Category Archives: Museums
London’s has some of the top museums in the world and many are free!
Find out what events, festivals and exhibitions are on in the capital as the new year kicks off.
Happy New Year! Let’s hope 2022 is way better than 2021 and 2020 (although, let’s face it, that won’t be hard, will it?!). Although January is one of London’s quieter months for special events and festivals, there’s still plenty on to keep you occupied during your free time.
As well as the last few days and weeks of festive events like Winter Wonderland and Winterfest at Wembley, there is also plenty of arts events. The Vault fringe festival is making its long-awaited return, along with the London International Mime Festival and the London Short Film Festival. In the early part of January, there’s still opportunities to catch some of the festive entertainment, including pantomimes, ballets and other theatre productions.
Find out what special events, exhibitions and festivals are on around the capital this January 2022. However, it’s recommended to check the events’ social media or websites before heading out as some may be impact by Covid-19 rules or cancellations.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- 1 January 2022 : 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 2022 : Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel: The Exhibition
Explore the Vatican’s majestic chapel in an immersive experience, featuring the iconic ceiling paintings, which have been reproduced with HD photography. Open Wed-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £11, Children from £8. Cannon Factory. Ashley Road, Tottenham, N17 9LH. Nearest station: Tottenham Hale. For tickets, visit the exhibition website. 🐻
- Now until 2 January 2022 : Summer Exhibition 2021 @ Royal Academy of Arts
The delayed summer 2021 exhibition features over 1,300 works from new and established artists. Open Tues–Sun: 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20–£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the RA website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.
- Now until 3 January 2022 : 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, Cirque Berserk, Zippos Christmas Circus, Bar Ice, Ice Sculpting Workshops, Santa Land, Real Ice Slide, and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Tickets (must be pre-booked): Peak £5-£7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £20 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 2022 : Winter Night Garden @ Backyard Cinema
Backyard Cinema’s permanent home has been transformed into a magical festive garden for one of its two winter cinematic experiences (the other being the Snow Kingdom). Walk through a magical wardrobe and travel through an enchanted forest to reach the big screen, which will be showing festive favourites and new releases. Tickets range from £10.50-£29.99. Backyard Cinema’s Capital Studios, Ram Quarter, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town or East Putney. For more information and booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. 🐻
- Now until 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace
A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻Read the rest of this entry
Find out what festive events and exhibitions are on in London over the Christmas 2021 period.
December is finally here! We’re sure many of us can’t wait for this difficult year to be over after another long struggle through pandemic and Brexit impacts. As usual, many festive events already started in November, but they really ramp up in the run-up to Christmas.
Among the events on in the capital this December include festive cinematic experiences, illumination and light trails, and many events celebrating food and drink on the most gluttonous time of the year.
As you would expect, there’s plenty of family-friendly activities as many relatives are reunited after spending last Christmas apart. Theatreland is well and truly back in action with a host of pantomimes, ballets and other Christmas shows to keep the whole family entertained. There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- 1 – 5 December 2021 : Sparkle in the Park
Follow a festive light trail around the park alongside fire art installations, before enjoying live music, children’s shows, a Christmas disco, market stalls and hot food and drink. From 4pm-9pm. Free entry. Maryon Park, Maryon Road, Charlton, SE7 8EN. Nearest stations: Charlton or Woolwich Dockyard. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich website. 🐻
- 1 – 19 December 2021 : Cinema in the Snow
Pop Up Screens are bringing their festive, cinematic experience to south London. Step through a magical wardrobe into a winter wonderland, where you can watch classic Christmas films and newer festive releases on the big screen (indoors!). Licensed bar and snacks available. Tickets: Under 12s £12, Adults £22. Brockwell Park (Lido gate), Dulwich Road, Herne Hill, SE24 0PA. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For booking, visit the Pop Up Screens website. 🐻
- 1 – 30 December 2021 : Backyard Cinema’s Christmas Movie Spectacular
Cinematic experience experts Backyard Cinema are launching a third festive spectacular away from their permanent home in Wandsworth. Watch one of the three classic Christmas films (Love Actually, Home Alone or Elf) along with a live choir and performances by George The Poet in a stunning Art Deco setting. Times vary. Tickets start from £15. Troxy, 490 Commercial Road, Limehouse, E1 0HX. Nearest station: Limehouse. For tickets, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻
- 2 December 2021 : Christmas Lights Walk @ Marylebone
Explore the light installations of the Baker Street Quarter, telling the story of famous people and places from the district. Starts at 6pm. Free. Starts at Punch Tavern, 55 Baker Street, Marylebone, W1U 7DA. Nearest station: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Baker Street Quarter website. 🐻
- 3 – 5 December 2021 : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre
A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £25.30, Children 5-15yr £12.60, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website. 🐻
- 4 December 2021 : Rumblin’ Cocktails Rum Education @ Museum of London Docklands
Rum cocktail experts Rumblin’ host a history and mixology workshop in the old Rum Store. Explore the heritage of the tipple, before mixing your own and take a bottle of rum punch home. Over 18s only. From 5.30pm. Tickets: £55. Museum of London Docklands, No.1 Warehouse, West India Quay, E14 4AL. Nearest stations: West India Quay or Canary Wharf. For booking, visit the Museum of London website.
- Now until 4 December 2021 : Pigs Ear Festival 2021
Annual beer festival in conjunction with CAMRA, featuring over 230 real ales plus ciders, perries and bottled beers, food stalls and unique festival brews. Open 12pm-10.30pm. Tickets: £3 (CAMRA members), £5 (general). Round Chapel, Glenarm Road, Hackney, E5 0LY. Nearest station: Hackney Downs or Hackney Central. For more information, visit the Pig’s Ear website.
- 4 December 2021 – 9 January 2022 : The Gingerbread City 2021
The Museum of Architecture returns with another Gingerbread City. Over 100 architects, artists and engineers create a mini city made entirely of gingerbread and icing. In addition to the exhibition of the final creation, there is also the opportunity to take part in gingerbread house-making workshops. Open daily 9am-9pm. Tickets (45 min sessions): Adults and over 12 yrs: £14, Children 3-12yrs £8.50. 6-7 Motcomb Street, Belgravia, SW1X 8JU. Nearest station: Knightsbridge or Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Gingerbread City website. 🐻
- Now until 5 December 2021 : Christmas Floating Film Festival
Cosy up on a sofa or deckchair on a floating pontoon to watch your favourite festive films against the backdrop of St Katharine Docks. Screenings at 7pm (weekday and weekends), 2pm (weekends). Tickets: £16.76-£32.93. St Katharine Docks, 50 St Katharine’s Way, E1W 1LA. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For more information, visit the St Kats website. 🐻
- 7 – 9 December 2021 : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen
Get inspired for your festive food with live demonstrations, tastings, masterclasses, tips and tricks at Borough Market. Events from 11am-4pm. Free entry. Borough Market, 8 Southwark Street, SE1 1TL. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the Borough Market website.
- 8 December 2021 : Festive evening @ Leadenhall Market
Enjoy Christmas workshops, live music and late-night shopping at historic Leadenhall Market. Open 6pm-10pm. Free to attend, but register for a place on one of the workshops via Eventbrite. Leadenhall Market (access from Gracechurch Street, Lime Street and Whittington Avenue), City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Fenchurch Street. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website.
- 8 December 2021 – 3 January 2022 : Palace of Stardust @ Hampton Court Palace
A spectacular new light trail illuminates the historic Hampton Court Palace, as it winds around the gardens. Expect illuminations, projects and festive food and drink. Open daily 4pm-8pm (closed 11, 24-26 Dec). Tickets: Adults £12.50, Children £8, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). To book, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻
- 9 December 2021 : Miracle on Leake Street 2021
A one-off Christmas event comes to the colourful, graffiti-decorated tunnels of Leake Street. Featuring market stalls, free wreath-making workshops, face paint, activations, food and drink, comedy and cabaret teasers of the Vault Festival 2022 and a free screening of Home Alone. From 6pm-9pm. Free entry. Leake Street tunnels, Lambeth, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Lambeth North or Waterloo. For more information, visit the We Are Waterloo website.
- 9 December 2021 – 16 January 2022 : The Beatles exhibition @ Shapero Modern
Exhibition of newly-discovered photographs of The Beatles filming A Hard Day’s Night in 1964. Open Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm. Free entry. Shapero Modern, 41-43 Maddox Street, Mayfair, W1S 2PD. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Shapero Modern website. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.
- Now until 9 January 2022 : Wave @ Greenwich Peninsula
Squidsoup presents an interactive sculptural light installation, offering an audio-visual experience. Open 7pm-10pm. Free entry, but queues expected at busy times. Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, SE10 0SQ. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻
- 9 – 30 December 2021 : Enchanted Eltham
Late-night opening of Eltham Palace sees the Tudor and Art Deco buildings and gardens dazzle in a show of light, colour and sound. Follow the trail around the gardens. Also including fairground rides and hot food and drink on offer, including a roasting marshmallow pit. Open Thu-Sun 4.30pm-9pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: Adults £14/£16, Children 5-15 yrs £9.50/£11.50. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest stations: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻
- 10 December 2021 : Paper Craft Masterclass – Christmas Card Making
Using images from the British Library’s collections, design and make your own Christmas cards under the guidance of expert Shelagh McCarthy. From 10:30am-4.30pm. Tickets: £65, seniors, students or young people (18-25yrs) £55. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest stations: King’s Cross St Pancras or Euston. For booking, visit the British Library website. Read the rest of this entry
The National Archives are hosting special events and activities to mark the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales
A century later, the decade of the 1920s continues to fascinate many of us. In between two World Wars, it was a time of great change, with many discovering new freedoms and exploring their creativity following the restrictive constraints of Victorian and Edwardian society. The fashion and architecture of the period remains popular today, with events and parties often opting for 1920s themes.
