Exploring London on a Christmas Eve: Our hectic but fun day

I've been really enjoying this Christmas holiday. For the first time ever I'm neither working through the holidays nor flying to Finland to see family. I am just home, relaxing, not really doing much, spending an inordinate amount of time in pyjamas, and forgetting which day it actually even is. And it's feeling good! 

But to go back to our Christmas Eve... We had a very very busy one after deciding to really enjoy what London has to offer to get you on the Christmas mood. 

We had to wake up bright and early as we had some plans to meet the man of the day! Aili decided to write him a letter, all by herself, and hand deliver it to him at Royal Albert Hall. It said: "I bin good. Plp pony. Love, Aili, XXXXXXXXX". It means "Dear Santa, I have been good. Please can I have My Little Pony's? Love, Aili, Kiss kiss kiss".

family picture

letter for santa

letter for santa

girl reading a story

girl playing a piano

little girl in an elf hat

room decorated in snow

snow queen and wishing tree

little girl in an elf hat

santa at royal albert hall

santa at royal albert hall grotto

Once we got to Royal Albert Hall and loaded up on coffee, one of Santa's elves took us around the hall to complete musical tasks, story-telling, singing and meeting the Ice Queen, and leaving a Christmas wish on a wishing tree. We met Santa, and Aili gave him his letter and he gave her a little gift - a wooden flute, small kaleidoscope and jingle-bells. 

After Santa, we popped over to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park, or the place otherwise known as hell on earth. It was lots of blinking lights in a typical fairground style, lots of temptations for a four year old, who wanted all the rides, all the balloons, win all the games, and eat all the sausages. We skipped all the shows and the activities, as our little one was getting rather unmanageable. I have to tell you, without the kiddy input, it's a lot more chilled! About an hour and a half later, and our wallets £30 lighter, we went to do some last-minute shopping and came home for a traditional Finnish Christmas dinner. 

hyde park parrots

green parrot at hyde park

winter wonderland sign

german bratwurst at winter wonderland

ride at london winter wonderland

little girl eating a sausage at london winter wonderland

dad and daughter looking at rides at london winter wonderland


fishing game at london winter wonderland

family selfie

mum and daughter at london winter wonderland

kissing mummys tummy

And as the last thing of the Eve, we each got one gift. I'm Finnish and there you get all the gifts on Christmas Eve. As a nod to that cultural heritage, one gift on Christmas Eve is one of our family traditions now. 

And that was that for our Christmas Eve. It was busy, but fun, and next year, I think it would be nice to try do something similar again!  

getting a christmas eve gift

christmas lights


gifts under the tree

santas snack plate

What did you do for Christmas Eve?


  1. Id never thought of the Royal Albert Hall as a venue for Father Christmas but what a stunning location it makes. It looks quite magical in there and all the more exciting for being Christmas Eve. Winter Wonderland is one I'd love to visit too, it looks so festive and fun. One of these days I'd love to bring my kids to London before Christmas, even the lights int he streets would be exciting to them. It does sound like a great way to ensure a good night's sleep on the big night!

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

  2. What a lovely place for a Santa visit! Love the snow queen! How happy to get her my little pony! Love a good family tradition 😍 #countrykids

  3. We love Father Christmas at the Hall, it’s grand and sweet and cool! We were invited last year and wrote about! We have Ronanian heritage and similarly in my childhood got presents on Xmas eve rather than the actual day! This year we were in Maldives, so that was the main present to all of us! Vilu Reef though spoilt our kids with a present each day fir 5 days...;) Best wishes for 2018! #countrykids

  4. What a lovely Christmas Eve you had. Love the letter that Aili wrote to Father Christmas and how lovely to meet the Ice Queen too. I've only been to Winter Wonderland once (in my pre-parent days) and I'm not sure about trying it again with the kids in tow! I love that you also open a present on Christmas Eve as a nod to your cultural background - and lovely to see that Father Christmas did grant Aili's wish too! :-) #countrykids

  5. We loved visiting Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park this year- as I was old enough to stay out late into the evening and see the lights. Sounds like a hectic but very festive time was had by all! #CountryKids x


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