What’s on this Christmas: all the best events in our local areas as the Advent season begins

There’s a wide range of Christmas events for all ages on in the ELL boroughs. Pic: Hackney Council

Christmas season is now in full swing, and although it’s tempting to hop on the Tube and head straight into central London, Eastlondonlines a found a vibrant array of events happening right on your doorsteps.

From pantomimes to arts and crafts, here are all of the best festive events throughout Hackney, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Croydon.

If you’re looking for Christmas Markets or where to buy a Christmas tree near you, ELL can help with that too.


Hackney Christmas Light Switch On

Hackney will kick Christmas off at the Town Hall on December 3 with its annual light switch on.

Pantomime stars from Hackney Empire’s Aladdin and Hoxton Hall’s Little Mermaid will be in attendance to switch on the lights, as well as drag artist Topsie Redfern.

There will also be a variety of musical acts singing carols and festive favourites,

 including Hackney Empire Community Choir, Hackney Senior Vocal Ensemble, Pantonic Steel Pan Orchestra and Coro de Clave Afro-Cuban choir.

The event will take place from 4pm until 5:30pm.

Aladdin Pantomime

Hackney Empire’s Aladdin pantomime, full company in the finale. Picture: Steve Gregson

Hackney Empire’s annual pantomime this year is Aladdin.

Former CBBC actor Clive Rowe will feature as Widow Twankey, alongside a great cast including Hackney panto legend Kat B.

The production will run until December 31, and tickets range from £10 to £45.

A Christmas Carol

Dickens Theatre Company will be performing the Victorian classic A Christmas Carol this year.

Join them at Hoxton Hall on December 2 and 3 with both matinee and evening shows available.

Get tickets here, priced at £20 for adults and £15 for children.


Christmas at Sutton House

Santa will visit Hackney’s oldest home this year, the National Trust property Sutton House.

Children will meet Santa, get a photograph with him and help to find naughty elves hidden around the house.

Tickets are priced at £7, and available for Saturday 2 and December 9.

Big Fish Little Fish Christmas Family Rave

Colour Factory will be home to this year’s BFLF Christmas Family Rave.

The award-winning event will be bringing drum and bass, house and techno to families with children aged zero to eight.

The event will house a multi-sensory dance floor, glitter cannons, bubbles, giant balloons and a parachute dance finale, as well as a snow machine.

There will also be a craft table, play area and a baby chill out space.

It will take place on Saturday December 9 from 2pm until 4pm, and tickets start at £9.


Blackheath Christmas light switch on

Blackheath village will switch on their Christmas lights this Saturday December 2 and this year and will showcase two Christmas trees.

Celebrations can be enjoyed from midday, with a vintage car show and music will begin at The Crown pub from 3pm.

The lights will be switched on at 4:30pm, which will be followed by live music, prosecco and mince pies long into the night.

Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime

Jack and the Beanstalk is Catford’s Broadway Theatre’s choice of pantomime this year.

Written by panto queen Susie Mckenna, it is specifically catered to South London, with Jack and his mum living in Lewishfarm.

The show will run until December 31, and tickets range from £8.50 until £35.

The Light Princess

This reimagining of the classic fairy tale shines a light on disability, with a stellar cast of disabled and non-disabled actors.

The show will take place at The Albany until December 24.

Tickets start are £12, and there will be relaxed performances.

Christmas Choral Music

Lewisham Choral Society’s Christmas concert will take place at St Mary the Virgin church on Saturday December 16.

It will feature seasonal orchestral music with excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil.

Tickets are £16 for adults, £5 for students and £2 for 16 and under.

Yellowish Christmas Party

Taking place on Christmas Day night, Yellowish Christmas Party will be providing house, RnB and dancehall well into Boxing Day morning.

Its taking place at Hatch Club in New Cross, and tickets are on final release, so be quick.

Kirkdale Christmas Party

For all the literature lovers, Kirkdale Bookshop are hosting their Christmas Party on Friday December 8.

Expect mince pies, mulled wine and 10 per cent discount in-store from 5pm until 10pm if you book a free ticket.

Tower Hamlets

Potted Panto

Olivier award winning Potted Panto is showing in Whitechapel this Christmas.

The show features seven classic pantomimes in its 80-minute runtime and has something for everyone young and old.

The production is happening at Wiltons Music Hall and will run until December 30; tickets are £12.

Family festive day

The Hub at Victoria Park will play host to a family festive day on December 16.

There will be rides for young children, a chance to meet Santa and arts and crafts for all ages.

Tickets are free and there is no need to book.

Winter tea dance for over 50s

An event for Tower Hamlets’ older residents, a winter tea dance will be held in Victoria Park.

The dance will take place on December 20, and live music, food and drink can be expected as well as a raffle and bingo.

Booking is essential due to limited space, and can be done by emailing victoriapark@towerhamlets.gov.uk


Christmas Light Switch On

Christmas Lights. Pic: Libreshot

Croydon’s light switch on is happening tonight December 1, at Stanley Hall.

Panto Dame Mama G will be making a guest appearance, alongside local tradesman selling snacks, gifts and lots of mulled wine.

The event begins at 6:30pm, with the actual switch on being at 7:30pm.

Aladdin Pantomime

Fairfield Ashcroft Theatre are hosting Croydon’s annual pantomime, and this year it’s Aladdin.

The role of Abanazar will be played by Eastenders and Holby City star Davood Ghadami. The cast will also include Milkshake’s Kiera-Nicole and panto favourite Charlie Guest.

There will also be relaxed performances for those sensitive to noise and light.

The production will run from December 16 to January 7. Tickets start at £16.50.

The Living Theatre Present ‘A Christmas Carol’ Reading

The Living Theatre’s actors will transport you from Old Palace to the world of Dickens in their dramatic reading.

Suitable for the whole family, there are two shows per day on Sunday December 3,17, and 21.

Adult tickets are £15 and available here.

Croydon Symphonic Band concert

Croydon Symphonic Band will host their Christmas concert on December 16.

A medley of festive favourites will be played, and light refreshments are included.

The concert will take place at Christ Church Methodist at 6pm; tickets are £7 in advance and £8 on the door and all proceeds will go to the church.

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