England, London

Christmas In London | Natural History Museum Ice Rink

November 2, 2016
Natural History Museum, London - PinayFlyingHigh

I love the Christmas season is an understatement if I say it so myself. I grew up in the Philippines where Christmas decorations are up and Christmas songs played as early as September 1st. Yes, we Filipinos believe that Christmas season starts when the ber months start. I believed in Santa Claus as a kid up until an alarming and embarrassing age of… I’d rather not say because it will seriously hurt my reputation. So yes, Christmas is a huge deal for me.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

Unfortunately when I left the Philippines to work and live in Dubai in 2007, I haven’t had a full on Christmas celebration. Although Dubai was very accommodating to Christian traditions with all the Christmas brunch, Christmas decorations, Christmas markets and Christmas trees in hotels and malls (did you know that at some point, Abu Dhabi had the most elaborate and most expensive Christmas tree in one of its hotels?) – it still didn’t feel the same as celebrating it in a predominantly Catholic country like the Philippines where everyone’s on a holiday for a week during Christmas and New Year. I did appreciate everything though specially since it was a Muslim country and Christmas isn’t really a part of their culture.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

The Christmas spirit went down the drain more when we moved to Doha where Christmas celebrations are scarce (and so freaking expensive). Qatar is a lot more conservative than Dubai so I was somehow expecting that the elaborate Christmas decorations I used to see in Dubai will be non-existent in Doha unless it’s inside a hotel. Thankfully, not long after that – we moved to London where Christmas is a huge celebration once again! Can I hear a woot woot?

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

I’ve listed all the Christmas-themed events and places in London and I plan to visit EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I kid you not, I’m definitely going to everything that I can go to. I’ve missed Christmas so much and I plan to make up for it this year. Not going to waste anytime.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

So for my first Christmas-themed bucket list is the Natural History Museum Ice Rink which reminded me so much of the Blue Cross RiverRink Winterfest in Philadelphia. With the beautiful architecture of the Natural History Museum as your backdrop, the ice rink is absolutely stunning specially with all the fairy lights decorating the trees surrounding it.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

The Cafe Bar overlooks the ice rink and offers food and refreshments. I had my first taste of mulled wine here, a very popular Christmas/winter drink which was sweet, warm with a bit of red wine kick. I’m not really a skater, I’ve only ice skated once in my entire life so I spent most of my time at the Natural History Museum Ice Rink at the Cafe Bar watching the skaters glide below me.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

There’s also a carousel opposite the ice rink which added a magical feel to an already enchanting atmosphere of the place. I ended my night by going inside the Natural History Museum for their after hours, with a glass of prosecco while admiring the dinosaur exhibit inside.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

I’m still finding these all too weird for me. I came from a place where activities and events are scarce or private and then moved to a place where there’s just so much to see and do no matter what time of the day it is. I can’t wait to see all the other Christmas-themed events and activities around the city which are all starting in the coming days.

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

Plan your visit to the Natural History Museum Ice Rink

Ticket Prices:

Adult: from £12.65
Child: (12 and under): from £8.80
Family: (2 adults, 2 children or 1 adult, 3 children): £39.60
Members: Save 10%
Student: £9.00 – includes a drink
Parent & toddler: £11 – includes a drink

Dates and Timings:

The Naturally History Museum Ice Rink will be up and running from October 27 to January 8 and will be closed on Christmas day, 25December. Generally, the ice rink is open from 11am to 9pm however depending on the dates of your visit – you might want to check their website if you plan on going there later in the evening, on the weekends or during New Year day itself.

Important notes:

Each skating session lasts for 50 minutes.
Skate hire is included in the price but you can also bring your own skates.
There’s a cloakroom for bags and coats which costs GBP2 per item.
You don’t have to have a ticket if you just want to walk around the whole area. You only need a ticket if you wish to ice skate however, you can also just enjoy watching the skaters from the Cafe Bar which is what I did without the need to buy a ticket.
Nearest underground station is South Kensington.
The Natural History Museum Ice Rink is open from October 27 to January 8 and closed on December 25.

For more Christmas in London festivities, do visit the below posts:

Christmas Ice Rinks in London
Natural History Museum
Skate at Somerset House

Street Christmas Lights in London
Oxford Street
Bond Street
Carnaby Street
Covent Garden
Seven Dials
Regent Street

Christmas Markets in London
Christmas in Leicester Square
Southbank Centre Winter Festival
Kingston Christmas Market
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Christmas Walking Tours
Christmas Walking Tour Part 1
Christmas Walking Tour Part 2

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Natural History Museum Ice Rink, Christmas in London - PinayFlyingHigh.com

Natural History Museum Ice Rink, Christmas in London - PinayFlyingHigh.com



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78 Comments

  • Reply Erin Gustafson November 9, 2016 at 15:25

    Love it! That tree in the middle of the rink is amazing! Glad you are back in a place to fulfill all your Christmas dreams! Cheers from Copenhagen and God Jul as the Danes say! Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles – can’t wait to see where you take us this week! Erin

  • Reply Jessica Munday November 8, 2016 at 10:32

    I love Christmas will have to visit the ice rink. Great photos!

