahl it is full of sly, grown-up humour to horrify and engage us what ever age we are! The show is spectacular, just the sort of thing to cheer you and get you in the festive mood.
Another children’s book adaptation? Well, yes, because War Horse is so much more. The show is magical, with stunning puppetry. The horses are totally convincing, but more than that it is an epic story, with great songs and an emotional plot. You will cry but ultimately there is hope.
And a couple of wild cards – if it was me I’d be very tempted to avoid the obvious, child friendly options and go for either Les Miserables or maybe the truly scary Woman in Black. Les Mis is the ultimate classic, a guaranteed good night out. The Woman in Black has also stood the test of time and is a great choice if you’d rather see a play than a musical. There is nothing more Christmassy than a good, terrifying ghost story!
Christmas Theatre Breaks – See London at its best
I think London is really at its best in winter. You have crisp, chilly days that fade into dark evenings, bustling shops, Christmas lights and displays. The whole city feels like something out of Dickens and you really wouldn’t be surprised to see Mr Pickwick wandering down one of the side streets of the West End!
London puts on lots of special attractions for the season too, not just the decorations, everything from pop up ice rinks and a Winter Wonderland to special Christmas Markets.
What’s on for Christmas Theatre Breaks 2014?
Attractions and the things you mustn’t miss this year!
Hyde Park transforms into Winter Wonderland. It is easy to get to and really gets you into the Christmas spirit. This year it will have Christmas rides and attractions, a Giant Observation Wheel, two circuses, and an ice rink. The market sells all manor of Christmas knicknacks, fancy sweets and traditional German crafts and lots of glühwein. My advice – use the tube to get there so you can enjoy the apple wine! (Nov 21st to Jan 4th)
Christmas lights will appear mid November in Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Regent Street and most other London shopping areas.The London Christmas lights are great. They really change the way the city feels and as it gets dark quite early they are a very welcome addition to the city. With a different theme every year they transform the city into a magical space.
Window Shopping, and the other sort!
Shops you mustn’t miss at Christmas include:
Harrods – The. Best. Window displays. Harrods Christmas windows have to be seen to be believed! Of course while you are there you might as well have a mooch round, and maybe even some of the best tea and cake in London!
Hamleys – The ultimate toy shop. Even if you don’t have some special small person to buy for Hamleys Christmas set up is worth seeing. They always do something spectacular, sometimes including slightly mad things, like a whole herd of real, live reindeer!
Liberty – just one of the classiest shops in London and always does great window displays. Handy too for the Regent St Apple store and, of course Carnaby St. (Tatty but fun!)
Covent Garden and the Apple Market – great for proper Christmas shopping, lots of good shops both in Covent Garden and near by. The Apple Market has nice stalls with crafts and handmade soaps etc. The area is great for wandering round, lots of street entertainers, magicians, buskers, living statues. You can often hear impromptu opera buskers in the square of the interior cafe. You can find lots of nice places for tea and cakes, or nip upstairs in the West Cornish Pasty company to find yourself in a Cornish pub, with good beer and lovely hot Cornish pasties. Just the thing on a chilly day!
Check our Readers Offer site for these and many other theatre breaks available over the Xmas period.