The whole weekend
SUMMER SOUNDS: See you at King’s Cross for the last weekend of Summer Sounds Music Festival, a program of free outdoor concerts. See performers from the English National Opera, the London Bulgarian Choir, an outdoor theater performance based on a 1980s Ford Orion, and more – browse the complete program. FREE, until August 21
CARNABY SUMMER FESTIVAL: The Carnaby shopping district is ending its big free summer festival consisting of free workshops, masterclasses led by local businesses, live music performances and offers, discounts and freebies at area shops and restaurants. FREE, until August 21
ROYAL ACADEMY SUMMER EXHIBITION: The highlight of London’s artistic calendar, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition brings together established and emerging artists to exhibit their work – and this is 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 took over the outdoor courtyard to This bright land, a month-long summer festival with various events going on throughout. 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
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 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… some of this year’s impressive line-ups All Points East Festival in Victoria Park, which also includes field day. More from Sunday to Wednesday (21-23), In the neighborhood is a free program of entertainment and summer activities open to all. August 19-28
SUMMER BY THE RIVER: You only have a few more weeks to catch this year Summer by the river, the outdoor festival near Tower Bridge. Head there this weekend for entertainment, including a Cuban dance partyliving samba bandand community choir performances. FREE, until September 2
Saturday August 20
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 activities in the area, including a mini golf course. FREE, until August 20
SKATE SCHOOL: Head to House of Vans in Waterloo for a skate school session for children from 5 years old. 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 Royal Albert Hall Classic session for children. 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-friendly 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.
CHILDREN’S COMEDY: Take the whole family to Hawley Wharf in Camden Market for Comedy Club 4 Kids – it’s like normal comedies, sketches and cabaret stars, but the jokes are suitable for people aged 6 and over and their families. 12:30-1:30 p.m.
ELEPHANT TOURS: Discover the history and history of the Elephant & Castle region portrayed by actors on a free animated walking tour of SE17 and surroundings. Local characters and stories are brought to life through music, artists and a dance workshop. FREE, 1-3 p.m.
YOLANDA BROWN LIVE: Musician twice awarded by MOBO Yolande Brown performs a free family concert 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
FREE SWING LESSONS: The Swing Patrol dance community is hosting a day of free swing dance lessons at the 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 entire 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.
CREATE AND PLAY: As part of the Young V&A Museum (formerly known as the Museum of Childhood) Reinventing the Festival, there’s 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: Hosts of the Horniman Museum Gardens at Forest Hill The Original Jerk Grill, 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. To 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 offer advice and guidance. Takes place at the London Art Bar in Holborn. 3-5.30 p.m.