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: December 7, 2016

Things to do in London this weekend: Dec 9-11

Best for: Traditional Christmas in London

Christmas at the Charles Dickens Museum

Festive drawing room at the Charles Dickens Museum (c) Jayne Lloyd

Festive drawing room at the Charles Dickens Museum (c) Jayne Lloyd

The vibe:

Celebrate in the home of the man who wrote A Christmas Carol 

Need to know:

The house is now dressed for a Dickensian Christmas so come and see what special events they have in store over the festive period. Christmas highlights include candlelit tours, performances of A Christmas Carol and a new exhibition on the Ladybird book of Dickens. Take the Christmas Housemaids Tour this weekend and find yourself back in 1839. You’re advised to book ahead for all the events.

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Courtyard Garden at 48 Doughty Street (c) Jayne Lloyd

Courtyard Garden at 48 Doughty Street (c) Jayne Lloyd

When: Now until Christmas Eve
Opening times: General admission: 10am to 5pm
Getting there: 48 Doughty Street, London WC1N 2LX
Nearest Tube: Russell Square
Price: General admission £9 for adults. Other events may vary – book here

Best for: in London

The Illustrators’ Christmas Fair

House of Illustration. Illustrators Christmas Fair credit Lis Watkins

House of Illustration. Illustrators Christmas Fair credit Lis Watkins

The vibe:

Get some handmade gifts

Need to know:

As they’ve got a giant, canopied backyard at the House of Illustration, they thought they may as well turn it into a festive grotto. And there will be loads of products to choose from such as prints, ceramics and stationery, all handmade by more than a hundred artists. There’s also plenty of different styles, including children’s illustration, letterpress printing, graphic design, comics and textiles. If you want to look inside, now’s the time as there’s  2 for 1 entry to the galleries. There’ll also be free, drop-in family workshops inside the House of Illustration.

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When: Saturday 10th December
Opening times: 11am to 6pm
Getting there: Canopied yard outside House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, London N1C 4BH
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
Price: Free

Best for: in London

Christmas at Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard

Sutton House Christmas pantomime

Sutton House Christmas pantomime

The vibe:

They’ve decked the halls

Need to know:

See how they did things Tudor-style as Sutton House goes into Christmas mode. Get some gifts at the City Showcase Christmas market in the grounds. They’ve brought together loads of artists and designers so you should be able to get those last minute presents. Santa’s had an upgrade for his grotto this year. Step inside his lavish double-decker caravan and persuade him you’ve been nice and not naughty. During the week there’s festive feasts laid on if you think you can manage five courses. Tea Break Theatre are also putting on Beauty and the Beast – oh yes they are.

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When: Saturday December 10 to Sunday 11 (and the following weekend)
Opening times: 12pm to 5pm
Getting there: Sutton House and Breaker’s Yard, 2 & 4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, London E9 6JQ
Nearest Tube: Hackney Central
Price: Adults: £5.50, £2.75 children. National Trust members free.

Best for: Children’s crafts in London

Gingerbread Man Decorating at Fortnum & Mason

Fortnum & Mason's Christmas window

Fortnum & Mason’s Christmas window

The vibe:

Eat what you make

Need to know:

It’s Christmas Jumper Day, but rather than getting you to don some novelty sweater – they’re inviting the kids to Fortnum’s to decorate their own gingerbread versions. This is suitable for children aged 5-13 and you’ll find the activities going on in the stores’s first floor Cook Shop. They’ll provide the stylish gingerbread men and the kids can get creative with the coloured icing. And you’ll get to eat their efforts when they get home.

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When: Saturday 10th December
Opening times: 10.30am to 11.30am
Getting there: The Cook Shop Events Kitchen, 1st Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER
Nearest Tube: Piccadilly
Price: £20 – book here

Best for: Dressing up in London

Santacon

santa-con-2016

The vibe:

Father Christmas’s as far as the eye can see

Need to know:

If you’re in the city this weekend, chances are you’ll bump into not one, but hundreds of Santa’s enjoying a day out. You just need a Santa suit, be willing to sing some songs and don’t be offended if someone sits on your lap. The Santa’s start from different locations before coming together in the centre (you find out the route when you register). The not-for-profit organisation who run the annual event just ask that you pre-register by Friday.

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When: Saturday 10th December
Opening times: 12pm to 5pm
Getting there: You choose a route – you get the information when you register
Price: Free – but you must pre-register by Friday to take part – Register

Best for: in London

The Twelve Free Films Of Christmas

The Herne Hill Free Film FestivaL

The Herne Hill Free Film FestivaL

The vibe:

Watch some free festive films on a big screen

Need to know:

There’s four absolute Christmas crackers being screened this weekend by the voluntary team behind the Herne Hill Free Film Festival. Venues stretch from beautiful churches to cosy pubs across SE24’s Herne Hill. On Friday 9th December (8pm) you can see Love Actually, screened at Rosendale School. The Jimmy Stewart classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, will be screened at All Saints Church on the 10th of December (6pm). On the 11th of December you can see Frozen, twice if you’re a super fan, at effraspace (1.30pm and 4pm). The same day sees The Great Beauty, screened at the Lido Cafe (7.30pm). Screenings are all free, no tickets required, just first come first served.

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When: Friday 9th December to Sunday 11th December
Opening times & Getting there: See website for screening times and venues
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.