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Guide to what’s on in London in April 2023

Find out what’s on in London in April, including the Ideal Home Show, Eid in the Square, St George’s Day, Vaisakhi and the London Coffee Festival.

It’s April so by now the spring weather should hopefully be in full swing. London is really opening up to tourists and the festival season really ramps up. Of course, the Easter holidays mean the capital becomes a hub of family fun with parents and carers looking for ways to entertain the little ones. This year, Easter Weekend takes place 7-10 April so expect a lot of special events over the long weekend. There’s also the annual festivities for Eid, Vaisakhi and St George’s Day.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • Now until 1 April 2023 : Wandsworth Common Spring Beer & Cider Festival

South London’s largest attended independent beer festival, featuring 100 beers and 25 ciders to sample. Also featuring live entertainment. Open Wed 6pm-11pm, Thu 1pm-11pm, Fri-Sat 1pm-11pm. Tickets: £12-£40. Le Gothique, John Archer Way, Wandsworth, SW18 3SX. Nearest station: Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Town or Wandsworth Common. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 1 April 2023 : Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s 9th Birthday Party

Canalside drinking and dining destination Number 90 are hosting their 9th birthday party all day, with DJs, food, cocktails. DJs include DJ Fett Burger, San Proper, Scarlett O’Malley, Aroop Roy and more. Open 12pm-4am. Free entry before 10pm, tickets from £5 after 10pm. Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, 90 Wallis Road, Hackney Wick, E9 5LN. Nearest station: Hackney Wick. For more information, visit the Number 90 website.

  • 1 – 16 April 2023 : Spring Festival @ Battersea Power Station

Two weeks of family-friendly fun at the new Battersea Power Station retail and entertainment complex. Activities include Giant Flower Trail, Mobile Farm, Illustrated Playground, face-painting and more. Times vary. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website🐻

  • Now until 2 April 2023 : 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 guests and experts include Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Phil Spencer, Martin Lewis, Gregg Wallace, John Torode, Lisa Faulkner, Olly Smith, Rosemary Shrager, Kate Hardcastle, Danni Menzies, Paul A Young and many more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also include free access to the Eat & Drink Festival). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more tickets, visit the Ideal Home Show website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 April 2023 : Eat & Drink Festival

Indoor food festival returns, featuring cooking masterclasses and workshops, drinks experts, celebrity chefs, shopping, Artisan Producers’ market, and more. Celebrity guests and experts include Nikita Pathakji, Asimakis Chianotis, Helen Graham, Lola Milne, Theodore Chana, Nathan Davies, Charlie Jeffreys, Carole Edwards, Skinny Jean Gardner, Kevin Flynn and more. Open Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Advance tickets (more on the door): Weekday £14 or Weekend £16, Children 15 yrs and younger free (Tickets also includes free access to Ideal Home Show). Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Eat & Drink Festival website. 🐻

  • Now until 2 April 2023 : Telegraph Hill Festival

Arts and entertainment festival in South East London, including music, open studios, art shows, interactive exhibits, classes, workshops, talks, literary events, plays, performance art and music events. Lots of events are free, but some will cost. At various venues across New Cross, Nunhead, Hatcham, Brockley and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Telegraph Hill festival website🐻

  • Now until 2 April 2023 : Original Print Fair

View and buy original prints from old and modern masters. Open Thur-Fri 11am-8pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Tickets from £15. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Original Print Fair website.

