Things to do in London in December

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023

It’s that time of the year when we’re all encouraged to deck halls, ding dong merrily, and eat figgy pudding. But you should still make time to head out into the festive city to make the most of Santa’s our list of Unmissable Things To Do in London (and beyond) this December!

Plus stay tuned for our how to survive the season list – coming soon – for longer runs and boredom-busting ideas that will drag you away from the telly!

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 1

Solstice | Battersea Arts Centre | 1-24 December | £16.50

Join this immersive light trail for a long overdue chance to rediscover the nooks and crannies of Battersea Town Hall.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 2

ACT UP London World AIDS Day Films and Fundraiser Party | The Queen Adelaide | 1 December | From £3

‘Join ‘ACT UP London’ and friends for an incredible collection of HIV / AIDS herstory and community love and power films for World AIDS Day 2023 followed by spoken word and performances in front of a section of the UK AIDS MEMORIAL Quilt.’

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 3

Stanley Arts Christmas Market | Stanley Hall | 1-2 December

Get festive and support local makers and shakers at South London’s beautiful Stanley Hall.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 4

JOURNEYS: First Friday | Marine Studios, Margate | 1 December | FREE

Love maps? Get thee to Margate for a free night of art celebrating the travels that influenced some of the world’s most famous writers. Experience ‘Three Tenses in One’ from Dan Thompson Studio, reimagine Thanet’s streetscapes with Transit Collective, and get creative with D&D map making and Peter Gander’s map drawing.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 5

ZU-UK LONDON SEASON: Binaural Dinner Date, Radio Ghost and Within Touching Distance | University of Greenwich | Until 17 December | £15

A feast of surprising humanity at a time of crass consumption. Get closer to one another with ZU-UK’s inspiring season of interactive works. And don’t miss your chance to win one of FIVE PAIRS OF TICKETS for Binaural Dinner Date – enter by midnight on Wednesday 6th December!

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 6

Christmas Carol Concert for My Life, Your Hands | Christ Church URC, Petts Wood | 1 December | £12.50

Support Allergy UK at this carol concert packed with stars of stage and screen.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 7

Hinako Omori  | ICA | 2 December | £21.85

A peaceful, transcendental, musical antidote to the ugly noise of the festive season.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 8

Zine Takeover | Wellcome Collection | 2 December | FREE

Discover artists like multidisciplinary wonder Abigail Jacqueline Jones and many more at this DIY publishing explosion of ideas, all in zine format.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 9

Eleanor Conway: Talk Dirty To Me | 21Soho | 2 December | £16.50

An unmissable rollercoaster of sex positive, high energy bangers about the ‘pleasure gap’.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 10

Murder Ballad! | Omnibus Theatre | 3-24 December | From £3

A camp ode to Agatha Christie and the legacy of the murder mystery genre.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 11

Show & Tell #13 – Inspiring Mini Talks | BLOC @ QMUL | 4 December | FREE

A free night of TED-style talks at Queen Mary University of London, with seven speakers from Monzo, Museum of the Home and more…

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A They In A Manger | Camden People’s Theatre | 5-16 December | From £8

‘Love song, nativity, and raging manifesto. Join the critically-acclaimed creatives behind Wardrobe & Sons for a queer Christmas riot. The alternative John Lewis Christmas advert celebrating queer survival and solidarity. All performed inside a wardrobe.’

A fabulous opportunity to celebrate resistance and queer survival when people could have just given up.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 13

NFTV: Nat Funni Television | The Glory | 5 December | £12

Puppets. Drag. Pee-wee’s Playhouse meets SM:TV Live.

Don’t miss this outrageous NFTV special with a live audience.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 14

Winter Flowers Week | Garden Museum | 7-12 December | £14 (Concessions available)

Returning British Flowers Week alumni, all trailblazers in the field and passionate about improving sustainability in the floristry industry – Shane Connolly & CoCarly Rogers FlowersHazel Gardiner DesignTattie Rose Studio and Floribunda Rose – exhibit at the inaugural Winter Flowers Week. Come and see their beautiful floral installations at The Garden Museum by the river.

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Christmas Actually | Southbank Centre | 7-11 December | From £25.50

A festive revue curated by Love Actually director Richard Curtis, with hosts Sanjeev Bhaskar and Jayde Adams.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 16

Get Happy | Barbican | 7-19 December | From £11

‘Artfully controlled chaos’ is allowed to invade the over-orderly Barbican, for an unexpected variety show.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 17

The Hunger Gays | Two Brewers | 7-29 December | From £15

This line was enough to sell this camp as tits panto: ‘In what was once a United Kingdom, in the Gay Capital of Padam (Padam), the evil President Snow reigns supreme and forbids the celebration of Christmas.’. All are welcome not just the LGBTQIA+ community – but please respect community spaces.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 18

Merry Mayhem: A Festive Extravaganza | The Yard | 8-21 December

The Yard Theatre has assembled an extraordinary line up of cabaret, burlesque and performance throughout December. Head to Hackney Wick for a night of debauched disco shows.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 19

NACHTLICKER | Low Profile House | 8 December | From £16

‘Flickering red lights lure you to NACHTLICKER, a depraved den of experimentation, punk theatre, eccentric art, eclectic music, feral rave and dark ideas. Suck it and see.’

Why not get filthy at this absurdist night?!

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 20

Queer + Transkaters Night | BAYSIXTY6 | 8 December | £8

Live out Avril Lavigne skater boi fantasy at the first ever regular LGBTQIA+ night at BAYSIXTY organised by transkaters – London’s first trans+ skate collective.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 21

LÈSE MAJESTÉ | Rich Mix | 8 December | £12

Drag king and thing cabaret is back at Rich Mix with a soul-filling, mind-bending and body-shaking show.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 22

DIY Christmas Art Market | Bussey Building | 9 December | £2

Buy gifts direct from talented artists this festive season.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 23

Arty Farty Xmas Market | Catford Mews | 10 December

Join our sister side hustle Where Have All The Flowers Gone? to buy gorgeous unusual wreaths at this beautifully curated Arty Farty market in pioneering community hub, Catford Mews.

Third Man Presents… XMAS FAIR: Independent Labels & Shops | OMEARA | 10 December

Love Record Store Day? Then you’ll love this Xmas market supporting independent music where you can grab exclusive and limited edition releases.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 26

It Came Down The Chimney – A Festive Drag Horror Cabaret | The Glory | 10 December | £12

Love horror? Come and get scary with clown cabaret galore.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 27

Adam and Joe: The Christmas Podcast Live | Royal Festival Hall | 12 December | From £15

Cutesy Channel 4 cult duo Adam and Joe take their annual Christmas pod-chat live.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 28

The Emperor’s New Clothes | Shipwright | 13-16 December | From £15

A musical pantomime in Deptford riverside’s most glorious secret venue, featuring hairspray, fake tan and whispering.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 29

The Ruckus | Fellowship Square | From 14 December | £20

Punk circus troupe Revel Pucks return with a new family friendly show in Walthamstow.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 30

MIMIs: A Hot N Heavy Holiday! | Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club | 14 December | From £20

A glam-metal unmissable xxxmas treat!

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 31

Christmas in Tinseltown | Royal Festival Hall | 14 December | From £30

Join film critic extraordinaire Mark Kermode and Strictly singer Tommy Blaize for a night of music celebrating Christmas movie themes.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 32

Saturnalia! | The Yard | 15 & 16 December | £18

CHRISTMAS IS DEAD! Forget plastic tinsel and book for this thrilling cabaret musical resurrecting Roman revelry and rebellion, from Beautopia Collective.

Queer Horror Nights: Christmas Evil | The Rio | 15 December | £17.50

“Forget White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, and all the other hackneyed trash. Go for the best seasonal film of all-time, Christmas Evil.” JOHN WATERS

Loose Willis and Token Homo host a ‘Christmas Confessional’ packed with salacious revelations alongside the main feature, ‘Christmas Evil’, an unforgettable late night encounter with a murderous Santa.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 33

Queer Noise | VFDalston | 14 December | From £8

A queer night of creativity at the wonderful VOGUE FABRICS DALSTON, raising funds for Stonewall Housing.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 34

Geoffrey Chaucer’s Mediaeval Christmas Festivitye | 21Soho | 17 December | £13.20

Get weird with Geoffrey Chaucer and guests including: Rosie Jones! Frankie Thompson! Huge Davies! Ella the Great! Christian Brighty!

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 35

Carols at Roundhouse | Roundhouse | 17 December | From £10

London’s most beautiful rail shed pulls a cracker of a night.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 36

Baby Lame presents… SHITMAS | The Glory | 20 December | £10

A must-see ‘meaty buffet of festive filth’ including x-rated cabaret performances from Baby herself, special guests, crap carol sing-alongs and gin-infused games.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 37

Boyz Nite | Museum of Comedy | 21 December | From £12.50

Cerys Bradley presents a variety night celebrating trans men, trans masc and butch non-binary performers. 

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 38

Pxssy Liquor’s Office Christmas Party | Royal Festival Hall | 21 December | FREE

A free night of fun thanks to the unstoppable Southbank Centre and Pxssy Liquor.

Unmissable Things To Do in London in December 2023 39

Knickerbocker New Year’s Eve 2023! | The Yard | 31 December | From £20

The only place worth leaving the sofa for this NYE. Expect the unexpected.

Did we forget any unmissable things to do in London? We almost certainly did – please let us know in the comments below or contact us!