Things To Do In London This Weekend: 14-15 February 2015

All weekend

New family exhibition Plantastic opens at Horniman Museum. Photo: National Museums Liverpool

PUB: Just want to kick back and relax with a pint and a packet of pork scratchings? Our pubs guide has information about all the best pubs in London, organised by area for your convenience. Find a boozer nearby, try a new place, or see if your local’s in there.

HALF TERM: The week-long break begins this weekend. Our article features plenty of things to do in half term with kids and teenagers, whatever your budget.

VALENTINE'S DAY: You won't have failed to notice that Valentine's Day is on Saturday. We've already shared 13 non-clichéd things to do in London on Valentine’s Day. Our pick of the rest of London's lovey-dovey offerings (there are a LOT of them — sadly we can't include them all) are below. Still looking for somewhere to eat? Take a look at our page rounding up the best food and drink in London. Provided your date doesn't suffer from vertigo, we reckon London's highest restaurants could be a good option.

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival focuses heavily on Alice in Wonderland, with plenty of free and cheap activities for the whole family. Other themes include nature and literature. 9-22 February

LAST CHANCE: It's your last chance to see The Wallace Collection's exhibition about the history of the Collection and its founders. The exhibition uses material from the Hertford House Historic Collection and Wallace Collection archives. Free, just turn up, until 15 February

LIVE MUSIC: If it's music you're after, take a look at the best gigs in London this week for inspiration.

BREAKING BAD: Fan of the show? Get yourself to Shoreditch where you can see Ralph Steadman's exhibition of portraits at Gallery 71a in Leonard Street. Free, just turn up, 13-15 February

GARDEN PHOTOS: Alongside the Orchids Festival, Kew Gardens's International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition begins today. The photos cover everything from landscapes to the minute detail of macro photography. Both included in garden admission, just turn up, until 6 April

PLANTASTIC: Horniman Museum's new exhibition, Plantastic, opens on Saturday. The family-friendly exhibition brings the miniature world of plants to life on a massive scale, exploring topics such as why dung is so important. £6.50 adult/£3.50 child, prebook, until 1 November. There's also a free farmers' market at the museum every week.

DANCE: Dance extravaganza Move It returns to Olympia London with hundreds of performances, dance classes, dance stars, seminars and shopping. Ticket holders get free entry to sister show, Perform, which covers acting and singing. Tickets from £15 advance, £11 for children, more on the door. Family tickets available. From 13-15 February

Saturday 14 February

Social club Thinking Bob gives Londoners a chance to meet new people.

RESERVOIR WALK: Join the RSPB for a guided walk around Waterworks Nature Reserve in Leyton. Waterproofs, warm clothing and binoculars recommended. £2/£3, prebook, 9.30am

FAMILY THEATRE: Every Saturday morning, Lauderdale House on Highgate Hill runs a kids show. This week is The Star That Lost Its Twinkle, about Ruby the rabbit who dreams about going into space. £4.50 (under 2s free), prebook, 10am/11.30am

ZOMBIE VALENTINE: Couples who want to avoid the romance of the day can spend it dressing up like zombies and taking part in a photoshoot. Includes a special effects make-up tutorial, zombie movement school and scream classes. £75 per couple, prebook, 11am-9pm

DEPOT TOURS:  The focus of this weekend’s tours around London Transport Museum’s Acton Depot is not on buses or trains, but letters. The special tours will celebrate 100 years of the Johnston typeface. £10, prebook, 11am-2.30pm

LOVE HARINGEY: Learn more about it at Haringey Local History Fair at Bruce Castle Museum, Tottenham. Rifle through the archives, listen to talks, watch vintage film and talk to experts. Free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

FAMILY DAY: Whitechapel Gallery encourages children and their families to get inspired by abstract art and create costumes, hats and jewellery to become a walking work of art themselves. Free, prebook, 12pm-4pm

PORTABLE JOY: For one day only, groups of 2-8 people can dine in the Caravan of Love, a portable caravan which is parking up a 10 minute walk from London Bridge. Ticket includes three courses, a cocktail on arrival, your own private chef, waiter and bartender. £40, prebook, 12pm-9pm

