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North London's top 10 festive treats

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As the season of good will gets underway, we thought we’d share with you our top 10 recommendations for what to do in North(ish) London this December…

1. Dreaming of a White Christmas – or at least anything other than a rainy one? Hampstead Theatre hosts The Flicker Club’s special festive screening of the Irving Berlin classic on Sunday 16 December with a special surprise guest treating the audience to a reading of The Night Before Christmas. With previous Christmas guests including John Simm, Tom Hollander and Bill Nighy you can be sure the surprise will be a good one.

2. Got little ones? Head over to Santa’s Grotto at London Zoo in Regent’s Park to meet Father Christmas and his famous reindeer every weekend in the run up to Christmas. Your little elves can also be a Keeper’s Little Helper for the day and help prepare treats and present’s for the animals.

3. Looking for a Christmas gift with a difference? Check out Camden Lock Night Markets which opens for business every Thursday evening until Christmas. Whether you’re looking for the perfect stocking filler, to customize your own shower gel or just a cup of hot mulled wine the Night Market has it all – and you’ll be entertained by musicians, performers and dancers while you shop.

4. Alexandra Palace’s ice rink is the perfect place to get into the festive mood. Not only can you don the winter woolies and have a Christmas skate yourself but you can also see their pantomime on ice, Sleeping Beauty, which runs 10 – 17 December.

5. Fancy a swim this December? Outdoors? Then why not head over to the Outdoor Swimming Society December Dip at Parliament Hill Lido on Sunday 8th December. And if you’re not brave enough to give it a go then spectators are also welcome and festive treats are on hand.

6. Bacon Masterclass on our doorstep (well in our kitchen actually)? Join cult blogger EatLikeAGirl and spend an afternoon learning how to make bacon vodka or bacon fudge in Hampstead Theatre’s very own kitchen. 2pm – 5pm Sunday 8 December

7. Who doesn’t love A Muppet’s Christmas Carol? Well you can catch it at beautiful and intimate The Lexi cinema in Kensal Rise between 22 and 24 December. And you’ll be doing a bit of Christmas giving at the same time as 100% of all of the cinema’s profits are donated to charity.

8. Adapted from Lemony Snicket’s absurdly funny book, The Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming at The Roundhouse is running throughout December and the fun doesn’t stop when the curtain falls. Join in with their creative and crafty family workshops on 16 or 23 December where you can make an animated edible Latke puppet.

9. Struggling to find that perfect Christmas gift? Help is at hand – Selfridges have created a team of festive personal shoppers, the velvet-clad Elfridges to solve all your gift-buying problems. And if, like us, you still need to find that office Secret Santa present, Selfridges is open until 10pm. See you there!

10. Feeling the Christmas overload? Old Money, starring local actors Maureen Lipman and Tracy-Ann Oberman is a perfect treat without any elves, snowmen, santas or tinsel. This tender comedy is one for grown-ups. Runs until 12 January – limited availability so book soon.

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