Things To Do This Weekend In London: 8-9 October 2022

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All weekend

An astronaut dressed in a space suit with a mirrored helmet
Science Fiction takes centre stage in a new exhibition. © Science Museum Group

TRAIN STRIKES: At time of writing, severe and nationwide train strikes are due to take place on Saturday, with extremely restricted services, and some operators unlikely to run any trains at all. Disruption is likely to continue into the mornings following the strikes too — something to bear in mind when planning your weekend. 8 October

DICKENS AND GHOSTS: Just in time for spooky season, the Charles Dickens Museum has opened an exhibition about Dickens, ghosts and the supernatural. To Be Read at Dusk examines the author's interest in the paranormal, which resulted in him publishing more than 20 ghost tales. Items on display include a copy of The Chimes which he gifted to Hans Christian Andersen. 5 October-5 March

KNITTING AND STITCHING SHOW: Needles ready for The Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally, which has hundreds of exhibitors selling supplies including yarn, fabric, buttons, fat quarters, sewing machines and more. Get inspired in the galleries, displaying works by textile artists and groups. 6-9 October

SCIENCE FICTION: Science Museum goes immersive for its new exhibition Science Fiction: Voyage To The Edge Of Imagination, which places visitors at the heart of a science fiction adventure, guided by an artificial intelligence of alien origin. See authentic objects from films, TV, books, paintings, artworks and photos, all related to the sci-fi genre. 6 October-May 2023

A woman lying on the floor of an empty room, which has lilac walls and floor - part of a large painting at Frameless
It's the first weekend of Frameless. Photo: Tom Dymond

FRAMELESS: New immersive art experience Frameless is open in Marble Arch, inviting you to step inside some of the world's best-known paintings. More than 479 million pixels are used to recreate works by the likes of Canaletto, Monet, Rembrandt, Mondrian and others, with accompanying music played over surround sound speakers. From 7 October

HARRY POTTER IN CONCERT: The sixth film in the wizarding world franchise, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, gets the concert treatment at the Royal Albert Hall. Watch the film in high-definition on the large screen, while a symphony orchestra performs the soundtrack live in front of you. 7-9 October

LEARN TO PLAY: Bag yourself a free music lesson at Yamaha Music London in Soho as part of the nationwide Learn to Play Weekend. Acoustic and electric guitar, drums, piano, trumpet and saxophone are among the instruments you could try in a free 30-minute taster session with an experienced music teacher — just turn up early on the day to book your slot. Lessons are open to complete beginners as well as anyone who used to play and wants to brush up their skills again. FREE, 8-9 October (sponsor)

FAMILY FUN WEEKEND: Once a month, Cutty Sark holds a Family Fun Weekend, with extra activities on top of the usual fascinating things to see and do onboard. Get involved with making a 3D map of the Thames, meet people in character as the vessel's captain and cook, and enjoy performances by the Sea Shanty Singers. 8-9 October

CLASSIC CAR BOOT SALE: If you're into vintage vehicles, or retro clothing and homewares, get yourself down to the Classic Car Boot Sale in Granary Square, King's Cross. All manner of classic cars park up, with vintage fashion sold from the boot, plus live DJ sets, street food trucks and a Routemaster bus bar. A repair shop and a charity market are among the new features this time round. 8-9 October

NEW SCIENTIST LIVE: Climate change, eugenics, tropical diseases, canine intelligence, black holes and the importance of wasps are just some of the topics covered at this year's New Scientist Live. Across three days, experts from all manner of fields give talks on their topics, at ExCel London. 8-9 October

Saturday 8 October

The front grill of a vintage car, with boots and shoes for sales on the bumper and on the floor in front of the car
The Classic Car Boot Sale is back

ABBA FOR KIDS: Introduce your children to the wonders of Anni-Frid, Benny, Bjorn and Agnetha at ABBA For Kids, a brand new show designed for families. Sing and dance along to all the hits as the unlikely combination of tribute band ABBA Revival and the Mozart Symphony Orchestra take to the stage. Age 7+. 11am/2.30pm

CONKERS: Ever heard of The Golden Nut? It's a 22 carat gold conker, and it could be yours if you win the Peckham Conker Championships. Taking place in a brewery (what could possibly go wrong...?) the competition has rounds for adults and kids, and you can take part as an individual or a group. FREE, 2pm

DULWICH HAMLET: Beloved south east London football team Dulwich Hamlet take on Dartford at home today — and in current form, Dartford will be the favourites. Whatever the result, it's impossible to have a bad time at this top-notch community club. KO 3pm

HIDDEN GREEN SPACES: London National Park City Rangers Allan and Chantal lead a free walk through central London, to show you some of the area's little-known and hidden green spaces. You'll also learn some orienteering skills on the 4km circular walk from the Timberland store on Carnaby Street via Green Park and Mayfair — with a free Timberland t-shirt thrown in. FREE, 3pm-4.30pm

MEXICO AFTER HOURS: As part of Kew Gardens' Mexico season of events, it stays open after hours for an evening of Mexican food, drink and culture. Head to the toasty warm Temperate House for live cooking demonstrations by chefs from Mexican restaurant Santo Remedio, as well as storytelling, dance performances, and a chance to peruse the festival's themed artworks and installations. 6.30pm-10.30pm