  • Reply Bumble Bee Mum November 7, 2016 at 16:15

    Wow.. I’ve read a lot about the Natural History Museum in London (mainly the dinosaurs part) but I never knew they had a ice-skating rink during Christmas! It look so magical. I love that vantage carousel too! #FarawayFiles
    Bumble Bee Mum recently posted…Shinjuku Gyoen (Tokyo) in AutumnMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:36

      Thank you very much. There are a lot of things I didn’t know about London that I’m just learning about now. :p Will share everything as I go. 🙂

  • Reply Rosie Hill (@EcoGitesLenault) November 7, 2016 at 10:02

    So beautiful – my boys would love this although I’d be happy watching from the side with a warm drink to sustain me! I love the Natural History Museum but have never been when the ice rink is there. #farawayfiles

  • Reply Katie November 5, 2016 at 20:20

    This looks so magical!! 🙂 I will be heading here this Christmas, just fantastic! 🙂 I love Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park but the ice rink is always so busy there!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 15, 2016 at 20:37

      Are you still here in London Katie? I hope you’re having a great time!

  • Reply Eva | Travel The Whole Wide World November 5, 2016 at 20:09

    Enjoy your Christmas time 2016! If you ever come to Munich during Christmas time, make sure to check out all the Christmas markets: http://travelthewholewideworld.com/munichs-christmas-markets-my-top-5/
    I promise you’ll like them!

  • Reply Bidisha November 5, 2016 at 13:41

    This is wonderful. I hope you have an awesome time this Christmas. You have given me serious travel goals now! 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 14:31

      Thank you, I’m sure I’m going to have a fantastic time. 🙂

  • Reply Faith Coates November 5, 2016 at 13:20

    Headed into town next week to see the lights and skating rinks and so looking forward to checking out the rinks. My husband is a little annoyed at the ticket prices and the fact he left his skates in Canada, but I promised him hot chocolate and lots of lights..lol

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 13:27

      Maybe thrown in a good dash of mulled wine too? LOL. I don’t really know if it’s expensive or not since I don’t skate hehehe. I hope you have a great time here! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah November 5, 2016 at 12:13

    I had no idea the Philippines were as Christmas obsessed as the UK! When I moved to the UK I thought it was impossible for anywhere to be MORE Christmas obsessed than here!

  • Reply Katie @ The Katie Show Blog November 5, 2016 at 10:39

    I hope I love anything as much as you love christmas! Haha! This is an awesome post and it was so interesting not only to see the London activities but also get some insight into how it is celebrated in the Philippines, Dubai and Qatar. Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Juliette | Snorkels to Snow November 5, 2016 at 01:34

    I’ve heard the UK does Christmas really well, although I’ve only travelled there during warmer months. Would love to experience Christmas in London though! And I’d spend most of my time down at the ice rink as I’m a figure skater! It looks like the perfect setting. It’s funny, coming from NZ, Christmas is all about BBQs and beaches, not winter activities!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:38

      I always thought that it’s weird. While the rest of the world’s having a cold time, New Zealand and Australia’s having the warm months. :p

  • Reply Amanda November 4, 2016 at 17:35

    I’ve been to the Christmas markets on the Thames but never the ice rink at the natural history museum-looks very fun and christmassy! I’m so excited for holiday lights and mince pies!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:40

      Do you remember what the name of the Christmas market in the Thames that you went to? I’d love to check it out as well. 🙂

  • Reply ada November 4, 2016 at 17:29

    make sure you visit winter wonderland ! I know its very touristy but also magical ! you gonna love it !

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:41

      I’ve taken a note of when the Winter Wonderland is going to open this year, not touristy for me at all. LOL.

