Top 10 Festive Hackney

Hackney is full of frosty delights: here’s our pick, from festive calligraphy to panto to Nordic feasting.

Get Nordic

Explore the pagan side of the festive season with some Viking-style festivities at Queen of Hoxton and Nordic Yulefest Shoreditch.

Get historic

Dive into Christmas past at the Geffrye Museum, where the rooms are decorated in period festive style and you can listen to a cappella seasonal music or create a Christmas garland. The festivities end on January 6 with mulled wine, carol singing and symbolic burning of holly and ivy.

Get silly at Sleeping Beauty

There are no D-list celebs on stage at the riotous Hackney Empire panto – it’s all about real singing talent, smutty wisecracks, belting tunes, fantastic sets, fabulous costumes and lots of audience participation. And all in the setting of one of London’s most beautiful surviving music halls.

Get all lit up

The Festival of Light at the Curve Garden sees Hackney’s favourite green space filled with lanterns and colourful projections. 

Get theatrical

The Selfish Giant at the Arcola is a funky fairytale, a new take on an Oscar Wilde text.

Get creative

Explore Christmas calligraphy with Alice Gabb in the gorgeous Greenhouse coworking space on Green Lanes, where you can also fight off festive flab at Fold Yoga (there’s a free class on new year’s day).

Get all grown up

Christmas isn’t all about the kiddies: Rosemary Branch Theatre is hosting an Adults Only Xmas Season: sample the Narcissistic Nativity with Urban Foxes Collective, F*cking Little Elf B*tch with Mammalian and Virging Xtravaganzah’s Pagan Xmas.

Get watching

Cinema in the Snow – you enter this Hackney Downs cinematic portal through a wardrobe, wade through snow and drink hot chocolate and mulled wine. Then cuddle up to enjoy Christmas classics such as Elf and the Muppets Christmas Carol.

Get with Santa

Visit Father Christmas in St Augustine’s Christmas Grotto, Hackney’s oldest grotto, est. 1275. Entry is free and there are presents for all – suitable for children under 12.

Get singing

Gospel meets karaoke with… Gospeloke. Get spiritual at Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen.