Category Archives: Families

Ideas for parents and grandparents to entertain the children.

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.

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Guide to what’s on in London in April 2022

Find out what’s on in London in April, including the Oxbridge boat race, the Vaisakhi festival and the London Games Festival.

April 2022 is sure to be a whole lot better than 2021, when the UK was in the middle of a phased exit from lockdown. With the weather getting warmer and summer fast approaching, London’s festival and event calendar is really kicking off.

This year, Easter weekend falls on 15-18 April so expect the capital to really come to life with a host of family and chocolate-themed activities. There is also an early May bank holiday weekend starting on 30 April.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 31 March – 3 April 2022 : London Coffee Festival

Java lovers should head to the East End for this four celebration of coffee. Featuring tastings, coffee masters, food & wine pairing, Global Coffee School, DJs and more. Entry times via timed sessions. Thu and Fri daytime for industry only. Open to public: Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets from £24. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information and tickets, visit the London Coffee Festival website.

  • 1 – 2 April 2022 : The Creative Craft Show

An event for stitchers, sewers and hobbycrafters, featuring workshops, demonstrations and talks. Open 10am-4pm. Tickets: Adults from £10, Children free if accompanied by an adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s official website.

  • 1 – 3 April 2022 : London Spanish Film Festival – Spring Weekend

Three day film event ahead of the London Spanish Film Festival in September, featuring several new Spanish language releases. Tickets TBA. Cine Lumiere, 17 Queensberry Place, Kensington, SW7 2DT. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the London Spanish Film Festival website.

  • 1 – 10 April 2022 : London Games Festival

In-person and online festival to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including a Trafalgar Square exhibition, LGF World Stage, Games Finance Market, the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, and more. For more information, visit the Games London website. 🐻

  • 1 – 18 April 2022 : Dino Kingdom

Enjoy an immersive pre-historic adventure with life-sized, animatronic dinosaurs, augmented reality, 3D mapping technology exhibits, excavation site, fun fair, food and drink and more. Open daily 10am-4pm (timed entry). Tickets: Adults £14/£17, Children 3-15 yrs £12/£15, infants free. Dino Kingdom London, Gunnersbury Park, Popes Lane, W3 8LQ. Nearest stations: GunnersburySouth Ealing or Acton Town. For more information, visit the Dino Kingdom website. 🐻

  • 1 April – 4 September 2022 : 150 Years of the Royal School of Needlework

Retrospective exhibition of one of the country’s oldest arts organisations. Open 11am-6pm. Tickets: £12.65. Fashion & Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF. Nearest stations: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the museum website.

  • Now until 2 April 2022 : Wandsworth Common Spring Beer Festival

The 12th annual beer festival returns to SW18, featuring 100 beers and 25 ciders to sample. Also featuring live entertainment. Open Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 1pm-11pm, Fri 12.30pm-11pm, Sat 1pm-11pm. Tickets: £10-£40. Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, John Archer Way, Wandsworth, SW18 3SX. Nearest station: Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Town or Wandsworth Common. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 2 – 19 April 2022 : Power UP

Interactive gaming events explores five decades of video games and consoles. For ages 5 and over. Tickets from £8. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the Science Museum website. 🐻

  • 3 April 2022 : 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 @ 2.23pm and Men’s boat race @ 3.23pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Chiswick or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the Boat Race website. 🐻

  • 5 – 26 April 2022 : The Arks of Gimokudan

Filipino artist-designer Leeroy New presents his first UK large-scale installation to mark Earth Day 2022. The installation will feature three ships made of recycled and reused materials and waste. Free. Somerset House courtyard, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 7 April 2022 : SicilyFEST London 2022

A celebration of Sicily and its food, wine, produce and culture. Also featuring a kids’ area and DJs. Open Thur 5.30pm-10pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: £2.50 (advance), £3 (on the door). Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the FeverUp website. 🐻

  • 7 – 10 April 2022 : Roy’s Art Fair

Roy’s Art Fair returns, aiming 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 stations: Waterloo, Blackfriars or Southwark. For more information, visit the Roy’s People Art Fair website.

