5 cancelled Christmas events in London (2020)

Photo by: @shadz_1g | Instagram

As autumn ends and December slowly approaches, London does not shy away from the Christmas spirit. The fun activities to partake in are usually endless. However, this will be a Christmas like no other.

Coronavirus has been the cause of many event cancellations; yet few have remained open.

This listicle offers some great alternatives, so that you and your family won’t miss out on the festive fun.


1) Winter Wonderland

Hyde Park’s annual Winter Wonderland event is likely London’s largest Christmas attraction for friends and family looking for fun during the winter season.

However, in light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns and obvious social distancing issues, it was announced earlier this year that Winter Wonderland would not be taking place in 2020.

It has been confirmed that the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland event will return in November 2021.

Alternative: Pantoland at the Palladium

Why not attend a Christmas panto in London to maintain that Christmas spirit.

Pantoland at the Palladium is on from the 12th December to the 3rd January, tickets ranging from £25 per head.


2) Santa’s Grotto

Winter Wonderland usually occupies Santa Land. One on few free Santa Grotto’s in London, which has been cancelled along with the grand event.

Alternative: Leicester Square

The chance to meet Santa is still Available at Leicester Square. Tickets must be booked in advance for £11.50. Dates are yet to be confirmed.

Selfridges offers an alternative opportunity to meet Santa at their Corner restaurant and join him in a festive breakfast.

Tickets go for £50. Breakfast with Santa also includes a gift for each member of attending family.

Photo by: @shadz_ig | Instagram (Tower Bridge)

3) Tower of London Ice Skating

An event that seemed as though it would remain open – as guidelines on mask wear and conduct of COVID-19 risk assessments became mandatory upon skating – has also concluded not to open as previously planned.

The Tower of London Ice Rink team say they cannot wait to return the event to the Tower of London, next year.


The Skylight ice rink has expanded beyond its rooftop setting and will be taking over much of Tobacco Dock.

The event will take place between the 3rd December until the 3rd January 2021. It’s more than just an ice rink, they also have Quayside Igloos and a Christmas cocktail cinema.

As they state on their website; ‘Leave 2020 outside the gates and enter a cosy, twinkly world of wintery festive fun.’

4) The Snowman

A timeless classic which comes to life has sadly been cancelled due to COVID-19 and closing of many theatres and cinema’s across London.

The well-known Christmas show would have been held at the Peacock Theatre at Sadlers Well from the 21st November until the 3rd January 2021.

Alternative: The Nutcracker

Live action performances of The Nutcracker are still announced to be running December 10th-January 3rd, at the London Coliseum or December 30th – January 2nd, at the Royal Albert Hall.

Photo by: @shadz_ig | Instagram (Regent Street)

5) Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival

Another magical setting cancelled due to coronavirus and the pandemic.

The Annual event usually lasts between early November until the first week of January, however, its closure was announced from the November 5th.

Alternative: Leicester Square Christmas market

Leicester Square’s market is much smaller than that of Southbank’s, but offers delicious food, adorable handmade toys and is extremely close to the theatres. Open from November 8th till January 5th, 2021.


Words: Davionne Sweeney-Mcintosh | Subbing: Grace Staley

Accessibility | Cookies | Terms of use and privacy