Things to do this week is sponsored by St Paul's Cathedral.
SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: School's out for summer, and with the holidays in full swing, you'll be needing plenty of ideas of ways to keep kids and teenagers entertained. Take a look at our guide to spending the summer holidays in London, where we've covered events, exhibitions, theatre shows and more, all family-friendly. Some of them are free too — ideal if you're on a budget.
NEASDEN TEMPLE: The stunning BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir London — aka Neasden Temple — is hosting the Festival of Inspiration, featuring live music & dance, kids activities and the chance to sample dishes that hail from all over India. Until 31 July
BBC PROMS: Also in full swing is this year's BBC Proms, the annual classical music festival. Highlights this week include Prom 15: Tcaikovsky's Fourth Symphony, and Prom 19a: Ukrainian Freedom Orchestra, starring musicians who have been displaced by the current situation in Ukraine. Both are performed at the Royal Albert Hall. Until 10 September
FREE SUMMER ACTIVITIES: Starting on Monday, Lambeth-based charity The Black Prince Trust is offering free weekday activities for local 8-18 year olds throughout the summer holidays. The focus is on physical activity as a way of staying healthy, with football, boxing and basketball on the programme. There are also classes and activities on topics such as nutrition and mental health. Places need to be booked in advance. 25 July-26 August
SHAKESPEARE ART TRAIL: To mark the 25th anniversary of Shakespeare's Globe (the modern one, obviously), 25 Shakespeare quotes in various formats have appeared in the surrounding area, forming a free Shakespeare Art Trail. Look out for murals and billboards designed by several different artists, with quotes from The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, and several other Shakespeare plays. Until 30 September
Monday 25 July
TAKWEER TAKEOVER: TheirStories, a series of LGBTQ+ cultural events, hosts Takweer, a digital platform, founded by Beirut-born artist Marwan Kaabour, that aims to collect, archive, explore, and celebrate queer narratives in Arab history and pop culture. This specially curated evening, in the Library Lounge at The Standard London features talks, poetry readings, and a live DJ set, covering topics including feminist and queer political theory. 6.30pm
MARVELLOUS WOMEN: Swot up on some London history, without leaving home. Footprints of London guide Jane Parker offers a virtual tour around some of London's memorials to magnificent women. Despite the prevalence of statues of men in the capital — particularly around Westminster — there are a handful of commemorations to women too. 7pm-8pm
ORBURY COMMON: Bristol experimental electronic duo Orbury Common perform at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston tonight, with support from labelmates Uh, and Lol K. 7.30pm
HAPPY MONDAYS COMEDY: Tom Houghton, Ania Magliano, Roman Harris, Elliot Hearn and Leo Reich are all on the bill at Happy Mondays Comedy, at the Amersham Arms in New Cross. Siôn James hosts, as usual. 8pm
Tuesday 26 July
FLEDGLING: Remember the headlines about the woman who let a bird nest in her hair for 84 days? That woman was Hannah Bourne, and tonight she's at Stanford's to discuss her new book, Fledgling. The nature memoir is a more detailed look about the story that went viral, and how birds help her cope with anxiety and OCD. 6.30pm-8pm
FARADAY FUTURE: Head to the Royal Institution to hear about how Michael Faraday invented the electric motor — and revolutionised the world — in a single day. The talk includes demonstrations of Faraday's work to show his process, and is given by David Ricketts, an Innovation Fellow in the Technology and Entrepreneurship Centre at Harvard University. Age 13+. 7pm-8.30pm
MICHAEL CONNELLY: Best-selling crime author Michael Connelly is at Conway Hall for the launch of his new book, The Dark Hours. It's the latest in his Ballard and Bosch series of police books, and Connelly discusses it with broadcaster Phil Williams. 7.30pm
DAVINIA BAND: 'Bangin' vocals and high energy covers' (and cocktails) are on the cards at Louche Soho tonight, as Davinia Band strut their stuff on stage. 8pm-10.30pm
Kids go free at St Paul’s Cathedral this summer!
