It’s no secret that we love London, but the city is especially magical come Christmas time. Our favourite part of the city? Chelsea, where festive lights adorn the skies, Santa welcomes visitors to his grotto and magical horse and carriage rides whisk visitors around the neighbourhood. Here are all the festive things to get involved with in Chelsea this Christmas season.
What To Do In Chelsea This Christmas
Chelsea Christmas Lights Switch On
Chelsea will officially mark the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year on Saturday 18 November, when the neighbourhood’s festive lights will be switched on. Visit to bask in their glow, but make sure you don’t miss the switch on itself, which comes with a whole host of festivities in tow, plus exclusive discounts and pop-up bars and restaurants. Christmas will take over the area all afternoon – with a stretch of the King’s Road pedestrianised for the occasion – with family entertainment and Christmas magic roaming the King’s Road and Pavilion Road (from face painting to pop-up bars), and a special stage at Duke of York Square. Here, little ones can meet Father Christmas himself, who will be in attendance along with a selection of his (real) reindeer. He’ll press the all important button at 5pm (along with a special helper – a local child in need of a treat), which will see Chelsea bathed in gorgeous festive light as well as usher in a fireworks display and light show.
Meanwhile, adults can enjoy the Christmas market starring exclusive offers from your favourite brands. There will be pop-up bars from the Cadogan Arms and The Botanist, with a Crepe Stall outside Colbert and complimentary mulled wine outside Olivia von Halle on Pavilion Road. Plus, head to RIXO for an exclusive 20 percent discount with complimentary hot chocolate from their in-store bar, stop by the pop-up Superga stall for personalised trainers, or why not pick up a personalised bauble from the pop-up Peter Jones stall?
Details: Saturday 18 November 2023 along the King’s Road, Pavilion Road and at the Duke of York Square. Meet Santa’s Reindeer at Duke of York Square on the Green between 12.30–3:30 pm. Visit chelseachristmas.co.uk for a full list of offers and activities available on 18 November.
Speaking of the Duke of York Square, visit in the festive season to see a gorgeous floral installation created by All For Love London, inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas. Meanwhile, two glowing majestic crowns will grace the King’s Road, nodding to its heritage: the Road was created for King Charles II, the monarch who famously ‘brought back Christmas’ after Oliver Cromwell’s decade-long Puritan ban. Further down the King’s Road, visitors can also find the iconic ‘King’s Road’ lettering installation back for another year, and ripe for Instagram snaps (tag @kingsroad.london for a chance to be reshared).
Details: Until 31 December across Chelsea.
Festive Family Fun At The Chelsea Physic Garden
The beautiful Chelsea Physic Garden is readying itself to host a roster of festive events, from the Christmas Fair (23–26 November) to the Father Christmas Storytelling events taking place every Saturday and Sunday until 17 December.
Details: Until 17 December at Chelsea Physic Garden (66 Royal Hospital Rd, London SW3 4HS). See the full lineup and all of the details here.
Magical Horse & Carriage Rides
For a truly magical festive experience like no other, Chelsea is inviting visitors to hop aboard horse-drawn carriages for a wonderful 20-minute trip around the area. Seating up to six, this is a perfect experience for the whole family.
Details: 12–4pm every Saturday from 25 November until 16 December, departing from outside Kate Spade (2 Symons Street, London SW 2TJ). Sadly, pre-booking is not available. Instead, please ask the elf outside Kate Spade on the corner of Pavilion Road how to catch a ride.
If you can’t make it down to see Santa on 18 November, don’t worry: he’s actually setting up shop in Anya’s Grotto and Peter Jones throughout the festive season. At Anya’s Grotto, the man in red will guide you through a wonderland of candy cane forests and crunchy snow, twinkling baubles and icicle caves, ending with a festive story by the fire, all in the heart of Chelsea at Anya’s Village. Meanwhile at Peter Jones, little ones will have to work through an interactive experience (with the help of Santa’s mischievous little helpers) to crack the code and unlock the magical door to meet the man in red. Once inside, they’ll have a photo taken with Santa and receive a special gift, too. Furry friends aren’t missed here: dogs on the ‘nice’ list can also meet Santa at a special Santa Paws session, have their picture taken, and also receive a special gift.
Dine On A Delicious Festive Menu
Toast to good health and spirits this festive season at one of Chelsea’s lovely eateries. They’re pulling out all the stops this Christmas, with an array of special festive menus for all taste buds, from a three-course set menu at Al Mare at the Carlton Tower Jumeirah to a festive twist on pub classics with The Cadogan Arms’ ‘Festive A la Carte’ menu.
Details: Find more tasty festive menus across Chelsea here.
Musical Moments At Cadogan Hall
The beautiful Cadogan Hall will once again play host to a magnificent roster of festive performances this winter. Our pick is The Rat Pack at Christmas, who will perform twice on 16 December (at 2.30 and 7.30pm), singing festive hits from ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ to ‘Let it Snow’.
Details: Performances will take place throughout December. See the full line-up and book your tickets here.
Every weekend, sparkling performers will sing your favourite festive tunes across Chelsea. Think roaming gospel choirs, vintage singers and local choral societies accompanied by the likes of a flaming saxophone, Nutcracker soldiers on stilts, and enchanting dancing from the Optioscopes and a duo performing in a giant snow globe. Plus, feel festive with angelic melodies from the Christchurch and Holy Trinity school choir singing at 4pm on 1 December.
Details: From 1–5pm every Saturday and Sunday until 16 December 2023.
Meet The Helpful Elves
Santa’s team of friendly elves will take a break from present packing each Saturday. Instead, they’ll pay a visit to Chelsea to ensure everyone remains on Santa’s nice list. They also happen to know a lot about Chelsea, so don’t hesitate to ask them for directions or ask about entertainment and restaurants.
Details: Every Saturday until 24 December across Chelsea.
Stay up to date with Christmas in Chelsea at chelseachristmas.co.uk