Things To Do This Weekend In London: 24-25 February 2024

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All weekend

Artists Zheng Bo standing in front of trees and plants
Be one of the first to see Bamboo at Method. Image courtesy of Somerset House

MUDLARKING EXHIBITION: For this weekend only, Watermen's Hall near London Bridge hosts a free exhibition about mudlarking. Each day, meet up to 15 people who share their stories and finds from mudlarking on the banks of the Thames. On Sunday there's a (paid) talk by Nathalie Cohen from the National Trust about fishing on the Thames. FREE, 24-25 February

BATTERSEA LIGHT FESTIVAL: Last chance to see the seven light art installations dotted around the Battersea Power Station area for the light festival. It's free to visit and includes a giant diamond and illuminated butterflies, as well as free entertainment in the form of LED performers this weekend. FREE, until 25 February

FANTASY: The British Library offers a magical, multimedia celebration of the fantasy genre, exploring its roots in myths and fairytales, and charting its rise in popularity in recent years — and this is its final weekend. Read our full review of Fantasy: Realms Of The Imagination. At time of writing, the BL website is still down due to a cyber attack, but tickets can be booked here instead. Until 25 February

MALORIE BLACKMAN: Also closing at the British Library this weekend is Malorie Blackman - The Power Of Stories, a free exhibition about the Noughts & Crosses author's impact on the world of children's stories, offering readers a different way of seeing the world. FREE, until 25 February

A museum display case with Dungeons and Dragons handbooks
Last chance to see the British Library's Fantasy exhibition. Photo: Londonist

PINCH OF VAULT: The theatre and cabaret section of A Pinch Of VAULT festival is now underway, with performances taking place around Waterloo and Bankside. Highlights this weekend include JOE, a rehearsed reading of Joe Biden's story, and The Encrypted Forest, a 'folktale for the digital age'. Browse the full programme and see what takes your fancy. Until 10 March

FOURTH PLINTH SHORTLIST: The National Gallery has a free display of models of the shortlisted artworks for the next two Fourth Plinth commissions, which are due to be installed in Trafalgar Square in 2026 and 2028. Peruse the options, then vote for your favourite online. FREE, 19 February-17 March

BAMBOO AS METHOD: Hong-Kong based artist Zheng Bo transforms Somerset House's courtyard into a bamboo garden for his art installation, Bamboo as Method. It's designed as a place for contemplation among nature, with visitors invited to select bamboo leaves from a variety of species to draw, after which the leaves are returned to the garden for decomposition, creating an ecological loop of creativity. FREE, 22 February-28 April

BLACK PORTRAITURE: One of our art critic's picks for 2024 opens at the National Portrait Gallery. The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure examines how artists from the African diaspora in the UK and USA depict the Black form, given that Western art history is dominated by white faces. 22 contemporary artists feature, curated by Ekow Eshun who was responsible for In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery in 2022. 22 February-19 May

SIX NATIONS: Another busy weekend for rugby fans as the Six Nations continues. It's Ireland v Wales (2.15pm) and Scotland v England (4.45pm) on Saturday, and France v Italy (3pm) on Sunday. Whoever you're supporting, have a look at our suggestions of places to watch Six Nations in London. 24-25 February (and until 16 March)

Saturday 24 February

A crowd standing in a venue watching a performer on stage
Check out the A Pinch of Vault programme

CANARY WHARF ICE RINK: The last of London's seasonal ice rinks stays open until today, for a final twirl. Ice Rink Canary Wharf is housed in a conservatory-style building beneath the skyscrapers, meaning it doesn't matter if it rains. 9am-9.45pm

A DAY OF CATS: Southwark Cathedral offers a day of talks about cats, with various speakers covering feline topics. They include author and screenwriter Kimberlie Hamilton taking a look at history from a cat's perspective, and cat expert vet surgeon Dr Jo Lewis. 1oam-5pm

VICTORIAN OPERATING THEATRE: Head back in time at the Old Operating Theatre near London Bridge, where there's a talk about the surgical procedures which once took place here, often watched by up to 150 medical students. Learn about surgery before anaesthesia and antiseptics helped paved the way for modern medical procedures. 10am-11am

JUBILEE LINE TOUR: Conservation organisation SAVE Britain's Heritage and Mike Ashworth (former head of design & heritage for TFL) team up for a tour of the Jubilee line extension stations. Meet at West Ham tube station (with an Oyster/Travelcard for zones 2-3) and board the tube with the group to learn about designing the stations, which opened in 1999. 11am-2.30pm

GAMES DESIGN: To mark the end of its Fantasy exhibition (details above), the British Library offers a day of talks about fantasy in films and games design. Production designers, game designers, costume designers, concept artists and illustrators talk about their sources of inspiration and how it has influenced contemporary popular culture, with topics including architecture in fantasy and uses of AI. 11am-6pm

QUEER HISTORY TOUR: Join the London Society for a guided walk focusing on LGBTQ+ history in the West End. Start in Trafalgar Square and hear about pioneering drag queens from the 18th century, secret gay soirées in the 1920s, and the development of Soho, one of the most famous queer neighbourhoods in the world. 2.30pm-4.30pm

People ice skating beneath a glass roof, with skyscrapers above
Last chance to go ice skating in Canary Wharf this winter.

SPIDER-MAN CONCERT: Watch 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse on a large screen, accompanied by a fusion of live orchestra, turntables and percussion playing the music from the soundtrack. Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse in Concert takes place at Southbank Centre. 3pm

ARENACROSS: Indoor motocross racing and freestyle motocross (FMX) combine for Arenacross, a fast-paced show full of daring stunts which comes to Wembley Arena for one day. A classic case of 'don't try this at home'. 5pm

SALTBURN BALL: Club de Fromage hosts a second Saltburn Ball themed on the recent film. Dance to songs from its soundtrack, including Murder on the Dancefloor, Time to Pretend, Mr Brightside and Sound of the Underground, while scenes play on the big screen. Takes place at O2 Academy Islington. 10.30pm-3.30am

MOVIE MYSTERY MARATHON: In classic Prince Charles Cinema style, the Leicester Square film palace runs an all-nighter screening of B-movies. Four films are shown back to back, but the programme isn't revealed until the night, making it something of a mystery movie marathon. 11.30pm (until approx 9am)

Sunday 25 February

People cheering on runners as they run down Whitehall towards Big Ben
Cheer on participants in the London Winter Run

LONDON WINTER RUN: Up for a physical challenge? Sign up for the London Winter Run, and power through a 10K, traffic-free route around London, raising money for Cancer Research UK. Not much of a runner? Line the route and cheer the fundraisers on. Either way, be aware that there are likely to be road closures around central London today along the route. From 9.30am

BLACK HISTORY WALK: Get the lowdown on hundreds of years of African and Caribbean history in the Trafalgar Square area, on today's Black History Walk. Find out about links between African kings and Queen Victoria, African Resistance leaders of the 1860s, and the planned mis-education of indigenous people in Australia, Canada and Britain. 10am-12pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: It's the time of the month when 120+ antiques dealers and experts descend on the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster for the Adams Antiques Fair. The event's been running for five decades, and is a chance to buy antique jewellery, silver, decorative pieces and collectables. Note that there's usually a queue by the time the doors open, so get down there early if you want to be one of the first in. 10am-4.30pm

SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA: American pianist and composer Missy Mazzoli is celebrated in a Total Immersion day at Barbican. It begins with a screening of short films introducing her work, followed by performances by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and the UK premiere of her new work, Song from the Uproar. 11am-8pm

A composite image of the different chefs taking part in Kanishka's supper clubs.
Lillian Luk (second from left) takes over the kitchen at Kanishka

GREATEST SHOWMAN: Fancy dress is strongly encouraged and audience participation expected at this singalong screening of The Greatest Showman at the Prince Charles Cinema. Join in with This Is Me and other songs as Hugh Jackman and co strut their stuff on the big screen. 12.30pm

ALDGATE WALK: Join Footprints of London guide David Charnick for a guided walk around the Aldgate area, with history dating back to Roman times. Find out how it's acted as a boundary between the City and the East End, something now marked by one of the City dragons. 2pm-4pm

SUPPER CLUB: Mayfair Indian restaurant Kanishka continues its series of Sunday Supper Clubs, with Lillian Luk of Shanghai Supper Club taking over the kitchen for the evening. Luk aims to promote the lesser-known food of Shanghai, with dishes including 'drunken chicken' (chicken that's been soaked in shaoxing wine) and Dong Po pork belly. 6pm

RESOL QUARTET: Today's Sunday Concert at Conway Hall stars the Resol Quartet, and features works by Mozart and Shostakovich, as well as Puccini's Crisantemi, written after the death of a close friend. 6.30pm-8.30pm