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Things to do in London this week

Discover the biggest and best things to do in London over the next seven days

Hello London, got a quiet week ahead? Not anymore. Get a load of this week's hottest happenings and you'll be begging for a night off by Sunday. From new restaurant openings, museum shows and the latest art exhibitions, to out-of-the-way events and secret gigs that you don't want to miss - here's your social life-saver over the next seven days. If you've got a tip for something fun going on in London tweet us your suggestion and help spread the word.

RECOMMENDED: Time Out's London hot list


Magical Lantern Festival

Light up your week as the Magical Lantern Festival returns to Chiswick House and Garden for five weeks. The theme for this year's event is the Silk Road, and visitors can gaze in wonder at over 50 light installations, including the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, plus colourful scenes from India, the Middle East and Central Asia. There's also a virtual reality area where you can don a headset and run with dinosaurs, plus a pop-up ice bar and street food stalls galore. Illuminating!

Book now
Chiswick House and Gardens , Chiswick Thursday January 19 2017 - Sunday February 26 2017


Natalie Portman gives a superb performance as Jackie Kennedy, JFK's widow, in Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín's powerful psychodrama. Portman's portrayal of the complex, troubled Kennedy is fascinating and moving (bettering her role in 'Black Swan'), all accompanied by a suitably dark soundtrack from experimental musician Mica Levi.

Release date: Friday January 20 2017

El Pastor

How many tacos is too many tacos? You'll probably find out at this low-key, high quality taqueria, because you won't be able to stop ordering them. These little parcels of joy are made with corn tortillas, cooked freshly on-site, with fillings including chicken, prawn, short rib, roast squash and chorizo. Grab as many as you dare, and accompany with mezcal for a serious extra kick.

South Bank

Tour Bus For Dogs

Take a ride with your pooch in style, on the first ever bus tour created especially for dogs. Owners and their doggy pals hop on the bus, which then tours the city while making stops at some of London's best parks and hotspots for dog walking in the city centre. There's even an onboard commentary to give you an insight into London's canine history. Best of all, tickets are free! 

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Various , London Until Thursday January 19 2017

Bad Sports Bar

Sure, there are NBA and NFL games projected on to the wall, but you definitely don't have to give a damn about sports to make the most of this basement cocktail bar in Hackney. The emphasis is on wonderfully wonky cocktails, including a Buckfast Negroni (it's delicious. Honestly), an inaccurately named Bad Martini and frozen banana daiquiris. A slam dunk of a win for this bar. 


Soho: A Foodie and Bar Themed History Tour

Wander through Soho's colourful streets and learn about the area's long-standing ties with the worlds of food and drink, in this tour with City of Westminster Guide Joanna Moncrieff. You'll uncover covert, speakeasy-style drinking dens (where you'll grab a cocktail on route) and gin bars, while hearing about the antics and mischief that occurred in Soho's raucous private drinking clubs back in the 1700s.

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Various , London Saturday January 21 2017

The Flaming Lips


More oddball psychedelic pop of the weirdest and best kind from Wayne Coyne's merry crew. The band will be plucking tracks from their 30-year back catalogue, which should include anthemic hits like 'Do You Realize?' and 'The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song'. And watch out for all manner of onstage antics from this inimitable bunch of musical eccentrics.

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O2 Academy Brixton , Stockwell Saturday January 21 2017

War In The Sunshine: The British In Italy 1917-1918

This exhibition marking the reopening of Islington’s Estorick Collection takes a slightly off-kilter look at World War One. 'War in the Sunshine' shows the experience of British soldiers and airmen in northern Italy, through a series of works from the Imperial War Museum's collection. Biplanes engage in dogfights in Sydney Carline’s dramatic paintings and William Joseph Brunell’s photos of Italian peasant life are quietly powerful and fascinating.

Estorick Collection , Canonbury Wednesday January 18 2017 - Sunday March 19 2017

Drink And Draw: Life Drawing (Drop-in)

This life-drawing class may be held at the Royal Drawing School, but don't worry – you don't need to be a budding Picasso to head along. It's a relaxed affair and suitable for all levels of experience, including absolute beginners. Want proof of how relaxed it is? You can simply turn up on the night, and you even get a free glass of wine or a beer included as part of the ticket price, which should help settle any nerves.

Royal Drawing School Central , Oxford Street Friday January 20 2017


This hard-hitting family show from Brussels-based theatre company Bronks was a hit at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe and is sure to make a similar impression in London. Inspired by the tragic 2004 Beslan school siege in Russia, the subject matter is clearly challenging, but don't let that put you off. Bronks' production is an imaginative, intelligent look at the ways children react to extreme situations, and is full of carefully observed details and creative performance.

National Theatre , South Bank Until Saturday February 18 2017
See more great events happening this month

Find more things to do in the capital

101 things to do in London

London is a treasure trove of brilliant days out and activities worth boasting about. Find great new ways to fill your free time with this list of our favourite things to do in the capital.

By: Laura Lee Davies