The switching on of the Christmas lights trigger the start of the festive countdown. And with Santa, celebs, lots of late night shopping and food, many are much more than just the flick of a switch.

Here's our guide to what's on in your area. 

Have we missed any? Let us know by e-mailing




SUTTON – from noon on Saturday, November 14

Two years ago, Sutton had three members of S Club 7. Last year was two members of Five. This year it is two members of Liberty X. Michelle Heaton and Kevin Simm of the early noughties pop group will switch on the lights. The fun starts at noon with a Christmas market and Santa’s grotto.

News Shopper:

Stephen Mulhern and the stars of Croydon's pantomime.

CROYDON – from noon to 7.30pm on Thursday, November 12

Catchphrase and Britain’s Got More Talent presenter Stephen Mulhern will switch on the lights in Croydon this year. The star of this year’s Fairfield Halls pantomime is the icing on the cake on a day which is packed with family entertainment.

NEW ADDINGTON – from noon to 8pm on Saturday, November 28

Pinxton puppets, a magical musical bike, carols from the Salvation Army and live music will entertain people in the town centre before the procession at 6.15pm, the switch-on at 6.45pm and the fireworks. Inside Addington Community Centre, there will be a Christmas Bazaar from 11am with Santa there from noon and plenty of stalls.

BATTERSEA –  at Battersea Square from 6.30pm on Tuesday, December 1

The cast of Theatre503’s Christmas show Cinderella and the Beanstalk will join the deputy mayor for the big switch-on, while other attractions of the evening include carol singing, snow, mulled wine and mince pies.

TEDDINGTON - Teddington Lights Up from 4pm to 10pm on Thursday, November 26

Three sets of lights will be switched on – in Broad Street, the High Street and Elmfield Gardens – with entertainment including a choir, carols and stalls in Cedar Road Car Park. The High Street will be closed from 6.30pm to 10pm.

RICHMOND – from 6pm on Friday, November 27

Get some gifts early with late night shopping and a market along the riverside. The switch-on happens outside Amanda’s Flowers in George Street.

WANDSWORTH – Christmas Lights from 11am to 4pm on Saturday, November 28

Southside Shopping centre will host free craft activities from 11am to 3pm while South Thames College’s music department perform. Wandsworth Town Library has storytime from 2.30pm to 3pm and the procession by West Hill Primary School pupils, parents and teachers will come through the centre at to the switch on at All Saints Church at 4.20pm where there will be carols, mince pies, mulled wine and soft drinks. Father Christmas will be about too.

CLAPHAM – Clapham Light Night from 5.30pm on Friday, November 27

The town will come alive with light displays, fire performers, light installations and tours, silent cinema with a screening of Frozen, music, Santa’s grotto and street performers in seven locations around town. Find out more at



FARNBOROUGH - from 3.30pm to 6.30pm

The ever-popular switch on includes entertainment from 3.30pm with the lights going on around 5.30pm.

ORPINGTON – Light Up Orpington in the High Street from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday, November 19

The first town centre in the Bromley borough to light up for Christmas, Orpington First is organising a fun-filled bonanza which will see the High Street taken over with a funfair, stalls and food court and a stage with live entertainment. There will be reindeer pulling Santa up to the stage, pony rides, owls and a firework display.

BEXLEYHEATH – in the town centre from 10.30am on Saturday, November 21

The events and entertainment – including live music, stilt walkers, face painting, reindeer, fire performers, carols and a Santa train – start from 10.30am in the middle of Bexleyheath while the Switch On countdown starts at 4pm, with Father Christmas ready to turn on the lights.

BROMLEY - intu Bromley Shopping Centre from 1pm to 5pm on Sunday, November 15

The shopping centre’s switch-on includes giant stilt walking Christmas Belles and Bouncing Elves, confetti cannons, competitions to win a gift card and entertainment, with the lights going on at 4pm and a dramatic entrance from Santa.

News Shopper: Around 600 people took part in the Santa Dash which started at Queensmead Recreation Ground

BROMLEY – Santa Dash and town centre lights switch-on from 2pm on Sunday, November 29

Every year, hundreds of runners dress up as Father Christmas for a 2km dash from Queensmead Recreation Ground to the High Street as a precursor to the big switch-on. Entry to the run includes your Santa suit and costs £6 adults, £4 under 12s (must be accompanied) or free to under threes (though they don’t get a suit). Register at

CHISLEHURST – Christmas Bonanza, around town from noon to 5.15pm on Saturday, November 28

For the first time this year, Chislehurst Business Group is hosting a Christmas Bonanza which culminates in Santa travelling up the High Street and Belmont Parade in his sleigh to switch on the lights. There’s a fair at St Mary’s Hall (opposite Sainsbury’s) from noon to 4pm, with stalls, musical performances and balloon modelling (1pm to 3pm), a visit from the Ice Queen at 12.30pm and Cinderella at 3pm. The lights parade starting opposite the common at 4.30pm.

