So many places to skate in London this winter! Take a look at the capital's seasonal ice skating rink offerings — most of them are now open and looking jolly festive.
COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS:
Check out our guide to Christmas in London and see what's open in London on Christmas Day.
CINEMA IN THE SNOW:
20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill transforms into a winter wonderland for the weekend, with festive films including Elf, Love Actually, Grinch, White Christmas and Home Alone being shown, plus falling snow and Christmassy snacks. Various prices, prebook, 11-23 December
Take a tour through London led by Professor Quantum, who will show you the locations where historical events have happened, as well as offering interaction with historical figures via his 'time phone'. £14, 12/13 December
Now an Olivier award-winning show, head to South Bank's Spiegeltent to see La Soiree's blend of the spectacular and surreal, running through vaudeville, circus, acrobatics. Good old-fashioned jaw-dropping entertainment. £29.50, 10pm/7pm
Saturday 12 December
MARIACHI EL BRONX:
When they’re not blasting hard-edged punk anthems, The Bronx are indulging their love of mariachi. The LA outfit’s alter-egos, Mariachi El Bronx combine Latin sounds with pop punk sensibilities and you can hear them play the Brooklyn Bowl at North Greenwich, £22, from 8pm.
That's rowing as in oars and water not arguing. The British Indoor Rowing Championships take place at Lee Valley VeloPark. For a minute we thought they were going to flood the velodrome but no, it's racing on machines. Still, impressive stuff featuring aspiring Olympians. Racing starts from 9am, £6 for adults, children free.
Stag and Bow in Forest Hill hosts a Scarf Festival on the theme of La Dolce Vita, showcasing beautiful handcrafted scarves by local makers and crafters. It's also the shop's fifth birthday and they're celebrating with mince pies and a discount. Go and have a look, shop open from 10am, prizes awarded at 3pm
MID WINTER SWIM:
Take the plunge into Brockwell Lido and raise money for Crisis. The charity's Mid Winter Swim takes place at three locations — it's Brockwell's turn this weekend. £22.29, prebook, 12pm
HORSE-DRAWN CARRIAGE RIDE:
If you're looking to splash out for a pre-Christmas treat, head to Richmond Park to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park. Huddle under a blanket while you see the park in all its glory, followed by a behind the scenes tour of the stables. £125 per pair, prebook, 12pm/1pm
WORDS AND MUSIC:
An Evening of Words and Music, with Booker Prize-winning author and Freedom from Torture patron Julian Barnes and internationally renowned pianist Angela Hewitt, will take place at Milton Court Concert Hall in Barbican. Proceeds go to Freedom From Torture. £20-£30, prebook, 12.30pm
Christmas comes to Battersea Dogs Home, where there will be a Santa's Grotto, live choir music, mulled wine and mince pies, Christmas crafts and a cat quiz. £2 adults/£1 children, just turn up, 1pm-5pm
TRAFALGAR SQUARE TRAVESTY:
Trails of the City lead a guided walk around Trafalgar Square, revealing some of the secrets of the world famous space. All proceeds go to the Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields. £9/£7, prebook, 2.30pm
ALICE IN WONDERLAND:
Head to the Royal Albert Hall for a screening of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, with a musical score performed live by an orchestra and choir. Find out more about Alice in Wonderland in London. From £28, prebook, 2.30pm/7pm
If singing solo in public is not your thing, you might like Massaoke — that's mass karaoke, basically a big singalong but with a live band. Try it out at Winterville, Victoria Park, for a fiver at 4.30pm
ICE HOCKEY: Haringey Racers face off against Bristol Pitbulls at Alexandra Palace Ice Rink. Spectators are close to the action which is ideal for experiencing this high-octane, fast-paced sport. They sell chips too. Tickets £4 adults, kids go free. Puck drops 5.30pm
LEGENDS OF LIQUOR:
Live comedy about drinking + five free drinks = The Thinking Drinkers' Guide To The Legends of Liquor. Roosevelt, Dorothy Parker, Andre the Giant and Jesus Christ all pop up in this award-winning show, at the Museum of Comedy, Bloomsbury. Tickets £17.50, 6pm
SECRET SANTA SOCIALISER:
CitySocializer runs its Secret Santa Christmas Party at Piccadilly Institute. Buy an original gift for £10, take it along and give it away. Make new friends, get a gift, dance the night away in a Santa Hat from 7pm
HAVEN'T STOPPED DANCING YET:
Enjoy a night of 70s and 80s soul, funk and disco for people who remember the tunes the first time round and still want to party (and for anyone else who loves a good boogie). Takes place at Blackheath Halls. £15/£18, prebook, 7.30pm-midnight
THE DANCE BEFORE CHRISTMAS:
Who needs the office party? The Dance Before Christmas is a theatrical experience, crescendoing in the most wonderful dance to celebrate the festive season in the Vaults underneath Waterloo station. Chew on a mulled toffee apple and shake off the everyday in a subterranean Xmas ball. Tickets £10, 8pm
Toddla T's Winter Carnival is an indoor street party, bringing the best of the summer season to Koko during the opposite season. Still, if you've heard of Stylo G, The Heatwave, Cadenza, Wookie, Jus Now, Mad Fingers and the Soca Police then this is the night out for you. Tickets £15, doors 9pm
CONEY ISLAND PARTY:
Bethnal Green Working Men's Club holds a 50s themed club night with a festive twist, in the style of the famous New York beach resort. DJs play retro (and Christmas) tunes, plus sideshow games, a hot dog eating contest and more. £5/£6/£8, prebook, 9pm
CIRCUS OF HORRORS:
Circus of Horrors performs a Christmas SpecDracula, at Victoria Park's Winterville, featuring sword swallowers, a human pin cushion, death-defying aerialists, back-flipping, fire-limboing acrobats and more. £5, 9.30pm
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Join the ultimate house party this weekend for just a fiver!
Looking for an alternative night out this Saturday? Then head to Hoxton where you can party and dance to live DJs in a disused warehouse by the canal.
Relentless House Party has a line-up of fresh underground talent including Catchment, Jacob Plant, Woz, TCTS, Jaymo & Andy George plus headliner DJ and producer Shift K3Y, who'll be performing his new single Gone Missing. Throw in drinks and plenty of dance moves, and you've got the perfect Saturday night bash.
Things To Do In London This Weekend is sponsored by Relentless Energy Drink.
Sunday 13 December
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE:
Watch the Frank Capra classic with Nomad Cinema in Ecclestone Place Courtyard, Belgravia. Sit beneath a weatherproof canopy and snuggle up in blankets on comfy chairs while the weep-inducing story unfolds from 5.30pm
CHATSWORTH ROAD CHRISTMAS:
Chatsworth Road in Clapton holds a Christmas Festival with live music, a dog show, free pet micro chipping and a licenced bar run by independent brewery Brew by Numbers. Plus Santa will be dropping by and the shops and stalls are open late for shopping. Free, just turn up, all day
2015 marks the 40th anniversary of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s death. Barbican hosts an immersive Shostakovich Day, featuring three chamber music concerts showcasing his musical legacy. Various prices, prebook, 11am-7.30pm
SCHOOL OF LIFE:
Philosopher Roger Scruton discusses what the thinkers of centuries past would think of love and sexuality in the age of Tinder and sexting, at The School of Life. £20, prebook, 11.20am
TOTTENHAM PLOUGHMAN WINTERFEST:
The Tottenham Ploughman is back at the Bruce Castle Museum for Tottenham Ploughman Winterfest, celebrating the best of Tottenham. There will be food, drink, crafts and a chance to get involved with decorating the Bruce Castle tree. Free, just turn up, 12pm-5pm
CHARITY DANCE MARATHON:
Dance the day away to a soundtrack of live DJs and bands at Southbank Centre. The charity dance marathon raises money for Hackney-based charity Headway East London. Free registration (sponsorship required), prebook, 12pm-8.30pm
BAMBOO BICYCLE CLUB:
Learn how to make a bamboo bicycle at Design Museum. Tying in with current Cycle Revolution exhibition, the founder of the Bamboo Bicycle Club will be demonstrating how to make your own environmentally friendly form of transport. Free with museum entry, prebook, 2pm
Union Chapel in Islington holds a day of festive fun including Christmas shopping, carol singing, food, drink and a free screening of The Snowman (there's also a chargeable screening of It's A Wonderful Life at 6pm — prebook for this). Free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm
Glitch is the improvised puppet show for adults. Muppets making it up? Sort of. Glitch perform adventure stories with a mix of traditional Japanese table-top 'Bunraku' puppetry and some stuff that's more Sesame Street. They'll be supported by more funny impro talent at The Funny Side, Freedom Bar, Soho, £8, 6pm
London Gay Symphony Orchestra present their Christmas Concert with big-hitting classics by Rimsky-Korsakov, Mussorgsky and Dvorak plus mince pies and mulled wine. Tickets £10, at St Sepulchre Without Newgate, 7.30pm
SOUTH LONDON CARES:
Head to The Cavendish Arms in Stockwell for a comedy night in aid of South London Cares, a charity which tackles social isolation in Southwark and Lambeth. Line up includes Bex Hill, Pippa Evans and Sam Fletcher. £6.25-£9.39, prebook, 7.30pm
Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre concludes its Three Sundays of Inspiration Music with a Christmas Candlelight Concert. Head to Crouch End for atmospheric Vivaldi, Handel, Scarlatti and Correlli. Tickets from £8.25, 8pm
Broadcaster and music journalist Tina Edwards brings London-based singer and composer Fini Bearman to The Pheasantry for night of live music proceeded by on stage interview. Expect original songs and Christmas classics. £15, 8pm
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