Category Archives: Festivals

Special events and festivals

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 Christmas markets and fairs 2022

Discover festive markets and fairs in central, north, south, east, and west London in November and December 2022.

Visit one of London’s Christmas markets

Are you ready to shop till you drop this Christmas? If you’re looking for something a bit more atmospheric than a department store or high street chain, then one of London’s Christmas markets or fairs may just be for you.

Whether you live in east, west, north, or south, London, or are just visiting the capital, there’s plenty of festive shopping opportunities around town. This season the capital will see the return of some popular, long-term markets, such as the Southbank Centre Winter Market or Winter Wonderland, while many local communities, museums and charities are hosting one-off or weekend long fairs.

Many of the markets and fairs have free entry, while some charge a small entry fee to raise money for charity. Some also offer Christmas activities, including crafting workshops, carol-singing and Santa’s Grottoes.

Discover London’s best Christmas markets and fairs this 2022 festive season:

Long-term Christmas markets in London

Some markets are opening throughout the run-up to Christmas, with some still going into the new year. Most of these markets will close earlier than usual on Christmas Eve and be closed all day on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

  • 3 November 2022 – 8 January 2023 : Southbank Centre Winter Market

Shop at riverside chalets selling festive food, drink, gifts and treats on the South Bank. Open Sun-Thur 11am–10pm, Fri & Sat 11am–11pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 10 November – 24 December 2022 : Kingston Christmas Market

Over 40 wooden cabins will be selling festive food, drink and gifts. Open Sun-Wed -10am-6pm, Tues-Sat 10am-8pm. Free entry. Market is located across two sites: The first in between Clarence Street and High Street, Kingston-upon-Thames, KT1. Nearest station: Kingston. For more information, visit the Kingston Christmas Market website.

  • 15 November 2022 – 2 January 2023 : Christmas By The River

Annual festive market featuring food, drink, craft and gift stalls across The Scoop More London, Hay’s Galleria and London Bridge City Pier. There will also be choir performances, outdoor film screenings and local community activations. Open daily 11am-10pm. Free entry. Queen’s Walk and Hay’s Galleria, SE1 2DB. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For more information, visit the London Bridge City website.

  • 18 November 2022 – 2 January 2023 : Christmas Markets @ Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland returns to Hyde Park and offers a German market selling gifts, as well as food and drink. You can bring the whole family and get into the festive spirit with a fun fair, circus, live shows and an ice rink. 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. Hyde Park, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.

  • 26 November – 23 December 2022 : Canopy Christmas Market

Festive edition of the popular Canopy Market, with shopping stalls, food and drink, and live music. Open Tues–Thur 12-7pm, Fri 12pm-8pm and Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm. Free entry. West Handyside Canopy, King’s Cross, N1C 4BH. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.

  • 27 November – 17 December 2022 : London Love Affair’s Christmas Market

Daily Christmas market on Tower Hill, featuring live music, mulled wine, festive food and shopping stalls. Open Thu-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun-Wed 11am-9pm. Free entry. The Crescent, Tower Hill, EC3N 1JY. Nearest stations: Tower Hill or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the London Love Affair website.

 

One-off or short-term London Christmas fairs and markets

 

  • 17 – 20 November 2022 : Swedish Church Christmas Fair

London’s Swedish church opens their doors, offering plenty of Scandi treats, crafts and gifts. There will also be a cafe serving Swedish food and glögg. Open Thu 17 12pm-8pm, Sat 19 11am-6pm, Sun 20 11.30am-5pm. Entry: £3. Swedish Church, 6 Harcourt Street, Marylebone, W1H 4AG. Nearest station: Edgware Road or Marylebone. For more information, visit the church website.

  • 20 November 2022 : Blackheath Christmas Fair

Christmas charity fair selling festive gifts, gourmet food and drink, raffles and more. Open 10.30am- 4.45pm. Entry: £2.50. Blackheath Halls, 3 Lee Road, Blackheath, SE3 9RQ. Nearest station: Blackheath. For more information, visit the Blackheath Halls website. Christmas Mince pies

  • 24 – 26 November 2022 : Novikov Christmas Street Market

Mayfair restaurant Novikov host their annual festive market, featuring stalls, house DJs, Champagne Ice Bar, carol singers, food market, Ashai Bar, as well as Santa and his reindeer. Open 11am-9pm. Free entry. Mayfair Place, Mayfair, W1J. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information, visit the Novikov 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 in November 2022

Check out November’s best events and exhibitions, including London Mela, London Jazz Festival, Stylist Live and more.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018The nights are darker and it’s all getting a bit cooler. Although many may be gearing up for Christmas, there’s still plenty of non-festive special events and festivals on across the capital in November, such as the London Jazz Festival, the Lord Mayor’s Show and Stylist Live.

Although Christmas isn’t until next month, the festive preparation really ramps up in November for those super-organised, with events like Ideal Home Show Christmas, Spirit of Christmas and the Southbank Centre’s Winter Festival.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 6 November 2022 : 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-Sun 10.30am–6pm. Tickets: Tues-Fri – Adults £23.50, Children 13-16yrs £16. Weekends – Adults £25.50, Children 13-16 yrs £18, 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.

  • 3 – 5 November 2022 : Oktoberfest London 2022

Celebrate the German beer festival with plenty of Bavarian food, beer, and more. Open Thu-Fri 4pm-10.30pm, Sat 11am-10.30pm. Tickets: General admission £5-£10, Bavarian £26-£29 (inc 1 Mass of Bavarian FestBeer, Bahlsen snack and Bratwurst in bread). Lillie Road Recreation Ground, Fulham, SW6 7PD. Nearest station: Hammersmith or Barons Court. For more information, visit the Oktoberfest London website.

  • 3 November 2022 – 8 January 2023 : Winter Festival @ Southbank Centre

Winter market, The Curling Club, pop-up food and drink experiences, including Jimmy’s Lodge igloos and festive shows, such as Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountain Christmas Carol and Hey Duggee – The Live Theatre Show. Times and prices vary. Free entry to winter market. South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Waterloo East or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • Now until 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. 🐻

  • 5 – 29 November 2022 : 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 The Academy Choir, Philharmonia, The Brodsky Quartet, Lortie-Mercier and Chineke!. Ticket prices vary. At various venues in Wimbledon, including St. John’s Church, St Mary’s Church, Sacred Heart Church, New Wimbledon Theatre, and Trinity Church. Nearest stations: Raynes Park or Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the WIMF website.

  • 6 November 2022 : 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. 🐻

  • Now until 6 November 2022 : 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 700 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 £23.50 (from £27.50 on the door), Children 13-16 yrs from £18, 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. 🐻

  • 9 November 2022 : Belgravia Christmas Lights Switch

Watch the Christmas lights being switched on, along with live music, festive floral displays, canine fancy dress competition, Santa Claus, food and drink, shopping promotions and in-store events. From 5.50pm. In and around Elizabeth Street, Motcomb Street, and Pimlico Road, Belgravia, SW1X. Nearest stations: Victoria or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website.

  • 9 – 13 November 2022 : Country Living Christmas

Prepare for the festive season with a host of Christmas stalls and events, including expert talks, food hall, workshops, 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🐻 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 September 2022

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

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

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

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

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

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 18 September 2022 : Portobello Film Festival

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

  • 1 – 30 September 2022 : Totally Thames

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

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

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

  • Now until 2 September 2022 : Summer by the River

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

  • 2 September 2022 : Food & Play Pop-up

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

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

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

  • 2 – 4 September 2022 : Meatopia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Follow my blog with Bloglovin