It’s the most wonderful time of the year in Victoria Park as East London’s alternative festive destination Winterville opens its doors with a snow-storm of new attractions combining Christmas classics with a contemporary twist.
December is finally here, so it’s getting colder, darker and the days are getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean that the after dark fun has to stop. Hop on the tube to Mile End and spot the Giant Wheel and all the neon lights that will lead you to the town of Winterville…
The Big Top Circus is the first attraction you’ll see as you enter, and make sure to take the time for a visit as it will be hosting incredible performances from the stars of Moscow State Circus throughout December. Next, head east for the beautiful Winter Night Garden created by the amazing Backyard Cinema, only accesible via a secret tunnel of trees and allowing you to watch your favourite winter films from Elf to Die Hard in a cosy forest atmosphere.
Getting thirsty? Stop by the town pub, the aprés ski style Bar Huumbug for a Mulled Wine and more – a chap was belting out a folk version of Hotline Bling when we were last there – before taking a skate on the outdoor ice rink, which will be holding late night skate sessions with accompanying DJs on Thursday nights for you party people!
However, in our opinion the best fun is to be found on the rides for kids and adults alike – from the Giant Wheel and Crazy Frog to Bumper Cars and Starflyer Blizzard, there’s more than enough to keep you entertained (although maybe take it slow if you’ve been in the Bar Huumbug for a while…)
Naturally it’s hard to avoid the comparisons with Winter Wonderland but what sets Winterville apart is the friendlier and more laid-back vibe than at Hyde Park, the top food offerings (you can enjoy some of London’s best street vendors including Mother Clucker, Smokestak and Pop Dogs) in the food hall and the quirkier vendors in the Christmas market – some selling clothes and homewares from local artisans.
Little Tip: The Southern Comfort’s Home Comfort is not-to-be missed, it’s like being in your nan’s lounge where you can sip on hot toddies, play board games with your mates, delve into the dressing up box for the most stylist Christmas Jumpers and sing around the old joanna.
Winterville is open until Wednesday, December 23rd 2015. Entry is free.
Where: Victoria Park Rd, London, E3 5SN