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Guide to what’s on in London this Easter 2017 for adults and children

© onefox/Pixabay

Chicks, chocolate and bunnies galore in London this Easter
© onefox/Pixabay

Easter is fast approaching! To many of us that means a long weekend, lots of chocolate and (hopefully) warmer temperatures. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend (which is 14 – 17 April in case you’re wondering).

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

  • 24 March – 23 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs

Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Crystal Palace (24 Mar – 9 Apr), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (1 – 17 Apr), Clapham Common (1 – 23 Apr) and Hampton Court (13 – 18 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.

  • 1 – 16 April : Bunny Hop and Seek for Easter @ Museum Of Brands

Hunt a parade of Easter bunnies around the museum and through the Time Tunnel. Tues-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm. Activities free with museum entrance: Adults £9, Children 7-16yrs £5. Museum Of Brands, 111-117 Lancaster Road, Notting Hill, W11 1QT. Nearest station: Ladbroke Grove. For more information, visit the Museum Of Brands website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Moomin Adventures @ Kew Gardens

Explore Kew Gardens on an interactive trail before ending up at the magical Moomin Festival Camp in the wild woodland. There will also be the opportunity for craft workshops, sample the Moomins’ pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium. There will also be Lindt chocolate treats for every visitor. Tickets: Adults: £14, Children £2.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Jurassic Kingdom

Dinosaur fans will get the opportunity to see 30 life-sized installations of animated dinosaurs, which move and make noise. There will also be street food and drink vendors on site. 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults – £13.50 (online), £15 (on the door), Children £11.50 (online), £13 (on the door). Osterley Park, Jersey Road, Isleworth, Middlesex, TW7 4RB. Nearest station: Osterley. For tickets, visit the Jurassic Kingdom website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs. Open 10am-4.30pm. Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park Zoo, Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo website.

  • 1 – 17 April : Easter Family Fun @ Hampton Court Palace

Go on a Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at the homes and gardens of King Henry VIII. Other activities include meet Princess Caroline, decorate your own chocolate cup and find out how Georgians used to drink their chocolate. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £23 (£20.30 online), Children £11.50 (£10.20 online). Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court (36 minutes from Waterloo). For more information, visit the Historic Royal Palaces website.

  • 1 – 21 April : Easter @ WWT London Wetland Centre

Enjoy the Celebrity Dusty Duck Trail and Easter Giant Duck Hunt (1 – 17 April only) during the Easter Holidays. The trail (£1 entry) will feature 6ft sculpture of Dusty Duck with a chocolate prize at the end, while the hunt (£1 entry) will feature ducks hidden around the reserve with a prize at the end. Entrance tickets: Adult £12.26-£13.49, 4-16 years £6.75-£7.42, family tickets £34.36-£37.80. London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Nearest station: Barnes or Barnes Bridge. For more information, visit the London Wetland Centre website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in August 2016

99 ice cream © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Summer is here!

Summer is well and truly in full swing. Schools are closed, there’s weddings and festivals up and down the country and plenty of alfresco fun to be had around town. Of course, the Rio Olympics will be kicking off on 5 August to expect plenty of sporting and Brazilian activities on around town as well.

To find out where to watch the Rio Olympics on the big screen, click here.

For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 – 28 August : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its 11th year, bringing over 250 productions of theatre, comedy and fringe fun to 25 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre and the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 6 – 7 August : London Triathlon

Watch over 13,000 entrants who will be taking part in cycling, running and swimming across the Thames to raise money for charity. Free to spectate. ExCel, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Canning Town. For more information, visit the London Triathlon website.

  • 7 August : Brixton Splash

Free community street festival taking over various streets in Brixton, featuring live music, poetry, art exhibitions, street theatre, crafts, children’s activities, food and sound systems. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.

  • 7 August : Splash Fest

A pop-up water park comes to Battersea Park for one day only. Featuring five zones of water-themed challenges and games over a 2.5km trail, with water slides, bubbly brook and water spouts. 9am-7pm. Tickets: Adults £22, Children £10, Under 3s free. Battersea Park, Albert Bridge Road, Battersea Park, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road. For booking, visit the Splash Fest website. For more information, visit Metro Girl’s blog post on Splash Fest.

  • Now until 7 August : East London Fringe Festival

Five week festival celebrating East London’s vibrant and bohemian culture, featuring music, art, lifestyle, film screenings, parties and cultural events. Venues include Shoreditch Park, Hoxton Square, Hackney Road Rec Ground, Cargo, Juno Bar, Bedroom Bar and more. For more information, visit the ELFF website.

  • 9 – 13 August : Great British Beer Festival

Up to hundreds of real ales, ciders, perries and foreign beers with be available to try, while there will also be plenty of entertainment and food. Tickets start from £9 (CAMRA members), £11 (non-CAMRA members). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Great British Beer Festival website.

  • 11 – 13 August : Some Voices presents Festival Headliners

London’s coolest choir Some Voices are bringing their own takes on the hits of Coldplay, Beyonce, Blur, Adele, Basement Jaxx, Pulp, Arcade Fire, Dolly Parton, Jay Z, The Verve and many more. Also featuring The Secret Forest, Field Of Dreams and Pop Up Disco. Door open 7pm. Tickets: £17. Mercato Metropolitano, 48-50 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For tickets, visit the Some Voices website.

  • 12 – 14 August : London Craft Beer Festival

Twenty four breweries from London, the UK , Europe and USA will be showing off over 100 beers. Also including food stalls, live music and DJs. Tickets: £28-£38.50. Oval Space, 29-32 The Oval, Hackney, E2 9DY. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information, visit the London Craft Beer Festival.

  • 13 August : Holi One Colour Festival

Thousands of people wearing white come together in Wembley Park for a festival of music, dance and performance art. Inspired by the Indian Holi festival, participants will end up covered in multi-coloured powder. Tickets start from £29.99. Wembley Park, Engineers Way, Wembley, HA9 0TU. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information and booking, visit the Holi One website.

  • 13 August : Spotlight Festival

One day festival returns to Seven Dials in the West End, featuring live music and performances, live portraits, flower crown making, airstream photobooth, deck chairs, crazy golf, pop-up tea garden and free Prosecco. 12-7pm. Free entry. Seven Dials, Covent Garden, WC2H 9HD. Nearest station: Covent Garden or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Seven Dials website. To find out more, read Metro Girl’s blog post on the festival. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to London’s urban beaches (yes, beaches!) this summer 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Enjoy one of the capital’s urban beaches, such as this one on the South Bank

So London is famously an inland city… around 40 miles away from the nearest seaside resort. However, did you know there’s many urban beaches that pop-up around the capital over the summer? If you can’t manage to get fly to more exotic climes or can’t face the traffic on the motorway, a few hours on one of London’s sandy retreats may just help you imagine you’re elsewhere.

Here’s a guide to London’s urban beaches:

  • 27 May – 28 August : Brixton Beach Boulevard

Be transported to 1980s Miami beach with food, drinks, music and a live outdoor screen screening sporting events. Open Thur 6-11pm, Fri 6pm-12am, Sat 1pm-12am and Sun 1-10pm. Entry price varies depending on event. Popes Road, Brixton, SW9 8JH. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Beach Boulevard website.

  • 4 June – TBCBeach 338

Beach club at the Studio 338 venue, featuring 180-tons of imported sand, wooden decking, cabanas, 2 beach bars, BBQs, sunbathing decks and hammocks. Hours vary. Beach 338 @ Studio 338, 338 Boord Street, Greenwich, SE10 0PF. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Studio 338 website. NB: Following a fire at Studio 338 on 8 August 2016, this is unlikely to be open until further notice. Please check their website.

  • 6 June – 30 September : CopaCabana Beach @ South Bank

Pop-up beach returns to the South Bank for daytime frolics with the children and night-time fun for the adults. Right by the sand is a pop-up bar serving Brazilian-inspired food and drink, such as Spicy Malagueta Chicken, Sweet Potato Fries and Caipirinha cocktails. 11am-late Free. South Bank (near the skateboard park), SE1 8XX . Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Copacabana Beach website.

