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Geek Diary: Not your usual market

YOU probably visited a dozen Christmas markets last year, each with their own vats of mulled wine, lines of fake chalets and at least one stall selling fake snow. The Hyper Japan Christmas market in Tobacco Dock offers something a bit different. There’s cosplay, traditional Japanese food and a lantern installation to light up your Instagram. Until Sunday, from £15, hyperjapan.co.uk

Space ball

It might seem a little early to be getting out your glad rags for a Christmas party but this one comes with a twist. Instead of being covered with baubles and tinsel, the Waterloo Vaults will be embracing a glitzy sci-fi theme for its Winter Masked Ball this weekend. Party-goers can hang out in an underground moon grotto, chat with cyborg-hybrids or catch a show at the Cabaret At The End Of The Universe. Expect to see aerialists, burlesque and gypsy vaudeville on the cosmic stage. Tonight and tomorrow, £25, acuriousinvitation.com

Some cultured Christmas shopping

If you haven’t started your Christmas shopping yet and don’t fancy bracing the crowds, check out Museum Shop Sunday. Hosted by the Association for Cultural Enterprises, the event will see more than 100 venues across the nation opening their doors to showcase their quirky wares. You might find a neat present for that tricky family member — like these Freud-shaped cookies from The Freud Museum. Sunday, free, museumstoresunday.org

Pretty fly for some sci-fi

Manchester’s For The Love Of Sci-Fi convention at the Bowlers Exhibition Centre will be graced by the likes of William Shatner, who may or may not stand around at the Cantina space bar. We like the look of the Emperor’s Wrath cocktail… Dec 2-3, from £38.50, fortheloveofsci-fi.com

When Tinder met Lady Chatterley…

The Humans Being Digital exhibition at Salford’s The Lowry features nine international artists whose work connects the digital world to aspects of human life. We’re especially intrigued by Libby Heaney’s Lady Chatterley’s Tinderbot. The touchscreen installation features conversations between an AI bot, posing as different characters from the famous novel by DH Lawrence, and unsuspecting Tinder users. Until Feb 25, free, thelowry.com