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FAIRYTALES: The Crick Crack Club’s Festival of Fairy Tales for Grown Ups fills five storeys of Bargehouse behind the Oxo Tower from Wednesday to Sunday. Read our preview. From noon to 5pm it’s free to visit the building and explore its nooks and crannies for exhibitions and trolls but you must buy a ticket for evening ingress and a show. Things you should know. Enjoy!
THINGS FINNISH: A pop-up shop at the Finnish Institute, Holborn offers traditional Finnish Christmas delicatessen rye bread, herring, Fazer chocolate and salted liquorice. Plus, we quote, “There will be free serving of Finnish mulled wine and gingerbread”. Open Saturday to Monday, check website for times.
RAF MUSEUM: Visit the Historic Hangars at the RAF Museum, Colindale on Saturday or Sunday and you’ll find Christmas concerts beneath an Avro Lancaster bomber. The Barnet Band play Christmas classics and some RAF favourites while the Swing Time Sweethearts sing festive songs from the 40s. Free, just turn up, from 12.30 each day.
CHOCOLATE: Follow your nose to London Chocolate Festival in South Bank Square behind the Royal Festival Hall for all things choco nice and watch out for free samples. Read our preview. Friday to Sunday, free entry.
ART & SCIENCE: Winter Shuffle festival of art and science continues with Christmas film matinees, lectures and workshops at the abandoned psychiatric hospital in Mile End – although some events are now sold out. Read our preview, ends Sunday. Tickets vary, some events are free.
POP UP XMAS FILM: At the time of writing, in Vauxhall there are still tickets left for Scrooged on Saturday at 7pm and in Notting Hill, tickets are still available on Saturday for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe at 1pm and Miracle on 34th Street at 8.30pm and on Sunday for The Muppets Christmas Carol at 5.30pm and Santa Claus The Movie at 8.30pm.
PRINT: Castle Gibson, Stoke Newington Road hosts the Three Course Story pop-up print sale, raising money for North London Action for the Homeless. Print Club London‘s original screen prints of the charity’s service users are on sale displayed with quotes which tell their varied life stories. Free to turn up, prints cost £20 each. Saturday 4-8pm, Sunday 1-5pm.
ILLUMINATED KEW: Follow an illuminated festive trail around Kew Gardens after dark. Alongside the trail is a Christmas village and market, which is free entry. Book your Christmas at Kew trail for Thursday to Sunday evenings up until Christmas week, when there are special opening hours. Adult tickets £12.50, kids £8, from 4.45-8.45pm
CHOCOLATE: Brownies, cakes, churros, presents, demonstrations and actual chocolate itself are all available at the Chocolate Festival outside the Southbank Centre. Read more about what’s happening with our preview.
CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Find a festive market near you and pick up some presents while scoffing a mince pie.
CHRISTMAS SHOWS: Check out cracking festive theatre shows for all sorts of folk.
SKATING: Seasonal skating is GO GO GO. Check out our round-up of all the pop up ice rinks here.
Saturday 14 December
CEMETERY: Take part in a Winter Fun Day at Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington. There’s guided tours, singing, storytelling and even a wreath making workshop. Free, just turn up, 10am-3pm
SANTACON: Watch out for four hordes of jolly Santas getting jollier by the hour as Santacon hits London. There’ll be ho ho hos, carols and sweets and potentially 16 hours of drinking from 11am
WANDSWORTH: Free Festive Fun at Wandsworth Museum and The De Morgan Centre means free entry to both, Christmas cracker and tree decoration making, and mulled wine and mince pies on sale in the cafe. Take the chance to visit the exhibition, Keep It Clean! – A Grubby History of Wandsworth and London and have a look at the collection of paintings, drawings and ceramics by Arts and Crafts artists William and Evelyn De Morgan. 11am-5pm
CHOCOLATE TOUR: Join an immersive whirlwind tour of the decadent chocolate houses of St James’s, on which actors and musicians bring the period to life. Includes chocolate tasting. £16.65, prebook, 11.30am and 2.30pm
FUNKY MUSIC: Cabbage Alley is a new night in Hackney dedicated to Funk-Jazz and soul music. Two live bands play original material plus DJs late into the night. Tickets £6, 6pm-midnight
PODCAST PARTY: The Guardian and One Life Left host a Christmas party at the Burlington Arms in Mayfair, complete with tabletop games, videogame Secret Santa and a commemorative badge. £11, prebook, 6.30pm.
SIXTIES SCI-FI: Ghouls Night Out presents The Astounding! Atomic! Blow-Out Bash! at the Lexington hosted by ace comedian Andrew O’Neill with talks, screenings and live music. In fancy dress £7, £9 otherwise, 7-10.30pm
DRUNKEN NIGHTS: A series of site-based live events in pubs and bars, Drunken Nights is at The Bell near Liverpool Street station with dance, language and comedy performances. Free, just turn up, from 7.30pm
SINGALONG: … to Christmas No.1s. Yep. Expect “Expect Bohemian Rhapsody, Hallelujah, Merry Christmas Everybody, Only You, Ernie (the fastest milkman in the West) and Mull of Kintyre”. Comedian Rainer Hersh and his Orchestra provide the music at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room. Tickets £20+bkg, 7.45pm
FELABRATION: Marking what would have been Fela Kuti’s 75th birthday is a huge celebration of Afrobeat at 229 Great Portland Street. Check out the line-up at the Facebook page. Tickets £20+bkg, 7.45pm till late
GET HITCHED: Not been to enough weddings this year? Fancy playing bride or groom without any of the commitment or massive expense? Shotgun Weddings throws an Xmas style party at Ego, Stoke Newington and provides an immersive wedding cabaret experience where two total strangers will be united in unholy matrimony. Tickets £10 advance, book, 8pm-2am
GOTHIC CHRISTMAS: A collection of family-friendly Christmas ghost stories at the BFI Southbank, with live musical accompaniment and a screening of 1904 film The Mistletoe Bough. £11 / £8.50, 3.30pm
Sunday 15 December
BARBICAN: Head up to the top floor of the Barbican Centre and explore their amazing Conservatory – a tropical oasis in the heart of the city. Say hi to the turtles. Free, just turn up, 11am-5.30pm
CHRISTMAS COMEDY: Comedy Club 4 Kids is doing a special Christmas “anti-panto science comedy mess ” at the Bloomsbury Theatre called the Santa Claus Science Experiment. Loads of great comedians and clever people are involved and it’s aimed at 6-99 year olds. Tickets £12.50, 2.30pm
CHRISTMAS CHOIR: London choir Voce present their Christmas Extravaganza; a “sublime selection of Christmas music both popular and unknown” at Grosvenor Chapel, Audley Street. Tickets £12/£9 advance, £15/£12 on the door, 7pm
CHRISTMAS ORCHESTRA: London Gay Symphony Orchestra present their Christmas Concert with Sleigh Ride, Lieutenant Kike and Winter Dreams at St Sepulchre-without-Newgate. Tickets £10/£8+bkg advance, £12/£10 on the door, 7pm
ASTRONAUT: Chris Hadfield is signing copies of his book at Waterstones Piccadilly from 3pm, but arrive early.
Other good stuff
- What’s on stage and art shows to see
- Live comedy in London
- Booky and spoken word events
- Free things to do in London
- What’s on in Museums and Galleries
- Eating and drinking
- Listen to our latest podcast, as recommended by The Telegraph
What have we missed? Let us know what’s going on this weekend, leave a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org.