Festive events and family days out in east London this weekend

People browsing a Christmas market

There are Christmas markets and other festive events in east London this weekend. - Credit: PA

‘Tis the season for festive fun and family-friendly events aplenty.  

From ice skating and wreath-making to a beer festival and market, there is something for everyone this weekend.

So if you fancy braving the rain and cold to get into the Christmas spirit, here are some events across east London on December 11 and 12 to check out.

Christmas Wreath, PA Photo/Handout/Tobias Smith

Learn how to make a wreath from items in the garden at Valance House on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Winter Wreath Workshop at Valence House

Where: Valence House, Becontree Avenue, Dagenham RM8 3HT 
When: Saturday, December 11, 1pm - 4.30pm 

As part of a series of festive activities at Valence House in the lead-up to Christmas, learn how to make a winter wreath using products from the garden in this workshop for adults. 

Suitable for beginners, the workshops cost £12.50, which includes all resources as well as refreshments. 

Booking in advance is essential. Visit the Valence House website for more information and to book.

Fairlop Winter Village, Ilford

Where: Fairlop Waters Country Park, Forest Road, Ilford IG6 3HN
When: Saturday, December 11 to Friday, January 7, 10am - 9pm 

Fairlop Winter Village, supported by Redbridge Council, will transform a carpark in Ilford into an ice-rink with capacity for 120 skaters an hour and polar bear skate aids for children. 

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There will also be live entertainment and performances, a Polar Express train which will travel across the site and a Santa’s reindeer ride for small children. 

Stalls selling mulled wine and refreshments are also planned, as well as an opportunity to write Santa a letter. 

Visit fairlopwintervillage.co.uk for more information and to book tickets.

The Festive Beer Fest at Hackney Bridge

Where: Hackney Bridge, Echo Building, East Bay Lane, Hackney Wick E15 2SJ
When: Saturday, December 11 and Sunday, December 12 from noon onwards

Discover the best of local breweries at this food and drink festival next to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

At this family friendly day out, visitors can sample some of the best east London beers alongside delicious food from Hackney Bridge Kitchens food vendors.

Featured breweries include Forest Rd, Mammoth, Howling Hops, 2 Tribes, Lost and Grounded and more. 

Hackney Bridge also hosts an outdoor weekend market every Saturday from 9am to 4pm, featuring stalls from local makers and independent businesses.

Christmas Bazaar in Rush Green

Where: Rush Green Community Centre, Rush Green Road, Romford RM7 0LB
When: Saturday, December 11, 1pm - 4pm

This free-to-attend Christmas bazaar is supporting Havering charity St Francis Hospice.

Attendees can meet Father Christmas, take part in a tombola or prize raffles and browse local craft stalls.

Find sweet gifts, personalised decorations and information about local groups while enjoying a day out with the kids.

Visit www.havering.gov.uk/events/event/2518/christmas_bazaar for more information.

Santa Express live in Redbridge 

Where: Ilford Town Centre then various locations 
When: Saturday, December 11 to Saturday, December 18

Santa and his elves will be taking a break from making and packing gifts to spread some seasonal happiness in Redbridge in the lead up to Christmas.

Beginning in the Ilford Town Centre from 11am to noon on Saturday, the enchanting 30-minute musical shows will have people singing, dancing and clapping to favourite Christmas songs.

Another performance will follow at South Woodford Library from 3pm to 4pm that afternoon, with special guests at both shows.

There will be further performances across the borough until December 18, with the shows supporting the mayor's chosen charity the Redbridge Carers’ Support Service.

Visit https://visionrcl.org.uk/event/santa2021/ for more information and all locations, dates and times.