Category Archives: Families

Ideas for parents and grandparents to entertain the children.

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2023

Find out what events and exhibitions are on in London, including the Orchid Festival, Imagine Children’s Festival, and BFI Future Film Festival.

Winter is in full swing, but at least dry (and long) January is out of the way! London’s event schedule starts to rejuvenate this month, with film festivals, travel shows and more kicking off.

February sees the commercial love bomb that is Valentine’s Day. with plenty of activities around town for both singles and couples.

There’s also half-term holidays from school, so expect to see plenty of parents and carers seeking ways to entertain the kids, at events such as The Imagine Festival.

Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this February.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 2 – 5 February 2023 : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show

Returning for its 28th year… over 600 of the leading and best independent travel brands. From 70+ global tourist boards and operators to hoteliers, airlines and travel photographers, acquire expertise, offers, discounts, and upgrades, daily cookery, talks, interviews and panel discussions, travel photography masterclass. Open Thu-Mon 10am – 5:30pm. Tickets: £11. Olympia Grand, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Destinations Show website.

  • 3 – 23 February 2023 : Piccadilly Piano Festival

A host of new and established musicians perform on the famous Fazioli Grand Piano in St James Piccadilly. Artists include  Jools Holland, John Grant, Nadine Benjamin, Tokio Myers, Derek Paravicini, Melvyn Tan and Victoria Canal. Times and ticket prices vary. St James’s Church Piccadilly, 197 Piccadilly, St James, W1J 9LL. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the St James’s Church Piccadilly website.

  • 3 February – 8 May 2023 : Ukraine – Photographs from the Frontline

Harrowing exhibition of images taken by photojournalist Anastasia Taylor-Lind in Ukraine in the run up to and during the current conflict with Russia. Open daily 10am-6pm. Free entry. Imperial War Museum London, Lambeth Road, Lambeth, SE1 6HZ. Nearest station: Lambeth North. For more information, visit the IWM website.

  • 4 February – 5 March 2023 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks, with this year being inspired by Cameroon. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: Adults £16.50, Children (4-15yr) £5.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻

  • Now until 4 February 2023 : Space, The Universe and Everything

A stunning sound and light experience telling the story of human exploration transforms both the exterior and interior of St Martin-in-the-Fields church. 6pm-9.30pm (hour long experience). Tickets: £10, under 16yrs £5. St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2H 4JH. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the St Martin-in-the-Fields website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 February 2023 : The Museum of the Moon

British artist Luke Jerram is back at the Painted Hall following his popular ‘Gaia’ installation of the Earth with a to-scale installation of the Moon, internally lit. Late-night events are also taking place during the exhibition period. Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children 16yr and under free. Painted Hall, Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Greenwich, Cutty Sark or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 February 2023London 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 £13.50-£45. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, The Place, Shoreditch Town Hall, Peacock Theatre, and Little Angel Theatre. For more information, visit the Mime London website. 🐻

  • 8 – 18 February 2023 : Imagine Children’s Festival

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including YolanDa, Stephen Mulhern, Cressida Cowell, Michael Rosen, Ashley and Jordan Banjo; and scientists Ben Garrod and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Over half of the 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. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s festival. 🐻

  • 12 February 2023 : London Brick Festival

A festival of LEGO, featuring large-scale installations, speed building competitions, activities, LEGO traders, vintage and new sets, accessories and dedicated building area. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: £7-£15, Children £5. Royal National Hotel, 38-51 Bedford Way, Holborn, WC1H 0DG. Nearest stations: Russell Square or Euston. For more information, visit the Brick Festival website. 🐻

  • 16 – 19 February 2023 : BFI Future Film Festival

The UK’s largest film festival for young, emerging filmmakers, with screenings taking place both online and in-person. Ticket prices and times vary. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XT. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Waterloo East or Lambeth North. For more information and booking, visit the BFI website.

  • 17 – 19 February 2023 : MCN London Motorcycle Show

Bike festival, featuring the latest bikes and launches, a Rossi tribute, bike kit deals, fire-ups and racing. Open Fri-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 9am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £22, Children £2.50. 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. 🐻

  • 17 – 21 February 2023 : London Fashion Week

This season’s LFW will showcasing both menswear and womenswear at both physical and digital catwalk shows. Most events are invitation only, while others are open to the public. For more information, visit the London Fashion Week website.

  • 17 February – 9 May 2023 : Beyond the Streets London

New exhibition showcases graffiti and street art, curated by Roger Gastman and featuring over 100 artists. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: Standard £25, 6-16 yrs £10. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website. 🐻

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

Check out the Horror Show! at Somerset House

  • Now until 19 February 2023 : The Horror Show!

New exhibition explores some of Britain’s most provocative artists from the past 50 years of creative rebellion, featuring 200 artworks and historical artefacts. Open Tues-Wed, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm. Tickets: £16.50. Embankment Galleries (South Wing), Somerset House, The Strand, Aldwych, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.

  • 22 February 4 June 2023 : David Hockney – Bigger and Closer

Experience the world through Hockney’s eyes in an immersive, digital art exhibition. Open daily, hours vary. Tickets from £25. Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DY. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Lightroom website.

  • 23 February – 18 March 2023 : London Handel Festival 2023

Six weeks of concerts, talks and walks celebrating Fredrick Handel, with this year’s theme being “Forces of Nature”. Venues includes Handel’s parish church St Georges in Mayfair, as well as the Foundling Museum, Stone Nest, Village Underground, St Vedast, Fidelio Cafe, The Charterhouse, Shoreditch Treehouse, and St Lawrence Church Little Stanmore. Ticket prices range from £10 to £65 depending on event. For more information and booking, visit the London Handel Festival website.

  • 24 February 2023 : Friday Late – Permission to Play @ London Transport Museum

Late night adults-only opening of the London Transport Museum, featuring transport bingo, have fun making and racing balloon powered buses, or race the clock on a museum-wide scavenger hunt. Catch one of our expert talks, creative activities. Over 18s only. 6.45pm-10pm. Tickets: £15. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Nearest stations: Covent Garden, Temple, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the LTM website.

  • 24 – 26 February 2023: London Classic Car Show

Returning for the ninth year is a classic car show for buyers, collectors and enthusiasts. Tickets: Adults £25, Children £20. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the London Classic Car Show website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

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

Lightopia 2022 gallery | Festive light show returns to Crystal Palace Park

Guide to what’s on in London in January 2023

Find out what’s on in the capital this month, including Winter Lights at Canary Wharf, the London Short Film Festival and the launch of the Vault Festival.

Lightopia

Happy New Year! 2023 is here at last after a challenging 2022 for many. While the cost of living crisis is unfortunately looking set to rumble on for a while yet, there are some free events to keep your entertained. January is famously a dark and cold winter month, so expect some illuminations, such as the hugely popular Winter Lights festival in Docklands, to brighten up proceedings. Meanwhile, London’s equivalent to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Waterloo’s Vault Festival is returning to the arches for the 11th year.

There’s also still some festive outdoor ice rinks on around town, check out this guide for more information.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 January 2023 : New Year’s Day Parade

Hundreds of thousands of spectators are expected to gather to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Gingerbread City

The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists, designers and engineers create five miniature cities made entirely of gingerbread and icing. There are also daily gingerbread house-making workshops. Open Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm, Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Under 12s £10. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Lightopia Festival

The award-winning festival of lights is return to the capital, but this time to south London’s Crystal Palace. Talk a winter walk through a light display with illuminations, interactive displays and installations. Open 5pm-10pm (last entry 8.30pm). Tickets: Adults £19.50/£24.50, Child 3-15yrs £13/£16.50. Crystal Palace Park, Thicket Road, Crystal Palace, SE19 2GA. Nearest stations: Crystal Palace or Penge West. For more information and booking, visit the Lightopia website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of the festival. 🐻 

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Festival Brent Cross

Take a break from your Christmas shopping at the Winter Festival, featuring Santa’s Grotto, ice rink, fun fair rides and food and drink. Open Mon-Fri 4pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-9pm (From 17 December onwards, opening times extend to 12pm-9pm daily). Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Brent Cross, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For more information and booking, visit the Winter Festival Brent Cross website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Wonderland

The south-east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a festive fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, the Magical Ice Kingdom, the Giant Wheel, Bar Ice, Real Ice Slide, Zippos Christmas Circus, Cirque Berserk, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Bavarian Village, and more. Open daily 10am-10pm. Tickets (must be pre-booked) Standard £5, Peak £7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £25 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2023 : Christmas @ Kenwood

The fabulous grounds and buildings at Kenwood will be lit up in a Christmas light trail. There will also be festive food and drink. From 4.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: Adults £29.50, Children £22.50. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7JR. Nearest stations: Highgate or Hampstead. For tickets, visit the Christmas at Kenwood website. 🐻

  • Now until 3 January 2023 : The Magic of Christmas

London Zoo are hosting a series of festive events alongside the usual animal enclosures. Meet Santa, visit the Polar Post Room, enjoy Christmas festivities, animal crafts, Christmas-themed animal talks, marshmallow toasting and more. Open 10am-4pm. General entry: Adults range from £26.50-£33, Children 3-15yrs £17.25-£21.45. Additional charges apply for some activities. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website. 🐻

  • 6 – 8 January 2023 : RuPaul’s DragCon UK

Meet your favourite Drag Race icons from the UK and abroad, such as Lawrence Chaney, The Vivenne, Tia Kofi, Yvie Oddly, Baga Chipz, Danny Beard, Cheryl Hole, Jaida Essence Hall, Jinkx Monsoon, Kita Mean, Krystal Versace, Michelle Visage, and many more. Featuring catwalks, live performances, a DJ set from RuPaul, panel discussions and more. Open Fri-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets from £60, Children age 8yrs and under free. ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the RuPaul’s DragCon UK website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in December 2022

Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London this month.

It’s Christmaaasssss!

This year has flown by and it’s finally December! After two pared-back Decembers thanks to the pandemic-that-should-not-be-named, many will be making up for lost time by fully embracing the festive season this year. However, with the cost of living crisis rumbling on, plenty of Londoners will be looking for more affordable celebrations to share with friend and families in the run-up to Christmas.

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

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 December 2022 : Christmas Late Night Shopping & Workshops @ Japan House

Japan House is opening its doors for an evening of demonstrations, workshops, and tastings of Japanese food and drink, as well as the opportunity to learn about Japanese card making and gift wrapping. 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Japan House London, 101-111 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 5SA. Nearest station: High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Japan House London website.

  • 1 – 4 December 2022 : Sparkle in the Park 2022

The Royal Borough of Greenwich’s annual light trail moves to a new location this year. Along with the lights, there will also be festive food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Well Hall Pleasaunce Park, Well Hall Road, Eltham, SE9 6SN. Nearest station: Eltham. For more information, visit the Greenwich Council website.

  • 2, 9 and 16 December 2022 : Hackney Christmas Beer Festival

Sample beer from over 20 breweries, alongside cocktails, mulled wine, street food, and DJs on three consecutive Fridays. 6pm-10pm. Free entry. Bohemia Place Market, Hackney, E8 1DU. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page.

  • 2 – 4 December 2022 : Festive Fayre @ Hampton Court Palace

The courtyards of the historic royal palace will be transformed into a foodies’ paradise, with artisan food and drink, gift stalls, and carol services. From 10am-6pm. Tickets (included with palace admission): 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. 🐻

  • 2 – 25 December 2022 : Shadow Play

Art installation sees shadow images and stories celebrating London’s diverse communities light up the windows of the Royal Albert Wharf. From 4pm-10pm. Free. Royal Albert Wharf, Dock Walk, E16 2GU. Nearest station: Gallions Reach. For more information, visit the Royal Docks website. 🐻

  • 2 December 2022 – 3 January 2023 : Christmas @ Kenwood

The fabulous grounds and buildings at Kenwood will be lit up in a Christmas light trail. There will also be festive food and drink. From 4.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets: Adults £29.50, Children £22.50. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7JR. Nearest stations: Highgate or Hampstead. For tickets, visit the Christmas at Kenwood website. 🐻

  • 2 December 2022 – 31 January 2023 : Avora – A New World Cocktail Experience

Step into an immersive cocktail experience, featuring theartical sets, a talented cast of actors and unique cocktails. Over 18s only. Open Tues-Wed: 6pm–10:45pm, Thur 6pm-11:45pm, Fri 4pm-11.45pm, Sat 12pm-11.45pm, Sun 2pm-7.45pm. Tickets: £47 (includes 3 cocktails). Rosewood Building, Hackney Road, Hoxton, E2 8GY. Nearest station: Hoxton. For tickets, visit the Avora website.

  • 3 – 4 December 2022 : London’s Greatest Weekends

The Museum of London marks its last weekend at its London Wall museum site before its big move with a festival-themed celebrations. Exploring music from the ’70s to present day, a late-night film festival, performances from the Walking Theatre Company and more. All ages welcome. Daily from 10am. Free entry. Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest station: Barbican or St Pauls. For more information, visit the MoL website. 🐻

  • 3 December 2022 – 2 January 2023 : Gingerbread City

The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists, designers and engineers create five miniature cities made entirely of gingerbread and icing. There are also daily gingerbread house-making workshops. Open Mon-Sat: 9am-9pm, Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Under 12s £10. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻

  • 4 December 2022 : Soul Royalty Winter Festival

Free evening of music in the courtyard of Devonshire Square, curated and headlined by Zalon, showcasing young emerging talent in soul, funk and reggae music. 4.30pm-9pm. Free to attend, but register on Eventbrite in advance. Devonshire Square (Western Courtyard), City of London, EC2M. Nearest stations: Liverpool Street or Aldgate. For more information, visit the Devonshire Square website.

  • 5 – 11 December 2022 : Floating Film Festival

Cosy up on a deckchair with a blanket and watch classic Christmas films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm and 2pm on 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 – 26 December 2022 : Palace of Light

Follow a light and lantern trail around the gardens of Hampton Court Palace. Street food and drink available from KERB. From 5.15pm-8.15pm. Tickets: Light trail only: Adult: £14.50, Child: £9.50 (palace & trail combi tickets also available). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 10 December 2022 : All the Wonder of Jermyn Street

 Jermyn Street in St James will be closed to traffic for one day only for a festive celebration. Featuring lights, live entertainment, stilt walkers, craft workshops, pop-up stores and KERB street food market. 12pm-6pm. Free to attend. Jermyn Street, St James, SW1Y. Nearest stations: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park. For more information, visit the Regent Street website. 🐻

  • Now until 11 December 2022 : Supermodels exhibition

Architectural and design studio Piercy & Co presents an exhibition of its architectural models. Open Mon-Fri 12pm-7pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-5pm. Free entry. Jahn Court, Regent Quarter, 34 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AB. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Piercy & Co website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to London’s open-air ice rinks this winter 2022/2023

Find out prices, opening times and transport details for the capital’s alfresco, pop-up ice rinks this Christmas and winter season.

One of the most festive activities you can do in London is glide – or stumble – across one of London’s many pop-up ice rinks. Some of the capital’s most stunning buildings and palaces provide the backdrop to temporary outdoor ice rinks during the winter season. Along with the ice, you can often expect hot toddies, Christmas food, and special events, such as ice discos. Some rinks offer lessons for those new to the sport or lacking confidence in their balance.

This year, the Natural History Museum is no longer hosting a rink, however there’s a new addition at the recently-opened Battersea Power Station complex.

Here’s a guide to London’s temporary outdoor ice rinks this 2022/2023 season:

  • 22 October 2022 – 25 February 2023 : Canary Wharf Ice Rink

London’s longest outdoor rink is in the capital’s financial centre and comes with a roof so offers rain-proof fun! There’s also an off-piste bar serving food and drink. Open daily. Sessions last 50 minutes. Tickets only available online. Tickets: Adults and over 13yrs £19.95, Children 3-12 yrs £14.95. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.

  • 28 October 2022 – January 2023 : Skylight London (Tobacco Dock)

Skate on London’s rooftops with views of the City of London’s skyscrapers. Features alfresco and covered bars, igloos, and street food. Open Thu-Sun only. Free entry to Skylight. Skating tickets: £15 (45 minutes inc. skate hire). Skylight (Pennington Street entrance), Tobacco Quay, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For booking and more information, visit the Skylight London website.

  • 11 November 2022 – 8 January 2023 : Glide @ Battersea Power Station

The newest addition to London’s pop-up ice rinks is set against the Art Deco backdrop of the renovated Battersea Power Station complex. Nearby you can enjoy live entertainment, vintage fun fair rides or food and drink. Open Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-11pm. Tickets: Adults £12-£19.80, Children 12 yrs and under £8-£12.75. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station ice rink website.

  • 16 November 2022 – 15 January 2023 : Skate @ Somerset House

One of London’s most popular outdoor rinks returns to the Neo-Classical courtyard of Somerset House. There will also be rinkside food and drink, skating lessons, club nights and more. Open daily 9.30am-9.30pm. Tickets: Adults £10-£22. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For booking, visit the Somerset House website.

Somerset House ice rink © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Skate in the historic Georgian courtyard of Somerset House

  • 17 November 2022 – 8 January 2023 : Queen’s House Ice Rink

An ice rink fit for a queen is situated outside the majestic Palladian Queen’s House in Greenwich, with views towards the Old Royal Naval College and the Thames beyond. Open 10am-9pm. Tickets: Adults from £16, Children from £10. Queen’s House, Romney Road, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For tickets, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website. Read the rest of this entry

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 October 2022

Discover the capital’s best festivals and events this month. including the London Marathon, BFI London Film Festival, London Cocktail Week, Diwali, Frieze London, and much more.

Kew Gardens looks spectacular in autumn

October is one of London’s best months for events and festivals, including several art fairs, the return of London Cocktail Week, Frieze London, the BFI London Film Festival and various celebrations for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Usually in the spring, the postponed London Marathon will be taking place at the beginning of the month.

Of course, towards the end of the month is half-term so expect London’s attractions to be full of families, with many special events catering to little Londoners. Finally, October comes to a close with Halloween, so there will be plenty of spooky events and parties taking place all across town.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 30 September – 2 October 2022 : Whisky Show

Whisky Show returns to London for a physical event following last year’s online offering. Featuring masterclasses, tastings, whisky experts, food pairings, demonstrations and more. Tickets start from £80. Old Billingsgate, 1 Old Billingsgate Walk, City of London, EC3R 6DX. Nearest station: Monument. For more information, visit The Whisky Show website.

  • 30 September – 2 October 2022 : Homebuilding & Renovating Show

Homeowners looking to improve, extend, renovate or build their abodes can find inspiration. Featuring seminars, masterclasses, expert advice and exhibition hall. Open Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4.30pm. Tickets from £12. ExCel London (East entrance), Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information, visit the show’s website.

  • 1 October 2022 : Diwali 2022 @ Wembley Park

Celebrate Diwali at Wembley with dance and musical performances, light parade, food stalls and Diwali disco. 1pm-11pm. Free. Wembley Park, HA9. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website🐻

  • 1 – 2 October 2022 : HowTheLightGetsIn London 2022

The world’s largest music and philosophy festival has been moved from 17-18 September following the Queen’s death. Featuring music, cabaret, discussions, comedy and more. Including appearances from Mercury prize nominee Gwenno, Django Django (DJ), Girls of the Internet, Rosie Frater-Taylor, Rosie Alena, Amber Burgoyne, i.am.afiya, Vanity Fairy, Mumble Tide, David Hare, Esther Freud, Donald Hoffman, Thangam Debbonaire, Ahir Shah, Tatty Macleod and Alexandra Haddow. Tickets: Adults £28-£78, Under 12s free. Kenwood House, Hampstead Heath, NW3 7JR. Nearest stations: Highgate or Hampstead. For more information, visit the festival website. 🐻

  • Now until 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.

  • 2 October 2022 : London Marathon 2022

Usually in the spring, the postponed London Marathon will see 100,000 runners challenging themselves while raising money for charity. The 26 mile marathon starts in Greenwich/Blackheath and ends on The Mall. Free for spectators. For more information and spectator maps, visit the London Marathon website🐻

  • 5 – 16 October 2022 : BFI London Film Festival 2022

International film festival returns to the capital, featuring premieres, screenings, Q&As, special presentations, shorts, talks and more. Ticket prices vary between £10-£40, festival passes £21-£60. At various cinemas in London. For more information, visit the BFI website.

  • 5 – 26 October 2022 : Wellness Wednesdays @ London

To mark World Mental Health Day, the London Wetlands Centre will be offering half-price entry every Wednesday in October so Londoners can take time out and get close to nature. Open daily 9.30am-5pm. WWT London, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the WWT website. 🐻

  • 7 – 9 October 2022 : New Scientist Live 2022

Festival of ideas and discovery from New Scientist magazine returns with dozens of speakers and interactive experiences. Open Fri 9.30am-3pm (schools only), Sat-Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £42-£45, Children £17-£18. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House. For tickets, visit the New Scientist Live website. 🐻

  • 7 – 16 October 2022 : Streatham Festival

Explore the culture of this vibrant south London neighbourhood. Including talks, dance and music classes for kids, comedy shows, music and dance performances, art exhibitions, drag shows and much more. Various venues in SW16 and SW2. Nearest stations: Streatham Hill, Streatham Common and Streatham. For more information, visit the Streatham Festival website🐻

  • 7 – 16 October 2022 : Herne Hill Music Festival

Music festival in Herne Hill, south London at various venues across SE24 and neighbouring areas including The Half Moon, Off The Cuff, St Faith’s Church, Brockwell Hall, Herne Hill United Church, Community Greenhouses and The Prince Regent. Tickets range from free to £15. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more information, visit the Herne Hill Music Festival website.

  • 7 October 2022 – 31 January 2023 : Frameless

Explore a new way to engage with art in an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Visitors can travel through four galleries, coming up close to masterpieces from the likes of Cezanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Dalí, Van Gogh, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt, among others. Opening hours vary. Tickets from £15, Kids under 5 yrs free. 6 Marble Arch Place, Marylebone, W1H 7AP. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For tickets, visit the Frameless website. 🐻

  • 8 – 9 October 2022 : Classic Car Boot Sale

Vintage lovers can shop pre-loved and upcycled goods, including fashion, homewares, fashion and more as this retro festival returns. 10am-6pm. Tickets: £5, free entry for under 12s. Granary Square, Lewis Cubitt Square and Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.

  • 9 October 2022 : Diwali on Trafalgar Square

Celebrate the festival of lights with an evening event in the heart of the capital. Expect lots of light effects, food and drink. 4pm-10pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DX. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Diwali on Trafalgar Square website🐻

  • 12 – 16 October 2022 : Frieze London

London contemporary art fair returns to Regents’ Park, focusing on living artists. Expect over 160 galleries, performance-based work, talks and more. Tickets start from £49.95 (depending on day and entry time). Regents’ Park (south side), off Park Square West, NW1 4LL. Nearest station: Regent’s Park, Baker Street and Great Portland Street. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in August 2022

Find out what events and exhibitions are on in London this month, including beer festivals, Happy Place Festival, the Notting Hill Carnival and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

 

The summer is flying by as the final month of the season arrives. Expect to see a lot less Londoners in town and a lot more out-of-towners and visitors from abroad as the city becomes continues to be a tourist magnet. There’s also a Bank Holiday at the end of the month (29 August), so expect plenty of events on over the long weekend. This year sees the long-awaited return of the Notting Hill Carnival, following two years on hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

School holidays continue for the remainder of the month so there is plenty of events and activities for children taking place around the capital.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 28 August 2022 : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its 16th year, bringing over 200 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre, Etcetera Theatre, The Phoenix Arts Club, The Little Angel Theatre, The Water Rats and the Hen And Chickens, among others. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 1 – 29 August 2022 : This Bright Land

A summer celebration of community and culture in the courtyard of Somerset House, featuring performances, dance, music, talks, workshops, observation wheel and open-air vogue balls. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Free entry. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 2 – 6 August 2022 : Great British Beer Festival

Britain’s flagship beer festival returns with over 1,000 of British and international real ales, ciders, perries and beers with be available to try. Open Tues 2 5pm-10.30pm, Wed-Fri 12pm.-10.30pm, Sat 12pm-7pm. Tickets: £20 (inc festival glass, brochure and 2 half pint tokens). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 5 August 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. 🐻

  • 6 August 2022 : Happy Place Festival

A festival celebrating self-love and happiness. Featuring creative workshops, meditation, mindfulness, talks, yoga classes, and more. Open 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £35.75, Children 5-16 yrs £16.50, 4yr and under free. Chiswick House & Gardens, Burlington Lane, Chiswick, W4 2RP. Nearest station: Chiswick. For tickets and more information, visit the Happy Place website. 🐻

  • 8 – 21 August 2022 : Carnaby Summer Festival 2022

Two week festival comes to the vibrant Soho district, including free workshops (e.g. candle-making and pottery painting, life drawing), interactive masterclasses with Carnaby locals, giveaways, live music, shopping offers, restaurant discounts and more. Times vary. Events take place in Carnaby Street and neighbouring streets, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website. 🐻

  • 10 – 11 August 2022 : Canal Zorbing at Merchant Square

Roll across the Paddington Basin in a giant Zorb. Times TBC. Free. Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington and Edgware Road. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website. 🐻

  • 10 – 22 August 2022 : King’s Cross Summer Sounds 2022

Free music festival returns to King’s Cross, with this year’s theme being ‘Connected Communities’. Performances daily at 6.30pm-8.30pm and Sundays 1pm-6pm. Free. Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻

  • 10 – 31 August 2022 : The Provibers @ Leadenhall Market

Entertainers The Provibers, famed for their interactive experiences at the UK’s top festivals, bring festival fun to the City’s historic Leadenhall Market. Every Wednesday from 12pm. Free. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Bank, Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. 🐻

  • 11 – 13 August 2022 : Cocktails in the City

The London summer series of the popular cocktail festival continues over three weekends monthly between July and September. London’s top bars host their own pop-ups, alongside live music, street food, silent disco, tastings and demonstrations. All cocktails are £8.50. Open 12pm-4pm and 5pm-10pm. Tickets: £20 (daytime or evening slots). Bedford Square Gardens, Bloomsbury, WC1B. Nearest stations: Goodge Street or Tottenham Court Road. For tickets, visit the Cocktails In The City website.

  • 12 – 13 August 2022 : London Craft Beer Festival

Popular beer festival returns to London, featuring over 100 world-class breweries. There will also be street food stalls and live music. Open daily 11.30am-11pm. Tickets (early or evening sessions) from £57.50. Tobacco Quay, Wapping Lane, Wapping, E1W 2SF. Nearest stations: Shadwell or Wapping. For more information and booking, visit the London Craft Beer Festival website.

  • 13 – 14 and 20 – 21 August 2022 : Icons of Wembley Silent Disco Tour

Dance and sing your way round Wembley Park as you listen to some of Wembley’s biggest performers in a Silent Disco. Times vary. Ages 6 years and over. Tickets: Adults £24, youth £19. Meet at Black Sheep Coffee, 2 Olympic Way, Wembley, HA9 0GU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. 🐻

  • 18 – 21 August 2022 : APP World SUP Tour Stop 2022

A weekend of water fun, including watching the Pros battling it out for the London SUP Open, SUP Yoga lessons, youth clinics, introductory paddle sessions, live sport, music, entertainment, and more. Times vary. Free. Middle Dock and Wood Wharf, Canary Wharf, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. 🐻

  • 18 August – 30 October 2022 : Stranger Things – The Experience

An immersive experience bringing you into the world of 1980s Hawkins, Indiana. Featuring a 1 hour experience, ’80s themed mixtape medley with food and drink, photo opportunities, merchandise and more. No under 5 yrs. Open Wed-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-9pm. Tickets from £39. Troubadour Brent Cross Studios, Tilling Road, Brent Cross, NW2 1LW. Nearest station: Brent Cross. For tickets, visit the experience website. 🐻

  • 20 August 2022 : Thamesmead Festival

One-day celebration, featuring live music, carnival, food stalls, dog show, dance, craft stalls and more. From 12pm-7pm. Free entry. Southmere Park, Hartslock Drive, Thamesmead, SE2 9XA. Nearest station: Abbey Wood. For more information, visit the Thamesmead website.

  • Now until 21 August 2022 : Summer Exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts

An eclectic exhibition of 1,500 pieces of art submitted by professionals to unknown artists. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £18. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest stations: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Royal Academy of Arts website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on last year’s exhibition.

  • 25 – 27 August 2022 : Arrow FrightFest

Horror fantasy film festival sees over 70 screenings during five days. Including premieres of The Lair, Dark Glasses, Fall and Something In The Dirt. Times vary. Tickets: Single £14.50, Thurs day pass £37, Fri-Sat day pass £65, Sun-Mon day pass £55, festival pass £200. Cineworld Leicester Square, WC2H 7NA and Prince Charles Cinema, 7 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BY. Nearest stations: Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the FrightFest website.

  • 25 – 28 August 2022 : Bank Holiday Weekender @ Number 90

East London destination Number 90 are hosting four days of festivities over the long weekend, including music from The Disco Express, S.A.S.H and Half Baked Records, as well as 2-4-1 burger and cocktail offers on select days. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website.

  • 25 August – 3 November 2022 : Jurassic World – The Exhibition

Immerse yourself in scenes inspired by the classic film franchise as you get up close with dinosaurs. Open Mon-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 9am-8pm, Sun 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £26, Children from £18.50. ExCeL London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Jurassic World Exhibition website. 🐻

  • 26 August – 11 September 2022 : Greenwich & Docklands International Festival

Celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. 🐻 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