WHATS ON: DECEMBER
Image: Winter Wonderland
The capital is transformed into (literally) a winter wonderland during this month, and as we salute this hectic decade, we can enjoy one of London’s best talents: making the festive season a Christmas lover’s dream. This is our guide to whats on in December.
Christmas Festivals and markets anybody? Come and meet us at the Dressing Sustainably panel, get lost in a sea of chromotherapeutic light bulbs, kiss your crush on the tallest panoramic wheel, or let the female representatives of the Pre-Raphaelite enchant you at the National Gallery. December, we got you covered.
Image: Eccelstone Yard
The Belgravia spot hosts Chromotherapy Christmas, an installation created by artists Squidsoupthat will be on all month. Taking inspiration from the ancient healing concept of Chromotherapy, visitors will be able to play with 500 individually suspended orbs and voice experience that explores the wonders of colourful illuminations. ‘Wave’ is an all-encompassing, immersive experience that will contribute to a calming energy balance for the visitor. Visitors will find themselves entranced as they walk through the installation, listening to evolving hypnotic harmonies: the vibrations projected by the different orbs will energise the body (orange), stimulate happiness (yellow) and calm the heart rate (blue).
Eccelstone yard, all month, free entry
SKATE AT SOMERSET HOUSE
London’s most famous Ice Rink and its opulent40ft Christmas tree celebrate 20 years at Somerset House. One of the capital’s best-loved winter traditions offers skating lessons, late-night DJ sets on the ice and – new this year – a Skate All-Nighter on Saturday 7th December. This year’s Skate Lates line-up welcomes Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, hip hop turntablist DJ Yoda and London collective Krankbrother, with a range of cocktails on offer throughout the evening (Baileys Hot Chocolate highly recommended). Wheelchair users are welcome.
Adult tickets from £11.
170 years after the first pictures were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849, this new stunning exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery explores the neglected contribution of women to this iconic artistic movement. Featuring new discoveries and unseen works from public and private collections across the world, this show reveals the women behind the pictures and their creative roles in Pre-Raphaelite’s successive phases between 1850 and 1900. The exhibition will feature Joanna Wells, Fanny Cornforth, Marie Spartali Stillman, Georgiana Burne-Jones, Maria Zambaco, Jane Morris, and many more.
National Portrait Gallery, all month, tickets from £18
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival returns, like clockwork, with fun-filled family shows, festive goodies, markets and pop-ups. You can experience the thrills and daredevil entertainment of a turn-of-the-century circus at Circus 1903, returning with new acts for 2019 including the Brazilian Wheel of Death, whileSaddle up for our five-star retelling of Black Beauty. Plus, sensory play installation and family favourite Soundpit is back, and we’ve got a world premiere from Fascinating Aïda, a new photographic exhibition London Is Love and our New Year’s Eve Spectacular, with a front-row seat to London’s iconic fireworks.
Image: Southbank Centre
If we would have the Olympics of Christmas, Winter Wonderland would be the winner. The annual festive theme park is back for its thirteenth year: entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and you can head along for cheerily-lit fairground rides, a child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa’s grotto) and quaint Christmas markets. Not to miss is the world’s tallest transportable Observation Wheel, a new theme ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Magical Ice Kingdom, and the UK’s largest open-air ice rink.
Hyde Park, free entry
MARK LECKEYO’ MAGIC POWER OF BLEAKNESS
The Turner Prize winning artist (one of the most influential contemporary artists) curates this large scale exhibition: he will transform Tate Britain’s galleries with a life-size replica of a motorway bridge on the M53 on the Wirral, Merseyside, where the artist grew up. Investigating topics such as the relationship between popular culture and technology, youth, class and nostalgia, it will feature a new audio play focusing on a group of teenagers. Inspired by folklore and by the artist’s own pre-adolescent experiences, it will be a not to be missed art show.
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