Things To Do In London: Wednesday 16 December 2015

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Kittens are for life not just for christmas. Photo: Clint Images

For your commute

Have a go at our 12 Days of Christmas pub crawl

What are London's best theatres for children?

Single this Christmas? There's nothing wrong with solo dining

Read all about it!

Catch up on all the latest London news.

Things to do today:

WRITE AND SHINE: Early risers should get down to the Mezzanine Cafe at Waterstones Piccadilly for a writing class hosted by writer Gemma Seltzer. During each Write and Shine session you'll be guided through exercises in poetry, fiction and life writing. Learn how to get into good writing practices and experiment with different materials. £10, prebook, 9am-10.45am

HEAL'S WALKING TOUR: This December marks the 137th anniversary of inventor Joseph Swan’s first demonstration of the light bulb. To celebrate, award-winning Westminster guide Peter Berthoud will be retracing the history of electric lighting in London. Join him for this 90-minute tour which ends at Heal's Forge and Co Brasserie with a drink and free gift. £10, prebook, 6pm

WINTER TALES: Head to the Royal Festival Hall for an evening of candlelit readings about arctic adventures and polar explorers. Hear from New York Times bestselling novelist Rosamund Lupton; travel writer and author of Cold Earth and Frozen Ship, Sarah Moss; and Bryan Lintott, whose latest exhibition at the Polar Museum is on Shackleton's Endurance expedition. £8+bf, prebook, 6pm

CHRISTMAS BY CANDLELIGHT: The Charles Dickens Museum is transporting guests back to the Victorian era with candlelit rooms, festive greenery and the scent of citrus and spice. Experience Christmas as Dickens would have. £20, prebook, 6.30pm

CINEMA: Warm your hands on mulled wine or a hot chocolate before settling down at 20th Century Theatre in Notting Hill for a screening of It's a Wonderful Life. £10/£20, prebook, 7.30pm

TURKISH TANGO: If you're wondering what this combination entails head to Sands Films Studio in Rotherhithe to hear Tango Line, a blend of Balkan, Latin, dance and classical — revisiting Turkey's tango scene of the 1920s. £14+bf, prebook, 7.45pm

JAZZ: Hear jazz vocalist and presenter on JazzFM Ian Shaw at Dyne House, Highgate School. Money raised goes towards restoring Lauderdale House. £15, prebook, 8pm

COMEDY: This might sound a bit harsh, but Margaret Cho is probably best known over here for that Golden Globes skit with Fey and Poehler where she pretended to be Kim Jong Il. For gags that take in Boko Harem to female empowerment, head to Leicester Square Theatre until 20 December. £22.50-£28.50, prebook, 9.30pm

Tickets for today:

MESSIAH: The Chapel at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich is the gorgeous setting for a recital of Handel's Messiah, sung by Trinity Laban Chapel Choir from 7pm.

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ILLUMINATED KEW: Take the Christmas Trail round the wonderful botanic gardens and see tree canopies awash with colour, fairy lights draped over branches and the brand new Fire Garden. Fill up on festive food and have a go on the vintage fairground rides from 5-10pm.

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CHRISTMAS BRASS: Classical music and the Christmas story seamlessly intertwine as Septura performs an alternate Christmas service. The Nine Lessons, ranging from Adam’s sin to Herod’s wrath, will be performed by the brass septet, with narration from Roger Allam.

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LIMBOLAND: The best seats in the house for Bill Bailey's Limboland are on sale today on our tickets site for £39.50 (save £10). At the Vaudeville Theatre, Charing Cross Road from 8pm.

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FILM FOR £8: Get Vue Cinema Tickets for £8 and watch any film, anytime in any Vue Cinema.

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ICE SKATING: You can skate in London from Wembley to Westfield, Finchley to South Kensington, Canary Wharf to Hyde Park. Check out our round-up and take advantage of some special ticket offers, like skate sessions at Winterville for just £3.50.

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Browse and book many more London events at our tickets site, powered by YPlan.

Good cause of the day

Crafty cat lovers are welcome to the Knitting Kittens Club, held at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home where there are 50 cute cats waiting to be rehomed — including two black cats Sam and Spice who desperately need a home for Christmas. Novices and knitting experts are welcome, check the website patterns for inspiration. Suggested £2 donation, just turn up, 5-8pm

Listen to Londonist

Do you know who introduced the Christmas tree to London? Find out in this Londonist out Loud podcast where N Quentin Woolf is joined by eclectic guests who guide you through Christmas as experienced in Georgian times. Check out the rest of Londonist Out Loud for more facts and trivia with London experts.

Find more London events in our Free & Cheap events listings. Want to see your event in these last-minute listings? Email us at at least 48 hours before the event, and we will consider it for inclusion. Note: due to high volumes of email, we can't always reply.