Pick of the Line: Festive markets and concerts 08/12/12-14/12/12

pic: The Bad Jumper Jingle Bell Rock

Not feeling festive yet? Here are our picks of the best Christmas activities to get you feeling Christmassy for the next seven days…




Wish Upon A Star, Hackney, Thursday.

The Bad Jumper Jingle Bell Rock, Hackney, Friday.

Victorian Christmas Grotto, Tower Hamlets, Saturday.

Leegate Christmas Festival, Lewisham, Saturday.

Spitalfields Christmas Market, Tower Hamlets, Saturday.

Victoria Park Traders’ Association – Midwinter Fair, Tower Hamlets, Saturday.

Hackney Homemade Christmas Market, Hackney, Saturday and Sunday.

Xmas Fayre at New Cross People’s Library, Lewisham, Sunday.

The Mayor’s Christmas Carol Service, Lewisham, Sunday.

Christmas Crafts at Croydon Libraries, Croydon, Monday and Tuesday.

East End W.I. Christmas Market, Tower Hamlets, Tuesday.

The Over 50s Christmas Tea Dance, Tower Hamlets, Wednesday.

Christmas Concert at Goldsmiths, Lewisham, Wednesday.


Wish Upon A Star, Opens Thursday December 8 at 8pm, Britannia Pub, 360 Victoria Park Rd, London, E9 7BT

“Wish upon a Star” is an urban Christmas play with music exploring themes from the Nativity and fairytale Cinderella. The play is told through the imagination of four students, who attempt to make sense of their own beliefs about the festive holiday. Tickets cost £8/£5 concession and you can book online at: www.newbritanniatheatre.co.uk.

The Bad Jumper Jingle Bell Rock, Friday December 9, 8pm-3am  £5 after 8pm, £7 after 10pm. The Book Club, 100 Leonard St, London, EC2A 4RH

Don your worst Christmas jumper, grab your jingle bells and get your Christmas rocks on tonight at The Book Club’s official Christmas party! Free egg nog for the first 50 paying guests plus, pin the star on the Christmas tree, a mince pie eating contest (in the ground floor ping pong room at 9.30pm sharp!) and a special Christmas stocking for the guest wearing the worst jumper. Guiding us through the festive fun will be Sean Rowley presenting Soft Rocks Disco, sailing a course through the heart of the 70s and into the 80s: featuring classic tunes which have been remixed and re-edited for the now generation plus recently discovered artists from men with beards and girls with flicks. So smooth it hurts.

Victorian Christmas Grotto, Saturday December 10 (until Sunday January 1), Museum of London Docklands, West India Quay, E14 4AL

The Museum of London and the Museum of London Docklands welcome two special guests this December. Father Christmas and Scrooge, who will make themselves at home to spread a little Christmas cheer…or to give you a seasonal sneer.

Father Christmas has his very own Victorian grotto, clad with traditional decorations in the Museum of London’s Victorian Walk and the 19th century Sailor Town, at the Museum of London Docklands. There are also Victorian helpers to be found along the way to help recreate the idyll of a customary Victorian Christmas. Children can share their seasonal hopes and dreams with the man in red and of course, go home with a special gift to start their seasonal merriment.

pic: gia_s

Leegate Christmas Festival, Saturday December 10, Leegate Shopping Centre, 12pm to 7pm

Christmas Festival in Leegate shopping centre plus unveiling of a Community Art Project by Heidi Alexander, Lewisham East MP.

Shops will stay open late, and there will be carols, a magic show, face-painting, dancing, and refreshments to ensure there’s fun for all.

Spitalfields Christmas Market, Saturday December 10, 11am-4pm, Market Street, E1 6BG

A special Saturday Christmas market with live music, puppetry, fashion and more, all to celebrate, promote and raise funds for the work of Crisis. For more information, www.spitalfieldsmusic.org.uk.

Victoria Park Traders’ Association, Midwinter Fair

Saturday December 10, 4pm – 9pm, in and around Victoria Park Village, Lauriston Road, E9.

