Things to do in London this Weekend

If you're stuck for things to do in London this weekend, we're here to help.

Whether you're a visitor in town for a couple of days or a local in need of some inspiration, this is where you'll find our pick of weird and wonderful London events every Friday, just in time for the weekend. We'll cover events where you can eat, drink, do something different or get a culture fix all over the city.

Last Updated: January 19, 2017

Things to do in London this weekend: Jan 20th-22nd

 

Best for: Art in London

Winter Lights

Marcus Lyall – On Your Wavelength

The vibe:

Canary Wharf brightens up the January nights

Need to know:

January evenings can be pretty dark and gloomy. But not at Canary Wharf, which will be lit up over the next week by the Winter Lights Festival. Collecting together work from an international selection of artists, there’ll be more than 30 light-based installations to explore in the area – including OVO, a giant egg that you can walk inside, and On Your Wavelength, an interactive piece that visitors can control with their brainwaves by putting on a special headset. Each night at 7.50pm, Canary Wharf’s ice rink will also light up with a 10 minute show, with lights buried underneath the ice.

Website and Twitter

When: Until Friday 27th January
Opening times: 4pm-9pm
Getting there: Throughout Canary Wharf
Nearest Tube: Canary Wharf
Price: Free

Odeaubois and ACT Lighting Design – OVO

Best for: Clubbing in London

Ravenswood for Eat or Heat

Wild Card Brewery

The vibe:

Clubbing for a good cause

Need to know:

Home to artists and artisans, the Ravenswood Industrial Estate is at the heart of Walthamstow’s exciting creative scene. And this Saturday it’ll also be home to a one-day festival, raising money for local food bank Eat Or Heat. Organised by some of the estate’s residents – neon-light gallery God’s Own Junkyard, Mother’s Ruin distillery and the Pillars and Wild Card Breweries – as well as  music promoters Byrd Out, the Ravenswood for Eat or Heat festival includes four stages of music, hosting sets from the likes of DJ Food, Fabio and The Orb’s Alex Paterson. Entry to each venue is free, with donations for the charity collected on the door (and in advance via BT donations). And you can even take the kids along, as afternoon sessions up to 8pm are set to be child-friendly.

 Website and Twitter

When: Saturday 21st January
Opening times: 2pm-1am
Getting there: Ravenswood Industrial Estate, Shernhall Street, E17 9HQ
Nearest Tube: Walthamstow Central
Price: Free

Best for: Dance in London

Siobhan Davies Dance: material / rearranged / to / be

Charlie Morrissey – Actions from the Encylopaedia of Experience. Photograph by Pari Nadei

The vibe:

Dance, art and science collide in one exhibition

Need to know:

Founded in 1988, Siobhan Davies Dance has long been at the forefront of British dance, but their latest work could be their most ambitious yet. Taking over the Barbican’s The Curve gallery, material / rearranged / to / be is an immersive exhibition, bringing together work from Davies and 9 other choreographers, visual artists and designers. Inspired by neuroscientific research into body language, the exhibition includes video art, sculpture and live dance – with interactive elements ensuring that most visitors will have very different experiences.

Website and Twitter

Andrea Buckley – In Tension. Photograph by Pari Naderi

When: Until Saturday 28th January
Opening times: 12-6pm (2pm-8pm Friday 20th)
Getting there: The Curve, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Nearest Tube: Barbican/Moorgate
Price: Free

 

Best for: Burns Night in London

Battersea Arts Centre Ceilidh

Fiddle Paradiddle. Photograph by Stephen Harvey-Smith

The vibe:

Traditional Scottish celebrations and food

Need to know:

Next Wednesday (25th January) is Burn’s Night. But you can get the party started early this weekend in the beautiful surroundings of Battersea’s old town hall. On Friday night, Battersea Arts Centre will be holding a Ceilidh, with a traditional Scottish feast of haggis, neaps and tatties and Ceilidh calling and music all-night from Fiddle Paradiddle. Dig out your tartan and put your dancing shoes on (the venue are keen to point out that no prior experience is necessary) for a proper Celtic celebration.

Website and Twitter

Battersea Arts Centre. Photograph by Morley von Sternberg

When: Friday 20th January
Opening times: 7pm-11pm
Getting there: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
Nearest Tube: Clapham Junction (Overground)
Price: £30 (includes dinner – check website for details)

 

Best for: Thrill-seekers in London

Resident Evil™ 7: The Experience

The vibe:

Step into the world of the famous horror video games

Need to know:

One of the original (and still one of the most frightening) horror video game franchises, Resident Evil has inspired numerous spin-offs, countless imitators, and even a popular movie series. And this weekend, it’s also becoming an immersive experience. To celebrate the release of the seventh game in the series, a secret location in East London has been given a rather spooky makeover. Working together in pairs, attendees will take on the role of trainee investigative journalists, joining the search for the missing crew members from a paranormal TV series, and will have to solve spine-tingling puzzles to find out what happened.

The experience lasts 45 minutes, and is free, but places are set to be extremely limited. If you want to take up the challenge (you’re certainly braver than us if you do) the queue for tickets opens at the Dray Walk Gallery in Shoreditch each morning at 11.30am. Those (un)fortunate enough to get in will then be given the address of the secret location and a time slot to get there for.

Website and Twitter

When: Until Monday 23rd January
Opening times: Queues start at 11.30am each day. The experience runs from 1pm to 10pm
Getting there: Dray Walk Gallery, 91 Brick Lane, London, E1 6QL
Nearest Tube: Shoreditch High Street (Overground)
Price: Free

 

Best for: Festivals in London

Magical Lantern Festival

The vibe:

Chinese Lanterns return to Chiswick House

Need to know:

A big hit in 2016, the Magical Lantern Festival is set to kick off its second year in the splendid surroundings of Chiswick House and Gardens. Marking the upcoming start of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 2017’s festival theme is Explore the Silk Road, with lanterns inspired by the sights of the historic Europe-to-Asia trade route. Starting with a 15 foot recreation of the Houses of Parliament, the festival also includes landmarks from Egypt, India and Ancient China, as well as a funfair, ice bar, skating rink and virtual reality gaming section.

Website and Twitter

When: Until Sunday 26th February
Opening times: 5pm-10pm
Getting there: Chiswick House and Gardens, Duke’s Avenue Entrance, W4 2QN
Nearest Tube: Chiswick (Overground)/Turnham Green
Price: Varies (tickets can be booked in advance via the official website, some activities require the purchase of an additional ticket).

 

Best for: Shopping in London

Carnaby Doves

The vibe:

A stylish giveaway

Need to know:

Carnaby Street is one of London’s most stylish shopping destinations, and each winter, it also hosts some of the city’s most stylish Christmas lights. You can own a part of last year’s display this Friday, as the 125 glittery doves that formed the heart of the lights will be given away to new homes. Pop over to 56a Carnaby Street from 12pm to get your hands on one. And then, if you fancy the chance to win a £100 voucher to spend in a Carnaby Street store, take a snap of your dove in a location of your choice, upload it to instagram and tag @CarnabyLondon and #CarnabyDoves. There’ll be prizes for the dove that’s flown the furthest distance and the most creative snap.

Website and Twitter

When: Friday 20th January
Opening times: 12pm-4pm
Getting there: 56a Carnaby Street, W1F 9QF
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus
Price: Free

 

Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We’ve also pulled together a guide of 50 things to do in London in the Winter, if you’re in need of even more suggestions.

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you’re planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.