Guide to what’s on in London in April 2019
Find out what’s on in London in April, including family fun, the London Marathon, St George’s Day and more.
Spring is in full swing! With the weather improving, the capital is hosting some of its famous sporting events, such as the London Marathon and Oxbridge Boat Race. Around town, there’s plenty of free family festivals, such as St George’s Day, while arts festival Underbelly returns to the South Bank. The Easter Holidays are also taking place so except lots of family events on around London.
Check out what’s on in London over Easter weekend and school holidays for adults and children.
- Now until 1 April : BFI Flare
The British Film Institute hosts the 11 day festival of LGBTQ+ film featuring 50 features, over 80 shorts, special events, guest appearances, club nights. Ticket prices vary. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the BFI website.
- 2 – 14 April : London Games Festival
An event to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including the Games Finance Market, EGX Rezzed (4-6 April), the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, cosplay parade (6 April) and more. For more information, visit the Games London website.
- 3 April : Locale Firenze pop-up @ Quaglino’s
Italian drinking and dining destination il Locale Firenze comes to St James for one-night only. Taking over Quaglino’s, Locale Firenze will bring some of their best cocktails to Londoners to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Negroni. From 5pm. Quaglino’s, 16 Bury Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6AJ. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information, visit the Quaglino’s website.
- 4 – 6 April : Cocktails In The City
Three-day extravaganza featuring some of London’s best cocktails bars coming together in the arches underneath Waterloo station. A host of pop-up bars, tasting flights, bar battles, champagne cocktails, Tasting Rooms and new sensory cocktail adventures will be spread across the tunnels underneath Waterloo station. Open 6pm-12am. Ticket: £20 includes 1 cocktail and cocktail booklet. The Vaults, Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest stations: Waterloo or Lambeth North. For booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 4 – 6 April : The Creative Craft Show
An event for stitchers, sewers and hobbycrafters, featuring workshops, demonstrations and talks. Open Thu and Fri: 10am-4.30pm, Sat: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £5-£15, Seniors £4.50-£13.50. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.
- 4 – 7 April : Roy’s People Art Fair
This fair aims to make art more affordable and accessible. Meet and buy direct from the artists, take part in workshops and check out installations. Open Thur 5pm–8.30pm, Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat 12pm–6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Free. At Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Waterloo, Blackfriars or Southwark. For more information, visit the Roy’s People Art Fair website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 4 – 7 April : Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s 5th Birthday Party
Canalside drinking and dining destination Number 90 are hosting a weekend of festivities for their 5th birthday. Open Thu and Sun 12pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-6am. Free entry. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 5 April – 29 September : Underbelly Festival
Summer-long arts festival on the South Bank, featuring comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in the inflatable upside down cow venue, international street food, open-air bar. Festival grounds open daily until 11pm. Ticket prices for show vary, but a majority are between £10-£20, free entry to festival grounds. Jubilee Gardens (off Belvedere Road), South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Underbelly Festival website.
- Now until 7 April : Ideal Home Show
A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity guests and experts include Phil Spencer, Nick Knowles, David Domoney, Lisa Faulkner, Rosemary Shrager, Joe Swift, Anna Jacobs, James Wong, May Simpkin and many more. Open daily 10am-6pm (Thurs lates until 9pm). Tickets: Weekday £14-£20 or Weekend £14-£17 (also includes free access to the Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.
- Now until 7 April : Eat & Drink Festival
Next door to the Ideal Home Show is a new live experience, featuring modern cuisine, mixology and street food. Learn from the best at the Foodie Lab, Chef’s Table and Cook’s Academy. Tickets: Weekday £14-£20, Weekend £16 (also includes free access to Ideal Home Show). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website.
- Now until 7 April : Lost Lagoon
Bompas & Parr have created an immersive, subterranean journey inspired by the world’s most famous buccaneer Captain Henry Morgan. Expect whirlpool cocktail station, beach-inspired food and entertainment. Tickets: £20-£30. West 12 shopping centre, Shepherd’s Bush, W12 8PP. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush. For booking, visit the Lost Lagoon website.
- 7 April : Oxbridge Boat Race
Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Women’s boat race @ 4.35pm and Men’s boat race @ 5.35pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.
- 8 April : Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series presents Michael Palin
Sir Michael Palin will be speaking about his world travels and BBC series Around The World In 80 Days. From 7.01pm (50 min talk and 10 min Q&A). Tickets: £50pp. Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit Mr Fogg’s website.
- 9 April – 14 July : Dinner Is Coming
A new immersive spoof dining experience inspired by Game Of Thrones. Expect food, theatre, comedy and ‘murder’. Dress code: Your GoT house. Over 18s only. Tickets: £35-£55. The Vaults Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN, Nearest station: Lambeth North or Waterloo. For more information or tickets, visit the Dinner Is Coming website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 12 – 14 April : London Spanish Film Festival
Three day film event ahead of the London Spanish Film Festival in September, featuring several new Spanish language releases. At the Regent Street Cinema, 307 Regent Street, Marylebone, W1B 2HW (Nearest station: Oxford Circus) and Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, Kensington, SW7 2DT (Nearest station: South Kensington). For more information, visit the London Spanish Film Festival website.
- 12 – 21 April : The Unclosed Eye exhibition
Exhibition of music photography from Gerard McNamara, featuring rarely-seen and previously unseen images. Open daily 11am-7pm. Free entry. At 3 Newburgh Street, Soho, W1F 7RE. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 12 April – 7 August : Banquet of Hoshena
Dinner Time Story brings their new immersive dining experience to London. Diners will be treated to a projector-lead dining concept using 3D visual technology, image mapping and experiential props. Tickets: £85/£95/£110. Westfield, Ariel Way, White City, W12 7GF. Nearest station: White City. Pre-booking requests: email@example.com or tel: 07510 204 003. Visit Banquet of Hoshena on Instagram. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 13 April – 29 June : London Burlesque Festival
The world’s finest burlesque performers gather in the capital for an extended 11 week festival. Times vary. Tickets range from £22.50-£45. Venues include Bush Hall, Karma Sanctum Soho and Conway Hall. For more information, visit the London Burlesque Festival website.
- Now until 14 April : Telegraph Hill Festival
Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website.
- 16 April – 11 May : Far Side Of The Moon
Artist and inventor Victor Wong and robotic ink artist A.I. Gemini present a new exhibition inspired by the Chinese Chang’e-4 probe’s 2019 contact with the unexplored side of the Moon. Mon–Fri 10am-6:30pm, Sat 11am-2pm. 3812 London Gallery, 21 Ryder Street, St James, SW1Y 6PX. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the 3812 website.
- 18 – 21 April : London International Ska Festival
Four day festival of ska music at venues across the capital, including the O2 Academy Islington and The Garage. Acts include Georgie Fame, Misty In Roots, Keith & Tex, Rudy ‘John Jones’ Mills, The Steady 45s, Chris Murray, King Zepha, Mason Arms, Le Birrette, Erin Bardwell Collective, The Indecision and many more. Tickets vary. For more information and tickets, visit the London International Ska Festival website.
- 18 April – 6 May : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition
Showcasing the winning and shortlisted diverse photographs from this year’s awards. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-9pm, Sat-Sun 10am-8pm. Tickets: £10 (weekday), £14 (weekends and bank holidays). Somerset House (East and West Wing), Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- 19 April : Springfest
German beer festival comes to Ally Pally, featuring live music, food and, of course, plenty of beer. 5.30pm-10.30pm. Tickets start from £19.20. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace or Wood Green. For more information, visit the Springfest website.
- 19 – 21 April : Le Beat Bespoké Festival
Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, record fair, market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets: Day passes £15-£25, or weekend pass £52. Across two venues: The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Oxford Circus. Nambucca, 596 Holloway Road, Holloway, N7 6LB. Nearest station: Upper Holloway or Holloway Road. For more information and tickets, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.
- 20 April : Feast Of St George
Celebrate the patron saint of England’s feast day with a day of fun and fare in Trafalgar Square. Includes English food, cookery demos from celebrity chefs, stalls, banqueting area, family games and live music. 12pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 22 April – 1 May : Shen Yun
Chinese performing arts company’s show comes to London for two weeks. Experience a lost culture through classical Chinese dance. Tickets: £62-£138. Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9QH. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit the Shen Yun website.
- Now until 22 April : John Ruskin – The Power Of Seeing @ Two Temple Place
Exhibition of the paintings, drawings, daguerreotypes, metal work, and plaster casts of John Ruskin. Free entry. Two Temple Place, 2 Temple Place, Temple, WC2R 3BD. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Two Temple Place website.
- 26 April : Tea Dance @ St Kats
Annual tea dance party returns to St Katharine Docks. Featuring Dorothy’s Shoes presents The Ragroof Tea Dance giving dance lessons and demonstrations and KERB food market. Lessons @ 12pm and 2pm, market 12pm-2pm. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website.
- 26 – 27 April : The Cognac Show
From the team behind Whisky Exchange over 150 different cognacs available to sample, plus masterclasses, food pairings and cognac cocktails. Fri 5.30pm-9.45pm, Sat 12.30pm-6.30pm. Tickets: £45. Bloomsbury House, 2-3 Bloomsbury Way, WC1A 2RL. Nearest station: Holborn. For more information, visit the Cognac Show website.
- 27 April : Vaisakhi Festival
Celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture, marking Sikh New Year and 1699, the year Sikhism was born. Featuring live performances, kirtan (spiritual music), arts, food, community groups and charities, children’s activities, turban tying and sporting have-a-go activations 12pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus, Embankment. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- 27 – 28 April : Classic Car Boot Sale
Buy music, food, fashion and more surrounded by classic cars and bikes. Also featuring street food and cocktail stalls. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £4 in advance. Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.
- 28 April : Virgin Money London Marathon
Cheer on an estimated 36,00 runners raising money for charity in the world’s biggest marathon. The 26 mile marathon starts in Greenwich/Blackheath and ends in The Mall. Free for spectators. For more information and spectator maps, visit the Virgin London Marathon website.
- Now until 29 April : London Handel Festival
Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks in venues, including Frederick Handel’s own parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Britten Theatre (Royal College of Music), the Foundling Museum, Grosvenor Chapel, Duke’s Hall (Royal Academy of Music), Cadogan Hall, The Charterhouse, St Lawrence Little Stanmore and Wigmore Hall. For more information, visit the London Handel Festival website.
- 29 April – 1 June : Herne Hill Free Film Festival
The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the seventh year. Films include Black Panther, Mary Poppins Returns, The Babadook, American Animals, Wreck It Ralph 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, Isle Of Dogs and more. Venues include The Lido Café, Station Hall, Prince Regent pub, Brockwell Lido, The Half Moon, Herne Hill Velodrome and more. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- Now until 2 June : Swinging Sixties exhibition
New exhibition celebrates the fashion, textiles, homewares and furniture of the Swinging Sixties. Including vintage designs by Mary Quant, Laura Ashley and Terence Conran. Open Tues-Sat 11am–6pm, Thurs until 8pm, Sun 11am–5pm. Tickets: £9.90. Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the museum website.
- Now until early June : Sculpture In The City 2018/2019
Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the 2017/2018 exhibition.
- Now until 28 July : Room To Breathe @ Migration Museum
Interactive exhibition of a migrant’s experiences when they arrive in the UK and what it means to live as migrant. Open Thu 12pm-8pm, Fri-Sun 12pm-6pm. Free admission. At the Migration Museum @ The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7AG. Nearest station: Vauxhall, Westminster or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Migration Museum website. For Metro Girl’s review on the exhibition, click here.
- Now until 1 September : Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams @ V&A
Exhibition of Christian Dior designs, from 1947 to the present day. Featuring over 200 garments and hundreds of accessories, photographs, videos, sketches and more. Exhibition hours opening vary (timed entry). Tickets: £20-£24. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition.