International Christmas

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays

Columbia Road Christmas Wednesdays are back! For three special Wednesdays during the month of December only, the shops in the hidden gem of East London are opening their doors from 5-9pm for late night Christmas shopping, mulled wine, and caroling.

Though famous for its Sunday Flower Market, Coumbia Road is home to some of the most unique shops in London! The shops feature an array of items from vintage jewellery and clothing, home & garden essentials, art, and even old-school candies. There are many delicious restaurants offering a variety of foods sure to satisfy your palate as well. Shops are typically only open on Sunday during the hours of the flower market from 8-3pm, hence making Christmas Wednesdays an event not to be missed!

The first Christmas Wednesday took place on December 3rd. The last two events are on December 10th & 17th so be sure to save the date!

Visit Colombia Road’s web site to learn more about happenings in the area, including the famous Sunday Flower Market—another must-go event!

Location: The road can be tricky to find which adds to its allure. Easiest to reach by bus but can walk from Bethnal Green tube or other nearby train stations.

Cost: FREE (and the Sunday Flower Market is too!)

‘Tis the season to be shopping!

Kristmas Cheer

Advertisements
Categories: Free Things to Do Abroad, International Christmas, London | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Trafalgar Square Oslo Tree Lighting

The 68th Oslo Tree lighting took place in Trafalgar Square on 4th December 2014. This event marks the official start of the Christmas season and the Oslo tree symbolizes the friendship and peace between England and Norway. In 1947, the City of Oslo gave the Norweigian Spruce as a gift to London as a thank you for British support during WWII. The tradition has continued ever since and will continue for years to come if, as said by a speaker of the evening, ‘they keep taking them, we will keep sending them’.

Known as the Queen of the Forest, the Oslo tree stands at 20-25 metres tall (this year the tree was 21 metres) and is between 50-60 years old. The tree is selected from forests around Oslo and cared for for months, sometimes even years prior to the big event! In November, the tree is taken down at a ceremony which the Lord Mayor of Westminster, British ambassador to Norway and the Mayor of Oslo attend.

The tree then travels by sea to England and is secured by a well-trained rigging tree in the coveted spot of Trafalgar Square. The Oslo tree is then decorated in traditional Norweigian fashion with vertical strands of 900 LED lights draping the tree and a bright star is placed on top.

The event was hosted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster and the Mayor of Oslo did the honors of the switching on of the lights. St Martin in the Field choir filled the Square with traditional hymns and carols throughout the evening.

The tree will continue to light the heart of London until 6th January 2015, otherwise known as the 12th Day of Christmas.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross

Cost: FREE

Also in the area: National Portrait Gallery, Covent Garden piazza and Christmas lights, Southbank Christmas Market, Somerset House ice skating

‘Tis the season to be blogging!

❤ Kristmas Cheer

Categories: All Blog Postings, Free Things to Do Abroad, International Christmas, London | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Regent Street Christmas

The Regent Street lighting on 16th November 2014 was quite a spectacular! With family friendly activities, live dance performances, and photo ops in the Night at the Museum inspired photo booth kicking off the event from noon, there was something fun for everyone.

Surprise guest stars included a performance from the cast of Jersey Boys, Jessie Ware, The Jack Pack (Britain’s Got Talent winners), and the British boy band, Union J. These celebrity guest stars entertained the crowd for hours and Union J joined Emma Bunton, formerly known as Baby Spice, and Heart Radio co-host Jamie Theakston on stage in the countdown to the turning on of the lights!

Not only did the lights brighten up the whole of Regent Street, but a special fireworks show illuminated the sky with radiant colors abound. Check out Regent Street’s lights by 6th January 2015…and while you are at it, check out the hanging arrangement of lights set-up along the whole of the ever so popular Oxford Street just around the corner!

Nearest Tube: Oxford Street

Price: FREE

Categories: All Blog Postings, Free Things to Do Abroad, International Christmas | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Carnaby Christmas Shopping Party

Just a short walk down the alley ways behind Oxford Circus station lies the hidden gem of Central London–Carnaby Street! This year Carnaby kicked off Christmas in style with their Christmas Shopping Party on Thursday, 13th November.

A 20% discount was offered at over 100 shops, restaurants, and bars in the area, and event goers enjoyed free goodie bag giveaways, photo shoots, and make-overs! At 6:30pm, Carnaby Street was lit up with the help of the upbeat DJ group, the Fox Problem Girls, who kept the party going for the rest of the evening. Music and snow foam made for the perfect Christmassy atmosphere!

Other freebies included free drink (which I am assuming was a refreshing mojito), wine, hot dogs, and mac ‘n’ cheese!

Make sure to check out Carnaby Street’s beatboxing Christmas theme before it’s gone on 6th January 2015! And for more on how to celebrate your Christmas in style, visit Carnaby Street’s site.

Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus

Price: FREE!!!

Merry December 2nd!

❤ Kristmas Cheer

Categories: All Blog Postings, Free Things to Do Abroad, International Christmas, London | Leave a comment

Covent Garden Christmas Lighting

Covent Garden got Christmas off to a festively early start with the big tree lighting on November 4th! Some may say this is too early to start celebrating, but let’s be real–when do we ever get to appreciate the holidays anymore with our hectic and busy schedules? What a change of pace it is to be encouraged to slow down and take in the Christmas spirit early as a little reminder that the holidays are right around the corner and if we don’t appreciate it now, it will be over before we know it.

And besides, with London turning from day to night at the early hour of 3pm in the winter time, it is nice to have some Christmas lights brightening up the cold, dark city for a full 2 months!

The lighting event was complete with a childrens choir singing carols, snow to accompany the turning on of the lights, mulled wine, and FREE donuts from Crosstown Doughnuts!

Visit the Covent Garden Piazza through January 6, 2015 and enjoy the beautiful lights surrounding the market while splurging a bit at the shops! BONUS!– Every Saturday from noon-4pm, there will be a LIVE reindeer to take pictures with and feed a few nibbles!

Want even more fun?? On Saturday, December 6th, Covent Garden will host the 34th Great Pudding Race! Proceeds go towards Cancer Research UK so round up that team of yours, suit up with matching costumes, and let the games begin!

Merry December 1st!

–Kristmas Cheer

Categories: All Blog Postings, Free Things to Do Abroad, International Christmas, London | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.