Category Archives: Activities
Get involved – things to do as well as see
London may be 40 miles from the nearest seaside resort, but in the summer a surprising amount of sandy spots seem to crop up around the capital. During the warmer months, a host of bars, hotels, parks and outdoor spaces are hosting their own mini beaches with plenty of opportunity for fun and frolics for both young and old.
- 1 June – 24 September : Beach Bar @ The Montague Hotel
Pop-up beach bar returns to the gardens of The Montague Hotel. Featuring real sand, beach hut, tropical cocktails, palm trees and BBQ. Open Mon-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 12pm-10pm. The Montague Hotel, 15 Montague Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 5BJ. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit The Montague Hotel website.
- 23 June – 10 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross
A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.
- 2 July – 3 September : Hampstead Beach
The Jewish Community Centre is hosting a two month long pop-up beach, featuring lots of sand, cocktails, food and special events. Open Sun-Thu 9am-10.30pm, Fri 9am-5pm. Sat closed. Free entry. JW3, 341-351 Finchley Road, Hampstead, NW3 6ET. Nearest station: Finchley Road and Frognal or West Hampstead. To book, visit the JW3 website.
- 15 July – 28 August : Big Screen On The Beach
Camden’s Roundhouse is hosting alfresco film screenings on its summer beach pop-up. Films include The Goonies, Mean Girls, Moana, Frozen, Titanic, Beauty And The Beast and many more. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £13.50, Children £5. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For booking, visit The Roundhouse website. Read the rest of this entry
We’re not all the athletic types so winning may not be a frequent word in our vocabulary. However, if that sounds like you, then the Chap Olympiad could be right up your street. Returning for the 13th year is a day of old-fashioned fun taking place in one of Bloomsbury’s leafy Georgian squares.
On Saturday 15 July 2017, Britain’s most eccentric sporting event takes over Bedford Square Gardens with live music, food, cocktails and frolics. The Chap Olympiad ‘rewards panache rather than sporting prowess’ with the focus on effort and enthusiasm rather than talent.
The games for the 2017 tournament are:
Not Playing Tennis: Players seated in armchairs, play a game of tennis without getting up. The tennis ball is suspended on a wire strung between two hat stands.
Tea Pursuit: Contestants in pairs chase each other on bicycles, one with a teacup, and one with a teapot. The tea must be poured into the cup and the fullest cup of tea wins overall.
Well Dressage: Two contestants, each mounted on a hobbyhorse, make a display of elegance and panache around the track in a freestyle manner. They are awarded points by lady judges with number cards.
Umbrella Jousting: Two contestants, armed only with brollies and briefcases, must go at one another on bicycles and attempt to knock each other off.
Guests are invited to dress in their finest dapper, vintage style. For those who don’t fancy taking part in the games, you’re welcome to grab a deckchair and sip a G’n’T while being entertained by the sporting ineptitude. The Chap Olympiad is produced by bars and events group Bourne & Hollingsworth (The Blitz Party, Dark Circus and Cocktails In The City), with the games organised by The Chap Magazine.
- The Chap Olympiad takes place on Saturday 15 July 2017 from 12pm until dusk. At Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest station: Tottenham Court Road or Goodge Street. Tickets: £25. Visit the Bourne and Hollingsworth website or call 0203 174 1156.
Lawn bowling has long been associated with the older members of our society. However, a new form of bowling is attracting a younger audience. This month, Festibowl is taking over Finsbury Square for three days for its inaugural festival.
Festibowl features a quicker form of lawn bowls in a relaxed atmosphere with not a white shirt and matching trousers in sight. In between a game, there will be plenty to do with DJs, street food and cocktails. During the festival there will also be a battle between three-time Commonwealth gold medallist Ellen Falkner and four-time Commonwealth Gold Medalist Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE for the first Golden Bowl Award on 29 June.
CEO & Founder of Festibowl, William Goy said: “Barefoot bowling is the perfect way to bring people together to enjoy the English summer. I’ve been passionate about bringing this lively version of the sport to the UK over the last three years and I’m delighted to be launching Festibowl, the first festival of its kind, in London this year. Traditional Lawn Bowls clubs are struggling for members and we hope that Festibowl is a reminder of how we should cherish this great British sport and stop its decline. We’ve had a great response from bowls clubs up and down the country, and we’re delighted to play a role in helping to bring bowls into the 21st Century.”
- Festibowl will take place on 28-30 June 2017. At Finsbury Square, City of London, EC2A. Nearest stations: Moorgate, Liverpool Street or Old Street. Tickets from £25. The Exhibition match on 29 June at 12.30pm is open to the public and free to attend. On 28 and 30 June, people are welcome to turn up and bowl for £5 between 12.30pm-1.30pm. For tickets and more information, visit the Festibowl website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in June, click here.
Coming to London’s East End this summer is a new rooftop destination with a lot more to offer than just alfresco drinking. Skylight in Wapping opens on 25 May offering three levels of summer fun with views of the City of London. Styled as an urban lawn club, the nightspot will offer cocktails, street food, croquet, petanque and more.
Coming from the team behind Tobacco Dock and Interact, this new venue is breathing new life into an unused space with room for up to 600 people. Situated above the 19th century, listed Tobacco Dock, Skylight will have awesome views of The Shard, Walkie Talkie and The Gherkin, among other iconic London sights.
On long summer nights, Londoners can head to the rooftop to enjoy an array of indoor and outdoor games. Skylight features two petanque courts, lawn bowls and three croquet lawns.
For those interested in drinking, there will be bars on every level, offering summery spritzes, cocktails and beer. The Blue Moon bar and lounge sky terrace will boast the best views in the place to sink a drink while watching the sunset. If you’re feeling peckish, several street food names have set up camp for the summer, including We Serve Humans burgers and Yiro Greek street food.
- Skylight, Tobacco Quay, Pennington Street entrance, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. Open all summer from 25 May 2017 on Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-11pm. Free entry. Croquet costs £20-£30ph for teams up to 6 people, Petaque costs £15 per 30 mins for teams up to 4 people. For more information, visit the Skylight website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in July, click here.
Forget about the Oxbridge Boat Race, it’s so last season. This summer sees the return of the London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. The annual spectacle is Europe’s most prestigious dragon boat racing event, attracting 10,000 visitors from across the UK and overseas. This year marks the 22nd anniversary of the LHKDBF as it returns to the Docklands’ Regatta Centre on Sunday 25 June.
For those who don’t know, dragon boat festival date originated in ancient southern central China some 2,500 years ago along the banks of Yangtze River. Today it is one of the biggest water sports in China and internationally.
Over competing club, corporate and amateur teams will battle it out for six cups during the event. Meanwhile, on land, the food festival will represent cuisine from across South East Asia. Among the entertainment will be live music on the East West Festival stage, martial arts displays, and traditional Chinese lion dancing.
Organised by the London Chinatown Lions Club, the event raises money for the club’s nominated charities, and is supported by Hong Kong Economic & Trade Office, The Hong Kong Executives Club, London Chinatown Chinese Association and The London Chinatown Chinese Community Centre.
- The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival takes place on 25 June 2017 from 10am-6pm. Free entry. London Regatta Centre, Dockside Road, Docklands, E16 2QT. Nearest station: Royal Albert (DLR). For more information, visit the LHKDBF website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in June, click here.
A new cycle festival is coming to the capital in May, running as a satellite to the Tweed Run. Social supremos Bourne & Hollingsworth are launching Cycle Revolution on 6 May – an all-day, outdoor event celebrating the cycling lifestyle. Taking place in the leafy Spa Fields in Clerkenwell, the festival will be a contrast to the soulless conference centres which usually host cycling events.
Cycle Revolution aims to bring cycling culture to ordinary Londoners who bike to work or on their weekends. The alfresco event will feature over 20 stalls selling cycle gadgets, accessories and athleisurewear from local businesses and cutting edge lifestyle brands from across the capital. There will be the chance to take part in interactive workshops, live demonstrations and bike polo. Meanwhile, a Cycle Forum will feature poetry slams, live quizzes, Q&As and readings. Aside from the bike-centric activities, there will also be live music, acoustic sets and vinyl DJs, while you can refresh yourself from street food stalls, coffee shops and B&H cocktail bars.
Meanwhile, on the same day, the 9th annual Tweed Run will take off from Clerkenwell. Cyclists will dress up in their best tweed and cycling attire for the 12 mile route through the scenic streets of the capital. Along the way will be breaks for tea, with plenty of cocktails waiting at the festival and closing ceremony. There will be prizes for the best-dressed man and woman, smartest bicycle and finest moustache, among others.
- Cycle Revolution and The Tweed Run take place on 6 May 2017. The Tweed Run starts at 11am. Cycle Revolution takes place from 12pm-8pm at Spa Fields, Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1. Nearest station: Farringdon or Angel. Free entry. For more information, visit the Tweed Run website or Billetto.
For a guide to what else is on in London in May, click here.
Despite the recent trend for clean-eating, if many people are honest with themselves, eating a pizza is a lot more appealing than a salad (well, it certainly is to me!). But how many of us have actually made our own pizza from scratch?
Well, Covent Garden’s newest eating venue BungaTINI is offering diners the chance to enrol on pizza making classes. From 11 April, the Italian eaterie will be hosting weekly classes every Tuesday. The fun-filled lessons will include a welcome drink and 90 minutes of kitchen tuition.
During the evening, the aspiring pizza chefs will be taken through lessons on the history of pizza, dough making, dough throwing, pizza topping and, finally, pizza eating. While working up an appetite in the kitchen, guests will have a choice of a complimentary Peroni, Prosecco, Aperol Spritz or red or white wine. After eating the fruits of their labour, guests will receive a goodie bag full of treats and a group photo.
BungaTINI is a new all-day pizzeria and aperitivo bar from the same team behind the famous Bunga Bunga in Battersea. For those in the mood for some late-night revelry, diners can pass through a meat locker door to Bunga Bunga Covent Garden next door for some singing and dancing action.
- Pizza Making Classes at BungaTINI take place every Tuesday from 6.30pm-8.30pm. £28pp. BungaTINI, 167 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, WC2B 5PG. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Holborn. For more information, visit the BungaTINI website.
For a guide to what else is on in London in May, click here.
Spring is here at last! The days are getting longer and the temperatures are warmer up. London’s festival season really kicks off with tons of alfresco events taking place all over the capital. This year, Easter is a bit later than usual so there will be plenty of harassed parents looking for ways to entertain the kids during the school holidays.
- Now until 1 April : Cocktails In The City
A three-day extravaganza will see some of London’s and Europe’s best cocktails bars coming together under one roof. A host of pop-up bars and food venues will be spread across four levels. 6-11pm. Ticket: £15 includes 1 cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet. One Marylebone, 1 Marylebone Road, Marylebone, NW1 4AQ. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Regents Park. For booking, visit the Cocktails In The City website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s post on the event.
- Now until 1 April : Whisky Live
Whisky festival comes to 18th century surroundings, featuring masterclasses, food pairings, the VIP Lounge and exclusive private VIP pourings. Open Fri 31st 4-10pm, Sat 1 Apr 11am-5pm. Tickets: £45-£65. Honourable Artillery Company, City Road, EC1Y 2BQ. Nearest station: Old Street or Moorgate. For booking, visit Eventbrite.
- Now until 1 April : West Norwood Free Film Festival
Free film festival comes to West Norwood for the first time featuring screenings of Back To The Future, The Goonies, Memento, Babette’s Feast, Paterson and Northern Soul. At various venues in SE27 including St Luke’s Church, Knowles Of Norwood, The Clockworks and more. Nearest station: West Norwood. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.
- 1 – 17 April : Urban Festival
The Southbank Centre hosts a two week celebration of urban culture, featuring breakdancing battles, dance residencies, workshops, free family events, parties and more. Events range from free to ticketed. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 2 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.
- 2 – 10 April : Camberwell Free Film Festival
Ten day free film festival comes to SE5 featuring screenings, talks, and Q&As. Film screenings include Moana, Rear Window, Son of Saul, I Daniel Blake and more. At various venues including William Booth College, Whirled Cinema, The Phoenix, Coldharbour Studios, The Crooked Well, Grand Union Camberwell, The Flying Dutchman and The Sun. For more information, visit the Camberwell Free Film Festival website.
- Now until 2 April : The Other Art Fair
Chance to see and buy art from 130 unrepresented artists, regardless of how experienced you are in purchasing artwork. Also features book signings, panel discussions, kids’ workshops, Carolina Mizrahi’s immersive ‘Ruby’ room with hidden underground bar, The Modern Pantry pop-up restaurant and much more. Tickets: £8 in advance. Victoria House, Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, WC1B 4DA. Nearest station: Russell Square or Holborn. For more information, visit the Other Art Fair website.
- 3 – 28 April : I Am London exhibition
Photography showcase of iconic, pioneering, creative and fascinating Londoners and its places. Free. City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, SE1 2AA. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website.
- Now until 7 May : The Iris @ Now Gallery
A new art installation from artist Rebecca Louise Law, featuring 10,000 fresh irises suspended from the ceiling. Open Mon-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat-Sun 11am-4pm. Free entry. NOW Gallery, The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the NOW Gallery website.
- 7 – 9 April : London Coffee Festival
A celebration of coffee for the capital’s caffeine lovers at the Old Truman Brewery, featuring food, music and – of course – coffee. Visitors will even have the chance to make perfect coffee at home from some top baristas. Tickets start from £16.50 (advance), £22.50 (on the door). The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the London Coffee Festival website.
- 8 April : Rebel Bingo
Rebel Bingo turn the traditional numbers game on its head with competitions, loud music and lots of attitude. Not for the faint-hearted and strictly over 18s only. 8-11.30pm. Tickets from £13.50. Mecca Bingo, 180 Arlington Road, Camden, NW1 7HL. Nearest station: Camden Town. For more information, visit RebelBingo.com.
- 8 – 9 April : VeggieWorld London
Europe’s biggest and oldest vegan festivals is coming to London, featuring food and fashion stalls, international food court, cookery demos, animal yoga, children’s activities and more. Open Sat 8 10am-7pm, Sun 9 10am-5pm. Tickets: £8 (advance), £10 (on the door). Kensington Town Hall, Hornton Street, Kensington, W8. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the VeggieWorld website.
- Now until 9 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, wellbeing, 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. Read the rest of this entry
Easter is fast approaching! To many of us that means a long weekend, lots of chocolate and (hopefully) warmer temperatures. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend (which is 14 – 17 April in case you’re wondering).
For a guide to what else is on in London in April, click here.
- 24 March – 23 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs
Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Crystal Palace (24 Mar – 9 Apr), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (1 – 17 Apr), Clapham Common (1 – 23 Apr) and Hampton Court (13 – 18 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.
- 1 – 16 April : Bunny Hop and Seek for Easter @ Museum Of Brands
Hunt a parade of Easter bunnies around the museum and through the Time Tunnel. Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Activities free with museum entrance: Adults £9, Children 7-16yrs £5. Museum Of Brands, 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, W11 1QT. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove. For more information, visit the Museum Of Brands website.
- 1 – 17 April : Moomin Adventures @ Kew Gardens
Explore Kew Gardens on an interactive trail before ending up at the magical Moomin Festival Camp in the wild woodland. There will also be the opportunity for craft workshops, sample the Moomins’ pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium. There will also be Lindt chocolate treats for every visitor. Tickets: Adults: £14, Children £2.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 1 – 17 April : Jurassic Kingdom
Dinosaur fans will get the opportunity to see 30 life-sized installations of animated dinosaurs, which move and make noise. There will also be street food and drink vendors on site. 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults – £13.50 (online), £15 (on the door), Children £11.50 (online), £13 (on the door). Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. Nearest station: Osterley. For tickets, visit the Jurassic Kingdom website.
- 1 – 17 April : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo
Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs. Open 10am-4.30pm. Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website.
- 1 – 17 April : Easter Family Fun @ Hampton Court Palace
Go on a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at the homes and gardens of King Henry VIII. Other activities include meet Princess Caroline, decorate your own chocolate cup and find out how Georgians used to drink their chocolate. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £23 (£20.30 online), Children £11.50 (£10.20 online). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.
- 1 – 21 April : Easter @ WWT London Wetland Centre
Enjoy the Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail and Easter Giant Duck Hunt (1 – 17 April only) during the Easter Holidays. The trail (£1 entry) will feature 6ft sculpture of Dusty Duck with a chocolate prize at the end, while the hunt (£1 entry) will feature ducks hidden around the reserve with a prize at the end. Entrance tickets: Adult £12.26-£13.49, 4-16 years £6.75-£7.42, family tickets £34.36-£37.80. London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the London Wetland Centre website. Read the rest of this entry
This event has been cancelled.
Fancy being part of a world record? Well, you can have the opportunity to do just that on the second Bank Holiday in May.
TickTheBucket and London Flashmob are organising the Space Hopper Challenge on 29 May 2017. It’s set to be a fun day out for family or friends, with the opportunity to picnic and enjoy some alfresco drinking alongside the chance to make history.
Participants will be invited to attempt to break the world record for the most people on space hoppers, alongside two other surprise world records too. Johannesburg, South Africa are the current holders of the record, which they’ve held since 2013, with 2,943 people.
The challenge is open to both adults and children, with each ‘hopper’ able to take their own space hopper home to keep. Hopefully, the weather will be kind so it’ll be a nice spring day out in the green surrounds of the King’s House Sports Ground in Chiswick.
- The Space Hopper World Record attempt takes place on 29 May 2017. Doors open at 12pm. Event at 2.30pm. Tickets (include space hopper): Adults £12. Children £10. King’s House Sports Ground, Riverside Drive, Chiswick, W4 2SH. Nearest station: Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Space Hopper Challenge website.
To find out what else is on in London in May, click here.