Last Christmas I went to Wimbledon's Winter Wonderland because Warick Davis was going to be at Centre Court signing autographs. He was doing it as part of a promotion for the Christmas Panto of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at the New Wimbledon Theatre, in which he played the lead dwarf.
Warick was not signing until about half seven, but the festivities began at 5pm. The piazza was buzzing with activity, loud music, and people dressed in animal costumes. Some of the characters I remember being there were Winnie the Pooh, Sponge Bob Square Pants, and a zebra. The cow was in fact a goal keeper, and kids had a go at scoring goals with a football.
Other entertainers included a man entirely painted in black. Unlike those white angels that perform a trick or give out sweets if given a penny, this guy would sit very still on his box and then randomly jump out at people as they walked by.
There were plenty of street food stalls too: meatballs, churros, crepes, etc. They were lit up by people selling glow sticks and sparkly lights. At 6.30pm there was a parade, but I was so busy shopping in Centre Court that I missed it.
At 7pm, everyone gathered around the shopping centre, and looked up as Warick Davis made a speech and set off a fabulous round of fireworks. After that he did his signing. Although he was signing Snow White leaflets, I took my Harry Potter DVD and he was more than happy to sign that too.
Wimbledon's Winter Wonderland is back this year on the 1st December, only this time, it will be open the whole afternoon from 12pm-6pm. That means kids can still get to bed on time.
The Broadway is going to be a pedestrian haven, with the road closed off. Instead of cars, you'll see snowmen on stilts, unicyclists, and magicians. You'll be able to have a go on a snowboard simulator, and challenge Santa's elves to a game of Giant Jenga or Connect 4.
There will be a mixture of theatre, music, and dance from local performers such as the Merton Music Foundation, AFC Wimbledon, Dancebites, Stagecoach, Rock Choir, and carol singers. The highlight of the day will be a live act inside Centre Court, by the Britain's Got Talent dance crew, 'Flawless'.