Things to do this week in sponsored by ABA Rare Book Fair Chelsea.
PUMPKINS AT DOWN: Carve up some pumpkins with the kids at Charles Darwin's old gaff this half term. You can check out the study where the famous naturalist wrote On the Origin of Species, take a multimedia tour with Sir David Attenborough, and scare away the competition in the costume contest. Down House (Bromley), £11.20 child/£16 adult (including admission), just turn up, 22-28 October
DOCUMENTARY CHALLENGE: Fancy becoming the next Michael Moore or Werner Herzog? Take the whole family to explore the Imperial War Museum, and make your own mini-documentary inspired by your discoveries with the SMASH TV team. Imperial War Museum (Lambeth), £10, just turn up, 22-28 October
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT: Author and podcaster Jon Ronson is back with a new show about the impact of online porn. Don't go thinking this any old exposé on a seedy industry, though. Instead, Jon promises a very human story about kindness, curiosity and (okay, yes) porn. Leicester Square Theatre, £20, book ahead, 7pm, 23-27 October
HALF TERM: Got little ones to entertain over the school holidays? Take a look at our guide to spending half term in London.
Monday 22 October
STORYSTOCK: From Knife and Packer's comic book workshop, to a Peter Rabbit musical, there's plenty to keep young bookworms happy at this travelling circus of stories. Circus West Village (Battersea Power Station), from £5, book ahead, until 24 October
CREATING A MONSTER: Celebrations for the bicentennial of Mary Shelley's Gothic masterpiece continue with this Frankenstein-inspired installation. Take a look, and then hear about the artist's creative process at this talk with curator Dominik Czechowski. Jewish Museum (Camden), £8.50 (includes museum admission), book ahead, 3pm
FOLK AND AMERICANA: Join singer/songwriter Adam Holmes and three-piece Swedish sister act Baskery for a night of tunes inspired by both sides of the Atlantic. The Lexington (Islington), £14, book ahead, 8pm-10.45pm
Tuesday 23 October
WILD FILMMAKING: Think your child could be the next David Attenborough? Drop them off in Hyde Park for a day spent capturing the local wildlife on camera. The LookOut Discovery Centre, £20, book ahead, 10am-3pm
VEGAN WINE AND CHEESE NIGHT: Wine tasting meets mindfulness at this dream event for vino-loving vegans. You'll learn how to apply the principles of mindfulness to eating and drinking, allowing you to really savour every sip of wine and crumb of artisanal dairy-free cheese. The Grocery Wine Bar & Vault (Shoreditch), £35, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
SALMAN RUSHDIE: Booker Prize-winning novelist Salman Rushdie chats about his life in writing at London Literature Festival. He'll also give you the inside scoop on his latest novel, The Golden House, a satirical reimagining of Trump's America. Southbank Centre, £15, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm
ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Over 150 years after it was first published, Lewis Carroll's classic tale of white rabbits, mad hatters, and despotic queens continues to fascinate. This dark piece of dance theatre takes you right into our heroine's subconscious to explore the novel's psychological fabric. Blue Elephant Theatre (Camberwell), £10, book ahead, 8pm-9pm, until 24 October
Wednesday 24 October
WILDLIFE DRAWING: Spend some time with some of the most playful critters in the animal kingdom, as Wildlife Drawing comes to the Royal Society of Sculptors. You'll sketch ferrets, polecats, rabbits, guinea pigs, and even a skunk and an opossum. Royal Society of Sculptors (Kensington), £35 for 1 adult and 1 child, book ahead, 11am-1pm/2pm-4pm
OLD ROYAL NAVAL COLLEGE LATE: Go behind the scenes at a World Heritage Site with an after-hours tour of Greenwich's stunning Old Royal Naval College. You'll explore some of the oldest and rarely seen parts of the site, before rounding off your adventure with a drink at the Old Brewery. Old Royal Naval College (Greenwich), £25, book ahead, 7pm-8pm
GET PIED: Don your stretchiest trousers and head to Dominique Ansel Bakery for a night of all-you-can-eat pie. Your ticket gets you as many slices of sweet and savoury pies as you can stomach, plus a bottomless sparkling apple cider cocktail. Dominique Ansel Bakery (Belgravia), £42, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm/8.30pm-10pm
KOKOMO: Aruba, Jamaica, oooh I want to take ya... see soul pioneers Kokomo — not to be confused with The Beach Boys' song of the same name — perform live. Jazz Cafe (Camden), £14, book ahead, 7pm-11pm
Enter a bibliophile’s paradise at the country’s friendliest rare book fair
Do you love books? Head to the historic Chelsea Old Town Hall on Friday 2 and Saturday 3 November to discover a treasure trove of tomes, manuscripts, photographs, maps and ephemera from over 80 exhibitors.
