Things to do today is sponsored by Yamaha Music London.
What we're reading
- The glorious mosaics of Westminster Cathedral — still a work in progress after 100 years.
- How much cutting minutes off your commute costs you in terms of rent.
- Ealing is getting a fancy art deco style cinema.
- Even London's most popular chain restaurants have had enough with high rents.
Things To Do
ICE SKATING: Looking to hit the ice just before Christmas day? Check out our list of London's best spots.
KIDS COMEDY CLUB: Every child who has dreamed of Santa sliding down their chimney, landing in their living room and breaking out into a stand-up set will love Comedy Club 4 Kids at artsdepot in Finchley. £9, book in advance, 4.30pm
YOU ARE WOLF: The Nest Collective, which brings you some of the world's finest folk, is taking over The Royal Festival Hall. Music is from You Are Wolf, who fuse leftfield pop and classic stylings, melded together with an array of wild vocal techniques. Free, book in advance, 5.30pm
DICKENS HOUSE BY CANDLELIGHT: Explore Charles Dickens' home by candlelight which in his own words "decidedly improves the scene." £20, book in advance, from 6.40pm
JAYDE ADAMS: Jayde Adams turned 31 and realised that her route to happiness was being herself... in her own words: a total dickhead. 31 is her new comedy show at The Soho Theatre where Jaye Adams is totally herself. £10, book in advance, 7pm-8pm
CANDLE MAKING & COCKTAILS: Quaff mulled wine and stuff your face with cake, while you learn how to make festive scented candles. After the session, enjoy seasonal live music. At Woodberry Wetlands near Manor House. £25, book in advance, 7pm-10pm
GOSPELOKE: Throw karaoke and a back-up gospel choir into a blender and what do you get? Gospeloke of course. Unleash your hidden diva in this special Christmas themed event in Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen. £12 table options also available, book in advance, 7pm-11pm
GREATEST TELEVISION SHOW NEVER SEEN: This comedy podcast comes from the wacky mind of Adam Riches and other top comedians. The Sword of Maximum Damage is a popular (fake) TV show, so why not check out The Pod of Maximum Damage, a fan podcast about the show. Happening at Kings Place. £7.50, book in advance, 7.30pm-8.30pm
A CHRISTMASH CAROL: Cabaret string quartet Bowjangles present A ChristmasH Carol at Waterloo East Theatre. Think part panto, part moralistic tale. £12, advance booking recommended, from 7.30pm
DEAD FISH LOVE STORY: Gemma and Josie had two pet fish, Sunny and Boo. The fish died and this new play, Goggles, is an attempt to give Sunny and Boo the happy ending they deserved. Through mourning for their fish, the play focuses on the relationship between Gemma and Josie and their personal struggle to stay afloat. At the Pleasance Theatre, £10, book in advance, from 7.45pm
Give a musical Christmas gift with Yamaha Music London
Stuck for what to buy the music-lover in your life this Christmas? Head to Yamaha Music London, for instruments, technology and accessories that any aspiring musician will love.
Based just five minutes from Oxford Street, this is London’s ultimate instrument emporium. Even those who have never learned how to play Chopsticks will be wowed by their epic Piano Hall.
Forget iTunes vouchers, an instrument is the perfect present for those who fancy themselves as the next Ronnie Scott (this really is the gift that keeps on giving).
Or pick from Yamaha’s fantastic selection of music-related gifts and accessories.
Experts will be on hand to give you advice whether you're puzzled about plectrums or overwhelmed by oboes.
Yamaha Music London is open every Friday in December until 7pm, and even open on Christmas Eve until 4pm. Check out their festive opening hours here.
Robert Mapplethorpe: Many penises
(We weren't huge fans of this, but maybe it will be your cup of tea).
LOTS OF PENISES: Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's works have been curated by living photographer Juergen Teller. There is nudity aplenty in this confrontational exhibition. However, Mapplethorpe's photos are no longer controversial and beyond this, they have very little to offer. Teller on Mapplethorpe at Alison Jacques, 16-18 Berners street, W1T 3LN, free. 18 November-7 January ★★☆☆☆ [Tuesday-Saturday] Closed from 22 December-3 January
Good cause of the day
LONDON ZOO STAMPEDE: Don't worry, the animals aren't on the loose. You could be though. Book in advance for either the 5k or 10k run to raise funds for wildlife, in the London Zoo Stampede. £34 registration fee and you need to pledge to raise £50, first come first serve, 26 March 2017 and 17 September 2017
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