There’s no doubt that Christmas in London is going to be different this year, but it’s definitely not cancelled. Canary Wharf is one of the neighbourhoods keeping the festivities going, all safe and socially distanced of course. Shops, cafés, bars and restaurants across the Estate are open, meaning you can start crossing off those Christmas lists, while the bars and restaurants are ready for you to drink and dine with your households and bubbles. There are also two seasonal pop-ups and an open-air light exhibition to spread the festive cheer. COVID-secure systems are in place throughout the Estate, meaning you can feel safe whilst enjoying the festivities.

The wide range of shops in the area span everything from fashion to tech, and everything in between. With the likes of SpaceNK, Calvin Klein and Zara in Cabot Place, Kiehl’s in Jubilee Place, and Samsung and Levis in Canada Place, you can grab some great gifts for someone special. Once you’ve built up an appetite, grab a bite from Humble Grape on Mackenzie Walk, The Alchemist in Reuters Plaza or the Big Easy in Crossrail place. With the mix of shops and restaurants, Canary Wharf is a great place to get your Christmas shopping done and have a little pit stop along the way.

This year, shopping at Canary Wharf is even better thanks to the All Wrapped Up pop-up. Run in partnership with The Fabric Wrapping Co, a gift-wrapping station will be in Jubilee Place from Saturday 19th – Wednesday 23rd December. If you spend £50 or more (can be across multiple purchases, bought from one or more of the retailers on the Estate) you’ll be able to get one of your gifts wrapped in a fabric scarf using the traditional Japanese technique of Furoshiki free of charge. Not only is this more eco-friendly than paper gift wrap, the scarf is a gift in itself so it’s a double whammy of a present. The service is limited to one gift per person and should not exceed the value of £250. Sizing limits and restrictions apply.

Once you’ve done your retail therapy and had a bite to eat, you’ll want to go exploring because Canary Wharf has launched Connected by Light, a new light exhibition across the open spaces and gardens in the area. Nine new light artworks will feature, including Tetra Park by Mandylights – a series of geometric stars at Westferry Circus. Additional installations include floor projections; luminous orbs; and disappearing illuminated texts, all being installed alongside eight other permanent pieces in the area. Connected by Light is free to visit and as it’s an open-air exhibition, it can be enjoyed in a socially distanced way. The display is on every day until 10pm, and running until 27th February, so you’ll have plenty of time to get LIT.

As it’s the season of giving, Canary Wharf is also partnering with the ELBA Toy Appeal from Thursday 3rd – Friday 18th December. Winter is always a tough time for those living in poverty and the pandemic has only made it worse. If you’re able to buy an extra toy when you’re picking up your gifts, this appeal will ensure that local children whose families are struggling this year will have something to open on Christmas Day. There’ll be a special drop-off point in Jubilee Place for unwrapped gifts and you can donate to the appeal online too.

With all that’s happening down on the Estate this Christmas, it’s handy that Canary Wharf is super accessible by public transport and is also offering three hours of free parking until the end of January when you spend over £10 at any of the shops, cafes, bars or restaurants, so it’s even easier to meet up with your friends and fam to enjoy everything the neighbourhood has to offer. And means you can load up your boot with all the Christmas shopping you’ll be doing!

Canary Wharf, London, E14