Whether you’re new to the world of rare books, or looking to add another jewel to your collection, the ABA Rare Book Fair Chelsea has works ranging from just a few pounds in price to those of museum-quality. And the best bit? Entrance to the fair is completely free.
There’s more going on than just shopping, too. Experts are on hand to impart their wisdom on topics as diverse as writers of the modern era and the history of bookbinding. Simply sign up for a free guided tour on arrival.
From fans of cookery books, to those of children’s literature, and from poetry lovers to biography buffs — all types of bookworm are welcome at the friendliest book fair in the land. Book your free ticket for two here.
Thursday 25 October
BRACE YOURSELF: Let a little magic into your life with trickster Tom Brace. His brand new show promises to hoodwink even the beadiest-eyed viewers. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £12, book ahead, 11am/2pm
DICKENS AFTER DARK: In the dead of night, Victorian-era houses can be creepy enough. Add classic horror storytelling, basement tarot readings, and a phantasmagoria magic lantern show into the mix, and you're guaranteed a fantastic, fright-filled night. Charles Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), from £25, book ahead, 6pm
SPOOKY SUPPER CLUB: The culinary wizards from sustainability pop up Sixty:2 bring you a night of plant-based tricks and treats with their Halloween-inspired menu. Gaze into a pumpkin cauldron of bubbling onion broth, devour truffled kidney bean cobwebs, and gorge yourself on salted toffee apple-dusted chocolate and berry fondants as dark as a witch's heart. TT Liquor (Shoreditch), £35, book ahead, 7pm-10pm
BAKA BEYOND: Inspired by a Channel 4 documentary, back in the early 1990s Martin Cradick and Su Hart packed their bags and headed deep into the forests of Cameroon to spend six weeks living with the Baka Forest People. The music they heard and made there lead to the birth of the band Baka Beyond, and the seminal album Spirits of the Forest. Hear it live on its 25th anniversary. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £12, book ahead, 8pm
Friday 26 October
COMIC CON: Calling all cosplayers, gamers, and comic fans! MCM Comic Con is back in London, featuring special guests from the likes of Starsky and Hutch, Star Wars and Power Rangers. ExCel London (Royal Victoria Dock), from £18, book ahead, 26-28 October
DRAGTASTIC TAROT: Looking for a new calling? Allow drag artist Oberon White to introduce you to the art of tarot. Your ticket includes a free drink. Drink, Shop & Do (Kings Cross), £20, book ahead, 6pm-8pm
THE CABINET OF DR CALIGARI: An 18th century Hawksmoor church. A masterpiece of the silent film era accompanied by a live score — film screenings don't get much more atmospheric than this. See the beautiful yet nightmarish The Cabinet of Dr Caligari like never before. LSO St Lukes (Old Street), £15, book ahead, 6.30pm
TUDOR TREASURE HUNT: Travel back in time at Fulham Palace, where a night of medieval mayhem awaits. You'll solve riddles, indulge in some botanical bath bomb-making, and get your groove on to live music while swigging Gosnells Mead. Fulham Palace, £15.50, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm
Saturday 27 October
CROYDON LITERARY FESTIVAL: Billed as London's most offbeat literary festival, CLF certainly has some quirky offerings, including a workshop on writing erotic fiction and a history of videogames. Various venues (Croydon), from £2, book ahead, from 9.30am
AFRICAN PARTY: Chop X Beats brings great tastes from all over Africa to Hackney Wick. With deliciously authentic west African cuisine, art exhibits, and free face and body painting, the knees up offers a proper Afropolitan experience. Stour Space (Hackney Wick), £12, book ahead, 6pm-1am
HALLOWEEN BALL: Fancy a spooky speakeasy? From fearsome fortune tellers to a string quartet that exclusively plays horror movie themes, The Candlelight Club gets quite the Halloween revamp. A secret location (Leyton), £30, book ahead, 7pm-midnight
Sunday 28 October
WHIMSICAL WANDERING: Explore London's canalside hidden gems on a guided walk from Warwick Avenue to Westbourne Park. Visit London's oldest gardening centre, discover a quaint community gardens, and take in the famous Trellick Tower. Warwick Avenue station, £10, book ahead, 11am-1.30pm
DOG JOG: Running solo? You must be barking mad! Jogs are much more fun with your dog in tow, so head to Victoria Park for canine-friendly 5k. There are treats for both you and the hound waiting at the finish line. Victoria Park, £13, book ahead, 2pm-4pm
FAMILY RAVE: Fancy dress, confetti cannons, and banging tunes — it's all in the Big Fish Little Fish rave cave. Take your tots to the Halloween special, where the biggest fright you'll get is probably all the dad dancing. Hangar (London Fields), £10, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm