What’s on in London for December 2012

london christmasWhat a year we have had in London so far, The Queens Jubilee, The Olympics and it still isn’t over, December promises to be a great month with  lots of special events to see the year out. Listed beloware our top ten for the month.

No.1.  1st December till 6th January 2013  “Winter Wonderland” Hyde Park,

A corner of Hyde Park will be transformed into a magical Winter Wonderland this Christmas, with a traditional German-style Christmas market with wooden chalets, Bavarian bars and cafes. More than 100 rides will be on offer… soar 60-metres into the sky on a giant observation wheel, enjoy the clowns and acrobats in Zippo’s Christmas Circus, and meet Father Christmas and his elves in the Christmas grotto. If that’s all too much for you then take a leisurely stroll through the Magical Ice Kingdom, with 200 tons of real ice and snow! You can follow the pathways past the exquisite sculptures and crystal-like characters… meet the woodland ice creatures as you roam through the stalagmite forest… see the unicorn-pulled carriage… and meet the ice queen in the castle’s throne room. Held every day  (except Christmas Day) — 10 AM to 10 PM .

No 2.  1st December FA Premiership “Fulham v Tottenham Hotspurs” at Craven Cottage, Fulham.

Tottenham will be away from home, facing there old manager, Martin Jol’s  Fulham, team in a match that both teams will be keen to win. Spurs have ex Fulham players Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele in there squad. This will be the first time they have returned to Craven Cottage since there transfers.This is always a fierce competitive match and both teams will hope to come out the winners and with two ex Fulham players in the opposing squad this should be a really interesting game.

No.3.   1st December 2012 “QBE Autumn Internationals: England v New Zealand” at Twickenham Stadium, Rugby Road, Twickenham.

England will be on the back end of a very tough autumn period, with games against Samoa, Australia and South Africa and this match against the world champions will be the hardest of the lot. The All Blacks won the World Cup in nerve-wracking style in 2011, with an 8-7 victory France in the final just seeing them home. Their coronation at the top of the world game was arguably merely the confirmation of what many had known for years – the All Blacks have been the world’s finest side for a long time. Packed wall to wall with world class players, they play rugby that is on a different plane of existence to any of the turgid play sometimes produced by England at their lowest. In Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu and Israel Dagg, they possess exceptional talent that can rip any team to shreds. Whether a new look England side will be able to pose a threat at Twickenham is difficult to predict. 2.30pm kick off

No.4.  5th December  until 9th December  “AEGON Masters Tennis” at the  Royal Albert Hall.

This is the highlight of the ATP Champions Tour is a blasts from the past battle it out in London’s prettiest indoor arena. To play in the tournament players must, at one time, have been the world Number One, a Grand Slam finalist or a player on a winning Davis Cup side (with exception of certain invited players) – so that means top quality. These guys might have lost a few ounces of speed and stamina over the years but they retain all the guile, poise and determination that made them champions in the first place. Last year, American John McEnroe won his fifth Masters title as he battled to a 6-2, 6-4 win over former Wimbledon finalist Pat Cash on a stage usually reserved for Brahms, Beethoven and the Beatles. Expect a few days of competitive tennis with a healthy splash of fun as these past masters take to the court once again. 1pm & 7.30pm (Wed to Sat), 12pm & 5pm (Sun) Ticket Prices: £9-£97.50

No.5.    December 6th until January 6th 2013 “Christmas in Trafalgar Square “

This has been a seasonal symbol in London since 1947. The tree is decorated in traditional Norwegian style, using vertical strings of energy-efficient Christmas lights, Carols will be performed in aid of charity beside the tree by a wide variety of London groups each evening from December 11th to 22nd. The tree is a gift from the Norwegians to the British people, and there’s a remarkable story behind this traditional Xmas present. During WWII, German troops invaded Norway and in 1940 the neutral country was forced to surrender to the Nazis. Its royal family, government fled to London, where they established a government-in-exile. For almost five years they were given refuge here while Norwegian soldiers fought alongside the Allies. London came to represent hope and freedom for the millions of Norwegians, who listened to the BBC which provided news and information vital to the resistance movement. That’s why the people of Oslo now give London the tree. Fondly described by the woodsmen who care for it as ‘the queen of the forest’, it can reach up to 25 metres in height and is between 50 and 100 years old It’s felled in November in a special ceremony in the midst of a snowy forest, with local schoolchildren singing, then shipped across the North Sea and installed in Trafalgar Square

No.6.   7th December until 9th December “A Taste of Christmas” held at the ExCel London Exhibition Centre.

