Winterville has attractions that range from astoundingly amazing to zealously zany – here’s the scoop!
Newly arrived in South London, Winterville opens for a season of cheer and goodwill on Thursday. The cooler cousin of Winter Wonderland promises a fiesta so festive, it could make Santa ditch the North Pole for Clapham. And to prove it, we’ve used every ounce of our creativity to find something cool to do for every letter of the alphabet…
A is for… Actually happening
Feels like a long time since we last saw it, doesn’t it? Winterville took a break last year, but it’s back for 2017! It will be open every day from November 23rd to January 1st, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
B is for… Backyard Cinema
Through a wardrobe, in the midst of a magical woodland, is a land of beanbag chairs and amazing films. Literally every Christmas film you can imagine is on offer here, along with some old favourites.
C is for… Clapham Common
Winterville found a new home this year in SW4’s leafiest surroundings. Clapham Common will be a proverbial enchanted forest of delights, even if England once again remains defiantly snow-free.
D is for… Dog grooming
Master dog groomer James Baillie will be spiffing up your floofs, puppers, and doggos on Fridays and weekends. Perfect for that Christmas photo shoot we all know you’re planning…
E is for… Erol Alkan
You’ll find Erol Alkan pumping some electronica into the Twisted Wheels Roller Disco on December 16th, and generally having a rollicking good time.
F is for… Fairground
It could also stand for ferris wheel, since this whacking great wheel will form the centrepiece of Winterville. Rides range from the sedate carousel and dodgems up to the thrilling Sky Flyer.
G is for… Golf
Putt putt kings Plonk have been hard at work for Winterville. They’ve created a fairground-style nine-hole course from an old dodgems track, aiming to test your short game. Nerves of steel are required for this one!
H is for… Humbug
Bah Humbug? No, it’s actually Bar Humbug, the onsite pub that will be hosting many of Winterville’s best events. Much like the entire night they’re devoting to George Michael. Oh yes, an entire night.
I is for… Ice skating
Just picture it: 600 square metres of fresh ice, all ready for you to show off your leaps and twirls! Nab yourself a ticket or two with Fever, and then prepare to pirouette your way to glory. The best part? For a limited time only, tickets are 30% off as part of Fever’s Black Friday sale, so get on it ASAP!
J is for… Jerk chicken
Feeling hungry? Street Feast is Winterville’s very own food market, and you will be criminally spoiled for choice. Amongst our favourites are White Men Can’t Jerk, who will serve up their famous Red Stripe-brined jerk chicken.
K is for… Karaoke
Well, it’s actually Massaoke, but it still counts for K! A live band supplies the music, the lyrics go up on the big screen, and a crowd of punters sing their hearts out in one beautiful harmony. Theoretically. It all kicks off at 5pm on December 2.
L is for… Lucha Britannia
What’s Christmas without Mexican wrestling? Entirely devoid of joy, that’s what. The show described as “10,000 volts of sexy mayhem” will add a ludicrous touch to your festive fun on Thursday, Nov 30. ¡Vámonos!
M is for… Mariah and Friendz
Loosely – and we do mean loosely – inspired by Mariah Carey, this glitter-drenched affair on Dec 10 is one for the ages. To the drag queens, cabaret artists, and circus acts, we say this: All I Want For Christmas Is You.
N is for… Norman Jay, MBE
He’s the founder of Good Times Sound System, an original member of Kiss FM, and one of the world’s best DJs to boot. The London legend will be appearing with some cracking beats on Winterville’s opening weekend.
O is for… Old Dirty Brasstards
Ten men dressed in spiffing tweed and clutching brass instruments is definitely a recipe for success. You’ll be up and dancing to Old Dirty Brasstards’ covers of pop, R’n’B, and soul in no time! They’re playing this Saturday, Nov 25.
P is for… Petare
A true taste of Caracas with the masters of Venezuelan street food. Mouth-watering arepas and cassava chips are the perfect food to have in hand as you explore the town of Winterville.
Q is for… Quiz
Let’s get quizzical, quizzical! Sounds Familiar will be hosting a fiendishly fun quiz where you’ll need to guess the song to win prizes. Like Never Mind The Buzzcocks, but with less discipline. Pencils at the ready for December 7, 8pm.
R is for… Roller disco
Expect offensively bright headbands, festive beats, and lots of movin’ and groovin’ with this roller disco. Fever have got you covered with the tickets, and as a special seasonal gift, they’re offering 30% off tickets as part of their Black Friday sale!
S is for… Sink the Pink
Led by the utterly irrepressible Ginger Johnson, a host of glamorous drag queens will form the campest choir in London, belting out Christmas classics and probably showing off a lot of leg. Catch them in the Spiegeltent on Nov 26 or Dec 17.
T is for… Trinkets and tchotchkes
Get your Christmas shopping done at Winterville with their funky indoor market. From vintage fashions to beautiful crafts, the perfect gift is in here somewhere. And if it isn’t, you can drown your sorrows at the marketplace bar.
U is for… Ultimate Power
Don’t stop believing: there’ll be power ballads galore at the so-called ‘Greatest Club Night on Earth’. Decide for yourself in between lung-busting renditions of Total Eclipse of the Heart and Bat out of Hell at their free party, this Saturday, Nov 25.
V is for… Vintage harmonies
The lovely ladies of Belle Noir will be harking back to the days of Old Hollywood with their mix of jazz, blues, and soul music. Expect some serious wardrobe envy when you catch a glimpse of their riotously retro outfits. They’re playing free in Bar Humbug from 4.30pm on Sat Nov 25.
W is for… World Beyond the Wardrobe
Perfect for families, this is an interactive trip into Narnia that’s filled with crafts and games. You’ll encounter elves, fauns, friendly lions, and even the Snow Queen herself during this immersive experience.
X is for… Xmas family shows
Written by War Horse author Michael Morpurgo, Mimi & The Mountain Dragon is a heartwarming musical adventure. It also features puppets, as if you weren’t keen enough already! It’s on every Saturday and Sunday.
Y is for… Yoga on ice
This is going to make crow pose a hell of a lot trickier… A pop-up yoga company have come all the way from the French Alps to run this class, and it’s guaranteed to chill you out. Try it out on Dec 10 and Boxing Day.
Z is for… Zero
That’s the price of entry! Winterville is free to get into at all times, except for Fridays and Saturdays after 6pm, when you’ll have to pay £3. Let’s be honest though, with everything we’ve just listed, it’s more than worth the price.
For more information and a full list of what’s on, visit the Winterville website.
Winterville begins on Thursday, November 23, until January 1. It opens from 10.30am on weekends, and from 11am on weekdays. It closes at 10.30pm on Friday and Saturday nights, and 10pm on all other nights. Nearest tube station is Clapham Common; the Overground runs to Clapham High Street.
Featured image: @wintervilleldn