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London Art Fair comes to Islington

WINTER LIGHTS: See Canary Wharf come alight at Winter Lights. The free light festival has over 20 glowing artworks installed around the Canary Wharf Estate — this map will help you find them. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm, 15-26 January

LONDON ART FAIR: Over 100 galleries exhibit modern and contemporary work by a range of artists at London Art Fair, plus there’s a strong programme of talks and workshops. Photo50, an exhibition of contemporary photography, is also part of the fair. Business Design Centre (Islington), £16/£12, book ahead, 16-20 January

MODEL ENGINEERING: All aboard! There’s more to model engineering than planes. See mini trucks, boats, aeroplanes and helicopters alongside the usual steam locomotives and traction engines at London Model Engineering Exhibition. Alexandra Palace, £12.65, book ahead, 18-20 January

NIGHT AND DAY: It’s the final weekend of the Fashion & Textile Museum’s current exhibition, Night and Day. It focuses on fashion and photography of the 1930s, a decade in which many 1920s flappers grew up, evolving their style as they went, and the Jazz Age gave way to the start of the second world war. Fashion & Textile Museum (Bermondsey), £9.90/£8.80/£7, book ahead, until 20 January

LAST CHANCE: It’s also your final chance to see I Object, an exhibition about dissent and rebellion which was curated by Ian Hislop. Find out how a builder’s ‘up yours’ to a king ended up in The British Museum, and why China had to hastily withdraw some commemorative stamps. British Museum, £12, book ahead, until 20 January

CHILDREN OF FORTY HALL: A new exhibition opens this weekend focusing on the children who have lived and worked at this north London estate in the past, as well as those who visit it today. Many children from wealthy families have lived here, while poorer children were employed here. Forty Hall (Enfield), free, just turn up, 19 January-31 March

Saturday 19 January

Get hands on at Grant Museum

PREGNANT THEN SCREWED: This day-long festival is aimed at parents who have found it a challenge to get back into work after the birth of their child. Topics covered include writing a CV, legal rights, childcare solutions and starting your own business. Speakers include TV presenter Cherry Healey, parenting blogger Susie Verrill and Helen Bryce, founder of the Guilty Mothers Club. Conway Hall (Holborn), £22.50-£29, book ahead, 9.30am-4.30pm

JOE WICKS: Joe Wicks — also known as The Body Coach — is at Waterstones signing copies of his new veggie cook book, Veggie Lean In 15. Waterstones, Westfield London (White City), free, just turn up (early arrival recommended), 12pm

EXPLORE ZOOLOGY: The Grant Museum takes some of its specimens out from behind the glass and lets the public have a poke and a prod. It’s aimed at families, but anyone’s welcome, and museum educators are on hand to answer your questions. Grant Museum (UCL), free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

HIIT RUN: Workout studio Victus Soul hosts an hour-long HIIT and run workout, combining  sprints, climbs and endurance running with HIIT training. It’s followed by a panel discussion with fitness experts, focusing on new year’s resolutions — plus you’ll receive a goody bag just for turning up. Victus Soul (Aldgate), £25, book ahead, 1.45pm-4pm

FAMILY STORYTELLING: Professional storyteller Vanessa Woolf spins a yarn or two, using music and props along the way. Take the kids along to hear the tale of Daedalus & Icarus, followed by The Freedom Bird. Leighton House Museum (Holland Park), £3, book ahead, 2pm/3.30pm

FIRE AND EXPLOSIONS: Fire and explosion scientist (excellent job title…) Claire Benson shares some true stories about fires and explosions in science in the Victorian period. Find out how explosives have saved lives, and why the first plastics were particularly dangerous. Age 7+.  The Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 6pm-7.15pm

NO DIRECTION HOME: This stand-up comedy night is a bit different from your average. All of the performers come from refugee and migrant backgrounds, and have taken part in the No Direction Home standup programme. Sara Pascoe is guest headliner. Camden People’s Theatre, £12/£10, book ahead, 7pm

QUEER SHUFFLE: Andrew McMillan, So Mayer, Dean Atta, Sophie Blackwell, Richard Scott and Sogol Sur are among the poets taking to the stage to share their work at this event celebrating UK queer poets. The Poetry Cafe (Covent Garden), £7/£5, just turn up, 7.30pm-9.30pm

MOULIN ROUGE: ‘Watch Moulin Rouge in a church‘ isn’t a sentence we ever thought we’d write. But get yourself to south-east London for a screening where singing along is encouraged — the church organ even forms part of the soundtrack. St Margaret’s Church (Blackheath) £6.25-£15, book ahead, 8pm

CLUB DE FROMAGE: It’s Grease vs. Dirty Dancing night at Club De Fromage On Ice, a cheesy club night which takes place on the ice rink. Dance/skate/stumble the night away to songs from both films, plus plenty of other epic tunes. Alexandra Palace, £10/£9, book ahead, 8.30pm

Sunday 20 January

Visit a tropical conservatory in the City of London

BARBICAN CONSERVATORY: This tropical conservatory in the City of London is open to the public most Sundays. Wander among more than 2,000 plant species from all over the world, looking out for fish and terrapins as you go. Barbican, free, just turn up, 12pm-4.30pm

GARDEN TOUR: Fulham Palace — former residence of the Bishop of London — is a fascinating building, but have you ever stopped to look closely at the garden? Join experts on a tour of the garden, and learn about the unusual trees and the vinery — grapes from here were sent to Queen Elizabeth I. Fulham Palace, £6, just turn up, 12.30pm-1.30pm

WOODY WOODPECKER: The BFI looks back on the ‘career’ of cartoon bird Woody the Woodpecker, at this special screening which includes exclusive, not-yet-released footage. He’s been around in films and on TV since the 1940s, and a guest panel discusses what’s made him so successful for so long. BFI Southbank, £4-£8.80, book ahead, 1.30pm

LET IT SNOW: If your children are praying for a snow day soon, take them along to Keats House, which is hosting a family day of snow-themed activities today — even if it’s glorious sunshine outside. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

UNDER THE WESTWAY: The Museum of Walking’s latest amble explores the Westway, the inspiration for J G Ballard’s novel Concrete Island, 10 years after the author’s death. Read the novel before you come — the event is described as a ‘book club on foot’. Latimer Road station, £15-£20, book ahead, 2.30pm-4.15pm

ITALIAN CINEMA: This regular Italian film club screens comedy Metti La Nonna In Freezer, about an art restorer living on her grandma’s retirement checks. When her grandmother dies, she hides her body in the freezer so that she can keep receiving her money. Genesis Cinema (Mile End), £10/£6.50, book ahead, 3pm

PING PONG: Finally, someone’s put the sound of a ping pong match to good use. Bounce Beat is a musical performance which incorporates the sounds of a live game of ping pong. It’s part of Soundstate Festival. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 6.30pm

LIVE MUSIC: Australian folk singer-songwriter Anna Smyrk plays a gig showcasing tunes inspired by her years living in Cambodia and the Solomon Islands. The Harrison (King’s Cross), £10, book ahead, 7.30pm

SANDI TOKSVIG: Comedian, writer and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig’s solo show tells the story of why she’s aiming to become a National Trevor rather than a National Treasure. Expect her usual blend of silly jokes, funny stories and fascinating facts. Southbank Centre, £25-£29, book ahead, 7.30pm

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