A record number of food lovers turned up to watch Jamie Oliver and Hugh-Fearnley Whitting who joined culinary forces at the 2011 Taste of Christmas show at the ExCel. More than 30,000 visitors enjoyed a Michelin star-studded line up which included Gary Rhodes, Rachel Allen and Michel Roux Jr, who described the event as “the perfect place for passionate foodies to get inspiration and enjoy a festive gastronomic heaven.” This year, the organisers say the culinary celebrations will be even bigger and better with the kings and queens of cookery teaming up to share their top tips for making this festive season the tastiest yet. As well as the opportunity to take part in live cooking demonstrations you can give your Christmas a gourmet makeover and shop for top seasonal ingredients to inject some inspirational spark into your family’s tried and tested festive classics. There will be a multitude of food stalls from top London restaurants such as Benares, Roast and Rhodes W1, as well as advice and inspiration from renowned foodies. It’s perfectly possible to complete all your Christmas food shopping under one roof, as long as you ignore the distractions of tastings and the food demonstration theatres. OPENING TIMES: 10am-6pm.  Ticket Prices: £12-£75

No.7. 10th December “Katherine Jenkins in Concert” held at the Royal Albert Hall.

Katherine Jenkins has successfully broken down the barriers between opera and the public and has become one of Britain’s favourite singers The beautiful star has sold millions of albums, won a Brit award and performed worldwide with acclaimed artists including Andrea Bocelli and Plácido Domingo. This December, Katherine will be taking to the stage for a special Christmas concert. Accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic, the singer will perform songs from her new album as well as a number of Christmas carols. Special guests The band of the Welsh Guards and The Boy Choristers of St George’s Chapel will also feature. Concert starts at 7.30pm.  Ticket Prices: £29-£69

No.8. 15th December “War of The Worlds” staged at The O2 Arena.

The New Generation HG Wells’ epic science fiction drama The War of The Worlds comes to life The Jeff Wayne’s musical recreation of the story has had huge success on the stage and now, thanks to modern technology, gets even better as it arrives in 3D holography in London this Christmas. The story will be accompanied by full live band, strings and state-of-the-art special effects and illusions. Internationally adored Irish actor Liam Neeson leads the new cast and acts as George Herbert, the story’s narrator. Following in the great footsteps of Richard Burton, who starred in the original cast over thirty years ago. Liam Neeson will appear in 3 forms, as a full body hologram interacting with live actors, as an 11-foot holographic head floating over the stage and finally, projected onto a humongous 100-foot wide ‘animation wall.’ It promises to be a truly spectacular sight and a really unique chance to see this classic story told in its most technologically advanced state to date. With generations of devoted fans, this ground-breaking modern interpretation is sure to dazzle audiences of all ages and looks set to be a silver-screen sell-out. Tickets go on sale at 9am on the 25th November 2012.  OPENING TIME: 8pm

No9. 17th December 2012 until 7th January 2013 “Slava’s Snowshow” held at the Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, South Bank .

The multi-award winning sensation, Slava’s Snowshow has delighted audiences in over 80 cities around the world including New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Hong Kong and Moscow. And now this visual masterpiece returns to London after a popular run this time last year for another 3-week season at the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre this Christmas. Loved by children and adults alike, Slava’s Snowshow is a combination of theatrical clowning and stunning spectacle performed by the internationally renowned company of clowns lead by Slava Polunin. Experience a unique dream-like world which culminates in a breath taking blizzard leaving you (literally) knee deep in snow! The Independent was moved to describe it as “simply thrilling – an unmissable comedy masterpiece.” Recommended for ages 8 and above, this is definitely one not to miss. Prices: £20-£49.50, Premium £65

No.10. 31st December   “New Year’s Eve Fireworks”   London Eye, Jubilee Gardens, South Bank.

New Year’s Eve Fireworks the annual New Year’s Eve Fireworks display, launched from the foot of the London Eye and from rafts on the Thames, is visible from most of central London: the basic rule is that if you can see the London Eye, you’ll be able to see the show. They cram enough firepower for an hour-long display into ten explosive minutes, lighting up the sky for miles around. The best views are from Victoria Embankment, the South Bank, and Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge. Hungerford Bridge is closed after 8pm and there’s also no entry to Westminster Bridge after this time.


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