Things To Do This Weekend In London: 9-10 December 2023

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All weekend

A large marquee decked out in red and green Christmas decorations, with people sitting at tables beneath them
Between the Bridges hosts a drag show brunch on Saturday.

THE MOONWALKERS: Actor Tom Hanks is the voice of The Moonwalkers, a new experience at Lightroom in King's Cross which tells the story of the Apollo moon missions. It uses projections, filmed interviews between Hanks and astronauts of the current Artemis programme, and an original score. 6 December-21 April

CHRISTMAS ACTUALLY: Love Actually director Richard Curtis has curated Christmas Actually, a festive variety show at Southbank Centre. Sanjeev Bhaskar and Jayde Adams host the selection of live music, poetry, comedy and storytelling. 7-11 December

HANUKKAH: The Jewish festival of Hanukkah, or Chanukah, goes on over this weekend and beyond, and London has plenty of menorah lightings and other events to celebrate. 7-15 December

DRAWING EXHIBITION: See over 400 paintings, drawings and other works on paper, at the Royal Drawing School's End of Year Exhibition. View them in person at the Shoreditch HQ, or online. FREE, 7-19 December

MULLED WINE AND GRAPHIC DESIGN: One of Islington’s most fascinating family-run indie shops is staying open longer this weekend — and next! — to help you pick out a truly precious Christmas present. Twentieth Century Posters is a treasure trove of graphic design history, with all sorts of rare and original posters and prints spanning over a century, starting at £100. There'll be mulled wine and the chance to get recs from the shop's owner, who happens to be the former Head of Collections at London Transport Museum (so you know he knows his onions!) (sponsor)

An indoor swimming pool, symmetrical, in shades of white and pale blue
Step into Accidentally Wes Anderson, in west London. Photo: Soo Burnell

PETER PAN ON ICE: See the story of Peter Pan performed live in front of you — on ice. The annual Alexandra Palace festive show has a cast of West End professionals, and features all the usual Neverland characters, plus skating, theatrical aerial stunts and a sprinkling of pixie dust. Age 3+. 8-11 December

KINGDOM OF WINTER: ExCeL Centre hosts Kingdom of Winter, a large-scale event that's new for 2023, opening in time for this weekend. An ice rink, circus performances, fairground rides, market stalls and an ice expedition trail can all be found under one roof (to be fair, it's a very large roof). 8 December-7 January

ACCIDENTALLY WES ANDERSON: Famous Instagram account Accidentally Wes Anderson opens an exhibition in west London, displaying images from the satisfyingly symmetrical and pastel-hued feed — and inspired by the aesthetic of film designer Wes Anderson's sets. You can also get the lowdown on where some of the locations featured are, in case you fancy recreating the shots yourself. From 8 December

SHOWSTOPPERS: The Showstoppers’ Christmas Kids Show comes to Woolwich Works, offering an interactive production in which suggestions and ideas from audience members are included in a musical which is put together live in front of you. Kids get to decide who the characters are, and what happens next. Age 5+. 9-10 December

Saturday 9 December

A promo poster for Elf in Concert, featuring Buddy the Elf against a backdrop of a silhouetted city skyline
There are two performances of Elf in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall today.

SANTACON LONDON: Hundreds of Santas descend on London for Santacon, which sees members of the public "dress up in Santa suits, run around, give gifts, sing songs, have strangers sit on our laps and decide who is naughty or nice". Festive chaos in the best possible way — and a bit of a mad one if you stumble across it unexpectedly. 9 December

THE LIGHT PRINCESS: Fairy tale The Light Princess is retold at The Albany in Deptford with an electronic score, puppetry, bears and, er, turnips, apparently. It's the work of award-winning theatre company LAStheatre, and is staged on Saturdays and Sundays up until Christmas Eve. 11am and 2pm, also on various other Sat and Suns until 24 Dec

CAMBERWELL XMAS: Santa and Rapunzel are coming to the Saturday market at Camberwell Green, bringing a free Caribbean lunch, free treats, decoration fun, festive music and fun-packed active games to get the kids moving! FREE, 11am-2pm

DRAG SHOW BRUNCH: Drag Race stars Michael Marouli and Tomara Thomas host this weekend's Drag Show Brunch at Between The Bridges. Expect live performances, quizzes, games, and an hour of bottomless prosecco. Food isn't included in your ticket, but there are plenty of street food traders to choose from at the venue. 11.30am-3pm

CARRY ON FILMS: The Cinema Museum in Kennington celebrates the Carry On film series, with an afternoon of screenings, rare clips, special guests and discussions. British comedy historian Robert Ross hosts, and there's a chance to buy signed cast photos. 12pm

WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL: See local wheelchair basketball team East London Phoenix take on the Cardiff Met Archers at SportsDock in the Docklands. It's a rare chance to see two games for the price of one, as the club's Division II women's team play immediately afterwards, also included in your ticket. 12pm-3pm

CHRISTMAS LIFE DRAWING: Try your hand at life drawing with festive and neon twists at Toulouse Lautrec in Kennington. Neon Naked Life Drawing hosts a Christmas special, with models covered in UV paint, tinsel and trippy lights, and reactive art materials on hand for you to create your own image. No experience is needed, and free mince pies are available. 1.30pm/3.30pm

Children with painted faces dancing
Big Fish Little Fish comes to Hackney.

FAMILY RAVE: Take the whole family along to Colour Factory in Hackney Wick for the ever-popular Big Fish Little Fish Family Rave. It's a festive special, aimed at 0-8 year olds and their families, featuring a multi-sensory dance floor with glitter cannons, bubbles, giant balloons and parachute dance finale. Tickets for these events tend to sell out, so be quick if you want in. 2pm-4pm

ANGEL AT CHRISTMAS: The festive spirit is in the very name of Angel, Islington! On this new tour with London On The Ground, discover the history of the area — for centuries famed for its pastures, dairies, fresh water wells and pleasure gardens — and some of its associations with Christmas. 2.30pm

ELF IN CONCERT: Watch Christmas film Elf on a large screen at the Royal Albert Hall, as the Philharmonia Orchestra performs the score live in front of you. There are two Elf in Concert performances today, telling the story of Buddy, a human who is raised among Santa's elves. 2.30pm/7.30pm

CHRISTMAS AT THE MOVIES: The All Souls Orchestra perform songs from classic Christmas films, in two special concerts at All Souls Langham Place near Oxford Circus. 3pm/7pm

THE CANDLELIGHT CLUB: The Candlelight Club hosts a 1920s themed party at a secret London location. Immerse yourself in a Prohibition-era speakeasy with live jazz bands, retro DJs and cabaret performances. Dressing to impress is very much encouraged. 7pm-1am

ALIEN ALL-NIGHTER: It's another all-nighter screening at the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square, but this time, it's decidedly unfestive. Watch Alien (Theatrical Cut), Aliens (Director's Cut), Predator and Predator II back-to-back through the night. 11.45pm-8.45am

Sunday 10 December

People sampling various wines at a wine fair
There's a festive edition of Wineyard in Clapton

ANTIQUES FAIR: The final Adams Antiques Fair of the year pops up at the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster, with over 120 antiques dealers selling an array of antique jewellery, silver, decorative pieces and collectables. 10am-4.30pm

MINI RAILWAY EXHIBITION: The Model Railway Club holds a December mini exhibition at its HQ near King's Cross station. Wander round and see a number of different layouts by both club members and guest exhibitors, and purchase pre-owned models from the shop. 11am-4pm

THE EGG SHOW: Up for some avant garde festivities? Take a yuletide trip into the absurd, with The Egg Show, in which you'll meet Mazvita (an 11-year-old performance artist who likes to pull her jumper over her head and be an egg), and Daniel Oliver, a 42-year-old performance artist who likes to shout and create a mess. 11.30am and 3.30pm

WINDMILL MARKET: Brixton Windmill hosts a Winter Market in its grounds, complete with food and drink stalls, live music and children's craft workshops — plus a chance to visit Santa's grotto for a small extra charge. 12pm-3.30pm

SATANIC FLEA MARKET: The Satanic Flea Market holds its AntiXmas Fayre at Electowerks in Angel, celebrating dark arts and crafts with 100+ unusual shops selling oddities and curiosities. We're promised a 'demonic collection' of collectibles, underground fashion, fortune tellers, original art, and much more. We went to a Satanic Flea Market event back in October 2022: here's what it was like. 12pm-6pm

JEWELLERY WORKSHOP: Carve and cast your own jewellery in raw golden brass, gold or silver at a workshop at Dulwich Picture Gallery. It's led by Musée Roo, an independent brand which creates historically-inspired jewellery, and is taking its cue from the current Rubens & Women exhibition. Could be an opportunity to make a rather special Christmas present for a loved one... or yourself. 1pm-5pm

WINE MARKET: Wine. Christmas. Yep, we're listening. Wineyard, an independent wine market, throws a Christmas special at the Round Chapel in Clapton, with talks about wine, and has plenty of vino to sample and buy. Your ticket gets you five drinks tokens, and there are food stalls available to soak up the booze. 1pm-6pm

BASEMENT ORCHESTRA: The 50-piece Basement Orchestra, plus a choir, pitch up at Big Penny Social in Walthamstow for two festive shows — a family-friendly matinee, or a longer evening performance. Listen to Christmas classics including the Nutcracker Suite, pop Christmas numbers and singalong carols. 2.30pm/6pm

BACH'S MAGNIFICAT: The Eclectic Voices choir and period instrument specialists the City Bach Ensemble join forces for a concert showcasing the music of Bach and Vivaldi from 300 years ago. Takes place at Islington's Union Chapel. 5pm

BOLLYQUEER: All ages are welcome at Bollyqueer, a free Bollywood dance class made by and for queer people. Taking place at Southbank Centre, it aims to break down gender and sexuality norms through dancing, and is beginner friendly. FREE, 5.15pm

ZOFFANY ENSEMBLE: Chamber music by Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, as well as more neglected composers such as Farrenc and Arensky, is on the bill at today's Sunday Concert at Conway Hall. The Zoffany Ensemble are this week's performers. 6.30pm

MERMAID CAFE XMAS: Kristina Karsegard, Elanor Moss and Wounded Bear are at Green Note in Camden, for a special festive edition of the Mermaid Cafe Club (exciting new artists in an intimate setting). If you wanted to make a day of it at this venue, there's also a matinee show of Greek music. 7pm