Santa grotto

Everything you need to know about Barking Mad About Christmas 2022

The countdown to Christmas is on as Barking and Dagenham prepares for its annual festive makeover. 

Barking Mad About Christmas returns on Saturday 3 December, between 11am and 5pm, promising a host of family fun including carol singing, wreath making, dance performances, magic shows, and even festive bingo. 

Children will once again get the chance to meet Santa in his grotto and receive a present for free – including a dedicated quiet hour for young people with additional needs. 

The festivities will take place around Barking Town Square, Barking Learning Centre and Barking Market, where visitors can join in an Elf hunt or even bump into everyone’s favourite giant green ogre, Shrek, who will be helping spread some Christmas cheer.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Darren Rodwell, said: “It’s been another difficult year for many people because of the cost-of-living crisis, so we’re absolutely delighted to be able to offer some more fantastic, free, family fun that will put smiles on people’s faces and create long-lasting memories.

“Barking and Dagenham is the place to be when it comes to Christmas celebrations. Where else can you meet Santa, bump into an ogre, have a go at bingo, and browse a true east London market, all in one place!” 

The festivities will wrap-up with the Christmas tree lights being switched on at 4.50pm.

For more details about the event, visit