32 Things To Do In London In April 2019

32 Things To Do In London In April 2019
April is cherry blossom season in London. Image: Shutterstock

CHERRY BLOSSOM: Sometime in April, we're expecting the capital's cherry blossom trees to go into full bloom. Check out our guide to where to see cherry blossom in London, and flood your Instagram feed with all the pink.

DRAKE: Canadian rapper and musician Drake brings his Assassination Vacation tour to the O2 for seven dates. We can't imagine tickets will be easy — or cheap — to come by, but persist and you might get lucky. Support act is another Canadian rapper, Tory Lanez. 1-11 April

LONDON GAMES FESTIVAL: For 12 days, London Games Festival brings all things video games to the capital. Highlights include plenty of chances to play new games, the Games Finance Market, where developers can meet funders, and a games character parade through the City. 2-14 April

ROBERT ELMS: BBC Radio London host Robert Elms chats to journalist Jason Solomons about the changes he's seen London go through, to promote his new book London Made Us: A Memoir Of A Shape-Shifting City. 4 April

Get supping at Cocktails In The City

COCKTAILS IN THE CITY: Some of London's best bars are opening temporary outposts underneath Waterloo station for Cocktails In The City. 25 bartenders battle it out to be crowned best bar, and we're promised tasting flights, bar battles and 'sensory cocktail adventures' (no, us neither). Oh, and your ticket gets you a free cocktail at a bar of your choice. 4-6 April

UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL: It's a sure sign that summer's on the way when Underbelly Festival returns to South Bank. The performing arts festival, famous for its upturned purple cow marquee theatre, specialises in short shows (usually under an hour) of theatre, comedy, circus, dance, spoken word and more. 5 April-29 September

BEASTS OF LONDON: We have to admit, we're pretty excited about Museum of London's new exhibition, Beasts of London. Focus is on the animals who have called London home over the last 2000 years, from exotic imports to local species, and creatures used to keep London on the move. The immersive tour is narrated by the animals, voiced by the likes of Brian Blessed, Angelica Bell and Joe Pasquale. 5 April-5 January 2020

Beasts of London opens at Museum of London

NOW PLAY THIS: A strand of London Games Festival (above), Now Play This at Somerset House is a games festival where gamers of all ages can get hands on, go head to head, try new games and technology, and generally immerse themselves in all things gaming. 6-14 April

EASTER HOLIDAYS: Looking for ways to keep children busy while school's closed for a couple of weeks? Take a look at our guide to things to do in the Easter holidays. Term dates vary borough to borough and school to school, but we've got most of the holidays covered, with exhibitions, theatre shows, days out and more. 6-22 April

ICE AGE KINGDOM: [Postponed until further notice] Ice Age creatures are brought to life in new outdoor immersive experience Ice Age Kingdom, which launches in Gunnersbury Park before going on a UK tour. Come face to face with animatronic life-sized woolly mammoths, sabre-toothed tigers, giant sloths, cave lions and more, to find out how they used to live. 6-28 April

MARY QUANT: Christian Dior's not the only fashion designer on exhibition in 2019. The V&A takes a closer look at Mary Quant's personal archive, exploring how her designs launched a fashion revolution on the British high street. From 6 April

Image: The Oxford & Cambridge Goat Race

BOAT RACE AND GOAT RACE: Sure, sure, you could head down to the river and watch teams from two of the finest educational institutions in the world battle it out in a race of skill and power, in a desperate bid to claim honour and glory. Or, you could watch two goats go nuts in a farmyard, cheered on by an even nuttier crowd. Tickets for the Spitalfields Goat Race always sell out in advance, so be quick if you want in on the action. 7 April

EDVARD MUNCH: The work of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch — most famous for The Scream — goes on display at the British Museum, showcasing his travels across Europe including Oslo, Berlin and Paris. 11 April-21 July

ROBYN: Swedish singer-songwriter Robyn brings her absolute bangers to Alexandra Palace on her European tour, following the release of her latest album Honey. 12-13 April

BACK TO THE FUTURE: Classic 1985 sci-fi film Back To The Future is screened in HD at Southbank Centre, while the Czech National Symphony Orchestra perform the famous score, live. 13 April

See the work of Dale Chihuly at Kew Gardens. © Chihuly Studio

CHIHULY AT KEW: Glass artist Dale Chihuly exhibits some of his luminous artworks at Kew. Wander through the botanical gardens looking out for undulating waves, the celestial blue Sapphire Star, and other masterpieces. 13 April-27 October

