Things To Do In London Today: Thursday 19 December 2013

If you’ve not already done so, you can subscribe to these daily listings and have them delivered to your inbox at 7am every morning. Alternatively, subscribe to Londonist Daily to hear about events further in the future. And help spread the word to your friends who haven’t discovered us yet!

Boxpark's Christmas party includes 21 PUMA Twentyone giveaways. Fitting.


BLOOD: Today's opportunities to donate blood are at the West End Donor Centre, Brewers Hall in Aldermanbury Square, The Hop Exchange in Southwark Street and Lambeth Town Hall in Brixton. Free, see site for terms and conditions.

CYCLING DIE-IN: Cyclists from the 'Stop Killing Cyclists' movement hold their second 'die-in and vigil' event at Vauxhall Cross to put pressure on the Mayor to increase cycle safety in the capital. Just turn up, 7.30am

GET DIRTY: Help maintain Highgate's Waterlow park in the company of like-minded, green-thumbed volunteers from Project Dirt. Turn up, get coated in mud and leave with a fierce sense of accomplishment. Free, just turn up, 10.45am

DICKENS ABRIDGED: For those who want to get cultured quickly the Arts Theatre stages Dickens Abridged, a manic tour through the inimitable author's most famous works in 90 minutes flat. Tickets from £20, book online, 4pm and 8pm.

COOKING DEMONSTRATION: Head down to Borough Market to salivate as head chef of the Bonnie Gull Luke Robinson showcases his talents. Joined by Antonio Carluccio, the godfather of Italian gastronomy, the chefs will showcase recipes using cheeses, charcuterie and wines crafted by attendees of the San Patrignano rehabilitation centre. Free, just turn up, 5pm-8pm

PUMA GIVEAWAY: Boxpark store hosts a drinks event in Shoreditch, complete with a prize draw where you could win one of 21 gifts including a PUMA Twentyone jacket, bandana and art prints. Free, just turn up, 6pm

FOLK GIG: James Yorkston brings his legendary Christmas gig to Union Chapel, supported by Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite and other special guests. £12.50 + booking fee, book on the website, 7pm

CAROL CONCERT: ‘Tis the season fa la la la etc. Pop to Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Shaftesbury Avenue for their Carol Celebration, with classical contributions and a “superb pipe organ”. Free, just turn up, 7-8.30pm Edit: oops, this is tomorrow! Sorry.

EXILED WRITERS: Syrian writers Iyad Hayatleh, Maram al-Masri and Husam Eddin Mohammad are at the Poetry Cafe with Exiled Writers Ink. £4/£2, prebook, 7.30pm

BEATBOXING & SYNTHPOP: Today’s music tip (we have a selection of them this week), as recommended by our friends at LondonGigGuide, is a double bill featuring all-girl beatboxing group The Boxettes and Dutch synthpop three-piece Say Yes Dog at Hoxton Bar and Grill. £8 + booking fee, book online, 8pm

Email banner 19 DEC

Good Causes of the Day

The festive period is a great time to support a good cause — here are three you can get involved with:

A quartet of internationally renowned musicians play a concert at St John's Church, Waterloo Road, to support the Helen Bamber Foundation, a human rights foundation working with survivors of human rights abuse. £20, book online, 7.30pm.

The Man vs. Santa Challenge at the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon pits brave souls against Father Christmas himself in a mince pie eating competition in aid of the Wimbledon Guild Charity. Entry includes a free Santa hat and a shot at gluttony glory. £2 entry fee, email to register, 8pm.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is encouraging families to pop along with a gift for the many moggies who will be spending this Christmas at their London Rescue Centre. There will be card and decoration-making sessions, plus a tree to put your presents under for the cats to open come Christmas morning. Free, though a £2 (adults)/£1 (kids) donation is recommended, just turn up, 4pm-8pm.

London Connection Puzzle

Your clues so far have been SAMUEL JOHNSON and WILLIAM HOGARTH. Today's addition is SIR ROBERT GROSVENOR. Spotted the London connection? Edit: we have a winner, so no need to email in.

From the Archive

Let us dig around in our metaphorical trouser pocket for some archive treats from 19 December over the years. London to host the 2017 IPC Athletics? How did that get there? That's a button. Bit of fluff. Lloyd's building gets Grade I listed status? Ah yes we remember that now, we really must wash these trousers. Oh wait, what's this? A beautiful photograph of Greenwich Park looking all Christmassy in the snow? Yes, that'll do.

London Weather by Inclement Attlee

A full day of sunshine? Who saw that coming? Our weather is more erratic of late than the brickwork in one of those new-look Prets. The rest of the week should be fine, actually, until a right pisser of a weekend.