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What's on in London this December 2017 near Kensington

This month we are into winter and the festive season is upon us. London is sparkling with all the Christmas lights on and we've got lots of reasons to enjoy your time in London with friends and family.

NUTCRACKER

One of my favourite Christmas traditions is seeing the English National Ballet production of Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. It's on from 13 December 2017 to 6 January 2018 and is truly magical.

It takes over 100 dancers and musicians to bring the story to life with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky's well-known score played live.

On a sparkling Christmas Eve in a frost-dusted Edwardian London, Clara and her enchanted Nutcracker doll discover a magical world. Here, she battles with the Mouse King and meets a handsome stranger. As the air grows colder, Clara and her valiant Nutcracker take a hot air balloon ride across London to the glistening Land of Snow where her adventure really begins.

WINNIE THE POOH

For more nostalgia, the V&A has a new display of everyone's favourite bear. Winnie-the-Pooh – Exploring A Classic opens on 9 December (and runs until 8 April 2018). The exhibition reveals the story behind the creative partnership of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepard and the factors contributing to the phenomenal success and enduring popularity of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Designed for both children and adults, visitors are led on a multi-sensory journey into Hundred-Acre Wood to rediscover these classic books.

Drawing on the V&A's collection of pencil sketches, proofs, letters and photographs, and many key loans, this exhibition welcomes another generation into A.A. Milne's magical, intimate, joyous world. In addition, the original manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh from the Wren Library at Trinity College will be on display for the first time at the V&A.

PANTOMIME

Pantomimes are fantastic family theatre and one of the best in town is Dick Whittington at the London Palladium. It's over-the-top, it's silly and the audience is allowed to boo the baddies. What's not to love?

The Palladium's pantomime cast is always exceptional and this year there's Julian Clary as The Spirit Of The Bells to help Dick Whittington (Charlie Stemp) on his journey through the streets of London. Clary's character's nemesis is Queen Rat played by Elaine Paige who looks just as youthful as she did at the start of her career.

The all-star cast is completed by Nigel Havers as Captain Nigel, Gary Wilmot as Sarah the Cook and Ashley Banjo & Diversity as The Sultan & Sultan's Advisors.

OLYMPIA HORSE SHOW

The annual Olympia Horse Show is always popular as it includes dressage, show jumping and driving. On from 12 to 18 December, each performance includes an equestrian competition along with a variety of displays from around the world.

As well as the horsemanship skills to see, there is an opportunity for buying Christmas gifts too at the Shopping Village. With over 250 shops selling a range of goods from all things equestrian to fashion, jewellery, wines, gifts, novelty items, and fine art, the Village has something for everyone.

Even if you don't ride, the show is great fun. The Kennel Club dog agility trials are always worth seeing as is the Shetland Pony Grand National.

SUPERBUGS

If the winter weather has brought on the sniffles, find out more about antibiotic resistance at the Science Museum. Superbugs Fight Our Lives is a free display on the ground floor until spring 2019.

Superbugs kill almost 700,000 people a year globally and by 2050 this could rise to 30 million. Examining antibiotic resistance at the microscopic, human and global scale, this exhibition features remarkable scientific discoveries from across the globe and reveals the personal stories of those waging war on superbugs.

The exhibition includes a digital interactive examining the microscopic world of bacteria and reveals how Bdellovibrio bacterivorous (a bacterium that eats other bacteria) and bacteriophages (a virus that infects bacteria) battle superbugs.

As well as stories from a superbug survivor to healthcare professionals preventing infections, the exhibition explores how robotic chickens and listening to pigs coughing can help farmers reduce agricultural antibiotic use.

HAMILTON

Reopening the restored and expanded Victoria Palace Theatre on 6 December, Hamilton transfers to London's West End following a multi-award-winning run on Broadway. Winning a phenomenal 11 Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize, it has been one of the most successful musicals in Broadway history.

It tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, a young immigrant who went from being a lowly orphan to become one of America's founding fathers and the right-hand man of General George Washington.

Along the way Hamilton gets entangled in the country's first sex scandal, and had the difficult task of making an untrusting world believe in the American economy.

And, yes, it's a musical. So you'll hear America's history told as never before with an original music score blending hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap and R&B.

CHOCOLATE WORKSHOPS

Hotel Chocolat are hosting free chocolate workshops for adults at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink Café Bar each week. The dates this month are 6 and 13 December with workshops at 7-8pm and 8-9pm each evening.

Expert chocolatiers will help you explain how chocolate tastes with plenty of samples to try. You can also make your own tasty chocolate creations to take home and devour.

It sounds like a lovely way to relax after skating or to start the evening in the Café Bar watching over the ice rink.

NEW YEAR'S EVE: UNDER THE SEA

The Natural History Museum has a special New Year's Eve evening event on 31 December to welcome in 2018. New Year’s Eve: Under the Sea is inspired by Hope, the blue whale, in the newly redeveloped Hintze Hall.

The Museum is open until 1am so you can explore the Dinosaurs gallery, wander through the Wonder Bays, come out of your shell on the dance floor at the silent disco, try your luck at Musical Bingo or sing along with the crowd for Massaoke (mass karaoke) before counting down to midnight.

There's a complimentary drink when you arrive and bars will serve drinks and light refreshments throughout the night.

If you are planning a trip in London this December, check-out Fraser Suites Queens Gate special offers and promotions! We are located in the heart of Kensington and surrounded by tourist attractions. 

 

Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.

 

Required image credits: Credit: © The Shepard Trust  |  Enterobacter cloacae, Enterococcus faecalis |  English National Ballet's Nutcracker © Laurent Liotardo