MICHELLE OBAMA: Following her much-coveted appearance at Southbank Centre, America's former First Lady Michelle Obama appears at the O2 to talk about her book, Becoming. She also discusses her childhood in Chicago, and her time at the White House. 14 April

IAN MCEWAN: The Atonement and On Chesil Beach author is at Southbank Centre to talk about his latest novel, Machines Like Me. It's set in an alternative 1980s London, in which Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. 15 April

WIDOW'S BUN CEREMONY: One of London's oddest traditions take place on Good Friday every year. Head to The Widow's Son pub in Bow, to see the Widow's Bun Ceremony. A hot cross bun, with the year baked into to the top, is hung from the ceiling, to honour a widow who apparently used to continue baking them for her son, even years after he stopped returning home and was presumed dead. 19 April

Springfest at Alexandra Palace

SPRINGFEST: German beer. Live music. Amazing views. Head to Ally Pally for Springfest, and spend Good Friday sampling craft beers and ales, soaked up with street food including German sausages, burgers and pretzels. Live music completes the festival atmosphere. 19 April

THE PASSION OF JESUS: You'll need to get to Trafalgar Square early to get a good view of this annual production — crowds of up to 20,000 people have turned up in the past. See the Wintershall Players portray the final days of the life of Jesus Christ. It involves a realistic portrayal of the crucifixion, so may not be suitable for younger viewers. 19 April

The Passion of Jesus in Trafalgar Square

RUFUS WAINWRIGHT: The American-Canadian singer-songwriter celebrates the 20th anniversary of his debut album with a gig at the Royal Albert Hall, where he performs tracks from 1998 album Rufus Wainwright and 2001 follow-up, Poses. 21 April

GUN SALUTE: The Queen's birthday falls on 21 April, which is a Sunday this year, so a gun salute takes place the next day to mark the occasion. Listen out for 41 rounds in Hyde Park, followed by 62 rounds at the Tower of London. 22 April

HISTORY OF LONDON IN 100 OBJECTS: A new course will take you to 10 museums in 10 weekends, and explore 10 objects in each from London's history. See the oldest representation of a human (over 4,000 years old) found in London, silver plates made by Huguenot migrants, and postcards bought on Empire Windrush by people coming to London in 1948. The course is led by experienced guide Rob Smith through South Thames College. 24 April-3 July

LEGO BAR: A bar dedicated to — and made from — Lego bricks opens at a secret Shoreditch location (we're really hoping for Brick Lane). You need to book a slot in advance, and your 90 minutes gets you access to Lego sculptures and furniture, and a ping pong table made from 22,500 bricks. 25-28 April and 10-11 May

EASTER WEEKEND: Looking for something to do over the long Easter Weekend. We've got it covered. 26-29 April

STANLEY KUBRICK: One of the most highly-anticipated London exhibitions of the year is Stanley Kubrick at the Design Museum. See props, costumes, set models and photographs from the film maker's career, which give an insight into his fascination with design, and relive scenes from The Shining (1980), Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and A Clockwork Orange (1971). 26 April-15 September

Vaisakhi celebrations in Trafalgar Square

VAISAKHI: Everyone's invited to London's free Vaisakhi 2019 celebrations in Trafalgar Square. The celebration of Sikh and Punjabi tradition, heritage and culture includes live music and performances, workshops and food and drink stalls. 27 April

CLASSIC CAR BOOT: Ogle vintage wheels and get your hands on some retro deals at the Classic Car Boot Sale, a vintage fair where items are sold out of classic cars. Fashion, accessories, homeware, furniture and all manner of other knick-knacks are for sale, while DJs play from the top of a Routemaster bus, and street food vendors serve up the nosh. 27-28 April

The Classic Car Boot Sale returns to King's Cross

LOVE YOUR LINE: This month's open weekend at London Transport Museum's Acton Depot has a Love Your Line theme. Aspects of the District, Victoria, Jubilee and Overground lines are pitted against each other, including architecture and design. 27-28 April

LONDON MARATHON: If you've got a place to run in the London Marathon, we're guessing you already know when it is. For the rest of you, 28 April is the day that London's runners need your support. Get out on the streets somewhere along the route and cheer them on. If you're up to anything else in London on that date, be aware of road closures. 28 April

Image: Shutterstock

Last Updated 25 March 2019