  • 7 – 12 April 2022 : F R A G M E N T S Festival

An experiential festival featuring short events dotted across the City celebrating the 100th anniversary of T S Eliot’s poem The Waste Land. Tickets: £20 (all-access). Events take place at 22 City of London churches. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

  • 8 – 10 April 2022 : Now Play This 2022

Festival of experimental games returns to the capital. Open Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 11am-7pm, Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £9/£6.50 conc. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 8 – 10 April 2022 : Ceramic Art London

Contemporary arts event, featuring exhibitions, talks, and opportunities the buy. Open Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £16, Children free. Central St Martins, Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Ceramic Art London website.

  • 8 April – 29 August 2022 : Football – Designing the Beautiful Game

Explore the stories of design from the world of football. Open Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm. Tickets: Adults from £16.80. Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6AG. Nearest stations: Earls Court, High Street Kensington or Holland Park. For booking, visit the Design Museum website.

  • 8 April – 11 September 2022 : Inspired!

Exhibition explores how visual artists have taken inspiration from the literary arts. Opening hours TBC. Tickets: £8. 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. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.

  • Now until 10 April 2022 : 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. 🐻

  • 11 April – 26 October 2022 : Magnificent Maps of London

London Metropolitan Archives show off their historical map collection in a new exhibition. Featuring maps from the 16th century to present day. Open Mon-Thu 10am-4pm. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the City of London.gov.uk website.

  • 12 April – 31 May 2022 : Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY)

Check out 138 photographs of landscapes and people from around the world in an outdoor exhibition. Open 24/7. Free. Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the TPOTY website. 🐻

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in March 2022

Find out what’s on in the capital, including art fairs, Secret Cinema’s Bridgerton experience and the Ideal Home Show.

Kew Gardens Palm House daffodils © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2019

Spring is in the air… well at least it’s supposed to be! With March having notoriously erratic weather, fortunately London has plenty of indoor festivals, exhibitions and events on this month. 

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 3 – 6 March 2022 : The Stitch Festival

Haberdashery festival featuring hundreds of workshops, demonstrations, interactive features and 200 exhibitors selling specialist craft supplies. Open 9.30am-5.30pm. Tickets: Adults £15.50, Children £7.50. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the Stitch Festival website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 March 2022 : Beano – The Art of Breaking the Rules

Exhibition of Britain’s naughtiest kid and the comic’s history. Explore original artwork and artefacts. Open Sat, Sun & Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £16, concs £12.50, Under 6s free. Embankment Galleries (South Wing), Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • Now until 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 March 2022 : Affordable Art Fair – Battersea Spring

A chance for people 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 from £50 to £7,500. Tickets: £10-£27. Battersea Evolution, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or short bus ride from Sloane Square tube. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : WOW – Women of the World

A festival of talks, debates, music, film and comedy celebrating women. Marian Keyes, Lisa Taddeo, Pandora Sykes, Patrisse Calours, Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Warsan Shire, Deborah Frances-White and Elizabeth White among the featured names. Events range from free to £38. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 11 – 13 March 2022 : Move It

The world’s biggest dance event featuring performances, classes, workshops, shopping, and talks by experts from all genres, including Layton Williams, Dane Bates, Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, Dark Angels, Flawless, Jess Baddie, Josh Denyer, Josh Wharmby, Kloe Dean and more. Day tickets: Adults from £21, Children from £16.50 (show and class tickets also available). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Move It website. 🐻 © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

  • 11 – 27 March 2022 : 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 Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, David Domoney, Rosemary Shrager, Lisa Faulkner, Melissa Helmsley, and many more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also include 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. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2022

Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in London.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014Last February was a bit of a wash-out thanks to lockdown, so no doubt many Londoners will be looking forward to getting out and about. This month sees plenty of festivals and exhibitions, including the launch of the Beatrix Potter at the V&A and the return of the Orchid Festival to Kew Gardens.

Of course, halfway through the month is Valentine’s Day so plenty of spaces will be offering romantic events, while others will be giving singles the opportunities to have some fun. During February, expect to see some family-friendly activites and events during half-term.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 2 February – 18 April 2022 : Bob Marley – One Love Experience

An immersive experience celebrating the late, great singer, along with previously unseen photographs and memorabilia. Open Mon-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Standard £18/£24, Children 9-14 yrs £10, Under 8s free when accompanying an adult. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website. 🐻

  • 3 February – 8 May 2022 : Van Gogh Self-Portraits

Vincent Van Gogh’s self-portraiture is explorer 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.

