Things To Do This Weekend In London: 7-8 January 2023

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All weekend

People admiring the Strange Clay exhibition inside Hayward Gallery
Last chance to visit Strange Clay. Photo: Mark Blower. Courtesy the Hayward Gallery

BEATRIX POTTER: It's the last weekend of The V&A's major exhibition dedicated to children's author Beatrix Potter, her work as a scientist and activist, and how that inspired her famous characters. Until 8 January

STRANGE CLAY: Focusing on artists who work in ceramics, Strange Clay: Ceramics in Contemporary Art brings together a fantastic selection at Hayward Gallery at Southbank Centre. This is your last weekend to see it. Until 8 January

ICE RINKS: Christmas may be over, but several of London's seasonal ice rinks are open until at least the end of this weekend. Canary Wharf, Somerset House, Battersea Power Station and Hampton Court are still available for a twirl or two.

CHRISTMAS AT KEW: Final weekend to catch one of London's most popular seasonal events, Christmas at Kew. The twinkling light trail winds through the botanical garden after dark, and features a fire garden, light tunnel and laser show among other attractions — here's a look at what to expect. Tickets are selling out fast — mid-week slots are your best option. Until 8 January

A walk-through tunnel made from thousands of white-yellow fairy lights
Last chance to visit Christmas at Kew this year

ILLUMINATURE: The London Wetlands Centre in Barnes offers another light trail in the form of Illuminature. Wander around the nature reserve after dark spotting illuminated, animal-themed sculptures. 6-8 January

UTOPIA: St John's Waterloo — that's the church on the roundabout by the IMAX — has a new exhibition in which students from Accumulate, the Art School for the Homeless, explore their personal ideas of an ideal world. The artists are people living in hostels and temporary accommodation, who have taken part in a series of workshops in order to create the artworks. FREE, 5-11 January

LIGHT FANTASTIC: Alternatively, hop on board a steam train covered in fairy lights and enjoy a ride through the Essex countryside. Light Fantastic at the Epping Ongar Railway runs for a couple more weeks, with illuminated line-side display visible only to passengers on the train. Until 15 January

Saturday 7 January

Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo
Catch Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo at Soho Theatre

TRACK PLAY: Take the kids along to Walthamstow's Big Penny Social for Track Play, with giant toy train tracks laid out on the floor, waiting to be played with. Tunnels, stations, bridges and garages all feature in the set-up. Age 18 months+.  9.30am-3.30pm

COUTURE TECHNIQUES: Fancy learning a new skill this year? The Fashion & Textile Museum in Bermondsey holds a one-day Couture Techniques workshop, led by Zandra Rhodes' dressmaker Jolanta Cerniauskiene. It's a chance to master working with tricky fabrics such as chiffon and silk satin. 10.45am-4.30pm

FEMALE VOICES TOUR: Every Saturday, the V&A Museum offers a free, volunteer-led tour, focusing on the contributions women have made to art and design. Learn about women as artists but also patrons, muses, creators, business partners and more. FREE, 11am

LORD OF THE RINGS: Head to the Prince Charles Cinema for a screening of the extended edition of The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. That's over three hours of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins and co. 11.30am

CURATOR TOUR: The William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow offers a special curator-led tour of current exhibition, The Legend of King Arthur: A Pre-Raphaelite Love Story. Get an insight into how the Victorians perceived the legend of King Arthur, through artworks produced during this period. FREE, 12pm-12.45pm

The William Morris Gallery offers a tour of its current King Arthur exhibition

EXPLORING DRAWING: Sticking at the same venue, you can also experiment with a range of techniques including drawing, collage and a range of other 2D media to create new works at an art workshop at the William Morris Gallery. It's led by artists Joy Gregory and Emily Booth, and takes place within a tented space covered in depictions of figures drawn from international myth and legends. Open to all levels of experience and expertise. 12pm-4pm

ROXIE NAFOUSI: Author and wellness coach Roxie Nafousi is at Waterstones Kensington to meet fans and sign copies of her new book Manifest: Dive Deeper. 2pm

FAMILY FUN: Holland Park's Leighton House Museum hosts a family fun session, in partnership with The Royal Society. There's a music theme, with musician and composer, Maya Youssef, artist and geometer Samira Mian, and science specialist Karen Hodgetts leading the activities — which are aimed at children aged 5-11. 2pm-3.30pm

MOVING BODIES: Artist Rosie Gibbens leads a free family-friendly workshop at Whitechapel Gallery, inspired by the current Moving Bodies, Moving Image exhibition. Aimed at under-5s, it encourages play using unusual objects and materials. FREE, 2pm-4pm

ITALIAN CLERKENWELL: Footprints of London guide Rob Smith leads a walking tour around Clerkenwell — the area known to Italian residents at Il Quartiere between the mid-19th to mid-20th centuries. Hear about love, bravery, crime and friendship in the Italian community among Clerkenwell's side streets and viaducts. 2pm-4pm

Deborah Frances White, dancing in a purple dress
Catch The Guilty Feminist at Soho Theatre

JONNY WOO: At Soho Theatre tonight is Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo's new show, A Night At The Musicals - 90 Years of Drag. They celebrate Jonny’s 50th and Gateau’s 40th birthdays by performing musical hits from the past 90 years, with big wigs, crazy costumes and questionable choreography thrown in. 3.30pm/7.15pm

GABRIELLE APLIN: English singer-songwriter Gabrielle Aplin plays a gig at Islington's Union Chapel, to celebrate yesterday's release of her new studio album, Phosphorescent. Doors 7pm

HIP HOP HOUSE PARTY: Head to The Book Club in Shoreditch to dance the night away at a Hip Hop House Party. It's a night of hip-hop anthems and old school jams — think 2Pac, 50 Cent, Aitch, A$AP Rocky, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Post Malone, Skepta and more. 8pm

GUILTY FEMINIST: Head to Soho Theatre for a live version of The Guilty Feminist, hosted by Deborah Frances-White. It started as a podcast examining the goals and hypocrisies of 21st century feminists — think part comedy, part deep dive discussion, and part activism. 9.15pm

Sunday 8 January

The exterior of St Paul's Cathedral
You'll know this one, but what about Wren's other churches? Photo: Matt Brown

AUTOJUMBLE: Though the excellent Whitewebbs Museum isn't open today, it does host its annual new year Autojumble. It's chance to browse and buy all manner of car and bike related items, including parts and memorabilia — and the cafe is open all day. 9am-2pm

WREN REMNANTS: St Paul's Cathedral is Christopher Wren's best-known work, but he was responsible for plenty of other buildings too (we've mapped them). Take a guided walking tour around the City of London to see the remnants of some of his other churches, many of which were partially destroyed in the Blitz, and how their ruins have been incorporated into the modern cityscape. 11am-12.30pm

MAKE HISTORY: Tying in with the current Museum of the Moon exhibition, the Old Royal Naval College's Make History session this month focuses on crafts inspired by the phases of the moon. It's free, family-friendly event aimed at age 5+. FREE, 11am-4pm

SPY KIDS: Take the kids along to The Prince Charles Cinema to introduce them to 2001 family classic Spy Kids. Antonio Banderas and Teri Hatcher are in the cast as two kids become spies in a bid to save their parents. 1pm

Luke Jerram's moon installation below the Painted Ceiling at the Old Royal Naval College
Old Royal Naval College's Make History session ties in with the current Museum of the Moon exhibition.

TWELFTH NIGHT: London's annual Twelfth Night celebrations mix ancient customs with modern festivities, making for a bizarre and eclectic event. Head to the riverside near Shakespeare's Globe to witness wassailing, The Holly Man (or Green Man) being paraded across the river, dramatic performances, and a chance to be crowned King or Queen for the day by finding a bean or a pea in a cake. Like we said, an odd (but fascinating) one. FREE, 2pm

PINK JUKEBOX: A Ballroom and Latin dance club for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends, Pink Jukebox returns to Bishopsgate Institute. It's open to beginner and more experienced dancers, starting with an introductory class, followed by an evening of social dancing. 2pm-7pm

CHAOS QUARTET: Conway Hall kicks off its 2023 Sunday Concert series with an appearance by the excellently-named Chaos Quartet. The award-winning string quartet plays a programme of works by Mozart, Kurtág, and Schubert. 6.30pm

MERCHANT OF VENICE: Actor Tracy Ann Oberman is in conversation with author Howard Jacobson and director Brigid Larmour about play The Merchant of Venice 1936. The actor plays Shylock in the new production, and today's panel discusses what the play can teach us about antisemitism in the 20th century and today. Watch in person at JW3 in North Finchley, or online. 8pm