Good tidings we bring!
This season, we have plenty of festive treats in London's eight Royal Parks to give you that Christmassy feeling. Think horse drawn carriage rides through Richmond Park, the return of the glittering Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, and Christmas tree shopping in three Royal Parks.
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Royal Parks.
1. Visit the magical Hyde Park Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland is a spectacular Christmas destination with something to excite people of all ages. Choose from one of our popular attractions, experience the thrilling rides, take a trip to Santa Land, browse the Christmas markets and enjoy the festive fare.
The event is open everyday from 10am to 10pm until 3 January (excluding Christmas Day). We recommend that you book ahead and visit us during midweek, especially if you have little ones, where you can experience it at a more leisurely pace.
Book ahead for Ice Skating, The Magical Ice Kingdom, Zippos Circus, Giant Wheel and Bar Ice. Advance tickets guarantee fast-track entry into Hyde Park Winter Wonderland!
Make the most of your day by visiting the official Hyde Park Winter Wonderland website where you can view the event map and all of the activities and attractions on offer.
2. Enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride through the largest of the Royal Parks
Step into a four person landau carriage drawn by our beautiful greys, and enjoy the stark wintry beauty of Richmond Park.
The experience will include a unique behind-the-scenes visit of the working stables at Holly Lodge. Proceeds will fund sustainable conservation initiatives with the working Shire horses in the Royal Parks.
Refreshments and blankets are provided.
Tickets sell out fast so book yours now via The Royal Parks Foundation website.
3. Buy a sustainable Christmas tree in a Royal Park
Pines and Needles are selling a fine selection of fresh cut, sustainably grown Highland Christmas trees in Bushy Park (Diana Car Park), Richmond Park (Roehampton Gate Car park), and Greenwich Park (Bower Avenue).
Lights and decorations will also be available, so you can get everything you need to make your tree sparkle.
Money from the sales of Christmas trees goes towards supporting the work of The Royal Parks.
More info here.
4. Buy a special memento of London's Royal Parks
Stuck on what to buy your loved ones for Christmas? Buy them a gift inspired by one of our parks, on the Royal Parks Foundation website.
You can buy deck chairs designed by a host of celebs including Ronnie Wood and Alexander McQueen, as well as candles, tote bags, books and sportswear.
All profits raised support the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity for the Royal Parks, to fund projects from education, wildlife conservation and landscape restoration, to community sport and art.
5. Help decorate a 10 foot Christmas tree in Greenwich Park
Get your creative juices flowing this Christmas by picking up a clear bauble at the Pavilion Cafe and filling it with whatever you choose – a wish, a photo or something festive! Each bauble will be used to decorate the 10 foot Christmas tree that will take centre stage in the Pavilion Café.
Baubles available for a small donation and all proceeds will be reinvested in Greenwich Park.
6. Create art for 'A Right Royal Buzz' exhibition
The Royal Parks, The National Gallery and Mall Galleries have collaborated on a community engagement project which aims to teach the public about the importance of pollination through the medium of art.
Participants will join Community Artist in Residence, Alex Hirtzel, to create 3D flowers inspired by The National Gallery's famous still life paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Jan Van Huysum.
Flowers made on the day will be displayed in 'A Right Royal Buzz' exhibition to be held in February.
All ages welcome.
7. Visit Frieze Sculpture Park until 10 January
If you haven't already, schedule a visit to the Frieze Sculpture Park in The Regent's Park which is free and open until 10 January. Set in the English Gardens, the Sculpture Park is selected for the fourth consecutive year by Claire Lilley, Director of Programmes at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Some of the sculptures on offer include an over-sized snake ring in polished concrete by Kathleen Ryan, a new solar powered light and sound piece by Haroon Mirza, and a tetrahedral tree-like form by Conrad Shawcross.
8. Have your work Christmas lunch in St James's Park
Nestled among the trees of St James's Park, Inn the Park is an innovative cafe restaurant that is transforming into an alpine inspired chalet this Christmas, complete with fur blankets, sledges and cosy corners.
Using the best seasonal British produce, their expert chefs have created menus full of festive flavour to make your work Christmas lunch truly memorable.
Inn the Park will also have a stand directly outside selling mulled wine.
9. Watch the Peter Pan Cup on Christmas Day
Swimmers have been taking to the water in Hyde Park since 1864, to race against each other in an icy 100 yard swimming race before going home to tuck into their Christmas dinner. The race is only open to members of the Serpentine Swimming Club but members of the public can watch for free.
Date: 25 December, 9am at the Serpentine Lake, Hyde Park.
For more information visit the Serpentine Swimming Club website.
10. Guided walk of Richmond Park on Boxing Day
Walk off that extra helping of Christmas pud by joining the Friends of Richmond Park for a guided stroll on 26 December.
Meet at Roehampton Gate car park in Richmond Park at 10am. The walk is free and will last approximately two hours.
For more information click here.