TRANSCEND FESTIVAL: A new arts festival based around St Giles in the Fields promises a packed programme of new writing, visual art installations, live music, promenade performances, talks and tours, puppetry and circus acts with an emphasis on local talent. Free family events, suggested donation for other stuff £3, runs 5-7 July, check the website for full listings.
SCIENCE EXHIBITION: Drop by the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition and talk to scientists, play with robots and take part in family activities. Free, just turn up, check the website for event times.
GAMELANS: The Southbank Centre is celebrating 25 years of gamelan playing with a weekend Gamelanathon, including two evening concerts of Javanese music and dance plus free stuff around the Festival Hall.
BLONDIE: Coinciding with the band’s sellout gig at the Roundhouse on Sunday night, the ICA blows the weekend on Blondiefest, celebrating all things Debbie Harry with screenings, a Blondie themed karaoke and a Blondie party in the bar. Check the website for times, events and booking.
JESTER FESTIVAL: West Hampstead hosts a weekend of community fun with the Jester Festival at Fortune Green. As well as stalls to browse, live music and DJs, watch Karate, Bollywood dance, circus skills, Irish dancing, puppets and a magician. Free, just turn up, 12-6pm
EDINBURGH PREVIEWS: An Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival presents 32 Edinburgh preview comedy shows, including Pappys, Josh Widdicombe, Tony Law, Bridget Christie, Max & Ivan, Ed Aczel, Nat Luurtsema, Sara Pascoe and more at the Barfly, Camden. Weekend tickets £36, day tickets £22. Check the website for full listings.
DANCE PICK ‘N’ MIX: Watch mixed bills of new contemporary dance and modern ballet at Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham as Cloud Dance Festival returns. The aim of the festival is to introduce new audiences to new dance and they do it well. Tickets £12, £10 concessions – Friday, Saturday & Sunday at 7.30pm
MONKEY & CROCODILE: Free family friendly performances of Monkey & Crocodile, featuring acrobatics, juggling, arial circus and skateboarding, take place in Marsh Court Play Area, Wimbledon SW19 (followed by free workshops for the kids). Free, just turn up, 11am and 3pm
TOPSY TURVY: Visit Barbican’s Dalston House (pictured). Free, just turn up and play.
Saturday 6 July
BANK OF ENGLAND: Nosey round bits of the Bank of England Museum that aren’t usually open to the public on its Open Door Saturday opening, as part of City of London Festival. Free, just turn up, 9.30am-4.30pm
MAKE STUFF: Elephant & Castle Mini-Maker Faire is a day of family friendly making, learning, crafting, inventing and tinkering at London College of Communication. Have a look at what other people have done and have a go yourself. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm
MATCHWOMEN: The Matchwomen’s Festival marks 125 years since the Bryant & May matchwomen went on strike against management bullying and terrible working conditions. Bishopsgate Institute hosts a celebratory knees up with bands, comedy, stalls, food and drink. Free, but register for tickets, 11am-11pm
SYDENHAM: The Sydenham Arts Festival rolls on and today there’s a free Street Celebration in Sydenham Road. Catch world music, community choirs, dance performances and a whole load of buskers. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm
FREE WALK: Westminster Guides are offering their weekly Theatreland walk for free during July and August. Discover The Streets to the Stars, meet outside Covent Garden tube, James Street exit. Free, just turn up, 11am
BETHLEM FAYRE: Bethlem Royal Hospital hosts their annual Sunfayre today with a whole host of things to keep you entertained: live music, craft stalls, children’s entertainment, complimentary therapies, art workshops, guided tours and exhibitions. Free, just turn up, 12-5pm
ACTON CARNIVAL: A carnival procession kick starts an afternoon of family fun in Acton Park. There’ll be live music, dance, a fun fair, world food, live painting and much more celebrating all that’s good about Acton. £2 entry, £5 family tickets, 12-7pm
BERMONDSEY CARNIVAL: Head to Southwark Park for Bermondsey Carnival with live music from local bands, a giant climbing wall, Bonds Victorian Fun Fair and loads of family friendly activities. Free, just turn up, 12-8pm
BEER FEST: The Five Points Brewing Company hosts an open day today where you can get a tour of the brewery, meet the folks behind it and enjoy a few samples. Free, just turn up, 12-10pm
MORE BEER FEST: It’s an all American affair at the Brunpond brewery in Leyton, that’s ‘MERICA, F YEAH! BRÜSTIVAL! Free, just turn up (with beer money) from 12-12pm
CARNABY SOUND: There’s a free music festival around Carnaby Street this afternoon, with two live music stages (including the Young Knives), shopping promotions, street food and a historic music trail around the area. Free, just turn up, 12-5pm
EHTIFAL FAMILY FESTIVAL: Head to the Serpentine for a family fun day at the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion for storytelling, games and the chance to contribute to a map. Free, just turn up, 12-5pm
LOWER MARSH: Visit the Fantasy High Street in Waterloo.