BOOK SWAP: The London Children's Book Swap takes place at over 30 venues across the city, giving little ones a chance to get their hands on a new read or two just in time for half term — completely free. Some venues have other activities going on too — see individual websites for details. Most venues from 12.30pm

MACARONS & MEWS: This two hour guided walk explores the hidden corners and secret passages of Belgravia and Knightsbridge, including a haunted pub. Price includes five macaron tastings. Meet at Hyde Park Corner. £20, prebook, 2pm

LONDON LIARS: Social club Thinking Bob is running an interactive London tour for those wanting to expand their mind as well as their social circle. The London Liars game tour will give partakers the chance to decipher the truth from the myths of London. Participants will learn about the weird and wonderful history of the city by acting out true and false untold stories, with losers taking part in forfeits that could see them impersonating spies. £10, sign up and prebook to attend, 2pm-6pm

CASTLE TOUR: Take a sunset tour of the 18th century Severndroog Castle in Shooters Hill, built by a lovelorn widow in memory of her husband. The castle is surrounded by woodland with breathtaking views over London. £4.50, prebook, 4.30pm-6pm

COCKTAIL EXTRAVAGANZA: The Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe hosts Midnight Apothecary, an evening of cocktails, Greek food and love stories. Sip handmade botanical cocktails, tour the Brunel's Underground Chamber and hear forgotten love stories. £10, prebook, 6pm-11pm

BLEEDING HEART: Scott Wood of London Fortean Society (and occasionally Londonist) leads a two hour walk around Farringdon. Hear heart-wrenchingly gory legends of Bleeding Heart Yard, the divorced statue, wife sales, husband bothering from beyond the grave, scratching fanny, phantom black dogs, tacky love tokens, the rat love queen, the shrine of the prostitutes' graveyard and more. £5, prebook via forteansociety@live.co.uk, 6.30pm

WORD FACTORY: Today's literary salon at Waterstone's Piccadilly explores the joys and perils of love with stories from Tessa Hadley and Zoe Gilbert, and exclusive new work from Jon McGregor. £12/£8, prebook, 6.30pm

GERMAN FILM: The German Goethe Institut London hosts a screening of the film Villalobos by Romuald Karmakar (with English subtitles). The film is about electronic music and contemporary club culture, and portrays Chilean-born DJ Ricardo Villalobos at work on stage and in the studio. Followed by a Q&A with Romuald Karmakar, hosted by music journalist David Stubbs. £3, prebook, 7pm

LONDON TALES: Theatre production London Tales at Rich Mix sees Londoners share their real-life, inextricably linked, comical and bizarre stories of life in this city. £12/£9, prebook, 7.30pm

ROMANTIC COMEDY: Not in the cinematic sense. Join Mike Wozniak, comedy duo Beard and Adam Hess for a night of flirtatious comedy in the whitewashed garage that is Invisible Dot in King's Cross. Romance has had never had a more unromantic setting. Upgrade your ticket to get a bottle of Prosecco and drink everything away. £10/£8.50, prebook, 7.30pm

FILM NIGHT: The Tea House Theatre in Vauxhall offers couples a chance to watch Tarantino's True Romance in cabaret-style seating, accompanied by a three-course candlelit dinner. £25, prebook, 7.30pm

COMEDY: The master of very low energy musical whimsy, David O'Doherty, is at the Hackney Empire armed with nothing but a Casio keyboard and the knowledge that he's checked everything. £19+booking fee, prebook, 8pm

CARNIVAL FEVER: Head to Made in Brasil Boteca in Chalk Farm for an evening of dancing. London School of Samba performs at 8.30pm, followed by a night of 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s music. 8.30pm-4am

ANTI VALENTINE: Not in the lovey dovey spirit of the day? Head over to Drink Shop Do in King's Cross for an Anti-Valentine's Party. There will be no roses or hearts, just good, old fashioned dancing. Free before 10pm, £3 after

Sunday 15 February

Try taxidermy at Idler Academy

SUNDAY ROAST: We’ve updated our list of the best Sunday roasts in London, now with ratings and a map. Take your pick, or check out your other food options.

