Things To Do Today In London: Friday 30 August 2019

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Take the kids on a minibeast safari in Gunnersbury Park

Things to do

FAMILY FESTIVAL: ZSL London Zoo rounds off the summer holidays with a family festival, which means there are special activities to partake in, as well as visiting the zoo's residents. Have a go at an interactive quiz, listen up at storytelling sessions, and find out what it's like to be a vet or zookeeper. ZSL London Zoo, included in admission (booking recommended), 30 August-1 September

MEATOPIA: Carnivorous foodie festival Meatopia kicks off today, bringing chefs from a variety of London restaurants under one roof to cook up a barbecue feast. Focus is on ethically-sourced and sustainable meat, and all dishes are served starter-sized, so you can try a few different meals. Tobacco Dock (Wapping), from £23.85, book ahead, 30 August-1 September (Saturday tickets sold out)

BEANZ MUZEUM: How much do you like Heinz Baked Beans? Enough to visit a museum dedicated to them? The Heinz Beanz Muzeum openzs today, to mark the 150th anniversary of the kitchen cupboard staple. We're sold on the beans slide, but less so on the giant walk-through toaster. 5 Great Newport Street (Covent Garden), free entry, just turn up, 30 August-1 September

The Beanz Muzeum opens today

POND DIPPING: Go west and treat the kids to a minibeast safari and pond dipping adventure. Pick up your equipment, then head outside in search of the park's mini-residents, learning about them and why they are important. Gunnersbury Park Museum, £10, book ahead, 10am-12.30pm

WALLS HAVE EARS: Learn about the 'secret listeners' of the second world war — British intelligence officers who bugged the conversations of thousands of German prisoners of war. Dr Helen Fry introduces her new book, The Walls Have Ears, on the topic, focusing on locations in London and Buckinghamshire. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

PARK SECRETS: Delve deeper into St James's Park on this guided tour of the former royal hunting ground and surrounding area. Follow a Royal Parks guide around The Mall and Horse Guards Parade, learning bits of history and trivia as you go, and ending up at the daily pelican feeding. St James's Park, £10, book ahead, 1.15pm-2.45pm

It's Parks & Recreation night at Genesis Cinema

MUSEUM LATE: Natural History Museum stays open late on the last Friday of the month. Visit the galleries and exhibitions after hours, learn about climate change and food crops at pop-up science stations, and hear about an ambitious new project to sequence the genomes of every single species living in the UK. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free entry, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

MAI TAI DAY: There's a day for everything these days, as evidenced by the fact that today is World Mai Tai Day. Still, it's an excuse for a drink or two, especially at Tiki bar Trader Vic's. It hosts a Mai Tai party, and tickets include a welcome drink, Polynesian buffet, ceramics class, live music and dancing until the small hours. Cheers to that. Trader Vic's (Park Lane), £25-£44, book ahead, 7pm-2.30am

PARKS & REC NIGHT: Genesis Cinema dedicates an evening to US sitcom Parks & Recreation. Watch classic episodes, accompanied by themed cocktails, and compete in games based on the show. Genesis Cinema (Mile End), free, book ahead, 7.30pm

Miss Kiddy & The Cads perform at Underbelly Festival

GLORIA BELL: Watch a screening of Chilean director Sebastián Lelio's new film, Gloria Bell. Julianne Moore stars as the newly-divorced title character, who spends her days at a straight-laced office job and her nights on the dance floor. Harris Academy South Norwood,  £8.50/£7/£5, book ahead, 7.45pm-10pm

MISS KIDDY & THE CADS: If you like pop music with a twist, catch Miss Kiddy & The Cads' final Underbelly show this year. The group brings a touch of vintage glamour to songs by the likes of David Bowie and Beyonce... with a tap dancer thrown in for good measure. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £17, book ahead, 9.30pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

Ben Wilson's tube sculptures

Spotted one of these monochrome sculptures at a tube station? Artist Ben Wilson, best known for his chewing-gum paintings, has fixed some 300 across the underground network — without TfL's consent. They're all hiding in plain sight, but also very easy to miss unless you're keeping an eye out. Follow Barry on Twitter @HeckTube. Go on, make today the day.

Good cause of the day

Head to Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park tonight for a bat walk to raise funds for local heritage projects. Take a tour of some of the heritage in the park, before heading inside for a talk about bats by a local expert, then back out into the woodland armed with bat detectors. Find out more and book tickets.

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