Where can you combine fascinating history, stunning architecture and entertaining kids’ activities this summer? St Paul’s Cathedral is the answer — and even better, children can go for free in the summer holidays.
St Paul’s is undoubtedly a stunning place to visit, but the iconic building is so much more than that. It’s a very family-friendly destination, with drop-in activities taking place throughout the summer, such as craft sessions and interactive family tours. Visitors of any age will be wowed by views from the Dome Galleries, and there’s an extra reason to visit this summer too — the timely Jubilee: St Paul’s, the Monarch and the Changing World exhibition.
The Kids Go Free offer is valid 26 July-3 September 2022, on both day tickets and pre-booked Annual Passes. That means you can return for a full year from your visit date at no extra cost. Find out more on the St Paul’s Cathedral website.
Wednesday 27 July
MANDALA WORKSHOP: As part of Yotel London's summer events programme, the Shoreditch hotel hosts a mandala-making workshop, open to all. Begin by hearing about the history of the geometric designs, before learning how to draw your own. 12.30pm-2.30pm
OMA-SHOCHU SUPPER CLUB: Marylebone-based Japanese restaurant Junsei hosts a Oma-Shochu supper club. Shochu is a traditionally distilled and fermented Japanese spirit and, at this one-off event, it's paired with a five-course tasting menu, including white soy-marinated tomato with sansho and Hamachi tartare. From 6pm
BROADCAST LATES: Science Museum's monthly late-night opening celebrates 100 years of TV, radio and streaming, as the BBC reaches its centenary. Talks, tours, workshops, a pub quiz, a silent disco and more are all part of the fun. Age 18+. 6.30pm-10pm
OLYMPICS SCREENING: Today marks 10 years since Danny Boyle's remarkable Olympic Opening Ceremony. A special screening of a re-cut version of both the opening and closing ceremonies will be shown on a big screen at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (Hopkins Field, to the north), as well as many cinemas around the country. The screenings also support a new campaign by the Tessa Jowell Foundation in aid of brain cancer research, treatment and care. 6.30pm
GERMAN CINEMA: German cultural centre Goethe Institut — located in South Kensington — hosts a screening of Precious Ivie, a 2021 German language film (with English subtitles) about Afro-German Ivie who learns about her father's death in Senegal from a half-sister she didn't know existed. The film explores the idea of identity, and the different ways in which racism can manifest. 7pm
SOFAR SOUNDS: Head to Canary Wharf (exact location revealed on booking) for Sofar Sounds, a secret line-up of entertainment, with the acts not revealed until the night. Across the evening, watch two or three short sets from musicians across different genres, and possibly a spoken word, comedy or dance performance too. 7.30pm
Thursday 28 July
WOMEN OF WW2: The Biggin Hill Memorial Museum unveils a new exhibition remembering the roles that women played in the second world war. Women & War: Hidden Heroes of World War Two tells the stories of women who in the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) and Women's Auxiliary Airforce (WAAF), doing jobs such as guiding fighter pilots; and delivering Spitfires, Hurricanes and Mosquitoes to bases across the country. Uniforms, ID tags and log books are among the items on display. Until 2023
NIGHT MARKET: Head over to Canary Wharf after work for the Night Market, a selection of food and drink stalls in Montgomery Square. There's also live music from Sully Gravity and Jazz Mino & Clayton, and a free mini-golf course nearby. 5pm-10pm
NOMADS: Author Anthony Sattin is at Stanfords to talk about his new book Nomads: The wanderers who shaped our world. It looks at groups of people, often thought of as outsiders, who shaped our world into what it is today, including the first people to tame horses, and those who were building stone monuments 7,000 years before the first pyramids. 7pm-8.30pm
GARDEN DINING: Chelsea Physic Garden hosts another supper club in its beautiful surrounds; tonight's four-course seasonal tasting menu is paired with wine from Cantina Orsogna, Abruzzo Italy. 7pm-10pm
Friday 29 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
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
TATE LATES: Tate Modern keeps its doors open late for an evening of creativity, including art talks, a film screening, live DJ sets, and a chance to visit (and help create) the current Obliteration Room exhibition. The Terrace Bar is open for drinks. 6pm-10pm
SEVERNDROOG SUMMER LATES: Enjoy Severndroog Castle after hours, as it stays open late for an evening with local singer-songwriter, Daisy Veacock. Enjoy a drink in the courtyard as Veacock performs, or get yourself a premium ticket for access to the rooftop viewing platform at sunset. 6.30pm-10pm
Saturday 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
BLACK EATS LDN: Black Eats LDN teams up with Bohemia Place Markets for a market championing Black-owned businesses in Hackney. Tuck into street food from an array of stalls, browse and buy sustainably made clothing, gifts and skincare, and enjoy rum punch, cocktails, craft beer and more. 30-31 July, 12pm-6pm
SUMMER SESSIONS: Covent Garden's Seven Dials district hosts a free, one-day summer festival. Food stalls take over the streets, with live music, and activities such as craft workshops, tarot card reading and hair braiding. 12pm-6pm
CLIPPER RACE FINISH: Head to the Royal Docks to see the finish of the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race 2022. A large finale celebration takes place to cheer the winning crew home, with live music and DJs, an award ceremony, food and drink, and more. 12pm-9pm
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. 12pm-11pm
LONDON IN 7 DRINKS: Experience how seven drinks — mead, ale, wine, coffee, hot chocolate, tea and gin — forged modern London on this four-hour bacchanalian tour with Dr Matthew Green, visiting some of London’s oldest and most evocative drinking establishments, and including generous servings of all seven elixirs. 1pm-5pm
CONFLICT OF DISINTEREST: BBC New Voices Winner Jenan Younis comes to Nell of Old Drury, to take a comical look at how she turned from Che Guevara obsessive, to powerless-feeling backseater — and how she came to revive what she stood for, following a genocide in her ancestral homeland. 7.30-8.30pm
Sunday 31 July
EURO FINAL: It's the final of the Women's Euro football competition today, and if you've not bagged your Wembley tickets, check out one of these places broadcasting the action outdoors on a big screen.
DUKEFEST: Film festival DukeFest presents four nights of strange and unexpected films, shorts, clips, trailers and TV oddities from around the world. It kicks off today with the UK premiere of Bloody Oranges, a dark comedy about a retired couple trying to win a dance competition to pay their outstanding bills. 31 July-3 August
OLIVER TWIST: The Charles Dickens Museum offers a guided walk, from the museum itself in Bloomsbury to the Old Bailey, focusing on the places and people which inspired him to write Oliver Twist. They include the spot where Oliver is accused of robbing Mr Brownlow, and the setting for Fagin's den of thieves. 11am
DRAG BRUNCH: Bring your week to a fabulous end with the West End drag brunch at The Folly, near Monument. Drag queens fresh from the West End stage perform as you tuck into bottomless cocktails, soaked up by dishes including buttermilk chicken and waffle, eggs royale or fish and chips. 1pm-4pm
AUSTENTATIOUS: Head to Regent's Park Open Air Theatre for Austentatious, a comedy show on the premise of an improvised Jane Austen novel. The cast — dressed in period costume — take a suggested title from the audience, and improvise a whole show around it, right in front of you. 7.45pm
Urban oddity of the week
If you're heading to the Urban Elephant festival (see Friday), or are inspired by the talk about Michael Faraday (see Tuesday), then this week's urban oddity is for you. The strange silver box shown above is a substation for Elephant & Castle tube station. But it was also designed (by Rodney Gordon) as a memorial to Faraday, who grew up in these parts. According to urban legend, musician Aphex Twin lives inside.
Good cause of the week
See Giselle at the London Coliseum this September and help raise money for Ukraine.
Love, betrayal, death, mercy: The United Ukrainian Ballet, comprising some 60 dancers in exile, stage one of the greatest works in the classical repertoire in a powerful new interpretation by Alexei Ratmansky. This is a unique opportunity to see a powerful and moving interpretation of one of the greatest romantic ballets of all time, with a company of world-class artists united by the tragedy of war and an ardent hope for the future.
All profits go towards the DEC Ukraine Appeal, as well as The United Ukrainian Ballet Foundation.