Things To Do This Weekend In London: 12-13 October 2019

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All weekend

Chelsea History Festival is on all weekend

CLAPHAM FRINGE: Final chance to catch a show or two at Clapham Fringe. This final weekend wraps up with a capitalist patriarchy game show, an adaptation of Dickens's final completed work The Signalman, and more. Bread & Roses Theatre (Clapham), various prices, book ahead, until 13 October

LONDON COCKTAIL WEEK: There's still time to get stuck into the final weekend of London Cocktail Week 2019. Bars all over town are taking part, offering special drinks and various events. Buy yourself a Cocktail Pass — which gets you special £6 cocktails at participating bars, and access to the Cocktail Village on Brick Lane — and look out for other special events going on around town. Various locations, book £10 Cocktail Pass in advance, until 13 October

LONDON HORROR FESTIVAL: Warm up for Halloween at London Horror Festival, a programme of theatre and stage shows designed to give you a scare. Music, comedy and more all feature on this weekend's programme — but it's not for the faint-hearted. Pleasance Theatre and Old Red Lion Theatre, various prices, book ahead, 8 October-2 November

Mix ceramics with plants at Grown & Thrown

CHELSEA HISTORY FESTIVAL: Held across three venues, Chelsea History Festival consists of talks, walks, performances and family-friendly events. The full programme is here — our picks include a chance to hear from the Chelsea Pensioners. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 9-13 October

KNITTING AND STITCHING: Needles at the ready for The Knitting & Stitching Show, a celebration of all aspects of needlecrafts. Browse stalls to stock up on materials, tools and supplies, get inspiration from textile displays, and pick up tips at the free demonstrations by craft presenters. Alexandra Palace, from £16, book ahead, 10-13 October

BLOOMSBURY FESTIVAL: A celebration of the culture and science of the area, Bloomsbury Festival takes place all weekend, with an array of events, many of them free. Highlights this weekend include a writing workshop, guided walks, and live digital bodypainting. Browse the full programme. Various locations and prices, 11-20 October

The Kennel Club presents Discover Dogs

GROWN AND THROWN: Mix and match plants with pots at Grown & Thrown, a horticulture-meets-pottery market. Pick up a new houseplant, cactus or succulent, then browse work by various ceramic artists to pick a pot to put it in. 129 Shacklewell Lane (Dalston), free entry, just turn up, 12-13 October

DISCOVER DOGS: If you love all things dog-related, The Kennel Club's Discover Dogs is a must. Aimed at anyone thinking of getting a dog, it has many different breeds represented, with a chance to meet them, chat to their owners, and decide which breed is for you. Alas, you cannot take one home with you, but there is a cuddle corner, where you can chill out on beanbags with dogs... which sounds like the best possible use of your weekend. ExCel, from £15, book ahead, 12-13 October

OUT OF ORDER: Clown troupe Forced Entertainment perform their latest show, Out Of Order, described as a 'clown act gone wrong'. It's accompanied by a heavy musical score and toe the line between comic and tragic. Southbank Centre, £20, book ahead, 12-14 October

MONTH OF THE DEAD: Throughout October, Month of the Dead has various talks, walks and other events going on to explore themes of mortality. It's worth booking ahead, as several events are selling out fast — highlights include pet cemeteries, morbid tattoos, and lost species. Various locations and prices, book ahead, throughout October

Saturday 12 October

Stock up on plants at Green Rooms Market

BOOKSHOP BIRTHDAY: Kew Bookshop celebrates its 30th birthday by giving customers a chance to meet a range of famous authors. Today's the second (and final) day, with Gyles Brandreth, Ned Palmer, George Goodwin and Laura Thompson among those scheduled to appear. Kew Bookshop, free, just turn up, 11-12 October

LOCAL GUIDING DAY: Annual event Local Guiding Day sees tour guide organisations offering free walks around London. The theme this year is Victorian innovation, with tours focusing on the Victorian legacy at King's Cross, London's first underground railway, and other radical inventions of the period. Various locations, free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

BOOK WALK: Take a book lovers' wander through London, visiting some of its most beautiful bookshop and libraries. Start at the incredibly photogenic Daunt Books in Marylebone, before visiting several other spots. At the end of the walk, receive a list of lesser-known London bookshops and libraries, so you can continue your explorations in your own time. Daunt Books (Marylebone), £15, book ahead, 11am-1.30pm

GREEN ROOMS MARKET: Stock up on house plants — or simply wallow inn their innate greenness — at Green Rooms Market. Plant specialists from all over sell their wares, and are on hand to offer you tips and tricks on keeping your plant alive and helping it thrive. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm

Hear Londonist's Matt Brown talk about catastrophe in the capital

ACTS OF GOD: As part of London Month of the Dead (above), our own Editor-at-Large Matt Brown looks beyond the Great Fire and Black Death to talk about lesser-known catastrophes that have struck London in the past. Ever heard of the Fatal Vespers of 1623, or the Regent's Park ice skating tragedy? You will by the time Matt's finished with you. Brompton Cemetery, £12, book ahead, 1pm

PUSH + PANEL: Covering New York, London, Barcelona, Seoul and Valparaiso, new documentary Push + Panel looks at how residents and campaigners worldwide can push back against increasing housing costs. Screening followed by a panel discussion with Deborah Garvie (Policy Manager, Shelter), Portia Msimang (Renters Rights) and a representative from Oxfam. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead, 4pm