WISH FESTIVAL: The Wish Festival celebrates the release of Beatie Wolfe's charity single Kids Wish For The World. The family event takes place at Whole Foods Market in Kensington and consists of arts, games and tech activities, plus a performance of the single. Money raised goes to NSPCC’s ChildLine and War Child.  £5/£2, prebook, 10am-12pm

FINSBURY WALK: On this guided walk, learn about the Chapel Market riots of May 1915, the story of the Finsbury Rifles and their conflict in Gaza, and the Zeppelin raids on Farringdon in a 100 minute walk starting from the Angel and ending in Farringdon. £8, prebook, 11am

VASE WORKSHOP: Tying in with Valentine's Day, the Columbia Creative pop-up at Boxpark is running a vase design workshop. Learn how to create a vase arrangement using everyday flowers. £45, prebook, 11am

VINTAGE FAIR: As well as a chance to buy from over 50 traders, Clerkenwell Vintage Fashion Fair offers live music, a traditional tearoom, alterations service and more. £4, just turn up, 11am-4pm

TEA CLUB: Head to Southbank Centre for a strolling piece of dance theatre, celebrating Britain’s passion for tea and all things vintage. Aimed at all ages, the show follows two eccentric tea ladies and their musical trolley. Free, just turn up, 11am/2.30pm

TAXIDERMY WORKSHOP: The Idler Academy hosts an introductory day of taxidermy with Mabel Edwards. Learn the basic steps of the craft and create a life-like mount of a mouse. £70, prebook, 12pm-4pm

FAMILY DAY: Go to Keats House in Hampstead for tales of fairies, heroes and monsters. Learn some legendary songs, draw a dragon and try your hand at inventing a myth of your own. Free with entry, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

AFRICAN CULTURE: Mwalimu Express is a monthly family event at Rich Mix. Each month  features a live musician and a film from an African country, plus poetry, dance sessions, face painting and more. Free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

VINYL SUNDAYS: The Forge in Camden hosts a new monthly event for vinyl connoisseurs to share their collection of records, 45s, LPs and 78s. Free, just turn up, 2pm

SHERLOCK FILM: There's a screening of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1921) at Barbican Cinema, with a live piano accompaniment by Neil Brand. £11.50, prebook, 4pm

CABARET: Lauderhale House's Cabaret in the House season resumes, with West End star Anita Louise Combe performing songs by her childhood inspiration, Olivia Newton John. Combe's West End credits include both Velma and Roxie in Chicago. £13/£11, prebook, 4.30pm

OPEN MIC: Allsortz offers singers, rappers, dancers, comedians and spoken word artists a chance to try our new material in front of an audience. At Rich Mix. Free to watch (just tweet @Allsortz1), just turn up, 7pm-11pm

HOMOSEXUAL ACTS: The Arcola Theatere hosts a benefit event marking LGBT History Month and the 40th anniversary of the first Gay Theatre season in Britain. Expect a series of talks, staged readings of play extracts, music, video and projections, and more. £20, prebook, 7.30pm


Other good stuff

Catch up on all latest features, see what we like in theatre and arts and browse more things to do in London.

What have we missed? Let us know what’s going on this weekend, leave a comment or email tips@londonist.com.

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Giles Cudmore

London Bike Show on Saturday too, way excellent last year.

Guest

Valentine's Day... because nothing says "I love you" than doing something because other people told you to do so on a designated date.

P.S. Shops, it's Valentine's not Valentines... if you're going to milk money from the uninspired, at least get it right.

hostile_17

I was so ready to purchase the Hounds screening... but alas, you snooze you lose!

Wayne

Hello guys! Unfortunately the whole valentine "thing" slipped my mind. But I came up though with (in my opinion) a great last minute alternative! Although I am wondering what you guys think of it!

I am going to have a romantic dinner for two at my very own home, including fitting valentine decorations of course! I will use Dinein.co.uk to have my food + champaign delivered from our (me and my gf's) favorite premium restaurant. Sounds sweet right! This way I can jump straight to the real business if you know what I mean ;)! Which is obviously getting myself a beer and watch football! Just kidding, but for real though, what are your thoughts on this ;)?

hostile_17

I did the Finsbury walk... thanks for promoting walks, I've done a few now. They work well if I have some unexpected free time.

The Finsbury Walk was superb - so I recommend to anyone that missed it going next month.