Things To Do This Week In London: 18-24 December 2017

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All week

The Christmas illuminated trail at Kew Gardens is always spectacular. Photo: Chris Geatch (2014)

LUNAR WINTER CINEMA: Grab a drink from the bar, collapse into a beanbag and enjoy loads of festive films this week, from Home Alone to The Holiday. The Village Hall (Battersea), £17, book ahead, until 23 December

FESTIVE DRAWN CARRIAGE: Finally got some time off and wondering what to do with it? Obviously riding through Richmond Park on a horse-drawn carriage should be your number one priority. Check out our vid of the experience here. Richmond Park, £125 for two people, noon-2.30pm, until 23 December

LEE VALLEY ICE SKATING: Wander around the Bavarian market or skate up and glide around Lee Valley's ice rink before dropping into Father Christmas in his grotto. Find more ice rinks here. Lee Valley White Water Centre, £5, book ahead, until 24 December

CHRISTMAS AT KEW: For a serious dose of magic this Christmas, you can't go far wrong with Kew Gardens' after-dark festive trail of lights and illuminations. Feeling fittingly festive? Check out our guide to the rest of London's winter festivals. Kew Gardens, from £16, book ahead, 5pm-10pm, until 1 January

FROM LIFE: The virtual reality bits of this exhibition are worth going for – it's great to see an exhibition looking at the impact of tech on the evolution of creativity. Royal Academy of Arts, £12, book ahead, until 11 March

WINNIE THE POOH: Both kids and big kids alike will adore wandering around this Winnie the Pooh exhibition, which includes cabinets of Pooh memorabilia, wall drawings and recreations of scenes from 100 Aker Wood. V&A, £8, book ahead, until 8 April

Monday 18 December

"Boogaloo Stu’s new comedy musical is an uproarious and merciless exposé of the cold-blooded takeover striking our communities in the name of regeneration."

WINTERVILLE TALKS: If you binge-watched Narcos, this talk dishing the dirt on the true Pablo Escobar should grab your attention. Your ticket includes a mulled wine. Bar Humbug (Winterville), Clapham Common, £16, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

HAMMER & TONGUE: Lend your ears to the work of two fantastic British Nigerian female poets; Theresa Lola, winner of the 2017 Hammer and Tongue National Slam and Dylema, described by Buzzfeed as 'one of the most prolific poets of her time.' Plus a few festive poems thrown into the mix from hosts Richard Purnell, Sam Berkson and Sam Siva. The Book Club, £5/£7 on the door, 7.30pm-10.30pm

COMEDY MUSICAL: Faced with imminent closure, pub landlords Kevin and Babs Chisholm from the Dog & Dumplings take on the big boys, in this topical musical tale of a busy boozer doing battle with dodgy developers. The Aeronaut (Acton), £10, book ahead, 8pm-9.45pm

CABARET: One of New York's top cabaret artists is jetting to London for three nights only. In this festive autobiographical show, Tori Scott dishes the dirt on her obsession with Dolly Parton and recounts what it was like to be a singing elf in an old people's home. Brasserie Zedel (Piccadilly), £20, book ahead, 9.15pm tonight, until 22 December

Tuesday 19 December

Drag starlet Baby Lame presents this LGBTQ+ open mic night in Vauxhall.

KIDS COOKERY CLASS: Looking for something to keep the kids occupied for an hour while you zip around the shops (or just enjoy some downtime), drop 3-8 year-olds off at this healthy cookery class and you might even get a free meal out of it. Battersea Power Station, £15, book ahead, 10am-11am

FOLKLORE XMAS PARTY: Arrive early to nab a seat at this intimate venue, which has great acoustics and also does decent veggie food if you're peckish. On the bill tonight are some of the best folk artists you'll hear this year. Green Note (Camden), £8.80, book ahead, 7pm

BABY LAME: Baby Lame is here, queer and welcoming established and emerging LGBTQ+ acts to the Bar Wotever stage. Sign up to the open mic or just come along and look fabulous in the audience. The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, £6/£5/£4, book ahead, 7pm-10.30pm

ROBIN INCE VARIETY NIGHT: Robin Ince's Christmas variety night: Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People is back and we're excited. Expect familiar faces Josie Long, Jim Al-Khalili, Helen Czerski and Grace Petrie, plus new acts for four nights of science, comedy, and music. Conway Hall, £26.50, book ahead, 7pm-10.30pm, until 22 December

LYRICAL LOCKOFF: Want to listen to the most "significant musical development within the UK for decades"? Then get down to this late night shindig featuring legendary grime DJ Logan Sama, with high energy MC's YGG and Capo Lee on the mic. Brixton Jamm, £8, book ahead, 10pm-4am

Wednesday 20 December

Tim Key returns to Bush Hall to empty his sack of mulled, festive mirth and slutty/poetical ramblings.

ARTS AND CRAFTS MARKET: Pick up those last minute stocking fillers from this arts and crafts gift market in Greenwich, plus you can drop into Father Christmas's grotto until 24 December. Greenwich Market, free, just turn up, 11am-8pm

THE SNOWMAN: Get the whole family together for a screening of this Christmas classic, accompanied by a live soundtrack from the Mozart Symphony Orchestra. Cadogan Hall, £15-£30, book ahead, 1.30pm and 4.30pm

NETIL MARKET LATE: Pop into this market made up of 30 independent traders for some after-work retail therapy. Stock up on homewares, vintage garms, handprinted cards, ethically sourced handmade accessories and more. 13-23 Westgate Street, free, just turn up, 5pm-9pm, until 23 December

TIM KEY: For guaranteed laughs, listen to the poetic ramblings of the beer-swigging Tim Key and his guests Nick Helm, John Robins and Mae Martin, who will be creating comedy gold moments at this special festive bash. Bush Hall, £21.45, book ahead, 7pm

Thursday 21 December

Step off of the beaten track and explore some lesser known facts about Christmas traditions in London on this walking tour.

FOOTBALL CHRISTMAS MARKET: Looking for a gift for the football fan in your life? You'll find it at this football Christmas market, which will be flogging vintage jerseys, stickers, customer posters, books and more. Gift sorted, grab a pint at the Six Yard Box and wrap your gifts for free. Six Yard Box, free, just turn up, 4pm-10pm

CHARLES DICKENS LATE: Explore Dickens's home, listen to late night carols and readings from passages of A Christmas Carol before enjoying a tipple in the atmospheric, candlelit bar. Charles Dickens Museum, £12, book ahead, 5pm

SECRET CHRISTMAS TOUR: Did the Romans invent Christmas as we know it? What were Charles Dicken's less than charitable motives for writing a Christmas Carol? Who invented the first ice rink? You could ask Google or you could join this fun, sociable Christmas tour and quiz (you might even win a bottle of bubbly). Bank Station, £15, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

FEMINISTMAS: Dreaming of a punk Christmas? Walk those DMs straight into The Victoria, where you party with feminist rockers Big Joanie, Dream Nails, Charmpit and Wizard Apprentice. The Victoria (Dalston), £6/£5, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

HOORAY CABARET: The theme of this ever raucous knees-up is food. Bring your food and cash donations for The Hackney Foodbank and settle in for a night of jaw-achingly funny comedy and seriously sexy burlesque acts. The Moth Club, £7, book ahead, 8pm-1am

Friday 22 December

Join an immersive interwar-style cabaret night in King's Cross.

FROZEN SING-A-LONG: Just when you thought you'd got 'Let it Go' out of your head, this festive screening of Frozen came along to put it straight back in. But your kids will love you for taking them and what's more important than that? Walthamstow Assembly Hall, £5-£17.50, book ahead, 10am-4pm

SING-A-LONG-MUPPETS: Pull on your Christmas jumper and flex those vocal chords at this sell-out sing-a-long to A Muppets Christmas Carol. There will be laughs, off notes, goodybags and free whisky. Camden People's Theatre, £12/£10, book ahead, 7.30pm

VAUDEVILLE SHOW: Dig out your vintage garb and waltz over King's Cross to party like its 1939 (without the avid nationalism and economic collapse). Get a glam makeover on the night and sip gin cocktails while comedy, magic, music and burlesque acts unfold. The Water Rats (King's Cross), £15-£40, book ahead, 7.30pm

Get your festive groove on, in Peckham

FUNK AND SOUL XMAS: Groove the night away to Christmas hits from the likes of Ronettes, James Brown, Clarence Carter, Louis Armstrong and Darlene Love. Plus plenty of guilty pleasures, including Mariah. Montague Arms, Peckham, free entry, just turn up, 8pm-late

CHRISTMAS WEEKENDER: Start your Christmas festivities with a weekend of seasonal scares. See American comedy-horror Krampus tonight and Finnish fantasy-horror Rare Export: A Christmas Tale tomorrow. Deptford Cinema, £6, book ahead, 8pm, until 23 December

Saturday 23 December

This tour of the quirky history of the much loved hub of theatre, entertainment and Christmas shopping Starts at Covent Garden and finishes at Trafalgar Square.

COVENT GARDEN TOUR: Wrap up warm and join this history tour traversing London's well-known landmarks and well-worn shopping streets. Marks and Spencer (Covent Garden station), £12, book ahead, 11am-1pm

GIANT CHEESEBOARD: What's better than a plate full of cheese? A whole cheeseboard of course, and you can walk around this one while listening to tunes from Club de Fromage. How edamn exciting is that? Studio 338, various prices, book ahead, 2pm-8pm

CHRISTMAS WONDERLAND: Proud Camden's Christmas all-dayer will have you feeling ridiculously festive with its alternative carol service, bottomless mulled wine and mince pies (in the first hour), and cheeky mistletoe kissing booth. Proud Camden, from £10, book ahead, 2pm-10pm

GOSPEL CHOIR: "It won’t be Christmas unless you have a good sing-a-long," says founder of the IDMC gospel choir. You heard him. Get your dancing shoes on and let the carols out. Hideaway Jazz Club, £20, book ahead, 9pm

Sunday 24 December

© Royal Albert Hall

BRIXTON VEGAN MARKET: Brixton is becoming a bit of a haven for vegans. Get your grocery shopping done at the farmers market, pick up ethical, animal-free items from Brixton Station Road and drop into vegan brewery Clarkshaws for a fish-scale free pint on your way home. Brixton Station Road, free, just turn up, 9.30am-3.30pm, until 24 December

CHRISTMAS FILMS: Home Alone, Elf, and Die Hard are just some of the festive films being shown at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square today. Check website for full programme. £5.50-£12.50, book ahead, 1.05pm-6.15pm

CAROLS BY CANDLELIGHT: Spend Christmas eve listening to one of two candlelit carol services today and you're doing Christmas right. Expect works by the likes of Corelli, Handel, Mozart and more, as well as carols for everyone to join in with. Various prices, book ahead, 2.30pm and 7pm

PORTOBELLO CHRISTMAS SUNDAYS: Pick up a very last minute Christmas tree, browse items from 50 traders and fill up on street food at the festive edition of this west London market. Portobello Road, free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

Check out more events happening on Christmas Eve