ARCHAEOLOGY: There are lots of events happening in London for the Festival of Archaeology, which starts on Saturday, including Shoreditch walks, an open ice well and Thames foreshore object identification sessions. Search the website for what’s on near you.
PROMS: It’s the first weekend of the Proms and it’s a Doctor Who theme to get this brilliant festival of summer classical music going. Inevitably, it’s returns and promming tickets only, so be prepared to be early and queue. Here’s our ‘how to prom’ guide from the archive to help you. Promming tickets are just £5.
STREATHAM: Things get glamorous in SW16 for Streatham Festival, running Thursday to Sunday on the theme of The Glamour Days. Saturday is a mega day of fun, with Streatham UnCommon, the Streatham Strut live music crawl and Lane & Vale Carnival. Check the website to see the rest of what’s on and when.
SHOREDITCH: Hoxton Street hosts Shoreditch Festival with two days of street partying, including street theatre, walkabouts, crafts, food and drink and a music festival on Sunday. Free from noon each day.
EDMONTON: Spellbound Edmonton Festival takes place in Jubilee Park, N9 with a Magical Menagerie Parade live music (including Mica Paris), drumming, crafts, fairies, stories and gypsy fire. Free, just turn up, Saturday and Sunday from noon.
SYDENHAM: This local arts festival closes on Sunday with a triple bill folk gig at Sydenham School. On Saturday, Benjamin Zephaniah‘s in town, as are some Flamenco dancers. Lots more to keep you entertained, check the website for full listings.
PIMLICO: A new musical of the classic Ealing Studios film, Passport to Pimlico is staged as a promenade performance around Pimlico, with Routemaster buses taking the audience between scenes. Tickets are £8+bkg online, £5 concessions, runs both days, 1-5pm
BRIXTON: The Urban Art Fair brings the work of around 200 artists to Josephine Avenue where street artists will transform an Underground train and nine white walls (plus there’s lots of street food to keep you going). Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm
MEXICANA: London MexFest is a four-day Mexican cultural festival running Thursday to Sunday. There are lots of film screenings, free live music and discussions, parties at Rich Mix and various other venues.
MUNCH: Peckham gets a new food market and with it, a weekend-long food festival including talks, demos, many fine traders plus a Saturday shindig of live music, food and drink. Watch out for our very own Sally giving a talk about Persian food at 3pm on Sunday. It’s happening at Holly Grove Park by Peckham Rye station. Entry £2 adults (free entry to the shindig), open 10am-8pm (6pm Sunday).
PUPPETS & THEATRE: Mimetic Festival brings visually stimulating puppet, cabaret, comedy and theatre shows to Enfield’s Dugdale Centre – the perfect warm-up to the Edinburgh Festival. Runs till 27 July.
GARDENS: Wander through award-winning gardens, the floral marquee and get inspiration for your own patch at the RHS Hampton Court Flower Show. All-day tickets for non-members, £33.50 on the gate. Open 10am-7.30pm
BASKETBALL: Is this the most unlikely sporting thing happening this weekend? The NBA are holding London’s 3 on 3 basketball tournament by Turnpike Lane station – on Duckett’s Common to be exact. This is a very cool thing for the N15/N22 area and a real life NBA star is booked to show up. There are competitions for men, women and kids of different ages. Register to take part here or just turn up and watch the action for free.
CABARET: Unleashed at Shoreditch Town Hall promises to be a carnival or cabaret, presenting over 20 fierce acts until 28 July. This weekend, catch Tricity Vogue, Marawa the Amazing (hula hoop lady), Christopher Green, Roulston & Young and Piff the Magic Dragon in double bill shows, tickets £20.
TECH: The Intel pop-up tech festival is in Spitalfields from Friday to Sunday with interactive displays and games, gadgets galore plus acrobatic and face-painting entertainment. Free, just turn up, check website for times.
WIRELESS: At the time of writing, there are still Friday, Sunday and 3-day tickets available for Wireless Festival in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
LEEFEST: If you like your music festival a bit more boutique, Leefest is being held at Highams Hill Farm on the outskirts of Croydon. Weekend tickets £70, day tickets £35/40. Or try East End Live on Saturday – see below.
EAT ICE CREAM: Here are our recommendations of the best places to get it.
SKETCH: Do us a sketch representing summer in London and you could win an Inkling digital sketch pen.
Saturday 13 July
RUGBY & UB40: Legends Rugby Festival combines rugby aces of yore with live sporting action and an evening music festival, headlined by UB40 at Wimbledon RFC. Tickets £35 adults, £10 kids, 10am-11pm
GREENS ON THE GREEN: Islington-based charity, the Environmental Investigation Agency, hold a fair on Islington Green. A film tent will screen National Geographic documentaries about their work investigating wildlife crime, EIA staff will be on hand to chat and talk about their work, plus there’s live music, kids’ stuff and food and drink. Free, drop-in, 10am-7pm
FULL ENGLISH: Have fun with all things folky at the family friendly Full English Discovery Day at the British Library. Make stuff, dance, listen to music. Free, drop-in (some events are ticketed), 11am-4.30pm
GET READING: Thousands of children will be gathering in Trafalgar Square for a mass read-along, with famous authors and others reading stories. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm
LEWISHAM: The annual Lewisham People’s Day has hundreds of community stalls, local talent and live performances, such as music from The 286 – a new London band who fuse indie rock with classical cellos and violins. Free, just turn up, 12-8pm
WHATHO: It’s the Chap Olympiad in Bedford Square. Dress dapper, take tea, sip gin and watch the elegant and un-athletic compete in sports such as the pipeathlon, ironing board surfing and umbrella jousting. Here’s our preview. SORRY, NOW SOLD OUT, 12-11pm
INDEPENDENT LABEL MARKET: Loads of indie record labels set up stall in Old Spitalfields Market to sell this summer’s most sought after releases and exclusive records straight to you. We talked to Beth Orton about it. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm
GUNNERSBURY TRIANGLE: Celebrate 30 years since this Chiswick nature reserve was saved from the developers with lots of family fun activities and cake. Free, just turn up, 12-5pm
VEGAN BEER: London Vegan Beer Festival takes place in St Margaret’s Hall, Bethnal Green with a selection of vegan beers from well-known breweries and a vegan BBQ. Tickets start from £7.50 and the festival runs from 12-10pm
BASTILLE DAY (EARLY): The Charles Lamb pub throws a gallic street party with petanque tournament and best dressed dog award. Free, just turn up, 12-8pm
MUSIC FESTIVAL: The first East End Live music festival boasts 60 bands crawling across 12 venues around Shoreditch. Tickets £15 advance, £20 on the door, doors 5pm till late
HIDDEN FILMS: Watch brand new indie films at The Hidden Film Festival at Roxy Bar & Screen. What will you see? It’s a mystery. Turn up and find out. Tickets £10 for screenings & after-party, starts 7pm
Sunday 14 July
BASTILLE DAY: Bankside hosts its annual Bastille Festival and just along the Thames there’s a petanque tournament outside Hays Galleria (register your team now). The day culminates with the Bal Populaire, an open air party with live music, dancing, singing, food and drink in Borough Market.
RA RA BAZAAR: Shop at a musical market at Vibe Bar, Brick Lane, dig into their dress up box, try yoga, enter the ra ra raffle. Free entry, 10am-7pm
STEAMPUNK FUN: The Markfield Beam Engine is one of our top things to see and do in Haringey and today a day and night of Steampunk Conviviality helps to raise funds to keep the engine and museum going. Expect Victorian mayhem with fancy dress encouraged, but also stalls, community stuff, snail racing, ostrich racing and tea duelling. Tickets £10, book, 11am-6pm
GREENWICH: Eltham Palace is the venue for Greenwich World Cultural Festival, an afternoon of dance, theatre, music, art and circus from around the world. Entry to the festival, Great Hall and Eltham Palace Gardens is free, just turn up, 12.30-4.30pm
STRAWBERRIES: Honey tastings, talking plants, storytelling and live music will all take place at Spitalfield City Farm’s Strawberry Fayre today. Free, just turn up, 12-4pm
OXJAM: Oxjam Islington’s Big Gig takes place in Battersea Park today where you can attend a ukulele or djembe workshop before taking part in a group performance, to raise money for Oxfam. Free, just turn up, 1pm
EPPING FOREST: New visitor centre, The View, is a new venue for City of London Festival and this afternoon enjoy vintage jazz, latin rhythms, craft activities and the lovely trees. Free, just turn up, 2-5pm
PETER RABBIT: Free theatre for kids in Canary Wharf presents the Tales of Beatrix Potter, with Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny in Jubilee Gardens. Free, just turn up, 2-4pm
WIFF WAFF: Find out How Ping Pong Saved the World at Dalston Social, N16. Free, just turn up, 5pm
DANCE: Watch interesting, new contemporary dance in a pub courtesy of Cloud Dance Sundays at Lion & Unicorn, Kentish Town. Tickets £15, starts 7.30pm
POPERA: Listen to “a sexy fusion of classical crossover, opera, musical theatre, pop, jazz or swing tunes” sung by world-class singers at Popera Cafe, a new cabaret concept at St James’ Theatre Studio, SW1. Tickets from £25, 7.30pm
Other good stuff
- What’s on stage and art shows to see
- Live comedy in London
- Booky and spoken word events
- Free things to do in London
- What’s on in the big Museums and Galleries
- Food and drink
- Listen to our latest podcast