This weekend, we were invited down for a day out at Leicester Square to experience some of what’s on offer for families over Christmas. We often go to Leicester Square for the cinemas, but there is so much more to see and do there too, especially during the holiday season while the Christmas in Leicester Square festive pop up is around!
We started our day in Cineworld Leicester Square, which has been host to many of the Square’s 50 plus star studded movie premieres, some of which we’ve been lucky enough to go to, but had never tried out the 4DX cinema experience before!
We tried out Cineworld’s 4DX and got a taste of a few of the movies available to watch in this format including Disney’s The Nutcracker which I loved, Fantastic Beasts the Crimes of Grindelwald and Aquaman – both of which look really exciting. There are other selected movies also available in 4DX including the new Grinch movie. The 4DX seats are really large and comfy, and the special effects include water, wind and movement which definitely add a lot of thrill and novelty to the movie making it more special especially for the kids. Each child needs to be a minimum of 4 years old and 102cm to watch these movies, as it could be scary for very young kids, but the boys loved it! (ages 7,8 and 10)
After our time in Cineworld, we went to check out the Star of Leicester Square – the Christmas in Leicester Square pop up! This includes a beautiful traditional Christmas market, and a 1920s Spiegeltent which is home to performances for kids and adults during the festive season. There is also a Santa’s Grotto which can be found within the market area.
The Christmas market has a lovely variety of stalls, with beautiful gifts to buy and browse, and plenty of food offerings which the boys were impressed by including Chocolate fountains, choose your own fudge, mini pancakes, Halal Sharwarmas and more. They loved the hot chocolates with marshmallows and cream from the drinks stand just as you enter the market.
As soon as you come into the Leicester Square Christmas Market, you instantly feel all festive as it’s beautifully decorated, and can’t help but put you into a good mood. It’s much quieter earlier on in the morning, and then gets livelier as the day goes on. So if you’re visiting with very young children I’d say go in the morning and if you like a bit more hustle and bustle for the atmosphere then go after lunch.
The grotto is also available in the market for groups of 20 children, with a story from Santa and a present for each child.
A visit to a show in the Spiegeltent at the front of Christmas in Leicester Square is also a great way to make your visit special. There are a variety of family friendly shows available, and some others for the grown ups later on. You can see the full list here
We saw the Brat Kids Carnival show which is a crazy and quirky circus themed show, with high energy fun. It’s noisy, silly and with plenty of audience participation. Each show is 45 minutes long and tickets are available from £10.25
You can get a feel of the show from this little video…
After the show, we moved on to MOD Pizza which is located within Leicester Square and is a brilliant restaurant when out with the kids as the service is very fast – but not at the expense of quality. We really rated MOD Pizza, and will definitely come here again.
Each pizza is made on demand using fresh ingredients. You can choose from over 30 different toppings, and the price remains the same regardless of the number of toppings. Plus, there are vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options too! The boys wanted to mix and match, by getting margaritas with a couple of different toppings added each, which was easily accommodated and it’s great to see the pizza being made in front of you too as you can see that everything is nice and clean. You pay up front when ordering, so no waiting around for the bill at the end, and there are high chairs available with plenty of seating upstairs and downstairs.
We finished off the day in the LEGO store which is a brilliant addition to Leicester Square. I can’t believe we hadn’t taken the boys there before! There are two floors of LEGO with some amazing builds that you can take your pictures with, plus a huge range of any sets that you’d want to buy including the new Harry Potter sets (which I am so tempted by because they are amazing!) and the largest Star Wars sets. The store is also home to the LEGO Mosaic Maker photo booth, a nifty machine that creates a personalised LEGO portrait, which would be a great Christmas present for any LEGO fanatic.
We were given a tour round the store to learn some cool facts about some of the builds – like this dragon, which we found out that there is a dragon model like this in every flagship LEGO store, but each one is a bit unique. So as you can see this one is a proper Londoner with his hat and umbrella, but the Shanghei store has a Chinese style dragon. However, our London Leicester Square LEGO store is the largest one on the planet!
There are also amazing London Underground, Big Ben and London Skyline builds, and at the moment there is a giant Harry Potter sorting hat. The boys were even sorted into their Hogwarts houses using LEGO bricks – we had 2 Ravenclaws and 1 Gryffindor!
LEGO are also running a lovely Build to Give scheme for Christmas, which you can take part in on the upper floor. For every build made in store, one LEGO set will be donated to a child in hospital. Here’s Z’s little present that he made. There are loads of examples and ideas in store for things like Christmas trees, candy canes.. or you can make whatever you like! Of course I couldn’t escape without buying some LEGO for the boys, and they came away with a LEGO Minecraft set each which they had fun putting together at home while I had a relaxing cup of tea after a busy day!
We had such a lovely day out together. London at Christmas is magical, and Leicester Square offers plenty for all ages so it is definitely worth planning a trip in, whether you’re a Londoner or just in town for a few days.