Things to do this week is sponsored by Ballymore.
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 and see specially designed gardens, and enjoy demos on gardening, floristry, design, food, craft and health from experts including Monty Don and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall — plus, scroll down to Friday for an extra-special event. Hampton Court Palace, from £33.85, book ahead, 4-9 July
LONDON CLOWN FESTIVAL: That's right, there's a London Clown Festival — and it's happening this week. Across six days, international acts perform shows of physical comedy and clown-influenced contemporary performance, exploring what a clown is to the modern performer and their audiences — check out the full schedule. 4-9 July
WIMBLEDON: As the biggest tournament in tennis enters it second — and final — week, don't fret if you haven't got tickets for Centre Court. Plenty of places around the capital are screening the action for free, including Canary Wharf, Mayfair and King's Cross. Just bear in mind that the screenings will be very busy over finals weekend (especially if the weather's decent) so you'll want to get there in plenty of time if you're keen to bag a deckchair. Until 10 July
LIFT: Also entering its final week is LIFT, the London International Festival of Theatre. Last chance to catch an opera performed on a beach, a live and video performance exploring ideas of conflict, and an audio-visual artwork on the topic of pollution. Various locations and prices, until 10 July
SPITALFIELDS MUSIC FESTIVAL: Orchestral music from Afghanistan, a celebration of composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, and a walking tour of Brick Lane are all on the Spitalfields Music Festival programme this week. Various locations and prices, book ahead, until 13 July
OUTDOOR CINEMA: Summer's in full swing, which means outdoor cinemas are popping up all over town. Find your nearest, and book in for a screening of a cult classic, blockbuster or new release film, underneath the stars.
ATELIER100: Take some time to browse west London’s new shopping hotspot, Atelier100. Focus is on the sustainable and hyper-local, with all products sourced from creatives living and working within 100km of central London, including several from indy London brands — think unique clothing, homewares and jewellery. Atelier100 (Livat Hammersmith), free entry, just turn up, open 10am-7pm (Monday-Saturday), 11am-5pm (Sunday) (sponsor)
SUMMER LIGHTS: Head to Canary Wharf for a free art trail which makes use of natural light. Summer Lights consists of 11 new installations and six permanent artworks, including a flock of carbon-neutral colourful birds fluttering above visitors' heads, using natural light to create mesmerising shadows on the ground. Canary Wharf, free, just turn up, until 20 August
SH!T-FACED SHAKESPEARE: The concept's simple enough. A theatre company performs a faithful adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. Except one of them's had half a bottle of scotch before the show. Slurred scholiloquys, muddled masqwerade balls and squiffy stweet fights cwuld enswue... Leicester Square Theatre, from £17.50, book ahead, 6 July-10 September
Monday 4 July
AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: 4 July is Independence Day for the USA. Whether you're an American ex-pat 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. Plus, there are special events going on all over town. 4 July
TERRENCE HIGGINS TRUST: Attend the launch of the Terrence Higgins Trust's archive, which is now housed at Bishopsgate Institute. 40 years of the HIV charity's history can be seen in the archives, now accessible to the public for the first time. The launch event includes contributions from prominent former members of Terrence Higgins Trust, and a performance of a new poem by Bakita Kasadha, written for the occasion. Bishopsgate Institute, free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm
JESTER JESTERS: Regular comedy night Jester Jesters has a special guest act tonight, who's trying out new material — but their identity will remain a secret until the event. Also performing is Luke Capasso, a comedian originally from a small town in American — ideal for getting your dose of stateside comedy on Independence Day. The Betsey Trotwood (Farringdon), £3, book ahead, 8pm-10pm
Tuesday 5 July
KEW THE MUSIC: A stage and large screen is set up in Kew Gardens for live music for the next six days. It kicks off tonight with an open-air gig by Van Morrison, with Will Young and Bananarama among the rest of the week's line-up. 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. Kew Gardens, from £40.25, book ahead, 5-10 July
SCIENCE ON SCREEN: Catch a screening of 2015 Ridley Scott film The Martian, followed by a look at the science behind it. In the film, an astronaut is left behind on Mars and has to find a way to survive on the planet for several years. Hear from Professor Neil Gershenfeld, Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms, about the implications for sustainability back here on Earth. Barbican Cinema, £12, book ahead, 6.30pm
KENSINGTON OLYMPIA: Join Footprints of London guide Jane Parker for a guided tour around the Kensington Olympia area, located at the end of a branch of the District line. The walk focuses on the architecture and changing uses of buildings in the area — see a cross-section of residential architecture, plus impressive Victorian and Edwardian façades, and find out how the area's exhibition halls are being repurposed for today's needs. Kensington Olympia, £12/£9, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
LAWN SESSIONS: Bring a blanket and watch Sivu, Lemon Ben, King Tides and Duncan Berrington play live music on the lawn of Chelsea Physic Garden for tonight's Summer Lawn Sessions. You can purchase drinks and food from the Physic Garden Café. Chelsea Physic Garden, £25 or £40 for two tickets, book ahead, 7pm-9pm
Recharge your body and mind at this free wellness festival
Head over to The Brentford Project this Saturday for a chance to re-centre your mind and body at a free festival of wellness.
