30 things to do in London in November – with kids!

There is a lot going on in London this November from storytelling and family-friendly concerts to the return of the Lord Mayor’s Show in central London. And it might only be November but this is the month when many of London’s Christmas festivities kick off. Christmas lights are turned on, Christmas markets get going, Christmas trees are decorated and the curtains are raised on Christmas shows.

This post has lots of ideas if you’re looking for the best things to do for Christmas in London with kids.

If you can’t quite get your head around the holiday season yet, however, then don’t worry. We’ve rounded up the best events, sights, festivals and more taking place this month. Here’s our top pick for things to do in London in November. As always, do let us know if you hear of anything else that we should add to this list!

Don’t forget that there are lots of free things to do in London with kids too, take a look at our top picks in this post.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I have been or could be if you click on a link in this post compensated via a cash payment, gift or something else of value for writing this post. See our full disclosure policy for more details.

Things to do in London in November with kids
Things to do in London in November

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Diwali making activities at Marble Hill House

Celebrate the Festival of Light with an hour-long craft activity at Marble Hill House in Richmond. Be inspired by prints and wallpapers and silks from the house, learn about the festival and its origins and then join in a procession with your lantern. Saturday November 6, Free.

Enjoy Bonfire Night

Remember, remember the 5th of November. Fireworks night is back with a bang this year after a very quite Bonfire Night in 2020. There are lots of local events taking place so do check your neighbourhood. For large-scale firework festivals try the following:

Alexandra Palace Fireworks are being held on November 6.

Battersea Park Fireworks are being held over two nights on November 6 and 7

Chiswick Park Fireworks Extravaganza is on November 4

Dulwich Fireworks Display takes place on November 6 and is a very family-orientated event. It is sold out for this year, however.

Wimbledon Park Fireworks takes place on November 6

Family Poetry Workshops at the RAF Museum

Held to tie with with Remembrance Sunday is this family-focused workshop at the RAF Museum that explores the theme of Remembrance through poetry. Visitors are invited to explore published poetry and to create their own poem. The event is aimed at 8 – 14 year olds. Sunday November 7. Free.

Peruvian Patterns at The British Museum

This event ties in with the British Museum’s exhibition Peru: A Journey in time and is aimed at Under 5s. Young visitors will be encouraged to find repeating patterns, discover textures, try weaving and paint a bag to take home. November 25. Free but you must book a free timed ticket to enter the museum.

UNIQLO Play at the Tate Modern

As part of the UNIQLO Play series at the Tate Modern children are invited to create their own works of art using a mixture of natural and reused material. The MAKE studio – Envision takes place from November 18 to January 16, 2022 on Saturdays between 10am and 6pm. A special session is held on Wednesdays from 10am to 3pm for families with under 5s. Free.

FriendsFest – the Festive One

FriendsFest is back this holiday period and is the perfect Christmas gift for a Friends-loving teen in your life. Sets from Friends will be put up at the Truman Brewery from November 25 – December 19 giving Friends fans the chance for plenty of photo opportunities and to act out their favourite festive moments from the hit TV series. November 25 to December 19, Tickets from £32, Under 5s free.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year at the Natural History Museum

The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is back showcasing 100 powerful photographs telling the story of a planet under pressure. Open until June 5, 2022. Tickets start from £15.50 for adults.

Family concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra

Enjoy the spectacle of a live symphony orchestra and have a go at playing or singing along with this family concert by the London Symphony Orchestra. Held at the Barbican on Sunday November 7, Tickets from £10 for adults, £5 for under-18s. Best suited for children aged 7 – 12.

Create your own mythical monster at the Old Royal Naval College

Learn about the creatures found in Greek myths and in the Painted Hall, and then create your very own mythical monster. Sunday November 21. Free. See the website for more information.

Palace Tales at Fulham Palace

Fulham Palace has inspired numerous stories over the centuries from ghostly poems to the Palace Cat. Enjoy storytelling, create your own zine and dress up as your favourite storybook character for a chance to win book vouchers as well as a signed copy of the Palace Cat! Sunday November 7. Free.

Don’t miss their Christmas Fair on the last weekend in November either with over 40 stalls of food and gifts. November 27 and 28. £5 for adults, £3 for children.

Waste Age at the Design Museum

This major new exhibition at the Design Museum examines how much waste we produce (a frightening amount) and what can be done about it. The exhibition explores how waste is being turned into everyday objects from making bricks out of used construction materials to insulation from sunflower stems. On until February 2022. Adults from £12.50, children from £6.

Beano at Somerset House

This exhibition at Somerset House has been receiving rave reviews. Beano: the Art of Breaking the Rules celebrates the history, impact, and joyful rebelliousness of the 80-year-old comic series. Come face-to-face with the Beano gang through original comic artwork and amazing artefacts, plundered from the Beano’s archive.

The exhibition runs from October 21 to March 6, 2022. Family of 4 ticket £38.

The Lord Mayor’s Show

The glorious pomp and pageantry of the Lord Mayor’s Show is back this year promising a spectacular parade with full-size model elephants, Japanese drummers and the golden coach, the oldest ceremonial vehicle in the world still in use. Saturday November 13. Free

Ancient Greeks at the Science Museum

Learn all about the ancient Greeks at the Science Museum with their new exhibition, Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom. Discover how this ancient civilisation understood the world from the night sky and sea creatures to musical instruments. 17 November 2021-5 June 2022. Free but booking required.

Go Ice Skating

The Natural History Museum and Canary Wharf opened their ice rinks in October so this month it’s the turn of Somerset House, Queen’s House Greenwich and the ice rink at Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. See more places to go ice skating here.

