What we’re reading
- Shigeru Ban to build "pagoda in the park" as his first UK building.
- South Bank hotel to become luminous artwork for Lumiere London 2018.
- London's January air quality 'best in 10 years'.
- London 'put to shame' by New York fossil fuel divestment.
- Traffic chaos in Elephant and Castle as black cab drivers stage demo against TfL and Uber.
Things to do
OPERA WEEKENDER: With a virtual reality experience from the Welsh Natural Opera, a performance disrupting the male gaze, a panel discussion about how the genre is adapting to the digital age and reduced entry to the exhibition Opera: Passion, Power & Politics, you'll be a fully committed opera convert by the end of the weekend. The V&A, £10, book ahead, 19-21 January
MODEL ENGINEERING EXHIBITION: Join 14,000 model tinkerers at Ally Pally for one of the UK's leading model shows. More than 50 clubs and societies will be showing off everything from steam locomotives to modern gadgets. Alexandra Palace, £12, book ahead, 19-21 January
ETHOMETRIC MUSEUM: Be transported into a parallel universe of cosmic tones and esoteric technology at this intriguing pop-up museum, filled with hand-crafted contraptions that create a mesmerising immersive soundscape. Ugly Duck (London Bridge), £12, book ahead, 19-21 January
THE LOST WORD: Back in 2002, a survey found that British schoolchildren were able to identify Pokémon far more accurately than common UK wildlife. This exhibition of animal illustrations and nature-inspired poetry hopes to rectify the results of that sad survey. Foundling Museum, £11/£8.25 conc, just turn up, 19 January-6 May
PLANET PLAY: Bring fidgety babies and toddlers to this morning playgroup, where they are encouraged to explore the world around them through song, music, movement and lots of fun sensory stuff. Chickenshed Theatre (Southgate), £6, book ahead, 10am-10.45am, every Friday until 9 March
REMAKING HISTORY: Hear a panel discussion exploring the ways photography addresses issues around diversity and equality both behind and in front of the camera, chaired by Brett Rogers OBE, director of The Photographers' Gallery. Business Design Centre, various prices, book ahead, 4pm-5pm
DANGEROUS DATING: Unleash your inner lumberjack (with guidance from an instructor) at this social event for singletons, because nothing says romance like a spot of axe throwing. Sign up here for access to more unusual events. Whistlepunks (Vauxhall), £35, book ahead, 7.15pm-10pm
CANDLELIT BACH: Hear classics from Bach, Vivaldi and Pachelbel in a beautiful candlelit church setting. How's that for atmosphere? St Martin-in-the-Fields, £22, book ahead, 7.30pm
ELECTROGIRLS: Fed up with going to the club and it's a massive sausage fest? This night aims to bring balance and diversity to London's DJ scene. Check out the excellent DJ lineup here. Tipsy, free, just turn up, 9pm-3am
Good cause of the day: We Are family LGBTQ+ community centre fundraiser
Don your finest, sparkliest outfit and prepare to shake your thing to queer anthems all night long, courtesy of Superstore boss Dan Beaumont, who will be rocking the basement, while upstairs, Disco Spritz resident Chaka Khan't is joined by Michelle Manetti (Fèmmme Fraîche) and PATSY regular Jaye Ward. Money raised will go towards a much-needed LGBTQ+ Community Centre for London. Dalston Superstore, free before 10pm/£6 after, just turn up, 9pm-3am
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books... Get tickets
Take to the waters and glide about in this beginner paddleboarding session. By the end of it, you'll be standing up and paddling solo, and there's plenty of help on hand to improve your technique. Change of clothes required. Get tickets
Cross gas lit alleyways and stroll by ancient pubs as you discover forgotten parts of London. See the world's smallest police station and visit London's most superstitious hotel on a walking tour covering everything weird, wonderful and London. £12 Get tickets
Whether you’re a pre-grated cheddar sprinkler or mimolette fan, this cheesy walking tour will delight your senses. Starting off at a cheese counter in Mayfair that has been serving for more than 300 years, you'll tour the city's best dairy delights - including Fortnum & Mason, where the royals get their fix. Get tickets