PETTS WOOD – Christmas Carnival on from 1pm on Saturday, November 28

The town will come alive with festive fun, including children’s rides, live performances and the chance to meet Santa. Activities will be going on in Station Square, Bluston Parade, the Memorial Hall and Queensway. The switch-on is at 6pm, followed by fireworks and more entertainment.

ELTHAM – Eltham Lights Up in the High Street from 4pm to 7pm on Thursday, November 19

Shops will stay open late, many with special promotions, as entertainment and sports activities fill the High Street. The lantern parade of hundreds of school children and their families follows the switch-on at 6pm. There are free community lantern making workshops for residents at The Eltham Centre from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, November 7, and St Mary’s Community Centre from 11am to 2pm on Saturday, November 14.

News Shopper:

Greenwich Christmas Lights. Picture by Sam Warr Photography

GREENWICH – Lantern Parade and Christmas Lights On from 4pm to 7pm on Wednesday, November 25

School children will lead their lanterns around Greenwich, from the Discover Visitor Centre at the Old Royal Naval College to the market. The countdown begins at the market at 4.45pm with CBeebies’ Sarah Jane Honeywell and characters from Greenwich Theatre’s Red Riding Hood. There will be carols, Santa in his grotto and shopping til 7pm.

WOOLWICH – Royal Arsenal Riverside Christmas Event from 5pm to 7.30pm on Saturday, November 28

The winner of The Voice in Ireland, Brendan McCahey, is among the performers at Berkeley Homes’ festive celebration which includes stalls and a special guest to turn on the lights.

KIDBROOKE – Kidbrooke Village Christmas Event from 5pm to 7.30pm at Berkley Homes Information Centre

Violinist Bobby Valentino headlines the entertainment while there will be stalls selling gifts and a special guest to turn on the lights.

PENGE – Penge Christmas Celebration from noon to 7pm on Thursday, November 26 in the High Street

Christmas comes to Penge with lots to keep the family happy, including fairground rides, fireworks, a market, entertainment and Santa.

BECKENHAM – Beckenham Christmas Celebration from noon to 7pm on Saturday, December 5, in Beckenham Green and the High Street.

Featuring Santa, a reindeer parade, market and entertainment.

WEST WICKHAM – from 3.30pm to 7pm on Friday, December 4 in the High Street

Peppa Pig and George are the special guests for the big switch-on which takes place alongside other festivities.



DARTFORD – Big Switch-On from Saturday, November 14

Details have yet to be released for this year’s celebrations in Dartford but we do know the date. Last year saw X Factor stars Rough Copy, Gareth Gates, panto star Dawson Chance, Olympic sprinter Adam Gemili and the cast of Miracle on 34th Street, so expect something similar.

GRAVESEND – Town centre from 4pm on Friday, November 13

Bands including Bloco Fogo, the Glenduart Pipe Band and Crocodile Brass band will play prior to the parade from St George’s Shopping Centre to Community Square led by the Mayor of Gravesham.

GREENHITHE – Bluewater’s Christmas Light Night from 6.30pm on Friday, November 13

Heart FM presenter Toby Anstis returns to host the big switch-on at the shopping centre s it goes all-out with dazzling lights, lasers, flames and a spectacular firework display.



EPSOM​ - The Market Place, from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday, November 19

Father Christmas takes centre stage with lots of family entertainment and one or two surprises.

EPSOM - Ashley Centre, from noon to 6pm on Saturday, November 21

The shopping centre’s annual celebration includes the cast of Epsom Playhouse’s Beauty and the Beast, children’s entertainers and santa.

EPSOM - Stoneleigh’s Lights on Broadway from 4pm on Friday, December 4

Entertainment includes Santa’s grotto, carols, performances from dance studios, hot food and festive drinks, Radio Jackie, late night shopping, clog dancing and stalls.

News Shopper:

KINGSTON - Ancient Market Place and around town, from 3pm to 6.30pm on Thursday, November 19

Over 50,000 people are expected to attend this year’s switch-on, which is Dickens-inspired in celebration of A Christmas Carol coming to the Rose Theatre. Characters will wander the streets and the Christmas market makes its debut.

WALTON – Frost Festival in Riverside Gardens Park from 4.30pm on Sunday, November 22

With no Festival of Light this year, there’s a Frost Festival to fill the void. School children will gater at Riverhouse Arts Centre at 4.30pm and embark on a dramatic torchlight tour of the surrounding area, led by actors, looking for Jack Frost. Back at the centre there’s a Christmas market and carol singing.

CLAYGATE – The Parade, from 4pm to 5.30pm on Saturday, December 5

Entertainment includes rides, stalls, choirs, carols and fireworks will accompany Father Christmas.

DORKING – at St Martin’s Walk Shopping Centre from 4pm on Friday, November 20

The cast of Dorking Hall’s pantomime, Cinderella, will perform while Mr Crimbo will be there to compere and amuse children and adults. There will be goodie bags for children.