Things to do today in London is sponsored by Westfield.
What we're reading
- Hmm, we're not sure it was TFL who put this sticker on the tube.
- Another London flooding incident, this time in Stoke Newington.
- Housing prices are finally falling a little.
- What would the city look like without diesel engines?
Things to do
MURDER AT THE MANOR: It's Christmas day 1938 and Murdo Magenta has been found dead at his home. This pop-up at the British Library encourages budding detectives to work out the clues and unmask Murdo's murderer. The pop-up doubles as a shop offering crime literature and 1930s inspired homeware. Free, until 5 March 2017
CITY CHRISTMAS MARKET: Paternoster Square is hosting a Christmas market, perfect for anyone in the City looking to get a touch of shopping done on their lunch break. Free entry, just turn up, 12pm-6pm
THE SNOWMAN: Celebrate the classic tale of The Snowman at Picturehouse Central. The film screening will be preceded by a string quartet performing the soundtrack while you enjoy a complementary mince pie and mulled wine. Later, the main feature will be followed by a short documentary on the making of the film and its two sequels. £20, book in advance, 6pm
HAND TWINS: Award-winning artist Stephanie Kane invites you into her personal studio in Poland Street for her new exhibition Hand Twins. There will be a DJ, drinks and festive frolics. Free, RSVP online, 6pm-9pm
BINGO & BURLESQUE: The mash-up you've always dreamed of, blending two of Britain's favourite pastimes; bingo and burlesque. Grotto Outre is hosting this event in Hoxton for anyone who wants to explore the naughty side of Christmas. £20, book in advance, 6pm-11.30pm
CHILDREN SINGING CAROLS: Hundreds of children from primary schools around Lewisham belt out some festive classics at the Southbank Centre. It won't go on too late because of stringent bedtimes. Free, book in advance, from 6.30pm
CHRISTMAS CHEERS: The Bailey Dolls is a 1940's style vocal trio, performing some familiar festive tunes with old-school harmonies at Canal Cafe Theatre in Little Venice. £11.50, book in advance, 7.30pm-8.30pm
FIRST NOEL: BBC Radio 6's Shaun Keevey presents The Live and Languorous First Noel at Pleasance Theatre in Islington. Expect a night of laughs and special guests (they've claimed they're trying to secure Noel Edwards and Noel Gallagher as guests, but can make no promises...). £12, book in advance, 7.30pm-9.30pm
SHERLOCK HOLMES: It's the opening day for Tower Theatre Company's production of Sherlock Holmes at the Bridewell Theatre, off Fleet Street. This revival of the 1901 play captures the essence of Victorian melodrama. From £10, book in advance. 7.30pm
PECKHAM CHAMBER ORCHESTRA: Peckham Chamber Orchestra is putting on a show in honour of its third birthday, performing works only created by female composers at Peckham Liberal Club. Free, just turn up, 8.30pm-10pm
Elf yourself at Westfield Stratford
You’d better watch out, because Santa Claus is coming to Westfield Stratford. Take a break from shopping and treat the kids to a visit to Santa's Grotto where they can meet the man himself. There will also be Christmas crafts at the Elf Yourself stations, and a post box to send those lists to the North Pole — Westfield has the kids sorted.
After doing your Christmas shopping and paying Santa a visit, you’ll deserve a treat as well. Indulge in a festive cocktail or get your skates on to feel super-Christmassy. Get organised and head to the charity gift-wrapping service at Westfield Stratford before listening to some carols to get you in the spirit (Santa hats optional).
Good cause of the day
GRIMM BEGINNINGS: Learn the dark past behind fairytales that are now sanitised in the atmospheric surroundings of The Brunel Tunnel. The event supports the fantastic work of Great Ormond Street Hospital. £20, book in advance, 7.30pm
ZAHA HADID GETS ABSTRACT: The early drawings and paintings by the late Zaha Hadid are not as expected. Her structures may be smooth and curvy, but these works are all very angular. They are so far removed from architectural plans that they look more like abstract paintings. Zaha Hadid: Early paintings and drawings at Serpentine Sackler. Until 12 February, free. ★★★☆☆
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