45+ Action-Packed Things To Do In London In April 2024

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Last Updated 19 March 2024

45+ Action-Packed Things To Do In London In April 2024

Things to do this month is sponsored by the London Symphony Orchestra.

A bowl of red tulips appears to be floating on a pond in front of Hampton Court Palace
Tulips take over the grounds of Hampton Court Palace © Historic Royal Palaces.

EASTER HOLIDAYS: The first two weeks of April are the Easter holidays for the majority of London schools. If you've got children or teenagers to entertain, take a look at our Easter holidays events guide — we've covered shows, exhibitions and one-off events, as well as some free things to do. Until 14 April

EASTER MONDAY: Not only is 1 April April Fool's Day, it's also Easter Monday. Keep yourself busy with our guide to spending the bank holiday weekend in London, and this selection of special Easter events in the capital. 1 April

GO YOUR OWN WAY: Fleetwood Mac tribute show Go Your Own Way puts on a single performance at the Adelphi Theatre — a chance to hear the band's hits including Dreams, Don't Stop, Everywhere, Rhiannon, and Songbird performed by an ensemble of musicians. 2 April

BRITISH SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS: There are six days of action at the London Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park this week, at the British Swimming Championships. Tickets are available for the public to watch both heats and finals, with Olympic and Paralympic swimming event schedules running concurrently, and the championship event playing a role in team selection for the Paris Olympics. 2-7 April

VELVETEEN RABBIT: Beloved children's book The Velveteen Rabbit comes to life in ballet form on stage, as part of dance company BalletLORENT's 30th anniversary celebrations at Sadler's Wells. Storytelling, music and dance all features, as a nursery of toys comes to life. 5-6 April

WORLD UNSEEN: In partnership with the RNIB and camera brand Canon, Somerset House opens new photography exhibition World Unseen. It ensures that everyone, including people with sight loss, can experience the images in the same way, using a combination of new printing technology, soundscaped audio of photographers describing their images, braille, and tactile printing. FREE, 5-7 April

VAISKHI FESTIVAL: Vaisakhi — the Sikh and Punjabi cultural festival — takes place on 13 April this year, but London's main celebration returns to Trafalgar Square the previous week. The free festival features live entertainment and performances, martial arts demonstrations, a showcase of Sikh art, plus food and drink stalls. FREE, 6 April

A young boy whispering in the ear of a rabbit puppet
See The Velveteen Rabbit at Sadler's Wells. © Luke Waddington

BLACKSTAGE PRESENTS: COMMUNITY: Pole dancers of colour are in the spotlight at Blackstage Presents: Community, an international pole dancing competition at Clapham Grand. Blackstage is a Black Queer sex worker-led company centring BPOC pole dancers. 6 April

NOW PLAY THIS: Tying in with the ongoing London Games Festival (9-25 April), Somerset House hosts Now Play This 2024, a festival of experimental games featuring interactive exhibitions, live shows, and plenty of chances to test drive some of those games. 6-14 April

Sponsor message

Two pocket-sized LSO concerts – with 2-for-1 tickets up for grabs!

Image © Kevin Leighton

Here's a canny way to squeeze more culture into this month: by taking advantage of our Half Six Fix tickets offer. What's Half Six Fix, you ask? A ongoing series of hour-long London Symphony Orchestra concerts that are all about making orchestral music easier to enjoy. There are two of them taking place in April and with our 2-for-1 deal, you can bring along a friend to either of them for no additional cost.

The fun begins on Wednesday 10 April with Ravel's lush, otherworldly Daphnis and Chloé. As always, the evening starts with an introduction from your conductor (this time it's Sir Antonio Pappano), who'll let you know what to listen out for, and share some insight into what he considers to be Ravel's most important work. Then, it's over to the LSO — with close-ups of the musicians playing on the big screens throughout, everyone gets ringside seats. Both the LSO and Sir Antonio return on Wednesday 17 April. This time, they present a bittersweet meditation on hope amid war in the form of Vaughan Williams' Symphony No 5.

Both concerts take place at the Barbican, 6.30pm-7.30pm — ideal alternatives to after-work drinks (though you're certainly welcome to enjoy one in the Barbican's bar before or after the show, or even order a drink from the Barbican's bar to take in with you!). Tickets cost £15-£35, and you can get two for the price of one by entering the code LDN23HSF at checkout.

RUPAUL: Drag queen and TV presenter RuPaul is at Southbank Centre to talk about his new memoir, The House of Hidden Meanings, and offer fans an insight into his personal philosophy for living. 7 April

SIX CHICK FLIX: Legally Blonde, Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, Titanic, The Beach and The Notebook all get the parody treatment in two-actor comedy show Six Chick Flix at Leicester Square Theatre. It originated in New York and sold out in Edinburgh last year. 9 April-29 June

LONDON COFFEE FESTIVAL: Get your fill of caffeine and then some, at the London Coffee Festival, a four-day programme of tastings, demos, competitions, shopping and more at The Truman Brewery on Brick Lane. 11-14 April

A pole dancer illuminated in pink light performing on stage
Blackstage Presents: Community is at the Clapham Grand

HISTORY FEST: William Dalrymple, Dr Nicola Clark, Brian Cox and Clive Myrie are some of the guest speakers at HistFest 2024, a weekend of history talks at the British Library. Topics range from espionage in the second world war to plague nurses, and the rise of the East India Company. 11-14 April

LATIN MUSIC FESTIVAL: La Linea Latin music festival takes place at several venues around central London. It opens with Grammy award-winning Mexican-American singer-songwriter Lila Downs, and other highlights include performances by Manguebeat pioneer group Nação Zumbi, and Baque Luar — a collective of female and non-binary vocalists and percussionists. Browse the full programme. 12-22 April

BOOKS IN THE PARK: New literary festival Books in the Park pitches up at Beckenham Place Park for a day of events for both adults and children. As well as talks, there are poetry and fiction writing workshops for adults, and a scavenger hunt for kids. 13 April

MUSIC OF THE MOVIES: Music from The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, The Hobbit, Avatar and other films is performed live by the London Concert Orchestra in a special show at Southbank Centre. 13 April

PETROL HEADONISM: Once again Petrol Headonism Underground takes place in Wembley's underground car parks. Retro, classic and modified vehicles, hypercars, supercars and bikes are on display at this family-friendly event. 13-14 April

SPRING PLANT FAIR: Browse and buy garden plants from expert growers hailing from all over the country at the Garden Museum's Spring Plant Fair. Great Dixter Nursery in East Sussex and Beth Chatto Garden in Essex are among the organisations taking part, with a programme of talks and workshops happening throughout the day. 14 April

Lila Downs, surrounded by tall cacti plants
Lila Downs opens La Linea Latin music festival

TULIP FESTIVAL: Over 100,000 tulip bulbs bring a riot of colour to the gardens of Hampton Court Palace for its annual Tulip Festival — one of the UK's largest displays of planted tulips. Wander through the formal gardens and historic courtyards, and see  'floating' bowls in the Great Fountain and a free style of planting in the kitchen gardens. 15 April-6 May

WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS: One of the highlights of the London photography calendar is the Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House. They're doing things a bit differently this year, with photographs printed, projected and presented digitally to 'enhance your visual experience'. There's also a display dedicated to the works of Edgar Martins, the 2023 Photographer of the Year, telling the story behind his project. 16 April-6 May

SALON PRIVÉ: Salon Privé pulls into the Royal Hospital Chelsea for three days, showcasing sets of wheels that you almost definitely can't afford. Still, it's a good chance to ogle the latest models from Aston Martin, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and the like, many of which get their UK debut at the show. Classic cars are on show at the Concours de Vente part of the show. 18-20 April