  • Reply Hanna November 4, 2016 at 08:12

    We rented a house from London few years ago for Christmas. Your post brought back so many nice memories -and reminded me that we have not been in London since 🙂
    Hanna recently posted…Our family’s 6 favourite parks in DubaiMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:42

      Did you also go to the ice rinks dotted around the city then? 🙂

  • Reply Lolo November 4, 2016 at 07:53

    I just love how ice rinks pop up in the winter all over London! I’ve never been to London during the winter, so I’ll keep this is mind for when we go one day1 #FarawayFiles
    Lolo recently posted…Cochem & the Reichsburg CastleMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:43

      You’re very near London, you should definitely come here during this season. And I will go over to your neck of the woods. :p

  • Reply Paige Brown November 4, 2016 at 03:01

    Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year! I just love the decorations, the music and the jolly spirit all around! I’ve never been anywhere but the U.S. for Christmas, but next year I’ll be in SE Asia, actually, perhaps the Philippines! I would love to go to Europe for the Christmas season some time though, and London is a top contender! They really go all-out on this ice rink don’t they! Look at all the lights!
    Paige Brown recently posted…Dawn at Monument Rocks, KansasMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:34

      Then you’ll see how everyone will start talking about Christmas in the Philippines as early as September. :p

  • Reply Cathy (MummyTravels) November 3, 2016 at 22:02

    Can you believe I’ve never been on the Natural History Museum rink (I have been at Somerset House and the Tower, which are both pretty magical). My daughter decided last year, when she saw it on a visit to the museum itself, that this year she’d be big enough to skate with one of those penguins so maybe we’ll both finally get to try. #farawayfiles
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:45

      Is it not a popular place to go for skating then? I’m waiting for the Somerset House and Tower to open theirs. My goal really is to see all the Christmas events here. Lol.

  • Reply Claire November 3, 2016 at 18:21

    I love outdoor ice rinks, they are sooo Christmassy! The Natural History Museum is fabulous too, I remember going there when I was a kid and loved it – will have to go again in winter to do both these things!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:47

      I haven’t really explored the museum yet but planning to do that tomorrow. :p

  • Reply Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) November 3, 2016 at 18:15

    I can’t believe how Christmassy it looks already! I love Christmas too but don’t tend to start thinking about it until late November so I’ll be in my Grinch mode until then. However…you’re sort of convincing me. Your pictures look so inviting and I can see that you need to start early if you’re going to do EVERYTHING. London really is lovely at Christmastime so I shall expect to see lots of your gorgeous photos celebrating that over the next couple of months! I love that you took a prosecco into the museum afterwards – it sounds so decadently indulgent. Thanks for sharing this with us on #FarawayFiles
    Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) recently posted…Faraway Files #5My Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:46

      I was deprived of Christmas for 9 years in the Middle East so being in London, witnessing their Christmas decorations is like me being a kid in Disneyland. I’m absolutely loving it here! :p

  • Reply Gemma November 3, 2016 at 17:58

    I absolutely adore Christmas in London. It’s like the city comes alive with festive cheer. And apparently we will have snow this year!! (We’ll see if it’s true haha)

  • Reply Ivy November 3, 2016 at 17:20

    Haha! I remember your IG post and thinkin- these Filipinos really know how to live life! I love what London’s done with the ice rink- super festive! I’m still waiting for the Christmas decor to go up in Vancouver. We usually wait until after Remembrance Day before getting festive as a sign of respect, so I’ll have to wait another 2 weeks before the festivities begin!
    Ivy recently posted…How to See Kyoto in 2 DaysMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:39

      That makes sense to put it up after the Remembrance Day as a sign of respect. But yeah, we’re hardcore Christmas fans in the Philippines. Lol.

  • Reply Diana - MVMT Blog November 3, 2016 at 16:58

    I love the Christmas spirit as well! There are ice rinks scattered across Chicago, where I live, in the winter, but I love that there is a Christmas tree in the middle of the ice rink you were at. The design with the cafe on the balcony overlooking the ice rink is perfect.

  • Reply Jo November 3, 2016 at 16:54

    I was in UK for 40 days and “Saw” the ice rink when I was visiting the Natural History Museum but didn’t skate (one reason – I am nervous and mostly fall on my bum lol). It looks so magical during this time of the year – doesn’t it? I love Christmas too – I had no idea it was big in Philippines, not so much in India, sadly 🙁
    Jo recently posted…Nongriat – The Hidden Gem of MeghalayaMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:55

      LOL. I just watched them as well because I’d fall on my bum too if I do skate. :p

  • Reply Katy Clarke November 3, 2016 at 16:45

    Yay, we are going there with the kids for their first ice skating experience in December. I just know you are going to have a wonderful festive time here but I just need to say one thing as a fellow Christmas obsessive .. TOO EARLY!! hee hee I am a traditionalist and the tree goes up on 1st December. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles
    Katy Clarke recently posted…Faraway Files #5My Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:48

      HAHAHAHAHA! Our apartment is too small to have a tree, can I see yours? :p

  • Reply Hilary November 3, 2016 at 15:45

    This museum is one of my favorites and your photos make it look like London is a winter wonderland!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:47

      I haven’t really been inside the museum except for that day when I went there for after hours. I should go there one of these days.