  • 5 February – 6 March 2022 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Costa Rica. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £15, Children (4-15yr) £5. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 6 February 2022 : London International Mime Festival

Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £13-£45. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Sadler’s Wells, Puppet Theatre Barge, Shoreditch Town Hall, The Peacock and The Place. For more information, visit the Mime London website. 🐻

  • 9 – 22 February 2022 : Imagine Children’s Festival

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including Julia Donaldson, Francesca Simon, Steve May, Michelle Harrison, YolanDa and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Many activities and events are free, but some go up to £20. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website. 🐻

  • 10 – 13 February 2022 : Classical Vauxhall

Series of classical music concerts returns to Vauxhall, featuring the music of Brahms, Schubert, Shostakovich, and more. From 8pm. Tickets: £20. St Peter’s Church, 310 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the BeInVauxhall website.

  • 10 – 12 February 2022 : Ealing Music and Film Festival 2022

Scaled down version of the annual festival in Ealing. Events take place at The Old Library or St Barnabas Church. Tickets range from free to £20. Nearest stations: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For booking, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.

  • 11 – 13 February 2022 : Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show

Bike festival, featuring the latest bikes and launches, a Rossi tribute, bike kit deals, fire-ups and racing. Open Fri 11 10am-5pm, Sat 12 9am-6pm, Sun 13 9am-5pm. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the MCN Motorcycle Show website.

  • 11 – 20 February 2022 : City Lights

Light and sound installations come to the Square Mile. From 5.30pm-10pm. Free. At various locations across the City of London. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Mansion House or Cannon Street. For more information, visit the City of London website.

  • 11 February – 9 March 2022 : The Green Planet AR Experience

Enjoy an immersive, augmented reality experience with Sir David Attenborough as you explore the green planet. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thur-Sun 10am-8pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. 55 Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, W1 5RF. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Green Planet Experience website.

  • 11 February – 12 March 2022 : Spaces of Light and Colour

Never before seen paintings by Ulrich Erben, from his early work until more recent creations. Open: Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest stations: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website. Read the rest of this entry

Merry Christmas to MoaMG readers | What’s on in London if you’re staying put

A round-up of what’s on in London during the 2021 festive period.

Just a short blog post to wish readers of Memoirs of a Metro Girl a safe and Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! As the pandemic continues to rumble on, some people may be isolating over the festive period or scaling down their plans – I am certainly doing the latter.

If you’re like me and are staying in the London over the Christmas and New Year period, there are still plenty of events and activities on around town to keep you entertained. Of course, many venues may have amended their Covid-19 precautions, such as limiting numbers, requiring masks and asking for proof of vaccination or negative tests. Other venues have decided to close as well so always check their websites or social media accounts before heading out.

Here’s some ideas of what’s on in London during Christmas and New Year:

– Follow the Illuminature lights trail around the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes

– Fans of the Fab Four can check out unseen photographs of The Beatles at the Shapero Modern gallery in Mayfair.

– Check out the Winterfest light festival in Wembley.

– Try out a spot of curling in King’s Cross.

– Head to the theatre to watch one of the capital’s pantomimes, ballets or other festive shows.

– Enjoy the contemporary art at the Sculpture in the City exhibition in the City of London.

 – Go skating on one of London’s outdoor ice rinks.

– Peruse the eclectic art at the last few days of the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy.

– Bring your kids to pose with their favourite movie heroes at the Scenes in the Square trail in Leicester Square.

Stay safe and enjoy the festive period!

Metro Girl

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Illuminature @ WWT London | Walking in a Winter (Wetland) Wonderland

Discover the London Wetlands Centre after dark on a festive trail

Illuminature at the WWT London

There are many festive light experiences on in London at the moment. However, most of these illuminated trails don’t allow visitors the chance to witness nature after dark at the same time.

