Category Archives: Entertainment

Check out film, music, dance or theatre in London.

Imagine Festival 2023 | What to expect as the family arts fest returns to the Southbank Centre

Highlights of London’s leading arts festival for children aged 0-11 years old.

YolanDa’s Band Jam will be among the events taking place at this year’s Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre

Why should adults have all the festival fun? This February, London’s leading arts festival for children is returning to the Southbank Centre. The Imagine Children’s Festival is celebrating its 21st year with a jam-packed schedule of over 100 events during two weeks. Parents and carers will be spoiled for choice with a programme of theatre, comedy, music, literature, poetry and dance during the half-term holidays. Over half of the events are free, making the festival accessible to everyone.

Among the highlights of the Imagine Children’s Festival 2023 are CBeebies’ YolanDa’s Band Jam, magician and TV presenter Stephen Mulhern, World’s Youngest DJ DJ Archie and scientists Ben Garrod and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. Little ones looking for literature and poetry fun will enjoy readings and workshops from the likes of Michael Rosen, Zanib Mian, Cressida Cowell, and Janelle McCurdy. Meanwhile, budding little theatre aficionados can choose between Julia Donaldson’s Tales from Acorn Wood, Rapunzel, Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish and Hermit.

There will be plenty of interactive activities during the festival fortnight, including writing workshops, unlimited play, craft zone, hip-hop dancing demos with ZooNation’s Youth Company and printmaking with street artist STIK. This year’s festival is relaxed, so families are free to come and go from the events as they please. The bill includes inclusive events, including sensory adapted shows, BSL-interpreted and non-verbal performances.

  • The Imagine Festival 2023 runs from 8 – 18 February 2023. At Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Waterloo East or Lambeth North. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Guide to what’s on in London this Halloween 2022

Find out what family activities, club nights, film screenings, and other Halloween activities are on this October, including half-term.

After the pandemic somewhat dampened Halloween celebrations for two years in a row, this year fans of the festivity will be really going all out.

This year, Halloween falls on a Monday so expect the celebrations to start the weekend beforehand. Two days later, the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead will also be taking place.

The run-up to Halloween is half-term holidays so expect plenty of museums and attractions to do spooky-themed fun for families. 

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

Daytime Halloween activities

  • 23 September – 6 November 2022 : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros. Studios

Dark Arts returns to the Harry Potter experience for the Halloween season. The Great Hall is full of 100 floating pumpkins hovering over a Halloween feast, while props from Professor Lupin’s Defence Against the Dark Arts class will be on display. Watch a procession of the Death Eaters. Tickets from £49.95. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For booking, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website🐻

  • 5 October – 11 November 2022 : Halloween @ Leadenhall Market

Celebrate Halloween at the City’s iconic Leadenhall Market, with giant tentacles installation, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies pop-up, and Burials, Bombs and Fantastic Beasts’ walking tours. Open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Bank. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. 🐻

  • 14 – 31 October 2022 : Halloween @ Backyard Cinema

Watch Halloween classics on a cosy bean bag in London’s most magical cinema. Full bar and street food stalls available. Matinees and evening screenings. Tickets: £11-£32. Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website🐻

  • 15 – 31 October 2022 : 50 Berkeley Square @ London Dungeon

Step into the attic of 50 Berkeley Square and discover the stories of the building’s lost souls. Show included with standard Dungeon entry. Times vary, with later openings during half-term week. Tickets: Adults from £28, Children from £22.50. The London Dungeon, The Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For booking, visit the London Dungeon website🐻

  • 24 – 31 October 2022 : Halloween @ Belgravia

A host of events will be taking place around Belgravia, including free Halloween walking tours (29 and 30 Oct), pumpkin trail, decorating spooky biscuits, family Halloween activities @ The Lanesborough, and others. Times vary. At various sites around Belgravia, SW1. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website. 🐻