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) November 3, 2016 at 15:35

    I’d love to ice-skate here #farawayfiles
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  • Reply Samantha Elisabeth November 3, 2016 at 14:13

    Ahhh I love Christmas lights! I didn’t even know there was an ice rink here!

    I felt a little similar moving to Korea for two years. While the country does have a strong Christian population, Christmas just isn’t the same for them. They already have their big family holidays– Seollnal and Chuseok. Christmas is far more secular. It’s actually known as a couple’s holiday!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:51

      I’m imagining Seoul to be a great place to have Christmas decorations at. I’m quite surprised that they don’t have it there. But then I didn’t really know that there’s a strong population of Christian as well in Korea. Lol.

  • Reply Aparna November 3, 2016 at 13:58

    It really looks dreamy! I love the holiday season too! But seriously, in Philippes they start in September???? Hahaha! We are shocked in the US when Christmas decorations are up before Thanksgiving (end of november) 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:54

      Yes, hehehe. And nobody’s shocked really. Countdown for Christmas starts on September 1st. :p

  • Reply Nicki November 3, 2016 at 10:54

    OH MY GOD! Did I just walk into a fairy tale??? This has to be the most amazing Christmas scene ever. I am going to go bug my husband to go LOL

  • Reply Nuria November 3, 2016 at 09:03

    So magical. My favourite city and favourite season mixed, AMAZING 😛 I am going to re-visit London for Christmas this year and am about to go ice skating somewhere… the Ice Rink in front of Natural History museum looks very very cool 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:40

      Favorite city and favorite season, well you’re really going to have a fab time here. 🙂

  • Reply Jessica C November 3, 2016 at 06:49

    I love love love these kinds of Christmas-y activities. It’s what makes the holiday season feel so festival. We have a couple skating rinks built in Amsterdam for the holidays too…and you just talked me into going this year! I’d go to this one in London if only I was there in December!
    Jessica C recently posted…My Solo Trip to ParisMy Profile

  • Reply Eric November 3, 2016 at 06:43

    Fantastic photos! Christmas in London seems special and magical. It really makes my feel like it is Christmas already! Also, I never knew Filipinos started playing Christmas music as early as September!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:52

      Lol. Everyone’s getting surprised with how we celebrate Christmas in the Philippines. :p

  • Reply Hung Thai November 3, 2016 at 04:24

    Wait… so this place is decorated for X-mas all year long or is this just super early decorations? And did you say the Philippines start the celebration as early as September? Man… you guys are crazy. And I thought we were horrible over here with X-Mas stuff on sale in November. I wonder if Germany is as crazy…
    Hung Thai recently posted…Career Fatigue and Life Changes at 30My Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:52

      Hehehe. Yes, we’re hardcore Christmas fanatics in the Philippines. :p Decorations at Natural History Museum was put up October 27. 🙂

  • Reply Lydia@LifeUntraveled November 3, 2016 at 00:31

    Christmas lights (especially white ones) are so pretty and romantic. You must’ve been like a kid in a candy store! 😉

  • Reply Naomi November 2, 2016 at 22:21

    Lucky you! I feel Christmas decorations were invented in London! I’d love to check out that ice rink, it looks so magical! Enjoy the next few months!
    Naomi recently posted…Train des Merveilles: Wonderful Day trip from Nice, FranceMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 3, 2016 at 23:42

      Hahaha! Well it’s good that I’m now living where Christmas decorations are invented. :p

  • Reply Amanda Williams November 2, 2016 at 21:24

    This is great. The Natural History Museum is my absolute favourite place to visit in London but I have never been at Christmas when the skating rink is there. What a fun thing to do for a day trip. It looks so festive and magical. I hope you’re enjoying London.

  • Reply PINAYSKATTEBASSE November 2, 2016 at 20:37

    Merry Christmas! “Ang regalo ko?” (typical line after greeting) Hahaha
    PINAYSKATTEBASSE recently posted…London – Ping Pong Bow Bells HouseMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High November 5, 2016 at 12:50

      HAHAHA! Last time I checked, hindi ako ang ninang mo. HAHAHAH.

  • Reply Natasha Welch November 2, 2016 at 18:53

    Oh wow this looks so so pretty! I’ve lived in London my whole life but never got round to skating here, I’m definitely gonna give it a go this year! Thanks for all the super useful info and ticket prices 🙂

  • Reply Stace November 2, 2016 at 18:34

    This looks magical. Ive only been to london in the summer but seeing this is making me want to book a ticket for christmas!

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