Lady and the Cramp at The Vagina Museum

HIP HOP KARAOKE: Stay late at Tate Modern for an evening of Hip Hop Karaoke, with Fourpure craft beer thrown in the mix. Join in with mass karaoke sessions covering old-school and brand new hip hop hits. Fourpure beers are available on tap all night to keep things lively. Tate Modern, £10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

HAVEN'T STOPPED DANCING YET: Dance the night away to funk, soul and disco music from the 1970s-80s. Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet is a disco night aimed at those who remember the songs from the first time round, and anyone else who enjoys a good boogie. Trafalgar Tavern (Greenwich), £15, book ahead, 7.30pm

LADY AND THE CRAMP: London's Vagina Museum doesn't officially open until 16 November, but it's got a pre-launch programme of events before then. Tonight's show, Lady and the Cramp, is a musical cabaret show featuring four musicians telling the story of a lady who is assigned a cramp which affects her view of the world around her. Vagina Museum (Camden Stables Market), £12/£10, book ahead, 7.30pm-8.30pm

Sunday 13 October

Peek inside the Kitchen Garden at Chiswick House

ANTIQUES FAIR: Antique jewellery, silver, ceramics and paintings are just some of the items for sale at the Adams Antique Fair. 140 dealers turn up from across the UK to sell their goods at the event, which is aimed at both serious antiques collectors and the more casual browser. Royal Horticultural Halls (Victoria), £4, book ahead, 10am-4.30pm

AFFORDABLE VINTAGE: Over 60 vintage traders descend of east London for Bethnal Green's Affordable Vintage Fair. Refresh your wardrobe with clothing and accessories from the 1940s-1990s, and know that you're doing your bit for the environment by recycling old togs. York Hall (Bethnal Green), £3/£2.50, book ahead, 10.30am-4.30pm

MODERNIST HAMPSTEAD: Join Footprints of London tour guide Marilyn Greene for a guided walk around Hampstead, focusing on the Modernist architecture of the area. The Sun House by Maxwell Fry, and 66 Frognal by Connel Ward and Lucus are some of the 1930s highlights, which echoed designs trends in Europe at the time. Hampstead station, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am-1pm

Hunt out some bargains at the Pop Up Vintage Fair in Hampstead

KITCHEN GARDENS: Have a peek inside the kitchen gardens at Chiswick House — normally off-limits to the public — at this free open day. Get inside the walled garden, see the flowers and produce being grown there, and learn more about it from the volunteers. Chiswick House, free, just turn up, 11am-3.30pm

VINTAGE FAIR: Yet another chance to bag yourself a bargain this weekend, this time at Hampstead's Pop Up Vintage Fair. Fashion takes centre stage, but it's also a chance to browse vintage furniture, homewares, posters, maps and more, dating between the 1920s and 1980s. Old Hampstead Town Hall, £3/£2, just turn up, 12pm-5pm

BOOZY LONDONERS: Join an alcohol-themed guided walk, which combines London history and Londoners' love of a stiff drink. Find out about the social history of alcohol in the capital, including which drinks would have been consumed by which social classes, and learn the history of expressions including 'one for the road'. Visit a brewery, two gin distilleries, and several other points of interest. Angel (address provided on booking), £12, book ahead, 2pm-3.30pm (sponsor)

IN PRAISE OF WALKING: Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara pays tribute to the seemingly-simple act of walking, celebrating the freedoms it gives us, and the evolution our species had undergone to get to this stage. He also talks about why we need to keep walking, in an era of cars and office jobs. Conway Hall (Holborn), £8/£5, book ahead, 3pm-4.30pm

Who knows what you'll find at Adams Antiques Fairs

BENGAL TO BETHNAL GREEN: Celebrate east London's rich cultural musical influences at Bengal to Bethnal Green, an evening of multicultural music including classical ragas and modern ballads. Indian singer Mahamaya Shil headlines this month's event, supported by other members of the Grand Union Orchestra, including tabla maestro Yousuf Ali Khan. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, 6.45pm

BOOKER PRIZE: Ahead of the announcement of this year's Booker Prize winner, spend the evening with the shortlisted authors. Margaret Atwood, Lucy Ellmann, Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, Salman Rushdie, and Elif Shafak all appear to read from, and talk about, their nominated work. Southbank Centre, £15-£35, book ahead, 7.30pm

The Bohemians perform at The O2

COMEDY FILMS: Watch short comedy films from around the world at a specially-curated evening. Films on the programmes cover a range of topics and cultures, but all are designed to make you chuckle. Candid Arts Trust (Angel), £5.80, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

WOMEN ORGANISTS: The Society of Women Organists hosts the latest in a series of free recitals. This time, experienced musician Anne Page performs. Christ's Chapel (Dulwich), free, just turn up, 7.45pm

BEST OF QUEEN: Queen tribute band The Bohemians play a gig, showcasing the rock band's greatest hits and back catalogue. Front man Rob Comer makes a very convincing Freddie, and the tribute group have been going since 1996 so they must be doing something right. Indigo at The O2 (North Greenwich), from £23.45, book ahead, 8pm