10 unique London days out for the summer

If you’ve already ticked attractions like the London Eye and Westminster Abbey off your bucket list, you might be wondering what’s left to do in the capital city.

We’ve got some great out-of-the-box ideas for days out in London this summer, whether it’s drinking coffee in Central Perk, visiting a larger-than-life Lego exhibition or listening to some of the country’s biggest live podcasts…

Take the kids to the Art of the Brick Lego exhibition in London this summer. Picture: Art of the Brick / Instagram
Take the kids to the Art of the Brick Lego exhibition in London this summer. Picture: Art of the Brick / Instagram

ART OF THE BRICK, Brick Lane

A Lego exhibition featuring more than one million bricks and 100 builds has landed in London. After touring the world, the Art of the Brick opened in Brick Lane earlier this year with a jaw-dropping collection of displays. The exhibition includes reimagined versions of Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, a huge T-rex skeleton and an interactive play-and-build area.

Details: Open daily at the Boiler House in Brick Lane. Adult tickets start from £15.90, child tickets start from £11.90 and children under 4 go free. Book online here.

Fans of ‘90s sitcom Friends can find themselves inside the show’s iconic sets. Picture: The FRIENDS Experience The One in London
Fans of ‘90s sitcom Friends can find themselves inside the show’s iconic sets. Picture: The FRIENDS Experience The One in London

FRIENDS EXPERIENCE, ExCeL London

A new experience for Friends fans is opening in the city this summer. The Friends Experience is celebrating 30 years since the American sitcom first appeared on our TV screens with recreations of the sets including the Central Perk coffeehouse and Rachel and Monica’s apartment. Visitors will also get a glimpse into what it was like to make the show with behind-the-scenes stories and see exclusive content from the London episodes with a replica of Joey’s 3D map and a recreated wedding scene.

Details: Open daily from Monday, August 12 at ExCeL London at Royal Victoria Dock. Adult tickets start from £20, child tickets start from £5. Book online here.

HAPPY PLACE FESTIVAL, Chiswick House

Former radio DJ Fearne Cotton is celebrating all things health and wellness with the return of Happy Place Festival. The festival, based on the presenter’s Happy Place podcast, has a line-up of talks, live music, book readings, fitness classes, vegetarian street food, crafts, yoga and meditation, nutrition workshops and massages. There’s also a children’s corner with face painting and family-friendly activities.

Details: Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14 at Chiswick House in Chiswick. Adult tickets cost £42.35, child tickets cost £19.80. Book online here.

LONDON CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL, Tobacco Dock

Take your pick from more than 800 craft beers across 100 local and international breweries at the London Craft Beer Festival. The event draws in thousands of visitors to try booze from the likes of Chouffe, Signature Brew and Tiny Rebel with unlimited beer included in your ticket. There’s also cocktails and wine available, not to mention live music, food stalls and a lively atmosphere.

Details: Friday, August 9 and Saturday, August 10 at the Tobacco Dock in Wapping. Tickets cost £59.50, book online here.

The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta will return for the first time in five years. Picture: Exclusive Ballooning / Facebook
The Lord Mayor's Hot Air Balloon Regatta will return for the first time in five years. Picture: Exclusive Ballooning / Facebook

LORD MAYOR’S HOT AIR BALLOON REGATTA, Battersea Park

For the first time since 2019, London’s skies will be filled with colourful hot air balloons. The Lord Mayor’s Hot Air Balloon Regatta will see around 50 huge balloons float above the city - as long as the weather plays ball. Visitors will be able to spot them taking off from Battersea Park and flying over landmarks including Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and the Houses of Parliament to raise awareness for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, a charity initiative to help vulnerable people in London.

Details: Sunday, July 21 from Battersea Park. If the weather is bad, the event will be pushed back to Sunday, July 28. Free entry, no booking required.

The travelling Nature Roadshow will visit Greenwich Park in August. Picture: The Royal Parks
The travelling Nature Roadshow will visit Greenwich Park in August. Picture: The Royal Parks

THE NATURE ROADSHOW, Greenwich Park

There are some free drop-in sessions where kids can get in touch with nature this summer at Greenwich Park. The family activities include a scavenger trail, mini nature museums, storytime, interactive games and animal-themed crafts. The roadshow will be visiting various parks throughout the summer, including Kensington Gardens, Richmond Park and St James’s Park.

Details: Tuesday, August 6 and Wednesday, August 7 at Greenwich Park. Free entry, no booking required.

NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL

It’s time to party as the UK’s biggest carnival makes a comeback. The bank holiday bonanza is a huge event that sees thousands of people line the streets of Notting Hill for a free Caribbean-themed parade. This year, there will be a feast for the eyes and ears all weekend with steel bands, Brazilian dancers, live music and sound systems. The kids can even get involved with the children’s parade.

Details: Saturday, August 24 to Monday, August 26 at Notting Hill, near Kensington. Free entry, no booking required.

OPEN AIR THEATRE, Regent’s Park

Some of the nation’s best-loved theatre productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar and 101 Dalmatians, found their feet at this outdoor theatre. This year, Regent’s Park will be home to Joseph Stein’s Fiddler on the Roof. This new production has been directed by Jordan Fein, who was behind the Tony Award-winning Oklahoma, and features numbers such as If I Were A Rich Man and Sunrise, Sunset.

Details: Saturday, July 27 to Saturday, September 21 at Regent’s Park, near Camden. Tickets range from £29.75 to £83.30. Book online here.

RARE BREEDS WEEKEND, Battersea Park

See Oxford Sandy and Black Pigs, Bagot Goats and Sussex Chickens at Battersea Park’s Rare Breeds Weekend. There will be additional keeper talks to tell visitors all about the unusual animals that live there, as well as a chance to meet the park’s resident Valais Blacknose Sheep, Tag and Hubie. There will also be raffles, activities and games across the weekend.

Details: Saturday, August 10 and Sunday, August 11 at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. Adult tickets cost £13.95, child tickets cost £11.95. Book online here.

Take a tour of London with Taylor Swift music and an afternoon tea. Picture: Paolo Villanueva/Wikicommons.
Take a tour of London with Taylor Swift music and an afternoon tea. Picture: Paolo Villanueva/Wikicommons.

TAYLOR’S VERSION AFTERNOON TEA, London Victoria

Got a Swiftie in the family? If you can’t make it to one of the global superstar’s sold-out stadium shows, why not take your Taylor Swift fan on a city tour inspired by the record-breaking singer. The bus departs from Bulleid Way, next to the Victoria Coach Station, and takes you sightseeing past landmarks and places mentioned in the artist’s songs. There’s also an afternoon tea themed around the musician, including ‘Red’ velvet cupcakes, and songs such as 1989 and Shake It Off will be blasted out as you travel.

Details: Daily until Sunday, September 1 from the Golden Tours stop on Bulleid Way. Adult tickets start from £41.65, child tickets start from £37.40. Book online.

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