Things to do in London this December: Christmas events, fun activities and great parties this month

Lizzie Thomson

You can have yourself a merry little Christmas in London this December thanks to a number of festive events that are popping up throughout the month.

For those stubborn Scrooges, there’s also plenty of other non-festive activities to enjoy from themed club nights to street food giveaways.

These are the London events that will get those sleigh bells jingling this December.

Sh*t Indie disco

Remember the days when Pete Doherty was doing more than just eating enormous breakfasts? Relive his musical heyday at Sh*t Indie Disco which returns to Dalston for a Christmas shindig offering floor fillers from the nineties and noughties. Expect bangers from The Strokes, Kasabian, The Kooks, MGMT, Franz Ferdinand, Bloc Party, Oasis, Stone Roses, Foals, The Killers and more — plus a free shot for the first 50 through the door. What’s more, anyone inked with a Libertines, Smiths or Arctic Monkeys-inspired tattoo will get in for free.

December 14, 451 Queensbridge Road, E8 3AS,tickets.designmynight.com

Deptford Bites at Christmas

Deptford Market Yard will be hosting a Christmas extravaganza on the second Saturday of the month. Winter bites will come in the form of cheese toasties from the Toasty Badge, vegan hot dogs from Nooch and a variety of Indonesian treats from Kaki Lima. Winter warmers including hot cocktails, mulled wine and Baileys hot chocolate will be on sale for anyone looking for a boozy pick-me-up. The south-east London market will also host live music and carol performances from local choirs.

December 8, Deptford Market Yard, SE8 4BX, deptfordmarketyard.com​

Smile Train’s Christmas Carols Concert

Global children’s charity Smile Train is putting on a Christmas Carol Service at Mayfair’s Grosvenor Chapel which is the very chapel that features in Richard Curtis’ hit Christmas film Love Actually — you know, when the band pops up Keira Knightley's wedding. The evening promises festive hymns, mince pies and Christmassy drinks and all the money goes towards children living with untreated clefts in developing countries — so don your best Colin Firth-inspired turtleneck and head on down.

December 6, 24 Audley Street, W1K 2PA, grosvenorchapel.org.uk​

Toymaker’s Workshop at German Gymnasium

Inspired by the markets of Bavaria, this King’s Cross haunt is decking out its outdoor terrace with wooden huts, winter foliage, fairy lights, cosy throws and vintage toys. German Gymanium's executive chef Bjoern Wassmuth will also be laying on a festive terrace menu with winter classics such as roasted fresh chestnuts and a selection of Germany’s favourite sausages, including currywurst and bratwurst. Wintry refreshments will be provided by gin experts Monkey 47.

Until January 31, King's Boulevard, N1C 4BU, germangymnasium.com

Orchestra Orange - A Live Rendition of Frank Ocean

(JOE KLAMAR/Getty Images)

Frank Ocean’s 2012 album Channel Orange masters musical storytelling with its poetic tracks which fuse funk, soul and film-like audio clips. To pay homage to the album, musicians and collaborators — including a full string section — will join forces to host a live orchestral rendition of the popular record. The event at XOYO will journey through the seminal album, covering all tracks from Thinking About You and Sweet Life to Pyramids. Bring the tissues, it’s going to be emotional.

December 20, 32-37 Cowper St, EC2A 4AP, eventbrite.co.uk

The Nutcracker

(Tristram Kenton)

The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker returns for six weeks with its festive tale of Clara and her magical nutcracker — all set to Tchaikovsky's famous score. The run will star Steven McRae as The Prince and Sarah Lamb as The Sugar Plum Fairy. It really is an unforgettable Christmas treat for the whole family.

From December 3 - January 15, Bow Street, WC2E 9DD, roh.org.uk

Hip Hop Karaoke Christmas Special

Whether you prefer throwback anthems from Biggie or more recent bangers from Drake and Kendrick, there’s plenty of hip hop tracks to choose from at this karaoke event. Good folk will receive presents from Santa including free entry to future events. The night will feature a live contest to crown “the best wrapper of all time”, which will see two hopefuls attempt to wrap their Christmas presents whilst rapping live on stage.

