We had a spring with no pubs, a summer with no festivals and now we're staring at the wasteland of a winter with no Wonderland. While it's true that you won't be able to queue for an hour for drinks and lose all your mates in the market this year, there's still plenty of other London winter events hoping to fill that festive hole. From smaller Christmas pop-ups offering socially distant sips, to Covid-secure skating and even a little cabaret, we've rounded up some of the season's best alternatives to Winter Wonderland.
Sad you can’t make it out to Val-d’Isere? Get your après ski fix down at the Val-de Wandsworth Bridge as Winterland returns to the waterfront with your designated alpine escape. This year the Fulham pop-up will have it all, from DJs for dancing and cosy booths for snuggling, as well as a new arrival in the form of a festive grotto featuring an actual real-life Santa.
Another spot with a passion for all things polar, Skylight is bringing all the fun and potential for injury with Europe’s only rooftop ice rink. Alongside spins and slips you can grab some delicious sips and eats too, as they roll out a neat little menu of warming street food and seasonal cocktails. I’m sure mulled wine is as good as anything for that broken shoulder.
Always been a fan of Winter Wonderland's theatre offering? Never fear, because entertainment is near. Head over to Bloomsbury this Christmas where the London Cabaret Club will be offering a fabulous festive fiesta inspired by 007. Don you best Bond gear and prepare to add a little extra suave and sophistication to those seasonal antics.
You can leave the snowsuits in the wardrobe for another year because this fun winter pop up is bringing plenty of aprés without the need for the ski. The ideal destination for small groups, The Ski Lodge is an annual installation at the Montague on the Gardens hotel and it offers one of the prettiest festive experiences in London complete with schnapps, seasonal snacks and a whole lotta fake wood.
One of the most sought after table bookings in the capital, pop-up king Jimmy Garcia is back with the ultimate winter warmer. Head over to the South Bank, where, alongside fondue and Thames views from his lodge restaurant, you'll be able to squeeze yourself into some of the best igloos in London, so you and your bubble can have a bubble in a bubble.
'Tis the season for snuggling up with a movie, and there's no better place to do it than this fun Christmas film series in Peckham. Head over to Copeland Park where the Pop Up Screens team are transforming the industrial space into a magical winter cinema this November and December, perfect for those relaxed date nights and chilled evenings with friends.
There's more than just Rudolph landing on the rooftops this year. A fabulously festive offering from the Pergola Paddington team, Miracle On Kingdom Street is must-visit for the Crimbo-heads among us. Guests to the pop-up will be treated to more than just views and booze aplenty as the space offers eight gorgeous Moët & Chandon chalets for fizz-sipping, as well as bourbon hot toddies, camembert croquettes and candy cane s'mores.
Christmas At Kew
The more wholesome way to do festive fun this year, Kew Gardens’ Christmas glow-up is much more than just a gathering for families and those couples who feel the need to be touching at all times. They're adding extra slots this year to encourage lots of social distancing, so you can still marvel at the most categorically Instagrammable trees in London.
If you're looking for more winter pop-up inspiration, we've got a guide to the very best of them.