As of this writing, the Covid-19 situation is changing rapidly, with further restrictions or staff shortages still possible, so check events are still unfolding before you go.
The whole weekend
IN THE ROUND: Camden Roundhouse In the round festival is back, with a series of one-off concerts performed on the hall’s circular stage. This weekend, make your choice The Kingdom Choir (which performed at Harry and Meghan’s royal wedding) and exploring the South Asian dance scene with film screenings The Birth of the Punjabi Garage. Roundhouse (Camden), various awards, Reserve in advance, January 15-25
SHORT FILMS: It’s the last weekend of this year London Short Film Festival, which means it’s your last chance to catch gems such as the tingle midnight movies program, and the crazy WTF: off the beaten track. Various locations and prices, Reserve in advance, until January 23
MIME PARTY: Silence please, like London International Mime Festival continue at high speed. Highlights of this weekend include a family puppet show The red ball, and Big boys don’t cry of the comic double act Adam and Dik. Various locations and prices, Reserve in advance, until February 6
BIRDS OF AMERICA: The Natural History Museum’s latest exhibit focuses on birds. Specifically, John James Audubon’s Ornithological Record Engravings, The birds of America. In addition to the impressively detailed engravings, you can view specimens of taxidermy and gain insight into Audubon’s life and work. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free, Reserve in advance, In progress
FREE THINGS TO DO: Feeling the January pinch? Fear not, our brand new list of 102 free things to do in London is here to help keep you (and the kids) entertained for less, whether you’re looking for fascinating museums, live music or breathtaking views. Breathtaking. It’s like a 101 things to do, but a better one.
COASTAL WALK: Ready for a challenge? With some trails made public last week, it is now possible to walk from London to the Kent coast on a continuous route following the River Thames. Granted, it’s nearly 50 miles, so you might not want to do it all in one go, but there’s plenty to see along the way.
CLOSING OF THE BANK LINE: As a reminder, from Saturday 15th January much of the Northern line bank branch is closed for four months, so bear this in mind when planning your trips to London.
saturday 22 january
ELSTREE EXTENSION: This is the first weekend of the Elstree & Borehamwood Museum exhibition on the Extension of the northern line which was never. Includes a model of the tube line that was to run from Edgware to Bushey Heath. Elstree & Borehamwood Museum, free, just go up, 10am-3pm (also open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays)
DOMY B: Take the kids to see poet CBeebies Rhyme Rocket Dommy B on stage. In Dommy B’s Best Adventure, it explores the challenges and triumphs of making new friends, through the story of a young boy who moves to a new school. 5 years and over. Half Moon Theater (Limehouse), £7, Reserve in advance, 11am/2pm
PRINT ON WOOD: Based on the motifs of the current Young Poland exhibition, the William Morris Gallery is hosting a family day wood block printing. Artist Karolina Jonc Buczek shows you how to make an impression using your own stamp. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just show up, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.
LEGAL LONDON: Join Footprints of London guide David Charnick for a walk London’s legal district. As you pass buildings such as the Inns of Court and the Royal Courts of Justice, learn about what goes on inside and how the legal system works. Pub Blackfriar, £12/£9, Reserve in advance, 2:30-4:30 p.m.
ATHLETIC CHARLTON: Enjoy an afternoon of football (with a balti chicken pie and a Bovril if you wish), as Charlton Athletic take on Fleetwood Town at The Valley. charton, Reserve in advance, adults from £23, KO 3 p.m.
BREAKING THE SILENCE: Watch the award-winning documentary Breaking the Silence: Music in Afghanistan, filmed in 2002, shortly after the fall of the Taliban. It focuses on the country’s music industry after five years of repression, and the links between music and politics, through interviews with Afghan musicians and music lovers. Barbican Cinema, £12, Reserve in advance, 4:45 p.m.
CANDLELIGHT CLUB: Be glamorous for The Candlelight Club January Party. The 1920s-themed event takes inspiration from Prohibition-era America, taking on the format of a secret speakeasy, complete with a live jazz band and cabaret performers. Secret location in central London, from £25, Reserve in advance, 7 p.m.
COCKNEY SING-A-LONG: Tom Carradine is back at the old Joanna for another spin on the ever-popular Cockney by Carradine Sing-a-long. Join in with songs from the Music Hall era, both World Wars, the West End scene and popular songs from all decades in traditional East End style on your knees. Wilton Music Hall, £6-£18, Reserve in advance, 7:30 p.m.)
Sunday January 23
SPRING ANNOUNCEMENT: Chelsea Physical Garden reopens today after its winter break, with snowdrops expected to appear any day now. Stroll through the Botanic Garden on the banks of the River Thames, looking for signs that spring is coming. Chelsea Physic Garden, £9.50, Reserve in advance, from January 23
RAPUNZEL: Think panto season is over? Oh no it’s not — Rapunzel lands in South East London, for a limited time. Enjoy the magic and music as you watch Rapunzel’s attempts to escape after being locked in the tower, i.e. Mother Gothel. Tramshed Theater (Woolwich), £10/£8, Reserve in advance, January 23-29
TALES FROM THE WOODS: Join Laura the ladybug, Jeffrey the spider, Brett the woodlouse, Willoughby the woodpecker and Velda the vixen in their forest, where mysterious things are happening and only Grandpa can help them. The story is told through puppets. 3 years and over. artsdepot (North Finchley), from £9, Reserve in advance, 11am/2pm
HISTORY OF THE PALACE: Join an expert for a guided tour around Fulham Palace, the home of the bishops of London. Visit both the exterior and interior, including the Victorian Chapel and Tudor Great Hall, soaking up its history as you go. Fulham Palace, £8, Reserve in advance, 2-3:15 p.m.
FESTIVAL CHORUS: The Crouch End Festival Chorus perform a program of works by composer siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, giving Fanny the same exposure she deserves, compared to her better-known sibling. Alexandra Palace, £5.38 to £28, Reserve in advance, 3 p.m. (doors 2 p.m.)
TRANS EXPERIENCE: Ewan Forbes’ story is little known, but could have changed the lives of trans people around the world if it hadn’t been hidden. Forbes was born female but knew he was male from childhood, and as an adult changed his sex on his birth certificate and was treated with synthetic testosterone. But in 1965, Forbes had to defend his male status in court, in a legal battle to inherit the family title. Learn more this week Think Sunday Event. Conway Hall (Holborn) or online, £8/£5, Reserve in advance, 3-4:30 p.m.
COMFORT EDGES: Theresienstadt was a mass transit camp for Jews during the Holocaust, where musicians and choirs met in secret away from Nazi guards to continue making music. Today the BBC Singers and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama perform some of the songs that emerged from this dark environment. Milton Court Concert Hall (Barbican), £15, Reserve in advance, 3:30 p.m.
LONDON BRIDGE TRIO: It’s the turn of London Bridge Trio to take to the stage at this week’s Sunday concert. The chamber group performs works by Schumann, Colin Matthews and Mendelssohn to live and online audiences. Conway Hall (Holborn) £12, or online £10, Reserve in advance, 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m.
UNDERGROUND LONDON: The tube isn’t the only thing going on beneath our feet – check out 12 other underground spaces in London at this virtual tour, which covers crypts, caves, tunnels, vaults and bunkers. Learn about their history, who made them and how they were and are used. Online event, £8 per person / £16 per group, Reserve in advance, 8-9 p.m.