What we’re reading
- Bear bile and snakeskin boots: illegal goods seized at Heathrow – in pictures.
- The comforting taste of Christmas is damaging our planet.
- Photos of the Drunkenness and Dreams On London's First Late-Night Overground Service.
- Theresa May insists 2500 homeless children in London borough are not 'sleeping on our streets'.
- 'High-status' portrait of bearded woman bought by Wellcome Collection.
Things to do
CHRISTMAS AT KEW: Kew Gardens is in full Christmas mode from today. This means the whole family can join storytime sessions, winter flower making, conifer hunting and creative writing classes, alongside exploring this majestic garden. Kew Gardens, £11.50/£10, book ahead, 22 December-2 January
SCAVENGER HUNT: Drop into the visitor centre to pick up your winter scavenger hunt sheet then head off into the wilderness to track down the items. RSPB Rainham Marshes nature reserve, £1.50, just turn up, 10am-4pm
FROZEN SING-A-LONG: Just when you thought you'd got 'Let it Go' out of your head, this festive screening of Frozen came along to put it straight back in. But your kids will love you for taking them and what's more important than that? Walthamstow Assembly Hall, £5-£17.50, book ahead, 10am-4pm
GINGERBREAD HOUSE MAKING: Roll your sleeves up and get stuck in to this gingerbread making class while learning more about how our cities are designed from the Museum of Architecture. Today is also your last chance to check out the miniature city made entirely out of gingerbread. 27 Thurloe Street, £30, book ahead, 10.30am, 1pm and 3.30pm
FESTIVE VEGAN MARKET: Are you dreaming of a vegan Christmas but aren't sure where to pick up the ingredients for that nut roast? Head to Hackney Downs, where you can browse animal-free treats from London's finest vegan traders, as chosen by the Fat Gay Vegan. Hackney Downs Studios, free, just turn up, 3pm-9pm
WINTER SCREENS: Wander through the wardrobe into this Narnia-themed pop-up cinema, where you can snuggle up in front of Muppets Christmas Carol. Hackney Showrooms, £3, book ahead, 4pm-6pm
BABALONIA FUNDRAISER FOR SYRIA: All the musicians and poets involved in this night have waivered their fee and proceeds are split between Help Refugees and The Syria Campaign. How's that for good cheer? Check out the lineup here. And arrive early for £3 pints and two-for-one rum punch. Club Makossa (Dalston), £8, book ahead, 7pm-2am
FUNK AND SOUL XMAS: Groove the night away to Christmas hits from the likes of Ronettes, James Brown, Clarence Carter, Louis Armstrong and Darlene Love. Plus plenty of guilty pleasures, including Mariah. Montague Arms (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 8pm-late
GOOD LIFE LONDON XMAS SPECIAL: The industrial space of the metal works has been thoroughly decked out in Christmas cheer, with five themed rooms for you to revel in. Hit up Dasher's Dirty Disco (for disco lovers), the ghetto grotto (for grime and base) and the jingle bell jungle (for jungle and dancehall). Islington Metal Works, £25.50+bf, book ahead, 11pm-5am
Good cause of the day: Charity Christmas Soirée
Descend into the depths of this surrealist arts club and gallery for an unforgettable evening of funk, soul, disco and very swish cocktails. (If you're lucky the snappily dressed Sophie Parkin will be on hand to mix you up a mean espresso martini). All proceeds go to the mental health charity Mind. Vout-O-Reenee's, £9, book ahead, 8pm-2am
Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...
Fancy some Dim Sum fun? From making and rolling the dough to preparing the fillings and forming the parcels, William will show you everything you need to know to become a Dim Sum pro. William will also teach you the etiquette of Dim Sum - learn what to order and how to order, in Cantonese! Get tickets
Could you spent hours on end satiating your morbid curiosity by researching serial killers? Hey, you're not alone. Insight into the criminal psyche is a fascinating topic and one covered in this talk by retired police officer, Paul Harrison. You'll encounter the stories of three of the UK's worst serial killers, from their childhoods to their crimes. With over four decades of experience in the Criminal Justice system, join Paul to work through the facts, uncover the details, and get inside the heads of these killers to discover what truly motivates a murderer. Get tickets
Ever fancied yourself as Robin Hood? Join the 2020 archery team in London Bridge and discover how to shoot. The 1.5 hour 'get started in archery' class will teach you how to shoot (relatively) accurately as well as the scoring system and key archery terminology. The session finishes with a mini-competition where you can show off your new-found skills. Get tickets
We all know Soho is changing - and fast. But does the Soho of decades past - fiercely independent, occasionally seedy, always flamboyant - still exist? Antony Robbins claims it does - if you know where to look. A former director at the Museum of London, Robbins now leads walking tours of Soho, delving into the area's past and present. His Sex, Death and Shopping tour covers scandals of yesteryear through to present-day erotica - taking in hidden gardens, sinister histories, and little-known facts of famous places. A bit sinister. A bit salacious. And exceedingly well-tailored. It's a tour to have you falling in love - or lust - with this part of London all over again. Get tickets