  • 1 July – 4 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 11 July – TBC : Urban London Beach @ Royal Docks

Temporary beach with sands feature views of the City and of the Emirates Cable Car crossing the Thames. Open 10am-8pm. Free entry. 1 Siemens Brothers Way, E1 1GB. Nearest station: Royal Victoria (DLR). For more information, visit the Royal Docks website.

  • 23 July – 4 September : BeachEast @ Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The UK’s largest urban beach opens this summer in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Featuring a sandy ‘beach’, huge kid’s paddling pool, funfair rides, two beach bars and a host of sporting events and activities, such as volleyball, cricket, football, boccia and  fitness classes. Open daily from 10am. Free entry. BeachEast, Stratford Waterfront (near former Olympic Stadium & Pool), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2DU. Nearest stations: Stratford and Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the BeachEast website.

  • 29 July – 29 August : Camden Beach

The ‘beach’ returns to Camden again this year, with 150 tonnes of sand, deckchairs, ping pong, bars and restaurants. You can also book VIP beach huts. Located in the grounds of the Roundhouse. Open Mon 5-11pm, Tues-Sun 12-11pm. Free. Camden Roundhouse, Chalk Farm Road, Camden, NW1 8EH. Nearest station: Chalk Farm. For more information, visit the Roundhouse website.

  • 30 July – 29 August : The Beach @ Watford

The pop-up beach will also feature plenty of sand, family activities, movie and Olympics screenings and more. 10am-10pm daily. Free entry. The Parade, High Street, Watford, WD17. Nearest station: Watford Junction. For more information, visit the Watford.gov.uk website.


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

Find out where to watch the Rio Olympics on the big screen this summer.

To find out about London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here or for all that latest summer music festivals in London, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in July 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Live music at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park

Summer is in full swing. Of course Wimbledon and UEFA Euro 2016 is easing us into the month with plenty of free screenings on around town if you haven’t been lucky enough to get a ticket. With the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, you can expect even more festivals and activities for parents desperate to keep the kids entertained.

For a guide to the capital’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 1 July – 31 August : The Rose Bar @ The Bingham

A pop-up bar dedicated to rose wine in the stunning surrounds of The Bingham bar, terrace and rose garden. Also serving Rose Afternoon Tea. The Bingham, 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, TW10 6UT. Nearest station: Richmond. For more information, visit The Bingham website. For Metro Girl’s blog post on the Rose Bar, click here.

  • 1 July – 4 September : The Beach @ Brent Cross

A pop-up beach featuring entertainment, rides and street vendors, including 2,500 square metres of imported sandy beach. Open Mon-Fri: 12-10pm. Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm. Entry: £3. Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Hendon, NW4 3FP. Nearest station: Hendon Central or Brent Cross. For more information, visit The Beach Brent Cross website.

  • 2 July : Bermondsey Festival

This year’s Bermondsey Festival is headlined by Paul Young. Featuring reggae group Indika, Motown trio The Aim, and Kinetika Bloco on the carnival parade. Featuring music, dance, children’s activities and more. 12-8pm. Free. Southwark Park, Gomm Road, Bermondsey, SE16 2EH. Nearest station: Bermondsey. For more information, visit the Southwark.gov.uk website.

  • Now until 2 July : LIFT Festival

Lift festival returns to the capital, brining ‘pioneering new theatre, spectacular performances and moments of magic’. Over 30 events at locations across London featuring work from 14 countries, including Argentina, Belgium, Greece, Poland, Canada, Japan, Australia, the USA, Lebanon and Syria. For more information, visit the LIFT Festival website. For Metro Girl’s blog on the LIFT Festival, click here.

  • Now until 2 July : Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Nine day celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website.

  • 2 – 9 July : The Streatham Festival

Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘celebrating Streatham’. Featuring dance, comedy, music, workshops, arts and crafts, writing, film and talks. At various venues across Streatham. For more information, visit the Streatham Festival website.

  • Now until 3 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

The festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (3 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.

  • Now until 3 July : Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: Somme 100

Outdoor exhibition features images of the present-day battlefields alongside archive pictures of the trenches during the Great War. Free. Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V. Nearest station: St Paul’s. For more information, visit the City Of London website.

  • Now until 3 July : East End Film Festival

Diverse film festival including premieres, industry masterclasses, Q&As, screenings and immersive live events at venues across the East End. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website. Read the rest of this entry

Egg-cellent guide to what’s on in London this Easter 2016

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

There’s plenty going on in London this Easter

It may not feel very spring-like, but the new season is well and truly upon us with the start of the Easter Holidays. With parents searching for ways to entertain their children, a host of London attractions have curated special activities over the break. My monthly ‘what’s on guides’ include many activities on in the capital during March and April, however for those looking for more family and Easter-centric ideas of what’s on during the holidays, here’s listings of things to keep you occupied. However, it’s not all for the kids, with a special section at the bottom with adults-only Easter fun over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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

Family fun

  • 18 – 28 March : Find Your London Festival

An 11 day festival celebrating the capital’s outdoor spaces, from gardens to parks, high streets to marketplaces. Featuring over 100 events, including yoga in the park, cycle trails, treasure hunts, beekeeping and an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party. For more information, visit London.gov website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Easter @ Kew – Chocolate Sensations with Lindt Gold Bunny

There will be a host of Easter-themed fun at Kew over the holidays, including Lindt Gold Bunny Flavour Trail, Chocolution – bean to bar workshops, story-telling, face-painting and more. Tickets (regular entrance): Adults: £14, Children £3.50. Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information and tickets, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Easter @ Design Museum

Over Easter, the Design Museum will be hosting a series of family-friendly events around the Cycle Revolution exhibition, including Pedal Powered Cinema, Colouring Competition and an Easter Egg Hunt. Tickets (general entrance): Adult £13.65, Children £6.85. Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD. Nearest station: London Bridge or Tower Hill. For tickets, visit the Design Museum website.

  • 19 March – 10 April : Where’s Wally @ View From The Shard

Kids can search for explorers Wally, Wenda, Woof, Wizard Whitebeard and Odlaw as they explore the viewing platforms at View From The Shard. From 10am until sunset. Family tickets (2 adults, 2 children): £74.95 (advance) or £79.95 (on the door). The View From The Shard, Joiner Street, SE1 9SP. Nearest station: London Bridge. For more information, visit the View From The Shard website. For Metro Girl’s review of View From The Shard, click here.

  • 24 March – 2 April : My First Ballet – Sleeping Beauty

Introduce your child to ballet with the English National Ballet and English National Ballet School production of this classic fairytale. Performance times vary. Tickets: £10-£25. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT. Nearest station: Holborn or Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.

  • 24 March – 10 April : George Irvin’s Funfairs

Travelling funfairs will be setting up camp at Shepherds Bush Green (24 Mar – 10 Apr), Hampton Court (25 – 29 Mar), Clapham Common (25 Mar – 10 Apr) and Crystal Palace (1 – 10 Apr) over the Easter break. Rides include Big Apple Coaster, Dodgems, Bungee Trampolines, Tea Cups, Waltzer, Inflatable Slide and Carousel, among many others. For more information, visit the Irvin Leisure website.

  • 25 – 28 March : Easter Egg Hunt @ Battersea Park Zoo

Find out what zoo animals will be holding Easter eggs? Visitors can purchase a £1.50 (including prize) quiz sheet upon entry and follow the trail. General admission: Adults £8.95, Children 2-15 yrs £6.95. Battersea Park, Chelsea Embankment, Battersea, SW11 4NJ. Nearest station: Battersea Park. For more information, visit the Battersea Park Zoo 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.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in August 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

London Wonderground returns to the Southbank

With the summer holidays from school having kicked off, the season is now in full swing. The closure of schools mean there is even more going on in London this month to keep young and old occupied during the sunny days and balmy nights. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this August.

For a guide to open-air pop-up cinemas in London, click here.

For ideas on how to entertain the children over the summer holidays, click here.