If you’ve ever wondered what life was like in the 1920s, particularly for your ancestors, the publication of the 1921 Census for England and Wales will answer some of those questions. To celebrate the release of the Census in January 2022, The National Archives are hosting a programme of events and activities, entitled 20sPeople.
The main part of the programme will be The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition. Visitors can explore the decade’s politics, social changes, design and more as they happen upon a series of encounters walking down a typical 1920s street. Using the Archives’ vast collection of records and artefacts, you can find out the truth behind the era’s stereotypes and the turbulence, as women fought for the right to vote and people recovered from the ‘Spanish Flu’ pandemic. The exhibition will take visitors to a newspaper stand, polling station, draper’s shop, and typical 1920s home, before ending in a nightclub. A reimagining of popular Soho nightspot, The 43 club, tells the story of the venue, which was owned by Kate Meyrick and entertained film stars and gangsters of the day.
Along with the exhibition, there will be a series of events (both online and in-person), along with digital activities and access of learning resources. 20sPeople events, such as online talks, audio dramas and webinars on how to research your family history are already taking place from November 2021.
- The 1920s: Beyond the Roar exhibition runs from 21 January 2022 until TBA. 20sPeople events are on from November 2021 onwards. The National Archives, Kew, TW9 4DU. Nearest station: Kew. For more information, visit the National Archives website.
Find out what fairs, club nights, film screenings, family fun and other Halloween activities are on this October.
After a rather lacklustre Halloween in 2020 due to the pandemic, fans of the spooky season will be in for rather more choice with ways to celebrate it this year.
Halloween itself falls on a weekend at the end of the autumn half-term break, so there’s plenty of ghostly events for families during daytime and evenings.
Find out what exhibitions, boat trips, film screenings, story-telling, installations, club nights, ghost tours, supper clubs and beer fests this Halloween. While most day-time events are for families, there are some evening events open to children.
Be aware, some events or locations may have Covid-19 requirements for entry, such as vaccination proof, negative rest results or other protocols.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
Daytime Halloween events
- 23 September – 7 November 2021 : 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, while the table features a Halloween feast. Watch a procession of the Death Eaters. Tickets: Adults £47, Children £38. 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. 🐻
- 9 – 31 October 2021 : The Surgeon @ London Dungeon
A special Halloween show explores the horrors of Victorian surgery. Step into an old operating theatre as things turn gory. Times vary. Show included with general entry. Tickets: Adults from £20, adult entry & ‘Bloody Bellini’ cocktail £38, Children from £24. The London Dungeon, The Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For booking, visit the London Dungeon website. 🐻
- 16 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ Battersea Power Station
Two weeks of family-friendly activities will be taking place around the Power Station, including Halloween Hunt & Competition, Spooky Maze, Halloween-themed food at Queen of the Crepes, Spooky Story Telling & Thriller Dance Sessions and performances. Times and prices vary. Battersea Power Station, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest station: Battersea Power Station. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻
- 19 October – 13 November 2021 : Halloween @ Backyard Cinema
Spooky screenings at Backyard Cinema’s two winter experiences – the Winter Night Garden or the Snow Kingdom. Full bar and street food stalls available. Matinees and evening screenings. Tickets: £10.50-£29.99. Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website. 🐻
- 22 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ The London Bridge Experience
Get scared silly at one of two shows at the London Bridge Experience, with the Family Halloween Show taking place during the day. Children can take a spooky stroll through the dark past of London Bridge, before visiting the tombs, while counting the pumpkins along the way. Open 11am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £25, Children 5-15yrs £19. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, Borough, SE1 2SY. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website. 🐻
- 23 – 31 October 2021 : Ghost Raiders @ Tower of London
Help a team of ghost raiders investigate spooky occurrences in the Tower and track down the evil spirit trying to take over. Suitable for 8-14yrs. 10am-4pm. Tickets: (event included in tower admission) Adults £29.90, Children £14.90. Tower of London, City of London, EC3N 4AB. Nearest stations: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the Tower of London website. 🐻
- 23 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween at KidZania
Join a ghost tour through the world of KidZania, visiting haunted spots and listening to terrifying tales. Aspiring fashion designers can make creepy-crawly costumes or perform a spooky soundtrack. Open 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults from £16, Children from £26. KidZania, Westfield London, Ariel Way, W12 7GA. Nearest station: Shepherd’s Bush or Wood Lane. For more information, visit the KidZania website. 🐻
- 23 – 31 October 2021 : London Eye River Cruise presents Halloween Spooky Sailing
Enjoy a 40-minute circular boat tour as you learn about the spooky history of the River Thames. Boat departure: 6pm. Tickets: Adults from £20 (in 1 Beefeater Gin mulled drink), Children from £15. Departs from the London Eye Pier, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Embankment or Westminster. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. 🐻
- 23 – 31 October 2021 : Pumpkin Quiz Trail @ Battersea Park Zoo
Find out which animals are hording pumpkins on a family-friendly trail around the zoo. Open 10am-4.30pm. Quiz trail £1.50 entry (includes prize at the end). General entry tickets: Adults £10.95, Children £8.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website. 🐻
- 23 – 31 October 2021 : The Wizards of Once Halloween Quest @ Eltham Palace
Follow an adventure trail inspired by Cressida Cowell’s Wizards of Once series. Search for the ingredients for the Spell and find the Cup of Second Chances. Fancy dress competition. Open 10am-5pm. Event included with general admission. Tickets: Adults £17.30, Children 5-17yrs £10.40. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For booking, visit the English Heritage website. 🐻
- 26 October 2021 : Family Day: Halloween @ Benjamin Franklin House
A spooky family day with spooky 18th century stories told by Polly Hewson and gruesome games and crafts for 5-11 year olds. 11am-12.30pm. Free, but advanced booking recommended. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, Westminster, WC2N 5NG. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website. 🐻
- 26 – 27 October 2021 : Ghosts, Gargoyles, and Goodies @ Charlton House
South-east London’s Jacobean mansion is a hosting a variety of Halloween sessions, including ghost stories, make-your-own-gargoyle workshop, treasure hunt and spider trail in the gardens. Fancy dress welcome. Suitable for children 5-12yrs, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Sessions @ 10am, 11.30am and 2pm. Tickets: £5 per child, free for accompanying adult. Charlton House, Charlton Road, Charlton, SE7 8RE. Nearest station: Charlton. For more information, visit the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust website. 🐻
- 26 – 29 October 2021 : Halloween @ King’s Cross
A series of children’s activities are taking place during half-term across the King’s Cross site. Including Spooky Drawing Workshop, ‘Pimp your Pumpkin’ digital art class, Spooky Costume Swap Shop, scary storytelling, and more. Times and dates for each activity varies. Free, but advanced booking recommended. At various locations across King’s Cross, N1C. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website. 🐻
- 27 October – 1 November 2021 : Halloween @ Merchant Square
Enjoy a host of Halloween activities for the family, including pumpkin carving, photo competitions, pirate treasure hunts and a free film screening of Casper the Friendly Ghost. Times vary. Merchant Square, Paddington Basin, W2 1JS. Nearest station: Paddington. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website. 🐻
- 29 – 31 October 2021 : Halloween @ Old Royal Naval College
Celebrate with the spooky season with a series of Halloween-themed events for children or adults at the Old Royal Naval College. Children can listen to Icy Mystery: Halloween Voyage Into The Unknown, story-telling session (29-30 Oct, 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm); or adults can enjoy late-night visits, with Ghoulish Ghost Tours accompanied by either a Spooky Supper (29-30 Oct, 7pm) or Chilling Cocktails (29-31 Oct, 7pm). Tickets vary depending on event. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the ORNC website. 🐻
- 31 October 2021 : Kids’ Halloween Party @ Beckenham Place
Head to a Georgian mansion for a children’s party, featuring interactive games, funky dancing, monster hat making and treasure hunt. For ages 4-7yrs. Fancy dress encouraged. Session 1: 2pm-3.15pm, Session 2: 4pm-5.15pm. Tickets: £15 (1 adult and 1 child). Beckenham Place Mansion, Beckenham Hill Road, Beckenham, BR3 1SY. Nearest station: Beckenham Hill. For more information, visit the Beckenham Place website. 🐻
Evening and late-night Halloween events
- 6 – 21 October 2021 : Burials, Bombs and Fantastic Beasts’ walking tours @ Leadenhall Market
Every Wednesday in October, explore the dark side of Leadenhall Market on a guided tour. Discover the history of the site, dating back to Roman times, featuring witchcraft, murder and death. 6.30pm-8pm. Tickets: £8.14. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Bank. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. Read the rest of this entry
Summer is here! It’s been a long, tough winter and spring thanks to lockdown and the dismal weather of May! But thankfully, London is starting to open up a bit more and everyone is feeling more positive. While, some big events will be missing from the usual London summer calendar, there’s no chance of getting bored with plenty of culture and fun on around town. Of course, half-term has kicked off already so parents will no doubt be looking for ways to entertain the children after spending way more time at home recently than anyone wanted!
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
- 1 – 30 June 2021 : London Festival of Architecture
After the year we’ve had, it’s no surprise to see this year’s festival theme is ‘care’. Expect a host of virtual and physical events across town, including exhibitions, walks, talks, workshops, conferences and many more. For more information, visit the London Festival of Architecture website.
- 4 June – 26 September 2021 : Van Gogh Alive UK
An immersive, multi-sensory experience inspired by the art and life of Vincent Van Gogh. Open: Sun–Thur 10am–8pm, Fri–Sat 10am–9pm. Tickets: Adults £24. Kensington Gardens (East Albert Lawn), Kensington, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: Gloucester Road, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information, visit the Van Gogh Alive website.
- 4 June – September 2021 : Summer of Play @ Wembley Park
A whole season of free events are taking place in and around Wembley Park, including live music, outdoor cinema screenings, public art trail and sporting activities. Free. At various locations in Wembley Park. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition. 🐻
- Now until 10 June 2021 : Travel Photographer of the Year (TPOTY) 2020 exhibition
Check out 160 travel photographs of landscapes and people from around the world during a crazy year. Alfresco exhibition allows social-distancing and safe perusal of the imagery. Open 24/7. Free. Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, King’s Cross, N1C 4DQ. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the TPOTY website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the exhibition.
- 11 June – 17 October 2021 : Serpentine Pavilion 2021
After a 2020 hiatus, the latest temporary pavilion by the Serpentine Gallery has been unveiled. This year’s Serpentine Pavilion is designed by Johannesburg-based practice Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally. Open 10am-6pm. Free. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, W2 3XA. Nearest stations: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website.
- 12 – 14 June 2021 : London Fashion Week
The latest season of fashion week is dedicated to gender-neutral fashion. Expect a mix of virtual and physical events showcasing what we’ll be wearing next season. For more information, visit the London Fashion Week website.
- 18 – 19 June 2021 : Cocktails in The City Summers Series
This season, the London summer series of the popular cocktail festival with take place over three weekend monthly. Kicking off the first one in June, with London’s top bars setting up their own pop-ups, as well as live music, street food, tastings and demonstrations. 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.
- 25 – 27 June 2021 : London Classic Car Show 2021
Petrolheads with a penchant for the old school motors should head to Syon Park for a COVID-safe, outdoor car show. Expect vehicles dating back over the past 135 years, with opportunities to view and even purchase. Open Fri 10am–6pm, Sat 10am–7pm, Sun 10am–6pm. Tickets start from £26.62. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For more information, visit the London Classic Car Show website.
- Now until 27 June 2021 : Sonia Delaunay: Rhythm and Colour
An exhibition of abstraction art pioneer Sonia Delaunay’s works from her Rythmes-Coleurs series. Open Tues-Sat 10am-6pm. Free entry. BASTIAN, 8 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 3DW. Nearest station: Green Park or Bond Street. For more information, visit the Bastian Gallery website.
- Now until 1 July 2021: Gaia at the Painted Hall
Luke Jerram’s striking Earth installation is suspended in the recently-restored Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College for one month only. Late night openings on Fridays 5.30pm-10pm. Tickets: £13.50. 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. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.
Read the rest of this entry
Discover these seven audio series dedicated to exploring the capital’s history and culture.
During lockdown, many of us have been kept entertained and informed by some of the tens of thousands of podcasts out there. Whatever your interests, there is guaranteed to be umpteen episodes on offers to whet your appetite.
If you’re interested in London history, trivia or culture, then check out some of these audio discoveries, along with some handy links to get listening straight-away:
Ladies Who London Podcast
Blue Badge tour guides Alex Lacey and Emily Dell started their London history podcast at the beginning of lockdown. Every week they choose a different area of the capital or Londoner. They often highlight lesser-known Londoners, particularly women or people of colour, who have been usually been under-represented by the history books. The Ladies Who London podcast is not all serious though and expect plenty of banter in between the facts.
Open City Podcast
The Open City team – who are famous for organising Open House London – started a radio show platforming conversations about the capital in summer 2020. Exploring everything from its people to buildings to its organisations, from past, present and future. Recent episodes include the Guildhall, Old Kent Road and rethinking London’s green spaces.
Macabre London Podcast
Whether you love Halloween… or are just intrigued by the more sinister side of the capital all-year round, the Macabre London podcast is for you. Host and writer Nikki Druce tells gruesome stories from London’s past so expect murder, mystery, and perhaps the odd ghost or two. Recent episodes include the Central Line, an Edwardian cold case set in Battersea and London’s killer weather.Read the rest of this entry
Find out what’s on in London over the Christmas period.
Well, 2020 is nearly over, and I’m sure most of the country is glad to see the back of a very difficult year. While Christmas will undoubtedly be different to what we’re used to, plenty of London’s hospitality and entertainment businesses will be pulling out all the stops to offer a safe and entertaining social event. Expect social distancing, frequent cleaning and masks may be required so you can feel protected while enjoying the festivities. Among the events taking place are foodie fayres, film screenings, pantomimes and art exhibitions.
For December, London will be Tier 2, which means no mixing indoors with people outside your household or support bubble. Up to six people can meet outdoors in parks, private gardens and pub’s outdoor spaces.
20 Dec update: London is now in Tier 4 so a majority of events and attractions are likely to be cancelled or postponed. Please check the event website for further up-to-date information.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
Look out for the computer symbol 💻 for online events.
- 2 – 24 December : Borough Market’s Festive Kitchen
Enjoy cookalongs, masterclasses and talks from foodie experts and chefs streamed live from a special kitchen in the historic London market. Events take place Wed-Fri online. All live content will be streamed on the market’s Facebook page. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the event. 💻
- 2 December – 27 February 2021 : Connected by Light
Although the Winter Lights festival has been postponed, Canary Wharf’s contemporary streets have been lit by a series of light installations. Dusk until 10pm. Free. Installations dotted throughout Canary Wharf estate, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. 🐻
- 3 – 7 December : The Parking Lot Social @ Syon Park
A line-up of drive-in festive events, including Cinderella pantomime, film nights, car-a-oke, silent disco and festive food market, all from the safety of your car. Times vary. Tickets: £38.78 per car. Syon Park, Park Road, Brentford, TW8 8JF. For tickets, visit the Parking Lot Social website. 🐻
- 3 – 20 December : Cinema in the Snow
Enjoy a festive cinematic experience. Enter through a magical wardrobe and walk through a winter wonderland to the screening room. Watch a mix of classic and recent favourites. Covid-19 safety precautions being taken, including cleaning and socially-distanced seats. Tickets from £19.50. Unit 8, Copeland Park, Peckham, SE15 3SN. Nearest station: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Pop up Screens website. 🐻
- 4 December – 31 January 2021 : Dante’s In-Furlough
Step into the Underworld to see The Devil getting married. An immersive, theatrical show with dining options. Social distancing and mandatory face coverings. Thur-Sat: Entry times from 5.30pm-8.30pm, Sun: Entry times from 4.30pm-7.30pm. Tickets: From £25, Dining from £55. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo, Lambeth North or Waterloo East. For more information, visit The Vaults website.
- 11 – 13 December : Hampton Court Palace Festive Fayre
A celebration of festive food in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Featuring street food, pop-up bars, artisanal producers, live music, and more. 10am-5pm. Tickets (inc entry to courtyard and gardens): Adults £24.50, Children 5-15yr £12.20, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the HRP Food Festivals website.
- 11 – 13 and 18 – 21 December : Christmas @ Old Royal Naval College
A host of Christmas festivities are taking place at the Old Royal Naval College. Including the illuminated Christmas tree, festive market (12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 December), carol services, winter dining at the Painted Hall and a production of The Little Match Girl. Event timings and dates vary. Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: Cutty Sark, Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Old Royal Naval College website. 🐻
- 13 – 19 December : We’re All Human exhibition @ Pi Artworks
Dutch artist Jade van der Mark presents an exhibition of her large-scale paintings on city life. Open 11am-6pm. Pi Artworks, 55 Eastcastle Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 8EG. Nearest station: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit the artist’s website or the Pi Artworks website.
- 17 – 20 December : Love Actually in Concert
Watch the iconic film’s soundtrack performed live by an orchestra accompanying the screening. Socially distanced seating. Times: Matinee 2pm, Evening 6.30pm (staggered entry times). Tickets: £65-£81. Eventim Apollo, 45 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9QH. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information and booking, visit the Eventim Apollo website.
- Now until 31 December : The Drive In
Drive-in cinema offers film screenings and live experiences (e.g. musical performances, theatre, etc) in Enfield. With refreshments available, social distancing guidelines and the audio beamed in through your car stereo. Tickets: One car £35. The Drive In, Troubadour Meridian Water, Harbet Road, Enfield, N18 3QQ. For tickets and more information, visit The Drive In website. 🐻
- Now until 3 January 2021 : United in Light @ Wembley Park
Wembley Park has unveiled a selection of light installations for the festive period, including London’s tallest LED Christmas tree, festive selfie spots and ‘United in Light’, a new Instagram artwork on the Spanish steps. Wembley Park, Wembley, HA9 0FD. Nearest stations: Wembley Park or Wembley Stadium. For more information, visit the Wembley Park website.
- Now until 3 January 2021 :
SummerWinter exhibition @ Royal Academy of Arts
The summer exhibition is now winter as it was delayed due to Covid-19. Check out new art from a mix of established and emerging artists and architects, including Tracey Emin, Rebecca Horn, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel, Gillian Wearing and Ai Weiwei. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20-£22. Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the RA website.
- Now until 3 January 2021 : Christmas at Kew
A glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. 4pm-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £19.50/£24.50, Children £14.50, Under 4 free. Select your entrance gate when booking. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻
- Now until 3 January 2021: The Magic of Christmas @ London Zoo
London Zoo are hosting a series of festive events alongside the usual animal enclosures. You can meet Santa, enjoy VIP Santa Breakfasts and Animal Gift Giving sessions. Open 10am-4pm. Ticket prices vary depending on activities. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry
Although lockdown rules are constantly in flux and subject to change, London’s attractions, exhibitions and festivals have been gradually returning (albeit adapted to be Covid-19 safe as the pandemic continues). While physical events are continuing in adapted ways and for smaller attendees, many festivals are going online this year so you can experience the fun from the safety of your home. This month, there is Black History Month and Halloween, so expect to see many events inspired by these annual celebrations. October has plenty of boozy events on, including a month-long London Cocktail Week, Oktoberfest, Rum Week and The Whisky Show. Half-term is taking place towards the end of the month, so no doubt parents will be looking for some safe activities to entertain the kids.
Events, dates and rules are subject to change or last-minute cancellations, so always make sure you keep up to date with the relevant websites to avoid disappointment. Many events require or suggest booking in advance as they have reduced and limited availability.
Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.
Look out for the computer symbol 💻 for online events.
- 30 September – 8 October : London Craft Week
Week long event celebrating British and international designers, makers, brands and galleries. Various events (physical and virtual) on around town, including art tours, talks, fairs, installations, walking tours, demonstrations, open studios, craft trails, wine flights and more. For more information, visit the London Craft Week website. 💻
- 1 – 11 October : Kensington & Chelsea Art Week
A celebration of culture in the exclusive Zone 1 neighbourhoods, including exhibitions, workshops, talks, public art displays and more. At various venues in the district, including The Muse Gallery, Museum of Brands, Goldfinger Factory, Serena Morton Gallery. Find out more on the Art Week website.
- 1 – 31 October : London Cocktail Week
This year’s ‘week’ is extended to a whole month to give London’s bar scene a much-needed boost. Hundreds of bars across the capital will be taking part, offering £6 special LCW cocktail week concoctions for those with a wristband. There will also be self-guided bar crawls, masterclasses, bar takeovers, pop-ups and cocktail dinners. Sadly, the cocktail village won’t be open this year due to the pandemic. Tickets: £15 (valid for entire month). For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website.
- 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival
Support London’s amazing restaurant industry by sitting down to a fine meal or foodie experience. Enjoy small-scale in-restaurant experiences, Chef’s tables, feasts-at-home, drinks masterclasses, tasting menus and foodie masterclasses. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website. 💻
- 1 – 31 October : Mayfair Sculpture Trail
Existing Mayfair artworks will be joined by new installations for one month only. Walk along the iconic streets of Mayfair and spot creations by Lawrence Holofcener, Henry Moore, Antony Gormley, Patrick O’Reilly and Manolo Valder, among others. You can also download accompany audio commentary on Smartify. Free. For more information, visit the Mayfair Art Weekend website. 🐻
- 2 – 9 October : Whisky Show – Virtual Show
This year’s whisky event is going online, bringing together whisky connoisseurs with the distillers of their favourite and yet-to-be-discovered brands. You can order tasting packs in advance to taste with the virtual tasting sessions, as well as attend workshops, demos, talks and meet the brands. Tickets: £20. For more information, visit the Whisky Show website. 💻
- 2 October – 31 January 2021 : Dub London – Bassline of a City
A new exhibition explores dub reggae and its influence on the capital. Open Mon-Fri 11.30am-3.30pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Free entry, but book a time slot in advance. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, Barbican, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest stations: Moorgate or Barbican. For more information, visit the Museum of London website.
- 2 October – 31 January 2021 : The Murder Express
Enjoy an immersive fine dining experience on board a 19th century train carriage. Enjoy a four-course meal cooked by a Masterchef finalist, while sipping on cocktails and watching a murder mystery unfold. Times vary. Tickets: From £60. Located at 63 Pedley Street, E1 5FB. Nearest stations: Bethnal Green, Shoreditch High Street or Whitechapel. For more information, visit Funicular Productions. Check out Metro Girl’s post for details.
- 3 – 4 October : Fun Palaces Weekend
Fun for the family through online and in-person experiences, artworks and workshops exploring arts, science, craft, technology, heritage and sports. At libraries and other venues. For more information, visit the Fun Palaces Weekend website. 🐻💻
- 3, 10, 17 and 24 October : The Official Camden Oktoberfest
Celebrate Oktoberfest in a socially-distanced festival of beers on Saturdays in October. Featuring live music, DJs, German meat and plenty of beer. Entry in timed sessions (12pm-4.30pm or 5.30pm-10pm). Tickets: From £20.00. Electric Ballroom, 184 Camden High Street, NW1 8BP. Nearest station: Camden Town. For more information, visit the Camden Oktoberfest website. Read the rest of this entry
Visitors can safely check out the grounds, Painted Hall, and other buildings of the iconic Greenwich attraction.
The historic heart of Greenwich, the Old Royal Naval College, is reopening to the public this month following lockdown. Implementing safety measures in line with government guidance, the iconic 17th century complex will be opening its doors to its building and grounds from 13 July 2020. Londoners and tourists alike will be able to safely visit the stunning Painted Hall, King William Undercroft and interpretation gallery. The safety of visitors and staff will be prioritised with people advised to book in advance, with limited tickets available daily to ensure social distancing. As well being able to check out some of the college’s famous sights, there will also be special events and entertainment for the remainder of the summer season.
The Old Royal Naval College’s buildings were designed by Sir Christopher Wren and date back to the 17th century and early 18th century. Its glorious Painted Hall, painted by James Thornhill, re-opened late last year following several years of restoration. (Read about Metro Girl’s visit to see the ceiling up close during the project).
Visitors to the Old Royal Naval College can learn about its centuries of history with a new smartphone tour, free on the Smartify app. Families will enjoy the Building Detectives treasure trail tour for children aged 5-12 years.
Kicking off on 28 August – 12 September is the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, with plenty of events taking place within the grounds. This year’s festival will celebrate the heroes of the Covid-19 pandemic – the NHS, along with the strength of community spirit and the environment. Roaming film club Luna Cinema will also be pitching up for alfresco cinema screenings in August. Meanwhile, Amber Markets are also planning to return later this year with global street food.
To mark Black History Month in October, the ORNC will launch a new exhibition exploring the history of the black sailors in the British Navy in the 18th and 19th centuries, curated by black British historian S.I. Martin.
- 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.
- The grounds will be open daily 7am-7pm. The Painted Hall, King William Undercroft, Visitor Centre Shop and Ticket Desk will be open daily from 10am–5pm. The Chapel will be open from 10am–2pm for private prayer. (The Victorian Skittle Alley remains closed). Spaces must be booked in advance for tours and the ORNC recommends visitors bring their own headphones for use with the multimedia guides. Guided tours will be limited to a maximum of five people. Groups larger than 25 will not be permitted to visit the site. No cash payments will be accept: Card and mobile payments preferred.
Enjoy virtual tours of the city’s museums and galleries as the Covid-19 pandemic keeps us home.
The continuing lockdown means our museums and galleries are still closed for the foreseeable future. If you’re missing your culture fix while stuck at home during the Coronavirus pandemic, why not enjoy some of London’s top exhibitions and galleries online?
Here’s where to find 10 virtual tours of London’s museum and galleries:
- Andy Warhol @ Tate Modern
The Bankside museum closed its doors just days after its Warhol exhibition launched. However, the Tate swiftly put an online tour for art fans to enjoy, with commentary by curators Gregor Muir and Fiontán Moran.
– To see the Warhol exhibition tour, visit the Tate’s YouTube channel.
- Langlands & Bell: Degrees of Trust @ Sir John Soane Museum
The current exhibition at the Sir John Soane Museum has been put online for (virtual) visitors to enjoy. Contemporary artists Ben Langlands and Nikki Bell’s pieces have been showcased alongside the contrasting antiquities of the museum.
– To see the online exhibition, visit the Sir John Soane Museum website.
- Harry Potter: A History of Magic @ British Library
The British Library’s 2017-2018 exhibition on Harry Potter was hugely popular and displayed the original drafts and drawings of JK Rowling and illustrator Jim Kay. Although the exhibition is long over and the BL’s doors are currently closed, you can enjoy the collection online.
– To see the online exhibition, visit Google Arts & Culture.
- Picasso & Paper @ Royal Academy of Arts
The RA’s exhibition of Pablo Picasso’s works on paper opened in January and was due to run until April. Although real-life visits are on hold, you can enjoy a virtual exhibition tour on the RA’s website instead.
– Watch the video on the Royal Academy of Arts website.
- Science Museum
There’s many ways for you to explore the Science Museum virtually, including a Google Streetview tour, curator gallery guides, collections and stories.