Things To Do This Weekend In London: 29 February-1 March 2020

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All weekend

Chiswick House & Gardens hosts a Camellia Show

A WESTMINSTER STORY: Theatre show A Westminster Story follows the tale of a free spirited Scottish musician who's new to London, and a conflicted politician, and what happens to them as a result of a chance meeting on Albert Embankment one night. Waterloo East Theatre, £16/£13, book ahead, 25 February-1 March

VINTAGE SALE: Beyond Retro's semi-regular Vintage Garage Sale returns, with thousands of items for sale every day, including belts, bags, trousers, shirts and dresses. It's free to browse, so no need to part with any cash unless you find something you love. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 26 February-1 March

CAMELLIA SHOW: Chiswick House & Gardens showcases its rare and historic plants at the annual Camellia Show. 33 different varieties are on show in the listed conservatory, and you can enter a raffle for a chance to name an as-yet-unlisted species. Chiswick House & Gardens, free entry to gardens (donations welcome), just turn up, 27 February-22 March

It's the final weekend of Lightopia

JEWISH BOOK WEEK: Jewish Book Week begins, with an impressive programme, covering everything from cookery to fashion to spies to politics to trees. Former Children's Laureate Michael Rosen, celebrated novelist Elif Shafak and historian Helen Fry are among participants across the 80+ events celebrating Jewish themes and writers. Kings Place (King's Cross), various prices, book ahead, 29 February- 8 March

DATA DATING: Last chance to see exhibition Data Dating, which takes a look at finding love in the internet age and how it's reshaping our relationships, through the work of several artists. Find out how our screens are affecting our sexual intimacy, and what romance could look like in the future. Watermans (Brentford), free, book ahead, until 1 March

YOUNG REBELS: Also closing this weekend is Marvellous & Mysterious: Literature's Young Rebels, a family-friendly exhibition looking at some of the more rebellious characters from children's books. See how the likes of Pippi Longstocking break the rules, and see Roald Dahl’s handwritten drafts of Matilda alongside Quentin Blake’s illustrations. There's also a chance to dress up as your favourite characters. British Library, free, just turn up, until 1 March

Beyond Retro sells off thousands of items

TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA: Last chance to see the National Trust's exhibition dedicated to beloved children's book The Tiger Who Came To Tea. It marks 50 years since the book's publication, features some of Judith Kerr's original illustrations, and offers visitors a chance to sit in the kitchen where the tiger visited Sophie and her mother. Osterley Park and House, included in admission, book ahead, until 1 March

LIGHTOPIA: The evenings are getting lighter, so it's time for illumination festival Lightopia to come to an end. The west London festival has Chinese-style lanterns, rainbow light tunnels and interactive artworks to see. Chiswick House & Gardens, £18/£11, book ahead, until 1 March

Visit the Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens

ORCHIDS: Kew's beautiful Orchids Festival is still on — and it's a great excuse to warm up in the tropical glasshouse. Wander through rainbow floral arches, ogle the volcano centrepiece floating on a pond, and look out for model orang utans, rhinos, and other wildlife from this year's chosen country, Indonesia. Kew Gardens, included in admission, book a time slot, until 8 March

VAULT FESTIVAL: Consider this your regular remind that Vault Festival still has a hefty programme of theatre, comedy and cabaret. Waterloo Vaults, various prices, book ahead, until 22 March

Saturday 29 February

29 things to do on 29 February

EXTRA DAY: 29 February is a gift that only rolls around once every four years. Use it wisely, with our list of 29 things to do in London on 29 February, or perhaps just take the opportunity to do something most Londoners wouldn't normally do.

MARYLEBONE AND MAYFAIR: Join The London Ambler for a walk through the exclusive neighbourhoods of Marylebone and Mayfair. Wander through terraces and squares originally developed for 17th century nobility, which overlooked some of the city's slums, and see the landscape carved out by the River Tyburn. St Marylebone Parish Church, £10-£12, book ahead, 10.30am-12.30pm

POVERTY HISTORY: Social historian Dr Michelle Johansen leads a short course about attitudes to and experiences of poverty in Britain from the 1834 Poor Law Reform Act to the introduction of the Welfare State in the mid-20th century. Use items from the archives including political pamphlets and campaigning literature to research the topic, then share your findings. Bishopsgate Institute, £23/£17, book ahead, 11am-2pm

Jerusalem Bar & Kitchen hosts a lip-sync battle

LONDON BOXING: Meet author Jeff Jones and hear him talk about his new book, East End Born and Bled. It tells the story of the birth of boxing in east London, an area which has produced many champions of the sport. Idea Store Whitechapel, free, book ahead, 2pm

EAT OR HEAT: Walthamstow's Ravensood Industrial Estate is home to neon warehouse God's Own Junkyard, and Wild Card Brewery, among other businesses. Today it hosts Ravenswood for Eat or Heat, a huge party raising money for the local food bank. Live DJs and music, food stalls and a raffle all feature. Ravenswood Industrial Estate (Walthamstow), free but donations encouraged, just turn up, 2pm