Activities take place all day at the new west London residential quarter, including terrarium classes to bring you closer to nature, mini massages to soothe aching shoulders and live acoustic music from a jazz duo. Refuel at the juice bar, and take part in yoga sessions and mindfulness workshops, or try your hand at aromatherapy crafts. In short, you’ll leave feeling refreshed and revitalised in both mind and body.
The Brent-fit Project Festival of Wellness takes place Saturday 9 July, 10am-4pm and is open to everyone. Entry is free, though do register in advance. Yoga and mindfulness classes need to be booked in advance.
Wednesday 6 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. The Royal Society (St James's), free, just turn up, 6-10 July
WOMEN'S EUROS: The UK hosts the 13th edition of the UEFA Women's Euro football tournament, which kicks off today, with some of the matches held here in London. England's first match is against Austria at Old Trafford at 8pm tonight. 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 different artists have illustrated the story since it was first published. A good one for the school holidays, we reckon. The Garden Museum (Lambeth), included in museum admission (£14) for adults, children go free, book ahead, 6 July-4 September
EXILES: Award-winning travel writer William Atkins talks about his new book Exiles: Three Island Journeys. It's a blend of biographical history and travel writing, in which Atkins visiting the islands to which three prominent 19th-century dissidents were banished, and asks questions about the nature of exile, colonialism and nationalism. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm
LGNTQ+ SALON: For this month's Outloud LGBTQ+ Salon, London Metropolitan Archives hosts activist, trans advocate and performer Tamsin Omond. Hear from Tamsin, a trans non-binary person, about their work in climate and ecological campaigning, including dropping banners against Heathrow Airport's third runway from the roof of the Houses of Parliament. Online event, free, book ahead, 7pm-8pm
Thursday 7 July
COCKTAILS IN THE CITY: Cocktails in the City is back. The boozy festival takes place over three weekends this summer, starting today, bringing together some of the most popular bars in London to serve up their drinks in a private garden, with live entertainment thrown in. Bedford Square (Bloomsbury), £20, book ahead, 7-9 July
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. South Dock, free to watch, just turn up, 12pm-6pm
CITY BEERFEST: Clock off work early and head to Guildhall Yard for City Beerfest. Several breweries are present serving their beers, plus there's live music and street food, and the whole event raises money for charity... rude not to, really. Guildhall Yard, £13.50, book ahead, 12.30pm-9pm
JESSIE BURTON: Author Jessie Burton, best known for her 2014 debut The Miniaturist, is back with a sequel to that tome, The House of Fortune. Hear her discussing the book, a story about fate and ambition, strong women aiming to control their own destinies, and the power of objects and craftsmanship. V&A Museum, £18/ online event £5, book ahead, 7pm-8.45pm
FAST FRINGE: 28 comedy and variety acts heading to the Edinburgh festival offer a preview of their work at Chortle's Fast Fringe, a fast-paced comedy variety show with musical interludes. Bloomsbury Theatre or online, £18, book ahead, 7.30pm
Friday 8 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. St Mary's Church (Marylebone), £18, book ahead, 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. The Bedford, various prices, book ahead, 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. Various locations, free, just turn up, 8 July-11 September
FLOWERS AFTER HOURS: The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival stays open late tonight for a special evening event, Flowers After Hours. Enjoy the daytime festival from 4pm, with Flowers After Hours beginning from 7.30pm with a silent disco DJ'd by Greg James, live music from the likes of the Oompah Brass Band, food and drink from stalls, and a chance to explore the show gardens as the sun sets. Hampton Court Palace, £62.10, book ahead, 4pm-10.30pm
Saturday 9 July
WHITECROSS STREET PARTY: Though it hosts a lively street food market most week days, Whitecross Street 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. Whitecross Street (near Barbican), free entry, just turn up, 9-10 July
FOOTBALL IN THE CITY: Museum of London hosts a walking tour on the topic of 'football in the City', looking at the history of the beautiful game in the City of London, from medieval ‘mob’ football to the creation of the off-side rule. Location revealed on booking, £20, book ahead, 11am
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 yourself at the batting cages, and catch a performance by British rapper AJ Tracey. Crystal Palace Park, £33, book ahead, 12pm-9pm
QUEER BOTANY: As part of Barbican's Our Time On EarthWeekender, tying in with the current exhibition of the same name, go on a Queer Botany guided tour. Walk through the Barbican estate stopping at plants and sharing stories from a queer perspective, affirming connections between queerness and plants. Barbican Lakeside, £12, book ahead, 12.30pm/2.30pm
FLOATING COMEDY: All aboard the Tattershall Castle for comedy on the high seas (well at the side of the Thames, anyway). MC: Robin Morgan is joined by Paul McCaffrey, Sara Barron and Finlay Christie. Tattershall Castle (Victoria Embankment), £18, book ahead, 8pm-10.30pm
Sunday 10 July
INDIAN BBQ: Sundays are BBQ days at Skylight in Peckham this summer, and this week, there's Indian grub on the grill. £16 gets you one main (meat or veggie), a side, salad and bread. Skylight Peckham, £16pp, book ahead, 12pm-6pm
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. St Anne's Gardens, free entry, just turn up, 12pm-6pm
EALING BROADWAY: Join Footprints of London guided Alan Fortune to explore the area at the end of the Central and District lines, Ealing Broadway. Hear about the film industry at Ealing Studios, and Pitzhanger Manor, Sir John Soane’s country home, as well as dark events in Ealing's history and the area's Doctor Who links. Ealing Broadway station, £12/£9, book ahead, 11am-1pm
COMEDY ALL-DAYER: An incredibly juicy lineup of comedians is on the bill at 21Soho's afternoon of Edinburgh previews, including Isy Suttie, Rhys James, Sara Barron, Sunil Patel and Alex Kealy. Save yourself thousands in Airbnb costs by watching them in London instead. 21Soho (Soho), from £22, book ahead, 1pm-10pm
DR WHO DOUBLE BILL: Calling all Whovians! Watch a double bill screening of Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966) on the big screen, with Peter Cushing playing the role of the Doctor. Though not part of the official BBC collection, the films are much loved by Doctor Who fans and have recently been restored. Barbican Cinema, £15, book ahead, 1.45pm
SENSORY TOUR: Once a month, visitors with sight loss (and their carers) are invited to take a sensory tour of Kew Gardens. It's led by a specially-trained tour guide and is a chance to experience elements of the gardens through touch and smell. Kew Gardens, free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm
PINK JUKEBOX: Aimed at members of the LGBTQ+ community and their friends, Pink Jukebox is a Ballroom and Latin dance club. It's open to dancers of all abilities, and starts with classes to familiarise you with steps, followed by an evening of social dancing. Bishopsgate Institute, £12, book ahead, 2pm-7pm
Urban oddity of the week
The London Clown Festival (see top of article) reminds us of one of the capital's most peculiar oddities. It's a gravestone on which you're encouraged to dance. Head to Joseph Grimaldi Park on Pentonville Road and their you'll find a memorial to that most famous of clowns. A series of chime blocks are grouped together into the shape of a casket — well, two actually. You can play the chimes by jumping on them. All a little macabre, but good fun. Grimaldi's grave can be found nearby.
Good cause of the week
Watch a top show and help raise money for a good cause. On 27 October, Suggs will be hosting a special show 'One Step Beyond with Suggs and Friends' at Alexandra Palace Theatre. There will be a host of special guests performing on the night (Paul Weller has already been confirmed), as well as a local talent competition 'Sound The Alarm' with the winner's prize being a performance slot at the show.
This one-off event is in aid of Horizons , a charity set up to create a fairer, more equal start in life for young people within the London borough of Haringey. Get tickets for One Step Beyond with Suggs and Friends here.