If you happen to be in London around the winter holidays (whether you live there or you’re just visiting), you’re in for a treat. Imagine walking through the world of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and you have an idea of the nostalgia and beauty that touches London at this time of year. The city, which is an all-around mix of the modern and the historic, is a beautiful sight to behold when it is lit with a million twinkling lights and dusted with a light powder of snow. But no area is quite as festive and fun to visit as the West End, and in particular, Covent Garden. So if you’re looking for a new holiday tradition that blends evocative traditions with contemporary aesthetics, there are more than enough reasons to head over to Covent Garden.
For one thing, there are interactive displays and events galore set to delight and amuse both those who are looking for them and the unwary traveler who happens to come upon them unawares. Aside from the many wonderful light displays placed by shop proprietors, you can opt to take part in a technological marvel that starts with a little kiss under the mistletoe. If you go to the main tree (which is bedecked with 50,000 LED lights) and give your honey a smooch under the mistletoe that is hanging there, you will set the lights, which are programmed to respond to human touch, awhirl. This neat bit of techno-wizardry will cost you a grand total of nada, although you are welcome to make a donation to charity.
Of course, you won’t be lacking in fun activities, either. The bright lights are a great draw, but if entertainment is what you seek, you won’t be disappointed. The festivities kick off on November 24th with International Kiss Day, an opportunity for couples to film a kiss and a message to send to friends and family around the globe. From there visitors can enjoy a slate of entertainers such as choral performers (not to mention the ever-present street performers) and kids can participate in activities like petting Santa’s reindeer in the Piazza, listening to seasonal stories, and making arts and crafts. And don’t forget that there is always tons of great shopping, dozens of theatre shows to attend, and a smattering of museums (including the famous London Transport Museum) to visit.
But that’s not all. You can also enjoy the many fine-dining establishments scattered throughout the area. And some of them will be offering traditional holiday foods throughout December (be sure to check out the Real Food Market, in particular). Whether you have a craving for mincemeat pies, mulled wine, oysters, or Christmas pudding, you can likely find whatever food your palette desires and satisfy the sentimental aspect of the season.
In short, there’s no better way to get yourself in the holiday spirit than by visiting Covent Garden. You can take in the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the season, inundating your senses with enough Christmas cheer to last you right on through the holidays. So have yourself a hot-buttered rum as you listen to carols, sneak a smooch under the mistletoe, and shop for anything and everything you need to make this season special. You can have it all during this festive time of year, and it’s courtesy of Covent Garden London.
Shirley Simpson writes for AdvanceMe, the nation’s leading merchant cash advance provider and credit card factoring company.