Recently, we went along to the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, to check out their winter lights trail passing by the habitats of its wildlife. While other nocturnal neon experiences tend to be Christmas themed, the Wetlands Centre have turn to their feathered inhabitants and other creatures for inspiration, with light sculpture of birds dotted along the trail. Among our group were my six-year-old niece and nine-year-old nephew, who loved dancing under the rainfall lights and hopping from lily pad to pad, which lit up in green in response to human feet. There are also opportunities to control some illuminations with interactive buttons, as well as a spotlight shed to hide in to create-your-own shadow animals. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in December 2021

Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London over the Christmas 2021 period.

Christmas tree in Hay's Galleria, LondonDecember is finally here! We’re sure many of us can’t wait for this difficult year to be over after another long struggle through pandemic and Brexit impacts. As usual, many festive events already started in November, but they really ramp up in the run-up to Christmas.

Among the events on in the capital this December include festive cinematic experiences, illumination and light trails, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.

As you would expect, there’s plenty of family-friendly activities as many relatives are reunited after spending last Christmas apart. Theatreland is well and truly back in action with a host of pantomimes, ballets and other Christmas shows to keep the whole family entertained. There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 5 December 2021 : Sparkle in the Park

Follow a festive light trail around the park alongside fire art installations, before enjoying live music, children’s shows, a Christmas disco, market stalls and hot food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Maryon Park, Maryon Road, Charlton, SE7 8EN. Nearest stations: Charlton or Woolwich Dockyard. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich website. 🐻

  • 1 – 19 December 2021 : Cinema in the Snow

Pop Up Screens are bringing their festive, cinematic experience to south London. Step through a magical wardrobe into a winter wonderland, where you can watch classic Christmas films and newer festive releases on the big screen (indoors!). Licensed bar and snacks available. Tickets: Under 12s £12, Adults £22. Brockwell Park (Lido gate), Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For booking, visit the Pop Up Screens website. 🐻

  • 1 – 30 December 2021 : Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Movie Spectacular

Cinematic experience experts Backyard Cinema are launching a third festive spectacular away from their permanent home in Wandsworth. Watch one of the three classic Christmas films (Love Actually, Home Alone or Elf) along with a live choir and performances by George The Poet in a stunning Art Deco setting. Times vary. Tickets start from £15.  Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E1 0HX. Nearest station: Limehouse. For tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻

  • 2 December 2021 : Christmas Lights Walk @ Marylebone

Explore the light installations of the Baker Street Quarter, telling the story of famous people and places from the district. Starts at 6pm. Free. Starts at Punch Tavern, 55 Baker Street, Marylebone, W1U 7DA. Nearest station: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 December 2021 : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre

A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £25.30, Children 5-15yr £12.60, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website. 🐻

  • 4 December 2021 : Rumblin’ Cocktails Rum Education @ Museum of London Docklands

Rum cocktail experts Rumblin’ host a history and mixology workshop in the old Rum Store. Explore the heritage of the tipple, before mixing your own and take a bottle of rum punch home. Over 18s only. From 5.30pm. Tickets: £55. Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. Nearest stations: West India Quay or Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Museum of London website.

  • Now until 4 December 2021 : Pigs Ear Festival 2021

Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £3 (CAMRA members), £5 (general). Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, Hackney, E5 0LY. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.

  • 4 December 2021 – 9 January 2022 : The Gingerbread City 2021

The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists and engineers create a mini city made entirely of gingerbread and icing. In addition to the exhibition of the final creation, there is also the opportunity to take part in gingerbread house-making workshops. Open daily 9am-9pm. Tickets (45 min sessions): Adults and over 12 yrs: £14, Children 3-12yrs £8.50. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 December 2021 : Christmas Floating Film Festival

Cosy up on a sofa or deckchair on a floating pontoon to watch your favourite festive films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm (weekday and weekends), 2pm (weekends). Tickets: £16.76-£32.93. 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. 🐻

  • 7 – 9 December 2021 : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen

Get inspired for your festive food with live demonstrations, tastings, masterclasses, tips and tricks at Borough Market. Events from 11am-4pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.

  • 8 December 2021 : Festive evening @ Leadenhall Market

Enjoy Christmas workshops, live music and late-night shopping at historic Leadenhall Market. Open 6pm-10pm. Free to attend, but register for a place on one of the workshops via Eventbrite. Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.

  • 8 December 2021 – 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace

A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 9 December 2021 : Miracle on Leake Street 2021

A one-off Christmas event comes to the colourful, graffiti-decorated tunnels of Leake Street. Featuring market stalls, free wreath-making workshops, face paint, activations, food and drink, comedy and cabaret teasers of the Vault Festival 2022 and a free screening of Home Alone. From 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Leake Street tunnels, Lambeth, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Waterloo. For more information, visit the We Are Waterloo website.

  • 9 December 2021 – 16 January 2022 : The Beatles exhibition @ Shapero Modern

Exhibition of newly-discovered photographs of The Beatles filming A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm. Free entry. Shapero Modern, 41-43 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Shapero Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.

  • Now until 9 January 2022 : Wave @ Greenwich Peninsula

Squidsoup presents an interactive sculptural light installation, offering an audio-visual experience. Open 7pm-10pm. Free entry, but queues expected at busy times. Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

Enchanted Eltham lights up the grounds of Eltham Palace

  • 9 – 30 December 2021 : Enchanted Eltham

Late-night opening of Eltham Palace sees the Tudor and Art Deco buildings and gardens dazzle in a show of light, colour and sound. Follow the trail around the gardens. Also including fairground rides and hot food and drink on offer, including a roasting marshmallow pit. Open Thu-Sun 4.30pm-9pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: Adults £14/£16, Children 5-15 yrs £9.50/£11.50. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest stations: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻

  • 10 December 2021 : Paper Craft Masterclass – Christmas Card Making

Using images from the British Library’s collections, design and make your own Christmas cards under the guidance of expert Shelagh McCarthy. From 10:30am-4.30pm. Tickets: £65, seniors, students or young people (18-25yrs) £55. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest stations: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For booking, visit the British Library 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

Guide to what’s on in London in November 2021

Find out what events are on in the capital in November, including the Lord Mayor’s Show, motor shows, Christmas shopping events, and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Autumn is in full swing

November is here, the nights are drawing in, it’s getting colder… but on the bright side, it’s all getting a bit Christmassy. After last year’s lockdown, this year Londoners will be wanting to make up for lost time and prepare for a fabulous festive season. As well as host of Christmas shopping events, expect to see light shows and trails; the Lord Mayor’s Show; Oktoberfest, Diwali celebrations, music festivals and the return of Winter Wonderland.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 7 November 2021 : Spirit of Christmas

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 600 independent boutiques and artisan makers. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Open Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm, Thur: 10am-9pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults start from £21 (from £25 on the door), Children 13-16 yrs from £14 (£18 on the door), 12 and under free. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website. 🐻

  • 2 – 7 November 2021 : Winter Art & Antiques Fair

Arts and antiques event, featuring over 70 dealers showcasing over 20,000 pieces, ranging in price from £100 to £500,000. Open Tues-Wed & Fri-Sat 11am–6pm, Thur 11am–9pm, Sun 11am–5pm. Tickets: Tues-Fri – Adults £21, Children 13-16yrs £14. Weekends – Adults £23 (advance, more on the door), Children 13-16 yrs £16, 12 and under free. National Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympia Antiques website.

  • 2 – 7 November 2021 : Diwali @ Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf celebrates the Hindu festival Diwali with a floating flower installation. Lights on from 5pm-11pm. Free. Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. 🐻

  • 3 – 14 November 2021 : UK Green Film Festival

Watch documentaries exploring environmental issues. The UK-wide festival will be hosting London screenings in Dalston. Times and prices vary. Rio Cinema, 107 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 2PB. Nearest station: Dalston Kingsland or Dalston Junction. For more information, visit the festival website.

  • 4 November 2021 : Diwali Festival @ Devonshire Square

Head to Devonshire Square to celebrate the Indian festival of lights. Featuring a dance show with Indian folk and classical dancers; complimentary tastings of Indian confectionary, Diwali canapes and tamarind soda drink from Cinnamon Kitchen; and the visual art of Rangoli lit by candles. 5.30pm-8pm. Free to attend, but register for a place through Eventbrite. Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

  • 4 November 2021 : Carnaby Christmas Shopping & Dining Party

Festive evening sees over 100 shops, boutiques and restaurants of the Carnaby district are offering 20% discounts, in-store events, free drinks and goodie bags. Carnaby Street’s festive light installation will also be switched on. 12pm-8pm. Register online for a free ticket. Carnaby London, Soho, W1F. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website. 🐻

