As we wake to the first frosts of winter and whip out the extra cosy scarf and gloves, even the Scroogiest of Londoners can’t ignore that Christmas is hurtling towards us at an ever increasing rate, covering everything in it’s path in glitter, baubles and festive cheer. Whatever your feelings are about this time of year, there’s no denying that London provides a whole host of entertainment, shopping and fun for the family. Here are our picks of what’s on in East London this December.
VICTORIA PARK COMMUNITY EVENTS
Tower Hamlets council have some great community events coming up at Victoria Park, with all age groups covered, from wildlife walks with the kids to over an 50s tea dance. For more information on the events head to the council website or contact 0207 364 4504 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over 50’s Festive Tea Dance – 2nd December (12pm – 3pm)
Come along and join the Community Park Rangers where they will be hosting a free over 50s tea dance.
Junior Wildlife Club – 5th December (10.30am – 12.30pm)
Join the Community Park Rangers and explore the wonders of Victoria Park’s nature. Under 12s must be accompanied by adults. Location changes each session.
Winter Tree Walk – 19 Dec (1.30pm – 3.30pm)
Take a stroll and learn fun facts about the many trees in the park once they’ve lost their leaves.
￼WINTERVILLE – VICTORIA PARK
East London’s festive playground is back for a second year, filling a corner of Victoria Park with dancing, eating, laughing, drinking, skating and plenty more besides. New for Winterville 2015 is ‘The Winter Night Garden’, an enchanted forest that’ll host film screenings of Christmas classics. Plonk Crazy Golf are also joining the fun, bringing a nine-hole putting challenge that will feature snow drifts, ice beasts and foggy valleys to avoid.
A circus featuring performers from The Moscow State Circus and African Whirlwind will offer aerial acrobatics and daredevil tricks and the beautiful wood-panelled, mirrored spiegeltent will once again host pantomimes, comedy, cabaret and live music as well as fun-packed club nights.
In addition to the ice rink at Winterville you can take on the ice in the City at Canary Wharf or skate with the Beefeaters in the dry moat at the Tower of London.
CRAFT FAIRS AND SHOPPING
Hyper Japan Christmas Market
If you’re looking for a cultural contrast from the olde English craft fairs and Bavarian beer halls the Hyper Japan Christmas Market might be the place for you. The market celebrates Japanese culture and cuisine at its best. Browse stalls selling fashion goods, toys, wrapping paper, traditional tableware and crockery, then pick up edible presents in a food hall packed full of exotic teas, chocolate, Japanese snacks and sake.
Shoreditch Christmas Triangle
Shoreditch, Dec 4-18, every Thu evening
The Shoreditch Design Triangle goes Christmassy for December with a style-oriented late-night crawl around the various trendy shops around Shoreditch High Street and Old Street. Stores taking part and offering discounts include Albion cafe, That Flower Shop, Skincare and beauty store Aesop and homeware shop One Good Deed Today. Expect music, mulled wine and mince pies as you mill around the wares.
Shoreditch Christmas Craft Market
Old Street, Dec 5-20, every Fri & Sat
This alternative Christmas market has stalls selling art and crafts from local creative types including knitted clothes and accessories, cakes, stationery, upcycled furniture, bags, jewellery and greetings cards. There are also food stalls and children’s entertainment too to keep everyone amused.
Crafty Fox Christmas Markets
Dalston, Nov 29 & 30
The quirky handmade crafts from small-scale designers here are so lovely you’ll want to keep them all to yourself. Unlike many craft markets, you can learn to make your own Christmas-themed crafts too, with workshops on how to block-print cards, fold origami baubles and make necklaces to give as gifts.
Canary Wharf Christmas Market
Canary Wharf, Nov 17-Dec 24
Adjacent to the Canary Wharf ice rink, is the Christmas market, where you’ll find lots of warming drinks and nibbles like gingerbread, mulled wine, hot chestnuts and churros. Pressie-wise, there are lots of gifts that can be personalised, like handmade soap, jewellery and paintings.
Christmas Makers Market at East Village E20
East Village, Dec 5-20
Shop for Beautiful hand-crafted goods, perfect for thoughtful gifts, including quality leather goods, hand-crafted jewellery and hand-drawn designs at the East Village Christmas market, based at the former Olympic Athletes Village.
FOOD & DRINK
Papilles Pop-up Wine Bar
City Road near Old Street – Mon-Fri til Christmas
This November & December Papilles at The Brew cafe in City Road will be turning into a pop-up wine bar from 5pm – 11pm Mon-Fri. There will be wine, cheese, charcuterie and more, with wines available by the glass or the bottle, to drink in, or to take away.
Dinerama in Winter – The Heated Streetfood Market
Shoreditch – Thurs-Sat til Christmas
Dinerama, the amazing enclosed street food market in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, is back fro the winter, with a roof and heating – ‘Domerama’ if you want – and with lots of the same amazing street food traders, including Breddos Tacos, Smokestak, Baba G’s, Duck’N’Roll, and You Doughnut.
Mama’s Jerk’s Residency at The Star by Hackney Downs
Hackney Downs – Monday – Saturday until early 2016
Mama’s Jerk, Caribbean jerk specialists, have taken over the kitchen at the Star by Hackney Downs. BuzzFeed has listed them as one of 16 London street foods that will change your life, so you’ve really got to try them, and there’s a special launch party on Thurs 12th November with some free sliders and free rum cocktails to give away.
Night Tales’ ‘Tokyo Nights’ Winter 2015
Old Street – Thurs – Sat
Night Tales, the street food Night market in Old Street, is back for winter 2015 with a new concept – Tokyo Tales. Taking inspiration from the Japanese capital, this translates to re-creations of restaurants and cocktail bars.
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