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FLEA MARKET: Rather than dashing through the scrum on the last Christmas-shopping day, why not enjoy a more relaxed experience at Hackney Flea Market? With stalls selling such diverse goods as vintage clothes, ceramics and militaria you’re bound to find something for that one person who’s usually impossible to buy for. Saturday and Sunday, 11am-6pm.
HAND-DRAWN FOOD: Ready Steady Colour is an interactive theatre experience in a make-believe restaurant in Camden. Turn up, order your food, then colour it in and take it away at the end of the “meal”. The food, menu and restaurant is designed and hand-drawn by Anna Bruder. You can make a table reservation by emailing email@example.com. £6 a plate, Friday through Sunday from 10am-6pm
FAREWELL JLS: JLS play the 02 Arena for what could be the last time on Sunday – there’s still time to snap up tickets before this tower of British pop is razed from the musical skyline. £30.25 – £41.71, book online, 6.30pm Saturday and Sunday.
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: Impress your friends with Arabesques and hockey stops at one of London’s ice-skating venues. Check out our round-up of all the pop up ice rinks here.
Saturday 21 December
SEVEN NOSES: Legend has it that should a person gaze upon the Seven Noses of Soho they shall attain infinite wealth. That’s not an offer you can turn your nose up at, surely? Handily a walking tour takes them all in (plus a ‘ghost nose’) over the course of two hours, starting at Covent Garden. £10 (for ‘nice and interesting people’) – £12 (under 14’s free), book online, 11am – 1pm.
CHRISTMAS FAYRE: For those looking to avoid the Christmas crush at packed malls, London Fields Brewhouse hosts a Christmas fair replete with street food, Christmas decorating stalls and, as night falls, spiced beer cocktails to spill over the dance floor. Free, just turn up, 12pm – midnight.
ROOFTOP CIDER: After their first sortie in the battle to introduce ‘proper cider’ to the masses in November, the Cider Box returns to Queen of Hoxton’s Wigwambam for a rooftop party. But don’t worry – dancing and hot spiced ciders will keep you warm as night falls. Free, just turn up, 1pm – 10pm
MIDNIGHT APOTHECARY: Lubricate your vocal chords with some cocktails made by the Cocktail Gardener so you can belt out some tunes at the Midnight Apothecary’s Christmas Sing-along. Song-sheets are provided for those who’ve been miming along to the Pogues for years. £5, book online, 5:30pm – 10:30pm
COLLIERY BAND: The ‘brass juggernaut’ of Hackney Colliery Band bring their unique fusion of traditional British brass and world music to the Southbank Centre. Free, just turn up, 6pm
PING PONG: Netil House in Hackney hosts Pop-Up Ping Pong’s final event of the year, the Secret Elf Factory. With giant baubles adorning a room full of beer pong tables; cronuts and crack pie; and a live DJ set, it’s sure to be a night you won’t forget/can’t remember. £8, book online, 6:30pm-midnight.
REACH FOR THE BUNTING: Join Nest Collective’s mad winter ceilidh at the Brady Arts Centre Whitechapel, with a mummers play, dancing rituals, winter stew and onesies rounding out the eclectic event. £10 advance or £12 on the door, book on the website, 7pm-midnight.
CINEMA & CEILIDH: Bethnal Green’s Rich Mix live up to their name with a varied day of films, ceilidh dancing and the opportunity to meet Santa Claus in a specially-created grotto. Ticket price includes hot chocolate and a goodie bag from the man himself. £4, book online, 7:30-10:30pm.
SATURNALIA CARNIVAL: For a night that promises debauched partying and rampant merrymaking, head along to Jamboree in Cable Street for the Saturnalia festival. As night descends party-goers will enjoy the music of The Turbans, bellydancing displays and poetry, all presided over by the Saturnalia King! Come on, you’re curious, right? £10, book online, 8pm-2am.
LIVE MUSIC: Brilliantly-named James and the Peach play the Finsbury in Manor House, headlining a night of similarly brilliantly-named bands including Giles Likes Tea and The Fleas.
Sunday 22 December
SEASONAL SING-ALONG: Warm yourself up on a winter Sunday by taking part in Voicelab’s Big Sing event at the Southbank Centre. Best of all, all skill levels are welcome so you have no excuse for not really belting out some lyrics with no fear of embarrassment. Free, just turn up, 11am onwards.
THAMES TUNNEL: The Brunel Museum is organising guided descents of the Grand Entrance Hall of the Thames Tunnel in Rotherhithe. Tickets £6, tours on the hour between 12-3pm
CHRISCIENCEMAS SHOW: What if Santa Claus stopped believing in himself? A team of comedians, scientists and… elves… take it upon themselves to change his mind in the Santa Claus Science Experiment at Bloomsbury Theatre. Starring Robin Ince, Tiernan Douieb, Jo Neary and a cavalcade of others. Tickets from £12.50, call 020 3108 1000 for more information and to book.
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.