Fed up of relentless festivities? Want to escape Christmas for a few hours (or longer)? Head to these London events without a bauble, Christmas light or carol singer in sight. We can’t guarantee you won’t encounter these seasonal afflictions on the way to these events, but if you want to go full Grinch, here are a few tips.
Wildlife Photographer at Natural History Museum
A jaguar killing a caiman in front of your eyes is one way to shake out any Christmas spirit inside you. That’s just one of the photos on display at this year’s excellent Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at Natural History Museum, but don’t worry, they’re not all that gruesome. A daydreaming leopard adds a touch of ‘awww’, and a flying fish photographed underwater is ethereal. Until 1 July 2019.
The Sun at Science Museum
Bask in the glow of a different light source at Science Museum’s exhibition The Sun: Living With Our Star. The family-friendly show touches on the history of humans’ relationship with the sun, how it can be used in healthcare, and how we may use it in the future for solar energy. It’s a huge exhibition with lots to take in, so make sure you pause in one of the deckchairs on the fake beach. Until 6 May 2019.
Circus at Southbank Centre
It may be part of the ‘Winter’ festival, but beyond that, there’s not much festive about the contortionists, jugglers and high-wire performers of Southbank Centre’s Circus 1903, which arrived in the UK fresh from Las Vegas. Fans of War Horse are in for a treat, as elephant puppets created by the puppeteers behind that show are used on stage. Until 5 January 2019
Lord of the Rings film marathon at Prince Charles Cinema
Shut yourself in a dark room away from Christmas lights and immerse yourself for over 12 hours of Hobbit action. The excellent Prince Charles Cinema screens the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended versions, naturally) back to back, running from 9 at night round to the next morning, on three different dates. Acquaint yourself with the rules and etiquette before signing up. 1 (sold out)/15/29 December
Champions Tennis at Royal Albert Hall
Enjoy the luxurious settings of the Royal Albert Hall without having to endure another Christmas concert. Instead see former world no 1 and Grand Slam winning tennis players battling it out and showing off their skills. John McEnroe makes his final Champions Tennis appearance, along with Jamie Murray, Tim Henman and plenty of other big names in the tennis world. 6-9 December
Seussical the Musical at Southwark Playhouse
It may be timed as a Christmas show, but according to our theatre reviewer, there’s not a single mention of the C-word in this show of musical madness, featuring characters from the Dr Seuss books. Ideal if you want to treat the kids, but could do with a couple of hours off from questions about Santa. Until 29 December.