Things To Do This Week In London: 23-29 October 2017

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Things to do this week is sponsored by Big Bus Tours.

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Harry Potter: A History of Magic is on at The British Library until 28 February 2018. © Tony Antoniou

READY, STEADY GO!: Your three-year-old might be too young to apply for a provisional licence, but they can still have a blast zooming around this driving school in a cardboard cut-out car. (Suitable for 3-9 year-olds). ArtsDepot, £10, book ahead, 10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 23-27 October

HALLOWEEN: Looking for spookily good events in London? Our Halloween guide covers family-friendly events, film screenings, and adults-only parties.

WATER STATIONS: Encounter blue, swirling, wave-like sculptural forms in this exhibition dedicated to water (if you hadn't guessed), and raising awareness of people around the world who don't have access to clean water.  St Paul's Cathedral, £18, book ahead, 8.30am-4.30pm, until 28 October

HALF TERM: Looking for ways to keep the kids busy while they're off school? Our half term guide covers plenty of events, from theatre shows to animal experiences to afternoon tea — you'll find something to do, whatever their age and whatever your budget. 21-29 October

LONDON LIT FESTIVAL: Hear Sylvia Plath's letters (29 Oct), see indigenous rap performances (until 29 Oct) and use recycled bits and bobs to create your own time capsule (until 27 Oct) as part of this year's London Literature Festival. Southbank Centre, various prices, book ahead, until 1 November

HARRY POTTER: Potty for Potter? Head to this exhibition, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book. We reckon even people who aren't familiar with the books will find it spellbinding. The British Library, £16, book ahead, until 28 February 2018

Monday 23 October

Forget dog yoga, sound baths are where it's at.

MAKE A BOOK: Comic poet John Hegley will have the whole family scribbling poems, folding paper and even enjoying a singsong at this book-making workshop. The Poetry Cafe, £4.50, book ahead, 11am-1pm

SOUND BATH: Some people do yoga, some people squeeze stress balls and some people like to bath in the therapeutic tones of "alchemy singing bowls". You might not be familiar with this type of meditation but your de-cluttered mind will be glad you went. Devonshire Club, £30-£180, book ahead, noon/1pm/5.30pm/7pm

DESIGN TOUR: Hear all about rooftop train tracks and doppelgängers from one Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun, who has been lauded the Willy Wonka of design and science. Intriguing stuff. Village Underground, £22, book ahead, 5.30pm-7pm

VAMPIRE SCIENCE: Vampire science might sound like an oxymoron but it's not, according to this live podcast recording which asks: What were the ghoulish real-life conditions that brought vampires to popular culture? And can drinking blood really make us younger? Soho Theatre, £11, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Tuesday 24 October

Attend a drawing class where your subject slithers.

KIDS ANIMATION: Give your little ones a history lesson with a twist at this workshop exploring the Battle of Waterloo through an animated film workshop. The Household Cavalry Museum, £7, book ahead, 11.30am-3.30pm

MEMORY WORKSHOP: A panel discussion looking at... what was it again? Ah yes, memory, why do we hold on to bad stuff like insults but can't remember the important stuff, like where we left our keys? Discuss. Royal Institution, £16, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

SNAKE DRAWING: When fruit bowls and flower-filled vases get boring, head to this drawing class, where your subject is a living, breathing, slithering snake. All the reptiles are rehomed unwanted pets and you can hear about snake conservation and the realities of exotic pet purchases. Protein Studios (Shoreditch), £26, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

ADVENTURE TALES: How's this for an interesting career choice? James Aldred has spent his life climbing the world's most majestic trees with a camera in hand. He'll be telling you and H is for Hawk author Helen Macdonald all about it at this launch of his memoirs. Royal Geographical Society, £18, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm


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Why not go on an A-Z culinary tour of London this week?

