Christmas at Covent Garden, Flickr: aguichard

Last Year at Covent Garden for the Holidays!


London’s historic Covent Garden has announced its 2012 festive season calendar, and it promises several weeks’ worth of fun events and activities for the whole family. From shopping for gifts (and for yourself) at big brand retail shops such as Disney and Apple as well as from local artisans to catching performances by buskers or simply grabbing a pint in an age old pub, Covent Garden is an excellent place to soak up some especially London-y atmosphere … and particularly so at Christmas. Here’s look at some of this year’s Yuletide highlights.

Christmas Lights

Giant baubles, glitter balls and more than 150,000 lights are already lit and rival the displays on nearby Regent Street and Oxford Street.

Christmas Tree

The towering Christmas tree shimmers with 50,000 red baubles, and Covent Garden’s Market Building has been transformed into a winter wonderland of oversized candy canes and other decorations. Sparkling lights shimmer above the heads of shoppers, creating a dazzling illumination that starts in the Piazza and fans out along adjacent Russell, James, King and Henrietta Streets.

Christmas Food Market

Starting November 27th and running until December 20th, Covent Garden’s usual Real Food Market will experience a holly, jolly makeover with food vendors offering a range of foodie gifts and treats. The stalls are open on the North Piazza from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every Thursday, giving you plenty of time to graze the selection of gourmet nibbles, gifts and mouth-watering dishes.

Real Reindeer Petting

Yes, real live reindeer will be at Covent Garden on the East Piazza every Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., from November 10th; from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Kids can hand-feed and pet them, and Dasher and Dancer et al have promised to stay still for some great photo opportunities.

Camp Carols

Adding a seasonal and especially festive soundtrack to your shopping and sightseeing, the London Gay Men’s Choir will perform every Saturday from November 24th until Christmas singing traditional – and not so traditional – holiday tunes.

Even more!

The Garden’s now iconic 15-foot tall topiary reindeer, the world’s first advent calendar made entirely from LEGO bricks, and of course plenty of Christmas gift shopping opportunities all make a holiday visit to Covent Garden a must.

To stay up to date with all the Christmas-related happenings in and around Covent Garden visit

Grab your flight to London and be merry this holiday season at Covent Garden!

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photo: aurélien

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