Today's things to do is sponsored by Westfield. Scroll down for fun, food and festivities.
Things to do
ILLUSTRATING THE 60s: Smoking Guns: Illustrating the Sixties focuses on illustrators who thrived in film and advertising during a boom period in the 60s. It's also the first exhibition at the new Lever Gallery on Goswell Road. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm
FIRKIN HELL: The Elephant and Castle pub is hosting their very own beer festival, where you can kick back after a long week with delicious craft beers. Firkin Hell will also see brewers from Southwark and Bexley on hand to answer all your beer trivia needs. Free, but obviously the beer will cost you, noon-2am
CHRISTMAS CARD DAY: Christmas Card Day dates back to 1843 — celebrating the sending of the first Christmas card by civil servant Sir Henry Cole. To commemorate it, Mouth and Foot Painting Artists are painting live in the middle of Spitalfields Market. Go along, watch, even and send one of their cards to a loved one for free. Free, just turn up, noon-3pm
WHERE DO YOU WORK?: Ever stopped to spend a minute and think about that office building you work in every day? This talk by New London Architecture invites you to look up at the office blocks that dominate the city's skyline. Free, register online in advance, 1.15pm-1.45pm
PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE: A play that explores gender identity using the real words, voices and stories of today's young people. Produced by Floods of Ink at the Half Moon Theatre Ages 13+. Book in advance, £7, 1.30pm and 4.30pm
DULWICH WINTERLIGHTS: We recommend getting a hot chocolate (or mulled wine) to warm you up as you enjoy the scenery. 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
THE BEATLES & WWII: A film of previously unseen second world war footage with a twist. It's set to the sound of The Beatles. Except that's not quite right either, it's set to some of the most popular artists of the 1970s covering Beatles classics. Regent Street Cinema, book in advance, £12, 7.30pm
CHRISTMAS MAGIC SHOW: An evening of family-friendly winter fun at the British Library. Be amazed by illusions, cabaret magic and ventriloquism with a special Christmas twist. 7pm-8pm
AWFUL POETRY: Always wanted to try poetry, but doubted your own abilities? How about you head along to The Anti-Slam Apocalypse at Hackney Picturehouse, where the aim is to be the most atrocious poet on the night. Gather inspiration from some of the worst poets the nation has to offer. Advance booking recommended, £7, 7.30pm
AN ANATOMY ACT: Anna Furse is a true polymath, as proven by her one woman show, An Anatomy Act. This performative lecture covers diverse topics such as the anatomy theatres of Renaissance Europe, and Lady Gaga. Book in advance, £12, 7.45pm
Fun, food and festivities at Westfield
Still got gifts to get before the big day? Head to Westfield for your Christmas shopping — it's a hub of festivities this December. With all the high street and designer stores you could ever want, and plenty of places to eat, drink and be merry, a trip to Westfield is a whole day out.
Take the kids to Santa's grotto, or get your skates on if you fancy a spin on the rink. Why not sample a festive Bailey’s from the pop-up bar. Or check out Beyond the Waterfall: A Cocktail Odyssey, launching today. The perfect post-shopping reward, this experience will see you will step aboard a small boat to reach an enchanted fairy tale island featuring mythological beasts and undersea cocktails.
TAXIDERMY AND TAXONOMY: How do we classify animals and what separates them from humans? Taxonomy can be quite taxing, but the Wellcome Collection tries to liven it up with taxidermy dioramas. However, the rest of the exhibition is all very dry and academic with heaps of historic reference material. A mixed affair and below the Wellcome's usual high standards. Making Nature: How we see Animals at Wellcome Collection. Until 21 May, free. ★★★☆☆
Good cause for the day
HELP REFUGEES RAFFLE: All aboard The Good Ship in Kilburn, for a night of celebration in aid of Help Refugees. The host, Daria Polovina, is an immigrant herself leaving Bosnia because of civil war. She's throwing the best birthday party ever, to help with the current refugee crisis. Prizes include drum lessons, cinema tickets and more. Also there will be bands, comedy acts and DJs to make sure that even if you're not a prize winner, you'll still have a great time. Advance booking recommended, £5, 7.30pm-3am
What we're reading
- Watch how the city effects an explorer's brain, during his hike across the city
- Vegan fried chicken is coming to Hackney (of course) in 2017.
- Camden's status as "London's Amsterdam" is in danger.
- How does London to New York in 20 minutes sound?
- Ever thought your favourite author resembled a London borough?
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Learn about London's debauched, drunken and disorderly history on this tour of the sordid side of the West End. Have you heard the story of the 15ft high tsunami of beer which rushed through the streets of London? Or about London's unluckiest theatre and most morbidly-located church? This tour will take you from the Covent Garden to Somerset House, entertaining you with tales of hangmen and criminals, prostitutes and paupers and the eccentric characters of Georgian London along the way. Get tickets
Camden's known for its street art, but how much do you really know about it? Explore the street art of Camden, and learn about the people who make it from an insider. You''ll visit pieces of street art that are off the beaten track, and get an insight into their possible meaning and inspiration. This two-hour tour will enable you to see Camden in a new light. Get tickets
Visit old pubs, even older churches, hidden rivers, mysterious tunnels and more on this tour of hidden Londo. You'll hear tales of the myths and legends which made the City of London what it is today, and find out the area's links to nursery rhymes and literary figures. Get tickets
Get sorted into one of the four magical houses of Hogwarts, and go in exploration of the city’s famous filming locations on this 2-hour walking tour. You’ll meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre, where Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is showing, and set off on your journey across town - following in the footsteps of Deatheaters, visiting the inspiration for Knocturn Alley, and marvelling at the Ministry of Magic. And you better brush up on your Potter knowledge, because you can earn points for your house along the way, by taking part in trivia quizzes. The winners? You’ll find out when the tour ends at Platform 9 3/4… Get tickets