Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Wandsworth Arts Fringe.
BEDROOMS OF LONDON: Time’s running out to see Bedrooms of London, and exhibition of photos of the living conditions of some of London’s most disadvantaged children. The stories of the families whose lives are shown are told alongside the images. The Foundling Museum (Bloomsbury), included in admission (£7.50-£11), just turn up, until 5 May
CANALWAY CAVALCADE: A free waterways festival takes place around Little Venice this weekend. Boats gather for a pageant, decked in bunting, and on dry land the Canalway Cavalcade hosts stalls, live music and entertainment, Morris dancing, food and drink and more. 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
WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY: It’s the final weekend of the 2019 Sony World Photography Award Exhibition, which showcases top-notch photos from all over the globe. More than 800 pictures including landscape, portraiture, wildlife and architectural photography are all on display. Somerset House, £14, book ahead, until 6 May
LAST CHANCE: Also closing this weekend is Don McCullin at Tate Britain, a retrospective of the British photographer’s work. Shots on display include McCullin’s war photography in Northern Ireland, Vietnam and Syria, as well as scenes of poverty and working class life in the East End. Read our full 5* review. Tate Britain, £18, book ahead, until 6 May
CINCO DE MAYO: Several venues across London mark Mexican celebration Cinco de Mayo with parties and special meals and cocktails. There’s even a chance to make your own Trump piñata. Take a look at the best Cinco de Mayo events in London. Various locations, times and prices.
PUBS: If you want nothing more than to kick back, pint in hand, and watch the world go by, take a look at our guide to the best pubs in London. You can search by area or facilities, and you might just find your new favourite boozer.
DAY TRIPS: If you want to escape London for a day (or longer), we can help. We’ve put together a map of London day trip ideas. From quaint villages to seaside resorts, and castles to model villages, it’s all in there.
BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: We’ve compiled a guide of things to do in London over any bank holiday weekend, whatever the weather. From little-known cultural gems to exploring the great outdoors, we’ve got plenty of ideas and inspiration.
Wandsworth Arts Fringe turns ten
In need of some cultural nourishment? Wandsworth Arts Fringe will sort you out. The 17 day extravaganza brings an eclectic range of cabaret, comedy, theatre, dance classes, and family workshops to the leafy south-west London borough. And because the festival is celebrating its tenth anniversary, this year’s edition is extra special.
The fun kicks off on Friday 3 May with a spectacular launch performance in Shillington Park by Cirque Bijou. Expect fire jugglers, tightrope walkers, and a luminous umbrella dance, plus live music from the local World Heart Beat Music Academy. The festivities are totally free and there’s no need to book.
After that, there are over 150 arty events for you to get involved in from 3-19 May. Highlights include the world’s first drag troupe of kings and queens with Down Syndrome, a nostalgic 90s street dance class, and plenty of giggles courtesy of London’s rising comedy stars. Check out the full line-up and book your tickets here.
Saturday 4 May
CRUFTS FOR CATS: The London Cats International Show and Expo has been described as ‘Crufts for cats’. See felines from all over the world compete in several categories across seven judging rings, stock up on cat goodies at several stalls, and meet celebrities of the cat world including James Bowen and A Streetcat Named Bob. Tobacco Dock (Wapping), £26.49/£16.29, book ahead, 4-5 May
MERRIE MAY DAY: Traditional maypole dancing takes place on the front lawn of the Geffrye Museum to celebrate the arrival of spring. Food, drink and other stalls set up camp, and there are plenty of family-friendly activities. Geffrye Museum (Hoxton), free, just turn up, 11am-4pm
CRAFTY FOX: A specially curated selection of artists and makers sell their products at the Crafty Fox Market. Prints, leather goods, wooden items, ceramics, jewellery and other treasures are all on sale, and there are craft workshops to take part in if you’re feeling creative. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant & Castle), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm, 4-5 May
DEAD MAN’S HAND: Immersive experience experts A Door In A Wall are back with their latest offering, Dead Man’s Hand. An illicit gambling den is the starting point for a clue treasure hunt around the streets of Farringdon, in which participants try to solve the murder of gambler Jack Spade. 34 Cowcross Street (Farringdon), £32.50, book ahead, 1pm-5.30pm
BRYONY GORDON: Journalist and author Bryony Gordon discusses her new book, You Got This, a guide to confidence for teenage girls. She shares the life lessons she wishes someone had taught her in a thought-provoking and esteem-boosting afternoon. Southbank Centre, £17.50, book ahead, 2.30pm
BETHNAL GREEN: Join Footprints of London guide David Charnick for a wander around Bethnal Green, focusing on authors who have used the area as inspiration. Hear readings of work by Iain Sinclair, George Orwell, Alexander Baron and Arthur Morrison as you walk the streets that would have been familiar to the authors. Shoreditch High Street station, £12/£9, book ahead, 3pm-5pm
SCI-FI: 1981 film Outland is the focus at this month’s Silver Screen Science Fiction screening. It stars Sean Connery and is set in the future, when a police marshal stationed at a remote mining colony on the Jupiter moon of Io uncovers a drug-smuggling conspiracy. The screening is followed by a talk about the science behind the film. Royal Observatory (Greenwich), £12/£6, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm
ARYA STARK: Maisie Williams — aka Game of Thrones’ Arya Stark — is the guest on one of two episodes of Fearne Cotton’s podcast, Happy Place, which is being recorded in front of a live audience today. Singer-songwriter James Bay is the other guest, discussing the highs and lows of the music industry. Troxy (Limehouse), £28, book ahead, 7pm
Sunday 5 May
VINTAGE KILO: Revamp your wardrobe at this sale of vintage clothing, where items are sold by weight. Stock up on retro clothes, shoes and accessories dating from the 1970s to the present day, and once you’ve made your selections, have your items weighed and pay £15 per kilo. There’s no minimum weight/spend, so you could probably bag yourself something for as little as 50p. York Hall (Bethnal Green), buy tickets for super earlybird access, otherwise just turn up, £3/£1.50, 10am-4pm
CATHEDRAL OF SEWAGE: Go inside Joseph Bazalgette’s ‘cathedral of sewage’, Crossness Pumping Station. The open day is a chance to see inside the beautifully decorated sewage works and learn a bit more about the Victorian infrastructure — still in use today — from an exhibition. Crossness (Abbey Wood), £6/£2, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm
PLANT FAIR: Stock up on seeds, flowers, perennials and annuals at the Garden Museum’s plant sale, which hosts expert plant growers and specialist nurseries from all over the country, with plants suitable for tiny windowboxes or huge gardens. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £5, book ahead, 10.30am-5pm
MAY FAIR: Mayfair park Grosvenor Square hosts a May Fair (see what they did there?), free entry and open to all. There’s a British seaside theme, with helter skelters, fish and chips and coconut shys, plus plenty of other rides, live music and Morris dancing. Grosvenor Square, free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm, 5-6 May
CAMDEN GHOSTSIGNS: Follow a trail of faded ghostsigns through Camden, hearing about the history of the areas as you go. Learn about businesses that have now closed, including warehouses, manufacturers, breweries, artists, chemists and furniture makers. Mornington Crescent, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am-12.30pm
DOG SHOW: Take your pooch along the All Dogs Matter dog show on Hampstead Heath and see if they can impress the judging panel. Categories include Cutest Pup, Best Child Handler and Golden Oldies. No dog? No problem — you’re welcome to watch, and there’s a fundraising cake stall with pooch-themed bakes. Parliament Hill (Hampstead Heath), £5 to enter your dog, just turn up, 11am-3.30pm
LIVE AT LUNCH: Never been to the Royal Opera House? Here’s your chance. Step inside for a free lunchtime performance by a Royal Opera House or guest performer. Royal Opera House (Covent Garden), free, just turn up, 1pm
COCKTAIL FESTIVAL: Get stuck into two hours of bottomless cocktails at the Margarita Rumble. Top cocktail bars and mixologists whip up their best margarita, with the public invited to sample them all and vote for a favourite. London Fields Arches, £35-£55, book ahead, 1pm-9.45pm (various sessions)
Monday 6 May
FILM FESTIVAL: The Right Now Film Festival begins today with a screening of New York documentary Crime & Punishment. Over six days, the festival focuses on documentaries about topics that are important right now, including power structures and inequalities across the world. Rio Cinema (Dalston), various prices, book ahead, 6-12 May
SOAP BOX DERBY: Alas, places to take part in the Telegraph Hill soap box derby are now full, but you can still turn up to watch teams race their home-built carts around the course. 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
LEATHER, LIMOS AND LUBRICATION: Get an insight into what the West End was like in the early 20th century, when Covent Garden was still a bustling fruit and veg market and Soho was still basically a village. On this guided walk, learn about the businesses that used to line the streets, from printers to billiards halls. Covent Garden station, £12/£9, book ahead, 2pm-4pm