It’s that miserable time of year again when it gets dark by 4:00, you wake up on a Monday morning to thick fog covering the skies and frosted cars and windows.
Ah winter, glad to have you back again.
But not everything is doom and gloom at this time of year – with it comes Halloween, the beginning of the countdown to Christmas, including the famous Winter Wonderland, and the opportunity to indulge in some annual festive, novelty treats.No really, why aren’t pumpkin-spiced lattes a year-round thing?
While I hate to admit that the warm weather has officially ended, I am definitely excited for getting cosy inside with some warm fluffy pyjamas and a hot chocolate whilst watching some festive movies, as well as for my annual trip to a firework display on Bonfire Night.
If you are in need of some inspiration to help you get into the festive mood this year, fear not as Artefact has tracked down and presents to you five festive activities happening in London in the next few months that are sure to get you into the spirit.
1) Alexandra Palace Firework festival: Alexandra Palace, Muswell Hill (Friday, November 4 – Saturday, November 6)
Alexandra Palace is back with its unrivalled, famous firework display and a laser show. You can also enjoy ice skating, or alternatively pick up a beer at the German Bier festival, which runs through the same weekend at the palace. Advanced tickets cost £11 for adults and can be bought online.
2) The Great Fire of London Fireworks display Victoria Park, Grove Road E3
This display is free for all; a good alternative for those who don’t wish to pay to see fireworks. It means it is likely to get busy so you should aim to get there early for a good view! Food and beverages are available from 6:00pm, while the firework display is due to start at 7:00pm.
3) Ice skating at Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA
Between November 16, 2016 and January 15, 2017, put on your skating boots and head to the Somerset House to hit the ice rink for some festive fun.
This year, Somerset House have teamed up with Fortnum & Mason to bring you ice skating by day and night.
The rink is open from 10:00am to 10:15 pm daily for skating sessions, but like most outdoor festivities, I would recommend visiting at night at least once as the rink is lit up and you can skate to live DJs playing dance, disco, reggae and soul mixes at the skating ‘club nights’.
Tickets for regular sessions start from £8.50 for adults and from £17.00 for club nights.
The rink is also open on Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with shorter opening times, but closed on Christmas Day.
4) Winter Wonderland. Hyde Park
We couldn’t give you a list of festive events without including Winter Wonderland.
If you are a London resident, you will surely know about the Christmas spectacular that takes place every year in Hyde Park.
Winter Wonderland offers a range of things to do, from rides including mini rollercoasters, ferris wheels and drop towers, to ice skating and Zippo’s Christmas circus.
If thrill seeking is not for you, why not take a leisurely stroll around the Christmas market, which sells a range of different handmade goods such as jewellery, accessories, clothing and Christmas decorations?
One of the major highlights of Winter Wonderland for me is definitely the range of food it has to offer.If you are the hungry type, one thing is for sure; you won’t be able to resist the mouthwatering aroma of German delicacies such as currywurst, Swiss cheese, hot sugared doughnuts and churros, and freshly mulled wine.
Be sure to bring some extra cash to grab some food there, as it is a little pricey (as is to be expected with these types of seasonal events).
Entry for Winter Wonderland is free of charge, and the park is open every day from 10 am until 10 pm. However, I would suggest going on a weekday around midday if you want to avoid the crowds as it can get particularly busy on the weekend and in the evenings.
Winter Wonderland opens in Hyde Park on the 18th November and continues for six weeks up until January 2nd 2017.
5) Christmas lights @ Carnaby Street
Because there’s nothing like good old Christmas lights to get you into the festive spirit…
While Oxford Street’s Christmas light display have undoubtedly been a bit lacklustre for the past couple of years, Carnaby Street offers a quirky alternative in its own display.
This year, it brings to us a specular display of lights that pay homage to the ‘vibrant history of the area’.
Carnaby are working in conjunction with the Victoria and Albert Museum and their exhibition You Say You Want a Revolution for their theme.
The Christmas lights switch-on will take place during Carnaby Street’s annual Christmas party, on Thursday 10 November. At the event, ticket holders are enabled to 20% off fashion brands, restaurants and bars.
Alongside this there will be ‘DJs, live music, complimentary food and drinks, a pop-up bar and plenty of street entertainment’.
The Carnaby Christmas lights will turn on at 6:00pm on November 10. Tickets are required for the Christmas party/launch night, they are free but have to be registered for online.
If you aren’t interested in the party, alternatively you can just pop down at any time to revel in all the Christmassy goodness.
We hope these gave you some festive inspiration!
Featured Image by Eric Kilby via Flickr CC