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Guide to what’s on in London this Halloween 2017

© Sašo Tušar via Unsplash

© Sašo Tušar via Unsplash

It’s the spookiest time of the year. It’s not only the Americans that go crazy for the annual scarefest with a host of daytime and nighttime events on for both children and adult on in London. With Halloween falling on a Tuesday this year, we can expect to see ghoulish events kicking off a bit earlier. As half-term holidays are the week before, there’s plenty of Halloween-themed fun for kids in the lead up to the 31 October. Meanwhile, for party animals, there’s plenty of late-night revelry, or for a calmer alternative, there’s special meals and film screenings.

Daytime jitters

  • 1 October – 6 November : The Death Express @ The London Dungeon

Step aboard the Death Express, an old railway transporting the dead. Explore the history of London’s most gruesome residents and crimes. Tickets from £21 (timed entry). London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon websiteFor Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 17 – 31 OctoberThe Quarter of Curiosity Shop

Newburgh Quarter will be hosting a fortnight of Halloween fun, including a Halloween florist selling posies and bouquets in spooky shades. Also including series of free workshops, including Halloween Headdress making, potion cocktail making, pumpkin planters and a Halloween make-up masterclasses. The Quarter of Curiosity Shop, 2 Newburgh Street, Soho, W1F 7RD. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby website.

  • 21 – 31 OctoberBoo At The Zoo

A week of fiendish fun at London Zoo including Halloween-themed activities, pumpkin carving, crafts and animal demonstrations. Open 10am-5pm. Activities are free with entry to zoo. Entrance tickets: Adults £24.50, Child £18.00 (cheaper online). London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website.

  • 21 – 28 OctoberSpookfest @ London Museum of Water & Steam

Learn the secret history of the engine houses, enjoy a ride on the ghost train, a trip through the creepy wood and Halloween craft activities. Tickets: adults £12.50, children £5.50. London Museum of Water & Steam, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, TW8 0EF. Nearest station: Kew Bridge. For more information, visit the London Museum of Water & Steam website.

  • 23 – 27 October : Half-Term Horrors @ Eltham Palace

Creepy family fun at the Medieval and Art Deco Eltham Palace. Including costume competitions and pumpkin carving. Book a time slot at 11am, 12pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: Adults £14.40, Children £8.60. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit English Heritage website. For Metro Girl’s review of Eltham Palace, click here.

  • 24 OctoberFamily Day: Hallowe’en @ Benjamin Franklin House

A spooky family day with spooky 18th century stories told by Polly Hewson and gruesome games for 5-11 year olds. 4-5pm. Free, but advanced booking recommend. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, Westminster, WC2N 5NG. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website.

  • 25 – 29 October : Four Legged Phantoms @ Sutton House

Halloween fun and games in a Tudor manor, including a ghost hunt and spooky stories. Fancy dress encouraged. Halloween activities are free with normal entry. Tickets: Adults £6, Children £3. Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High Street, Hackney, E9 6JQ. Nearest station: Homerton. For more information, visit the National Trust website.

  • 26 October : Crafty Pumpkin Fun @ Chiswick House

Children can enjoy pumpkin carving in the kitchen garden of Chiswick House. For 4-11 year olds. 10am-4pm. Tickets: £7 per child with accompanying adult (booking in advance recommended). Chiswick House, Chiswick, W4. Nearest station: Chiswick or Chiswick Park. For booking, visit the Chiswick House website.

  • 26 – 29 October : Trick Or Treat Afternoon Tea

Foodies will love this afternoon tea with a spooky twist. Featuring black iced ghoul cupcakes, brownie coffins, blood orange tart and pumpkin sponge rolls. There will also be pumpkin carving classes in the café on Hallows Eve. Afternoon tea: £21.50pp (includes pot of tea or coffee). Bluebird, 350 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 5UU. Nearest stations: Fulham Broadway, South Kensington or Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Bluebird website.

  • 28 October : Trick Or Treat Run

A Halloween-themed charity run of either 2km, 5km or 10km around a closed park course. For adults and children, fancy dress encouraged. Prizes for the best costumes. Runs at 1.30pm and 5.30pm. Entrance fees start from £12 (adults) and £6 (children) depending on mileage. Richmond Park, Richmond, TW10 5HS. Nearest station: North Sheen, Richmond or Hampton Wick. For more information and to register, visit the Human Race websiteRead the rest of this entry

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Guide to what’s on in London in October 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The leaves are falling, the temperatures are dropping… autumn is here

Autumn is closing in and the days are getting cooler so many of the capital’s events and festivals are retreating indoors. However, October is jam-packed with festivals and tons of family-friendly events for the half-term holidays. This month, there’s plenty of treats for foodies and booze fans, with the London Restaurant Festival and London Cocktail Week amongst the fab events on around town. Not forgetting Halloween near the end of month, with spooky events going on.

For a guide to London’s Halloween activities and parties, click here.

  • 1 October : Cheese Street N1

Huge cheese festival comes to North London, featuring tastings, cheese pairings, workshops, street food, butter making, cheese angels, live music and more. 10am-3pm. Free entry. Chapel Market, Islington, N1 9PZ. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the London Farmers Market website.

  • 1 October : Pearly Kings and Queens Harvest Festival

London’s famous Pearly Kings and Queens celebrate their Harvest Festival with Morris dancing, maypole dancing, marching bands, drummers and lots of colourful characters. Free admission. St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 4JJ. Nearest station: Charing Cross. For more information, visit the St Martin-in-the-Fields website.

  • 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival

Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include Champagne Gourmet Odysseys, American Express menus, restaurant hopping tours, Desert Island Dishes, Eat Film and more. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.

  • Now until 1 October : Lambeth Heritage Festival

A month long festival celebrating the heritage and people of Lambeth – stretching from the South Bank all the way to Streatham and Norwood. Featuring talks, film, music, theatre, exhibitions, walks and workshops. At venues across the borough including Migration Museum, Brixton Windmill, Lambeth Palace, Lambeth Archives, the Cinema Museum, London Fire Brigade Museum, the Chocolate Museum, Brockwell Lido and more. For more information, visit the Lambeth.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 1 October : Raindance Film Festival

UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in the Piccadilly Circus area. Festival pass from £49-£149. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.

  • Now until 1 October : New Scientist Live

A festival of ideas and discovery from New Scientist magazine. Featuring four immersive zones: Brain & Body, Technology, Earth and Cosmos. Tickets: £26 (advance). ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent. For more information, visit the New Scientist Live website.

  • Now until 1 October : The World Of Anna Sui

Exhibition featuring over 100 looks from the American fashion designer’s archives dating back to 1991. Open Tues-Sat: 11am-6pm (or 8pm on Thurs), Sun 11am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £9.90, Concessions £7.70. Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3XF. Nearest station: London Bridge. For booking, visit the Fashion and Textile Museum’s website.

  • 1 October and 5- 8 October : London Oktoberfest

Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. Opening hours vary. General admission starts from free to £10 (depending on day). Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of Dogs, Canary Wharf, E14 3AY. Nearest station: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Cocktails galore at London Cocktail Week

  • 2 – 8 October : London Cocktail Week

Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 digital pass so you can enjoy cocktails at over 250 venues for as little as £6. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website.

  • 3 – 21 October : The People’s Revolt @ The Tower Of London

Enjoy an immersive, interactive experience from theatre company differencEngine in the grounds of the Tower. Over 18s only. Shows @ 6pm, 6.30pm, 7pm, 7,25pm and 7.50pm. Tickets: £23-£25.50. Tower Of London, Tower Hill, EC3N 4AB. Nearest station: Tower Hill, Tower Gateway (DLR) or Fenchurch Street. For more information and booking, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

  • 3 – 31 October : Hammer House of Horror Live

Legendary Hammer Film bring their first immersive theatre show to Hoxton Hall. Over 18s only. Tickets: £48.50 (Tues, Wed, Sun), £52.50 (Thur, Fri, Sat). Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, Hoxton, N1 6SH. Nearest station: Hoxton or Old Street. For tickets, visit Hoxton Hall’s website.

  • 4 – 15 October : BFI London Film Festival

Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience. Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at 15 venues including Odeon Leicester Square, Hackney Picturehouse, Ritzy Cinema and Curzon Mayfair and Cine Lumiere. For more information, visit the BFI website.

  • 5 – 8 October : Frieze Art Fair

Contemporary art event in Regent’s Park, featuring over 150 galleries from around the world. Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £27.95. Regents Park (Art Fair near the Outer Circle in SE corner of the park). Nearest stations: Regent’s Park, Great Portland Street, Baker Street or Camden Town. For more information and tickets, visit the Frieze London website.

  • 5 – 8 October : The Other Art Fair

The bi-annual fair is a great place to buy art from 130 emerging and undiscovered artists. There will also be guest artists, immersive theatre, live music, bar and restaurant. Opening times vary. Tickets start from £5. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For tickets, visit The Other Art Fair websiteRead the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in June 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Bubbly, wine and vermouth at London Wine Week

Summer is here at last so London is in full celebration mode as it embraces the long days and the hot-ish weather. The festival calendar is in full swing with a host of alfresco fun on around town. The first few days of June are half-term holidays, so expect to see lots of family-friendly events on around town.

