What's on in London this November 2016 near Kensington
November in London is chilly but never cold enough to stop us from going out to have some fun. Just as we get used to kicking the autumn leaves in the parks the Christmas lights appear and London sparkles.
The sparkles start early this month as we have Bonfire Night on 5 November with lots of firework displays across the country.
Why? It's all because of a foiled attempt to blow up the Houses of Parliament over 400 years ago that we have this annual celebration. It's always an evening event, usually in a public park, with a bonfire, a fantastic pyrotechnic display and often lots of warming food on sale. It's fun to 'ooh' and 'aah' at the fireworks with friends, and it's family-friendly too.
The nearest firework display to Fraser Suites Queens Gate is at Ravenscourt Park, near Hammersmith, and the display is on Saturday 5 November.
CHRISTMAS AT KEW
Later in the month Kew Gardens has it's popular evening illuminations trail. Opening on 23 November, and on until 2 January 2017, it's a one-mile sparkling path around the Gardens and a great reason to be there after dark.
There are timed tickets to visit between 5pm and 10pm (last entry 8.15pm) to see the botanical wonderland. There are brightly colored laser beams dancing over water, a Tunnel of Lights, scented Fire Garden and fairy-tale avenues of flora. Santa and his elves are in the North Pole village, plus vintage rides and traditional festive fare (that means mulled wine to me!)
HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
In central London we've got plenty of festive fun too at the Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Opening on 18 November (and on until 2 January 2017), it's open 10am to 10pm daily and is free to visit.
As well as the rides, food, drink and Christmas market for gift shopping there are attractions to enjoy and it's worth booking your tickets in advance.
A special addition for this year is The Imperial Ice Stars and their dazzling production of The Nutcracker on Ice inside the Winter Palace Theatre. The 60-minute show is set to Tchaikovsky’s most famous score with world-class skaters to astound and mesmerize audiences.
Further attractions include the UK's largest outdoor ice rink, The Magical Ice Kingdom – An Arctic Adventure, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show and the Giant Observation Wheel with heated pods giving wonderful views across London.
SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS FAIR
If you like to get your Christmas shopping completed before December, the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia London is for you. On from 31 October to 6 November, the Fair showcases some of the UK's best boutique brands with over 750 independent retailers and designers.
The Fair has quirky and beautiful choices for everyone including home and fashion ideas, baby and child treats, decorations, health and beauty to jewellery and men's. Not forgetting gift ideas for you too.
If travel is your preferred treat, do also visit the Luxury Travel Fair (3-6 November 2016), also at Olympia London, offering a collection of the finest and most unique once-in-a-lifetime, luxury travel experiences.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM ICE RINK
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink opened on 27 October and remains on the Museum's East Lawn until 8 January 2017. The Ice Rink is open late every night (until at least 10 pm) so is a wonderful skating location when the Museum is lit in the evenings.
The Cafe Bar is available for non-skaters too and there's a viewing platform to look down on your friends doing their Torvill and Dean (or Bambi) impressions. It's a good place to warm up after skating with a delicious hot chocolate too.
I mentioned the V&A's latest blockbuster You Say You Want a Revolution: Records & Rebels 1966-70 in the September recommendations. To coincide there's Glastonbury: Land and Legend, also on until 26 February. It's an immersive film and sound installation about Glastonbury Festival with previously unseen footage captured on site in 2014.
Set up in 1970 by Michael Eavis on Worthy Farm, and rooted in the hippie culture of the time, Glastonbury today remains a platform for people to come together to explore alternative societal narratives and tribes.
The display celebrates the festival from different perspectives and through changing environments and happenings; from hard work to revelry, sunrise to sunset, spring to winter, and mud to green fields.
For something completely different, and the V&A does those extremes well, have a look at the David Garrick display on until 26 February 2017.
David Garrick (19 February 1717 – 20 January 1779) was perhaps the most famous English actor before Laurence Olivier. Less well known is his passion for book collecting. Garrick assembled a private library of considerable range and distinction, which offers an entertaining if unconventional perspective on his professional and recreational interest.
This display, which marks the 300th anniversary of Garrick's birth, showcases a selection of his books alongside manuscript and graphic materials to illuminate his complementary roles of performer and bibliophile.
TEDx LONDON SALON
The first TEDxLondonSalon at the Science Museum is on 18 November to explore the end of ageing.
The four speakers are from across science, technology, education and the arts, and the host for the night is actor and comedian Steve Coogan. He plans to address why the creative arts and comedy hold the key to communicating important ideas in science, technology and medicine.
Tickets include all talks, plus an after-party in the one of the Science Museum's stunning galleries.
Following the Salon, videos of all the talks will be published online at tedxlondon.com allowing anyone anywhere in the world to enjoy the discussions for free.
Dominic Cooper makes his West End debut as the most notorious rogue in Restoration England in this thrilling new production of The Libertine at Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Based on true events, Stephen Jeffreys' sharply written, comic play tells the story of the charismatic poet and playwright with a legendary appetite for excess. The life of debauchery lived by hedonistic John Wilmot, the second Earl of Rochester and a close friend of King Charles II, knows no bounds. That is until headstrong actress Elizabeth Barry (Ophelia Lovibond) makes an appearance at the Playhouse. Could she finally be the one to tame him?
By choosing to stay at Fraser Suites Queens Gate, you will be in the heart of Kensington, and a short ride away from some of these great events happening in November. Check out our Special Offers and we hope to welcome you soon!
You can also explore what is happening near Canary Wharf by clicking here
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.
Image credits required:
Christmas at Kew: © Jeff Eden, RBG Kew