Regent Street Motor Show

Even if you’ve only got a passing interest in cars it’s worth taking a trip down to Regent Street on Saturday November 6. The road will be closed to modern-day traffic from Oxford Street to allow vintage vehicles to park up for the day. On display will be cars dating back 125 years including veteran, vintage, classic, and the very latest cars.

Christmas events taking place in London this November

Christmas in London with kids
Christmas lights on Oxford Street

Christmas at ZSL London Zoo

Meet Santa in his magical grotto at ZSL London Zoo and you might even return home with a gift (you must book visits in advance). For something even more magical, book a VIP Meet Santa ticket and the elves will sneak you into the Zoo before it opens to the public for a VIP Breakfast with Mrs Claus and then a meeting with the man in red. 

The Zoo also has a fun festive family trail to follow as well as a new sweet shop. The Magic of Christmas runs from November 27 to January 3 and tickets are available to buy now. 

Hogwarts in the Snow

The annual Hogwarts in the Snow opens its doors on Sunday November 13 and welcomes guests until Sunday January 16. The Great Hall will once again be dressed with festive decorations including trees topped with witches on miniature broomsticks.

New for this year is the Forbidden Forest, which will be draped in layers of snow, as well as the cobbled stones and magical shop fronts of Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut and the Hogwarts castle model.

Fans of the Harry Potter films may also enjoy this guided Harry Potter walking tour.

Southbank Winter Market

The festive alpine chalets of the Southbank Centre Winter Market are the place to go for seasonal food including fondue, bratwurst and mulled wine. This year a series of light-based artworks will decorate the trees along The Queen’s Walk. The market takes place along the South Bank and opens on November 4 running until December 24.

Christmas at Kew

Possibly the most magical light display to be found in London is Christmas at Kew. The annual after-dark trail through Kew Gardens includes sparkling tunnels of light, dancing waterside reflections and trees drenched in cascading colourful lights. The Palm House light display is always spectacular.

Drinks, including hot drinks such as hot chocolate, are for sale at various points along the trail along with food stalls and sweet treats. Last year Santa made an appearance as well.

Christmas at Kew opens on November 17 and runs until January 9.

Lightopia Crystal Palace

Lightopia this year is taking place at Crystal Palace rather than Chiswick House. The sparkling light display promises to bring the history of Crystal Palace to life and includes a recreation of the glass palace that gives the area its name. Lightopia runs from 19 November to January 2, 2022. Family tickets from £17.50 per person.

Winterfest Wembley Park

Wembley Park’s free winter lights trail, Winterfest, is back for 2021 and will be turning on its fairy lights from November 24 to January 9. This year’s theme is ‘Reunited in Light’ and features some old favourites, such as London’s largest LED tree, as well as new installations.

Christmas at the Tower of London

Enjoy a very Royal Christmas with a trip to the Tower of London where visitors can learn the history of the tower through the animals that once lived here. From majestic elephants and a winter wonderland scene were polar bears roam to a playful ravens nest. December 1 – January 3, 2022. Included in palace admission.

Snow in Covent Garden

Let is snow, let it snow! Starting from this week it is guaranteed to snow in Covent Garden every day. Flurries of snow will fall by the famous Christmas tree every hour from midday to 7pm starting from November 9.

Christmas at the Postal Museum

The Mail Rail is getting a festive makeover. The subterranean ride which takes visitors back in time to the heyday of the postal railway will be decorated for the holidays. 

Also on display are letters to Santa, which inlaces official cards from Father Christmas sent to children between 1963 and 2010. The first commercial Christmas card will also be on display in the museum’s permanent exhibitions space. Christmas at the Postal Museum runs from 3 November to 2 January, 2022. Admission is included in the entrance ticket.

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

London’s home for festive fun, Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland, is back again this year with the usual shows, rides, an ice rink, a magical ice kingdom and Santa Land. This year you’ll need to book your tickets in advance choosing what date and time you want to visit. Winter Wonderland does get very busy (although hopefully the ticketed entrance will keep numbers down) so you will want to take this into account when booking your tickets. Check the website for ticket prices

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland opens on November 19 and runs until January 3.

Christmas at Kenwood House

New kid on the Christmas lights block this year is Christmas at Kenwood House is a lights trail through the Hampstead Heath grounds. There’s also a Christmas market and refreshment stalls. The light trail opens on 26 November and runs until January 9, 2020. Tickets start at £16 per person for a family ticket.

See London’s Christmas Lights

London’s brilliant Christmas lights are switched on in November bringing joy and colour to the city streets. Carnaby Street unveils its ‘Carnaby Kaleidoscope’ display on November 4, 600 butterflies signifying rebirth, transformation, change, hope and life.

Covent Garden will be turning on its lights on November 9 and Belgravia a day later on November 10. The amazing angels along Regent Street come to life on November 13. The turn on date for the Oxford Street lights has yet to be announced.

One way to enjoy the best of London’s lights is on a Christmas Lights Bus Tour. Go one better and enjoy cakes and tea on a Christmas Afternoon Tea Bus Tour with Brigit’s Bakery.

The Homes of Christmas Past

The Museum of Home is dressing its period rooms for Christmas to show how the holiday period looked in times gone by. Find out where Boxing Day got its name from and why the Christmas tree first appeared in our homes. From November 9. Free.

Enchanted Woodland at Syon Park

The 600-year-old Gardens at Syon Park are being transformed for Christmas into an Enchanted Woodland. Now in its 15th year the trail winds through the arboretum, passing the sixteenth century Syon House, and ends at the spectacular Great Conservatory.

The light trail opens on November 12 and runs over a number of weekends during the holiday period. Check the website for dates. Tickets start from £10.

Things to do in London in February

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