Trees in the Temperate House at Kew, illuminated with green and white flood lights
Kew's open late for a Mexican evening. Image: RBG Kew

CANDLELIGHT CLUB: Regular pop-up speakeasy The Candlelight Club celebrates its 12th birthday party. As usual, it's at a secret London location, with live jazz and swing music and vintage vinyl to dance to, and entertainment by cabaret host Champagne Charlie. 7pm

PURCELL SINGERS: Chamber Choir the Purcell Singers are at St Peter's Eaton Square, for a performance of music by Bach, Vaughan Williams, and Imogen Holst's beautiful Mass in A Minor. 7.30pm-9.30pm

DALISO CHAPONDA: Comedian and Britain's Got Talent finalist Daliso Chaponda brings his touring show Apocalypse Not Now to north London. Head to ArtsDepot for a sharp look at modern life. Age 14+. 7.30pm

SH!T-FACED MACBETH: "Is this a lager I see before me?" Macbeth gets the Sh!t-faced Shakespeare treatment at The Exchange in Twickenham tonight. If you've ever been to a professionally polished show at the Globe, then this is basically nothing that like. 8pm

STANLEY ACCRINGTON: We've a sneaking suspicion that Stanley Accrington is a pseudonym, compounded somewhat by the fact this folk musician plays silly, yet brilliantly funny poems, pastiches and parodies. He's playing the Cellar Upstairs Folk Club tonight. 8.15pm

Sunday 9 September

Someone's hands flicking through a box of records for sale
Have a rummage at Hackney Record Fair

ROYAL PARKS HALF: The Royal Parks Half Marathon takes runners on a route through four of the eight Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Green Park, St James's Park, Kensington Gardens), and other closed roads around central London today. Even if you're not running, why not go along to support the runners? Many of them are running for charity — and the parks look gorgeous at this time of year. FREE, from 9am

TEN MINUTE TALKS: Once in a while, the Imperial War Museum hosts a group of expert volunteers to give short talks on their specialist topic, ranging from the Indian Army on the Western Front, to Alan Turing. Ask a member of staff on arrival at the museum for details of talks taking place today. FREE, throughout the day

FESTIVAL OF THE GIRL: Emulating International Women's Day, but aimed at girls aged 7-11, Festival of the Girl is a day of talks, shows, workshops and other events. It's designed to improve the confidence and self-esteem of youngsters, and help them to have conversations with their families around difficult topics. 10am-4.30pm

BLACK NATIONAL GALLERY: Take a closer look at the Black figures in the artworks of the National Gallery — from African kings and queens, to servants and slaves — on this Black History Walks guided tour. 11am-1pm

A pair of cupped hands holding a few shiny red conkers
Try your luck in Peckham or Parliament Hill this weekend. Image: Karen Cann via Unsplash

RECORD FAIR: Hackney Record Fair pitches up at Abney Public Hall, selling mountains of lovely vinyl — including plenty of rare and independent grooves. DJs play throughout the day. 11am-5pm

CARMEN: Take a deeper dive into one of the great operas, Carmen, at Bishopsgate Institute. If you're a keen singer of any ability, you can join in a workshop, where you'll learn to belt out extracts from the Bizet masterpiece, in the venue's Great Hall. Think it's better if you just watch? You can do that too. 12pm-5pm

DIWALI IN LONDON: Although Diwali falls on 24 October this year, London's official celebrations in Trafalgar Square take place today, with live music, dancing and more. Take a look at our guide to other ways to celebrate Diwali in London throughout this month. FREE, 12.30pm-7pm

MORE CONKERS: Perhaps you were victorious at yesterday's conker championships, or perhaps you know you can do better. Either way, you've been granted another go in the form of the Hampstead Heath Conker Championships, taking place on Parliament Hill today. They make an afternoon of it up here, with live music and autumnal nature activities alongside the all-important competition. FREE, 1pm-4pm

The exterior of the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park - West Ham's former stadium
Remember this place? Find out about London's lost football grounds. Photo: Oxyman via creative commons

DOCTORS ORCHESTRA: Chelsea's Cadogan Hall is the setting for this concert by the European Doctors Orchestra, its first performance since the pandemic. The Orb and Sceptre march written for Queen Elizabeth II's 1953 coronation opens the show, with work by Shostakovich and Berlioz also featuring. 3pm

LOST FOOTBALL GROUNDS: Footprints of London guide Rob Smith hosts a virtual tour of lost football grounds of London. From your own home, 'visit' well-known former stadiums such as West Ham's Boleyn Ground, and go further back in time to the first of London's football grounds like the homes of Wanderers and Thames Ironworks. 8pm

HEMINGWAY OPERA: As part of K-Music Festival, head to Southbank Centre to see Korean pansori singer Jaram Lee perform her opera, which is based on Ernest Hemingway’s classic novella, The Old Man and The Sea. The multi-talented performer won the best actress award at the Korean Musical Awards, and is also a radio DJ presenter, gayageum player, guitarist, composer, writer and music director. 8pm