Things To Do This Weekend In London: 23-24 December 2017

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All weekend

Check out London's Christmas lights this weekend. Photo: Regent Street

LEE VALLEY ICE SKATING: Wander around the Bavarian market or skate up and glide around Lee Valley's ice rink before dropping into Father Christmas in his grotto. Find more ice rinks here. Lee Valley White Water Centre, £5, book ahead, until 24 December

LIVE ADVENT CALENDAR: Open the doors to this digital advent calendar for a weekend of unexpected festive performances in unusual places spread over Wimbledon. Check out the advent calendar here. Various places (Wimbledon), free, just turn up, until 24 December

ACEY WINTER POP-UP: The ethos behind the gorgeous items on sale at this pop-up shop is 'style with purpose'. Pick up last minute gifts for the eco-warrior in your life (or yourself). 30 Redchurch Street (Shoreditch), 10am-7pm, until 24 December

INSIDE PUSSY RIOT: Relive the ordeal of Pussy Riot members, who were imprisoned after performing an anti-Putin song in a church in this interactive theatre piece, then check out the exhibition looking back over post-Soviet Union protest art from the last 25 years. Inside Pussy Riot, Saatchi Gallery, £21.50+ bf, book ahead, until 24 December 2017.  Art Riot: Post-soviet Actionism, Saatchi Gallery, free, just turn up, until 31 December 2017.

SOUTHBANK CENTRE WINTERMARKET: Whether you're looking for last minute stocking fillers or just somewhere to soak up the London-at-Christmas atmosphere, this winter market — with its Nordic-inspired chalets — is a good choice. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, until 30 December

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS: If you're lucky (and organised) enough to have finished all your Christmas shopping, why not spend the weekend marvelling at London's lovely Christmas light displays? Here are some of our favourites.

EXHIBITIONS: Want to squeeze in some last minute art before you pack up for the holiday/hangover season? A number of the biggest exhibitions on right now close soon and all are free to visit.

Saturday 23 December

James Swanton will perform all five of Dickens's Christmas stories over the course of a single day, in chronological order.

DALI/DUCHAMP: Catch this densely packed exhibition dedicated to the work and relationship between two giants of the art world: Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí. Read our four-star review here. Royal Academy of Arts, £15, book ahead, until 3 January (closed 24-26 December)

HART'S OF SMITHFIELD XMAS MARKET: You don't know the true meaning of meat sweats until you've jostled with this flesh-hungry crowd to get your hands on a highly prized, choice cut of prime rump. Apparently, Organiser Greg Lawrence likes to see everyone walk away with something, so that's one bit of your Christmas dinner sorted. Smithfield Market, free, just turn up, 10.30am

CHRISTMAS BOOKS MARATHON: Reckon you love Christmas enough to listen to all five of Dickens's festive stories in one day? James Swanton is attempting this feat of performance and endurance. You can check out the timings here if you don't fancy all of them. Charles Dickens Museum, £85, book ahead, 10.30am-6.30pm

COVENT GARDEN TOUR: Wrap up warm and join this history tour traversing London's well-known landmarks and well-worn shopping streets. Marks and Spencer (Covent Garden station), £12, book ahead, 11am-1pm

CIRCUS WEST VILLAGE XMAS POP-UP: Head to Grosvenor Arch to pick up last minute stocking fillers, from hand-poured candles to the work of fashion designers. Grosvenor Arch, Battersea Power Station, free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

NORDIC WINTERTIME: The whole family are welcome to get involved in Nordic-themed music, storytelling and crafts, as part of the Southbank Centre's Nordic Matters festival and if you fancy practising your Swedish, stick around for the group singing session at noon. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 11.30am

CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND: Proud Camden's Christmas all-dayer will have you feeling ridiculously festive with its alternative carol service, bottomless mulled wine and mince pies (in the first hour), and cheeky mistletoe kissing booth. Proud Camden, from £10, book ahead, 2pm-10pm

GOSPEL CHOIR: The 30-strong London Community Gospel Choir will have you belting our festive classics in no time, though no-ones expecting you to compete with those harmonies. Get your dancing shoes on and let the carols out. Jazz Cafe (Camden), £33.75, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

TEMPLE CHURCH CHOIR: Listen to the Temple Church Choir perform some glorious renditions of old favourites such as I'm Walking in the Air, Silent Night and Jingle Bells as well as some oldies from the 16th and 17th century thrown in. Cadogan Hall (Belgravia), various prices, book ahead, 7.30pm

SNEAKY XMAS PARTY: Prepare to have a riotous time at this alternative Christmas party featuring a line up of bad ass bands. Windmill Brixton, £3, just turn up, 8pm-midnight

Sunday 24 December

Spend Christmas Eve getting suitably festive at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland. Photo: Antonella de Spuches (2014)

BRIXTON VEGAN MARKET: Brixton is becoming a bit of a haven for vegans. Get your grocery shopping done at the farmers market, pick up ethical, animal-free items from Brixton Station Road and drop into vegan brewery Clarkshaws for a fish-scale free pint on your way home. Brixton Station Road, free, just turn up, 9.30am-3.30pm, until 24 December

PORTOBELLO CHRISTMAS SUNDAYS: Pick up a very last minute Christmas tree, browse items from 50 traders and fill up on street food at the festive edition of this west London market. Portobello Road, free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

DICKENSIAN CHRISTMAS EVE: Wander around the family home of the great Victorian author, listen to live music from a Dickens descendant Ollie Dickens, plus a mince pie and mulled cider are included in your ticket. It really doesn't get much more Christmassy than this. Charles Dickens Museum, £18/£10 child, book ahead, 10am-5pm

WINTER WONDERLAND: Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland is business as usual today. The free festival has a Christmas market where you can do your last bits of shopping, food and drink stalls, funfair rides, an ice skating rink and more. Free entry (charge for some events), 10am-10pm (liable to close early though)

FIVE GO JIVING: Grab a mate, a partner, your mum or a stranger and dance your way into the holidays at this swing and jive dancing sesh. Royal Festival Hall, free, just turn up, noon

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT: Spend Christmas eve listening to one of two candlelit carol services today and you're doing Christmas right. Expect works by the likes of Corelli, Handel, Mozart and more, as well as carols for everyone to join in with. Various prices, book ahead, 2.30pm and 7pm

GATHERED AT THE MANGER: Bring all the family to this 45-minute service in Soho. There will be carols and a surprise visitor from Bethlehem... St Anne's Church, free, just turn up, 5pm

PAINO SING ALONG: Grab a pint, pull up a stool and prepare to belt out Christmas classics at this proper East End knees up, with Eleanor Glacken on the piano. The Northcote, (Leton), free, just turn up, 8pm-11pm

Update: We have removed Giant Cheeseboard from these listings due to the overwhelming complaints the organisers received on Facebook (which, in fact, they have now deleted). You can read about cheeseboard-gate here, here and here.

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