The sun may now set at 4.30pm but with some careful planning, you can pack as much into this weekend as any other – Saturday is Bonfire Night after all which means it’s a whole weekend of pyrotechnical delights. If your intended fireworks show has sold out, don’t worry, you can stay in the warm with an innovative digital display or head high and watch everyone else’s shows with the satisfaction that you’ve got the best view of all. There’s also a Sri Lankan feast taking place, life-sized igloos you can dine in and an adult-friendly ball pit complete with retro cocktails and a bottomless brunch. Oh, and if you’re not exhausted by the time Sunday comes around then head to Oxford Street where you’ll catch Craig David turning on the Christmas lights. 53 sleeps till the big day…
What: Free Digital Fireworks Display
Why: Bonfire night is great but when each display is £10 a pop it can turn into a pricey night. If standing in your garden and admiring a neighbour’s display seems a little too tight then we have the solution: a free indoor fireworks display. Taking place at community space The Workshop, Albert Embankment tonight (Thursday), two displays will showcase the best digital effects so you can stay in the warm and not spend a penny. It’s not completely without the perks of being outside though – sparklers, street food vans and circus performers mean you won’t feel like you’ve missed out.
Thursday 3rd November, 5.45pm and 6.30pm
Where: Albert Embankment, Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7JS
What: Giant Ball Pit for Adults and Bottomless Brunch
Why: The team that brought us the Nola Rola bottomless brunch in the summer are back! This time they bring with them 200,000 plastic balls to create a huge, adult-sized ball pit that means our favourite childhood memories can be relived. To make it 18+ friendly but still with a nostalgic touch, retro sweetie cocktails come complete with Dip Dabs, liquorice allsorts and Skittles. Hyper and tipsy? You’ll need some food so order a few bowls of cheese balls, chicken kiev balls and potato balls (yep, there’s a theme) to share or book in for bottomless brunch… Oh wait, there’s alcohol there too. An hour of bottomless boozing and ball pit games later and you can head upstairs for bottomless spaghetti meatballs and yet more bottomless booze.
Launches Friday 4th November with 30 free tickets each night until the 10th November.
Where: 79 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston, N16 8AD
What: Final Halloween Hurrah
Why: Halloween is over but if you’re not quite ready to hang up your mask just yet, here’s one final hurrah. Aristocrat (the hot new London club) is hosting a Day of the Dead Casasmigos Tequila Cocktail night on Friday. Choose between a Classic Casamigos Margarita, a Bloody Matador or a Hemingway’s Dove and let face painters get to work as they transform guests into Mexican Sugar Skulls. Doors open at 11pm, with DJ Charles Prince spinning until the early hours.
Friday 4th November, 11pm
Where: 9 Swallow Street, Mayfair, W1B 4DE
The ArcelorMittal Orbit
What: See the City’s Fireworks From Above
Why: The ArcelorMittal Orbit is for life, not just for 2012… Summer saw it transformed into a slide not for the faint hearted and now that the days are shorter and the nights are darker, daredevils can ride the slide at night, and hopefully take in the views below. It’s not all about the slide though; on Saturday, take your fireworks viewing to new heights and head to the sculpture’s two viewing platforms to see fireworks exploding for 20 miles around – from Alexandra Palace to Clissold Park to Blackheath. Get some drinks from the bar to complete your Saturday night.
Saturday 5th November, 6-9pm
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 3 Thornton Street, Stratford, E20 2AD
Etsy Everyday Emporium
What: Etsy's Everyday Emporium Pop-Up
Why: Easy. the well-loved online market, has curated the Everyday Emporium to highlight our uniqueness and is part of the global Difference Makes Us Campaign. They’ll be showcasing unique designs of a whole array of products with each of the four days focussing on one product in particular – pet beds, clocks, mugs and cushions, you name it. No two things will be the same as each day there will be 100 different examples of each category but only one of each so act fast when you find something you love. Wondering about cost? The currency here is Instagram so find what you love, post a photo with the hashtag #DifferenceMakesUs, tag @EtsyUK, show a member of staff and the item is yours.
Until Saturday, 12pm-7.30pm
Where: 14 Percy Street, Fitzrovia, W1T 1DR
What: Giant Igloos
Why: You’ve probably seen the igloos that have popped up near Tower Bridge – if not in person then on social media. European restaurant Coppa Club has expanded its seating area for Christmas with the addition of 8 giant heated igloos on the terrace, available to book with some also left aside each day for walk-ins. The full Coppa Club menu is available to diners in the igloos, as well as some additional festive cocktails so kick back, make yourself at home and get cosy under a sheepskin blanket. Not too cosy though, remember everyone can see you!
Where: 3 Three Quays Walk, Lower Thames Street, Tower Bridge, EC3R 6AH
Hair By Sam McKnight
What: An Exhibition as Big as the Hair Featured
Why: From Princess Diana to Kate Moss, hair guru Sam McKnight has done it all so it’s only fitting that he is getting his own exhibition – and this is its first weekend since opening on Wednesday. Glossy images of the world’s most glamorous women and their equally glossy hair will line the walls of Somerset House, the venue that is no stranger to fashion photography exhibitions, but this is the first time a whole major exhibition has been dedicated to the art of hair styling. A book of the same name – ‘Hair by Sam McKnight’ – will accompany the show so you can flick through that long after your blow dry has dropped out.
Until 12th March 2017
Where: Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA
Oxford Street Christmas Lights
What: Oxford Street Christmas Lights Switch On
Why: The Christmas lights in London are iconic, and the switch on events are never anything short of amazing and mark the start of the festive season. This year, R&B legend Craig David will be the one turning on the lights and there’ll be live performances from Louisa Johnson, The Vamps and Nathan Sykes. Families with young kids need not worry about tantrums as Hasbro will be inviting children onto their My Little Pony Bus or Transformers Optimus Prime Truck and Bumblebee Car. A selection of the top street food vans will be there to feed you throughout the day too before the big event early evening.
Sunday 6th November, from 12pm
Where: Oxford Street
What: Hoppers' 1st Birthday
Why: To celebrate their first birthday and recent Bib Gourmand award (a mini Michelin star), Hoppers are hosting a traditional home-style Sri Lankan feast and they’re even allowing you to book so none of the usual ridiculous queues. They’ve curated a 6-course feasting menu just for the event with dishes including beef short rib and parsnip rolls or masala fried mackerel. Of course, they’ll be serving the very thing the restaurant was named after – bowl shaped rice and coconut Hoppers. There’ll plenty of cocktails to accompany, showcasing Sri Lankan spirits, Ceylon Arrack and Colombo No. 7 gin, created by Ryan Chetiyawardana aka The World’s Best Bartender.
Sunday 6th November, 12pm and 2.30pm for lunch and 5.30pm and 8pm for dinner
Where: 49 Frith Street, Soho, W1D 4SG
Want to do something Christmassy? Check out our Christmas page for all the newest winter rooftops, festive pop-ups and more…