There’s plenty of fun things to do in London, whether you’ve got the family in tow or hanging out with friends, that will keep you warm, cosy and entertained this October.
From Halloween parties to new exhibtions and sky high viewing galleries, here are the best things to do in London this month.
Also, relax, it’s early days yet. This guide will be updated.
1 Marina Abramović Institute Southbank Centre takeover
Artists involved in the Marina Abramović Institute and The Artist Is Present documentary star herself will takeover The Queen Elizabeth Hall – backstage, front of house, the Purcell Rooms, all of it, for a site-specific endurance performance art piece like no other. Like Abramović, the MAI artists work with their body to create challenging, confronting and thought-provoking works, and this takeover is a chance to see some pioneering performance art, but also have a nosey around The Queen Elizabeth Hall too.
Date: October 4-8
Address: Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
2 Bambi, London Fields
A new bar will open this month by one of the owners of Frank’s Cafe in Peckham. Bambi takes over the Bright site in Netil House, and sounds like a more grown up version of the south London institution, but not too grown up to have frozen tequila coffee cocktails on the menu. The wine bar will have Bib Gourmand chef Henry Freestone (ex-Peckham Cellars) in the kitchen and a curation of DJs in the custom built DJ booth at the weekends.
Address: Netil House, 1 Westgate St, London E8 3RL
3 Horizon 22, City
You’ll find Horizon 22 on the 58th mezzanine level of 22 Bishopgate, and this newly opened viewing platform is not just the highest in London, but it’s the highest free viewing gallery in London. It stands 254 metres tall, it’s more than twice the height of Lift 109 and almost 100 metres taller than the Sky Garden. So, you’ll get a pretty good view of London, whatever the weather.
Address: 22 Bishopsgate, EC2N 4AJ
4 Japan: Myths and Manga at V&A Young, Bethnal Green
Deep dive into Japanese culture at this comprehensive and fun exhibition. It pulls together pop culture, history and multiple artforms as it draws connections between folklore and modern day pop culture icons such as Studio Ghibli, Pokémon, origami. More than 150 objects are on display under four sections – skey sea, forest and city. Designed for young people, but interesting for everybody.
Date: October 14
Tickets: Passes cost £10 and are valid for multiple entries
Address: Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green, E2 9PA
5 Queer Nature Kew
This month-long festival celebrates the connection between queer people, nature and fungi. Part of the festival, a large-scale commission from acclaimed New York-based artist Jeffrey Gibson, a festival garden by Patrick Featherstone and a film-based installation bringing together LGBTQ+ scientists, horticulturalists, artists and writers. Also look out for after hours events such as music, cabaret, comedy and drag
Date: September 30 – October 29
Tickets: Included in entry ticket (excluding after hours events), starting from £18
Address: Kew Gardens, TW9 3AF
6 茶, चाय, Tea (Chá, Chai, Tea) Exhibition at Horniman, Forest Hill
This exhibition explores Britain’s national drink while asking guest to consider what’s really in a cup of tea. Something to consider while you brew your next pot, the exhibition looks at the drink’s popularisation and globalisation connected to imperialism and colonial violence. It will also look at how tea inspires artistic expression and cultural customs and national identities connected to the drink.
Date: From October 7
Address: 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ
7 London Transport Museum London Calling Late, Covent Garden
One for over 18s, the LTM is putting on a late for young adults new to London to meet up, have fun and maybe have a chat to someone about careers, while dressed as your favourite Tube station. Even if you don’t want to chat careers, the night has fun stuff programmed such as the Tube Station Sashay – a catwalk of fave Tube station outfits, a scavenger hunt and friendship speed dating. There will also be drinks and food to help you on your way.
Date: October 6
Tickets: From £15
Address: Covent Garden PiazzaWC2E 7BB
8 Disney 100: The Exhibition, Royal Victoria Dock
Marking the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company, this huge gala spectacle will take over the ExCel London. It features historical artefacts, moving stories, original costumes and interactive installations that capture the Disney magic across the ages.
Date: October 13
Tickets: From £16.50
Address: Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Newham E16 1XL
9 Wimbledon Book Fest
Returning for its 16th year, Wimbledon BookFest brings together the likes of Mikaela Loach, Kate Mosse, Ben Okri and Rick Stein to talk about things literary, political, topical and cultural. A school’s programme will run alongside the main events, featuring former Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell and authors SF Said and Katherine Rundell
Date: October 12-22
Tickets: Events individually ticketed
Address: Various locations around Wimbeldon
10 Woolwich contemporary print fair, Woolwich Works
Europe’s largest art fair dedicated to collectable prints sets up shop at Woolwich Works. David Shrigley and other Jealous Gallery-represented artists, as well as Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry and Paula Rego will all have prints available, alongside rising artistic stars. In addition to showcasing and selling prints, programming includes an opportunity to go behind the scenes with gallery, artist and museum fair partners in an intimate collectors evening.
Date: October 26-29
Tickets: From £12
Address: The Fireworks Factory, 11 No 1 St, Royal Arsenal, SE18 6HD
11 Marina Abramović at Royal Academy, Piccadilly
The RA hosts this exhibition of the pioneering performance artist Marina Abramović which looks at key moments in the Serbian’s five-decade long career. She has spent her career testing the limits of her physical and mental health, pushing the body to punishing limits, and the exhibition will be a mix of photographs, objects, video and performances of some of The Artist Is Present star’s iconic works, reperformed by the next wave of performance artists.
Date: From September 23
Tickets: From £25.50
Address: Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD