City of London visitors, workers and residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to things to do in the area -whether the experiences are online or in-person.
Going out these days is just so stressful. For one, so much is still shut or heavily restricted. And, on the other hand, even if things are open, we want to be responsible and not make things worse in London. But being cooped up inside during the entirety of winter is also a rough option.
That’s why we’ve rounded up a bunch of safe and fun events taking place in the City of London this month so that we can escape the mundane lives we all now live – even if its just for a short while. But there are also stacks of things to do virtually. Square Mile arts and culture institutions have really ramped up their online offerings, which can make all the difference for those of us stuck at home, getting tired of flicking through Netflix day in and day out.
Keep those creative juices flowing with the Barbican’s interactive online show for under-fives and their families. Two friendly performers Rachel Lincoln and Remmie Milner (His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife) guide you through simple movement and inventive art-making activities on Zoom, showing you how to explore basic household objects for touch and sound. With magical music, vibrant visuals and playful poetry that appeals to children and adults alike, We Cover the Universe takes families on a journey together, wherever they are, transforming items and spaces before their eyes.
10-20 December, tickets £5
Explore the stories of past Black Londoners with this digital trail at the Museum of London. Hear their words, see their faces and learn how their legacies have shaped this city and the lives of people who live here today as you walk through the temporary exhibition. And do make note that, to visit the museum, you will need to book a free ticket and choose a time slot, which you can do online.
3-8 December, free
Museum of London, 150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN
Let the cosy Christmas atmosphere envelop you as costumed members of the London Concert Brass and a choir evoke an era of roast goose, plum-pudding, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and the golden-hearted Tiny Tim, performing a selection of Victorian and classic carols. Joining them is actor Kevin Whately, channelling the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future straight to your living room in selected extracts from the most heart-warming of Christmas stories.
22 December, tickets from £12.50 (streamed) £20 (live)
The annual winter lights festival is returning this year, celebrating the local community and exploring themes including ‘light, hope, nature’. But, understandably, this year’s festivities will take a different form given the impact of Covid and will include a public exhibition taking place in four key sites across Aldgate. These include Aldgate Square’s Kahaila Café and the neighbouring St Botolph’s church steps and gardens, Toynbee Hall’s Community Centre, 33 Creechurch Lane and the Dorsett City Hotel, Aldgate High Street. All displays will be visible from the outside and there are even a series of online events for those who can’t make it in person.
7-20 December, free
Borough Market will celebrate the festive season with the launch of Christmas at Borough, a three-week event series this December featuring a roster of celebrity chefs and food personalities. Running Wednesdays to Fridays throughout December, the Festive Kitchen will feature a packed schedule of live streamed activities and events hosted by a stellar cast of chefs and food experts. Featured events include cookalongs, masterclasses, interviews and Christmas cooking surgeries. It’s such a brilliant way to celebrate the Borough Market traders and inspire Londoners this Christmas season.
Featuring more than 15 artworks and new commissions, this outdoor exhibition is installed across the Southbank Centre’s buildings and along the riverfront itself. At a time when we view so much of the world through digital screens, the artists in this exhibition celebrate how the medium of light can transform our physical spaces. It’s also just a good excuse to get out and go for a walk. The artworks also explore ideas about nature, politics and society, gender, aesthetics and the act of looking. Art like this has never been so important.
Until 28 February 2021, free
Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX
Inner Space, the meditation and personal development centre, has developed a huge series of live online talks and events for Decembers. Apart from their daily meditation sessions, run every day, these events give you a more in-depth understanding of meditation. They start with basics on how to meditate before going into more personal and specific webinars about self-esteem, relationships, relaxation, and even the history of meditation. We are all in need of a little peace and quiet these days – with meditation being a brilliant way to switch off and escape the chaos of the outside world.
Throughout December, free
This has been an exhausting year, guys. And we won’t judge you if you really don’t want to try and organise a Christmas lunch. Who needs all of that stress? That’s why so many people are booking up Christmas Day and Boxing Day experiences at The Ned. Expect Christmas roasts with all the trimmings, lobster, oysters, salads, plus a huge cheese and dessert bar. It will be epic! And all of this food & drink will be accompanied by live music on The Nickel Stage for some extra fun too.
The Ned, 27 Poultry EC2R 8AJ