Things To Do This Weekend In London: 14-15 December 2019

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All weekend

Black Beauty opens at Southbank Centre

ENCHANTED ELTHAM: It's the second weekend of this year's Enchanted Eltham. The light festival offers glittering tunnels, disco balls and talking trees around the moat of Eltham Palace. Follow the family-friendly trail through the grounds before toasting marshmallows on a fire pit, or trying out the Victorian fairground rides. Eltham Palace, £12, book ahead, 12-15 December (and next weekend)

GRILLJAM: In summer, we had WingJam. Now the food festival is replaced by its winter cousin, GrillJam. Tuck into wings, BBQ food and festive dishes, all served in small sizes so that you can sample a few and vote for your favourite. Bussey Building (Peckham), £15, book ahead, 13-15 December

PINOCCHIO ON ICE: Fairy tale Pinocchio is retold on ice by a cast of  talented skaters ranging from adults to young children. Watch the story told in front of your eyes in a family-friendly performance, featuring traditional and modern music. Alexandra Palace, £15.50/£13, book ahead, 13-16 December

Enchanted Eltham is on all weekend

CIRCUS FEST: A two-day festival of circus arts comes to Greenwich. Take part in circus workshops and master trapeze, acrobalance or juggling, or watch the masters at work in special performances. There's a special circus room for under 5s, to ease them into things gently. Aircraft Circus Academy (Greenwich), £14/£12, book ahead, 14-15 December

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS BY BUS: See London's Christmas lights the fancy way — from the comfort of a vintage bus. Board the bus in Covent Garden and tour Embankment, Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street and Trafalgar Square, which are all dressed in their festive finery. London Transport Museum (Covent Garden), £17, book ahead, 14-15 December (and next weekend)

See London's Christmas lights by bus

BLACK BEAUTY: One of our picks of the best family-friendly theatre shows in London this Christmas, Black Beauty opens on Saturday. Puppetry features heavily, but think pantomime donkey rather than War Horse-style costumes. Storytelling and music also feature in the show, which has received 5* reviews for its performances elsewhere. Southbank Centre, £20/£15, book ahead, 14 December-5 January

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: If you're in the midst of a Christmas shopping panic, fear not — our guide to London's Christmas markets and fairs is on hand to guide you to your nearest scented candle, box of fudge or twinkly Christmas ornament.

Get your shopping done at London's many Christmas markets

ICE SKATING: At Royal Palaces, on rooftops and in the middle of Covent Garden, London's festive ice rinks are very much open for business. Here's our guide to festive skating in London to help you pick which one to visit — or why not try to get round them all by New Year? There's a new addition to the line-up this weekend as City Island's ice rink opens on Thursday.

CHRISTMAS IN LONDON: If it's general festiveness you're after, have a look at our guide to Christmas in London. We've covered everything from Christmas lights to theatre shows and panto, to festive afternoon teas, film screenings and light festivals.

Saturday 14 December

London Community Gospel Choir perform at the Royal Albert Hall

URBAN BODIES: Last chance to see Urban Bodies, a free exhibition about the immersive performance which took place in the City over the summer, and saw people dancing and free running through the area in surprising ways. New London Architecture (City of London), free, just turn up, until 14 December

FAMILY SING ALONG: Kids all excited about Christmas? Take them to Westminster Abbey where they can make their own decorations, hear Christmas stories, see the Nativity crib, and join in carol singing with the Westminster Abbey Choir. Westminster Abbey Chapter House, free, just turn up, 10am-2pm

VICTORIA AND ALBERT: Join Royal Parks for a guided walk around Kensington Gardens focusing on the festive traditions that Victoria and Albert themselves introduced to the country. Discover why robins are often on Christmas cards and see where the geese were traditionally fattened for Christmas dinner. Kensington Gardens, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12pm

Last chance to see the Urban Bodies exhibition

ARCHITECTURE OF VICTORIA: From one Victoria to another, find out about the architecture in the Victoria area of London on this guided walk by The London Ambler. See byzantine and classical towers, Italianate town houses, multi-levelled tenements, mansion blocks and modernist townscapes that don't often make it into the guide books. St James the Less Church (Pimlico), £12/£10, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

CRISIS ICEBREAKER: Embrace the chilly weather with an icy dip in Brockwell Lido in aid of homelessness charity Crisis. Swim a width of the pool (27m) either on your own, or as part of a team relay, and collect sponsorship money for your bravery. Brockwell Lido, £28.87+£50 sponsorship, book ahead, 11am-2pm

WAR HERITAGE DAY: If you have any stories, memories, objects or artefacts relating to the second world war, take them along to National Army Museum's heritage day. Volunteers are on hand to tell you more about them, take photos and add them to the museum's own records, as well as answering any questions you may have. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

Take a tour of Ridley Road Market

ILLUSTRATION FAIR: Have an arty day out at House of Illustration's fair. Browse and buy artworks by a range of artists, including limited edition prints and handmade cards. Granary Square (King's Cross), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm

RIDLEY ROAD MARKET: With department stores and high street shops dominating our thoughts at this time of year, turn your attention to the independent traders of Ridley Road Market. Take a guided tour through the east London street, and meet some of the 150 traders to learn about the past, present and future of the market. Ridley Road (Dalston), pay what you can, book ahead, 12pm

Alan Titchmarsh hosts a festive evening at Southbank Centre

GOSPEL CHRISTMAS: The London Community Gospel Choir performs a special Christmas concert in the impressive surroundings of the Royal Albert Hall. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra provides the backing track as the singers warble festive tunes including Joy to the World and Oh Holy Night. Royal Albert Hall, £35-£90, book ahead, 7.30pm

ALAN TITCHMARSH: Gardening legend Alan Titchmarsh hosts an evening of festive entertainment and music. The London Philharmonic Choir and the London Concert Orchestra perform a mix of traditional and modern Christmas carols. Southbank Centre, £16.50-£49.50, book ahead, 8pm

Sunday 15 December

Join Drag Syndrome for a free festive party

WINTER CINEMA: Luna Cinema's festive season at Kensington Palace begins today, with a screening of rom-com Love Actually. Over the coming week, Elf, Home Alone and other festive classics are screened in the Pavilion in the palace grounds. Kensington Palace, £18.50, book ahead, 15-22 December

SPARKLEFEST: Celebrate the winter holidays with a family-friendly light-themed festival. Sparklefest ties in with the current Rembrandt's Light exhibition, and includes candlelit storytelling, light drawing workshops, and other activities. Dulwich Picture Gallery, £8/£7, book ahead, 10am-5pm

PANTO HORSE RACE: The 10th annual London Pantomime Horse Race takes place on the streets of Greenwich, and there's a Star Wars theme this year. The day begins with a free, open-air Star Wars show featuring jedis, stormtroopers and Princess Leia, before over 30 teams don their horse Star Wars costumes for a route around Greenwich, with six pub stops along the way. May the horse be with you. Greenwich, free to watch, just turn up, pre-race ceremony 11.30am/race starts at 1pm

Dulwich Picture Gallery hosts Sparklefest

DECK THE HOUSE: The former home of poet John Keats invites the public in for a family-friendly day of making Christmas decorations. Keats House (Hampstead), free, just turn up, 2pm-4pm

DRAG SYNDROME: The world’s first collective of drag kings and queens with Down’s syndrome appear in London, fresh from an international tour. Expect lip syncing, dancing and cabaret as Horrora Shebang, Justin Bond, Lady Francesca and London drag artists perform a free, festive show. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 6pm

Create some Christmas decorations at Keats House

HEATHER SMALL: Electric Ballrooms hosts a Christmas soul night, headlined by Heather Small, formerly the singer of M People. R&B singer Imaani, soul singer Zalon Thompson and the London Soul Choir are among the other performers, and the event raises money for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan. Electric Ballroom (Camden), £20, book ahead, 6pm-1am

WINTER CONCERT: Finish off the weekend with one final Christmas concert. The Grand Union Orchestra, which brings together singers and musicians from all over the world, showcases some of the pieces it has learnt this year. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £8, book ahead, 6.30pm