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Steve Dinneen
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HYDE PARK WINTER WONDERLAND
The Hyde Park Christmas extravaganza is your one-stop-shop for everything festive. Get a few snaps of the kids bobbing on Santa’s knee, wander through snowy Christmas markets and check out a show in the circus tent. Take time out on the big wheel, where you can look down on everyone else getting into the festive spirit. Adults can settle down to a Christmas cocktail in the Carousel bar, where you can sit astride a wooden horse while you quench your thirst.

COVENT GARDEN REINDEER
What better way to prepare for the big day than petting a real life Rudolph-the-Red-Nosed Reindeer (red nose not guaranteed). Head down to Covent Garden to check them out every Saturday until Christmas, and for one last farewell on 29 December. Children will get the chance to feed the reindeer, which their owners are confident are perfectly friendly.

BOROUGH MARKET FESTIVITIES
Borough market’s seasonal offering is already underway, with traders selling mulled wine along with their usual assortment of multi-cultural cuisine. The Market will be open for an extra trading day in the run up to Christmas and it promises to become “an atmospheric winter wonderland, bedecked with traditional decorations and host to carol singers,” which should get you in the mood to part with your cash.