Things To Do This Weekend In London: 30 November-1 December 2019

All weekend

Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Richmond Park

ARCHITECTURE OF LONDON: It’s the final weekend of Architecture of London, an exhibition showcasing 400 years of London’s architecture through the eyes of artists. Over 80 works by 60 artists are on display, showing the ever-changing cityscape. Guildhall Art Gallery, £10/£7, book ahead, until 1 December

ANTONY GORMLEY: Also closing soon is the Royal Academy’s Antony Gormley exhibition. See old and new works by the renowned sculptor side by side, climb inside a giant human shape, and ogle some of Gormley’s drawings too. Royal Academy (Mayfair), £18-£22, book ahead, until 3 December

Last chance to see Architecture of London

SQUIDSOUP: Artist team Squidsoup — whose work we loved at Canary Wharf Winter Lights — bring new installation Wave to Belgravia. The dangling orbs of light are illuminated on the principles of chromotherapy, meaning that they should promote feelings of wellbeing. Of course, they’ll look pretty darn good on Instagram too. Eccleston Yards (Belgravia), free, just turn up, 28 November-11 January

BRIDGE LIGHT SHOW: Celebrate the 125th anniversary of Tower Bridge with a special light show in the bascule chambers. Go down into the cavernous (and usually off-limits) rooms for an hour-long experience telling the story of the people who helped build the world-famous river span, and those who operate and maintain it today. Age 14+. Tower Bridge, £20, book ahead, 29 November-1 December

Meet the huskies at London Wetland Centre

LONDON ILLUSTRATION FAIR: Five floors of artwork, prints, workshops and talks from top artists and designers is what the London Illustration Fair is all about. Meet your favourite artists and chat to them about their work — and maybe buy a piece or two as a Christmas gift, or to brighten up your living room. OXO Tower Wharf, £10-£12.50, book ahead, 29 November-1 December

A CHRISTMAS CAROL: Wilton’s puts a new twist on a well-known classic for this year’s Christmas show. Christmas Carol — a fairy tale takes place when Ebenezer Scrooge is dead, as is Jacob Marley. The story focuses instead on Fan Scrooge — Ebenezer’s sister and Marley’s widow — and a festive haunting she receives from three spirits (OK, so some of it may be familiar…). Wilton’s (Limehouse), £10-£36, book ahead, 29 November-4 January

CARRIAGE RIDES: Those festive horse-drawn carriage rides through Richmond Park are back, offering a romantic way to see the Royal Park. Take a 75-minute ride on a brake, preceded by a behind the scenes tour of the working stables Richmond Park, £156.90 per pair, book ahead, 29 November-5 January

Wellcome Collection hosts the Festival of Minds and Bodies

MINDS AND BODIES: To celebrate Wellcome Collection’s new Being Human gallery, it hosts a weekend-long Festival of Minds and Bodies. Events include performances, conversations, workshops and films, with artists, activists and researchers aiming to challenge assumptions about what’s ‘normal’. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, book ahead for some events, 30 November-1 December

WINTER WEEKENDS: It’s the first of London Wetlands Centre’s Winter Weekends, with a variety of family-friendly activities taking place. Kids can take a ride on a husky sleigh pulled by real huskies, or help the elves in their workshop. There’s also face painting, conservation film screenings, and a chance to do some Christmas shopping in the gift shop. London Wetland Centre (Barnes), most activities included in admission — extra charge for crafts, just turn up, 30 November-1 December

The Christmas Doggie Market takes place on Saturday

ICE SKATING: From Hampton Court Palace to the Tower of London, and Somerset House to the Natural History Museum, the majority of London’s seasonal ice rinks are now open for business. Whether you’re up for an afternoon of twirling about, or simply warming up with a hot chocolate and watching others do the hard work, check out our guide to ice rinks in London.

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Plenty of festive markets and fairs are open all across London. Some are only open for a day or two, whereas others are here throughout Christmas. Our picks this weekend include SoLo Craft Fair’s Balham event, the Santa Paws Christmas Doggie Market, Forty Hall’s Christmas Fayre, and the Rare Birds Market Christmas Bazaar.

Saturday 30 November

Cinderella – The Rockin’ Panto opens at ArtsDepot

ROCKIN’ CINDERELLA: One of our picks of the best family-friendly shows in London this Christmas, ArtsDepot’s Rockin’ Cinderella Panto opens today. It has all the usual tomfoolery (oh no it doesn’t, etc etc) but with an added soundtrack of 18 pop, rock and soul hits to keep older generations of the family happy too. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £18, book ahead, 30 November-5 January

PODCAST FESTIVAL: Plug into the London Podcast Festival, a day-long event featuring live recordings and showcase sessions. Comedy podcast Wooden Coats and cult horror comedy The Unseen Hour are among the shows on the programme. Kings Place (King’s Cross), various prices, book ahead, from 10am

INDEPENDENT WOMEN: Royal Parks offer a free, theatrical walking tour around Brompton Cemetery, on the theme of independent women. Learn about the lives and legacies of some of the women buried there, including Emmeline Pankhurst. Suitable for families and adults. Brompton Cemetery, free, just turn up, 10.30am-12pm

Learn about some of Brompton Cemetery’s independent women

TREE PLANTING: Join Friends of the Earth and local residents for a morning of tree-planting. It’s part of a nationwide push to double tree cover in the UK, to combat climate change and help nature thrive. No experience necessary. Weir Hall Recreation Ground (Enfield), free, just turn up, 10.30am-1pm

CONSCIOUS CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL: Have yourself an ethical Christmas at pebblefestive. With over 40 stands showcasing sustainable fashion, festive vegan treats (including free ice cream!) and zero-waste stocking-fillers — plus a packed schedule of inspiring talks and eco-friendly Christmas crafting — this is London’s largest festive ethical market. 10% of ticket revenue goes to Marine Conservation Society. Flat Iron Square (London Bridge), £7.50 adults/under 12s free, book ahead here (tickets also available on the door), 11am-5.30pm (sponsor)

RECORD MARKET: Girl, put your records on… down at the Independent Label Market where (surprisingly) independent labels sell their records. It’s a great chance to get your hands on some less mainstream vinyl from up and coming artists — and sometimes the musicians themselves put in an appearance. Coal Drops Yard (King’s Cross), free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

Browse all manner of vinyl at the Independent Record Label Market

GIN DISTILLERY: Take a tour of the Hayman’s gin distillery on a free open day. We suspect it’s a ploy to lure you into the gin-based gift shop in the run-up to Christmas, but it’s a rare chance to see what goes on in the distilling process, sample the gins, and learn more about the Hayman family too. Hayman’s Distillery (Balham), free, just turn up, 1pm-5pm

FAMILY RAVE: The whole family is invited to Big Fish Little Fish’s festive family rave. Aimed at parents who aren’t ready to give up raving just yet, it has a multi-sensory dance floor with glitter cannons, bubbles and giant balloons, plus craft tables and a soft play area. BFLF events usually sell out, so be quick if you want tickets. PRYZM Kingston, £10/£7, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm

FETISH COLLECTIONS: Bishopsgate Institute hosts an archive open day for its fetish collections. See items from the UK Leather and Fetish Archive, which documents the history and heritage of the leather, rubber, BDSM and fetish communities. Objects on show include magazines, pamphlets, posters, ephemera, t-shirts and artefacts. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

Take a tour of Hayman’s Gin Distillery

EVERYDAY MARTIAN: Tying in with the current Moving To Mars exhibition, get an insight into what life on Mars might be like at this afternoon of immersive theatre. Food, sport and birth on Mars are some of the topics covered in immersive performances, with discussions and debates also part of the event. Design Museum (Kensington), £15, book ahead, 2pm-5.30pm

DEATH AND MAGIC: Join storyteller Vanessa Woolf of London Dreamtime for tales of death and magic for adults. Head to the secret location for an evening spent around the campfire under the stars, with live music to accompany the stories. Secret Peckham/Bermondsey location, £6, book ahead, 6.30pm

HOLE/FAT SEX: London’s newly-opened Vagina Museum hosts a double bill of shows focusing on body acceptance. Hole is an autobiographical comedy about Vaginismus, featuring two sex dolls and a confused doctor, while Fat Sex uses references to popular culture to discuss fat female sexuality in society. Vagina Museum (Camden Market), £12/£10, book ahead, 7.30pm-9.30pm

Sunday 1 December

It’s the final West Norwood Feast of the year

ICE RINK: The latest of London’s ice rinks to open is JW3’s chilly offering. It’s not as big — or as central — as some of London’s other rinks, but it’s the only one we know of that opens on Christmas Day. Penguin stabilisers and banana toboggans are available for less confident skaters. JW3 (Finchley), from £13/£8, book ahead, 1 December-5 January

WEST NORWOOD FEAST: Join in with the final West Norwood Feast of 2019. The monthly street market brings together food, drink, craft, fashion and other stalls, split into areas including the Family Hub, the Food Fair, and the Retro Village, all combining for something of a festival atmosphere. West Norwood (it spans several streets), free entry, just turn up, 10am-4pm

NATURAL BEAUTY POP UP: Indulge in some guilt-free pampering this party season, with the help of Blomma Beauty’s Christmas pop-up shop. Discover a handpicked range of organic, cruelty free, vegan and sustainable beauty brands, bag exclusive discounts and make a serious dent in your Christmas shopping list. Your ticket includes a free drink, and Londonist readers get 20% off the incredible range of workshops and treatments available on the day with the code LONDONIST20. Hanbury Hall (Spitalfields), £4 entry with code LONDONIST20 (redeemable against any purchase made), book ahead, 11am-5pm (sponsor)

FESTIVE FOLK TALES: Treat the whole family to a retelling of the story of Dick Whittington at Museum of London Docklands’ folk tales session. The Lord of Misrule is your storyteller, and interactive elements include a chance to have a go at being a jester. Museum of London Docklands, free, book ahead, 12pm/2pm/3pm

Enjoy festive folk tales at Museum of London Docklands

ROMAN LONDON: Join a Museum of London guide for a walking tour around the City, focusing on the Roman history of the area. Wander from London Wall to Leadenhall Market covering four centuries of Londinium history, from Emperor Claudius’s invasion to abandonment. Age 12+. Museum of London, £12.50/£10, book ahead, 2pm

ART CAR BOOT FAIR: The annual Art Car Boot Fair brings together artists from all disciplines to flog items they’ve made especially for the event. All participants are chosen on their merits, so expect a high standard, and the artists keep all the money they make on the day. Pick up a new piece or two for your home, or bag a Christmas present for a creatively-inclined friend. The Workshop (Lambeth), £10, book ahead, 2pm-4.30pm

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: Head to Croydon for John Rutter’s Christmas Celebration, a concert of Christmas music conducted by John Rutter. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs a programme of familiar yuletide tunes to get your December off to a festive start. Fairfield Halls (Croydon), £15, book ahead, 3pm

Hear from Nadiya Hussain at Southbank Centre

COURTYARD CAROLS:  Get your vocal chords warmed up for this year’s carol concerts at Carols in the Courtyard at Fulham Palace. Gather in the Tudor part of the building for renditions of some festive favourites, with hot drinks and mulled wine available to buy. Fulham Palace, free (donations welcome), just turn up, 3.30pm

NADIYA HUSSAIN: Great British Bake-Off winner Nadiya Hussain is on stage talking about her new memoir, Finding My Voice. She chats to Emma Freud about her various roles as a mother, wife, working Muslim woman, and a celebrity. Southbank Centre, £15-£35, book ahead, 7.30pm

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2019-11-29 15:55:06 – Source: londonist.com