Carol services, ice skating and Santa’s grotto: what to do this Christmas

Pic: Kotomi

After a difficult winter last year, the Eastlondonlines boroughs are now ready to treat everyone to the festive cheer they deserve in the run up to Christmas.

Children will be delighted with movie screenings and meeting Father Christmas before his busiest night of the year next week, while adults of the area can look forward to comedy shows, candle making workshops and ice skating.

With Christmas now imminent, there is no better time to gather your loved ones and treat them to the variety of festivities that the ELL boroughs have to offer.

Please note, all the events listed below are scheduled to take place at the time of writing. However, given the possibility of further Government restrictions and the rise in Covid cases, readers are encouraged to check for closures in advance.

Update (December 17): A previous version of this article listed the Crofton Singers concert at St Paul’s Church and The 12 Graves of Christmas in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. These events have since been cancelled, with the page updated with replacement events.

Christmas Candle Making Workshop

Wind down from the hectic holiday season with a calming candle making session, including wax mixing, fragrances, wicking and packaging. Guests will then have the chance to take home their candle, the perfect handmade gift for a loved one. Booking information for the session is available here.

When: Saturday, December 18, 11:00am – 11:45am

Where: The Hackney Social, Unit 11 Bohemia Place, E8 1DU

Cost: £27.54 per ticket

Festive Night Fair

Enjoy the rich variety of traders and food Hackney has to offer with this festive nighttime fair. From arts and crafts to mulled wine, this looks to be a fabulous treat for before Christmas. More information on the fair can be found here.

When: Thursday December 23, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Hackney Bridge

Cost: Free

Christmas Presents: The Show

The current exhibition at Stour Gallery in Haggerston presents emerging artists interpreting their experience of living in London. A variety of prints, sculptures, paintings and more are on show at this limited time showcase. More information on the exhibition and the artists involved can be found here.

When: Thursday, December 16 – Sunday, December 19, 9:00am – 7:00pm

Where: Stour Gallery, 258 Kingsland Road, E8 4DG

Cost: Free

Christmas at Fairfield

Head down to Fairfield Halls this weekend for a variety of festive music performances. The esteemed London Mozart Players will be joined by a variety of guests including the Trinity Boys Choir, Croydon Citadel Band, and Croydon Philharmonic Choir. Tickets for the event may be purchased here.

When: Saturday, December 18, 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Where: Fairfield Halls

Cost: Tickets from £15

Santa’s Christmas Grotto

An essential event for any young child, Father Christmas himself will be in Stanley Arts London until the night before Christmas Day. Ticket holders will also receive a special present made by Santa’s elves. More information on booking can be found here.

When: Saturday, December 18 – Friday, December 24, 10:00am – 7:00pm

Where: Stanley Arts London, 12 South Norwood Hill, SE25 6AB

Cost: £6 per ticket

It’s A Wonderful Life

The perfect opportunity to catch this classic Christmas movie. The beloved Screen 25 cinema in Norwood will even have mulled wine available for patrons to get in the festive mood. Tickets can be booked here.

When: Friday, December 17. 7:45pm – 10:30pm

Where: Harris Academy South Norwood, 2 Cumberlow Avenue, SE25 6AE

Cost: Tickets from £5

Backyard Cinema Christmas Extravaganza

Come up to Stepney this Christmas to see your beloved holiday films revamped into festive performances, including a live choir and narration from the award winning George the Poet. Tickets and information on the screenings can be found here.

When: Friday, December 17 – Friday, December 24, 10:30am – 10:00pm

Where: Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, E1 0HX

Cost: Tickets from £26

The Child in the Snow

Venture over to Shadwell for this thrilling stage adaption of Elizabeth Gaskell’s famous ghost story. Written by Piers Torday of Wilton’s Christmas Carol, a Sunday Times Best Christmas Show of 2019, this performance is sure to chill patrons to the bone. Tickets can be purchased here.

When: Friday, December 17 – Friday, December 24, 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Saturday matinees, 2:30pm – 4:30pm)

Where: Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, E1 8JB

Cost: Tickets from £10

Ice skating

Always a winter classic, the Canary Wharf ice rink is open right up until Christmas Eve. Get your skates on and show off your skills in the famous docklands. Booking information can be found here.

When: Friday, December 17 – Friday, December 24, 10:00am – 10:30pm

Where: Canada Square Park

Cost: £17.95 per ticket

Lewisham Three Peaks Challenge

Part of the Mayor of Lewisham’s 2021 Winter Appeal, this charity walk requires no registration and raises funds for Lewisham children in care and homeless families. Enjoy some live music and mulled wine while benefitting the youth of the borough. More information on the Winter Appeal can be found here.

When: Saturday, December 18, 10:00am – 2:00pm

Where: Pistachios Cafe, Hilly Fields Park, SE4 1LB

Cost: Free, donations are encouraged

Kindred Spirits

This latest comedy from the Jack Studio takes its firm place in the abundance of stage shows around Christmas. With a festive theme and production by an award-winning team, look no further for theatrical entertainment this week. Booking information can be found here.

When: Until Saturday January 8; 7:30pm – 9:30pm. [No performances 19-20 December, 24-27 December, 31 December – 3 January]

Where: Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, SE4 2DH

Cost: £16 per ticket

Christmas Carol Service

Stop by All Saints Church in New Cross for a festive service from the London African Gospel Choir. Those who stay afterwards will also be treated to mince pies and other refreshments. More information can be found here.

When: Saturday, December 18, 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Where: All Saints Church, 105 New Cross Road, SE14 5DJ

Cost: Free

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