Things To Do This Weekend In London: 21-22 January 2023

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All weekend

Two men in bowler hats, joined together by a lifering around their necks, looking straight at the camera in shock
Charlie & Stan is part of London International Mime Festival. Photo by Matt Crockett

CHINESE NEW YEAR: Sunday 22 January is Chinese New Year, when the Year of the Rabbit begins, and there are plenty of places to celebrate in London. Many restaurants are offering special menus and dishes, and venues including the Museum of the Home and National Maritime Museum have special events going on — some of them free. See our full guide to celebrating Chinese New Year in London.

LAST CHANCE: We're in the final days of Saatchi Gallery's current exhibition, The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion. It's a collection of photographs celebrating Black creatives, Black bodies and Black lives, while tackling important issues such as race and gender — catch it while you can. Until 22 January

BEACON OF HOPE: If you find yourself near Southwark Cathedral this weekend, pop in for a glimpse of the Beacon of Hope, a stained glass installation by Christian Aid, which offers messages of hope to lift visitors' spirits. The accompanying exhibition showcases stories from projects which Christian Aid has been involved in, and the cathedral hosts special candlelit prayer services on 18 and 25 January. FREE, 16-29 January

MIME FESTIVAL: London International Mime Festival is back, with all manner of physical and visual theatre performances taking place at venues across town. This weekend, pick from Charlie & Stan at Wilton's, The Nature of Forgetting at Shoreditch Town Hall and Materia at Jacksons Lane, among others. 16 January-5 February

LONDON ART FAIR: The capital's art scene swings into action for the year at the London Art Fair at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Focus is on modern and contemporary pieces, with galleries from all over London and beyond exhibiting. 18-22 January

A person walking across a pedsetrian bridge, surrounded by a red ring of light
Make some time to visit Winter Lights this weekend. Image: Canary Wharf

CANARY WHARF WINTER LIGHTS: Once again the streets, docks, malls and squares of Canary Wharf are aglow for Winter Lights. 21 gleaming installations have been announced for the free illuminations festival, with a market and street food stalls popping up to keep visitors fed and watered. While you're in the area, why not take a twirl on the Canary Wharf ice rink? It's the only one of London's winter ice rinks which stays open right through until February. FREE, 18-28 January, 5pm-10pm daily

LONDON SHORT FILM FESTIVAL: London Short Film Festival takes place at several independent cinemas around the capital. The programme includes a wealth of new drama, documentary and animation short films, competition-winning films, and industry events. Highlights this weekend include a programme of sci-fi shorts, a documentary about our relationship with natural landscapes, and more — have a browse. 20-29 January

BIG VINTAGE SALE: Rummage through furniture, bric a brac, homeware, art, vinyl, clothing and jewellery at the Big Go East Vintage Sale at Patchworks in Leyton. Drinks and street food are available from the bar and cafe on site, and there's a live DJ all weekend. 21-22 January

HISPANIC WORLD: The Royal Academy opens a new exhibition, Spain and the Hispanic World on Saturday, showcasing art from the region that's from the ancient world through to the 20th century. It spans sculptures, paintings, ceramics, maps and drawings, including work by Velázquez and Goya. 21 January-10 April

Saturday 21 January

Last chance to see Crybabies at Soho Theatre (well, until March...). Photo: Rebecca Need-Menear

BSL TOUR: The National Army Museum in Chelsea offers a free BSL tour looking at how the British Army has been depicted in art throughout history. It's led by expert guide Edward Richards, and covers battlefield landscapes as well as more intimate portraits of injured soldiers. FREE, 11am

FAMILY FILM CLUB: French animated film Ernest and Celestine in Winter is the pick for Family Film Club at Barbican Cinema this week, accompanied by a programme of short films. It's a cheap way to entertain the family for a couple of hours — tickets are just £3.50 per person. All kids must be accompanied by an adult, and all adults must be accompanied by a kid. 11am

WASSAIL DAY: London Wildlife Trust hosts a Wassail Day at Dulwich Village Orchard. It's an ancient custom of singing to apple-producing trees in cider orchards, and the event includes an orchard tour, live folk music, crafts and more. FREE, 12pm-3pm

FAMILY THEATRE: Take the kids along to OSO Arts Centre in Barnes for Captain Cauliflower and Marvin the Mischievious Moose, who venture into outer space and the depths of the ocean to take on arch-nemesis Onion Man. Aimed at 3-8 year olds and their families. 12pm/3pm

CRYBABIES: BAGBEARD: Head to Soho Theatre for the final chance to see this run of comedy collective Crybabies' new show, Bagbeard. We're promised a sci-fi narrative sketch adventure about finding home, forbidden love, monsters, mystery and massive regret. Today's 9pm show has sold out, but it's back at Soho Theatre in March. 1pm

A women holding a toddler, looking at the camera and smiling
Hear from Tim Smith and Maryna Sulym at the Migration Museum © Maryna Sulym

MEMORIES OF UKRAINE: Tim Smith and Maryna Sulym are photographers documenting the stories of Ukrainians in Ukraine and Britain. They're in conversation at Lewisham's Migration Museum, presenting their work, both historical and more recent, to give context to the current conflict in Ukraine. FREE, 2pm-3.30pm

LONDON TITANS: LGBTQ+ football team London Titans play Indian Gymkhana Club Reserves this afternoon. The action takes place at Barn Elms Sports Centre, and there's no need to buy a ticket — just show up. FREE, KO 2pm

CLAPHAM COMEDY CLUB: Musical and comedy improv act Abandoman headlines Clapham Comedy Club at Bread & Roses Theatre, accompanied by some musical guests. Doors 4pm

ICE HOCKEY: Head to Alexandra Palace to watch home ice hockey team the Haringey Huskies take on the Swindon Wildcats 2. 5pm

HEX GIRLFRIEND: Combined, Noah Yorke and James Knott are Hex Girlfriend — a melting pot of rave and heavy rock influences. They're headlining the Shacklewell Arms tonight, with Tummyache and Bloody/bath in support. FREE, 7.30pm

CONCRETE LATES: The Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer at Southbank Centre stays open longer than normal for Concrete Lates, a night of drum and bass music by DJs Fabio & Grooverider, with guests including Charlotte Devaney + Voice MC. 10.30pm-2am

Sunday 22 January

A tradiitonal Chinese lion dance
Celebrate Chinese New Year here in London. Image: Shutterstock

ANTIQUES FAIR: Over 120 antiques dealers from all over the UK descend on Westminster's Lindley Hall for the Adams Antiques Fair, which has been going for over 40 years. Browse and buy everything from jewellery to furniture. 10am-4.30pm

BOTTOMLESS WINGS: Blues Kitchen in Camden, Shoreditch and Brixton is doing a bottomless chicken wings deal on Sundays in January. It's £12 a person (£20 for two), and you've got 90 minutes to scoff as much as you can eat. 12pm-6pm

PERSPECTIVES TOUR: Partially blind photographer Karren Visser leads a tour (including audio description) of Wellcome Collection's current exhibition, In Plain Sight, sharing her personal experiences linked to some of the objects on display. You can read our review of the exhibition here. FREE, 2pm-3pm

FAMILY CONCERT: Introduce 7-12 year olds to works by the likes of Elgar, Sibelius, Handel and Mendelssohn at this LSO Discovery Family Concert. No need to sit still — dancing, singing, running and jumping are all encouraged as part of the interactive element, with a bit of friendly competition thrown in too. 2.30pm

PASSION FOR SNOWDROPS: As snowdrop season gets underway, head to Chelsea Physic Garden to hear from gardener, author and Professor, George G. Brownlee about the pretty white flowers, including a Q&A and a chance to buy a copy of his book, A Passion For Snowdrops: A Personal Perspective. 2.30pm-3.30pm

KINDERTRANSPORT: As Holocaust Memorial Day approaches, author Mike Levy is at The Jewish Museum to talk about the Kindertransport — the mass rescue of Jewish children from Europe at the start of the second world war. He reveals the little-known stories of the unsung heroes who helped get the children out, and those who took care of them once they arrived to safety. 3.30pm-5pm

SONGS FOR A WISH: West End performers including Abigail Green, Ako Mitchell, Gemma Knight Jones, Mary Tyler Moore, Shane O' Riordan and Sophie Isaacs join forces for a special musical show at The Other Palace, raising money for Make A Wish UK. 6pm

DEPTFORD DUB CLUB: Roots reggae stalwart Wassie One is 'spinning da riddims' at Deptford Dub Club tonight — expect ska, rocksteady and roots from the wheels of steel. He's supported by the likes of Becca and Doc Murdoch — plus a live three-piece horn section. 6pm-12am

BROMPTON QUARTET: It's the turn of the Brompton Quartet to perform at this week's Sunday concert at Conway Hall in Holborn. A new, specially commissioned work by composer Noah Max gets its debut at this show. 6.30pm

COLLYWOBBLERS COMEDY: Shazia Mirza, Nathan Cassidy, Currer Ball, Cheekyita, Dan Hoy and Jo Ostrowska are all on the bill at tonight's Collywobblers Comedy at The Railway in Streatham, offering you a laugh or two to end your weekend. Sion James is MC, as always. Doors 7pm

TWICKFOLK: The Cabbage Patch pub in Twickenham welcomes folk singer/songwriter Sarah McQuaid, for this evening's TwickFolk session. Expect a range of folk numbers — from Irish to Appalachian to medieval. 8pm