Today's Things To Do is sponsored by TicketSwap.
What we’re reading
- 'Mud bath' Christmas fair closes after being branded a disappointment.
- US embassy proves a catalyst for £15bn Nine Elms regeneration project.
- Inside Lambeth Palace.
- Donald Trump barred from Royal Borough in London during state visit to UK.
- Artist hangs refugees' clothing in London church to highlight crisis.
Things to do
ROBIN INCE VARIETY NIGHT: Robin Ince's Christmas variety night: Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People is back and we're excited. Expect familiar faces Josie Long, Jim Al-Khalili, Helen Czerski and Grace Petrie, plus new acts for four nights of science, comedy, and music. Conway Hall, £26.50, book ahead, 7pm-10.30pm, until 22 December
NIGHT LIGHT: Teater Refleksion and Andy Manley are known for their enchanting and poetic performances and we reckon children (suitable for ages 3-6) will be mesmerised by this magical theatrical journey through the night. Southbank Centre, £14/£7+bf child, book ahead, 19-31 December
ART FOR LOVE FINALE: Saxophonist Aaron Liddard and his band The Argonauts, an international collective of musicians, play their funky fusion of jazz, gospel and alt-rock for the grand finale of this free festive arts festival. Devonshire Square, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm
WATERLOO CHRISTMAS CAROLS: Gather around a vintage open-top bus to have a jolly good sing-a-long with a brass ensemble backdrop. If the festive spirit is alive anywhere in London tonight, it's here. Lower Marsh, free, just turn up, 6pm-8pm
RUSSELL BRAND: Due to popular demand, you can catch the eccentric comedian and new dad Russell Brand performing his show Re:Birth tonight. According to the Telegraph, Brand has "matured and mellowed", so take that haters. O2 Academy Brixton, £32.20, book ahead, 6.30pm
UNICEF CAROL CONCERT: Clapham sweetheart and pop star Jessie Ware is performing under the beautiful dome of St Paul's tonight alongside readings from Muzoon Almellehan, Martin Bell OBE, Andrew O’Hagan and others. All proceeds from this carol concert go towards Unicef UK and its work helping the children of Syria. St. Paul's Cathedral, £35-65, book ahead, 7pm-8.15pm
VERNACULAR: A YULETIDE CELEBRATION: Christmas isn't always about mince pies and mistle toe. Learn about Christmas traditions from around the world through song, plus storytelling and folklore from Cunning Folk. The Old Church (Stoke Newington Church), £11.05, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm
LIVE MUSIC: Hear a lovely acoustic set from the softly spoken James Yorkston preceded by a set from the brilliantly loud Salena Godden, (who we reviewed here). The Moth club, £16.31, book ahead, 8pm-11pm
THAMES CLIPPER RIVER LATE: The best mince pies in life are free. Soak up the sparkling city lights on a Thames Clipper, while munching this festive treat and being serenaded by Transport for London accredited buskers. Embankment Pier, £6, book ahead, 9.30pm, until 20 December
LYRICAL LOCKOFF: Want to listen to the most "significant musical development within the UK for decades"? Then get down to this late night shindig featuring legendary grime DJ Logan Sama, with high energy MC's YGG and Capo Lee on the mic.Brixton Jamm, £8, book ahead, 10pm-4am
Want to win £80 worth of tickets to a show of your choice?
Get your Christmas off to a fantastic start by winning £80 of credit for tickets to a @ticketswap event of your choice, including concerts, festivals, sport events, theatre and comedy shows. To be in with a chance of winning, follow @ticketswap, like this post and tag the friend you'd take with you. Competition closes 20 December
Good cause of the day: Scoff doughnuts for charity? Yes please
Australian import Doughnut Time is embracing the season of giving at its new Shoreditch branch with some deep-fried deliciousness. Order a Stout Out to Shoreditch doughnut — the one topped with Stout-flavoured chocolate cake pieces, gold dusted mocha beans and a coffee glaze drizzle — and the shop will donate £1 from your purchase to east London charity Step Forward, who support young people living in Tower Hamlets in the fight against poverty. Sweet stuff! Doughnut Time, just turn up, until 31 December
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets
Tripping as treatment? It exists, and scientists at some of the world's most prestigous universities are studying the benefits of single-use psychedelic sessions to treat severe mental health conditions. But do hallucinogenic drugs have a place in our hospitals? Initial results have been positive, but how do these sessions work? What do these scientists use? What do the participants themselves have to say? Clinic Psychologic Dr Rosalind Watts leads this fascinating talk into the potential successes and pitfalls of using psychedelics in medicine, using her own personal experience as a "trip-sitter" at Imperial College London. Get tickets
We’re fed up of bog standard London tours. Been there, done that. So how about learning some more about the history and surprisingly dynamic modern politics of London’s public toilets? This 1.5hr walking tour covers iconic London from a whole new perspective, as you learn about ‘spending a penny’ at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and explore the capital’s most patriotic toilet. The tour ends in the Cellar Door Cocktail bar, a former gentleman’s lavatory. Delightful. Get tickets