Things to do this weekend in London: August 20-21, 2022


The whole weekend

Have you ever been to Summer by the River this year?

SUMMER SOUNDS: Head to King’s Cross for the final weekend of the Summer Sounds Music Festival, a program of free outdoor concerts. Experience performers from the English National Opera, the London Bulgarian Choir, an open-air theater performance based on a 1980s Ford Orion, and more – browse the full program. FREE, until August 21

CARNABY SUMMER FESTIVAL: The Carnaby shopping district wraps up its huge free summer festival of free workshops, masterclasses hosted by local businesses, live music performances and deals, discounts and giveaways at area shops and restaurants . FREE, until August 21

ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION: The highlight of London’s art calendar, the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition brings together established and emerging artists to display their work – and it’s its final weekend. Prints, paintings, films, photographs, architectural works and sculptures are all present, and this year’s theme is “climate”, with Grayson Perry among the participants. Until August 21

THIS BRIGHT EARTH: Have you been past Somerset House recently? A Ferris wheel has taken over the outer courtyard for This Bright Land, a month-long summer festival with various events taking place. In addition to rolling that wheel, look for family-friendly movie screenings, a global food market, beauty and wellness pop-ups, and other activities. Until August 29

Pop Up Screens is coming to Hither Green

GREEN CITY: Another outing for the City of London Corporation’s free traveling exhibition, Green City. This time it can be seen on Hampstead Heath, displaying images of London moors, parks, commons and gardens from the collection of the London Metropolitan Archives. FREE, August 15-31

ICI VERT CINEMA: Manor House Gardens in Hither Green is this weekend’s Pop Up Screens location. Relax outdoors and watch The Greatest Showman on Saturday or Ghostbuster Afterlife on Sunday. August 19-21

ALL POINTS IS: Disclosure, Gorillaz, Tame Impala, The Chemical Brothers, Charli XCX, Kraftwerk 3D, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds… just some of the impressive line-ups at this year’s All Points East festival in Victoria Park, which also includes Field . Plus, Sunday through Wednesday (21-23), In The Neighborhood is a free program of summer events and activities open to everyone. August 19-28

SUMMER BY THE RIVER: You only have a few weeks left to attend this year’s Summer by the River, the outdoor festival near Tower Bridge. See you this weekend for entertainment including a Cuban dance party, live samba band and community choir performances. FREE, until September 2

Saturday August 20

Skate school is back at House of Vans

SUMMER LIGHTS: Last chance to make it to Canary Wharf for the daytime version of a festival of lights. Summer Lights consists of sculptures, artworks and installations designed to look their best in the sun. It’s free and there are plenty of other things to do in the area, including mini golf. FREE, until August 20

SKATE SCHOOL: Head to House of Vans in Waterloo for a Skate School session for kids ages 5 and up. Qualified instructors are on hand to show them how it’s done, with all the equipment provided. Parents are welcome to watch from the cafe. FREE, 10am-1pm

CLASSIC FOR CHILDREN: Introduce children aged 4 to 11 to the joy of classical music at the Classical for Kids session at the Royal Albert Hall. Music is played in a relaxed setting, so children are free to squirm, move and make noise, while tunes by Bruch and Mozart are played. 11am/1.30pm

ENCANT: The excellent Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square offers a chorus screening of the 2021 Disney animated film Encanto. It’s the story of the Madrigal family, living in the mountains of Colombia, with lyrics played on screen for everyone to join in. All together now… we’re not talking about Bruno-no-no-no… 12 p.m.

POPLAR PICNIC: Head to Poplar Union for the Poplar Picnic, a free family festival in Bartlett Park, next to the arts center. Expect live music, stalls, wellness activities, food and drink – pack a picnic mat and soak up the atmosphere. FREE, 12 p.m.-4 p.m.

THAMESMEAD FESTIVAL: Southmere Park hosts the Thamesmead Festival, a celebration of the region. Highlights this year include Fields of EveryWhen: a hot air balloon ‘carpeted’ with local stories, which will fly over the festival site and act as a floating gallery – as well as performances by Thamesmead-based street dance group Dynamix , local singer Samm Henshaw and Britain’s Got Talent champions Twist and Pulse. FREE, 12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Take a free walking tour around Elephant & Castle

CHILDREN’S COMEDY: Take the whole family to Hawley Wharf in Camden Market for Comedy Club 4 Kids – it’s like the normal stand-ups, skits and cabaret stars, but the jokes are suitable for people aged 6+ and their families . 12:30-1:30 p.m.

ELEPHANT TOURS: Discover the history and history of the Elephant & Castle area portrayed by actors on a free animated walking tour of SE17 and its surroundings. Local characters and stories are brought to life through music, artists and a dance workshop. FREE, 1-3 p.m.

YOLANDA BROWN LIVE: Two-time MOBO award-winning musician YolanDa Brown performs a free concert for the whole family at Hawley Wharf in Camden Market. She currently composes music for Sesame Street and recently released her first children’s album. FREE, 2:30-3:15 p.m.

BUTTERFLY BALL: Part of This Bright Land (see above), Somerset House hosts Vogue Rites for The Butterfly Ball, a night honoring transformation and joy within the Voguing community. Watch community members parade down the catwalk, competing in fashion, beauty, reality, and performance categories. 6-10:30 p.m.

Sunday August 21

Today is the last day of Summer Sounds at King’s Cross (details above).

FREE SWING LESSONS: The Swing Patrol dance community is hosting a day of free Swing dance lessons at Bishopsgate Institute. No dancing experience required – just come by and follow the steps in tonight’s Bishopsgate Swing social dance session. 10am-2pm

THE LORD OF THE RINGS: Buckle up for an epic journey to Middle-earth, as the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square screens the complete Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions) back-to-back. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King are presented in sequence, with a 10 minute break in between. 10am-10.43pm

BABY BROADWAY: A cast of West End actors perform Baby Broadway, a show of songs from musicals (think Mary Poppins, Mamma Mia!, Grease, Disney…) suitable for all ages. It’s a relaxed performance, so little ones are free to move around and join in the singing, dancing and clapping. Takes place at Hawley Wharf in Camden Market. 12 p.m.-12:45 p.m.

The Young V&A Reinvent festival continues. Image courtesy of Young V&A

CREATE AND PLAY: As part of the Reinvent Festival at the Young V&A Museum (formerly known as the Museum of Childhood), there is a Create & Play session at the All Points East Festival in Victoria Park. Take kids ages 3-11 today or tomorrow to make the most of pop-up outdoor play, with large-scale play sets to create a huge tower, boat to sail on or a den to hide. No festival ticket needed. FREE, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. (rebroadcast on Mondays)

JERK KITCHEN: The gardens of the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill host The Original Jerk Cookout, a celebration of the 60th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence. Live music is spread across the stage and bandstand, with a Cookout Village serving food from around the world. Children are kept busy with storytelling, bubbles, bouncy castles and other activities. 12pm-7pm

PAINT & PROSECCO: Try creating your own version of artist Annie Dalton’s Art Deco summer seascape. At this Paint & Prosecco event, all art supplies are provided, as is a glass of prosecco to get you started, and a practicing artist is on hand to advise and guide you. Takes place at the London Art Bar in Holborn. 3-5.30 p.m.


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