  • 5 April 2023 : Wild Escape in the City

Free family activities will be taking place across the Square Mile as part of The Wild Escape. Including workshops, installations, story-telling, and more. For ages 3-11. Events are free, but booking is strongly recommended. At the Guildhall Art Gallery, London Metropolitan Archives, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE and the Salter’s Company. For more information, visit the City of London website. 🐻

  • 5 April 2023 : Kids Easter Egg Hunt @ Merchant Square

Head to the Paddington Basin with your little ones for an Easter Egg hunt with an Alice in Wonderland theme. For ages 4-12yrs. 11am-4pm (each hunt last 25 mins). Merchant Square, Paddington, W2. Nearest stations: Paddington and Edgware Road. For more information, visit the Merchant Square website. 🐻

  • 7 April 2023 : The Passion of Jesus

Gather in Trafalgar Square to watch the Easter story performed by the Wintershall Players on Good Friday. Expect donkeys, doves, a 100-strong cast and a re-enactment of the Crucifixion. Performances at 12pm and 3.15pm. Free. Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Embankment, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Wintershall Players website🐻

  • 7 – 9 April 2023 : Le Beat Bespoke

Indoor music festival returns celebrating 21st Century Modernist and Sixties inspired underground music culture. Featuring live bands, DJs, vintage market, guest clubs, all-nighters and Go Go dancers. Tickets range from £10 to £58. At various venues in East London, including Oslo, and Paper Dress Vintage. For more information and tickets, visit Le Beat Bespoke website.

  • 7 – 10 April 2023 : Star Wars Celebration 2023

Four day celebration of Star Wars, including immersive exhibits, interactive show floor, screenings, merchandise, celebrity guests, panels, autograph sessions, fan activities, costumes and more. Tickets: Adults from £65, Children from £33. ExCel London, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Custom House or Prince Regent. For more information, visit the Star Wars Celebration website. 🐻

  • 7 April – 30 July 2023 : Ai Weiwei – Making Sense @ The Design Museum

Ai Weiwei’s first exhibition focusing on design, featuring recent works and commissioned pieces. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Children £7.50. Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6AG. Nearest stations: Earls Court, High Street Kensington or Holland Park. For booking, visit the Design Museum website.

  • Now until 9 April 2023 : London Game Festival 2023

In-person and online festival to promote gaming and interactive entertainment, including a Trafalgar Square exhibition, LGF World Stage, Games Finance Market, the Now Play This exhibition, BAFTA Games Awards, industry talks, and more. For more information, visit the Games London website. 🐻

Brixton Windmill © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2016

Brixton Windmill

  • 9 April 2023 : Easter Family Day @ Brixton Windmill

Family event in the grounds of Brixton Windmill, featuring an Easter egg hunt, arts and craft workshop, windmill tours, windmill tours and more. From 1pm-5pm. Free entry. Brixton Windmill, Windmill Gardens (west end of Blenheim Gardens, off Brixton Hill), Brixton, SW2 5EU. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Windmill website🐻

  • 14 April – 1 May 2023 : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Check out images from the four competitions of the annual awards. Open Mon-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-8pm. Tickets: Standard £15, Children under 12 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • 14 April – 1 May 2023 : Tulip Festival @ Hampton Court Palace

Check out the UK’s biggest display of planted tulips. Daily tulips talks at 11am and 2pm. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets (inc with regular entry): Adults £26-£29, Child £13-£14.50. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For more information, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 15 – 16 April 2023 : Classic Car Boot Sale

Buy music, food, fashion and more surrounded by classic cars and bikes. Also featuring street food, clothing repair stalls, live DJs, craft beer and cocktail stalls. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £6. Granary Square, Kings Cross, N1. Nearest station: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the King’s Cross website.

  • 19 April – 11 July 2023 : No Place Like Home (A Vietnamese Exhibition) Part II

Vietnamese diasporic artists explore the theme of the home through a Vietnamese lens. There will also be accompanying workshops, food sharing, performances and a panel discussion. Open Tues-Sun 10am-5pm. Free entry. Museum of the Home, 36 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, E2 8EA. Nearest station: Hoxton. For more information, visit the Museum of the Home website.

  • 20 – 23 April 2023 : London Coffee Festival 2023

Festival of Java, featuring tastings, coffee masters, food & wine pairing, Global Coffee School, DJs and more. Entry times via timed sessions. Thu and Fri daytime for industry only. Open to public: Fri 4pm-8pm, Sat 10am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets from £24. Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6QR. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information and tickets, visit the London Coffee Festival website. Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in March 2023

Find out what events are on in London, including art fairs, St Patrick’s Day celebrations and the Ideal Home Show.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018Spring is on its way… apparently! Although we know that March tends to be a pretty cold month, with snow often making a fleeting appearance, so maybe it’s not quite time to start planning your summer wardrobe.

This month there’s a huge choice of art fairs to suit all tastes and budgets if you’ve got a spare wall at home that needs jazzing up. There’s also the annual St Patrick’s Day Festival in Trafalgar Square and the return of dance-fest Move It with some of the biggest movers and shakers showing their stuff.

Find out the best events, exhibitions and festivals on in London this March.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 3 – 5 March 2023 : Collect 2023

One of the world’s most influential contemporary craft and design festival comes to London, featuring work from over 400 artists. Open 11am-6pm. Tickets: General admission £25. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information and booking, visit the Somerset House website.

  • 4 – 5 March 2023 : London Comic Con Spring

Film and Comic Con returns, giving you the opportunity for autograph sessions, photoshoots, and panels. Names include Joseph Quinn (Stranger Things), Vinnie Jones, Elizabeth Henstridge, Christina Chong, Mandip Gill, Brian Blessed, Sam Jones, Moosa Mostafa, Christopher Lambert and more. Open Sat-Sun: 9am-6pm. Tickets: Adults Sat £25, Sun £23, Children Sat £22, Sun £20. Olympia National, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the London Comic Con website🐻

  • Now until 5 March 2023 : Battersea Power Station Light Festival

A series of light installations bring colour and neon to the newly reopened complex. Open 8am-11pm (best viewed after dark). Free entry. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 March 2023 : Orchid Festival @ Kew Gardens

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

  • Now until 5 March 2023 : When Flowers Dream

An exhibition from artist Tanya Schultz (Pip & Pop) featuring installations made from sugar, candy and assorted craft materials. Opening times vary depending on season. Tickets included with gardens entrance. Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art, Kew Gardens, Brentford Gate, Kew, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website. 🐻

  • Now until 5 March 2023 : Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil bring their show Kurios to London. The show tells the story of an ambitious inventor. Times vary. Tickets start from £51. 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. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in February 2023

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

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

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

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

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

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

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

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

  • 3 – 23 February 2023 : Piccadilly Piano Festival

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Now until 5 February 2023London International Mime Festival

Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £13.50-£45. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, The Place, Shoreditch Town Hall, Peacock Theatre, and Little Angel Theatre. For more information, visit the Mime London website. 🐻

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

Two week children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, theatre, books, music, performances and workshops. Including YolanDa, Stephen Mulhern, Cressida Cowell, Michael Rosen, Ashley and Jordan Banjo; and scientists Ben Garrod and Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock and more. 10.30am-4pm daily. Over half of the activities and events are free, but some go up to £20. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s festival. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in January 2023

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

Lightopia

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

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

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 January 2023 : New Year’s Day Parade

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

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Gingerbread City

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

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Lightopia Festival

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

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Festival Brent Cross

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

  • Now until 2 January 2023 : Winter Wonderland

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

Guide to what’s on in London in December 2022

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

It’s Christmaaasssss!

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

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

There’s also opportunities for alfresco ice skating or shopping at one of London’s many Christmas markets.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The courtyards of the historic royal palace will be transformed into a foodies’ paradise, with artisan food and drink, gift stalls, and carol services. From 10am-6pm. Tickets (included with palace admission): Adults from £26.10, Children from £13, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • 2 – 25 December 2022 : Shadow Play

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

Guide to London’s Christmas markets and fairs 2022

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

Visit one of London’s Christmas markets

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

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

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

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

Long-term Christmas markets in London

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

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

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

  • 10 November – 24 December 2022 : Kingston Christmas Market

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

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

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

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

Winter Wonderland returns to Hyde Park and offers a German market selling gifts, as well as food and drink. You can bring the whole family and get into the festive spirit with a fun fair, circus, live shows and an ice rink. Open daily 10am-10pm. Tickets (must be pre-booked) Standard £5, Peak £7.50, Off-peak free. Entrance fee waived if you spend over £25 on attractions, rides or games in advance. Hyde Park, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Marble Arch or Knightsbridge. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.

  • 26 November – 23 December 2022 : Canopy Christmas Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Somerset House ice rink © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Skate in the historic Georgian courtyard of Somerset House

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

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

Guide to what’s on in London in November 2022

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

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

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

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 1 – 6 November 2022 : Winter Art & Antiques Fair

Arts and antiques event, featuring over 70 dealers showcasing over 20,000 pieces, ranging in price from £100 to £500,000. Open Tues-Sun 10.30am–6pm. Tickets: Tues-Fri – Adults £23.50, Children 13-16yrs £16. Weekends – Adults £25.50, Children 13-16 yrs £18, 12 and under free. National Hall, Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Olympia Antiques website.

  • 3 – 5 November 2022 : Oktoberfest London 2022

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

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

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

  • Now until 3 November 2022 : Jurassic World – The Exhibition

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

  • 5 – 29 November 2022 : Wimbledon International Music Festival

A host of world-class musicians gather in Wimbledon for a series of classical, opera and jazz concerts and recitals. Artists include The Academy Choir, Philharmonia, The Brodsky Quartet, Lortie-Mercier and Chineke!. Ticket prices vary. At various venues in Wimbledon, including St. John’s Church, St Mary’s Church, Sacred Heart Church, New Wimbledon Theatre, and Trinity Church. Nearest stations: Raynes Park or Wimbledon. For more information and tickets, visit the WIMF website.

  • 6 November 2022 : Veteran Car Run

Watch the beginning of 64 mile route from the capital to Brighton. Get up early to watch 500 classic cars setting off from Hyde Park Corner between 6.56am and 8.15am. Expect many drivers and passengers to be suitably dressed in costume and vintage clothing for the spectacle. Route starts at Serpentine Road in Hyde Park, past Buckingham Palace, over Westminster Bridge and south via Kennington, Brixton and Streatham. Free to spectate. Hyde Park Corner, Westminster, W2 2UH. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner. For more information, visit the Veteran Car Run website. 🐻

  • Now until 6 November 2022 : Spirit of Christmas

For the super organised, get ready for Christmas early with this fair, where you can stock up on gifts, design and food all ready for the festive season from over 700 independent boutiques and artisan makers. There will also be a winter restaurant and a champagne bar. Open Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm, Thur: 10am-9pm, Sun: 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults start from £23.50 (from £27.50 on the door), Children 13-16 yrs from £18, 12 and under free. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Spirit Of Christmas Fair website. 🐻

  • 9 November 2022 : Belgravia Christmas Lights Switch

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

  • 9 – 13 November 2022 : Country Living Christmas

Prepare for the festive season with a host of Christmas stalls and events, including expert talks, food hall, workshops, shopping emporium, meet-the-makers and champagne bar. Open Wed-Thur 10am-5pm, Fri-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-3pm. Tickets: Adults from £20, Children 5-16yrs £9. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and booking, visit the County Living Fair website🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London this Halloween 2022

Find out what family activities, club nights, film screenings, and other Halloween activities are on this October, including half-term.

After the pandemic somewhat dampened Halloween celebrations for two years in a row, this year fans of the festivity will be really going all out.

This year, Halloween falls on a Monday so expect the celebrations to start the weekend beforehand. Two days later, the Mexican festival of Day of the Dead will also be taking place.

The run-up to Halloween is half-term holidays so expect plenty of museums and attractions to do spooky-themed fun for families. 

