Things To Do In London This Week: 25 November-1 December 2019

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Things to do this week is sponsored by the British Red Cross.

All week

Ealing Christmas market opens this week

ARCHITECTURE OF LONDON: It's the final week of Architecture of London, an exhibition showcasing 400 years of London's architecture through the eyes of artists. Over 80 works by 60 artists are on display, showing the ever-changing cityscape. Guildhall Art Gallery, £10/£7, book ahead, until 1 December

ANTONY GORMLEY: Also closing soon is the Royal Academy's Antony Gormley exhibition. See old and new works by the renowned sculptor side by side, climb inside a giant human shape, and ogle some of Gormley's drawings too. Royal Academy (Mayfair), £18-£22, book ahead, until 3 December

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS BY BIKE: Here's an exhilarating (and eco-friendly) way to see London's festive illuminations: a three-hour bike tour with plenty of photo-stops to really take in the capital's most spectacular displays. Cycle along the twinkling streets of Soho, Westminster, Kensington and Chelsea as your guide blasts Christmas bangers from a boombox. Meet at London Bicycle Tour Company (Kennington), £27.95 adults/£22.95 youth, book ahead, daily until 4 January (sponsor)

WINTER WONDERLAND: Hyde Park Winter Wonderland enters its first full week, offering funfair rides, theatre shows, ice skating, Christmas markets, food stalls, bars and plenty more. It's free to get in and wander round, but you'll need to pay for most of the attractions, and several of them require advance booking. Here's our full guide. Hyde Park, free entry, until 5 January

Tuck into Thanksgiving menus all over town. Photo: Blakes

TROY: Did Helen of Troy's face really launch a thousand ships? And did a Trojan Horse really feature in the Trojan War? British Museum separates myth from truth in its new — and impressive — Troy exhibition. There's a lot to see, so make sure you allow yourself at least a couple of hours. British Museum, £20, book ahead, until 8 March

THANKSGIVING: Thursday is Thanksgiving, and there are plenty of ways for Americans in London —and Brits who want in on the action — to celebrate all week. Check out our guide to Thanksgiving menus, meals and other events, and get your stretchy waistband trousers ready for a turkey and pumpkin feast.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Starting to think about your Christmas shopping? Make the most of the capital's many Christmas markets and fairs, several of which are in session this week. Anyone for mulled wine?

Monday 25 November

Crick Crack Club comes to the British Library

CRICK CRACK CLUB: Jan Blake and Ben Haggarty of expert storytelling company Crick Crack Club host an evening of tales about rebel children. Boys and girls who make trouble are common in fairytales, but these yarns take a look at the darker side of the children's deeds, misdeeds and comeuppance. Age 14+. British Library, £13/£6.50, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

INTRO TO THE UNIVERSE: Make sense of the universe, black holes, dark matter and the other intangible wonders of our cosmos at this introduction to the universe by award-winning author and science journalist Dr Stuart Clark. He helps the audience see the universe in a series of steps, looking first at the planets, then at the stars, and finally at the wider universe, and also touches on how the universe began and how it might end. The Tokenhouse (Moorgate), £12, book ahead, 7.30pm (sponsor)

CHARITY COMEDY: Lou Sanders, Spencer Jones, Lucy Pearman and Joz Norris are among the comedians on the line-up at A Night To Movember, an evening of laughs raising money for men's mental health charity Movember. The Bill Murray (Islington), £10, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

Tuesday 26 November

Christian Wolmar on railways

SECRET SUNSET: Follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City (otherwise known as Queen of Hoxton's rooftop) for a silent disco under the night sky. Don your greenest garments and stock up on biodegradable green body glitter before dancing the night away. Queen of Hoxton, £12.85, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

RAILWAYS: Journalist and transport expert Christian Wolmar is at the British Library to talk about how railways changed the world. He covers the economic growth and social change they created, and the innovations in engineering and architecture that resulted, drawing on research he undertook for his new book, Railways. British Library, £13/£6.50, book ahead, 7pm-8.15pm

A TUDOR CHRISTMAS: What was a Tudor Christmas like? Hear historians and authors Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke talk about their new book on the topic, including the feasts and activities which inspired modern traditions. The National Archives (Kew), £15/£12, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm

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The City of London’s original Christmas Market is pure magic (and all for charity too)

Gifting, gorging, gallivanting — whatever the holiday season means to you, there’s plenty to make your festive spirit sparkle at Guildhall Christmas Market. This much-loved annual event returns to the Grade-I listed building on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 November for two days of unique gifts, festive feasts, afternoon teas, special events, and even a silent auction that could see you winning a week-long getaway to Bali or dinner in a top London restaurant.

Monday’s Grand Opening gives you first dibs on over 100 stalls laden with handmade jewellery, clothing, art and homeware. Stock up on Christmas prezzies (or find a little treasure for yourself), then take time to admire the Great Hall’s magnificent arches and stained glass windows with a glass of bubbly in hand.

But the real action arrives on Tuesday when Guildhall’s doors fling open for shopping, scoffing and special events galore. In addition to the market itself, there’s Christmas lunch and afternoon tea in the medieval crypt, celebrity book signings, a fashion show. Best of all, the event raises vital funds for British Red Cross. We’ll cheer to that.

Guildhall Christmas Market takes place on Monday 25 November (5.30pm-9pm) and Tuesday 26 November (10.30am-8pm) at Guildhall, Gresham Street, EC2V 7HH. Tickets are £5 for the market with special events charged separately. Find out more and book your tickets online here.

