Step away from the Quality Street, London beckons. December 26 doesn’t have to mean sofa loafing and rubbish telly. We round up better ways to spend Boxing Day – from trekking across the roof of the O2 to chilling out at an exhibition.
Kew’s seasonal makeover continues into the post-Christmas period with a vintage carousel on Kew Palace Lawn and lots of family activities. Self-guided walks help you find the plants that are at their best during winter. And from December 22 to January 4 admission is free – although you should book in advance online. 9.30am-4.15pm. Free.
The Zoo is one of a handful of attractions open on Boxing Day (others include the London Aquarium and the London Eye) and it’s a great place to escape the winter chill – Butterfly Paradise is kept at a balmy 32 degrees, while Rainforest Life is about as tropical as London gets in December. 10am-3pm (last entry). £20, £15.50 children.
The Perfect Place to Grow
Where would we be without the Royal College of Art? As this engaging exhibition of RCA alumni reveals, the school that began life in 1837, with the aim of teaching teenage boys to design for industry, has had a huge impact on our visual and industrial culture. 10am-5.30pm. Free.
Up at the O2
A 90-minute expedition across the domed roof of the O2 is exhilarating and your efforts are rewarded with views stretching from neighbouring Greenwich to the Olympic Park. Tours take place whatever the weather (you could be very glad of the protective gear supplied). Noon-6pm. £22-£28.