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

Daytime Halloween activities

  • 23 September – 6 November 2022 : Dark Arts @ Warner Bros. Studios

Dark Arts returns to the Harry Potter experience for the Halloween season. The Great Hall is full of 100 floating pumpkins hovering over a Halloween feast, while props from Professor Lupin’s Defence Against the Dark Arts class will be on display. Watch a procession of the Death Eaters. Tickets from £49.95. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For booking, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website🐻

  • 5 October – 11 November 2022 : Halloween @ Leadenhall Market

Celebrate Halloween at the City’s iconic Leadenhall Market, with giant tentacles installation, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies pop-up, and Burials, Bombs and Fantastic Beasts’ walking tours. Open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm. Leadenhall Market, Gracechurch Street, City of London, EC3V 1LT. Nearest stations: Monument or Bank. For more information, visit the Leadenhall Market website. 🐻

  • 14 – 31 October 2022 : Halloween @ Backyard Cinema

Watch Halloween classics on a cosy bean bag in London’s most magical cinema. Full bar and street food stalls available. Matinees and evening screenings. Tickets: £11-£32. Capital Studios, 13 Wandsworth Plain, Wandsworth, SW18 1ET. Nearest station: Wandsworth Town. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website🐻

  • 15 – 31 October 2022 : 50 Berkeley Square @ London Dungeon

Step into the attic of 50 Berkeley Square and discover the stories of the building’s lost souls. Show included with standard Dungeon entry. Times vary, with later openings during half-term week. Tickets: Adults from £28, Children from £22.50. The London Dungeon, The Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo, Westminster or Embankment. For booking, visit the London Dungeon website🐻

  • 24 – 31 October 2022 : Halloween @ Belgravia

A host of events will be taking place around Belgravia, including free Halloween walking tours (29 and 30 Oct), pumpkin trail, decorating spooky biscuits, family Halloween activities @ The Lanesborough, and others. Times vary. At various sites around Belgravia, SW1. Nearest station: Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website. 🐻

  • 21 October – 6 November 2022 : Hallowed Peak

An immersive, Halloween open world experience, featuring trails and quests, horror experiences, carnival acts, ghost stories, and live music. Open Fri 5:30pm–10:30pm, Sat 11:30am–4:30pm (first session) 5:30pm–10:30pm (second session), Sun 1pm–6pm. Tickets: From £45. Unit 4, Canada Water Retail Park, Surrey Quays Road, SE16 2XU. Nearest station: Canada Water. For tickets, visit the Phantom Peak website. 🐻

  • 22 – 30 October 2022 : Halloween @ Hampton Court Palace

Discover the stories of King Henry VIII’s haunted palace, including the Gallery of the Damned, or check out a seance in the Council Chamber. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: Adults from £26.10, Children from £13, Under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For booking, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻 Read the rest of this entry

Guide to what’s on in London in October 2022

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

Kew Gardens looks spectacular in autumn

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

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

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 30 September – 2 October 2022 : Whisky Show

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

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

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

  • 1 October 2022 : Diwali 2022 @ Wembley Park

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

  • 1 – 2 October 2022 : HowTheLightGetsIn London 2022

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

  • Now until 2 October 2022 : STRETCH @ Eccleston Yards

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

  • 2 October 2022 : London Marathon 2022

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

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

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

  • 5 – 26 October 2022 : Wellness Wednesdays @ London

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

  • 7 – 9 October 2022 : New Scientist Live 2022

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

  • 7 – 16 October 2022 : Streatham Festival

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

  • 7 – 16 October 2022 : Herne Hill Music Festival

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

  • 7 October 2022 – 31 January 2023 : Frameless

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

  • 8 – 9 October 2022 : Classic Car Boot Sale

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

  • 9 October 2022 : Diwali on Trafalgar Square

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

  • 12 – 16 October 2022 : Frieze London

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