London events in December

Your month-by-month guide to the best new events in London

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© Brandon Douglas

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the capital – the trees are up, the lights are on and the Crimbo tunes are cranked to full volume. This December, indulge in some serious festive cheers and head to some of London's biggest, best and darn-right coolest happenings.

A few of our December highlights

  1. The O2 Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX
  2. Thu Dec 11
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Timber!

  • Rated as: 4/5
  1. Queen Elizabeth Hall South Bank, SE1 8XX
  2. Sun Dec 21 - Wed Dec 31
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  1. Sadler's Wells Rosebery Avenue, EC1R 4TN
  2. Tue Dec 2 - Sun Jan 11
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  1. O2 Academy Brixton Stockwell Road, SW9 9SL
  2. Sat Dec 13
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  1. Arch 402 Gallery Cremer St, E2 8HD
  2. Fri Dec 5 - Sun Dec 7
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  1. Soho Theatre 21 Dean St, W1D 3NE
  2. Mon Dec 8 - Sat Dec 20
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  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sat Dec 27
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  1. Earls Court Warwick Road, SW5 9TA
  2. Sat Dec 13
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Swingers

There aren't many competitive activities that combine successfully with alcohol. Bowling usually ends in humiliation thanks to either a low score or the slippery floor. Pool requires too much inter-game confrontation; if only pound coins had name badges! Bingo? Only those with the hand-eye co-ordination of Katniss Everdeen can simultaneously sip and dab without turning their scorecard into a brightly coloured puddle. So what about crazy golf? We'll soon find out, because Swingers

  1. Factory 7 7-11 Hearn St, off Curtain Rd, EC2A 3LS
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sat Dec 20
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Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous Londoners ever. This exhibition at the Museum of London seeks to find out who Holmes is, and why Arthur Conan Doyle's late-Victorian detective endures to this day. Exhibits will include a nineteenth-century portrait of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, original Holmes manuscripts and the very coat and dressing gown worn by Benedict Cumberbatch in the BBC's 'Sherlock'. Many of the paintings, drawings, illustrations and photographs will reveal

  1. Museum of London 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sun Apr 12
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Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Celebrating its fiftieth year, the renowned competition exhibition returns to the Natural History Museum with images of the most extraordinary species on the planet captured by professional and amateur photographers. Attracting record number of visitors each year, the beguiling entries include stunning under water views of Australian sea lion pups playing to the unlikely vision of a texting monkey. Please note that last entry to the exhibition is daily at 5.15pm.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sun Aug 30
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Real Food Market

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Now weekly, the Real Food Market features around 40 food and drink producers selling seasonal produce directly to the public. Typical stalls include Spinach and Agusi with spicy Ghanaian stews; the Meantime Brewing Company with Greenwich-made beers; and Ash Green Organics with seasonal fruit and veg. There's a focus on sustainably and ethically produced food, and the market proudly supports small producers and independent traders. Whether you're coming to shop or snack, you can

  1. Southbank Centre Square Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX
  2. Fri Mar 21 - Sun Mar 22
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Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

  • Free

The Grinch would have a real job stealing all the Christmas from Hyde Park's massive tribute to festive fun, which is back for 2014 from Friday November 21 at 5pm. Entry to Winter Wonderland is free, and a wander past the fairground rides, around child-friendly Santa Land (including Santa's grotto) or through the Christmas markets is a real treat for anyone feeling the spirit of the season, as long as you're ready to hear all those songs as you potter. Other attractions at Hyde

  1. Hyde Park
  2. Fri Nov 21 - Sun Jan 4
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Urban Food Fest

  • Free

A revolving cast of dozens of food stalls and trucks serve a frankly intimidating variety of global cuisine at the Euro Car Parks in Shoreditch. Jerk chicken, wood-fired oven pizza, pad thai, halloumi souvlaki, sushi, schwarma, fried chicken, burritos – we could go on. And we will, quickly, to make special mention of the deep-fried frogs' legs at Geaux Cajun. Those things are amazing. Organiser Jessica Tucker (who's a City lawyer by day) has ensured that visitors couldn't want

  1. Euro Car Parks 163-175 Shoreditch High Street, E1 6HU
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sat Dec 20
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The Art of the Brick

It's quite likely that you spent hours playing with Lego as a child. It's also possible that you are about to wish you'd kept going. Former corporate lawyer turned master of tiny bricks, Nathan Sawaya never stopped. His touring show 'The Art of the Brick' has visited Asia, America and Australia and is now making its way to Brick Lane (where else?) for its UK debut at the Old Truman Brewery. Collectively the artworks, which are all made of Lego, took a painstaking 4,188 hours to

  1. Old Truman Brewery Brick Lane, E1 6QL
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sun Jan 4
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Astronomy Photographer of the Year

  • Free

Among the awe-inspiring shortlisted entries for this year’s competition are pics of psychedelic auroras, spine-tingling meteor showers and the centre of the Heart Nebula. The last example is a star-clustered region of glowing gas in the Cassiopeia constellation – in case you didn’t already know. The free exhibition features remarkable photos from a record number of submissions, showcasing remarkable feats of astrophotography for a sixth year. It’s a chance to see magical

  1. Royal Observatory Blackheath Avenue, SE10 8XJ
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sun Feb 1
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Winterville

  • Free

Forget the frozen north – the place you’ll want to be this Christmas is the cool east or, to be more specific, Winterville in Victoria Park. Never heard of it? That’s not surprising as this magical temporary kingdom isn’t set to come into existence until December 2. When it materialises, though, it’ll make you feel all warm and fuzzy right through to New Year’s Eve. Combining east London’s creative energy and talent drawn from across Europe, this new winter

  1. Victoria Park Victoria Park Rd, E3 5SN
  2. Tue Dec 2 - Wed Dec 31
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The Alternative London Tour

  • Free

East London's 'alternative' side is revealed on this leftfield tour. Expect to be introduced to the history and culture of the Brick Lane 'Banglatown' and Shoreditch areas as well as current issues and street art. Booking essential via www.alternativeldn.co.uk

  1. Old Spitalfields Market Brushfield Street, Spitalfields, E1 6AA
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Sat Dec 20
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See more events in London this December

October

The return of crisp days and cold evenings mean we're on the verge of winter, but that's no excuse to hibernate

SEE WHAT'S ON IN OCTOBER

November

It might be warmer to stay at home, but there's plenty taking place this November to warrant ditching the duvet for a day

SEE WHAT'S ON IN NOVEMBER

December

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in the capital – the trees are up, the lights are on and the Crimbo tunes are cranked to full volume

SEE WHAT'S ON THIS DECEMBER

January

Sack off the detox and kick off 2015 with a diary full of fun and food in the capital

SEE WHAT'S ON THIS JANUARY

Check out our London events calendar

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