SPORTS DAY: Miss the egg and spoon races of yore? A silly sports day at the Queen of Hoxton might sort you out. The No Sweat Sports Day promises Beer Pong, Rock Paper Scissors, Limbo, Staring Competition, Frying-Pan-Ping-Pong, Ladder Golf and Speed Foos-Ball. Enter your team quick – tickets selling fast, £50 a team, competition 1-5pm
MUMFORD & SONS: The Summer Stampede is a big ole gig in the north of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, headlined by the Glastonbury closers, with plenty of support including Vampire Weekend. Tickets are still available at £57.50+delivery, doors open 2pm
PHOTOGRAPHY & GOLF: Whispers of the Street is a charity fundraising exhibition taking place at Playgolf London in Harrow, organised by one of the We Shoot People meet-up group. Take in the photos, play mini-golf and baseball or relax at the bar. Free to attend, just turn up, from 2pm
AL FRESCO JAZZ: Fulham Palace is the bucolic setting for a gig celebrating 25 years of jazz at the 606 Club. Ronnie Scott’s All-stars play. Tickets £15, book, starts 7.30pm
COMEDY: Robin Ince tells you about his favourite scientists and some of the weirder theories of early science at the Udderbelly. We’ve never seen this guy live without wanting to read more widely. We invariably fail, but the inspiration’s there if you want it . Tickets £15.50, book, starts 7.45pm
Sunday 7 July:
SUMMER FETE: Northcote Road in Battersea closes to traffic to host its Summer Fete. Watch the Wimbledon Men’s final on the big screen or go shopping, eat food, go on rides in the fairground, play ping pong, have fun. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm
LATIN DANCE: Horniman Museum and Gardens launch its summer season of events with a Latin Dance festival. Watch site-specific choreography performed in the Sunken Garden, listen to music inspired by Mr Horniman and take part in dance workshops. Free, just turn up, 12-4pm
SOHO: Soho Village Fete takes place in St Anne’s Gardens, Wardour Street with stalls, live music, snail races, a human fruit machine, bar, food and kids stuff. Entry £2, 12-6pm
ART IN THE PARK: Take a picnic and your children to Barnard Park, Barnsbury Road and let them explore their painting skills with a free live art competition then bid for art in a fundraising auction. Free, just turn up, 12-3pm
PICNIC & FIASCO: The Big Green Bookshop and Sean from Leisure Games in Alexandra Park (if the weather is nice) for Fiasco on the Hill. Free, RSVP to the Facebook event if you like, picnic from 12, games from 1pm
KIDS’ THEATRE: See free children’s theatre in Jubilee Park, Canary Wharf. It’s Rumplestiltskin & The Wheel of Fortune from Theatre of Widdershins, free, just turn up at 1.30 and 4pm
GRAND UNION ORCHESTRA: West Ham Park hosts a free, outdoor performance by the Grand Union Orchestra and Youth Orchestra as part of City of London Festival. They’ll be playing in the Spirit of Carnival, with calypso and ska, salsa and samba and more. Free, just turn up, 3-5pm
LISTENING PARTY: Classic Album Sundays plays Air’s Moon Safari in full at The Hanbury Arms, N1. Tickets £8 on the door, 5-8pm
CHORAL AMERICANA: London chamber choir Voce are just back from Glastonbury having performed as backing choir to the Rolling Stones for the second time. They’re sure to be in fine voice for their Choral Americana concert at Grosvenor Chapel, South Audley Street. If you’re still wearing a Glastonbury wristband you can get in for fiver. Normal tickets £12 advance, £15 on the door, 7pm
THOMAS PAINE: Was he “one of the most brilliant minds in human history” or merely a “filthy little atheist”? A one-man show at Conway Hall explores the life and ideas of Founding Father Thomas Paine. £10 (advance), £15 (on the door), 7.30pm
Bermondsey-based start-up Pact Coffee is offering Londonist readers a discount on their amazing hand-roasted coffee. Just visit www.pactcoffee.com and use the exclusive code LDNCOFFEE to get £5 off your first order of fresh coffee.
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