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WINTER MUSIC: Spitalfields Music Winter Festival begins on Friday. Here’s our preview. On Saturday, join the crowd at Arnold Circus bandstand for music, mince pies and a lights switch on and on Sunday there’s live music in Spitalfields eateries.
EEL PIE: Visit Twickenham’s Eel Pie Island Artists this weekend and explore the 26 studios, browse and buy original art and craft (NB cash only). Free, just turn up, 11am-6pm
ART & SCIENCE: Winter Shuffle presents art and science film, talks, music, workshops, immersive theatre and more in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. Read our preview, from 5-15 December. Tickets vary, some events are free.
FILM: Eight cool flicks are screening at the Little White Lies Weekender at the ICA, including The Life Aquatic and Mulholland Drive. Ticket to all eight films £40, individual screenings £10/£8.
NEW WORLD ORDER: The finale of the year-long The Rest is Noise season at Southbank Centre arrives with a weekend looking at the end of the Cold War and asking what next for classical music through discussions, lectures, concerts, films and documentaries. Full programme here. Weekend pass £25, day pass £15.
CHRISTMAS IS CANCELLED: … at the National Army Museum which is hosting a family weekend about 1647 during the English Civil Wars when the celebration of Christmas was forbidden but rebel merry making and Christmas chaos took hold. Which side will you be on? Free, just turn up, 10.30am-4.30pm
PUPPETS: There are free puppet making workshops for young people with Project Bookdock at the Rose Lipman building, N1 5SQ. Free, drop-in, 11.30am-3pm
ALE & VINTAGE: A Vintage Christmas Fair and Real Ale festival set up on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with a fun fair, roller disco, live music food and drink and craft workshops. Free entry, just turn up. Starts Friday 4-9pm then Saturday and Sunday from noon.
ENFIELD GLOWS: Ever been to north east Enfield? This weekend, Enfield Glows brings a festive skating rink in Ponders End Park, Christmas Fair, crafts, live entertainment and a carousel in Durants Park, EN3 plus winter cruises along the River Lee.
MONOCLE: The magazine gets festive with a Christmas Fair at Monocle’s Midori House Courtyard, Dorset Street. There will be reindeer, music, treats and a Tombola. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-
ILLUMINATED KEW: Follow an illuminated festive trail around Kew Gardens after dark.This is the first time the Royal Botanic Gardens have done this and it’s sure to be popular. Alongside the trail is a Christmas village and market, which is free entry. Christmas at Kew starts this Thursday and trails are bookable Thursday to Sunday up until Christmas week ,when there are special opening hours. Adult tickets £12.50, kids £8, from 4.45-8.45pm
ENCHANTED WOODLAND: Syon Park lights up a trail through its beautiful gardens and aboretum for evening visits to the park in the dark – the Enchanted Woodland is open on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays only until 8 December. Tickets £7 adults, kids £3, just turn up, 5-9pm
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 7 December
SHOP LOCAL: Stop! Don’t automatically make for the west end of leave your neighbourhood for Christmas shopping. Today is Shop Local Saturday, a reminder to explore and support your local independent traders and see what they have to support.
UNSPEAKABLE!: The 11th LGBTQ History and Archives Conference explores the histories and experiences of Trans, Lesbian and Bisexual people over one day at London Metropolitan Archives. Stella Duffy gives the keynote speech Speaking Up, Standing Up – and why it matters and there’s a range of talks, films and performances. Tickets £10/£7.50, 9.30am-4.30pm
CHRISTMAS PUD: The Great Christmas Pudding Race takes place in Covent Garden. Watch people run with puddings round a novelty assault course on the Piazza. Free, just turn up, 11am
DECEMBER DIP: Watch the brave/foolhardy swimmers brave the chill water at Parliament Hill Lido’s annual December Dip. Spectators £1, just turn up, 11am-1pm
CHOCOLATE: Brixton’s Chocolate Museum hosts its chocolatey Christmas fair with lots to sample, including food and drink from other local producers, and a chance to look round the exhibition. Did you hear them on our podcast recently? Free entry, just turn up, 11am-7pm
SPEAKER’S CORNER: Bishopsgate Institute and On the Record celebrate the launch of a unique exhibition exploring Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park with an afternoon of presentations, performances and heckling workshops. Free (generously, lunch and refreshments included), prebook, 1-5pm
CINEMA: Waltham Forest celebrates one of their local high streets, Leyton, with a pop-up cinema in the Great Hall. See website for full details. Free, prebook, 1-10pm
RECOMMENDED GIG: Peter And The Harmonics & The White Bicycles at Road Trip Bar, Old Street. Tickets £6, 7.30pm
FESTIVE FILM: Overdose on Christmas flicks at the Prince Charles Cinema’s Pyjama Party all-nighter, including both Home Alones, Elf, National Lampoon’s and Muppet Christmas Carol. Tickets £22.50/£25, book, starts 8.45pm
WOODY ALLEN: Watch Annie Hall at Hackney Picturehouse followed by a live show celebrating Woody Allen, with Nish Kumar, Steve Oram, Dan Schreiber, Lou Sanders, Rachel Mars and Kerry Shale as Woody. £20, 6pm
Sunday 8 December
CRAFTACULAR: Bust Magazine returns to York Hall in Bethnal Green and fills it with over 65 stalls of “the very hottest in handmade“. Entry £2, just turn up, 12-5pm
MORRIS DANCING: Fowlers Molly dance their way through three pubs on their first tour of the season, starting at Royal Albert 460 New Cross Rd at 12.30pm, then moving on to the Little Crown for 1.30pm and the Dog and Bell for 3pm. Watch them dance, buy them a pint.
CAFE OTO: Small publishers and indie record labels get Christmassy at the Oto/Lux Christmas Fair in Dalston. There’ll also be live performances and film screenings in the Cafe. Free entry, just turn up, 12-5pm
FIGHT: London School of Lucha Libre pit the future stars of Mexican wrestling against each other in the Fight Before Christmas at Resistance Gallery, E2. Tickets £5 on the door, 3pm
CHRISTMAS MUSIC: London Gay Symphonic Winds Christmas Concert includes such crackers as Sleigh Ride, In Dulci Jubilo and The Snowman at St Sepulchre-Without-Newgate, Holborn Viaduct. Tickets £8 advance, £10 on the door, kids go free, 3pm
LIDO FIREWORKS: To celebrate completion of improvement works at Ruislip Lido there will be a funfair and refreshment stalls from 3pm then a free firework display at 5pm
TUBULAR BELLS: Mike Oldfield’s classic album is 40 years old. To celebrate, join the listening party at the House of St Barnabas in Soho and have a chance to quiz the producer. Tickets £15, book, 6-8.30pm
16MM: Cigarette Burns Cinema presents “Lady in a Cage” at the Dissenting Academy, Newington Green. Free entry, just turn up, 7.30pm
RECOMMENDED GIG: Post Louis at Sebright Arms, Hackney. Tickets £6+bkg, 7.30pm
COMEDY: We’re promised a mega-famous comedian at Sunday Special in Greenwich but we definitely know Suzi Ruffell and Ed Gamble are on the bill, so that’s worth it anyway. Tickets £6/£4, starts 7.30pm
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.