Fancy a bit of culture at Christmas?
There’s only so much chocolate, panto, tinsel and inanity you can take over the festive period. At some point, the bloated brain cells protest and demand sustenance – and that doesn’t mean brussel sprouts. Here’s where you can go in London to blow the cobwebs out the breadbasket and get some culture at Christmas.
Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary – With simple materials like clay, paper and ink, Maiolino (b.1942, Italy) constructs a world rooted in human conditions such as longing, fragility and resistance.
Until 12 Jan, 11am-6pm, £9.50, details
Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art – From London to Paris, Mexico City, Tehran, and Ibadan, see works of art, many rarely seen in the UK, as well as recreations of avant-garde spaces.
Until 19 Jan, £15, details
Inspired by the East – how the Islamic world influenced western art for centuries.
Until 26 Jan, 10.30am-5.30pm, £14, details
Leonardo: Experience A Masterpiece – an immersive experience that helps you explore The Virgin Of The Rocks through four distinct spaces.
Until 26 Jan, 10am-4.50pm, from £16, details
National Portrait Gallery
Pre-Raphaelite Sisters – the first ever exhibition to focus on the untold story of the 12 women of the Pre-Raphaelite movement – models, artists, makers, partners and poets.
Until 26 Jan, 10am-4.45pm, £18, details
Olafur Eliasson In Real Life – a series of installations from the Danish-Icelandic arts that heighten the senses and play with pattern and light.
Until 5 Jan, various times, £18, details
William Blake – the painter, printmaker, poet and radical created some of the most iconic images in British art. Includes over 300 works.
Until 2 February, various times, £18, details
The Art of Innovation: From Enlightenment to Dark Matter – studies the interactions between scientific progress and social change and how tools go beyond the human senses.
Until 26 Jan, 10am-6pm, FREE, details
On Edge: Living in an Age of Anxiety – explores different personal experiences of anxiety and how the world around us can cause worry and why we’ve evolved to be on edge.
Until 19 Jan, 10am-6pm, FREE, details
24/7: A Wake-Up Call for our Non-Stop World – a multi-sensory journey from the cold light of the moon to the fading warmth of sunset.
Until 23 Feb, various times, £14, details
Cars: Accelerating the Modern World – explores the impact of one of the most influential innovations in the world, and how it has shaped cities, style, environment and economies.
Until 19 April, 10am-4pm, £18, details
Museum of London
Beasts of London – explores the role animals have played in shaping the capital through the centuries, narrated by the beasts themselves with voices of Kate Moss, Nish Kumar, Joe Pasquale and more.
Until 5 Jan, 10.15am-4.15pm, £9, details
Imperial War Museum
Rebel Sounds – discover artists who have risked their lives in time of conflict for the music they loved.
Until 5 Jan, 10am-6pm, FREE, details
Play Well – explores how play transforms both childhood and social bonds using displays of historic toys and games.
Until 8 March, 10am-6pm, FREE, details
Moons Beyond Counting – A new 30-minute show at the Peter Harrison Observatory explores the moons within the solar system.
Until 29 Jan, 2.45pm, £9, details
Natural History Museum
Orbit: A Journey Around Earth In Real Time – in ultra high def, our home planet as see by astronauts on board the International Space Station. Also see Museum of the Moon, an artwork by Luke Jerram.
Until 5 Jan, continuous, FREE, details
3 of the biggest screen releases
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – mystery surrounds JJ Abrams’ mega release. Opens Dec 19
- Cats – the much-mocked trailer spooked prospective fans of this stage-to-screen adaptation. Opens Dec 20.
- Little Women – it’s been done before but ever better? The critics are drooling over Greta Gerwig’s take. Opens Dec 27
Coming in 2020
Winter Lights – The award-winning and spectacular series of 25 installations returns for a sixth year, bringing a warm glow to the dull January nights. Some are old favourites, others are new.
16-25 January, 4pm-10pm, FREE, details