  • 21 October – 6 November 2022 : Hallowed Peak

An immersive, Halloween open world experience, featuring trails and quests, horror experiences, carnival acts, ghost stories, and live music. Open Fri 5:30pm–10:30pm, Sat 11:30am–4:30pm (first session) 5:30pm–10:30pm (second session), Sun 1pm–6pm. Tickets: From £45. Unit 4, Canada Water Retail Park, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Nearest station: Canada Water. For tickets, visit the Phantom Peak website. 🐻

  • 22 – 30 October 2022 : Halloween @ Hampton Court Palace

Discover the stories of King Henry VIII’s haunted palace, including the Gallery of the Damned, or check out a seance in the Council Chamber. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £26.10, Children from £13, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in September 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on this month, including Open House, Life Lessons, Totally Thames and more.

Superbloom sees the Tower of London’s moat filled with flowers

Autumn has arrived, the kids are back in school and London’s festival season is busier than ever. With September usually still a warm month, there’s plenty of alfresco fun to be had around town. Among the big events are the month-long Totally Thames Festival, the hugely popular Open House Festival and the return of Frieze Sculpture.

Read on to find out what festivals, exhibitions and special events are on in London this September, including ticket prices, transport details and more.

Some events are subject to cancellation or rescheduling due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Keep up to date with organisers’ social media before you go.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 18 September 2022 : Portobello Film Festival

Two and half week festival returns to Notting Hill with screenings and events at the Gate Picturehouse and the Muse Gallery. Free. Nearest stations: Ladbroke Grove or Westbourne Park. For more information, visit the Portobello Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 30 September 2022 : Totally Thames

Month-long festival celebration the river and its heritage. Featuring a host of online and in-person events focusing on the heritage, environment and culture of the Thames. At various locations. Some events are free. For more information and booking, visit the Thames Festival Trust website. 🐻

  • 1 September – 2 October 2022 : STRETCH @ Eccleston Yards

A month-long wellness and fitness festival comes to Eccleston Yards, featuring workshops, classes, experiences, talks and more, such as outdoor painting, floral therapy, nutrition advice, marathon tips, yoga and more. Times vary. Eccleston Yards, Belgravia, 21 Eccleston Place, Belgravia, SW1W 9NF. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website.

  • Now until 2 September 2022 : Summer by the River

A host of free entertainment returns to the riverside location, including family theatre, live music, DJs, film screenings, Platinum Jubilee events, dance classes and more. Times vary. Free. London Bridge City, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge (south of the river), SE1. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website. 🐻

  • 2 September 2022 : Food & Play Pop-up

An afternoon and evening of food and fun comes to Wimbledon, featuring international food, cocktail mixing demos, beer and cheese pairings, DJs, and games (table football, Connect 4, Giant Jenga, board games and more). From 12pm-9pm. Free entry. The Piazza, Wimbledon, SW19 1QB. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information, visit the Love Wimbledon website. 🐻

  • 2 – 4 September 2022 : Pub in the Park – Chiswick

Celebration of food and music sets up camp in west London for the weekend. Featuring performances from Craig David TS5, The Sugar Hill Gang, Beverley Knight, Faithless DJ, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, The Christians, along with top celebrity chefs and London restaurants. Open Fri 6pm-10.30pm, Sat 11.30am-4.30pm, 6pm-10.30pm, Sun 1om-7pm. Tickets: Adults £43.40-£55.51, Children £27.13-£40.69. Chiswick House & Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For more information, visit the Pub in the Park website. 🐻

  • 2 – 4 September 2022 : Meatopia

A festival for carnivores, for those who love cooking with fire. Featuring over 60 of the world’s top fire chefs, bars, live music, DJs, and more. Over 18s only on Friday. Open Fri 4pm-11pm, Sat 12pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-6.30pm. Tickets from £26.50. Tobacco Dock (Pennington Street entrance), Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information, visit the Meatopia website.

