Things To Do In London This Weekend: 17-18 December 2016

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All weekend

Dulwich Winter Lights Festival. Photo: Londonist.

DULWICH WINTERLIGHTS: It's your final chance to see Dulwich Picture Gallery illuminated beautifully for Dulwich Winterlights festival. Spend an hour or so wandering around the grounds, seeing the trees and buildings lit up in different colours, and being serenaded by the roaming choirs. We found ourselves enchanted by the multicoloured orbs underneath the tree on the main lawn. Various ticket prices, book in advance, Tuesday-Sunday until 18 December

HORTICULTURAL CHRISTMAS MARKET: A plant is for Christmas, not just for life. Maybe we've gone slightly wrong somewhere there, but if you're buying for a budding gardener, the Royal Horticultural Society's London Christmas Show is the place to be. £6/£9, book in advance, 17-18 December

TUDOR MUSIC: Tired of the same old Christmas songs? Give the Tudor variety a go, at Hampton Court Palace. You'll be in the exact spots Henry VIII and Elizabeth I were when they listened to festive carols centuries ago. Just pay entry to Hampton Court Palace, (slight discount for online booking), 17-18 December

CHRISTMAS MARKET: If you're looking for something a little unusual when purchasing Christmas gifts, this is the market for you. At The Old Truman Brewery, Cultural Traffic offers you a chance to buy books, zines, prints, catalogues, vinyls and tapes from independent traders. Free entry, just turn up, 17-18 December

TOOTSMAS: Tootopia's street food market in Tooting is returning for Christmas. There's a selection of food from around the world, from Canada to India, alongside warming Christmas cocktails. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-late on Saturday, noon-6pm Sunday

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Watch a performance of A Christmas Carol in Charles Dickens's former house in Bloomsbury. Ticket includes entry to the museum displays. £22, book in advance, 16 December-2 January

THINK OF ENGLAND: See a pop-up theatre show that whisks you back to the London of 1942, at Ugly Duck in Bermondsey. Think of England tells the story of two young women employed by the War Office to travel the country and boost morale. £12, book in advance, 16-18 December

Saturday 17 December

The Fromage On Ice Christmas special is at Alexandra Palace.

CHILDREN'S BOOK FAIR: Check out the best in contemporary children's literature at Parasol Unit in Islington. Meet authors such as Marion Deuchars and Jon Burgerman and get your books signed. There are also special workshops running throughout the day. Free entry (donations welcome), just turn up, 10am-5pm

BLOODY CHRISTMAS BRUNCH: A festive edition of the monthly brunch club at Haunt in Stoke Newington takes place with a Christmas menu. Mulled wine is available, but don't worry, there's still the bottomless bloody mary for purists. £19.50, book in advance, 11am-7pm

CHRISTMAS FILM EXTRAVAGANZA: Stanley's Film Club in South Norwood is hosting the perfect Christmassy Saturday. A fair, short films and a puppet making workshop, followed by a screening of The Muppet Christmas Carol. Daytime is free, £8 for the Muppets, 1pm-11pm

WE'RE GOING ON A BEAR HUNT: The classic children's story is premiering on Channel 4 on Christmas Eve. To celebrate, get a copy of the original book signed by both its author and illustrator, Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury, at Waterstones Piccadilly. Free, just turn up, from 3pm

BOTTOMLESS GIN: A World of Gin in Shoreditch offers two hours of hot gin cocktails. Warm your way to merriness this Christmas. From £20, book in advance, 3pm-11pm

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS WALK: Take a walk through the West End under the glow of London's Christmas lights. Learn the history of Christmas in central London along the way. The walk is raising money for Stand Up To Cancer. Minimum £8 donation, book in advance, 5pm-6.45pm

MULTICULTURALISM AND BELONGING: The Word Lovers Society presents readings, songs and open discussion in honour of its new exhibition at Hackney Central Library. Multiculturalism & Belonging explores the different issues that London's diverse groups face in today's society. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm-9.30pm

ALTERNATIVE CAROLS: Organoke at St Giles' Church in Camberwell presents your favourite Xmas tunes — from acts such as Slade and George Michael — belted out by the audience. The night is hosted by Ida Barr and you can grab a beer or two there, to get you in the mood. £12, book in advance, from 7pm

CHRISTMAS FUCK-FEST 2: Self-proclaimed "comedian" Nick Helm is ending the year with a comedy blowout. Join him at The Pleasance Theatre... unless you're on the long list he's attached of those who shouldn't attend. £10, book in advance, from 8.30pm

DISCO ON ICE: Club de Fromage presents a funky party at the Alexandra Palace Ice Rink. The running man on ice... what could go wrong? £8.70, book in advance, 8.30pm-11pm

Sunday 18 December

Abstract expressionist bauble making at the Royal Academy

FESTIVE FAMILY SHOPPING: The National Theatre Bookshop is hosting a Peter Pan themed festive family shopping day. Not only are there gifts to buy, but also board games to play, quizzes to win and warm winter drinks to stave off the cold. Free, just turn up, all day

ABSTRACT EXPRESSIONIST BAUBLE: To tie into the Royal Academy's blockbuster autumn exhibition, which we loved, it's hosting a workshop on how to create an abstract expressionist bauble for your Christmas tree. Free, just turn up, noon-4pm

JAZZ SHOWCASE: Young jazz musicians are putting on quite the extravaganza at Southbank Centre. There's a selection of different bands and concerts throughout the day, and even an open workshop session where everyone can get involved (all experience levels welcome). Free, just turn up, noon-6pm

EATEN ALIVE: This talk at the Natural History Museum focuses on the extraordinary lengths that wasps go to as parents to feed their children. This talk focuses on those that lay their eggs within a living host... and eat the insides. Merry Christmas. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm-1pm/2.30pm-3pm

ZULU XMAS: Mwalimu Express hosts its Christmas party at Rich Mix. Music is provided Ingrid Webster, a blend of South African township soul and west London funk. There are stalls from the African Market, face painting and more. Free, just turn up, 2pm

SCI-FI VEGAN FESTIVAL: Dogstar in Brixton is hosting a sci-fi winter vegan festival. Get your costume ready, set phasers to stun and have a relaxed sip on (vegan) mulled wine. Lots of great London vegan food stalls will be there, and have edited their names to fit the occasion. We like the sounds of Eat to Live, Not to Dalek. £1 entry, just turn up, 2pm-7pm

WRITE FOR RIGHTS: Write letters and postcards to LGBTI refugees and asylum seekers. Meet up with members of Amnesty UK LGBTI to show those struggling support and make them feel welcome in our country. At Royal Star on City Road, free, just turn up, 3pm-6pm

KIDS COMEDY CLUB: Every child who has dreamed of Santa sliding down their chimney, landing in their living room and breaking out into a stand-up set will love Comedy Club 4 Kids at artsdepot in Finchley. £9, book in advance, 4.30pm

PIONEERING CERAMICISTS: Charts the history of Jewish ceramicists as they escaped war and often created ceramics with whatever materials they had to hand. The stories are fascinating even if the ceramics themselves are not. Try to visit on a Tuesday or Saturday when there will be a potter in residence creating new works. Shaping Ceramics at Jewish Museum, 129-131 Albert Street, NW1 7NB, £7.50. 10 November - 26 February ★★★☆☆