Click here for a guide to London’s music festivals this summer.

For London’s pop-up and open-air cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 – 4 JuneSundance Film Festival – London

The Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, comes to London to showcase the best of independent movies, featuring UK and International feature film premieres, 15 shorts and special events. Individual tickets from £16 (£12 Picturehouse members) or festival passes for £150. Picturehouse Central, corner of Shaftesbury Avenue and Great Windmill Street, Piccadilly, W1D 7DH. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Picturehouse website.

  • 1 – 30 June : London Festival Of Architecture

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

  • 1 – 30 June : London Food Month

The Evening Standard presents the UK’s biggest food festival, featuring hundreds of events across the capital. Among the highlight includes a pop-up Night Market (7 – 18 June) in Perks Field in Kensington Gardens featuring food and drink stalls and live entertainment. For more information, visit the London Food Month website.

  • 2 – 3 June : Mindful Living

Learn about the art of mindfulness and meditation and how it can help you in your life. Featuring keynote speakers Ruby Wax, Sharon Salzberg, Ed Halliwell, Katie Warriner and Etienne Scott MBE. Tickets: £32-£72. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information, visit the show website.

  • 2 – 4 June : Stoke Newington Literary Festival

A festival featuring readings, workshops and performances at venues across the suburb. Speakers include Tom Overton, Michael Rosen, Janet Ellis, Bee Wilson, Fernando Sdrigotti, Zoe Adjonyoh, Lopè Ariyo, Alex Bellos, AL Kennedy, Kate Pankhurst, Michael Goldfarb, and many more. Tickets range from free to £10. Venues include Clissold Park, Abney Public Hall, Stoke Newington Town Hall, St Paul’s Church Hall, Unitarian Chapel, Abney Park Cemetery and William Patten School. For more information and tickets, visit the Stoke Newington Literary Festival website.

  • 2 – 10 June : Brockley Street Art Festival

One week long celebration of street art, featuring local, national and international talent. Featuring activities for adults and children alike, including colouring competition, mural painting, live DJs and talks. Various venues around Brockley, SE4. Nearest station: Honor Oak Park, Crofton Park or Brockley. For more information, visit the Brockley Street Art Festival website.

  • 2 – 10 June : Brockley Max

Nine-day community arts festival featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website.

  • 2 – 14 July : Zoo Nights

London Zoo are hosting late summer evening openings for adults-only on Fridays through June. As well as getting to see the animals without the presence of screaming children, you’ll also get to enjoy the zoo lit up in neon, take part in Zooniversity Challenge or follow a forensics trail. There will also be entertainment and a world food market. 6-10pm. Tickets: £17.50. London Zoo, Outer Circle (Regent’s Park), NW1 4RY. Nearest stations: Camden Town or Regent’s Park. For more information and booking, visit the Zoological Society London website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Be a big kid at London Zoo’s late night opening

  • 2 June – 28 July : Pavilion Lates @ Dulwich Picture Gallery

A series of late night Friday events at the 200-year-old gallery and its temporary summer pavilion. 6pm-10pm every Friday except 7 July. Free entry, but you must reserve a place in advance. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich Village, SE21 7AD. Nearest station: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. To find out more, visit the DPG website. For Metro Girl’s review of a Pavilion Late event, click here.

  • 2 June – 2 July : East End Film Festival

For its 16th year, the East End Film Festival has been spread out to five weekends. Featuring screenings, Q&As, a Twin Peaks-themed ball and more. At venues across East London, including a Masonic temple. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 3 June : Carnaby Street Eat Food Festival

Food and drink festival in Carnaby, with the area’s restaurants and bars serving signature and on-trend dishes and cocktails. Featuring offerings from Island Poké, Le Bab, Dishoom, Jinjuu, Cahoots, Ugly Dumpling and Darjeeling Express. 12pm-6pm. Free entry. Carnaby Street, Soho, W1. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit the Carnaby London website.

  • 3 June : Blitz Party

Step back in time to the 1940s for a themed night of patriotic revelry, featuring swing dancing, big band music, cocktails, performers, dance classes and vintage makeovers. Dress code: 1940s glam, home front utility clothing and allied uniform. 8pm until late. Tickets from £30. In a secret East London bunker, with location revealed near the time. For more information, visit The Blitz Party website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2017

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Celebrate Chinese New Year at the Magical Lantern Festival

Gloomy January is over so by now you’ve hopefully got used to the cold weather and your finances have recovered after the festive season. With winter in full swing, February gets a little injection of colour (well, pink and red) in the middle of the month with the saccharine fest that is Valentine’s Day (more on that in another blog post!). There’s also half-term holidays so no doubt parents will be looking for things to occupy their little ones. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this February.

For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, click here.

  • Now until 2 February : Broadgate Ice

Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.

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

Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as lots of travel companies, there is photography masterclasses, health advice and meet the experts. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £11 in advance, Under 12s free when accompanied by paying adult. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.

  • 3 – 4 February : London Remixed Festival

A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Open: Fri 8pm-1am, Sat 8pm-4am. Tickets: £8-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.

  • Now until 4 FebruaryLondon 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 £9.50-£29. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.

  • Now until 4 February : Amaluna by Cirque du Soleil

The newest touring production from the Cirque, a spectacular re-telling of The Tempest. Tickets range from £20-£115. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.

  • 4 – 5 February : Fare Healthy

Feel good festival of food, exercise and wellbeing. Featuring Deliciously Ella, Skye Gyngell, Anna Jones, Natasha Corrett, Martin Morales, Dale Pinnock, Madeleine Shaw, Melanie Sykes, James Duigan, Gaby Roslin and many more. 9.30am-6pm. Tickets: £25. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street, Liverpool Street or Aldgate East. For tickets, visit the Fare Healthy website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London this Halloween 2016

© The Mansion

Scare yourself silly at The Mansion’s Halloween Ball
© The Mansion

The onset of autumn can be a bit depressing for many of us as the nights get darker and the temperatures get colder. So perhaps that’s why so many of us are getting more excited about Halloween than we used to – a bit of fun to lift us out of our pre-winter blues. Now it’s not only the Americans that go crazy for the annual scarefest with a host of daytime and nighttime events for both children and adult on in London. As it coincides with half-term, there’s plenty of Halloween-themed fun for kids throughout the week in the lead up to the 31 October. Meanwhile, for party animals, there’s plenty of late-night revelry, or for a calmer alternative, there’s special meals and film screenings.

For a guide to what non-Halloween activities and festivals are on in London in October, click here.

Daytime jitters

  • 1 – 31 OctoberThe Witch Hunter at the London Dungeon

The London Dungeon are hosting a Halloween twist on their usual attractions, as you join Witchfinder General Matthew Hopkins on his 17th century witch hunt. Tickets start from children £17.50, adults from £21.50. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 22 – 30 October : Boo At The Zoo

A week of fiendish fun at London Zoo including Halloween-themed activities, pumpkin carving, animal demonstrations and crafts. Open 10am-5pm. Activities are free with entry to zoo. Entrance tickets: Adults £24.25, Child £17.60. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website.

  • 22 – 31 OctoberA Slice of Pumpkin Eye at the London Eye

Special Halloween experiences for families with a fun activity pack. Tickets: Children from £16.95, Adults from £21.20. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest stations: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

  • 22 – 31 October : Spookfest @ London Museum of Water & Steam

Learn the secret history of the engine houses, enjoy a ride on the ghost train, a trip through the creepy wood and Halloween craft activities. Tickets: £11.25 adults, £4.95 children. London Museum of Water & Steam, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, TW8 0EF. Nearest station: Kew Bridge. For more information, visit the London Museum of Water & Steam.

  • 24 – 28 October : Half Term Horrors @ Eltham Palace

Creepy family fun at the Medieval and Art Deco Eltham Palace. Including costume competitions and pumpkin carving. Book a time slot at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: Adults £13.60, Children £8.10. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit English Heritage website. For Metro Girl’s review of Eltham Palace, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Halloween fun for families on the Cutty Sark in Greenwich

  • 24 – 28 October : She Tells Sea Tales

Step on-board the Cutty Sark to be entertained with artists, musicians and storytellers. 11am-3.45pm. Tickets: Adults £12.15, Children £6.30. Cutty Sark Clipper Ship, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9HT. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark (DLR), Greenwich or Maze Hill. For more information, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 24 – 29 October : Things That Go Splash In The Night @ Maritime Museum

Children can make their own shipwrecked musical instruments and listen to scary tales and watch puppet shows. Free admission. Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF. Nearest stations: Cutty Sark (DLR), Maze Hill or Greenwich. For more information and booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 25 October : Halloween @ Benjamin Franklin House

A spooky family day with spooky 18th century stories told by Polly Hewson and ghastly games. 4-5pm. Free, but advanced booking recommend. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, WC2N 5NG. Nearest stations: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in October 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

London Cocktail Week returns at bars across the capital

The nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping as the countdown to Christmas kicks off. However, there’s plenty of reasons to live in the moment this October with lots of festivals and special events on around London. Of course, for those with a love of fancy dress, the month ends with Hallowe’en with plenty of ghoulish fun to be had in the capital.

For a guide to Halloween activities and parties on around town, click here.

  • 1 October : NFL on Regent Street

American football festival returns to Regent Street. The shopping haven will be pedestrianised between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus to celebrate Sunday’s Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars game at Wembley. Includes appearances by NFL players and coaches, cheerleaders, inactive games, NFL merchandise, food and drink. Free. Regent Street, Soho/Mayfair, W1. Nearest stations: Oxford Circus or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Regents Street website.

  • 1 – 2 October : Classic Car Boot Sale

A boot sale with a difference, featuring vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia up for purchase from the boots of over 100 classic cars. Entry: £5 (£4 in advance). Lewis Cubitt Square (off Stable Street), Kings Cross, N1C 4AY. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.

  • 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival

Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include Veuve Cliquot Gourmet Odysseys, American Express menus, restaurant hopping tours, London’s longest lunch and Eat Film. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.

  • Now until 2 October : Raindance Film Festival

UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened at cinemas in the West End area. Venues include Vue Piccadilly Circus, Century Club and The Hospital Club. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.

  • 29 September – 2 October and 6 – 9 October : London Oktoberfest

Celebrate the German beer fest in Docklands, featuring a host of beer, food and entertainment. (NB: this event is nothing to do with the one which was cancelled at the last-minute last year). Opening hours vary. Tickets start from £5-£10. Millwall Park, Manchester Road, Isle of dogs, Canary Wharf, E14 3AY. Nearest stations: Island Gardens or Mudchute. For booking, visit the London Oktoberfest website.

  • Now until 2 October : Spiegeltent

A Spiegeltent is popping up in Canary Wharf for 11 days with a host of entertainment for adults and children, including comedy, live music, cabaret, burlesque, circus and more. Ticket prices range from free to £15 depending on event. Canada Square Park, Canary Wharf, E14 5AH. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For most information, visit the Canary Wharf website.

  • 3 – 9 October : London Cocktail Week

Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 wristband so you can enjoy cocktails at participating venues for as little as £5. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website.

  • 5 – 16 October : BFI London Film Festival

Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience.  Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at 15 venues including Odeon Leicester Square, Hackney Picturehouse, Ritzy Cinema and Curzon Mayfair and Cine Lumiere. For more information, visit the BFI website.

  • 5 – 16 October : London Literature Festival

The London Literature Festival returns to the Southbank, with renowned writers, futurologists and transhumanists discussing the future in these uncertain times. Among the highlights include Christopher Ecclestone, MyAnna Buring and Nikki Amuka-Bird perform a reading of The Time Machine and Margaret Atwood discussing her latest book. Many events are free, but tickets go up to £25. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London for Halloween 2015

© 2014 Merlin Entertainments

Bring your kids to get scared silly this Halloween at the London Dungeons
© 2014 Merlin Entertainments

The onset of autumn can be a bit depressing for many of us as the nights get darker and the temperatures get colder. So perhaps that’s why so many of us are getting more excited about Halloween than we used to – a bit of fun to lift us out of our pre-winter blues. Now it’s not only the Americans that go crazy for the annual scarefest with a host of daytime and nighttime events for both children and adult on in London. As it coincides with half-term, there’s plenty of Halloween-themed fun for kids throughout the week in the lead up to the 31 October. Meanwhile, for party animals, there’s plenty of late-night revelry, or for a calmer alternative, there’s special meals and film screenings.

For a guide to what else is on in London in November, click here.

Daytime jitters

  • 1 October – 1 November : Séance! at the London Dungeon

The London Dungeon are hosting a Halloween twist on their usual attractions, set in 1873 at a gathering hosted by the top medium of the day. Guests will be transported back to 50 Berkeley Square in scenes based on real events with supernatural disturbances and visits from the spirit world. Tickets start from children £17.50, adults from £21.50. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 16 October – 1 November : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros Studio Tour 

Explore some of the darker side of Harry Potter movies. Try your duelling techniques against a Death Eater, see Malfoy Manor and a 20ft model of Voldemort’s snake Nagini and floating mannequin of Muggle Studies teacher Charity Burbage. Tickets: £22.50 children, Adults £33 (must be booked in advance). Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.

  • 24 – 31 October : Witch Academy on the London Eye

Special Halloween experiences for adults and children. For kids, the Witch Academy includes a 30 minute ride on the Eye, Storytelling for children (4-9 years), a Halloween character host and free goody bag. For adults, there’s the Trick Or Treat Cocktail experience, including two Halloween themed cocktails, nibbles, 1 hour on the London Eye (2 rotations) and priority boarding. Tickets: Children from £16.65, Adults from £26.55 (witch academy) or £45 (cocktail experience). London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

  • 24 October – 1 November : Boo At The Zoo

A week of fiendish fun at London Zoo including spider talks, pumpkin patch, spooky storytime and talks at the Owl Emporium. Activities take place from 1oam-4pm and free with entry to zoo. Entrance tickets: Adults £22.50, Child £16.65. London Zoo, Regent’s Park, Marylebone, NW1 4RY. Nearest station: Regent’s Park or Camden Town. For booking, visit the ZSL website.

  • 24 October – 1 November : Spookfest @ London Museum of Water & Steam

Learn the secret history of the engine houses, enjoy a ride on the ghost train, a trip through the creepy wood and Halloween craft activities. Tickets: £11.50 adults, £5 children. London Museum of Water & Steam, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford, TW8 0EF. Nearest station: Kew Bridge. For more information, visit the London Museum of Water & Steam.

  • 26 – 31 October : Halloween Pumpkin Carving @ Eltham Palace

Pumpkin carving sessions at the Medieval and Art Deco Eltham Palace. Book a time slot at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Tickets: Adults £13, Children £7.80. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, Eltham, Greenwich, SE9 5QE. Nearest station: Eltham or Mottingham. For more information, visit English Heritage website. For Metro Girl’s review of Eltham Palace, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in October 2015

© London Cocktail Week 2014

London Cocktail Week returns to the capital in October
© London Cocktail Week 2014

The summer is finally over (sad face) and the weather is sadly getting cooler. But fortunately, London is doing its best to lift our spirits with a whole lotta fun going on around town. Obviously there’s Halloween at the end of the month (a guide to come…), but there’s tons on around town for those who aren’t interested in the ghoulish holiday.

For a guide to Halloween activities and parties for adults and children, click here.

  • Now until 1 October : St Martin’s Courtyard Film Festival

Three day free film festival in St Martin’s Courtyard. Films include Shaun Of The Dead, Atonement and Billy Elliott. Enter the online ballot to receive a free ticket at the St Martin’s Courtyard website. St Martin’s Courtyard, off Long Acre, WC2. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Covent Garden. To sign up for tickets, visit the St Martin’s Courtyard website.

  • 1 – 31 October : London Restaurant Festival

Restaurants all over the capital are taking place in this festival, offering special menus, discounts and events celebrating the capital’s culinary culture. Highlights include Champagne Laurent-Perrier Gourmet Odysseys and American Express menus with Michel Roux Jr, Pierre Koffmann, Helene Darroze, Tomos Parry, Marcus Wareing, Jeremy Lee, Mark Hix, Philip Howard, Nathan Outlaw. For more information, visit the London Restaurant Festival website.

  • 2 – 11 October : Wimbledon BookFest

Ten day festival featuring readings, children’s events, storytelling, comedy, courses and interviews from a wide range of authors, including Sebastian Faulks, Louis de Bernieres, Alexandra Shulman, Vince Cable, Brian Moore, Seann Walsh, Andy McNab, Steve Backshall, Boris Becker, Shirley Williams, Stella Duffy, Ben Fogle, and more. Tickets range from free to £90 and are recommend to be booked in advance. A majority of events take place in tents on Wimbledon Common, but also other venues nearby. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the BookFest website.

  • 2 October – 3 January 2016 : Dressed By Angels

An exhibition of over 100 costumes from Angels’ archives, worn by Fred Astaire, Noel Coward, Laurence Olivier, Tom Baker, Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep, among others, Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adults £16, Children £9. Old Truman Brewery, Loading Bay, Ely’s Yard, 15 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate. For booking, visit the Dressed By Angels website.

  • 3 October : NFL Fan Rally

Fans of American football can warm up ahead of the New York Jets V Miami Dolphins match at Wembley Stadium that afternoon. Featuring a celebration of American football with players, cheerleaders and NFL legends. 12-4pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the London.gov website.

  • 3 – 4 October : Classic Car Boot Sale

A boot sale with a difference, featuring vintage fashion, homewares and pop culture memorabilia up for purchase from the boots of over 100 classic cars. Entry: £5. Lewis Cubitt Square (off Stable Street), Kings Cross, N1C 4AY. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Classic Car Boot Sale website.

  • Now until 4 October : Raindance Film Festival

UK’s largest independent film festival returns to the capital. Featuring over 100 movies and 150 short films screened in The Vue Piccadilly and Wes End. Tickets: £12. Passes range from £100 to £175. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus. For more information and tickets, visit the Raindance website.

  • 5 – 11 October : London Cocktail Week

Bars, restaurants and other surprising venues are celebrating London Cocktail Week with a variety of offers and events around the capital. To get the most out of it, buy a £10 wristband so you can enjoy cocktails at participating venues for as little as £5. For more information, visit the London Cocktail Week website. For tips and highlights of this year’s LCW, click here.

  • 7 – 18 October : BFI London Film Festival

Film buffs rejoice for the biggest event in the British film calendar – next to the Baftas of course – but this is the one we can all experience.  Eleven days of screenings, premieres, exhibitions, masterclasses and Q&As will be taking place across the capital, at venues including Leicester Square, BFI Imax, BFI Southbank and the Renoir. For more information, visit the BFI website.

  • Now until 8 October : Victorian London In Photographs

Exhibition of archive shots of Victorian London on show at the London Metropolitan Archives. Opening times: Mon and Sat 9.30am-4.45pm, Tues-Thurs 9.30am-7.30pm, Closed Fridays and Sundays. Free entry. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, EC1R 0HB. Nearest station: Farringdon. For more information, visit the City Of London website.

  • 9 – 18 October : South Norwood & Thornton Heath Free Film Festival

Following last year’s inaugural festival, the free film event is returning to South Norwood and Thornton Heath. Screenings, talks, film quizzes and more at various venues across the South London suburb. Screenings include Northern Soul, Despicable Me, The Gruffalo, Quadropheniaand more. For more information, visit the Free Film Festival website.

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Guide to what’s on in London in February 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Celebrate Chinese New Year – the Year of the Sheep – in Chinatown and Trafalgar Square

We’re one step closer to spring and with the nights gradually getting lighter, we’re being encouraged to venture out more. Of course there is the distraction of Valentine’s Day in the middle of the month, but if you’re cynical of the commercial celebration of love or are happily single, there’s plenty more going on in February. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London in February… and thankfully, most of the events are indoors.

For Metro Girl’s special Valentine’s guide, click here.

  • 29 January – 1 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show

Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as meet lots of travel companies, there is also the Experience The World zone, where you can sample culinary delights from around the world, or see a nurse for vaccination advice. Tickets: £11 in advance. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest tube: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.

  • 3 February : Budvar Tank Tuesdays Closing Party @ Zigfrid von Underbelly

Enjoy an evening of art, music and drinking at London’s smallest gallery. Photographer Claude Crommelin will be unveiling his final exhibition of street art images, representing Hoxton Square, while DJ Francois Dirty South and DJ duo Gem Precious & Judy Walsh will be on the decks. There will also be a free pint of Budvar Tankové Pivo to the first 102 people through the door. Open 6pm-1am. Zigfrid von Underbelly, 11 Hoxton Square, Hoxton, N1 6NU. Nearest station: Old Street or Hoxton. For more information, visit the Zigfrid von Underbelly website.

  • 6 February : Farewell Leicester Square – Friday Lates @ London Transport Museum

Mark the end of the Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition, which focuses on Londoners during WWI and the onset of the jazz age. Featuring activities, workshops, illustrated talks, live music from the KD jazz and dance orchestra band and cocktails mixed by Erik Lorincz, head bartender from The Savoy’s American Bar. 6.45-10pm. Tickets: £10, £8 concession. London Transport Museum, Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Charing Cross. For tickets, visit the London Transport Museum website.

  • 6 – 7 February : London Remixed Festival

A two day celebration of emerging talents from the worlds of ghetto funk, drum and bass, reggae, anarchic hoedown, Latin breaks, brass band hip hop, electro-Afro music, Balkan beats, blues remix, electro swing, tropical bass, Ethiopian dub, DMC scratch masters +and more. Tickets £7-£15. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch, E1 6LA. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street (overground) or Old Street. For more information, visit the London Remixed Festival website.

  • 7 February – 8 March : Orchid Festival

An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £15 adults or £14 concessions. Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 9 February : Trader Vic’s Tiki Cinema

Trader Vic’s in the London Hilton are hosting monthly screenings in their Tiki-themed bar and restaurant. This month’s screening is Casablanca. Film starts at 7.30pm, food is served from 6pm. Tickets: £13 (including screening and a cocktail). Trader’s Vic, 22 Park Lane, Mayfair, W1K 1BE. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Trader’s Vic website.

  • 9 – 22 February : Imagine Children’s Festival

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, free fun and workshops. Including readings and appearances from Russell Brand, Judith Kerr, Lauren Child, Laura Dockrill, Anthony Horowitz and Helen Skelton. Lots of activities and events are free. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 10 – 15 February : Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival

Five day festival at Ealing Studios featuring musical performances, film screenings, tours of the studios, talks and exhibitions. This year’s theme is Polish heritage. Ticket prices vary. Events take place at various venues, including Ealing Studios, University Of West London, Ealing Town Hall and Ealing Abbey. Nearest tube: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For more information, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.

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Guide to what’s on in London for Halloween 2014

© Ram Yoga on Flickr

Halloween pumpkins
© Ram Yoga on Flickr

With the onset of October, people inevitably start thinking about the fast approaching winter and Christmas festivities. But first we’ve got Hallowe’en to mark first. Every year, the scarefest seems to be getting bigger and bigger and 2014 will be no exception. If you’re a fan of the spooky holiday, there’s plenty going on in the capital for both adults and children alike. Parents looking for some half-term ideas to keep their children occupied will also find some inspiration. I strongly advise booking in advance to many events as those who just turn up without a ticket may be disappointed.

This guide is for 2014, for the new 2015 guide to London at Halloween, click here.

  • 28 – 29 October : Little Shwop of Horrors

To get prepared for the Hallowe’en festivities, why not head down to M&S and Oxfam’s pop-up which will sell fancy dress and items donated by the likes of Jessie J, Nadine Coyle, Simon Pegg and Naomie Harris. Shoppers are encouraged to bring their own items to ‘shwop’, with proceeds from sales going to fight poverty worldwide. Open 8am-9pm. Marks & Spencer Marble Arch, 458 Oxford Street, W1C 1AP. Nearest tube: Marble Arch. To find out more about shwopping, visit the M&S website.

Daytime jitters

  • 1 October – 2 November : Halloween at the London Dungeon

Of course, one of the city’s scariest places is the London Dungeon, who are making the most of All Hallows Eve with a month of frightful goings-on.  As well as the usual features, the Hallowe’en festivities will also include the new character The Master Of Tricks and his Wheel Of Misfortune and some other special surprises. London Dungeon, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Dungeon, click here.

  • 1 October – 3 November : Halloween Show @ The London Bridge Experience

The experience will be running its usual adventure with a Hallowe’en twist. Open 10.30am-5pm Sun-Fri, 10am-6pm Sat. Tickets: Adults £20, Children 5-15 yrs £16, Students over 17 £18. London Bridge Experience, 2-4 Tooley Street, SE1 2SY. Nearest tube/rail: London Bridge. For more information and booking, visit the London Bridge Experience website.

  • 25 October – 1 November : Witch Academy on the London Eye

Imagine you’re on a broomstick and can soar into the sky over London… then open your eyes and realise you’re on the London Eye as part of the Witch Academy. As well as a 30 minute ride on the big attraction, an academy experience also includes a Hallowe’en character host, storytelling for four to nine-year olds and a free goody bag. Tickets: Children – online in advance £17.93 or £19.92 on the day, Adults £24.25 online in advance or £26.94 on the day. London Eye, near Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

  • 25 October – 2 November : Glamoween @ Madame Tussauds

Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (well, their waxwork doppelgangers at least…) will gather at a Halloween party at Madame Tussauds. Children dressed in Hallowe’en costume will get in free with a paying adult (£24 in advance online, £55.80 on the day). Madame Tussauds, Marylebone Road, NW1 5LR. Nearest tube/train: Baker Street or Marylebone. For more information, visit the Madame Tussauds website.

  • 28 October : Family Day Hallowe’en @ Benjamin Franklin House

Walk along the creaky floorboards of this 18th century house before a spooky storytelling by Benjamin Franklin’s friend Polly Hewson and other ghoulish goings on. 4-5pm. Tickets £5 for children, free for adults. Benjamin Franklin House, 36 Craven Street, London, WC2N 5NG. Nearest tube: Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Benjamin Franklin House website.

  • 30 October – 1 November : Eat Your Heart Out pop-up cake shop

Food art curator Miss Cakehead is celebrating Halloween with the most gruesome looking cakes you’ve ever seen, such as three slaughtered little pigs or giant spiders. A three day pop up will be open at the Hoxton Hotel which is free to visit. Hoxton Hotel, 81 Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, EC2A 3HU. Nearest tube/Overground: Old Street or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit the Miss Cakehead website.

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