Things To Do This Weekend In London: 11-12 December 2021

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All weekend

Celebrate 50 years of Bangladeshi independence at Rich Mix

GOOD DEEDS: Seen Londonist's reverse advent calendar yet? It's packed full of good deeds to do every day before Christmas, to help those less fortunate. From volunteering to donating goods to attending fundraising events, there's a way you can help, regardless of how much time or cash you have to spare.

ENCHANTED ELTHAM: It wouldn't be December in London without an overabundance of light festivals, so here's another one. Enchanted at Eltham winds through the grounds of Eltham Palace, featuring an illuminated bridge, a light maze and plenty of other interactive exhibits, as well as a Victorian fairground and a firepit for toasting marshmallows. Eltham Palace, from £14 adult/£9.50 child, book ahead, selected dates until 30 December

PALACE OF STARDUST: One of our picks for the best light festivals in London this winter, the Palace of Stardust is now open. The celestial-themed evening trail is based on the building's astronomical clock. Moons, planets, clocks and a sundial all feature in lantern, projection and illumination form as you wander through the cobbled courtyard and extensive gardens. Hampton Court Palace, £12.50 adult/£8 child, book ahead, until 3 January 2022

Palace of Stardust at Hampton Court Palace

BRING IT ON: Believe it or not, it's 21 years since cheerleading film Bring It On was released. Now, it's arrived in London in the form of a musical, fresh off the Broadway stage and with more backflips than you can shake a pom-pom at. Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and Love Island winner Amber Davies star. Southbank Centre, from £15, book ahead, until 22 January 2022

BROTHERS IN ARMS: It's the first weekend of new exhibition Brothers in Arms, which tells the story of eight men from the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. The elite British tank regiment fought its way across northwest Europe in the final stages of the second world war. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, until 6 May 2022

BANGLADESH 50: Mark 50 years of Bangladesh's independence from Pakistan with a special series of events. Bangladesh 50 events this weekend include a poetry workshop, a screening of short films, and live music by the Grand Union Orchestra. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), various prices, book ahead, 10-16 December

KEHINDE WILEY: Works by American painter Kehinde Wiley — best-known for  Old Master-style artworks featuring people of colour — are now on display at the National Gallery. The new artworks include both paintings and films, showcasing Wiley's take on European Romanticism. 10 December 2021-18 April 2022

WINTER CARRIAGE: Fine dining Mayfair restaurant Bombay Bustle has been turned into the Winter Carriage for the month — a festive offering bringing together design touches from British printmaker Molly Mahon with a (spectacular) five course menu that travels across India's cities, and their regional specialities. Book ahead, till end of January  

VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS: Discover how the Victorians celebrated Christmas, and how Dickens wove its magic into his stories, with this guided walk around the Square Mile with guide Hazel Baker. St Paul’s Cathedral, £15, book ahead, 3pm-4.30pm, 11 and 12 December

CULT CLASSICS: December weekends see cult classic films screened as part of the Winter at Greenwich Peninsula season. This weekend, pick from Home Alone, Pan's Labyrinth, Frozen and Miracle on 34th Street. While you're in the area, be sure to drop by the trippy Wave by Squid Soup installation. Design District c1 Building (Greenwich Peninsula, £7 adult/£5 child, book ahead, 11-12 December (and 18-19 December)

Saturday 11 December

Last chance to catch Algorithms at Soho Theatre

LAST CHANCE: It's the final day of Life on the Home Front, a free exhibition offering an insight into what life was like here in Britain during the second world war. Original letters, photographs and leaflets all feature, covering topics such as rationing, bombings and evacuation. British Library, free, just turn up, until 11 December

GREAT FIRE: Join a Museum of London guide for a family-friendly walking tour about the Great Fire of London. The hour-long tour looks at how the fire started and where and how it spread. Aimed at primary school-aged children and their families, age 5+. Museum of London, £8/£6, book ahead, 10.30am

FILM FAIR: If you love all things film-related, head to the Film Fair to stock up on memorabilia, merchandise, collectibles, DVDs, Blu-Rays, VHS tapes, and more — from cults to classics and from horror to sci-fi. Actors Diane Keen and Marianne Morris are among the special guests. Conway Hall (Holborn), £5, book ahead, 10.30am-4pm

Make your own at Sir John Soane's Museum

GINGERBREAD HOUSE: Take the kids along to a free festive craft workshop where they can construct and decorate wooden 'gingerbread' houses. Age 4+. Sir John Soane's Museum (Holborn), free, book ahead, 11am-3pm

MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL: You can't even mention this film in Londonist circles without a certain member of the team bursting into rhapsodies about how it's the best film ever made. If you happen to agree with him, you can watch Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and co-starring in the animated film version of Dickens' classic novel, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra who perform the score live. Oh, and if you see a chap in the audience joining in with gusto, he's nothing to do with us... promise. Royal Albert Hall, from £21.50, book ahead, 2.30pm/7pm

ALGORITHMS: Today's your last chance to see Algorithms by Sadie Clark at Soho Theatre. The one-woman character comedy show tells the story of Brooke, who writes the algorithm for a dating app who gives the mathematical approach to love a chance when she suddenly becomes single. Soho Theatre, from £17, book ahead, 2.30pm/7.15pm

THE SNOWMAN: Cabinet of Living Cinema put on a family-friendly screening of festive classic The Snowman, accompanied by a live score performed by the audience. Take part in a  short rehearsal and sound effects workshop before the screening. All together now: We're walking in the aaaiiiir. Gunnersbury Park Museum, £10, book ahead, 2.30pm

Join London City Voices for a live concert

GLOBOSCOPE: Head to General Gordon Square after dark to wander through a sea of more than 200 illuminated spheres. Artistic installation Globoscope is the work of French artists Collectif Coin. General Gordon Square (Woolwich), free, just turn up, 5pm-9pm

LONDON CITY VOICES: Tonight's the second of London City Voices' three Christmas concerts this year — and only their second indoor performance since such things were allowed again, post-Covid. Enjoy a programme of carols and Christmas number one hits through the years performed by the community choir. St Mary-at-Hill Church (Monument), £15, book ahead, 7.30pm

CLUB DE FROMAGE CHRISTMAS: Pop night Club de Fromage ramps the cheese up an extra notch for its (second) Christmas party. Expect the usual blend of 90s and 00s pop tunes, with Christmas songs from the likes of Mariah Carey and Wham! thrown in. The venue's decked out in Christmas decorations, and Santa himself is waiting to greet revellers. O2 Academy Islington, from £7, book ahead, 10.30pm

Sunday 12 December

Catch a screening of The Nutcracker at Barbican Cinema

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING: 75 years of children's book Pippi Longstocking is celebrated with a special performance and talk at the Museum of the Home. Storyteller Sofie Miller takes on the role of the strongest girl in the world (£8/£7, book ahead, 10.30am/2pm) and award-winning storyteller Lauren Child takes part in a Q&A about illustrating a more recent version of the book (£10/£8, book ahead, 12pm).

CHILDREN'S CONCERT: Aimed at families, My Christmas Orchestral Adventure introduces children to Christmas concerts in a fun and interactive way. As the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain perform on stage, the audience help with the search for Father Christmas, who's lost his trusty map on his practice delivery route. Royal Albert Hall, from £20, book ahead, 1pm/4.30pm

ROH LIVE: London's absolutely rammed with Nutcrackers this season, but if you can't get to see any of them in person, catch this ROH screening of The Nutcracker. It's all the action from the Royal Opera House stage starring the Royal Ballet beamed into the cinema. Barbican Cinema, £21, book ahead, 2pm

Christmas at the Movies at Southbank Centre

CHRISTMAS MOVIES: Soundtracks from the likes of Elf, The Snowman, Home Alone and It's A Wonderful Life are performed live by the Philharmonia Orchestra, in a special Christmas movie concert. Southbank Centre, £19.50-£50, book ahead, 3pm

GUILTY FEMINIST: Comedian and screenwriter Deborah Frances-White and guests record an episode of The Guilty Feminist podcast in front of a live audience. They discuss the big topics all 21st century feminists agree on, whilst confessing their insecurities, hypocrisies and fears that undermine their lofty principles. Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Shakespeare's Globe), £10-£25, book ahead, 6pm

SUNDAY CONCERT: It's the turn of the Zoffany Ensemble to take to the stage at this week's Sunday Concert. The eight-strong group performs chamber music works by Schubert and Beethoven, and you can choose whether to enjoy the show in person, or from the comfort of your own home via a live stream. Conway Hall (Holborn) or online, £10-£14, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm