All weekend

See thousands of tulips in bloom at Eltham Palace

TULIP FESTIVAL: 20,000 flowers in bloom promises to be quite a sight at the Eltham Palace Tulip Festival. Take a wander round the grounds and snap photos, or join a guided tour to get the lowdown from the on-site gardeners. Eltham Palace, included in admission (£15.40/£9.20), just turn up, until 21 April

FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD: Time’s running out to see the Food Glorious Food: Dinner With Dickens exhibition. Find out what occurred at the Dickens family’s famous dinner parties, including who was invited, what was served, and how the table was set. Dickens Museum (Bloomsbury), included in admission (£9.50/£4.50), just turn up, until 22 April

A Dale Chihuly exhibition at Fairchild Tropical Garden, Miami. Image: Shutterstock

RADIO TIMES FEST: Keeley Hawes, Joanna Lumley, Jamie Oliver and Charlie Brooker are among the big names in the TV industry appearing at the BFI Radio Times Festival this weekend. Hear experts talk about the writing, production and acting in some of the biggest series on TV this year, including Bodyguard and Line of Duty. Some events have already sold out, so book quickly. BFI Southbank, various prices, book ahead, 12-14 April

GLASS SCULPTURES: Seattle-based glass artist Dale Chihuly installs some of his stunning pieces of work at Kew Gardens. The mesmerising sculptures appear to ‘bloom’ in flower beds, lakes and greenhouses. Kew Gardens, included in admission, 13 April-27 October

EASTER HOLIDAYS: We’re only halfway through the school break, but if you’re running out of ideas and activities already, check out our guide to things to do in London in the Easter holidays.

Saturday 13 April

Sail through Tower Bridge

CHOCOLATE MARKET: Ahead of Easter, stock up on chocolate at this chocolate market. Various artisan chocolatiers sample and sell their wares, and some of the usual stall holders add a chocolatey twist to their goods — think chocolate sushi and chocolate Guinness cake. Duke of York Square (Chelsea), free entry, just turn up, 10am-4pm

LONDON CLOWN: What is a clown? That’s one of the questions up for discussions at this day of clowning, which looks at famous London clown Joseph Grimaldi, clowns in Shakespeare, and ends with a walk to Grimaldi’s grave in Pentonville Road. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), £20, book ahead, 10am-4pm

BIG CAT FESTIVAL: If you love lions or go crazy for cheetahs, you need to know about the Big Cat Festival. The headline speaker is TV presenter Chris Packham, with plenty of other conservation and wildlife experts taking to the stage to share their research, knowledge and thoughts on what can be done to protect big cats all over the world. Royal Geographical Society (South Kensington), £30-£40, book ahead, 10am-6.30pm

CHARITY WALK: Take a stroll through Kensington Gardens, raising money for Parkinson’s UK as you go. Choose from a two-mile or four-mile route, and take in the Italian Gardens, Albert Memorial, and wildlife near The Long Water. Kensington Gardens, £15/£7.40 + £50 suggested sponsorship, register on the day, 11am

HOT SAUCE: London’s first Hot Sauce Festival pops up in Peckham. 30 sauce brands to let you test their wares… if your taste buds can handle the heat. There’s a bar serving cooling beers and cocktails, and sauce-based games too. Copeland Park (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 11am-11pm

London’s first Hot Sauce Festival comes to Peckham

BAG OF GOLD: It’s a tour of Bloomsbury, but not as you know it. Guide Peter Berthoud makes no mention of the area’s famous literary connections or garden squares, and completely ignores the British Museum. Instead, plan your own funeral, do some grocery shopping, experience a divorce, puzzle at a magic square and more importantly, share and spend a bag of gold. Oh, and there are pub stops too. Russell Square, £25, book ahead, 11.30am-3.30pm

THAMES SAILING: Board a historic and rare wooden barge and sail to Greenwich and back, with Tower Bridge opening for you en-route. The Secret Adventures tour passes sights including the Tower of London and Canary Wharf, with a bar on board to keep you hydrated. Tower Pier, £31.59, book ahead, 3pm/6pm

WEIRD WALK: Faery and science, madness and ecstasy: take a walk through Arthur Machen’s London. Part-tour, part-theatre, The Thin Veil of London takes you through the lesser-known corners of Holborn and Bloomsbury into other worlds. We’ve done this walk by Minimum Labyrinth, and can hugely recommend it. Starts in Bloomsbury, £17.50 (£12.50 concessions), book ahead, 3pm/6pm

HIP HOP KARAOKE: Head to the Tate Modern bar for a night of hip hop karaoke — plus craft beer from Fourpure Brewery on tap. There are 100s of hip hop hits to choose from… no excuse for not having a go yourself.  Tate Modern, £10, book ahead, 7pm

CURIOSITY KINO: Lost Lectures’ new event takes a cinematic twist, inviting visitors into ‘a vast cinema, reopened after 30 long years’ for a fascinating programme of events. Hear from Oscar-winning visual effects artist Andrew Whitehurst, data journalist David McCandless, and several other experts in highly interesting fields. Secret zone 2 location, £30-£42, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

PRINCE TRIBUTE: Marking the third anniversary of Prince’s death, this dance party is held in honour of His Royal Badness. Dance the night away to his classic floor-fillers as well as some of his lesser-known tracks. Ritzy (Brixton), free, book ahead, 8pm-2am

Sunday 14 April

Visit Crossness Pumping Station

COBBLEMONSTER: A bike ride beginning and ending in Brixton, Cobblemonster raises money for Evelina Children’s Hospital. The route is aimed at cyclists of all levels and with all types of bike, and visits both the West End and East End. Brixton, suggested £15 donation, book ahead, 8am

SPRING MARKET: Fulham’s North End Road goes traffic-free for a spring market. Stalls selling food and drink, homewares and other items line the street, and music and live entertainment keep the celebrations going all day. North End Road (Fulham), free, just turn up, 9am-6pm

FARMERS’ MARKET: Forty Hall Farmers’ Market begins its 2019 season today, with local fruit, veg, meat and bread from local producers. While you’re there, have a snoop around the farm, and stop for lunch at the street food market. Forty Hall Farm (Enfield), free entry, just turn up, 10am-3pm

CROSSNESS OPEN DAY: Spend your Sunday at Crossness Pumping Station, otherwise known as London’s ‘cathedral of sewage’. The open day is a chance to see inside the beautiful building, get a glimpse of the engines that make the whole thing work, and view an exhibition about the Victorian sewage system that still serves London today. Crossness (Abbey Wood), £6/£2, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

VINTAGE FAIR: Rummage through racks and racks of vintage clothes dating back as far as the early 1900s at the Frock Me! Vintage Fair. 60 fashion experts sell clothes and accessories, and there are plenty of designer bargains to be had, if you know what you’re looking for. Chelsea Old Town Hall, £4, book ahead, 11am-5.30pm

Forty Hall Farmers’ Market returns

LIVE MUSIC: Five piece rock ‘n’ roll band The Men From Montgomery perform live at lunchtime, showcasing their musical style which has its roots in New Orleans. Half Moon (Putney), £9/£11, book ahead, 1pm

KEATS AND COLERIDGE: Marking 200 years since Romantic poets John Keats and Samuel Taylor Coleridge met on Hampstead Heath, nearby Keats House celebrates with an afternoon of Romantic poetry. Prose and poems by both writers are performed and presented at the event. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

CALLIGRAPHY WORKSHOP: Learn the basics of calligraphy at this beginners’ workshop, and create elegant hand-written shapes and letters using a dip ink and pen. Take home a beginners’ modern calligraphy kit (included in ticket price) to practise what you’ve learned. Market Hall Fulham, £50, book ahead, 2pm-4.15pm

CITY WITHOUT JEWS: Austrian film Die Stadt ohne Juden (‘The city without Jews’) was made nearly a decade before the Nazis came to power, and satirises the rising antisemitism following the first world war, with no inclination as to what was about to happen. Watch the film, followed by a panel discussion with experts. Birkbeck (Torrington Square), free, book ahead, 2pm-5pm

FAMILY SCIENCE: Celebrate 150 years of the periodic table at this family-friendly science event. Dr Peter Wothers talks through the elements, with plenty of demonstrations to keep it entertaining for budding scientists. Age 7+. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 6pm-7.15pm

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