  • 4 – 6 and 11 – 13 November 2021 : Oktoberfest London

Celebrate the German beer festival with plenty of Bavarian food, beer, and more. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm. Tickets: General admission £5-£15, Bavarian £21-£29 (inc 1 Mass of Bavarian FestBeer, Brezel snack and Bratwurst in bread). Dock X, Canada Water, 40 Surrey Quays Road, Docklands, SE16 7DX. Nearest station: Canada Water or Rotherhithe. For more information and tickets, visit the Oktoberfest London website.

  • 6 November 2021 : Regent Street Motor Show

Dozens of vintage cars from 125 years of motoring will be on display for the Regent Street Motorshow ahead of the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run the following day. Featuring entertainment and interactive displays. The road will be closed to vehicle traffic. 10.30am-4pm. Free. Regent Street, W1B 5TD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regent Street Motor Show website. 🐻

  • 7 November 2021 : Veteran Car Run

Watch the beginning of 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 6.56am and 8.15am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route starts at Serpentine Road in Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website. 🐻

  • 10 November 2021 : Merry Marylebone

A festive evening to coincide with the Christmas lights switch-on with charity partner Mind Brent, Wandsworth and Westminster. Featuring retailer discounts, food and gift stalls, charity tombola, wreath-making, live music, Santa’s grotto, fairground rides, with a celebrity switching on the lights. 3pm-7pm. Free to attend. Marylebone Village (Marylebone High Street, Paddington Street and Devonshire Street), W1. Nearest stations: Bond Street, Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Marylebone Village website. 🐻

  • 10 – 14 November 2021 : Country Living Christmas

Prepare for the festive season with a host of Christmas stalls and events, including expert talks, workshops, food hall, shopping emporium, meet-the-makers and champagne bar. Open Wed-Thur 10am-5pm, Fri-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm. Tickets: Adults from £20, Children 5-16yrs £9. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and booking, visit the County Living Fair website. 🐻

  • 11 November – 18 December 2021 : The Great Feast

A new music and food festival pops up at the Selfridges Hotel. Featuring Michelin-starred chefs, immersive dining, creative cocktails and live music. Over 18s only. Open 11-20 Nov: Thu-Sat 6pm-12am, 25-27 Nov: 12pm-3pm and 6pm-12am, 1-18 Dec: Wed-Sat 12pm-3pm, 6pm-12am. Tickets: £20-£60. Old Selfridges Hotel, 1 Orchard St, Marylebone, W1H 6HJ. Nearest stations: Bond Street or Marble Arch. For more information and booking, visit The Great Feast website.

  • 11 November – 30 December 2021 : Club Curling

Try your hand at curling as the winter sports pops up at King’s Cross for the festive season. Visitors can enjoy a 45 minute curling slot on one of the six synthetic ice rinks, before enjoying a cocktail at the bar. Open daily 11am-9pm. Tickets: Adults £5, Children under 12 free. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information and booking, visit the King’s Cross website. Check out Metro Girl’s post for more details. 🐻

  • 12 – 14 November 2021 : Destination Star Trek

Europe’s official Star Trek convention comes to London, with the chance to see some of the series’ iconic faces, including George Takei, Kate Mulgrew, Jeri Ryan, Doug Jones, Robert Beltran, Marianna Hill, Mark Rolston, Alice Krige and more. Open Fri 2pm-8pm, Sat-Sun 9am-6pm. Tickets: One day £29 (Sat or Sun), Weekend £44 (Sat & Sun), three day £54. Premium ticket packages also available. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information and tickets, visit the Destination Star Trek website. 🐻

  • 12 – 14 November 2021 : Balance Festival 2021

Wellness festival returns to the East End for a weekend of mindfulness, fitness, relaxation and more. Opening times vary (morning and afternoon sessions). Tickets vary depending on day and session. Adults start from £26.50 (half-day), from £50 (full-day). The Old Truman Brewery, 15 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Balance Festival website.