Bored of the same old meals out? Visiting London and looking for something a little different? For local and visiting foodies alike, London is the perfect place to try something new — it’s the restaurant capital of the world, after all. But with so much to choose from, it’s not always easy to start your culinary adventure…

Luckily, the knowledgable folk over at Big Bus Tours London have put together an A-Z adventurous food guide. They’ve been exploring the streets of our capital for more than twenty years, so they certainly know a thing or two about where to eat. It features everything from the latest sweet treats to exotic meat delicacies (if you’re brave enough).

You can check out the A-Z guide here, and there’s a handy map to help you find your way, too. Why not hop on one of Big Bus Tours’ open-top buses and start working your way through the list? There’s multiple routes to choose from, and with more than 50 stops across the city, there’s lots of ground to cover. Just make sure you start this trip on an empty stomach.


Wednesday 25 October

Prepare to get spooked out of your head(set).

EXPLORER'S MORNING: Kids activities and a relaxed chill out zone perfect for 5-15 year-olds with autism or other social communication conditions. Jewish Museum, £8, book ahead, 9am-11am

HAUNTED CINEMA: Imagine being transported into the scariest scene of your favourite horror film. That's what's being pitched at the virtual reality haunted cinema, which includes an interval (to recover your nerves or run away). Go along, if you dare. 68a Neal Street (Covent Garden), £18, book ahead, every hour 1pm-10pm, 25-29 October

STRESS REDUCTION: Over-worked, underpaid and not sure where to turn? This talk teaches you how to spot the symptoms of professional burnout and provides stress-reduction tips. Gallery Elena Shchukina (Mayfair), £9.60, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

PUMPKIN GARDEN: It's pumpkin carving with a hipster twist, where you'll be planting (not carving) your pumpkins up into lovely little succulent pumpkin gardens. The Garrison Public House (Bermondsey Street), £45-£50, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Thursday 26 October

Discover Iceland through the eyes of William Morris.

FAMILY TOUR: While you leave your kids to the fun interactive tour, you can get all culturally sophisticated on the adult tour exploring the works of Turner and/or the Pre-Raphaelites. Tate Britain, £15, book ahead, 10.30am

KOREAN FILM FEST: Film buffs are spoilt for choice at this Korean film festival featuring many UK and international film premieres, with a focus on Korean Noir. Various venues, £8, book ahead, until 19 November

BORDER TALK: Bang drums (rhythmically, if you can), speak Spanish in a dual language workshop and learn about the origins of Cuban music at the first in this Breaking Borders series, focusing on Latin America. British Library, £10, book ahead,7pm

MORRIS IN ICELAND: Did you know William Morris travelled extensively in Iceland? See the souvenirs he brought back and hear all about his trips via writer and poet Lavinia Greenlaw, plus live Icelandic folk music from Ösp Eldjárn. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), £12/£8, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

LATE NIGHT JAZZ: Afrobeat collective Kokoroko will have your toes tapping and your soul shaking in no time. Royal Albert Hall, £15, book ahead, 9.30pm

Friday 27 October

Attend a Halloween event at Handel & Hendrix inspired by the supernatural stories of these two historic houses.

INTERNATIONAL FILMS: With Johnny Vegas on the judging panel and hundreds of awesome independent films to choose from, Crystal Palace International Film Festival is always a delight – whatever your film taste. Various venues and prices, 27 October-18 November

REGGIE YATES: Former Radio 1 presenter turned investigative broadcaster Reggie Yates reflects on his time travelling around extreme environments at this launch of his new book Unseen: My Journey. Round Chapel (Homerton), £16.32-£35.83, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm

HANDEL & HENDRIX: Looking for a Halloween event for a Hendrix fan? Expect performances of Handel's more otherworldly operatic pieces, life drawing with Art Macabre and surprise music acts at this Halloween special. Handel & Hendrix (Mayfair), £20, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

Saturday 28 October

SATURDAY SHED: Get your 5-8 year olds moving, singing, dancing, acting and story making at these fun-packed workshops. Chickenshed Theatre, £6, book ahead, 10am/11.15am

