Things to do in July is sponsored by PaddingtonNow.
WIMBLEDON: As we head into July, the tennis continues down in SW19. No Centre Court tickets? No problem — stay up to date with the action at these Wimbledon screenings around town. 27 June-10 July
OTHER ART FAIR: Head to King's Cross for The Other Art Fair, which aims to be accessible, include everyone, and ditch the elitist nature which is often seen in the art world. Around 100 artists are already confirmed for the event, giving you a chance to buy direct from painters, sculptors and others. 30 June-3 July
SPITALFIELDS MUSIC FESTIVAL: Over 20 London and World Premieres and rare performances feature in the Spitalfields Music Festival programme, taking place at venues across east London. Shows range from classical music to concert-theatre to booming brass bands — with a few walking tours of the local area thrown in too. 30 June-13 July
CANADA DAY: 1 July is Canada Day. If you're a Canadian expat or simply a fan of the North American country, mark the day by visiting these little bits of Canada in London, before tucking into some of London's best poutine. 1 July
FERIA DE LONDRES: Celebration of Spanish food and culture Feria de Londres takes over Guildhall Yard. Expect Spanish music and flamenco performances and workshops, food and drink stalls and other family fun. If that's your sort of thing, check out the Flamenco Festival at Sadlers Wells running until 2 July. 1-3 July
WIRELESS: Taking place across two sites in London (plus one in Birmingham) across two weekends, it's fair to say that Wireless Festival is back with a bang. A$AP Rocky and The Kid Laroi headline Crystal Palace, with Cardi B, SZA and Nicki Minaj taking over Finsbury Park. 1-3 July and 8-10 July
THE SOUTHBURY CHILD: Alex Jennings stars in a new production, The Southbury Child. It's a darkly comic play by Stephen Beresford about a vicar in a remote coastal area, who loses his grip over his parish when his faith impels him to take a hard line with a bereaved parishioner. 1 July-27 August
PRIDE IN LONDON: The Pride in London Parade is going big this year, as 2022 marks 50 years since the first ever Pride in London. The parade will take the same route as it did in 1972, marching from Hyde Park to Whitehall, to commemorate the occasion. 2 July
AFRICA FASHION: The V&A opens a new exhibition, Africa Fashion, looking at the global impact of the African fashion scene through photos, textiles, music and visual arts. From 2 July
TURKISH FESTIVAL: Everyone's welcome at the West London Turkish Festival, which celebrates Turkish culture, cuisine and hospitality. Expect live music, stage performances, a football tournament, funfair rides for the kiddies, and food stalls serving Turkish dishes including lots of juicy kebab. 3 July
RED BULL SOAPBOX FESTIVAL: Watch teams of amateur drivers go head to head in their own homemade cars at the Red Bull Soapbox Race at Alexandra Palace. 3 July
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: 4 July is Independence Day for the USA. Whether you're an American here in London, or a Londoner wanting to get in on the fun, try one of the best American restaurants in London, or London's best diners... or head further afield to these 6 retro American diners worth leaving London for. 4 July
GARDEN FESTIVAL: Didn't make it to the Chelsea Flower Show? Head to the RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival instead. Wander the palace grounds to see specially designed gardens, and enjoy demos on gardening, floristry, design, food, craft and health from experts including Monty Don and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. 4-9 July
LONDON CLOWN FESTIVAL: That's right, there's a London Clown Festival — and it's held at Soho Theatre. Across six days (plus an opening event in June), international acts perform shows of physical comedy and clown influenced contemporary performance, exploring what 'clown' is to the modern performer and their audiences — check out the full schedule. 4-9 July
KEW THE MUSIC: A stage and large screen is set up in Kew Gardens for live music by the likes of Van Morrison, Bananarama and Will Young. Take your own picnic chair or blanket, pack a picnic or buy food and drink on site — and enjoy live music in a relaxed and (hopefully) sunny setting. 5-10 July