  • 12 – 21 November 2021 : EFG London Jazz Festival

International jazz stars gather at venues all over the capital, including Dave Holland and John Scofield; Nu Civilisation Orchestra; Omar Sosa and Seckou Keita; Gwenifer Raymound; Black Midi & Moor Mother; Robocobra Quartet & Archipelago; Archie Sheep and Jason Moran; and many more. Gigs range from free to ticketed. At various locations across London. For listings and bookings, visit the EFG London Jazz Festival website.

  • 12 – 28 November 2021 : Enchanted Woodland

Follow an illuminated trail through the gardens and arboretum of Syon Park. Lighting will transform the trees, plants and lake. Hot food and drinks available for sale. Open Fri-Sun, entry slots every 20 minutes from 5pm-7.40pm. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £7.50. Syon Park, London Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the Enchanted Woodland website. 🐻

  • 13 November 2021 : Lord Mayor’s Show

The spectacle is known as the oldest and largest civic procession in the world and marks the new Lord Mayor of London in a three-mile procession. The procession sets off from Mansion House at 11am, passes St Pauls before heading down Ludgate Hill to Fleet Street, then returns via the Victoria Embankment (approx 1.15pm-2.30pm) to Mansion House (arriving 2.30pm). Free to spectate. Nearest stations: Mansion House, Temple, Blackfriars, St Paul’s and Cannon Street. For more information visit the Lord Mayor’s Show website. 🐻

  • 13 – 28 November 2021 : Wimbledon International Music Festival

A host of world-class musicians gather in Wimbledon for a series of classical, opera and jazz concerts and recitals. Artists include Sir Willard White, Imogen Cooper, The Tallis Scholars and Tango Club. Ticket prices vary. At various venues in Wimbledon, including King’s College School, Trinity United Reformed Church, St. John’s Church, Wimbledon College Hall, Wimbledon Synagogue. Nearest stations: Wimbledon or Raynes Park. For more information and tickets, visit the WIMF website.

  • 13 November 2021 – 16 January 2022 : Hogwarts in the Snow

Visit your favourite Harry Potter sets, such as the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut and the Hogwarts castle, which have been transformed with snow for the festive season. Tickets from £47. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information and tickets, visit the WB Studio Tour website. 🐻

  • Now until 14 November 2021 : Remember the Future exhibition

Artists in residence will set up studio at Orleans House and explore in art ways we could fix the Earth’s ecological crisis. Among the artists taking part in the six-month project include Ackroyd & Harvey; Nestor Pestana; Bryony Benge-Abbott; Vicky Long and Eloise Moody. During the exhibition, there will also be workshops, talks, family activities and late night events. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Entry: Free (donations welcome). Orleans House Gallery, Orleans Road, Twickenham, TW1 3BL. Nearest station: St Margaret’s. For more information, visit the Orleans House Gallery website.

  • 17 November 2021 – 9 January 2022 : Christmas at Kew

Follow a magical trail around Kew Gardens, through tunnels of light, past dancing waterfalls, illuminations and the Fire Garden, and a light display at the Palm House. 4pm-10pm. Tickets: Standard advance adult: Off peak £21.50/Peak £26.50, Children: Off peak £14/peak £16.50. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Try your hand at curling as ‘Club Curling’ pops up at King’s Cross

Synthetic curling rinks will be appearing at Coal Drops Yard until 27 February 2022.

Club Curling comes to Coal Drops Yard this festive season

Ever watched the Winter Olympics and found yourself getting curious about curling? Well, this winter, you’ll have the chance to try the sport with the launch of Club Curling at King’s Cross.

Popping up at Coal Drops Yard from 11 November 2021, friends, families and couples will be able to aim for the targets on the six synthetic ice rinks. Club Curling will be running through the festive season against the backdrop of the Victorian arches and yards of Coal Drops Yard, a shopping and entertainment destination.

As well as trying out your curling skills on the rinks, you can also enjoy a Christmas cocktail at the adjacent Club Curling Cocktail Bar. Visitors are advised to pre-book, but Club Curling is also open to walk-ups subject to availability.

  • Club Curling runs from 11 November – 27 February 2022. At Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. Open daily 11am-9pm. Tickets (45 minute sessions): Adults £5, Children under 12 free. For more information and booking, visit the King’s Cross website.

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