This is a very Croydon Christmas

29 November 2023

Although my usual rule is not to mention the festive C word before December begins, it is in fact the start of the twelfth month this very friday (yes it seems to come round quicker each year) and there are plenty of Christmassy (yes I’ve said it!) happenings in Croydon coming up. First up we’re looking at ‘A very Croydon Christmas’, which is two days of magical winter celebrations taking place next Friday 8 and Saturday 9 December across Fairfield Halls, Croydon Central Library, Croydon Clocktower/David Lean Cinema and Queen’s Gardens, as part of the This Is Croydon creative programme.

From opera for toddlers, an arctic animal, and light installations, to The London Mozart Players, Beeja Dance, and The Muppet Christmas, there are workshops, talks, screenings, and performances for all (festive) tastes.

The events I’m particularly looking forward to include:

Light installation in Queen’s Garden

Friday 8 Dec and Saturday 9 Dec 3.30pm – 7.30pm 

I LOVE festive outdoors lights, so I will be heading to Queen’s Gardens as soon as dusk hits next friday to see the winter light installation specially created for This is Croydon by arts experts, Strange Cargo, featuring designs from artist Richie Moment.

Bjorn The Polar Bear

Friday 8 Dec, 4.15pm and 5.25pm and Saturday 9 Dec, 11am, 2pm and 3.45pm
(Fairfield Halls Arnhem Gallery on Friday and Clocktower Atrium on Saturday)

I still think fondly of the giant dinosaur that roamed through the Whitgift Centre a couple of years ago, so I’ll be dragging our 6-year-old along to see Bjorn the Polar Bear and his dedicated handler, an Arctic conservationist. Presented by Los Kaos there will be an interactive performance about the story of Bjorn and how he travelled the world with his companion. A bonus, in my book, is that this performance also raises awareness about the Arctic world in the context of climate change.

Craft workshop for families in the Clocktower Atrium

Saturday 9 Dec, 2 – 4.30pm

Skye Baker is an awesome Croydon-based artist and illustrator who we’ve collaborated with on several occasions, so her afternoon of drop-in creative art workshops are definitely worth a visit, especially if you want to get into some festive making.

Meet Me a Tree, Baby and toddler opera, at the Croydon Clocktower

Friday 8 Dec, 10:15am and 11:30am, Saturday 9 Dec, 10:30am and 11.45am

The smallest ‘member’ of the Croydonist team has just turned 6 months old, so this interactive first opera for 0-2 year olds and their carers sounds perfect for a chilled start to the day. Created by the theatre company HurlyBurly, with music by Schumann, Delibes and Handel, expect a multisensory journey through a year in the life of a tree: singing with blackbirds, marching through fallen leaves, smelling new blossom and feeling the wind on your cheeks.

Christmas concert at Fairfield Halls

Friday 8 Dec , 7:30pm (tickets here)

Of course it wouldn’t be a Christmas festival without a concert with singing. The London Mozart Players lead a concert with sing-along carols, Christmas number ones, accompanying sleigh bells, and performances by local choirs, to get us all in the festive spirit. You’ll be pleased to know there will be mulled wine and mince pies.

All set to get festive? Keep an eye on the This Is Croydon website for the full programme and follow them on Instagram, X (Twitter) and Facebook.

Images from This Is Croydon: illustrations (x2) by Skye Baker; Light installation – courtesy of Strange Cargo and Richie Moment; Polar bear – courtesy of Los Kaos; craft workshop illustrations by Skye Baker; Meet Me a Tree – courtesy of HurlyBurly; London Mozart Players by Kaupo Kikkas.

Posted by Julia

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