SUMMER SCIENCE EXHIBITION: The Royal Society’s annual Summer Science Exhibition is a free interactive experience for anyone curious about the latest advances in science and technology. Take part in drop-in workshops, meet scientists and researchers, and find out about topics such as the taste of chocolate, and virus-fighting llamas. 6-10 July
WOMEN'S EUROS: The UK hosts the 13th edition of the UEFA Women's Euro football tournament, with some of the matches held here in London. No ticket? No problem — head along to one of these screenings instead, and cheer on the Lionesses. 6-31 July
THE SECRET GARDEN: The Garden Museum's summer exhibition centres on beloved children's book, The Secret Garden. Step into the immersive show, with interactive trails for kids, and see how artists have illustrated the story since it was first published. A good one for the school holidays, we reckon. 6 July-4 September
DRAGON BOAT RACE: South Dock in Canary Wharf hosts a day of dragon boat racing in support of Water Aid. It's £250 to enter a team, but if you can't do that, head down on the day to watch and support them. 7 July
CITY BEERFEST: Clock off work early and head to Guildhall Yard for City Beerfest. Several breweries — including Five Points and Meantime — are serving their beers, plus there's live music and street food, and the whole event raises money for charity. Rude not to go, really. 7 July
COCKTAILS IN THE CITY: More into spirits than beer? Cocktails in the City is the place for you — the boozy festival takes place over three weekends this summer, bringing together some of the most popular bars in London to serve up their drinks in a private garden, Bedford Square, with live entertainment thrown in. 7-9 July
SUMMER SERIES: John Legend, Carly Rae Jepsen and Mabel are among the headliners at this year's Somerset House Summer Series, a programme of open-air gigs taking place in the building's courtyard. Some gigs have sold out, but tickets are still available for others — check the website. 7-17 July
GIN & RUM FESTIVAL: Gin + rum, with tequila thrown in — what could possibly go wrong? Oh, and it all takes place in a church. That's the deal at the Gin & Rum Festival, which is a chance to meet the makers behind your favourite tipples, and maybe try a few new ones. 8-9 July
BALHAM COMEDY FESTIVAL: Sara Pascoe, Shappi Khorsandi, Zoe Lyons, Seann Walsh and Marcus Brigstocke are among the acts on the line-up at Balham Comedy Festival, which is now in its 10th year and takes place in the Club Room at The Bedford. 8-16 July
BRENT BIENNIAL: Kilburn, Willesden, and Harlesden are among the areas hosting this year's Brent Biennial, which has a theme of In The House Of My Love. Artists and community groups present work on the theme of homemaking, and how the idea of home and belonging can take many shapes. 8 July-11 September
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL: Get a taste of Major League Baseball, as the Home Run Derby X comes to Crystal Palace Park for one day. Watch four teams go head to head in a mini tournament, eat your way around the Ballpark Food Village, have a go in the batting cages, and catch a performance by British rapper AJ Tracey. 9 July
BRICKLIVE is coming to Paddington
Head to Paddington this summer to see a colourful, curated collection of life size brick models from the Paddington™ franchise on display.
From 23-31 July, brick models of the beloved bear, along with Aunt Lucy, Uncle Pastuzo and other favourite characters, can be seen in Norfolk Square Gardens, and are completely free to visit. Collect a fun kids quiz pamphlet and take the whole family along to interact and take photos with the charming models.
Why not pick up a picnic from the Paddington Café inside the station to enjoy in the gardens alongside the models? And if that gets your kids excited, spend some time exploring the rest of the area too — Paddington station is also home to a permanent statue of the bear, a Paddington Bear™ book bench, and official shop selling all manner of Paddington-themed products.
There's a special launch event on 23 July (11am-5pm). For one day only, an inflatable helter-skelter, musicians, swing chairs, face painting and funfair snacks pop up in Norfolk Square Gardens to welcome BrickLive to Paddington — and that’s completely free too, making it an excellent way to kickstart the summer holidays. See the PaddingtonNow website for more details.
Copyright © Brick Live Group Limited. All rights reserved. Brick Live Group Limited is an independent producer of BRICKLIVE and is not associated with The LEGO Group. LEGO ® is a trademark of LEGO Juris A/S.