IN THE ROUND: The latest incarnation of In The Round Festival takes place at Camden Roundhouse, giving fans a chance to experience music performed live on the venue's circular stage. South-east London based singer-songwriter Tirzah, electronic musician and composer Jlin, and acoustic singer-songwriter Lucy Rose are on this year's programme. 18-27 April

THE LAST CARAVAGGIO: The National Gallery's new display, The Last Caravaggio, displays the last known work of Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. The Martyrdom of Saint Ursula is coming to London for the first time in 20 years, displayed alongside a letter that details its creation, which together give an insight into the artist's final years. FREE, 18 April-21 July

Crowds cheering on marathon runners in the streets among the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf
The London Marathon takes place this month. Image: iStock/IR_Stone

CERAMIC ART LONDON: Work by 118 makers from all over the world is on display at Ceramic Art London, which moves to Olympia for the first time this year. It's organised by the Craft Potters Association, with the final pieces curated by a panel of experts. The artworks are for sale, with prices ranging from under £100, to £10,000+. 19-21 April

EID IN THE SQUARE: Trafalgar Square's the setting for Eid in the Square, London's official Eid celebration to mark the end of Ramadan for the Muslim community. Market stalls, live performances and family-friendly activities take place throughout the afternoon. Find out about other Ramadan and Eid events in London this year. FREE, 20 April

ROCKETMAN IN CONCERT: Oscar-winning film Rocketman, released in 2019, tells the story of musician Sir Elton John's life and career. Watch it on a large screen at Southbank Centre, accompanied by a live orchestra playing some of John's best-known hits including Your Song, Tiny Dancer, and I'm Still Standing. 20 April

MINORITY REPORT: Based on the 2002 film — itself based on a 1956 book — of the same name, the stage adaptation of Minority Report opens at the Lyric Hammersmith. It's set in 2050, with a neuroscientist running a Pre-Crime programme, detaining people for crimes before they are committed — until she gets caught up in a future crime herself. 20 April-18 May

LONDON MARATHON: It's that time of year again, when thousands of runner pound the pavements in London, many in bizarre costumes to raise money for good causes. This year's London Marathon follows the usual route and format. Even if you're not watching or taking part, be aware of widespread road closures, bus diversions and the like, on and around 21 April

Salman Rushdie
Hear from Salman Rushdie at Southbank Centre. Photo: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

SALMAN RUSHDIE: After surviving a murder attempt in 2022 in which he lost an eye and the use of one hand, Indian-British novelist Salman Rushdie has written a memoir, Knife, in which he details the attack and his fight for survival. Hear him at Southbank Centre or via livestream reflecting on the experience, interspersed with live readings from actors Adeel Akhtar and Anjana Vasan. 21 April

DAVID NICHOLLS: Following the recent success of the Netflix adaptation of his novel One Day, author David Nicholls talks about his new book, You Are Here. It's described as a love story 'of first encounters, second chances and finding the way home'. Find out more with Nicholls in conversation with writer Dolly Alderton. 21 April

ST GEORGE'S DAY: 23 April is St George's Day, a celebration of the patron saint of England (plus Catalonia, Ethiopia, and various other regions). London's free St George's Day Festival takes place in Trafalgar Square a couple of days before, with live music and performers, family activities, and food and drink. FREE, 21/23 April

BREW LDN: Raise a glass to Brew LDN — the beer festival is back at a new venue this year. Taking over Between The Bridges for three days, with Toast Brewing, Renegade Brewery, Jiddler's Tipple, Moot Brew Co, Flowerhorn Brewery, and SXOLLIE among the companies confirmed to be attending. 24-27 April

OPEN CITY DOCS: Very little info available about this year's Open City Documentary Festival at time of writing — keep an eye on the website for details closer to the time. 24-30 April

An actor in Elizabethan dress posing for the camera in front of a picture of colourful flowers
Much Ado About Nothing opens at Shakespeare's Globe.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Shakespeare's Globe launches its Summer Season with a production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Globe Associate Artistic Director Sean Holme. It's one of Shakespeare's best-known comedy plays, packed with love and deception. 25 April-24 August

BRICK LANE JAZZ FESTIVAL: The Brick Lane Jazz Festival returns for a weekend of live music. Headline acts include RnB artists Ojerime, Grammy Award-nominated artist Theo Croker, and French-Senegalese singer, songwriter and producer anaiis. You can buy day or weekend passes to all shows at the Old Truman Brewery, with tickets to Village Underground shows sold separately. 26-28 April

CLASSIC CAR BOOT SALE: Pre-1990 vehicles including cars, campervans, hot rods, scooters, caravans, motorbikes and custom bicycles park up in King's Cross for the Classic Car Boot Sale — a weekend of shopping, eating and dancing. Browse and buy vintage clothing and homewares from the Charity Super.Mkt, and visit the Repair Shop for advice on caring for your vintage garments. 27-28 April

BEAR GRYLLS: Explorer and survival expert Bear Grylls navigates his way to Wembley Arena for his Never Give Up! live tour. He tells stories of some of his adventures, and shows previously unseen images and behind-the-scenes footage, in this family-friendly show. 28 April

GRAND FLANEUR WALK: 'A celebration of the pure, the immutable and the pointless, taken by the bold, the adventurous and the inebriated' is how organisers describe the Grand Flaneur Walk, a stroll without purpose, with participants wearing their finest dandy, flaneur or fop outfits — think top hats, handlebar moustaches, pocket squares, pocket watches, the works! FREE, 28 April

CHERRY BLOSSOM: The capital's cherry blossoms are just about still in flower as we enter April. Check out our guide to where to see these candy floss-esque trees in London, and flood your Instagram feed with pink.

BLUEBELLS: Out with the pink and in with the blue. The lilac hues usually crank up a notch towards the end of April and into May, as bluebell season takes hold. Here are the best places to find bluebells in and around London.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE: A few things are closing this month too. It's your last chance to see:

A woman walking through a huge Hello Kitty shaped red arch
Cute at Somerset House closes this month. Image: David Parry PA for Somerset House
  • WOMEN IN REVOLT: A major survey of work by over 100 women artists working in the UK from 1970 to 1990, Women in Revolt! explores and reflects on issues and events such as the British Women's Liberation movement, and the visibility of Black and South Asian Women artists, through painting, drawing, sculpture, film and performance. At Tate Britain. Until 7 April
  • DIVA: The V&A's deep-dive into the power and creativity of iconic performers from the 19th century onwards, looking at the origins of the term 'diva' and how it has been subverted and embraced. Until 10 April
  • FASHION CITY: Coats worn by Princess Diana and Dot Cotton, alongside items from high street retailers including M&S, Wallis and Moss Bros are part of Museum of London Docklands' Fashion City exhibition, which looks at how the Jewish tailors and designers of the East End shaped fashion worldwide. Until 14 April
  • CUTE: The world of cute culture is celebrated in Somerset House exhibition, Cute. Music, fashion, toys, video games and social media all feature, and it's where you'll find that Hello Kitty cafe which that you've seen all over social media. Until 14 April
  • SPIES, LIES AND DECEPTION: The Imperial War Museum has a major exhibition about the role, purpose and human cost of espionage, deceit and misdirection, from the first world war to present day. 150 objects, including gadgets, official documents, art and newly digitised film and photography are on display. Until 14 April
  • WALLACE AND GROMIT: Last chance to catch the Cartoon Museum's exhibition celebrating 30 years of Wallace & Gromit film The Wrong Trousers. View never-before-seen original sketches by Nick Park and behind the screen shots of the making of the film. Until 16 April
  • ENTANGLED PASTS: The Royal Academy's exhibition, Entangled Pasts, 1768-now, brings past and present together for a look at art's role in shaping narratives of empire, enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism Until 28 April