Things to do this week is sponsored by Imperial War Museum.
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: It's the final countdown before children return to their classrooms, so make the most of these last few days with our guide to the summer holidays.
OPERA IN THE CITY: Aiming to make the art form more accessible to everyone, Opera in the City festival continues this week. Four Journeys is a voice and piano recital unlike usual song recitals, and Neruda Songs is a performance of love songs interspersed with work by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Browse the full programme. St Bride's (Fleet Street), various prices, book ahead, until 7 September
UNDERBELLY: Missing Edinburgh Festival? Get your performing arts fix at Underbelly Festival, which still has a month to run. Comedy, theatre, circus and cabaret acts all perform in the purple tent on South Bank. Highlights this week include a tribute to Aretha Franklin, and London Comedy Allstars. Underbelly (South Bank), various prices, book ahead, until 29 September
Bank holiday Monday 26 August
NOTTING HILL CARNIVAL: It's the main day of Notting Hill Carnival. The Caribbean themed celebration — Europe's biggest street festival — takes over vast swathes of Notting Hill for a lively weekend of parades, sound systems, dancing, live music and general partying. Read our full guide before you go — and even if you're not attending the carnival itself, be aware of road closures and transport disruption in the area. Notting Hill, free, just turn up, all day
FOOD FESTIVAL: Head to Hampton Court Palace for history with the added bonus of a food festival. 100 artisan producers pitch stalls in the grounds of the Tudor palace, selling sausages, brownies, crepes, gin, cheese and much more, to eat on site or take home. Michel Roux Jr, Nadiya Hussain and Rhiannon Lambert cook up a storm in the demo kitchen, and there’s a soundtrack of live music all weekend. Hampton Court Palace, included in palace admission, booking recommended, 24-26 August
THE MONSTER: The world’s largest inflatable obstacle course for adults is still at Ally Pally, with 300m of bouncy fun. Book your time slot and take part in a Nerf battle as you tackle the course. Finish up with (slightly) calmer activities including drag queen karaoke, mega beer pong and a glitter wheel. Alexandra Palace, £20-£25, book ahead, 23-28 August
90S CINEMA: Focus is on the 90s all day today, with screenings of classic films from the decade. Begin with family-friendly Jumanji, before moving on to Clueless, Romeo & Juliet, Pretty Woman and Pulp Fiction. Pick your film, and watch it in the courtyard of Morden Park House — transformed into an outdoor cinema with food stalls. Morden Park House, £10/£7.50 per film, book ahead, 11am/1pm/3pm/5.30pm/8pm
Tuesday 27 August
ALBERT MEMORIAL: The Albert Memorial in Kensington Gardens is fenced off and usually out of public bounds, but you can get up close to it on this special tour. Learn how the monument came to be built after Albert's death, and see the details, including the Frieze of Parnassus. Kensington Gardens, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12pm
REBEL LECTURES: Hear from Freddie Sorensen, one of the founders of Rebel Bingo, about his experiences of founding a business, riding the waves of success, then watching it all come to a halt. His personal story of entrepreneurship also covers mental health, psychology and relationships. The Courtyard Theatre (Hoxton), £9-£15, book ahead, 7pm
QUIZIOKE: Call in your four musical theatre loving friends and form a team for Musical Theatre Quizioke. Sing the answers to quiz questions, take part in a sing along bingo game, and a finish-the-lyrics round. A West End performer gives a little rendition, too. The Other Palace (Victoria), £35 per team, book ahead, 7pm
Uncover 80 years of secrets and stories at Churchill War Rooms this autumn
On 27 August 1939, the lights inside a secret, subterranean HQ beneath the streets of central London were finally switched on. And so, 80 years ago almost to the day, the nerve centre of the second world war came to life.
In celebration of this rather auspicious anniversary, Churchill War Rooms are giving you to the chance to get your hands on some brilliant prizes when you explore the site where Winston Churchill and his inner circle directed the course of history.
Buy your tickets online between 27 August and 14 November, and you'll be entered into a prize draw, with one lucky winner taking home a hamper of Imperial War Museum goodies. So, come Tuesday, click to book, and prepare for an unforgettable descent back in time inside this incredibly-preserved underground labyrinth.
Wednesday 28 August
ALI BABA: Theatre company Ilyria perform a family-friendly rendition of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves at the open-air Temple in Wanstead Park. Just five actors play all of the roles. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and dress for the weather. Wanstead Park, £14.5/£8.95, book ahead, 4pm-6.30pm
RACE SCIENCE: Hear a panel of authors and journalists discuss the re-emergence of scientific research into racial differences. Science journalist Angela Saini, author of Superior: The Return of Race Science, debates the issue with other authors and journalists who have also written on the topic. Age 18+. Science Museum (South Kensington), £10, book ahead, 7.30pm-9pm
ONLY ONE PEACH: Watch the UK premiere of variety-style show There's Only One Peach With A Hole In The Middle. Created by feminist pop icon Peaches, it uses almost 40 performers to offer a vision of the past, present and future of queer feminism. Southbank Centre, £25-£35, book ahead, 8pm
Thursday 29 August
INSTAGRAM WORKSHOP: Up your Instagram game at this walking Instagram workshop. Travel from St Paul's to Southwark in a small group, snapping as you go and picking up tips on taking better photos using the right filters, and employing hashtags to gain more likes. St Paul's, £20/£12, book ahead, 7pm-9pm (sponsor)
CATHEDRAL LATE: Experience the magic of St Paul's Cathedral at twilight, as Christopher Wren's architectural masterpiece opens its doors for after-hours exploration. This Thursday's the final night of their Summer Lates series: a chance to discover centuries of history, climb the famous dome, and be seduced by panoramic views of London. St Paul's Cathedral (City of London), £12.80 in advance/£15 OTD, 7pm-9.30pm (sponsor)
FARMYARD CINEMA: Head to Waterloo's little-known farm for an open-air screening of Unbranded, a documentary about a group of men who travelled across America on wild horses. Get there early to toast marshmallows and get stuck into the bar and street food stalls. Oasis Farm (Waterloo), £20, book ahead, 7pm-10.15pm
Friday 30 August
FAMILY FESTIVAL: Round off the summer holidays with ZSL London Zoo's Family Festival. In addition to visiting and learning about the animals, activities at the festival include a family gameshow, animal-themed storytelling, crafts and a teddy bears' picnic. ZSL London Zoo (Regent's Park), included in admission (booking recommended), 30 August-1 September
MEATOPIA: Calling all carnivores: Meatopia is back. Tickets have already sold out for Saturday, but Friday and Sunday tickets for the meaty festival are still available at time of writing. It's basically a three-day barbecue party, with chefs from 25 excellent restaurants whipping up special dishes — served starter-sized, so you can try more than one. Tobacco Dock (Wapping), from £22.50, book ahead, 30 August-1 September
BEHIND THE SCENES: Join a guided tour going behind the scenes at the National Archives, the UK government's official records storage facility. See some of the items in the collection, and learn how they are preserved for future generations. National Archives (Kew), £10, book ahead, 11am
Saturday 31 August
BRUNCHFEST: Whether you're into blueberry pancakes, doughnuts, avocado on toast, or traditional egg dishes, celebrate at London Brunch Fest. A mouth-watering range of food and drink is available to tuck into while you enjoy brunch-themed workshops, talks and live music. Old Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), £12.50-£35, book ahead, 31 August-1 September
BIG TENT FESTIVAL: Describing itself as 'non-partisan in its politics', Big Tent Ideas Festival brings together a range of speakers for talks and debates about the current political situation, with the aim of widening engagement and offering a platform for all civilised viewpoints. Events take place in a number of themed tents, covering economy, environment, health and other topics, with speakers including MPs, journalists, and leaders of various companies and organisations. Mudchute Farm, £15-£45, book ahead, 9am-8pm
PRINCE ALBERT: Mark 200 years since the birth of Prince Albert on a walking tour through Kensington Gardens. Visit the Italian Water Gardens, which he had installed as a gift to Queen Victoria, see the site of his Great Exhibition, and go behind the railings for a closer look at the Albert Memorial. Kensington Gardens, £10, book ahead, 10.30am-12pm
Sunday 1 September
TOTALLY THAMES: Celebrations of London's river begin today as Totally Thames kicks off. The month-long festival has hundreds of events, from free exhibitions and art installations to guided walks, talks, and concerts in the Tower Bridge bascule chambers. Browse the full programme and get booking. 1-30 September
LONDON ON WHEELS: Museum of London runs a bus tour around the city, visiting sites linked to the suffrage movement. Board the vintage Routemaster for a ride through the City and Westminster, hearing suffrage stories as you go and learning the difference between suffragists and Suffragettes. Museum of London, £28, book ahead, 1.30pm
MUSIC QUIZ: The Sounds Familiar Music Quiz takes things outside with an event on an east London rooftop. Show off your knowledge with eight rounds of identifying song titles and artists, plus a bonus round — but be warned, the quiz doesn't take itself seriously so don't get toooo competitive. Skylight (Tobacco Dock), £10, book ahead, 2pm-5pm
REFUGEE ORCHESTRA: The Refugee Orchestra Project — comprised of musicians whose friends and families have fled prosecution — makes its UK debut. Hear music from Belize, Iran, Afghanistan and other countries, while raising money for charity Refugee Action. LSO St Luke's (Old Street), £15-£25, book ahead, 8pm