It’s Trafalgar Square tree day.

What we’re reading

Things to do

ENCHANTED ELTHAM: It’s the first night of this year’s Enchanted Eltham, a light festival which sees a trail illuminated through the grounds and moat of the palace. There’s a festive vibe, so warm up with mulled wine and mince pies, and do your Christmas shopping at the gift shop. Eltham Palace, £12/£7.50, book ahead, 6-9 December (and 13-16 December and 20-22 December)

HIDDEN GARDEN HAIKU: Discover an enchanted garden in Walthamstow on this walkshop, and use it as inspiration to compose a haiku. No experience is necessary, and your work may even be published in a ‘zine anthology. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), £12/£15, book ahead, 12.30pm-1.45pm

MUSEUM LATE: The Royal College of Physicians has been around since Henry VIII founded it five centuries ago. Tonight, go behind the scenes on some of that history at a late night opening of the Regent’s Park building, where artefacts and artwork are on display. Royal College of Physicians (Regent’s Park), free, just turn up, 5pm-8pm

TRAFALGAR SQUARE TREE: Today’s the day the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree lights are switched on — meaning it’s really Christmas in London now. Carol singing and poetry readings are part of the evening celebrating the arrival of the tree, all the way from Norway. Get there early to get a good view. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 6pm

Learn how to make a rainbow wreath

NO OFFICE PARTY: Just because you don’t work in an office, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an office Christmas party. This soiree for freelancers has booze, music, a bar and goody bags — everything you need for a banging work party, without having to face your colleagues the next day. The Social (Little Portland Street), £4-£5, book ahead, 6.30pm-11pm

CATS: Cats are the subject of tonight’s Boring Talk. Go along to hear the most mundane things about cats — or at least, things that seem mundane until you delve a little deeper. British Library, £12/£8, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

NT LIVE: The National Theatre’s production of Shakespeare’s Antony & Cleopatra, starring Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo, is broadcast live from the theatre into cinemas tonight, to bring it to a wider audience. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £18, book ahead, 7pm

AUTHOR TALK: Author Kate Atkinson talks about her new espionage novel, Transcription. It’s about an 18 year old recruited into MI5 in the second world war, and the ramifications it has on her life after the war ends. National Archives (Kew), £8-£10, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

APSLEY HOUSE:Apsley House — home of the Duke of Wellington and also known as Number 1 London — is open late for a festive evening. See the house decorated for Christmas, and learn how former residents would have celebrated the festive season. Apsley House (Hyde Park Corner), £20/£18/£15, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

RAINBOW WREATH: Banish traditional Christmas colour schemes and go all out by learning how to make a rainbow wreath out of baubles. No experience is needed and all materials are provided. Geffrye Museum (Hoxton), £35, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

MOUNTAIN:Footage from more than 15 countries has been put together in this film about mountains, designed to get your adrenaline going as you see the world through the eyes of mountaineers, ice climbers, snowboarders, and other people whose job titles make us nervous just reading them. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), £6.50, book ahead, 7.45pm

Good cause of the day

Another day, another plethora of carol concerts and services, all raising money and awareness for excellent and worth causes. Today’s options for treating your ears to some festive sounds:

from Londonist https://ift.tt/2AWRwlY