Guide to what’s on in London in May 2019
Find out what’s on in the capital this May, including the two bank holiday weekends.
The weather’s getting warmer, the days are getting longer and summer is just around the corner. With two bank holidays, May has plenty of time to play. This month, expect to see many outdoor rooftop and riverside destinations opening for the summer. Get ready for summer by getting your mind and body ready with a host of wellness events.
For a guide to London’s outdoor and pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.
- Now until 1 May : Shen Yun
Chinese performing arts company’s spectacular show is in 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.
- 1 – 6 May : Contemplative Spaces exhibition
Oxfordshire-based, American artist James Gemmill brings his exhibition to Kensington for six days. With a background in painting and film scenic work, Gemmill presents 14 pieces for the exhibition. Open 11am-7pm or by appointment. Free entry. Old Brompton Gallery, 238 Old Brompton Road, Kensington, SW5 0DE. Nearest station: Earl’s Court or West Brompton. For more information, visit James Gemmill’s website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.
- 2 May – TBA September : Skylight London
Rooftop bar Skylight London returns to Wapping with city views, cocktails, street food, lawn games, World Cup and Wimbledon screenings and more. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Croquet: Indoor £25, Outdoor £35 (45 min game), Petanque: £15 (2-4 players). Skylight, Tobacco Quay (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Skylight London website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Skylight.
- 2 May – 29 September : Fulham Beach @ Neverland
The popular Neverland has had a summer makeover, featuring day beds, private beach huts and cabanas, two bars, live DJs, croquet, beer pong, shuffleboard and ping pong. They also host special events include bottomless brunches, yoga classes, fancy dress parties and sports screenings. Open Wed-Fri 6pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm. Entrance starts from £5 (free to SW6 residents all days except Sat). Neverland, 364 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, SW6 2TY. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For more information, visit the Neverland London website.
- 3 – 5 May : Women’s Health Live
The Women’s Health magazine teams up with some of the country’s top wellness experts for three days of classes, talks and workshops. Guests and speakers include Ella Mills, Alice Liveing, Anna Victoria, Katie Piper, Natasha Devon, Dr Zoe Williams, Jillian Michaels and Rochelle Humes. Tickets: £15. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Hearst Live website.
- 3 – 19 May : Wandsworth Arts Fringe
Two week fringe festival in the borough of Wandsworth featuring over 180 events, including theatre, dance, art, music, comedy, poetry, workshops, talks, markets and more. Highlights include silent disco walking tours, ceilidh, Antisemitism – the musical, Deathbed Skiing and much more. For more information, visit the Wandsworth Arts Fringe website.
- 4 May : The Tweed Run
The 11th annual bicycle ride sees participants dressing up in vintage tweed and cycling past London’s landmarks. Starting in a secret location at 10am-11am and going for 12 miles, before ending for the Closing Ceremony (4-9pm) in Spa Fields, Clerkenwell, EC1. Rider tickets: £32.57, spectators free. Nearest station (to Spa Fields): Angel or Farringdon. For more information, visit The Tweed Run website.
- 4 – 6 May : Canalway Cavalcade
A unique waterways and community festival at Little Venice. Features stalls, bands, kids’ activities, Morris dancers, a Real Ale bar, food and pageant of boats. Open Sat-Sun 10am-6pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Procession of illuminated boats @ 9pm on Sun. Free. Little Venice, Maida Vale, W2. Nearest station: Warwick Avenue. For more information, visit the Inland Waterways Association website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on a previous year’s Cavalcade, click here.
- 4 – 12 May : Grand Designs Live
Based on the Channel 4 TV series, the show features ideas and inspiration for your own grand design, including workshops, consultations, lectures and celebrity guests. Tickets: Weekday £12, Weekend £15. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the Grand Designs Live website.
- Now until 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.
- 6 May : Beer And Bread Festival
Festival returns to the Brixton Windmill for the third year. Local stalls will be selling beer, ale, bread, pastries and bakes, while there will live music, a children’s area including activities and workshops. 1pm-5pm. Free entry. Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website.
- 8 May : Rum Off @ Bobby Fitzpatrick
Help find the world’s best rum as the Rum Off 2019 kicks off. Sixteen leading rum brands will compete for the title, with cocktail making, with you getting to vote for your favourite. 7pm-10pm. Tickets: £9 (inc entry and 4 cocktails). Bobby Fitzpatrick, 273 West End Lane, Hampstead, NW6 1QS. Nearest station: West Hampstead. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.
- 8 – 12 May : London Craft Week
A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 230 events, such as workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. Various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.
- 9 – 12 May : Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead
An event giving people a chance to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price. There are over 100 galleries, with pieces for sale ranging for £100 to £6,000. Open Thur 11am-9.30pm, Fri-Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets from £8-£25. Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site), East Heath Road, Hampstead, NW3 1TH. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.
- 9 – 12 May : Ginema @ Hayman’s
Hayman’s Gin are turning their distillery into a gin-themed pop-up cinema. Films include Dirty Dancing, Cool Runnings, Mamma Mia, The Italian Job (1969), The Goonies,and Goldfinger. Tickets: £35pp (includes screening welcome GnT, gin-themed cocktail inspired by the film, GnT sorbet, GnT popcorn and £5 voucher towards a distillery tour). Hayman’s Distillery, 8a Weir Road, Balham, SW12 0GT. Nearest stations: Balham or Clapham South. For more information, visit the Hayman’s Gin website.
- 10 – 12 May : Balance Festival
Festival of wellbeing and fitness to try inspire you to live a balanced life. Featuring talks and advice from experts, over 200 workouts, shopping and more. Tickets start from £24.50. Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the Balance Festival website.
- 10 – 19 May : Dulwich Festival
This historic London suburb hosts its 24th festival, featuring talks, gigs, dance, fairs, concerts, workshops, artists’ open houses, walks and more across Dulwich Village and East and West Dulwich. Includes the Dulwich Festival Fair on 12 May and Dulwich Park Fair on 19 May. Nearest stations: West Dulwich, East Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Dulwich Festival website. For Metro Girl’s blog on the Street Art Walk, click here.
- Now until 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.
- 11 May : Lucha Libre
Mexico’s famous wrestlers return to London for the annual Lucha Libre. Wrestling stars include The Silver Masked Man, El Hijo del Santo, Laredo Kid, The Liberace of Lucha Libre, Cassandro El Exótico and Ramses. Live music and mariachi bands will also be onsite. Doors @ 2pm and 7pm. Tickets from £20. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For tickets, visit The Roundhouse website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on the show.
- 11 – 12 May : We Love Cheese
A celebration of cheese at Battersea Power Station, featuring street food stalls, cheese sellers, tastings, talks, panels, masterclasses, live music, kids’ craft area. 12pm-5pm. Free entry. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW11 8EZ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Eat Me Drink Me website.
- 13 – 19 May : London Wine Week
A week long celebration of wine from the same people behind London Cocktail Week. Featuring pop-ups, tastings, wine tours, masterclasses and other events. Buy a £10 wristband so you can take part in £5 wine taster flights and discounts and deals. For wristbands, visit the Drink Up London website.
- 15 – 18 May : Museums At Night
Museums across the capital are opening their doors for some after-hours action, such as performances, lectures, balls and sleepovers, including the Fashion & Textile Museum, Benjamin Franklin House, Dr Johnson’s House and many more. For more information and listings, read the Museums At Night website.
- 15 – 22 May : Sci-Fi London Film Festival
The 19th annual celebration of the sci-fi genre, featuring premieres, talks and screenings. At BFI Southbank, Stratford Picturehouse, Rich Mix, The Trampery, JuJu’s Bar & Stage, EXP, Science Museum IMAX, and the Moth Club. For more information, visit the Sci-London Film Festival website.
- 16 – 19 May : Photo London
Photography fair at Somerset House, featuring expanded exhibition spaces and the chance to experience a range of photographic practices. Tours and talks also available. Open Thu 12pm-8pm, Fri and Sat 12pm-7.30pm, Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Adult day passes: £27. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit Photo London website.
- 16 May – 26 August : AI – More Than Human
A new interactive exhibition showcasing the latest in artificial intelligence. Open: Sat-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm. Tickets: £15-£17. Barbican Centre, Beech Street, City of London, EC2Y 8AE. Nearest station: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information and tickets, visit the Barbican Centre website.
- 17 – 19 May : Prosecco Springs
Three day celebration of Prosecco. Expect tastings, masterclasses, live music and Italian food. Opening: Fri 7pm-12am, Sat 12pm-5pm and 7pm-12am and Sun 12pm-5pm. Tickets: £40 (inc 8 sample glasses of Prosecco). Oval Space, 29 – 32 The Oval, Hackney, E2 9DT. Nearest station: Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Prosecco Springs website.
- 17 May – 30 June : Scripts for Supper presents The Wind In The Willows
An immersive, theatrical foodie experience based on The Wind In The Willows at one of London’s city farms (Spitalfields, Mudchute and Stepney. Times vary (matinee and evening sittings). Tickets: Adults £45 (inc welcome cocktails, canapes and a 4 course meal), Children £30. For booking, visit the Scripts for Supper website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.
- 18 May : The Sicilian Summer Apertivo
Strazzanti are teaming up with Hackney Coffee Company & Campari UK, to launch The Sicilian Summer Aperitivo. Informal dining from food and drink stations, with plenty of cheese, pasta, wine, Negronis and Aperol Spritz. 7pm-11pm. Tickets: £45. 503 Hackney Road, Hackney, E2 9ED. Nearest station: Cambridge Heath. For tickets, visit DesignMyNight.
- 18 – 26 May : Chelsea Fringe
The alternative garden festival is back for a seventh year, featuring workshops, trails, exhibitions, family activities and more. At various locations across the capital. For more information, visit the Chelsea Fringe festival website.
- 19 May : Urban Village Fete
A contemporary twist on a traditional village fair featuring stalls, music, DJs, dance, art & design workshops and international food trucks. 12-7pm. Free entry. Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Urban Village Fete website.
- 21 – 23 May : Clerkenwell Design Week
Independent design festival featuring workshops, presentations, product launches, showrooms, debates and even a design walk. Venues across Clerkenwell. Nearest station: Barbican or Farringdon. For more information, visit the Clerkenwell Design Week website.
- 21 – 25 May : RHS Chelsea Flower Show
The biggest event of the year for horticulturists. Full of stunning fantasy gardens and opportunities to buy your own plants and flowers. Open Tues-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-5.30pm. Most tickets sell out in advance, so buy ASAP. RHS members: £30-£76, Public £38-£90. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the RHS website. For Metro Girl’s blog on a previous year’s Flower Show, click here.
- 24 – 26 May : London Comic Con
Pop culture show featuring chances to meet your favourite stars and buy memorabilia from your favourite shows and films. Featuring Sebastian Stan, David Harbour, Misha Collins, Elizabeth Maxwell, Jason Mewes, Mike Zeck and more. Open Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 9am-5pm. Tickets: £17.50-£19.50. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For tickets and more information, visit the MCM Comic Con website.
- 24 – 26 May : Feria de Londres
The spirit of Andalusia comes to London. Expect to see food stalls serving Spanish tapas,wine tastings and cocktails, Flamenco dancing, live Spanish music and interactive workshops. Free entry. Bernie Spain Gardens, South Bank, SE1 9PH. Nearest station: Blackfriars, Southwark, Waterloo East or Waterloo. For more information, visit the Feria de Londres website.
- 24 – 27 May : Mind Body Spirit
Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, lifestyle studio, yoga space, wellbeing spa, mantra lounge, pop up temple, yoga silent disco and more. Open Fri-Sun 10am-7pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Tickets: £10.16-£42.46. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the MindBodySpirit website.
- 25 – 26 May : Heroes & Villains
Meet your favourite heroes and villains from TV and films, take part in obstacles, games of skill and even gain a superpower. Celebrities include Tom Cavanagh, Franz Drameh, Caity Lotz, Nick Zano, Katrina Law, Matt Ryan and more. Open Sat 10.30am-6pm, Sun 10.30am-5pm. Tickets start from £37.50. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For booking and more information, visit the Heroes & Villains website.
- 25 – 27 May : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park
Food festival including live music from Boyzone and Queen tribute Flash, sample new wines, champagnes and cocktails, world street food, chilli eating competitions, food challenges, Kids Zone (inc Kids Cookery theatre and the slime challenge) and a Dog Arena. Watch chefs and foodie guests in action, including Jose Pizarro, Richard Bainbridge, Valentina Harris, Arnaud Stevens, Giancarlo Caldesi, Kerth Gumbs, Santosh Shah, Andrew Cole, Guillaume Gillan and “Little Miss Meat Free” Katy Beskow. Sat-Sun 11am-9pm, Mon 11am-6pm. Tickets start from £24. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.
- 30 May : Secret Rivers – A Liquid Late
Late-night opening of the Museum of London Docklands to celebrate the opening of the Secret Rivers exhibition. Featuring oysters and Bloody Marys, beers from the Lost Rivers Brewery and a special talk from Ben Aaronovitch. Open 6.30pm-10pm. Tickets: £12 (inc late-night entry to Secret Rivers exhibition). Museum Of London Docklands, West India Quay, No.1 Warehouse, Hertsmere Road, E14 4AL. Nearest station: Canary Wharf or West India Quay. For more information, visit the Museum of London Docklands website.
- 30 May – 2 June : Sundance Film Festival – London
The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, comes to London to showcase the best of independent movies, featuring UK and International feature film premieres, shorts and special events. Tickets prices vary. Picturehouse Central, corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, W1D 7DH. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Picturehouse website.
- 31 May – 8 June : Brockley Max
Nine-day community arts festival featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website.
- 31 May – 1 December : Architecture of London
Exhibition of 400 years of London architecture. Mon-Sat 10am-5pm. Sun 12pm-4pm. Tickets: Adults £10, concs £7. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest station: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London.gov website.
- Now until 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. Nearest station: Herne Hill. 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. Free. 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 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 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.
- 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 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 07510 204 003. Visit Banquet of Hoshena on Instagram. See Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- Now until 29 September : Roof Fest London
John Lewis & Partners Gardening Society hosts one of the largest rooftop destinations in the capital of the top of John Lewis’ Oxford Street flagship. Expect cocktails, street food and BBQ, DJs, live entertainment, fitness, massage, meditation and more. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-10pm. Sun 12pm-9pm. Free entry. John Lewis, 300 Oxford Street, Marylebone, WC1 1DX. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Bond Street. For more information, visit the John Lewis website.
- Now until 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 31 October : Under Ground London exhibition
Exhibition of subterranean London, featuring images, maps and plans of tunnels, lost rivers, sewers, deep shelters and underground railways. Open during office hours. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.