1 Panto season
Greenwich Theatre is renowned for its pantomimes. Written and directed by Andrew Pollard, the brains behind nine successful pantos in Greenwich, this year’s all-singing, all-dancing spectacular is Jack and the Beanstalk. With the giant raising taxes, times are hard for Jack. Can a cow, some beans and a fairy save the day? Running now until 11 January 2015. Adults £27, kids half price, concs £21 (greenwichtheatre.org.uk). You can also catch Sleeping Beauty at the Churchill Theatre with 80’s pop icon Sonia as the Good Fairy (28 Nov-4 Jan, £15-£32, atgtickets.com/bromley).
The Pexmas festive Eat, Shop, Sing extravaganza takes place on Saturday 13 December in Holly Grove, Peckham, from 11am-7pm. Celebrating its third year, Pexmas marks the start of the festive season with a market showcasing 70 local artists and designer-makers selling sweet treats, homewares, kids stuff, textiles, jewellery and more. There will also be singing, with a series of choirs and songbirds, and 15 of London’s best street food traders. Free entry.
Holly Grove SE15; pexmas.com
3 Love West Dulwich Christmas Fair
Join in the festivities at Love West Dulwich’s first Christmas Fair on Saturday 29 November, running 10am-5pm on Parkhall, Croxted and Rosendale roads. As well as shopping opportunities at the area’s many boutiques, such as Wigwam toy shop, the dulwich trader (where you can find the decorations pictured below), and Dulwich Books, there will also be music, dancing, carol singing, a Santa’s Grotto, street food stalls and special discounts.
4 Greenwich Market Christmas Launch
Greenwich Market launches its Christmas season on Wednesday 26 November with a lantern parade led by a New Orleans Jazz Quartet from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance. The procession will start at 4pm at Discover Greenwich Visitor Centre at the ORNC, winding its way to the market for the festive light switch-on at 4.45pm. Sing carols, meet Santa in his grotto (catch him on 13-14 and 20-23 December, too) and shop until 7pm.
5 Cockpit Arts’ Christmas Open Studios
Cockpit Arts’ annual Christmas Open Studios is a must-visit for unique, artisan gifts by jewellers, ceramicists, printmakers and more. Rated by the likes of Sophie Conran, Cockpit Arts is home to 170 independent designer-makers. The Deptford site at Creekside opens from 5-7 December, 11am-6pm (Friday until 9pm), with festive fare by and the chance for kids to knit decorations with Row Pinto. Entry £3 (under 15s free).
6 East Dulwich Christmas Cracker
This wonderful day of family-friendly fun on Saturday 6 December is bursting with activities, pop-up performances and Christmas cheer a-plenty from most of the shops on Lordship Lane and North Cross Road (keep an eye out for special offers), as well as a music stage beside the market on North Cross Road. Local comedians The Scummy Mummies are your compères for the day, and there’ll also see Circo Rum Ba Ba’s Snowball Sprites whizzing about in a flurry of excitement, as well as performances by Goose Green Community Choir, Dulwich Rock Choir and Southwark Children’s Brass Band. 11am-5pm.
7 Christmas Ceilidh
Folk of the Wood hosts its Christmas Ceilidh at The Portico Gallery, West Norwood, on Friday 21 December. The event features rising folk star Maz O’Connor, carolling, high-octane Morris dancing and three sets of riotous ceilidh dancing with the host band, Ceilidh Tree. There will be mulled wine, craft beer, scrumpy and festive food by Beamish & McGlue, too. Doors open 7pm. Tickets are £8.
23a Knights Hill, West Norwood SE27 0HS. See folkofthewood.co.uk
8 Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice Carol Concert
Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice hosts a carol concert on Sunday 30 November in the 18th century Chapel at the Old Royal Naval College. The concert, with a choir and congregational carols, will also feature a torch-lit procession by the 3rd Greenwich Park Girl Guides and pre-concert drinks in the Queen Mary Undercroft. 7pm-9pm. Tickets £20 (with a mince pie and festive drink).
9 Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival
Southbank Centre’s 21-acre site will be transformed with festive art installations and a riverfront Christmas market selling gifts, food and drink during its Winter Festival, on now until 11 January. The festival encompasses shows for all ages, including Slava’s Snowshow and Cirque Alfonse’s Timber (a circus show featuring three generations of a Québec family) and Oily Cart’s There Was An Old Woman Who… for kids aged 2-5.
Belvedere Road SE1 8XX; southbankcentre.co.uk