WHITECROSS STREET PARTY: Though it hosts a lively street food market most week days, Whitecross Street near Barbican really comes alive for the annual Whitecross Street Party. The theme this year is reclaiming public space, with live painting and street art, a music stage and a words stage, family activities, food stalls and more. 9-10 July
SOHO VILLAGE FETE: A dog show, a spaghetti eating contest, a Police vs Fire Service tug of war, and the famous Soho Waiter's Race are all part of the Soho Village Fete, which takes place on Wardour Street. A raffle, community and food stalls also feature. 10 July
HOBBLEDOWN HEATH: New family attraction Hobbledown Heath in Hounslow opens just in time for the summer holidays. It has indoor and outdoor adventure play areas, over 70 farm and zoo animals, towers to climb, underground tunnels to explore and aerial walkways to scale. From 11 July
RIVER STAGE: Back for summer 2022 is the National Theatre's River Stage, an open-air stage on the South Bank hosting free performances across five weekends. It begins with The Glory, a weekend of drag and performance artists celebrating 50 years of Pride. From 15 July
BBC PROMS... We can't even type those words without Land of Hope and Glory firing up on the record player inside our heads — but that's Last Night of the Proms, and there's almost two months' worth of live music to enjoy before that. For all your info on tickets, highlights, promming and the like, peruse our guide to the BBC Proms 2022. 15 July-10 September
CART MAKING CEREMONY: One of London's quirkier events is the Ceremony of Cart Making, a 500+ year old tradition by the Worshipful Company of Carmen. See a collection of handcarts, horses and carts, steam-driven vehicles, electric, solar-powered and hydrogen vehicles on display at Guildhall, with Livery Masters and Court Assistants in their official robes, chains and hats. 16 July
LAMBETH COUNTRY SHOW: A children's funfair, bouncy castles, farmyard animals, sheep dog and owl displays, food stalls, live music, and crafts stalls are just some of the activities at the huge — and free entry — Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park. We once found a model of Jarvis Cocker made from vegetables... that's the kind of show this is. 16-17 July
CANAL FESTIVAL: To the water for the East End Canal Festival, taking place around Mile End Park. Enjoy boat trips and a floating cinema, learn some canal history, take part in craft workshops and storytelling sessions, or simply sample tea and cake from the East End WI. 16-17 July
LONDON WING FEST: Wing Fest, apparently the world's largest chicken wing festival, stops by the London Stadium on its UK tour. Exact details have yet to be confirmed, but expect to see several chicken wing vendors pitting their finger-lickin' dishes against each other. 16-17 July
FOOD FESTIVAL: Eat your way around the world at the National Geographic Traveller Food Festival, held at the Business Design Centre in Islington. Hear from cookbook authors, and watch live cooking demos and masterclasses, so you can attempt to recreate your favourite dishes at home. 16-17 July
CHESSFEST: Trafalgar Square hosts a free chess festival, open to all, whether you're a seasoned player or want to learn the game. This year's ChessFest marks 50 years since the 1972 World Chess Championship match between the American, Bobby Fischer and the Soviet, Boris Spassky, and includes a living chess set with actors taking on the role of the pieces. 17 July
THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE: Take the whole family along to see this new production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and see C.S. Lewis' Narnia brought to life on stage. EastEnders actress Samantha Womack plays the White Witch. From 18 July
DOGGETT'S COAT AND BADGE: Yes, it's the name of a pub, but the Doggett's Coat & Badge is also an annual boat race taking place on the Thames between London Bridge and Chelsea. It's been going for over 300 years, with up to six young watermen participating each time — here's the course, so you can pick a viewing point. 19 July
SISTER ACT: Beverley Knight and Jennifer Saunders are among the impressive cast of the new musical Sister Act, launching at the Eventim Apollo this month. Sadly, since the production was delayed by Covid, Whoopi Goldberg herself is no longer scheduled to appear, but we're still promised a feel-good show about a witness to a murder who hides from society by entering a convent and becoming a nun. From 19 July
FUTURE OF AGEING: A hands-free cargo-carrying robot, and a a self-balancing, two-wheeled personal electric vehicle are among the objects on display at The Future of Ageing, a new Design Museum exhibition which confronts the fact that by 2040, more than a quarter of the UK's population will be aged over 60, and looks at what can be done to help an ageing population. 20 July-11 September
FESTIVAL 14: A brand-new arts festival comes to Canary Wharf, featuring music, theatre, comedy, dance and family activities. Festival14 is headlined by acts including hip-hop pioneer Grandmaster Flash, disco powerhouse Jocelyn Brown, the House Gospel Choir, and London legends Ronnie Scott's Jazz Orchestra. Many (though not all) events are free. 21-24 July
LIBERTY FESTIVAL: Liberty Festival is back in London this summer, celebrating the work of D/deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists, with three days of completely free events. They include new artworks, sensory walks, comedy, outdoor performances and films. Yinka Shonibare CBE unveils a new artwork on Deptford High Street, performance collective Drag Syndrome put on a BSL-interpreted show, and Jess Thom — who has Tourette's syndrome — performs a stand-up comedy show under the guise of her superhero alter ego. 22-24 July