December 20, 1-5 Curtain Road, EC2A 3JX, queen-of-hoxton.eventcube.io

Maltby Street Christmas Night Market

It may be cold outside but Maltby Street's seasonal after-dark markets promise lashings of Christmas treats and warming drinks. Located beneath Bermondsey’s Dickensian-like railway arches, the popular food market will run every Friday in December in the run up to Christmas. Guests can chomp on festive dishes from around the world and sip on wine while listening to carol singers. If this doesn’t make you feel festive, nothing will.

December 7, 14 and 21, Rope Walk, SE1 3PA, maltby.st

Sub Cult Party at Boxpark Shoreditch

To celebrate its move to Boxpark Shoreditch Sub Cult will be throwing a 90s-themed housewarming party. Naturally, there will be plenty of food on offer, including 350 free sliders to give away. Meat lovers can opt for a Piggy Smalls with slow roasted pork shoulder, a Shaun Slyder featuring a beef patty and a KLF KFC containing Korean-fried chicken. Other special-edition subs include the Sole II Sole made with crispy lemon sole, the Prawn Slippy with prawn and avocado and the Cypress Grill containing halloumi.

December 12, 2-10 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6GY, eventbrite.co.uk

Christmas Carol Climbs at the O2

Thrillseekers can enjoy their carols with a dizzying twist this year as the O2 will be putting on carol concerts 52 metres above ground. Once on the viewing platform at the top, budding climbers can listen to carols from some of London’s top choirs while taking in the breathtaking views of the city’s skyline. During the climb, expert guides will be on hand to share their historical London knowledge every step of the way.

December 14 - 16 and December 21 -23, Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX, tickets.aegeurope.com

Art Car Boot Fair

Stuck for Secret Santa presents? This art car boot fair promises plenty of bargains just in time for Christmas. Setting up in Vauxhall on December 9, the boot sale will be selling pieces from just £3 a pop. Open from 12pm-6pm, the event will offer artworks from a mix of emerging and established artists, including hand-painted matchboxes for £3 each and Brexit-themed sticks of rock by artist Dion Kitson for £5.

December 9, 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1, artcarbootfair.com

An evening of cheese at Borough Market

It’s the season of the cheeseboard and what better way to stock up than by visiting Borough Market’s very own evening of cheese. More than 20 of the market’s renowned cheesemongers will be offering cow, goat and sheep’s milk cheese from UK and International producers. Cheesy experts will be on hand to dish out advice on how to make the perfect festive board and what wines to pair with each product.

December 12, 8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL, boroughmarket.org.uk

A Christmas Carol at the Old Vic

(Helen Maybanks)

Nothing beats a show at Christmas time and this one is an absolute classic. Charles Dickens’ immortal work A Christmas Carol returns to the Old Vic adapted for the stage by Jack Thorne — the man behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre show. Matthew Warchus’ production immerses the audience in the uplifting story by offering mince pies, music and merriment.

The Cut, SE1 8NB, oldvictheatre.com

Marylebone Gin pop-up

Mulled wine and eggnog isn’t for everyone, so Marylebone Gin is opening its first ever pop-up to cater for those who want to to stick to non-festive tipples during the party season. The drop-in bar will be on New Quebec Street and will offer cocktails as well as a vibrant programme of masterclasses and talks during its two-week duration.

December 3 - 17 (closed on December 10), New Quebec Street, W1H 7SD

Head to St. John for a new beer

(Steve Ryan)

Award-winning nose-to-tail restaurant St. John will have a new Eccles stout on tap throughout the festive period, in collaboration with 40FT Brewery. Eccles cake and Lancashire cheese is one of the restaurant’s most famous dishes so the partnership seems like a fitting idea. The boozy treat will be available to buy from December 6.

From December 6, 26 St John St, EC1M 4AY, stjohnrestaurant.com