  • 31 July – 21 August : Panarmonion Bar & Stage

A stage and bar will pop-up at Kings Cross for  three weeks bringing free daily entertainment. The bar will serve cocktails, wine and beers, while a range of music and dance performances will grace the stage. Open Mon-Fri: 4-11pm, Sat: 12-11pm, Sun: 12-5pm. Free entry. Lewis Cubitt Square, Handyside Street, Kings Cross, N1C 4UZ. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Cross website.

  •  1 August : Africa Centre Summer Festival

Day of African music, fashion, dance, food, performances and film in and around Covent Garden Piazza. Free. 12-10pm. Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E. Nearest station: Covent Garden, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the Africa Centre website.

  • 1 August :  RideLondon FreeCycle

Festival of cycling including an 8 mile car and lorry-free route through the capital featuring 50,000 riders. Free to register. For more information, road closures and routes, visit the Prudential RideLondon website. On Sunday 2 August, the professionals will take to the streets, starting from Horse Guards Parade, before moving on to Surrey in a 200km race.

  • Now until 1 August : Shuffle Festival

Film and arts festival in Mile End, featuring live music, food and drink and film screenings, including Q&As with director Danny Boyle. Ticket prices vary, but many events are free. Various venues around Mile End, E3. Nearest tube: Mile End. For more information and tickets, visit the Shuffle Festival website.

  • 2 August : Brixton Splash

Free community street festival taking over various streets in Brixton, featuring live music, poetry, art exhibitions, street theatre, crafts, children’s activities, food and sound systems. 12-7pm. Free. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Splash website.

  • Now until 2 August : Alexander McQueen – Savage Beauty

The first retrospective of the late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, from his MA graduate collection to his final, unfinished Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Tickets: £17.60 adults, £16.50 OAPs, £9 students. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For tickets and more information, visit the V&A website.

  • Now until 2 August : Time Run

A new live quest meets immersive theatre in a new twist on the ‘escape the room’ games. For groups of three to five people, you will join Edwardian inventor Luna Fox on a journey through time. Tickets: £24 (off-peak), £29 (peak). 9-15 Helmsley Place, London Fields, E8 3SB. Nearest station: London Fields. For booking, visit the Time Run website. Read Metro Girl’s post on Time Run for more information and to see the trailer.

© Time Run

Enter the world of Edwardian adventurer and inventor Luna as you take part in Time Run
© Time Run

  • 3 – 30 August : Camden Fringe

The Camden Fringe returns for its eighth year, bringing over 180 productions to 17 venues across the borough of Camden, including Camden People’s Theatre, Camden Comedy Club, Canal Café Theatre (read Metro Girl’s review on the adjoining pub The Bridge Houseand the Hen And Chickens. For more information and tickets, visit the Camden Fringe website.

  • 5 – 30 August : More London Free Festival – Theatre

Open-air theatre festival by the Thames, featuring shows such as Captain Show-Off! and Women Of Troy. Free. Shows on Wed-Sun, 6-10.30pm. The Scoop, Queen’s Walk, SE1 2DB. Nearest tube: London Bridge. For more information and listings, visit the More London website. While you’re there, why not eat or drink at the nearby London Riviera pop-up bar.

Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London for families over the summer holidays 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

Find out where to keep your little darlings occupied this summer

As much as we love summer, the season also means one thing for frantic parents everywhere – how to keep their children occupied during the school holidays. Of course, my monthly what’s on guides includes many child and teen-friendly activities, but I’ve also done a round-up of attractions in the capital I’ve previously blogged about that would appeal to families, both free and ticketed, to give you some ideas.

For the August guide to what’s on in London, click here.