PRETTY WOMAN: The underground cinema at House of Vans continues its rom-com season with a screening of 1990 classic, Pretty Woman. Watch Richard Gere and Julia Roberts cavorting about on screen without parting with a penny. House of Vans (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 3pm/5.30pm

House of Vans Cinema screens Pretty Woman

LIP SYNC BATTLE: Drag queen Shyanne O'Shea hosts a lip sync battle, with special guests and two audience members taking part (you've been warned). Pick from either general admission, or a bottomless ticket, which gets you sharing plates and bottomless bubbles over two hours. Jerusalem Bar & Kitchen (Fitzrovia), £12.50-£35, book ahead, 7pm

HOUSE OF BROADWAY: Sit back and watch a night of musical theatre performances by West End stars. Norman Bowman, Jack Reitman, Sinead Wall and Claire Delaney are tonight's performers, showcasing amusing and touching songs from the musicals in a cabaret-style show. The Other Palace (Victoria), £22.50, book ahead, 8pm

Sunday 1 March

British Library offers a child-friendly introduction to politics

ST DAVID'S DAY: 1 March is St David's Day. Whether you're Welsh and living in London, or a Londoner wanting to get in on the celebrations, take a look at our guide to where to be Welsh in London, and find your own little slice of Cymru.

HERITAGE TRAIL: Today sees the launch of a new heritage trail, celebrating the brilliant women of Whitechapel, Bow and Barking. Find the map online and follow the trail at your own pace and in order, hearing stories about women including activists like Mala Sen, Minnie Lansbury and Milly Witkop, and suffragettes Annie Clara Huggett and Sylvia Pankhurst. It ends at the site of the East End Women’s Museum’s new permanent home, set to open in 2021. Whitechapel, free, just turn up, 1 March-31 December

VINTAGE SALE: Give your wardrobe an update at the Camden Vintage Kilo Sale, where you pay for your newly-acquired retro garments by weight. Tread lightly if you're a bit skint, or go mad if you've got deep pockets. Jumpers, dresses, shirts, skirts, jeans and accessories are all for sale. Cecil Sharp House (Primrose Hill), £3/£1.50,  just turn up, 10am-4pm

Visit Croydon Airport

FIRST SUNDAYS: On the first Sunday of the month, National Archives holds a special opening of its current exhibition, With Love. Full details haven't yet been announced, but it's chance to view passionate and heartbreaking love letters spanning 500 years. National Archives (Kew), free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

CROYDON AIPORT: On the first Sunday of the month, Croydon Airport Visitor Centre invites the public in to get a look at the little-known airport. Take a guided tour around a micro-museum covering the airfield's history, and visit the world's oldest air traffic control tower. Croydon Airport, free (donations welcome), just turn up, 11am-4pm

MATT HAIG: Author Matt Haig appears at a family-friendly event about his new book, Evie and the Animals. Hear him talk about the story of Evie, who has a super talent which she must keep secret, as well as other aspects of his writing career. Age 7+. British Library, £11, book ahead, 12.30pm-1.30pm

Hear from Matt Haig

KIDS’ POLITICS: Comedy Club 4 Kids and Simple Politics team up for How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?, a show designed to introduce kids to the world of politics. Using comedy and interactive games, they make the whole thing fun and easy to follow — parents and carers might even learn something too. British Library, £11/£5.50, book ahead, 3pm-4pm

BUSHFIRE BENEFIT: Though news of Australia's bushfire crisis has gone quiet, our cousins Down Under could still use some help. The Australia Bushfire Benefit London is a concert, reception and auction raising funds for bushfire charities, with Australian musicians performing, including a full orchestra and choir. Duke's Hall (Marylebone), £60, book ahead, 4.30pm-6pm

O'Hooley & Tidow perform live in London

BENGAL TO BETHNAL GREEN: A regular event which celebrates the local Bengali community in east London, Bengal to Bethnal Green hosts singer Lucy Rahman. She performs songs by her father, composer, singer and activist Sheikh Luthfur Rahman. She's joined by Shyamal Chowdhury from Dhaka, and the Grand Union Orchestra All-Stars in an event marking Language Day, or Matryrs' Day, an important event in the Bengali calendar. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £10, book ahead, 6.30pm

GENTLEMAN JACK: You may not have heard of Yorkshire-based folk duo O'Hooley & Tidow, but you probably know their music — they were responsible for the catchy ditty that became the theme of TV show Gentleman Jack last year. Hear them perform it, and other tunes, when their #GentlemanJack tour comes to town. We can practically Anne Lister's long coat swishing through the corridors of Shibden Hall already. Bush Hall (Shepherd's Bush), £22, book ahead, 7.30pm