Things To Do This Weekend In London: 17-18 August 2019

All weekend

Sweet! London Dessert Festival is on all weekend

CAMDEN FRINGE: English literature-themed comedy, football-centric theatre, Soviet spies and a music/spoken word mash-up are some of the options at Camden Fringe this weekend. The huge performing arts festival takes place at venues across Camden — check out the full line-up. Various location and prices, book ahead, until 25 August

VINTAGE SALE: Refresh your wardrobe at the Beyond Retro vintage sale. 20,000 items of clothing are being sold off from the vintage store's warehouse, including jeans, dresses, jackets, bags, belts and coats, all at set prices. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 14-18 August

TALES OF THE TURNTABLE: Upbeat musical theatre show Tales of the Turntable is a journey through musical history, from the early origins of hip-hop, funk and soul through to disco, house and rap. It's a family-friendly production, following Eric and his grandfather as they discover they have more in common than they realise. Southbank Centre, £25, book ahead, 15-26 August

DragWorld comes to Olympia

DESSERT FESTIVAL: Sweet-toothed Londoners, unite! The London Dessert Festival comes to Brick Lane for two days of deliciousness. As well as tucking into all manner of sweet treats, experience a melting chocolate wall and ice cream bubbles — and there are plenty of vegan options too. Truman Brewery (Brick Lane), from £21.95, book ahead, 17-18 August

DRAGWORLD: Europe's largest drag convention lands in London for a totally fabulous weekend. DragWorld brings together drag stars from all over, for talks, panel discussions and meet and greets, and there are stalls to browse, catwalk shows and plenty more. It all kicks off with a Drag Ball on Friday night — best start digging out your sequins and feathers. Olympia London, from £39.20, book ahead, 17-18 August

PETER PAN: Head to Neverland without leaving London at the Golden Hinde this week. The dry-docked ship has a Peter Pan takeover, with Captain Hook taking control of the vessel for storytime, pirate training, gun demonstrations and other family-friendly activities. Golden Hinde (Borough), £5, book ahead, 17-29 August

Saturday 17 August

The Royal Wharf Summer Fete is free

MAGIC: Head to Wellcome Collection for magic performed by Dr Will Houston, tying in with the current Smoke and Mirrors exhibition. The performance is BSL-interpreted, and is designed to reveal the difference between magic and less honest forms of deception. Wellcome Collection, free, just turn up, 11.30am/12.30pm

HER MAJESTY'S CAVALRY: What exactly do the Household Cavalry regiment — also known as Her Majesty's Cavalry — do? Find out at a family-friendly day of activities, including a chance to meet some of the soldiers and find out about their jobs. Get a close-up look at their uniforms, meet the horses known as the Cavalry Blacks, and watch a farrier demonstration. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free entry, just turn up, 11am-5pm

SUMMER FETE: The new Royal Wharf Park hosts the Royal Wharf Summer Fete, raising money for the Richard House Children's Hospice. Live music, lawn games, face painting, balloon modelling, a play area and food and drink stalls are all part of the fun. Royal Wharf Park (Silvertown), free entry, book ahead, 11am-7pm

Learn about Her Majesty's Cavalry

THE GREAT FETE: Alexandra Palace hosts The Great Fete, a huge summer day out with excellent views over London. Dance at a silent disco, watch films in the newly-reopened theatre (also open for tours), watch live music and entertainment, go ice skating, and much more. Refreshments are available to buy from Streatlife, the street food festival which pops up for the day. Alexandra Palace, free entry (charge for some activities), just turn up, from 12pm

WINE CAR BOOT: Head to King's Cross for a car boot sale with a difference — every car or stall is an independent wine producer or importer, selling vino from all over the world. The Wine Car Boot is a chance to chat to experts and take part in tasting before selecting the bottles you want to buy to take home. Coal Drops Yard (King's Cross), free entry, just turn up, 12pm-8pm

There's a sign you'd be wise to follow

SINK THE PINK: LGBTQ+ collective Sink The Pink hosts a street party-style festival. Over 50 LGBTQ+ artists take to the stage throughout the day, plus headliner Nadine Coyle. Tuck into food from five vendors, and stay hydrated at a 30m long bar, while you watch lip-sync battles, and get up on dance podiums. Finsbury Park, £32, book ahead, 1pm-10pm

FOCUS AFRICA: African music festival Focus Africa brings its summer tour to Peckham. Music collective Yung Afrika Pyoneers play a selection of hits from the classic eras of the 50s, the 60s, and the 70s from various west African countries including Ghana, Nigeria and Benin Republic. Peckham Levels, free, just turn up, 6.30pm

It's the first weekend of Chihuly Nights at Kew Gardens

SCI-FI LATE: The Royal Observatory's latest sci-fi event is a late night opening with a theme of 'stranger worlds'. Watch a special planetarium show followed by a discussion on sci-fi in popular culture, play themed games, and watch sci-fi short films. Royal Observatory (Greenwich), £16, book ahead, 6.30pm

LEGEND TRIPPERS: It's the final night of theatre show Legend Trippers by the National Youth Music Theatre. The musical is about a group of unlikely high school heroes who band together to conquer their town’s most haunted spots and sites. The Other Palace (Victoria), £25-£35, book ahead, 7.30pm

CHIHULY NIGHTS: Every Thursday-Saturday from now until October, Kew Gardens stays open late for an enchanting evening themed around the Chihuly exhibition. See Dale Chihuly's colourful glass sculptures illuminated in the gardens and conservatories after dark, accompanied by a specially-commissioned soundtrack. Kew Gardens, £18/£12, book ahead, 7.30pm-10.30pm (until 26 October)

KANDA BONGO MAN: Enjoy an evening of soukous — dance music from the Congo Basin — performed by touring superstar Kanda Bongo Man. He’s taken his show across Europe, Canada, Australia and America, and tonight he performs a one-off gig in Shoreditch, with music that’s guaranteed to get you dancing. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £20, book ahead, 8.30pm

Sunday 18 August

Family storytelling at the Jewish Museum

AMERICAN CARS: Whitewebbs transport museum is worth visiting in its own right on its monthly open day, but today there's the added bonus of an American car show. Wander around the usual exhibits, including model cars and unusual mannequins, before ogling a collection of American and custom cars. Whitewebbs Museum (Enfield), £10, just turn up, 10am-9pm

EMPATHY STORYTELLING: Loneliness is the theme of today's Empathy Sunday storytelling event, aimed at 3-8 year olds and their families. Listen to a storytelling session, then take part in a crafting activity which demonstrates how to show empathy in a practical way. Jewish Museum (Camden), free, book ahead, 11am-11.45am

FAMLY PARTY: Revellers of all ages are invited to family-friendly party Disco Loco. The open-air event features live music, DJs, dance and cabaret. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 12pm

GINSECCO FESTIVAL: In a combination that could be excellent, could be lethal, the Ginsecco Festival combines gin and prosecco (not necessarily in the same glass). Local London gin distillers display their wares, while a prosecco bar keeps things fizzy. There's street food to soak up all that booze, and live music for a festival atmosphere. Morden Park House, £9.12, book ahead, 12pm-9pm

LIVE MUSIC: It's the turn of the London Metropolitan Brass Band and NLB City of London Brass Band to take to the bandstand in Regent's Park for an afternoon of free music. Bring your blanket or hire a deckchair and settle in for the afternoon. Regent's Park, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-5.30pm

Catch a screening of Clueless at Somerset House

PETERLOO MASSACRE: Keats House hosts a family day themed on the poem that Shelley wrote after the Peterloo Massacre, which happened 200 years ago. Have a go at creating your own protest poster based on the historical event, and learn more about Shelley's work. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

OPERA ENCORE: Watch a pre-recorded screening of the Met Opera's performance of Puccini’s La Bohème. It's taken from the 2013-14 season and was originally broadcast live in that year, but this is another chance to see the young cast, including soprano Kristine Opolais and tenor Vittorio Grigolo. Watermans (Brentford), £18/£15.50, book ahead, 2pm

SWING DANCING: Dance the remainder of the weekend away at this swing dancing session, open to dancers of all levels. Beginners can take a class at the start of the evening to learn the basic steps, before taking part in a social dance to which everyone is invited. The soundtrack comes from vintage DJs and a live guest band, there's no dress code, and no need to bring a partner. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), £15/£10/£8, book ahead, 6.30pm

CLUELESS: Classic teen comedy film Clueless is shown on the big screen at Film4 Summer Screen. Kick back in the Somerset House courtyard and get a huge dose of the '90s, including some legendary outfits. Somerset House, £20.75, book ahead, 7pm