MUSIC IN MOTION: A different kind of concert where the musicians not only have to wow you with their instrument playing but also move around. It sounds like hard work but we're sure they'll pull it off. Conway Hall, £15, book ahead, 3.30pm-5pm/ 7.30pm-9.30pm

MEDICAL OPEN MIC: Hear weird medical stories from wonderful museums, who get nine minutes each to share their oddest anecdotes. The Royal College of Nursing Library and Heritage Centre, £7 (includes one drink), book ahead, 6pm-8pm

LONDON SYMPHONY: Hear a poetic soundscape of the city performed live by the Covent Garden Sinfonia, with complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits. Shree Ghanapathy Temple (Wimbledon), £5.90, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

LAMP-LIT TOUR: Explore the cemetery how it was meant to be explored — accompanied by flickering lamps, spooky tales and a belly full of authentic Souls Cake. Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, £12, book ahead, 8.30pm-10pm

ESOTERICA: A look at the early 20th-century fascination with mysticism through music, storytelling and illustrations. The Wanstead Tap, £6, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

HALLOWEEN BALL: Mount dead butterflies, gawp at rooftop cabaret, sketch murders, and lie in a coffin while listening to your own personal funeral playlist at this Halloween ball dedicated to the master of macabre himself Edgar Allan Poe. Century Club, £20, book ahead, 9pm-2am

Sunday 29 October

Visit an impressive art deco building in the heart of Wood Green.

RISO PRINTING: Design and create your own personalised posters, flyers, business cards and greeting cards at this Riso printing workshop. DIY Space for London, £8, book ahead, 2pm-5pm

ARTS HOTEL: It's not often you get to snoop around London's beautiful buildings outside of Open House weekend but today you can wander around this art deco gem. Now a hotel, it was formally the HQ of a company which powered electric trams across north London. Green Rooms Art Hotel, £6, book ahead, 3pm-4.30pm

DR. JANE GOODALL: We challenge you to find someone who cares more about the protection of wild chimps and the environment than this lady. Tonight Goodall discusses why she left the forest and talks us through her ongoing work in Africa. The Old Vic Theatre, £6-£10, book ahead, 5.15pm-6.15pm

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

Love Actually


Nothing says Christmas like a special screening of everyone’s favourite love story: Love Actually. The film will be accompanied by a fun and fascinating talk about the psychology of love from evolutionary anthropologist Dr Anna Machin, giving you a great insight into why some of us are luckier in love than others. And as an extra special festive treat, every ticket includes a glass of mulled wine, a mince pie and a very festively decorated venue.  Get tickets

Bitcoin and Ethereum for Dummies


Have you heard of Bitcoin and Ethereum? Perhaps because it's been in the news a lot recently due to spectacular price rises. But what exactly is Bitcoin? How is Ethereum different? Is it too late to get involved, or is this just the beginning? In this talk, Owen Barnes will cover the essentials of cryptocurrencies, assuming you have no prior technical knowledge. By the end you should have the tools and confidence you need to participate in the biggest technological shift since the creation of the Internet.   Get tickets

Take a Walk Through London's Most Historic Spots


Have you visited London's Roman ampitheatre? What about London's Medieval market places? Hear weird and wonderful tales of our beautiful city as you take a walking tour, seeing everything from centuries-old churches to the hanging place of William Wallace. Whether you've lived here all your life or are visiting for a few days, you're sure to learn something new about London. Get tickets

Talk: Is Monogamy Dead?


Are we all a bit more polyamorous than we admit? Our diverse definitions of infidelity are brought under spotlight by comedian, writer and broadcaster, Rosie Wilby, as she presents some of the surprising results of a survey she conducted as research for her book, ‘Is Monogamy Dead?’. Perhaps the wide variety of connections we experience deserve more language, like a ‘love affair friendship’? Get tickets