Things To Do This Weekend In London: 26-27 January 2019

All weekend

Vault Festival returns to Waterloo

VAULT FESTIVAL: This festival of theatre, comedy, circus, cabaret and other performing arts is back for its seventh year, taking up residence in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. Highlights for this weekend include an Alcoholics Anonymous style comedy show, and a show about a Type 1 diabetic teenager and her border collie. See the full programme. Waterloo Vaults, various dates and prices, book ahead, 23 January-17 March

BURNS NIGHT: Burns Night is on Friday, but the party continues into the weekend with special meals, parties and ceilidhs. Take a look at our guide to the best Burns Night events in London.

BOARD GAMES: Spend an afternoon cosying up playing board games at the Museum of Brands. Traditional games such as Monopoly and Scrabble are provided for you to play with friends and family, as well as lesser-known ones including Linkee and Chameleon. Food and drink from the museum cafe is available in the board games area. Museum of Brands (Ladbroke Grove), included in museum admission, just turn up, until 27 January

PING PONG: Watch the world's best ping pong players in action at the World Championship of Ping Pong, and admire their skill and speed. Alexandra Palace, £12.20-£19.25, book ahead, 26-27 January

ACAPELLA FESTIVAL: The London A Cappella Festival is back. Soloists and supergroups from all over the world perform, and budding singers can learn from the experts in classes and workshops, including events for kids, to introduce them to the world of a cappella. Kings Place (King's Cross) and LSO St Luke's (Old Street), various prices, book ahead, 23-26 January

SEA NOMADS: A new photography exhibition offers an insight into the lives of the Bajau Laut, the world’s last true marine nomads, who live their lives almost entirely at sea in a tract of ocean between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia. Award-winning director and photographer James Morgan took the photos. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), free, just turn up, 26 January-23 June

LAST CHANCE: Several big exhibitions close this weekend. See them while you can:

  • QUENTIN BLAKE: He's best known for illustrating Roald Dahl's fantastical books, but there's more to Quentin Blake. See never-seen-before large scale works of art which show Blake's experimentation with materials, a more sculptural treatment of form and sensuous use of broad strokes in this exhibition. House of Illustration (King's Cross), included in admission (£8.25), book ahead, until 27 January
  • ROB RYAN: You probably recognise Rob Ryan's work, even if you don't know him by name. His intricate papercut designs feature on products including greetings cards and vases. This solo exhibition features original papercuts and limited edition screenprints. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, until 27 January
  • MODERN COUPLES: Couples in all manner of creative industries come under the microscope in this show, with emphasis on how they inspire each other. Love, infidelity and polyamory are all covered — you could easily spend a few hours here. Barbican, £16, book ahead, until 27 January
  • FASHIONED FROM NATURE: This exhibition looks at the historic link between nature and fashion, including the barbaric fur and feather trades. It also looks to the future, with environmental responsibility becoming more fashionable and the advent of materials such as vegan 'leather'. V&A (South Kensington), £12, book ahead, until 27 January
  • CENSORED STAGE: Also ending at the V&A this weekend is a smaller display which marks 50 years since the Theatres Act came into force, abolishing state censorship of the stage. It looks at regulation of the arts from the 17th century, right through to the likes of Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange. Free, just turn up, until 27 January

Saturday 26 January

It's the final day of Winter Lights in Canary Wharf

SNOWDROP SALE: If you've been caught up in snowdrop mania, stock up with your own snowdrops. Several different nurseries bring their wares to Myddelton House Gardens to sell various varieties of snowdrops to the public. The rare ones usually sell our fast so get there early. Myddelton House Gardens (Enfield), free entry, just turn up, 10.30am-12pm

PLAYWRITING: Playwright Ursula Rani Sarma leads a playwriting workshop, aimed at anyone who wants to hone the craft. She's written for radio, film and TV, as well as theatre work including the stage adaptation of A Thousand Splendid Suns. National Theatre, £30/£20, book ahead, 10.30am-1pm

MAKE DO AND MEND: Drop into the Museum of London Docklands for a family-friendly workshop where you can learn rug-making techniques, and find out why many families in London would have put this skill to use. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/1.30pm

FEEL GOOD FILMS: Hole up in the tunnels underneath Waterloo station and watch La La Land for free. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling play a pianist and actress who fall in love in LA. It's the latest in House of Vans' free feel-good film screening season, which runs until February to help Londoners beat the winter blues.  House of Vans (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 3pm/5.30pm

WINTER LIGHTS: A word waterfall, shiny prisms and a psychedelic forest of illuminated trees are just some of the luminous artworks on display at this year's Winter Light at Canary Wharf, a free light festival open to everyone. Watch our video for an idea of what to expect, and download a map of this year's trail. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm, until 26 January

