Things to do this week is sponsored by the ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair.
HALLOWEEN: It’s Halloween week, which means there are spooky goings-on all over town. Read our guide to Halloween events for adults and kids, covering parties, pumpkin trails and plenty more. Otherwise, book yourself into one of these Halloween film screenings, or tuck into spooky, limited-edition food and drink.
FIREWORKS: The capital is also ramping up for fireworks night, with displays and bonfire events all over town. We’ve compiled all the ones we know about into one handy guide, so you should be able to find a display near you.
DIWALI: The Diwali celebrations continue this week too, with special feasting menus in Indian restaurants, and other events, culminating in the free Diwali festival in Trafalgar Square on Sunday.
HAUNTED PUB TOURS: Hampstead and Highgate are very pretty, but there’s a chance to learn more about their darker side on this aptly-timed haunted pub crawl. Head from Highgate to Hampstead stopping at four supposedly-haunted pubs along the way, and hearing stories about them. Some dates have sold out already, so be quick for the remaining tickets. The Flask (Highgate), £20, book ahead, 25 October-3 November
THE VALENTINES ANOMALY: Something strange is happening at Valentines Mansion, an ancient stately home in east London, and it's up to you to investigate. Watch out for ghostly lights and supernatural goings-on as you embark on an hour-long escape game around the mansion, in search of a mysterious and cursed artefact from the ill-fated ship, the East Indiaman Valentine. Valentines Mansion & Gardens (Redbridge), £16.50 per person, book ahead, 28 October-January 2020 (sponsor)
CROYDON OLD PALACE: The Friends of Croydon Old Palace hold occasional guided tours in the building. Now used as a school, some parts of the former stately home date back to Norman times. The two-hour tour includes a stop for tea and cake in the Great Hall. Croydon Old Palace, £7, just turn up, 29 October-1 November
EAST ASIAN FILMS: London East Asian Film Festival continues this week, with films from Taiwan, Thailand, China, and other countries. The productions cover topics as diverse as ‘stories of women’, ‘Halloween horror’ and ‘Samurai season’. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 3 November
GLOBAL DICKENS: It’s the final week of Global Dickens, an exhibition looking at the impact Charles Dickens’s travels had on his life and work. Best-known for his work set in London, the author travelled to Europe and North America. Objects on display include his travelling bag, and a copy of David Copperfield that’s been to Antarctica. Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), included in admission (£9.50), just turn up, until 3 November
PICTURING SCIENCE: Also closing this week is Picturing Science, a display of work by Marie Neurath. The illustrator work on books for children, producing images on topics including nuclear physics and reproduction. House of Illustration (King’s Cross), £8.80, book ahead, until 3 November
Monday 28 October
RONNIE SCOTT’S: The 60th anniversary celebrations of Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club continue with a performance by two jazz legends — Courtney Pine CBE with his full live band, and vocalist and soul legend Omar. They take over the renovated Victorian theatre, performing a combination of classic tunes and original new music. Alexandra Palace, £11.97-£42.50, book ahead, 7.30pm
DEAR BLACK WOMEN: Two-day scratch festival Dear Black Women showcases new writing work by black female writers. Little Red Riding Hood meets Windrush legacy in a work by Nadine Reynolds, while E. Okobi tackles workplace gossip. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10/£8, book ahead, 8pm
COMEDY GALA: Be at the last of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Galas. Having had a chance to recover from the madness of Edinburgh Festival, comedians including Jayde Adams, Helen Bauer and Ivo Graham showcase their work once more. Duchess Theatre, from £15, book ahead, 7.30pm
Tuesday 29 October
ROUNDHOUSE RISING: New music festival Roundhouse Rising comes to a close with a performance by Gaika. The British artist is joined by a 10-piece jazz ensemble for a blend of grime, dancehall and r&b music, and also unveils an audio-visual piece made in collaboration with Roundhouse young creatives. Roundhouse (Camden), £15, book ahead, 7pm
EINSTEIN ON THE RUN: Einstein expert Andrew Robinson tells the little-known story of the scientist’s time spent in a hut in rural England, hiding out from a rumoured Nazi assassination plot. Find out how he came to be on the run, why he ended up in England, and what he did while here. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm
ZOMBIES: Author Robert Luckhurst discusses the cultural history of zombies, beyond the brain-eating, flesh-rotting trope we all know best. Find out how the idea originated in 1920s Haiti, and was later ingrained into Western society. Phoenix Arts Club, £12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)
Fill your boots with rare books, from Jane Austen to Tintin
A highlight of the London book fair calendar, the ABA Chelsea Rare Book Fair fills the historic walls of Chelsea Old Town Hall this Friday 1 November (2-7pm) and Saturday 2 November (11am-5pm). Aimed at literature lovers, dedicated collectors, or those who are simply curious about rare books, the friendly fair is a chance to get your literature geek on. 80 specialist exhibitors from around the globe are on hand, selling maps, manuscripts, photos, film scripts, and more.
From Jane Austen to James Bond, and Thomas Hardy to Tintin, get up close to the works on offer. The fair also offers expert-led tours on what makes a book special, the golden age of detective fiction, animals in rare books, and more.
Get your free tickets here.
Wednesday 30 October
GALAPAGOS DAY: The Galapagos Conservation Trust hosts an evening about the bird and reptile species found on the world-famous Galapagos Islands, the threats they face, and what can be done to protect them. Wildlife expert Mark Carwardine hosts, and there’s a chance to peruse an exhibition of photography from the islands. Royal Geographical Society (South Kensington), £20/£15, book ahead, 6pm-10pm
WILD ENCOUNTERS: Hear from photographer, artist and conservationist David Yarrow, who has dedicated his life to chronicling the Earth’s wild cultures and species. He chats to LBC presenter Matthew Stadlen about his work across the jungles, tundras and poles of the earth, and shows off some of his latest pieces. Copies of his new book are available to buy, with proceeds going to conservation charities. Emmanuel Centre (Westminster), £30, book ahead, 6.45pm-8pm
NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON: Neil deGrasse Tyson — dubbed 'the most popular scientist in the world' — offers an illustrated talk answering some of the questions he gets asked most, covering subjects including God, death, aliens and the history of science. Eventim Apollo (Hammersmith), from £41.25, book ahead, 7.30pm
Halloween: Thursday 31 October
24/7: Somerset House’s new exhibition, 24/7, looks at the non-stop nature of modern lives, and how we can protect ourselves from it, through over 50 artworks. They include an isolation chamber, and a copper blanket which blocks out smartphone signals. Tying in with the exhibition, the Somerset House ice rink is hosting some 24 hour openings this winter. Somerset House, £14/£11, book ahead, 31 October-23 February
NIGHTCLEANERS: Watch a screening of 1975 documentary Nightcleaners, about the campaign to unionise the women who cleaned office blocks at night and who were being victimised and underpaid. it was originally made as a campaign film, and is now recognised as an important political work of the 1970s. The screening is introduced by Sally Alexander, who was a leading figure in the Cleaners Action Group during the campaign. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 6.30pm
NOSFERATU: It seems apt to watch Nosferatu — widely-recognised as the world’s first horror film — on Halloween. The Cabinet of Living Cinema perform the live score in accompaniment to the 1922 black and white vampire film. Age 14+. Gunnersbury Museum, £20, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
Friday 1 November
HARRY POTTER: There are still a few tickets remaining to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in concert. Watch Harry, Ron, Hermione and co tackle the trails and tribulations of the Triwizard Tournament on screen, while the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra performs the score live. Royal Albert Hall, from £19, book ahead, 1-3 November
CRIME SCENE LIVE: It's adults-only at Crime Scene Live, a late night event at Natural History Museum where visitors have to use scientific and forensic techniques to solve a hypothetical murder in the museum. Forensics experts are on hand to offers tips, including the use of fingerprints and blood splatter patterns to catch your criminal. Find out what happened when we went last year. Age 18+. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), £59 book ahead, 6.30pm
ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: National Maritime Museum hosts an evening dedicated to all things astrophotography. Meet some of the photographers whose work made it into the Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition — and the judges who put it there — and learn about capturing starlight through a live link up to the new Annie Maunder Astrographic Telescope. National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), £16, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
Saturday 2 November
TUTANKHAMUN: The largest collection of King Tutankhamun's treasures ever to travel out of Egypt, comes to Chelsea for a whopping exhibition. Over 150 original artefacts from the Golden Pharaoh's dazzling tomb go on display, including an ornate gilded shrine. When the exhibition tour is over, the treasures will return to Egypt for good, so see them while you can — book ahead, this exhibition will be popular. Saatchi Gallery (Chelsea), from £24.50, book ahead, 2 November-3 May
FOLK FESTIVAL: Head to Walthamstow for a festival of folk music from England, Scotland, Ireland and the USA, in an ancient church. Walthamstow Folk Festival is curated by Tim Chipping of River Lea Records, and the line-up includes Vermont-based singer Sam Amidon, and British musician Emily Portman. St Mary’s Music Hall (Walthamstow), £30/£25, book ahead, 12pm
SWING DANCING:Dance your Saturday night away at a Halloween-themed swing dancing session. Lindy Hop, Jitterbug and Swing dance to music from the 1930s-1950s, whether you’re an experienced dancer or complete beginner. Hoxton Hall, from £10, book ahead, 7.30pm
Sunday 3 November
LONDON’S BLOODY PAST: Join Historic London Tours for a rather gruesome trip through 1000 years of London’s history. The walk covers slaughter in Smithfield, the Black Death, Dickens, kings, ghosts, and a notorious slum. Lovely. Barbican station, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm
DIWALI IN LONDON: The pinnacle of London’s Diwali celebrations is the free festival in Trafalgar Square. Everyone’s welcome to enjoy live music and dance performances on the stage and through the square, plus Bollywood and puppet dancing workshops. The street food market sells snacks including vegan and vegetarian dishes and Indian sweets, and there's information about the background of the festival for Londoners and tourists who aren't familiar with the culture. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 1pm-7pm
MY PENGUIN YEAR: Cameraman Lindsay McCrae worked on David Attenborough series, Dynasties. He spent a year living alongside penguins in the Antarctic (remember that penguin rescue scene?) and has written a book about enduring an eight-month long winter, getting a frostbitten nose, and rescuing those penguins. Hear him talking about his experiences. James Allen’s Girls’ School (East Dulwich), £10/£8, book ahead, 3pm