Home for the holidays? London is a great place to be when the tourists have left and the crowds have lessened. Last week we brought you six ways to enjoy London with the kids this Christmas break (and there’s still time to work on your double axel at one of London’s ice skating rinks). This week we’ve got six more ideas to make the last of the holiday magical. It’s not yet time for the slog of the school run—get out and enjoy the city.
Be amused by the antics of The Cat in the Hat.
Running through the 2nd of January 2017, The Cat and the Hat at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington promises a zany adventure with the most mischievous cat around. Kids aged 3 and up will love seeing the Dr Seuss favourite brought to life, tall stripy hat and all.
Cost: £12.50 adult/£11 child
Hug a virtual tree or wander in the world of the Moomins at the Southbank Centre.
A model of a majestic giant sequoia forms the basis for the virtual reality experience of Treehugger, which is in its final days now (last day to hug is Wednesday the 28th of December, from 12:30 to 7pm). At Southbank Centre’s Adventures in Moominland, Tove Jansson’s rotund characters and their home of Moominvalley are brought to life in an immersive show.
Cost: Treehugger, FREE; Adventures in Moominland, £13.50–16.50
See the magic of Hogwarts in the Snow.
Through the 29th of January 2017 at the Warner Bros Studio Tour London, Christmas trees will line the Great Hall, flaming Christmas puddings will adorn the dining tables and the Gryffindor common room will be festively decorated. Discover how filmmakers created the ice that never melts and touch the different types of ‘snow’ that were used for various effects in the production of the Harry Potter films.
Cost: £39 adult/£31 ages 5 to 15 (4 and under free)
Enjoy the sparkle of lights at Christmas at Kew.
Stroll through Kew Gardens’ Tunnel of Lights, gaze at the flickers of the scented Fire Garden and, should the music move you, belt out a karaoke number at the Christmas Juke Box. The lights will dazzle and delight until the 2nd of January.
Cost: £18 adult/£10 ages 4 to 16 (advance)
Contemplate humans’ relationship with nature at the Wellcome Museum.
One that older kids will get more out of, the new exhibition Making Nature: How we see animals looks at how cultural influences—from scientists’ ordering of animals to how museums display them—shape our ideas about nature. What is the effect on our planet of our separation from other animals? The exhibits range from a transgenic mosquito that is resistant to malaria to a chisel-toothed kangaroo rat from the Nevada Test Site.
Banish the post-Christmas comedown at the traditional burning of the holly and the ivy at the lovely Geffrye Museum. The outdoor event, on Friday the 6th of January from 3:30 to 5pm, includes carols, mulled wine and Twelfth Night cake. Mmm.