All week

Hear about London’s history of nursing at Med London

MED LONDON: First aid masterclasses, behind the scenes archive tours and a tour of London’s museum of eyes are among the free events at Med London, a festival which aims to get Londoners excited about medicine, medical research and its uses. View the full programme. Various locations, most events free, 9-12 May

SPARE PARTS: Try on a gigantic ear, sync your pulse to a lamp, and learn about the future of the human body in Spare Parts, a free exhibition which closes next week. It focuses on how new technology will change the way we repair and care for our bodies. Science Gallery (London Bridge), free, just turn up, until 12 May

DULWICH FESTIVAL: This celebration of local culture kicks off this week with a variety of events, some of them free. Visit artists at an open house event, take the kids to a fair on Goose Green, or visit the orchard at the Old Grammar School. Various Dulwich locations, 10-19 May

Bank holiday Monday 6 May

The Canalway Cavalcade comes to Little Venice

CANALWAY CAVALCADE: Head to the canals of west London for the final day of one heck of a party. The Canalway Cavalcade is a festival taking place on the towpaths near the canal, with food and drink stalls, live entertainment and bunting… so much bunting. Little Venice, free, just turn up, 4-6 May

COLOURSCAPE: Our media partner Wembley Park hosts Colourscape, a labyrinth of light and colour. Don a coloured cape (provided) and spend 30 minutes exploring a maze of colour, with musicians and dancers dotted about. Wembley Park, free, just turn up (you may be placed in a virtual queue, but you’re free to explore the area while you wait your turn), 4-6 May

SOAP BOX DERBY: Watch teams race their home-built carts around the course at the Telegraph Hill soap box derby. A combination of naive designs and top engineering can be seen, with each cart decorated on a different theme. Telegraph Hill (Brockley), free to watch, just turn up, from 12pm

Tuesday 7 May

Enjoy an evening of board games while raising money for charity

NICHOLAS HILLIARD: Learn about miniaturist painter Nicholas Hilliard — currently the subject of a National Portrait Gallery exhibition — in a talk by Dr Elizabeth Goldring, who’s written a Hilliard biography 400 years after his death. He is famous for creating tiny images of royalty and high society, which now tell us about the social status of the person depicted. National Archives (Kew), £4-£5, book ahead, 1pm-2pm

REPLANTING THE PAST: Bishop Compton lived at Fulham Palace 300 years ago, yet his gardens have now been recreated. Head gardener Lucy Hart explains how dried plant specimens offered an insight into the plants Compton would have had, allowing his gardens to be replicated. Fulham Palace, free, book ahead, 3pm-4pm

GAMING FOR MIND: Join in an evening of board games with London Gamers, and raise money for mental health charity Mind while doing so. Today is the launch event of a new series of weekly board game evenings — future events will be ticketed, but you can attend this one for a charitable donation. Ugly Duck (London Bridge), donation, sign up, 7pm-11pm

Wednesday 8 May

New Organs of Creation debuts at Science Gallery

LAMBETH LIBRARIAN: Historian Robyn Myers discusses his new book, Two Brothers, which looks at the life of Andrew Ducarel — the eldest of three Huguenot brothers and historian of the palaces of Lambeth and Croydon in the 1700s — through the eyes of his younger brother, James. Palace Library, free, book ahead, 6pm

GRESHAM’S EXCHANGE: The building we know as the Royal Exchange was contributed to London by Thomas Gresham. He financed it himself, opening it in 1567, and today’s Gresham College lecture looks at Gresham’s motivation behind it, and what it was originally used for. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

NEW ORGANS: See the world premiere of New Organs of Creation, a work of art that redesigns what an anthem can be and highlights how the human voice can connect with us in heightened ways. Artists, scientist and musicians collaborated on the work — find out how they worked together to engineer a larynx capable of non-human sounds. Science Gallery (London Bridge), free, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Thursday 9 May

Celebrate all things 1940s at the RAF Museum

WIMBLEDON ART FAIR: 150 studios are represented at the free-entry Wimbledon Art Fair, which gives the public a chance to buy work directly from the artists, thus supporting local creatives. Drawing, painting, ceramics, photography and digital art are some of the mediums represented. Wimbledon Art Studios, free, book ahead, 9-12 May

TALKING ART: Magnum photographer Chris Steele-Perkins discusses photography for the launch of the photobook of his series of pictures, The New Londoners. It documents families from 187 countries who are living in London. Migration Museum (Lambeth), free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

GIN AND SWING: Stay late at the RAF Museum for a 1940s inspired evening of live music, swing dancing, and plenty of gin. Swing Patrol offer taster dance lessons, and Gin Jamboree’s pop-up bar offers more than 50 varieties to choose from. RAF Museum (Hendon), £5, book ahead, 7pm-10pm

Friday 10 May

A night of magic at Wellcome Collection

THIRD AFGHAN WAR: The Third Afghan War in 1919 was one of history’s shortest conflicts, lasting just a matter of weeks. Dr Alastair Massie discusses the battles of that war, which featured fighting on three main fronts spread over a 500-mile frontier, and the introduction of weapons not used before. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

GREAT FIRE: No, not that great fire. The capital suffered another great fire in Cripplegate in November 1897, spreading over four acres and destroying factories resulting in the unemployment of 4,000 people. Hear about the fire and the effect it had on everyday Londoners in an afternoon talk. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2.30pm-4pm

SEEING IS BELIEVING: Wellcome Collection stays open late for an evening of magic. Find out why our minds are so easily deceived, watch sleight-of-hand magic shows, meet a psychological magician, and catch a lively cabaret show. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, 7pm-11pm

Saturday 11 May

Mmm… cheese

CHEESE FEST: Yep, that’s right, a festival dedicated to cheese — and entry is free. Cheese producers and cheesy street food vendors sell their wares, expert producers compete against each other, and you can pick up plenty of pickles and other items to accompany your cheesy purchases. Battersea Power Station, free entry, just turn up, 11-12 May

HANWELL HOOTIE: This free music festival takes place in venues all around Hanwell, with comedy and music acts popping up in pubs, schools, churches and meadows to perform. Check out the line-up and plan your day in advance to make sure you don’t miss the acts you really want to see. Various Hanwell locations, free, just turn up, from 4pm

WISTERIA HYSTERIA: If you’re going wild for the purple flowers, take a free guided tour around the South Kensington area, visiting some of the best spots to photograph wisteria looking its best. The tour takes place in the golden hour, when everything glows with a gorgeous hue for even better photos. South Kensington, free, just turn up, 6.30pm

Sunday 12 May

Embrace your inner Mary Poppins at Streatham Common Kite Day

BIRD WALK: Join the Friends of Forty Hall for an amble through the grounds, keeping your eyes peeled for the various species of birds that live there. Kingfishers, swans, coots and moorhens are some of the resident species, with the occasional visiting heron or cormorant making an appearance too. Forty Hall (Enfield), free, book ahead, 10am

KITE DAY: Eyes to the skies if you’re in south London, as Streatham Common Kite Day takes place. Anyone’s welcome to bring a kite — or buy one at the event — and take part, or just sit back and watch the experts handle stunt kites. Streatham Common, free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

CHESTNUT SUNDAY: This traditional event began as an annual celebration of the park’s blossom on the horse chestnut trees, and is now a huge, family-friendly festival. Watch a parade, horse riding shows and concerts, have a go on fairground rides, and learn about Bushy Park’s wildlife and history. Bushy Park, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-4.30pm

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