  • Now until 4 September 2022 : The Beach @ Brent Cross

London’s largest beach returns for the summer, along with street food, games and rides. Open: Term-time (Sat & Sun only – 12pm-9pm), School holidays (Daily 12pm-9pm). Entry: £5 pp (£4 advance). Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Prince Charles Drive, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For more information, visit the Brent Cross website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 September 2022 : Doctor Who – Time Fracture

Fans of the Time Lord will love this immersive, theatrical experience as you ‘travel’ back to 1940s Mayfair during the Blitz. Times vary (experience lasts 2hr 15mins). Over 8 yrs+ only. Tickets from £29.95. UNIT HQ, 1-8 Davies Mews, Mayfair, W1K 5AB. Nearest station: Bond Street. For booking, visit the Doctor Who: Time Fracture website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Zoetropes, rainbow foam and flying hammocks | Greenwich + Docklands International Festival is back for 2022

Outdoor arts and theatre festival returns to Greenwich and East London for 18 days.

Charon by Peter Hudson will be at the Royal Docks
© Mitzi Peirone

Returning to the Thameside neighbourhoods this month is the hugely-popular Greenwich + Docklands International Festival (GDIF). Taking place at various locations, the free arts and theatre festival kicks off on 26 August 2022 and runs for 18 days, with this year’s theme being ‘Common Ground’. Artists from Spain, Germany, Flanders, Italy, France, The Netherlands, Ukraine, and the U.S. will join homegrown talent, with 12 UK premieres taking place. Launching the GDIF 2022 will be the UK premiere of Spark, by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde. The sky above the Queen’s House lawns in Greenwich will be lit up by thousands of biodegradable light sparks in a two-night performance inspired by fireflies.

One of the highlights of this year’s GDIF includes Peter Hudson’s 32ft high zoetrope Charon, created for the Burning Man Festival in 2011, which will be placed in situ at the Royal Docks. Meanwhile, Stephanie Lüning will transform Greenwich Peninsula into a river of rainbow foam with her Island of Foam installation. Families will love This Woven O by Oliver MacDonald, an arena made of willow hosting accessible theatre and storytelling, in Woolwich. Canning Town will become the chill zone with the mindful fairground ride Relaxerette, by Arjan Kreidhof.

There will also be performances from Graeae, Common Wealth, Speakers Corner and Fuel, Gobbledegook Theatre, Royal Ballet, Protein Dance, Fevered Sleep, Chris Green, Tara Theatre, Middle Child Theatre and Talawa Theatre Company during the festival.

The Greenwich Fair returns to the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark Gardens on 27 August, while the two-day outdoor dance festival Dancing City will pop up at Canary Wharf on 10-11 September. Last year’s GDIF attracted over 75,000 visitors, with more expected for 2022 as London continues to recover from the pandemic.

  • The Greenwich & Docklands International Festival runs from 26 August – 11 September 2022. At various locations across Greenwich and Docklands. Free to attend. For more information and booking, visit the GDIF website.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

King’s Cross Summer Sounds 2022 | Free music festival returns to N1

Local and international artists will perform over 12 days.

King’s Cross Summer Sounds returns on 10 August 2022

King’s Cross will be filled with the sounds of music this August as its annual free music festival returns. Previously known as Cubitt Sessions, the King’s Cross Summer Sounds sees 12 days of festivities from local and international artists at Coal Drops Yard, kick starting on 10 August.

The 2022 theme, Connected Communities, embraces the cultural diversity of the London district. Visitors can enjoy music every evening from 6.30pm-8.30pm and on Sundays from 1pm-6pm.

Opening the festival is celebrated Flamenco composer and guitarist Paco Peña and Friends. Other festival highlights include folk quartet Tacla; alternative pop duo APRE; and an Evening of Songs from the Shows featuring Danial Boys. Closing out the festival on 21 August is the world-renowned London Community Gospel Choir.

King’s Cross Summer Sounds Programme:

• Wed 10 Aug – Paco Peña & Friends

• Thu 11 Aug – Tacla, Gypsy jazzers from North Wales

• Fri 12 Aug – APRE pop duo supported by Zola Courtney

• Sat 13 Aug – Evening of Songs from the Shows, Danial Boys & Guests. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to London’s open-air cinemas in summer 2022

Find out where London’s pop-up outdoor cinemas are this summer, including prices and transport details.

Outdoor cinema guide London © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2020As the summer nights get warmer, what better way to enjoy the season by watching one of your favourite films underneath the stars (if you can see them in London!). Returning for the sunnier months are a host of roaming pop-up cinemas, with big screens cropping up in some of the capital’s best parks and green spaces.

While many are ticketed, there are also some freebie screenings, but you’re advised to turn up early to secure a spot and avoid disappointment.

Here’s a guide to London’s outdoor cinemas, including prices, locations and transport details.

  • 29 April – 4 September 2022 : Rooftop Film Club

Watch your favourite classics or newer releases in a cosy deckchair with a cool vista. Times vary. Tickets: £16.95-£22.95. Venues include Roof East (7 – 8 Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Street, Stratford, E15 1XE. Nearest station: Stratford) and the Bussey Building (133 Rye Lane, Peckham, SE15 4ST. Nearest station: Peckham Rye). For more information, visit the Rooftop Film Club website.

  • 30 May – 2 September 2022 : Summer By The River

Film screenings will be broadcast on the big screen at The Scoop as part of the entertainment schedule by the river this summer. Times and days vary. Free (first come, first served). London Bridge City, Bankside, SE1 2AA. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and full listings, visit the London Bridge City website.

  • 30 May  – 22 September 2022 : Canary Wharf Summer Screens

As part of Canary Wharf’s open-air screen, which broadcasts sporting matches, there will be film screenings on Wednesdays and weekends. Free. Canada Square Park & Union Square, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest stations: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 23 June – 2 October 2022 : Luna Cinema

Roaming alfresco cinema pops up at various locations across the capital (and the UK). Expect old classics and new favourites. Times vary. Tickets: Adults from £19.50, Children from £13.50. Venues include Regent’s Park Open-Air Theatre, Chiswick House, Kensington Palace, Dulwich Park, Danson House, Westminster Abbey, Lincoln’s Inn, Clapham Common, Kenwood House, Hampton Court Palace, Marble Hill, Wimbledon Park and Old Royal Naval College. For more information and tickets, visit the Luna Cinema website.

  • 24 – 26 June, 1 – 3 July and 19 – 21 August 2022 : Adventure Cinema

Head to an outdoor screening of classic films and new releases. Tickets: Adults from £14.50, under 12s from £9.50. London venues include Beckenham Place Park (Nearest station: Beckenham Hill), Charlton House & Gardens (Nearest station: Charlton), and Osterley Park & House (Nearest station: Osterley). For more information and booking, visit the Adventure Cinema website.

  • 27 June – 3 August 2022 : Screen on the Canal

Everyman Cinema takes the big screen to the banks of the canal. Films include Dune, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Free Guy, West Side Story, Belfast, King Richard, Matilda, and Encanto Sing-a-Long. Free. Canalside Steps, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in June 2022

Find out what festivals, events and exhibitions are on in London as summer kicks off.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012Summer is here at last and what a bumper month of events are on in the capital. Of course, the big event is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, which will see an extra long Bank Holiday weekend from 2-4 June, with a host of royal-themed celebrations on around town. There’s also half-term holidays from school the first week of June so parents will be searching for ways to keep their little ones occupied.

Aside from Platinum Jubilee fun, expect to see immersive experiences, the return of foodies’ paradise Taste of London and a host of arts festivals.

Read on to find out what’s on in London this June 2022, including exhibitions, festivals, and special events for both adults and children alike.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 30 May – 2 September 2022 : Summer by the River

A host of free entertainment returns to the riverside location, including family theatre, live music, DJs, film screenings, Platinum Jubilee events, dance classes and more. Times vary. Free. London Bridge City, between London Bridge and Tower Bridge (south of the river), SE1. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information and listings, visit the London Bridge City website. 🐻

  • 1 – 5 June 2022 : Jubilee @ Southbank Centre

Five days of entertainment and parties to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne, including Step Hop House with Folk Dance (2 Jun), Danny Boyle in Conversation (5 Jun), and a Platinum Jubilee Celebration Concert (4 Jun). Tickets vary from free to paid. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 June 2022 : London Festival Of Architecture

A month-long celebration of architecture, with this year’s theme being ‘act’. Featuring talks, installations, tours, exhibitions, open studios, film screenings, debate, conferences and more. At various venues around town. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.

  • 1 June – 18 September 2022 : Superbloom @ Tower of London

The historic moat surrounding the Tower will be filled with flowers to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. As well as flower displays, there will also be a sound installation and sculptural elements. Various tickets available with or without the main Tower of London visit. Tickets (Superbloom only): Adults from £12, Children from £6.60. Tower of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the Tower of London website. 🐻

  • 2 June 2022 : Trooping The Colour

Military parade to mark the Queen’s official birthday with soldiers, horses, musicians and a flypast. Parade from 10am and flypast at 1pm. Free. Buckingham Palace to Horse Guards Parade via the Mall, Whitehall, SW1. Nearest stations: Green Park, Westminster or St James’s Park. For more information, visit the Household Division website. 🐻

  • 2 – 3 June 2022 : Queen’s Platinum Jubilee @ Battersea Power Station

Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee with live music, dance performances, roaming acts, family games, the Queen’s Baton Relay (2 June) and lighting of the Jubilee Beacon. Times vary. Free. Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest station: Battersea Power Station. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website🐻

  • 3 – 5 June 2022 : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

Food festival including Chefs Theatre (Atul Kochhar, Daniel Lee, Aaron Middleton, Tony Rodd, Ryan Baker, Shelina Permalloo and more); Cake & Bake Theatre; Drinks Theatre; live music from Scouting For Girls, East 17, Lee & Simon from Blue and Liberty X; street food stalls, competitions and food challenges; Kids Cookery Theatre and more. Fri-Sat 11am-9pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Tickets start from £23. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 June 2022 : Jubilee Weekend Colouring Workshop

Artist and illustrator Samme Snow hosts a weekend of colourful art workshops for children and adults alike. Workshops held from 10am-6pm. Register online for a free ticket. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 June 2022 : Brockley Max

Nine-day community arts festival returns in-person to south-east London, 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. 🐻

  • 4 June 2022 : Jubilee Dance Party

One day festival to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, including five stages, dance lessons, family entertainment, live music, DJs, and street food. 12pm-7pm. Free. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event. 🐻

  • 4 June 2022 : Queen’s Baton Relay

Watch the Queen’s Baton Relay arrive in the City following its journey through 72 Commonwealth nations. Enjoy sporting and cultural activities, pose with the baton, and feast on street food. From 12pm-3pm. Free. Paternoster Square, City of London, EC4M 7DX. Nearest station: St Paul’s or City Thameslink. For more information, visit the City of London website. 🐻

  • 4 – 12 June 2022Camberwell Arts Festival

Nine day festival celebrating the arts and creative talent of Camberwell. Featuring exhibitions, open studios, interactive evensong, comedy, blues party, summer fair, guided walks and much more. At venues in Camberwell, Peckham, Loughborough Junction, Denmark Hill, Brixton and East Dulwich. For more information, visit the Camberwell Arts Festival website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 June 2022 : Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Witness the beauty and diversity of the natural world in this annual photography exhibition. Open Mon-Sun 11am-5.50pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £9.25. Natural History Museum, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM museum website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 June 2022 : Mexican Geniuses – A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience

An immersive, digital art show brings visitors into the paintings of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Open Tues-Thur 10am-7pm, Fri & Sun 10am–8pm, Sat 10am-8.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £19.90. Retail Park, Unit 1 Canada Water, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Nearest station: Surrey Quays. For more information and tickets, visit the Mexican Geniuses website. 🐻

  • 5 June 2022 : Platinum Jubilee Pageant

Reflect on 70 years of the Queen’s reign with a pageant of military and entertainment, culminating at the Queen Victoria memorial opposite Buckingham Palace for a grand finale. From 2.30pm-5pm. Starting at Whitehall, then up The Mall and ending outside Buckingham Palace. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus, Green Park, St James’s Park, Victoria and Westminster. For more information, visit the Platinum Pageant website. 🐻

  • 8 – 20 June 2022 : Fitzrovia Arts Festival

Music and culture festival, celebrating the best of Fitzrovia. Featuring concerts, drama pieces, talks, walks and social and fitness events. Events are free. At venues across Fitzrovia including Rebecca Hossack Gallery, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre, Royal Society of Musicians and the Fitzrovia Chapel. Nearest stations: Tottenham Court Road, Warren Street and Goodge Street. For more information, visit the Fitzrovia Arts website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at Wembley Park at the Jubilee Dance Party

One day festival will see five stages across the north-west London neighbourhood on 4 June 2022.

Celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee at a dance party
© Chris Winter / Wembley Park

Grab your dancing shoes this summer as Wembley Park celebrates the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a dance party. The north-west London neighbourhood will be hosting five stages of live acts, DJs and dance leaders on Saturday 4 June 2022. Whether you want to see the professionals in action, or shake your tail feather instead, there’s something for everyone.

Along with dancing galore, there will be street food stalls, DJs, live music and family zones as Londoners come together to mark Queen Elizabeth II‘s 70 years on the throne. Across the stages across Olympic Way, there will be dance classes for all ages and abilities, showcasing different genres throughout the day.

One stage will feature live entertainment, including family shows and live bands. Families will have plenty to keep them occupied, including face painters, bubbleologists, circus acts, stilt walkers, street dancers and pavement artists. Aside from the entertainment, there will also be interactive areas, including photo booths, selfie stations and a giant photo wall of a digitally-generated portrait of Her Majesty, made of photos taken on the day.

  • Jubilee Dance Party takes place on 4 June 2022, from 12pm-7pm. At Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. Free entry. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Guide to what’s on in London in May 2022

Find out what festivals, events and exhibitions are on in the capital this spring, including prices and transport options.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Canalway Cavalcade returns to Little Venice

Spring is in full swing and the sunshine is really becoming a regular around town… thank goodness! This month, there’s only one bank holiday (2 May) as the later one has been bumped later to 2-3 June for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. There’s also half-term holidays for kids from 30 May – 3 June.

With the rising cost of living biting many families’ pockets, there are plenty of free and affordable festivals and events on around London this May, such as the Herne Hill Free Film Festival, Eid in the Square and Canalway Cavalcade.

Here’s a guide to the best events, festivals and exhibitions on in London this May.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 29 April – 1 May 2021 : Italian Sparkling Wine Festival

Taste over 60 types of Italian wine from over 15 wine specialists. Open 4pm-10pm. Tickets: £20-£30 (inc bespoke Eataly wine glass and limited-edition pouch). Eataly, 135 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3YD. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For tickets, visit the Eataly website.

  • Now until 1 May 2022 : Marylebone Food Festival

Restaurants and cafes across Marylebone take part in a week-long foodie celebration. Featuring special festival menus, events and launch dinner hosted by Jay Rayner. At various venues in Marylebone Village, W1. Nearest stations: Bond Street, Marble Arch or Baker Street. For more information, visit the festival website.

  • 1 May 2022 : Queen’s Yard Summer Party 2022

Festival spread out across Hackney Wick features the best of local art, culture, wellness, food and drink. At various venues across E9, including The Yard, Number 90, Lord Napier Star, Colour Factory and more. For listings and more information, visit the party’s website.

  • 2 May 2022 : Beer and Bread Festival

Festival returns to the historic Brixton Windmill for the 5th year. Local businesses will be selling beer, ale, bread, pastries and bakes, while there will live music, craft workshops, children’s activities and meet-the-millers of the windmill. From 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. 🐻

  • Now until 2 May 2022 : 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 10am-5pm. 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. 🐻

  • Now until 2 May 2022 : La Linea

The London Latin Music Festival returns at venues across the capital. Venues include Ritzy Picturehouse, Rich Mix, Union Chapel, Jazz Cafe and more. For more information, visit the Como No website

  • 5 – 8 May 2022 : 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 at more affordable prices. Open Thur 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets from £11/£14. 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.

  • 5 May – 29 August 2022 : Our Time On Earth

An immersive exploration of radical ideas for the way we live on Earth. Open Sun-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sat 10am-8pm. Tickets: £18. Curve, Barbican Centre, City of London, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Barbican Centre website.

  • 7 May 2022 : Eid in the Square

Celebrate the Muslim festival of Eid and the end of Ramadan in Trafalgar Square, with traditional and contemporary entertainment, costumes, food stalls, workshops, sporting events, and tours. 12pm-6pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London.gov.uk website. 🐻

  • Now until 8 May 2022 : Van Gogh Self-Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraiture is explored in a new exhibition. Entry times from 10am-5.15pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£20, Under 18s free. The Courtauld Gallery, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 0RN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Temple. For tickets, visit the Courtauld Gallery website. 🐻

  • Now until 8 May 2022 : Grand Designs Live

Find inspiration to improve or build your home with experts and top brands. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Standard advance £12-£15, Standard on-the-door – weekday £17, weekend £20. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 9 – 15 May 2022 : London Craft Week

A celebration of craftsmanship, featuring over 250 makers, designers, brands and galleries, with workshops, exhibitions, open studios, tastings, galleries and shops. At various venues across the capital. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website.

  • 10 – 20 May 2022 : Herne Hill Free Film Festival

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill for the ninth year in a mini edition. Films include Tron, Another Round, The Father and more. Venues include Prince Regent pub, Canopy Beer, Herne Hill Velodrome, Herne Hill Baptist Church and effraspace. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website. 🐻

  • 10 May – 24 July 2022 : Dreamachine

Go on an immersive experience of light and music to ‘explore the extraordinary potential of your mind’. Over 18s only. Ticket: Free (register online). Woolwich Public Market, Plumstead Road, Woolwich, SE18 7BZ. Nearest station: Woolwich Arsenal. For more information and booking, visit the Dreamachine website.

  • 11 – 15 May 2022 : 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. Tickets: Adults from £29, Children under 13 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.

Dulwich Village Christ Chapel © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

The Dulwich Festival returns

  • 13 – 22 May 2022 : Dulwich Festival

After two years of a pared back festival due to Covid-19, the Dulwich Festival is back with a host of live events for its 29th year. With the theme of ‘Regeneration and Awakening’, there will be over 40 events, including live music, theatre, talks, fairs, local history, guided walks, workshops, street art walks, family events and more. At various locations in Dulwich Village, East Dulwich and West Dulwich, SE21 and SE22. Nearest stations: West Dulwich (12 mins from Victoria) and East Dulwich (13 mins from London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the Dulwich Festival website. 🐻

  • 14 – 16 May 2022 : Art Car Boot Fair

Shop for art from 120 artists, as well as live painting, portrait-making, games, raffles, a bar and live performances. Open Sat 14 2pm-7pm, online only Sun and Mon. Tickets: £15 (free after 5pm). Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Art Car Boot Fair website.

  • 15 May 2022 : Urban Village Fete

A contemporary twist on a traditional village fair featuring stalls, music, DJs, dance, art & design workshops and street food. From 11am-7pm. Free entry. Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

  • 19 – 22 May 2022 : Sci-Fi London Film Festival

The annual celebration of the sci-fi genre returns to east London, featuring premieres, talks and screenings. Stratford Picturehouse, Salway Road, Stratford, E15 1BX. Nearest station: Stratford. For more information, visit the Sci-London Film Festival website.

Read the rest of this entry

London pantomimes, ballets and Christmas shows 2021

Find out which Christmas shows are on in London this 2021/2022 season, including ticket prices, transport options and more.

Theatres on Shaftesbury AvenueEntertainment is back in the capital after a long absence due to the pandemic. And what better time to show your support for the arts, while being entertained with one of the many festive performances on in London.

From pantomimes to ballets to plays and ice-skating shows, there’s a wide selection of productions to suit many tastes. There’s even a few naughty adults-only pantomimes if you’re in the mood for some smut!

Curtain up times vary, but many pantomimes have matinees, including weekday performances for both school audiences and families during the school holidays.

Here’s a guide to London Christmas pantomimes, ballets and shows this 2021 season.

London pantomimes

  • 19 November 2021 – 2 January 2022 : Aladdin (Hammersmith)

Travel to Agrabah to find the Genie in a production starring Qasim Mahmood, Stephan Boyce, Kate Donnachie, Irvine Iqbal, Gracie McGonigal and Ellena Vincent. Tickets from £10. Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.

  • 19 November 2021 – 2 January 2022 : The Queen of Hearts (Greenwich)

A traditional pantomime starring Andrew Pollard and Anthony Spargo. Times vary. Tickets: Adults from £32.50, Children from £16.50. Greenwich Theatre, Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. Nearest station: Greenwich or Cutty Sark (DLR). For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.

  • 20 November 2021 – 2 January 2022 : Jack and the Beanstalk (Hackney)

Bring your magic beans to the East End for a production starring ‘the doyen of dames’ Clive Rowe, among others. Tickets £10-£42. Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.

  • 25 November 2021 – 6 January 2022 : Pricked (Vauxhall)

Billed as ‘Sleeping Beauty got Woke’, Pricked is a saucy adults-only panto. Shows at 7pm. Tickets: £20 (over 18s only). Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Tavern’s website.

  • 26 November 2021 – 8 January 2022 : Beowulf – An Epic Panto (Islington)

Charles Court Opera’s boutique pantomime brings the Medieval epic to the stage. Tickets: £16-£32. King’s Head Theatre, 115 Upper Street, Islington, N1 1QN. Nearest station: Angel or Highbury & Islington. For tickets, visit the King’s Head Theatre website.

  • 27 November – 31 December 2021 : Red Riding Hood (Stratford)

Hold on to your grannies as Red heads into the wood. Starring Maisey Bawden, Raphael Bushay, Ashley Goh, Jodie Jacobs, Luke Latchman, Phil Nichol and Elise Zavou. Offering performances both regular and socially distanced. Tickets £10-£35. Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, E15 1BN. Nearest station: Stratford. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.

  • 2 December 2021 – 1 January 2022 : Rapunzel – A Tangled Tale (Barking)

Let down your hair for a production of Rapunzel. Tickets: Adults £19, Children £17. The Broadway, Broadway, Barking, IG11 7LS. Nearest station: Barking. For tickets, visit the Broadway Barking website.

  • 3 December 2021 – 2 January 2022 : Cinderella (Richmond)

Strictly judge Anton du Beke stars as Buttons in the classic fairytale. Tickets range from £19-£47. Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, TW9 1QJ. Nearest station: Richmond. For tickets, visit the ATG website.

  • 4 December 2021 – 2 January 2022 : Dick Whittington (Wimbledon)

Discover the story of the former Mayor of London, starring Shane Richie, Peter Piper and Hiba Elchikhe. Tickets start from £13. New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1QG. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For tickets, visit the ATG website.

  • 4 December 2021 – 2 January 2022 : Sleeping Beauty (Bromley)

All-star production starring Lee Mead, Bonnie Langford, Myra DuBois and Lloyd Hollett. Tickets: £20-£39.50 (child tickets £4 off depending on seat). Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, BR1 1HA. Nearest station: Bromley South or Bromley North. For tickets, visit the Churchill Theatre website. Read the rest of this entry