Wednesday 27 November

The Ultimate Drag Showdown comes to town

DRAG SHOWDOWN: Netflix’s GLOW meets RuPaul’s Drag Race at The Ultimate Drag Showdown, a one-off spectacle featuring an all-star cast of legends competing for the title of greatest drag performer. Artists in the running include Adam All, Meth, Cookie Monstar, Michael Twaits, and Lilly SnatchDragon, all reading, slaying and death dropping their way through the tournament. The Clapham Grand, £15-£50, book ahead, 7pm

GHOST STORIES: Actor Andrew Murton and film director Leon Chambers join forces to perform three classic ghost stories from the Victorian and Edwardian era. Charles Dickens' The Signalman, Edith Nesbit's Man Size in Marble and EF Benson's The Other Bed are all brought to life in the fireside show. Daunt Books (Marylebone), £10, book ahead, 7pm

SKATE LATES: Get your skates on and twirl your way around the Somerset House ice rink to the soundtrack of DJ Riz La Teef. He provides energetic tunes to keep you on your feet (hopefully) before you kick back with a drink or two at the rinkside cafe and bar. Somerset House, £17, book ahead, from 8pm

Thursday 28 November

Tate Modern holds a Beer + Art tap takeover

CHAMPIONS TENNIS: Four days of tennis — from legends including Goran Invanisevic and Martina Hingis — starts at the Royal Albert Hall today. Champions Tennis sees former greats go head-to-head in a stunning setting. Expect some serious showboating. Royal Albert Hall, from £18.50, book ahead, 28 November-1 December

AMERICAN IDIOT: Tony Award-winning hit musical American Idiot has a three-night run in London. It's based on — and uses music from — the Green Day album of the same name, and tells the story of three young men struggling to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. Bloomsbury Theatre, £10/£8.50, book ahead, 28-30 November

Champions Tennis starts at the Royal Albert hall today

TAP TAKEOVER: Beer meets art at Tate Modern's tap takeover, which celebrates some of the UK's top craft breweries. Taste your way through offerings from a range of breweries, paired with street food, while admiring themed artworks. Tate Modern, £22.50-£27.50, book ahead, 6.30pm-10.30pm

OK BOOMER: Have the Boomers pinched their children's futures? That's the topic of tonight's Royal Institution discourse. Hear from Lord David Willetts, whose 2010 book The Pinch argued that the younger generation were getting a worse deal than the post-war Boomer generation. The second edition is due to be published shortly, and he's revised some of his analysis and policies. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £20/£15, book ahead, 7.20pm-8.45pm

Friday 29 November

Christmas Carol - a fairy tale begins at Wilton's

LONDON ILLUSTRATION FAIR: Five floors of artwork, prints, workshops and talks from top artists and designers is what the London Illustration Fair is all about. Meet your favourite artists and chat to them about their work — and maybe buy a piece or two as a Christmas gift, or to brighten up your living room. OXO Tower Wharf, £10-£12.50, book ahead, 29 November-1 December

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Wilton's puts a new twist on a well-known classic for this year's Christmas show. Christmas Carol — a fairy tale takes place when Ebenezer Scrooge is dead, as is Jacob Marley. The story focuses instead on Fan Scrooge — Ebenezer's sister and Marley's widow — and a festive haunting she receives from three spirits (OK, so some of it may be familiar...). Wilton's (Limehouse), £10-£36, book ahead, 29 November-4 January

A PEACEFUL NOISE: A Peaceful Noise is a very special gig in aid of the Nick Alexander Memorial Trust. Nick was the merchandise manager of Eagles of Death Metal, and was killed in the Bataclan terror attacks in Paris in November 2015. The gig is in memory of those who died that night, and raises money for the Trust's work in offering grant awards for young people trying to get into the music industry. ULU Live (Bloomsbury), from £22, book ahead, 7pm

Saturday 30 November

Big Fish Little Fish comes to Kingston

ROCKIN' CINDERELLA: One of our picks of the best family-friendly shows in London this Christmas, ArtsDepot's Rockin' Cinderella Panto opens today. It has all the usual tomfoolery (oh no it doesn't, etc etc) but with an added soundtrack of 18 pop, rock and soul hits to keep older generations of the family happy too. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £18, book ahead, 30 November-5 January

PODCAST FESTIVAL: Plug into the London Podcast Festival, a day-long event featuring live recordings and showcase sessions. Comedy podcast Wooden Coats and cult horror comedy The Unseen Hour are among the shows on the programme. Kings Place (King's Cross), various prices, book ahead, from 10am

FAMILY RAVE: The whole family is invited to Big Fish Little Fish's festive family rave. Aimed at parents who aren't ready to give up raving just yet, it has a multi-sensory dance floor with glitter cannons, bubbles and giant balloons, plus craft tables and a soft play area. BFLF events usually sell out, so be quick if you want tickets. PRYZM Kingston, £10/£7, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm

Sunday 1 December

Hear from Nadiya Hussain at Southbank Centre

ICE RINK: The latest of London's ice rinks to open is JW3's chilly offering. It's not as big — or as central — as some of London's other rinks, but it's the only one we know of that opens on Christmas Day. Penguin stabilisers and banana toboggans are available for less confident skaters. JW3 (Finchley), from £13/£8, book ahead, 1 December-5 January

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Head to Croydon for John Rutter's Christmas Celebration, a concert of Christmas music conducted by John Rutter. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs a programme of familiar yuletide tunes to get your December off to a festive start. Fairfield Halls (Croydon), £15, book ahead, 3pm

NADIYA HUSSAIN: Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain is on stage talking about her new memoir, Finding My Voice. She chats to Emma Freud about her various roles as a mother, wife, working Muslim woman, and a celebrity. Southbank Centre, £15-£35, book ahead, 7.30pm