Things To Do This Weekend In London: 18-19 January 2020

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All weekend

Canary Wharf Winter Lights is back

WINTER LIGHTS: Free illuminations festival Winter Lights is back in Canary Wharf for a sixth year. Wander among the skyscrapers seeing colourful installations, some of which are new for this year, and others which will be familiar from previous years. Check out our guide to eating and drinking in the area and make a night of it. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, 16-25 January

LONDON BLUES WEEK: Wash away the January blues with a decent dose of blues music. London Blues Week takes over various locations around the capital, with musicians from all over the world performing. Highlights this weekend include Kirk Fletcher and Ben Poole at The 100 Club. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 16-31 January

MODEL ENGINEERING: Choo choo! The London Model Engineering Exhibition returns to the capital, with 2,000 miniature locomotives, ships and aircraft to ogle. Clubs and societies from across the UK show off their creations, including a rideable 5" gauge steam loco, 750 tiny 1:1200 scale models of iconic ships and a James Bond exhibition. Alexandra Palace, £11.50/£4, tickets available on the door, 17-19 January

The Model Engineering Exhibition is at Ally Pally

MINDFUL DRINKING FESTIVAL: One for all you non-drinkers, Dry January participants, and anyone looking to cut down their booze intake. The Mindful Drinking Festival offers an insight into the alcohol-free drinks available these days, including teetotal beers, wines and ciders. Try and buy the drinks, speak to the people who make them, and take part in workshops and masterclasses. The Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), free entry, just turn up, 18-19 January

ADVENTURE TRAVEL SHOW: Suffering from the January blues? Get your 2020 getaway plans sorted with the Adventure Travel Show. If it's a relaxing beach break you want, it's probably not for you, but for trekking and cycling holidays, safaris and more, it's a chance to meet tour operators, attend talks and workshops and find out what your travel options are. Olympia London, £11, book ahead,18-19 January

RU PAUL'S DRAG CON: Yas queen! The entire cast of RuPaul's Drag Race UK make a fabulous appearance at RuPaul's Drag Con. Saturday's sold out, but tickets for Sunday are still available. Baga Chipz, Divina de Campo and Crystal are among the acts sashaying their stuff, with live commentary from RuPaul himself. Can we get an Amen? Olympia London, from £40, book ahead, 18-19 January

Still a few tickets left for RuPaul's Drag Con.

ON EDGE: It's the final weekend of Science Gallery's On Edge exhibition, which looks at the causes and effects of anxiety in modern-day life. Artwork and scientific research combine for a look at people's individual experiences of anxiety, and offers some opportunities to take action. Science Gallery (London Bridge), free, just turn up, until 19 January

DESIGNED IN CUBA: Designed In Cuba, an excellent exhibition of Cuban graphic design, is also in its final weekend. As well as showcasing the work of some extremely skilled designers, it offers an alternative look at historical events to the one that most of us grew up with. House of Illustration (King's Cross), included in admission (£8.80), book ahead, until 19 January

MIME FESTIVAL: London International Mime Festival continues apace, with performers from all over the world descending on the capital. Our picks this weekend include The Strange Tale of Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel, and puppet show The Water Babies. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 2 February

Saturday 18 January

Take part in a traditional evening of wassailing.

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: Got a new camera and want to put it to use? Join London Wetland Centre's day-long wildlife photography workshop. It's aimed at beginners and covers how to use your camera's settings and the basics of competition. Spend time outside putting your new knowledge to use, and get your question answered in the one-to-one tuition time. London Wetland Centre (Barnes), £60.50, book ahead, 10am-4pm

WALL STREET ON WATER: Join The London Ambler for a walk through ‘Wall Street on water', and see how the East End and Docklands areas have developed since the 1980s, becoming one of the world’s most important financial hubs. Hear about politics and business deals relating to the area as you ogle the architecture. Dunbar Wharf (Limehouse Link), £12/£10, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

LAYERS OF LONDON: The team from the excellent Layers of London project are on hand today,offering family-friendly workshops where the public can explore London's Victorian streets. Digitally trace around buildings and streets to help create new layers of London's past. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 11am

Have a go at wildlife photography

KEATS IN HAMPSTEAD: The experts from Keats House lead a walk through Hampstead Village, telling the story of the poet's life in the area. See spots which inspired his work, including the Heath itself, accompanied by readings, and finish up at the house where he once lived. Hampstead tube station, £12, book ahead, 11am-1.30pm

WASSAIL: Charming cocktail bar The Midnight Apothecary kicks off 2020 with an evening of wassailing. Gather around the fire in the rooftop garden and sup on some cider-based drinks before processing down to the apple tree in the lower garden and taking part in some traditional wassail carols. Brunel Museum (Rotherhithe), £10, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

BRENT BOROUGH OF CULTURE: Following Waltham Forest's tenure, Brent takes up the mantle as London Borough of Culture for 2020. The big launch event is Rise, a free, outdoor event telling the story of Brent through dance, theatre and projections, with Wembley Stadium as a backdrop. Wembley Park, free, just turn up, 7pm

Rise takes place in Wembley

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE LOVED?: Regular club night How Does It Feel To Be Loved? dedicates tonight's event to cult indie band Neutral Milk Hotel. Hear every song from their seminal album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea over the course of the evening, mixed in with the usual blend of indie pop, northern soul, girl groups, and sixties heartbreak. The Phoenix (Cavendish Square), £6/£4, book ahead, 9pm-3am

Sunday 19 January

Have a browse at Adams Antiques Fairs

BIRD WATCHING WALK: Dig out your binoculars and head to London Wetland Centre for a winter bird watching walk. Look out for wigeon, bitterns, teal and other species, with a warden on hand to give you tips on spotting them. London Wetland Centre (Barnes), £16.50, book ahead, 9.30am-11am

DICKENS TOUR: Explore the Charles Dickens Museum before its open to the public on a special guided tour. Your guide is in character as the housemaid of the Dickens family, and shows you around their home while they're on holiday in Broadstairs. Charles Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), £15/£12, book ahead, 10am/11am/11.45am

Join a garden tour at Fulham Palace - hopefully without the snow!

VINTAGE SALE: Refresh your wardrobe and do your bit to help the planet at the East London Vintage Kilo Sale. Stock up on second-hand retro and vintage togs, and pay by weight — meaning you could get a whole new outfit for just a few quid. York Hall (Bethnal Green), £3 book ahead, 10am-4pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: Antiques experts and complete novices are invited to the monthly Adams Antiques Fairs. Over 140 stalls by traders from all over the UK and beyond are present, selling jewellery, artworks, homewares, furniture and more. Royal Horticultural Halls (Westminster), £4, book ahead, 10am-4.30pm

Have a rummage at the East London Vintage Kilo Sale

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY: Try your hand at astrophotography and learn how to take beautiful photos of the night sky on this one-day course. Taught by an experienced astrophotographer and astronomer, it’s a chance to learn how to use your DSLR camera to maximum effect when capturing the cosmos. City Lit (Covent Garden), £49, book ahead, 10.30am-3pm

GARDEN TOUR: Join an expert guide for a wander through the botanic garden at Fulham Palace. Learn about some of the different specimens being grown there, and see evidence of how the different Bishops of London left their own mark on the gardens through the years. Fulham Palace, £6, just turn up, 12.30pm-1.30pm

FROST FAIRS: Learn about the frost fairs which used to take place on the frozen River Thames. Create a collage inspired by the cold winter of 1820 at this family-friendly craft session. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

TRAINS, DRAINS AND REMAINS: Join Footprints of London guide Marilyn Greene for a guided walk focusing on development in the Blackfriars area. Find out how the growth of the tube is related to the embanking of the Thames in the area, and look out for where the River Fleet feeds into the Thames. Blackfriars tube station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm