Feeling cooped up and in need of an escape? Take advantage of the quieter crowds and blow off the Christmas cobwebs with a walk around ancient buildings on the Houses of Parliament Christmas tour or see beautiful festive lights at Kew Gardens. 

1. Houses of Parliament: Christmas Holiday Tours

Join this rare 90-minute guided wander through the Commons Chamber and the Lords Chamber. Follow in the footsteps of the Queen at the State Opening and be inspired by Westminster Hall which is almost 1,000 years old
Houses of Parliament. Tube: Westminster. Until Jan 3. From £26.50.

2. Christmas at Kew Gardens

Not sick of twinkling Christmas lights yet? Then get lit at Kew Gardens. The incredible botanic gardens will be illuminated with all kinds of spectacular light shows and installations. 
Kew Gardens. Tube: Kew Gardens. Until Sun Jan 5. £18.

3. Tower of London Ice Rink

Go full Michelle Kwan and tear it up on the ice at one of London’s most famous landmarks. Skating not your thing? Tuck into seasonal food and sip mulled wine as you watch from the sidelines.
Tower of London. Tube: Tower Hill. Until Jan 5. £15.

4. Rekorderlig Cider Lodge

’Tis the season for not remembering the last time you were not hungover. Keep those merry good times going with a visit to Rekorderlig’s toasty cider lodge serving all sorts of cider cocktail concoctions. Skål!
South Bank. Tube: Waterloo. Until Jan 5. Free entry.

5. National Portrait Gallery

Make the most of the National Portrait Gallery before it closes its doors for refurbishment works for the next three years in June. See amazing exhibitions like ‘Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels’ and ‘Pre-Raphaelite Sisters’ before it’s too late.
National Portrait Gallery. Tube: Charing Cross. Until Jun. Free.

Find even more top things to do today in London, as selected by Time Out editors.

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