If you’ve already visited Hyde Park’s famous Winter Wonderland and are searching for an alternative festive treat this year, how about heading to East London, where a new tinsel town will quite literally be popping up in December?
Winterville in Victoria Park will magically appear on December 2 and then melt away just as quickly on January 1, leaving plenty of heart-warming memories behind.
Billed as London’s alternative Christmas extravaganza, it will still feature what has now become a must-have for every winter event — an ice rink. This one is covered, however, so even if it rains it shouldn’t spoil the fun.
But Winterville also offers much more than just icy fun and, best of all; it is not just aimed at the kids. At last there is a Christmas event that children and adults can truly enjoy together — and apart.
Get your skates on for some festive retro fun at Winterville’s roller disco. Kids will love learning a new skill, whilst mums and dads will reminisce about 80s legwarmers and Christmas kisses to the sound of Wham! The music looks set to be cool too, as some of the DJs are being provided by the capital’s hottest promoters. Head down during the day for some family fun, or get your party pieces ready for hot clubbing action on weekend nights.
The event also features fairground rides, including a huge Big Wheel, and entertainment and activities led by The House of Fairytales. Young and old can enjoy a magical horse-drawn carriage ride and, of course, Santa will be on hand in his grotto to hear this year’s festive wishes.
For an adrenalin buzz, there will be daredevil riders taking on a Wall of Death on vintage motorbikes, and there’ll be enough food and drink on offer to keep you going until well into the New Year.
A Dutch Spiegeltent will be a major feature of Winterville, boasting authentic wood-panelling and more mirrors than Ikea. Bugged Out! will be hosting Friday night fun, whilst Sundays will be alternative cabaret night, presented by Summer Rites. The Sunday schedule starts off on December 7 with the intriguingly titled Gay Bingo Christmas Show.
December 6 marks the start of the Spiegeltent’s pantomime for the whole family, Robin Hood. It’s recommended for children over the age of four, as they will get the most enjoyment, but younger children are also welcome. The Spiegeltent does have heating but can still be cool, so make sure that everyone is properly wrapped up so that they don’t end up shivering throughout the one-hour performance. The pantomime itself promises to be great fun and boasts a professional cast and lots of local youngsters.
Entry to Winterville is free, but you will have to pay for individual activities. It should be worth every penny, however, especially if you are looking for a celebration with a little more individuality and heart than the mass-produced Christmas events that you have visited countless times before.