Treasure hunts, carol singing, outdoor screenings of ‘The Snowman’ and ‘Father Christmas’, children’s authors: Andy Stanton and Hendrik Wittkopf, face painting, gingerbread decorating, spiced apple juice, mulled wine, hot chestnuts, design a party dress, cakes, cards, books, Santa and elves, and late opening at The Lauriston pub (until 2am, anyone dressed as elf, gingerbread man or Santa gets a free beer).

pic: Hackney Homemade

Hackney Homemade Christmas Market, December 10 and 11, St John-at-Hackney Churchyard Gardens, 10am-4pm

Come along for mulled wine, Christmas trees, hot chocolate, handmade presents, decorations and delicious food, at St John-at-Hackney Churchyard Gardens, behind and in front of the church. For more information or a stall (free to charitable groups) contact Jane on 07956 934 768 or visit www.hackneyhomemade.com/

Ice rink: 11am-5pm: Get your skates on for free. For those aged three and above.

Hackney Singers: Scratch choir rehearsals at 12.30pm and 2pm, beside Hackney Homemade Christmas Market. At 4pm a series of choirs will participate in the Winter Voices concert, with mulled wine, cider, fruit juice, and hot chocolate available.

Xmas Fayre at New Cross People’s Library, Sunday December 11, 1pm to 5pm at 283-5 New Cross Road

Take the stress and expense out of Christmas by making all your presents in one afternoon while having a mince pie and a mulled wine (or two!) in a laidback atmosphere. Plus a tombola and a raffle for a unique Christmas hamper. Contact Kathy 07886028418

The Mayor’s Christmas Carol Service, Sunday December 11, 6.00pm, All Saints Church, Monson Road, SE14 5EH

This year’s carols will be accompanied by readings from Mayor of Lewisham Sir Steve Bullock and Dame Sybil Phoenix as well as an item from children of Kender School.

The tradition of the Mayor’s carol service goes back over 35 years and was started by former Mayor and Councillor Bob Lowe together with Canon David Diamond. This year’s carols will be accompanied by readings from the mayor and Dame Sybil Phoenix as well as an item from children of Kender School. Everyone is welcome to attend. The service collection will be donated to the Mayor’s chosen charity, the Lavender Trust at Breast Cancer Care.

To book a place, contact Derek Johnson on 020 83148636 or e-mail him at derek.johnson@lewisham.gov.uk

Christmas Crafts at Croydon Libraries, Monday December 12 and Tuesday December 13

Make a Christmas Angel, 3D Snowman Card and a moving Father Christmas at Bradmore Green, Coulsdon, New Addington, Purley, and Selsdon libraries. Free of charge.

East End W.I. Christmas Market, Tuesday December 13, 7.30pm to 10.30pm at St Margarets House, Bethnal Green, E2 9PL

Come and get some amazing last minute Christmas presents from a wide range of local craftswomen. Includes glass of mulled wine (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) and a mince pie. All women welcome. Free for members, £3 for visitors.

Are you a designer maker? Would you like a stall? Please contact the group as soon as possible on 07834714765 or e-mail East End W.I. at eastendwi@hotmail.co.uk. There is no charge for a table.

For more info about the East End WI please check out their blog – all women welcome.

The Over 50s Christmas Tea Dance, Wednesday December 14, 2pm to 4.30pm, Brady Arts and Community Centre, E1 5HU

Older residents from Tower Hamlets are invited to trip the light fantastic at the borough’s annual Christmas Concert and Tea Dance. Residents will be giving contestants of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing a run for their money under the expert guidance of Dance Leader Tony Lane.

Over 50s can don their sparkly dancing shoes and Christmas party wear and head to the event for live music by the hugely popular Sunshine Kings, along with seasonal refreshments and mince pies.

Places are limited, making booking essential. Please contact Regina from the Arts and Events Team between 9.30am and 4pm Monday to Friday on 020 7364 7916 or email: festivalsandevents@towerhamlets.gov.uk

Christmas Concert at Goldsmiths College, Wednesday December 14, 6.30pm at Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths College, University Of London, SE14 6NW.

Goldsmiths Chamber Choir and Vocal Group present their annual concert with audience participation a must. For further details send a message to Imogen via this link.

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