WHEN HARRY MET SALLY: "I'll have what she's having". Whether you know the quips off-by-heart, or you've never seen it before, head to the cosy terrace of this swanky hotel to watch 1989 rom-com When Harry Met Sally. Dogs are invited to the screening too, with hot chocolate provided for humans and goodie bags for the pooches. South Place Hotel (Moorgate), £20, book ahead, 6.30pm

BORROW YOUR COUNTRY: Tonight's the launch party of May We Borrow Your Country, an anthology of stories and poems about people who cross borders, adapt to new cultures or places, and search for an identity.  Expect short readings, a panel discussion and a Q&A with the contributors. Waterstones Gower Street, £8/£6, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

WARHOL X BOWIE: Paint Jam kicks off its 2019 events with a Warhol X Bowie event. Use Andy Warhol's colourful art as inspiration to paint your own canvas while you listen to the music of David Bowie — oh, and there's a bar too, to get those creative juices flowing. Secret London location, £30-£35, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

MINISTRY OF SOUND: Hear Ministry of Sound's bestselling dance music album The Annual as you've never heard it before — performed in an orchestral style by the London Concert Orchestra. Tracks include Hey Boy Hey Girl by The Chemical Brothers and Insomnia by Faithless, and the event also includes a screening of a documentary exploring the history of The Annual. Southbank Centre, £25-£60, book ahead, 7.30pm

FLEETWOOD BAC: If you didn't get tickets for Fleetwood Mac's tour, console yourself with this gig by tribute band Fleetwood Bac, who replicate a full Fleetwood Mac show as they were back in the 1970s and 80s. The Half Moon (Putney), £13/£15, book ahead, 8pm

WINTER PRIDE: Pride In London may be a few months away, but Winter Pride is here to keep the party going. There's a magical circus theme, with four themed rooms and entertainment including tumblers, jugglers, contortionists, and a soundtrack of uplifting queer anthems. Scala (King's Cross), £15-£20, book ahead, from 9pm

Sunday 27 January

Take a Twilight Tour of the Tower of London

TRANSPORT MUSEUM: Visit a transport museum that you may not have heard of. Whitewebbs Museum of Transport is London's most northerly museum and is home to model vehicles, motor bikes, vintage fire engines and delivery vans, and classic cars. Oh, and if they ask if you want to see the well... just say yes. Whitewebbs Museum (Enfield), £5, just turn up, 10am-4pm

OLIVER TWIST: Walk from the Dickens Museum to the Old Bailey on a guided walk themed on Oliver Twist. See some of the spots that inspired Charles Dickens when he was writing the novel, including where Oliver is accused of robbing Mr Brownlow as he browses at a bookstall and where Dickens set Fagin’s den of thieves. Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), £10, book ahead, 11am

ROYAL EXECUTION: Every year around the anniversary of the execution of King Charles I, the English Civil War Society re-enacts the route of his final journey, from St James Palace on The Mall, to Horse Guards Parade. A wreath is then carried across Whitehall and placed at the site of the execution. The Mall/Whitehall, free, just turn up, 11am-1pm

BRANDS TALK: Robert Opie, founder of the Museum of Brands, gives a talk about the founding and evolution of his collection, which later became the museum. There's also a chance to ask questions and discuss brands and consumer culture. Museum of Brands (Ladbroke Grove), £9/£8.10, book ahead, 2pm

GOWER STREET: Take a guided Footprints of London tour around the Gower Street area, and see the legacy of the Garrett family. The women of the family included a suffragist leader, the first woman in England to qualify as a doctor, and a landscape gardener. Goodge Street station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

LIFE DRAWING: This life drawing class doesn't take itself to seriously. The five models take part in yoga, acrobatics and feats of strength, with music and a bar making for a relaxed atmosphere. Union Chapel (Islington), £21/£15, book ahead, 6pm

TOWER AT TWILIGHT: On selected Sundays between now and April, the Tower of London offers twilight tours led by Yeoman Warders (aka Beefeaters), featuring spooky stories and gruesome sights. Visit the Traitors’ Gate, the Scaffold Site and the Bloody Tower while it's closed to the general public. Tower of London, £27.50, book ahead, 7pm (and other selected Sundays until April)

WALTER AND HERBERT: Comedian Joe Bor sets a more serious tone than normal to tell the story of his grandad (world renowned architect Walter Bor) and his grandad's best friend (comedy actor Herbert Lom), who travelled together from Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia to the UK. Chickenshed Theatre (Cockfosters), £10, book ahead, 8pm