  • Carsten Höller: Decision

Soar above the rooftops on a flying machine or whizz down a huge slide at this fun, interactive art exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank. Runs until 6 September 2015. Tickets: Adults £13.50-£15, Concessiosn £11, Under 12s free. Hayward Gallery, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For information and tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Serpentine Pavilion

Kids will find it an adventure going through the multi-coloured, multi-layered pavilion, which also includes a café so parents can put their feet up and enjoy a slice of cake. Open until 18 October 2015. Free to visit. Open 10am-6pm. Serpentine Pavilion, Kensington Gardens, Kensington, W2 3XA. Nearest tube: Lancaster Gate, Knightsbridge or South Kensington. For more information, visit the Serpentine Gallery website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Alice’s Adventures Underground

Enjoy an immersive theatre experience with different shows available for varying age groups. Adventures In Wonderland for 5-10 years old and Alice’s Adventures Underground is for 11 plus and adults. Runs until 30 August 2015. Tickets for Adventures In Wonderland: Adults £18.50, Children £12.50. Tickets for Alice’s Adventures Underground: Tues, Wed and Sunday £35, Thurs £40-£47.50, Fri and Sat £47.50. The Vaults, Launcelot Street (off Lower Marsh), Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Alice’s Adventures Underground website. For Metro Girl’s review of Alice’s Adventures Underground, click here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Slide out of the Hayward Gallery at Carsten Holler’s Decision

  • London Dungeon

Maybe more suitable for older children, a journey through London’s more gruesome history, including rides for those daring enough. Tickets start from £17.50 for adults or £15.94 for children, cheaper if booked online in advance. Opening times vary. Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube/train: Waterloo or Westminster.  For more information and tickets, visit the official London Dungeon website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • London Eye

Enjoy some of the best views in London – and 360 degrees of it – from the big ferris wheel by the Thames. Opening times vary. Standard tickets (always cheaper online!) start from adults £19.35, children 4-15 years £13.95. Tickets can be bought from the Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Nearest tube: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For more information, visit the London Eye website. For Metro Girl’s review of the London Eye, click here.

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Guide to what’s on in London in July 2015

99 ice cream

Summer is here!

The summer is in full swing and with the school holidays kicking off at the end of the month, it means there’s plenty of free events on around town. Of course Wimbledon is easing us into the month with plenty of free screenings on around town if you haven’t been lucky enough to get a ticket. Here’s Metro Girl’s guide to what’s on in London this month.

For ideas on how to entertain families over the summer holidays, click here.

For a guide to London’s pop-up cinemas this summer, click here.

  • 30 June – 5 July : Hampton Court Palace Flower Show

Flower show in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, featuring three zones Inspire, Grow and Escape. Celebrity and expert speakers include David Domoney, Charlie Dimmock, Rachel Allen, James Wong, Jonathan Moseley and Mig Kimpton, among others. Advance tickets range from £19.50 to £35 depending on full/half-day and membership. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, Surrey KT8 9AU. Nearest train: Hampton Court (from Waterloo). For more information and tickets, visit the RHS website.

  • 1 – 12 July : East End Film Festival

Diverse film festival including premieres, industry masterclasses, Q&As, screenings and immersive live events at venues across the East End. For more information, visit the East End Film Festival website.

  • 2 July – 18 October : Audrey Hepburn – Portrait Of An Icon

Exhibition of photographs of the late, great Audrey Hepburn. Featuring images by Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, plus family snaps and behind-the-scenes. Tickets: £9-£10. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Embankment or Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.

  • 3 July : Don Giovanni on the BP Big Screen

Performance will be beamed live from the Royal Opera House to big screens around the UK, including Trafalgar Square, Canada Square Park, Lyric Square Hammersmith and Walthamstow Town Square. Free. 7pm onwards. For more information, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • 3 – 5 July : Foodies Festival @ Alexandra Palace

Enjoy fine food and drink, teach your kids to cook in the Children’s Cookery Theatre, listen to live music, tea dances, vintage kitchen market and watch chefs in action such as John Whaite, Adam Handling and Aldo Zilli. Tickets: £10-£15. Fri and Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 11am-7pm. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information and tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website.

  • 4 – 11 July : The Streatham Festival

Eight day festival in Streatham with this year’s theme of ‘coming of age’. Featuring dance, comedy, music, workshops, arts and crafts, writing, film and talks. At various venues across Streatham. For more information, visit the Streatham Festival website.

  • Now until 5 July : Greenwich and Docklands International Festival

Nine day celebration of free outdoor performing arts, including theatre, dance, and street arts. At various venues across Greenwich and Docklands. For more information, visit the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival website.

  • Now until 5 July : Hampstead Summer Festival

Now extended to two weeks long, the festival takes place in and around Hampstead, including the Big Fair on Heath Street (5 July), open art competitions, poetry, art and literacy events, pub quizzes and more. Many activities are free. For more information, visit the Hampstead Summer Festival website.

  • 9 – 11 July : The Greatest Spectacle Of Lucha Libre

A celebration of Mexican wrestling, food and entertainment. Tickets: £20-£45 (discounts available for children). York Hall, Bethnal Green, E2 9PJ. Nearest station: Bethnal Green. For more information or tickets, visit Lucha Libre World website. For more information, read Metro Girl’s blog post.

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Guide to what’s on in London in April 2015

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2015

Spring is here!

Spring is (hopefully) in full swing and with Easter Holidays kicking off at the beginning of the month, there’s plenty going on both during and after the school holidays. With the hope of warmer weather, some events and festivals are starting to venture outside. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for some balmier weather.

  • 30 March – 12 April : Chorus Festival

Festival celebrating singing as a group, featuring concerts, warm-ups and workshops. Tickets range from free to £38. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and booking, visit the Southbank Centre website.

  • 2 – 5 April : London International Ska Festival

Four day festival of ska music featuring Lee Scratch Perry, Steel Pulse, Derrick Harriot, Gentleman’s Dub Club, Rico Rodriguez, Freddie Notes and Sir Horace Upton Collective (from The Specials) among others, at venues across the capital, including the Jazz Café and the Forum. Wristbands for the whole festival £141, individual gigs range from £5 to £25. For more information and tickets, visit the London International Ska Festival website.

  • 2 – 5 April : Le Beat Bespoke Festival

Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, record fair, market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets: Individual gig tickets vary, or 3 day pass £53, 4 day pass £61. 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, W1W 5PN. Nearest station: Great Portland Street or Oxford Circus. For more information, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.

  • Now until 6 April : Ideal Home Show

A place of inspiration for homeowners including interiors, fittings and gardens. Includes plenty of opportunities to buy things both big and small for the house and food. Celebrity ambassadors in attendance include Alan Titchmarsh. Gregg Wallace, Laurence Llewelyn Bowen, George Clarke, Katie Piper, Martin Lewis, and Suzi Perry. Tickets: Adults £12 (weekday) or £14 (weekend). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX. Nearest tube/overland: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website.

  • 9 April – 19 July : Udderbelly Festival
© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2013

The Udderbelly cow returns to the Southbank

Udderbelly returns to the Southbank for a seventh year, featuring three months of comedy, circus, cabaret and family shows at affordable prices in an inflatable upside down cow venue. Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and tickets, visit the Udderbelly website.

  • 10 April : Spicy Friday – Friday Late @ Museum Of Brands

Late night adults-only opening of the Museum Of Brands, with spicy being the theme this month. Discover sauces, test your chili tolerance. Entrance includes free drink on arrival, themed cocktails, drinks and snacks, live entertainment and a spicy Time Tunnel trail. Tickets; £10. Museum Of Brands, 2 Colville Mews, off Lonsdale Road, Notting Hill, W11 2AR. Nearest tube: Notting Hill Gate. For more information and booking, visit the Museum Of Brands website.

  • 10 April : Historic Punch gets Medieval

Late night event at the British Library, featuring Historic Punch, the salon of conversation, expert talks, and gin-laced concoctions as guests explore the quirkier aspects of Medieval life. 6.30-9.30pm. Tickets: £25. The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, St Pancras or King’s Cross. For more information and booking, visit the British Library website.

  • 11 April : Oxbridge Boat Race

Watch the historic annual boat race between the Cambridge and Oxford University crews. Thousands will line the banks between Putney Bridge and Mortlake to watch the action. Starts at 5.55pm. Free. Nearest stations: Putney Bridge, Hammersmith, Ravenscourt Park, Stamford Brook, East Putney, Barnes Bridge or Chiswick. For more information, visit the Boat Race website.

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