HYPER JAPAN FESTIVAL: Love all things Japanese? Get yourself to Hyper Japan, a celebration of Japanese culture. Live performances, a market, food and drink stalls and a sake experience are all part of the fun. 22-24 July
BUCKINGHAM PALACE: If all the Platinum Jubilee hullaballoo has piqued your interest in Buckingham Palace, take the opportunity to go inside at the annual summer opening of the State Rooms. The Throne Room, Ballroom Grand Staircase and Palace Gardens are among the areas open to the public for just a few weeks — we've been inside before and it is spectacular. 22 July-2 October
KALEIDOSCOPE: Happy Mondays, the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show and comedians Dom Joly and Ed Byrne are all on the eclectic line-up at Kaleidoscope Festival. The one-day event takes over Alexandra Palace with live music, DJ sets, comedy and spoken word performances, and magicians, games and workshops for families — all with incredible views over London. 23 July
ICE SUNDAY: Once a year, the little-known London Canal Museum in King's Cross invites the public down into its Victorian ice well. Descend by ladder into the underground space where ice used to be stored, and take part in all manner of ice-themed activities back above ground. 24 July
URBAN ELEPHANT: There's a new, free festival happening in Elephant & Castle. Urban Elephant brings together street theatre, circus, dance and art by both renowned professional street theatre performers and local community art groups. It takes place at various locations in the area, including Castle Square, Elephant Park and Walworth Square. 29-31 July
SWIMMERS LIMB: Somerset House hosts a new exhibition with artists showing the possibilities of what could exist following regeneration on the stretch of road between two gardens on Victoria Embankment. Swimmers Limb showcases the work of Mani Kambo, Comuzi Lab, Tai Shani and Taylor Le Melle. 29 July-20 November
BODY MOVEMENTS: Body Movements is a multi-venue dance music festival, celebrating the full spectrum of Queer club culture. 60+ artists take over 16 east London venues for a fully inclusive night of clubbing. 30 July
LONDON E-PRIX: For the final weekend of the month, all-electric vehicles take over the area around Royal Docks and ExCel for the London E-Prix. The track partially goes inside the ExCel Centre itself, as well as using the local roads, and there's a fan village, live music and kids' area for spectators. 30-31 July
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: Most schools in London break up for summer towards the end of July — keep an eye out for our school holiday event listings closer to the time, for ideas of how to keep the family occupied.
OUTDOOR CULTURE: Cross your fingers for decent weather this month, then make the most of it with London's al fresco culture options. Theatre, films, art and live music can all be enjoyed in the open-air if you know where to look and what to book... which we do, naturally.
OUTDOOR CINEMA: As an extension to the above, London's awash with outdoor cinemas, from ones on rooftops to those in palace grounds, and alongside canals. Get booking to watch cult classic and new release films in the open-air this summer.
DAY TRIPS FROM LONDON: Need to get out of the city for a day or two? We hear you. Check out our Beyond London section, for day trip inspo, weekends away in the UK, and city breaks further afield. At the moment, we're loving these Sussex seaside towns, relaxed weekends in Southwold, and this gorgeous country house with links to Harry Potter and Henry VIII.
ONGOING EVENTS IN JULY: At this time of year, London's art and exhibition scene tends to wind down for the summer, so there's not much in the way of new exhibitions. Why not take the time to see something that's already ongoing, such as:
- SUMMER LIGHTS: This free, open-air festival in Canary Wharf is similar to a winter lights festival, but features artworks and illuminations which make use of the sun's light instead. Until 20 August
- SUMMER EXHIBITION: For art fanatics, the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition is the highlight of the year — though this is the first time it's actually been held in the summer since 2019. Prints, painting, film, photography, architectural works and sculpture all feature, and the theme this year is 'Climate', with Grayson Perry among those taking part. Until 21 August
- STONEHENGE: There's still time to catch The British Museum's huge Stonehenge exhibition, which places the mysterious stone circle in the wider context of what was happening in Europe at the time it was created. If anything, the show covers too much — read our full review. Until 17 July
- SUPERBLOOM: The moat in the Tower of London is looking rather colourful thanks to Superbloom, a wildflower display planted to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, in situ until the flowers fade in September. Choose whether to view it from above, to walk in the moat among the flowers... or to enter the moat via a giant slide! Until 18 September
- SUMMER BY THE RIVER: Free festival Summer by the River is back between London and Tower Bridges on the south side of the river, offering free entertainment in the form of live music, film screenings, Wimbledon screenings, theatre shows, dance parties and mass karaoke sessions. Until 2 September