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Summer Highlights in South Kensington

Summer is the ideal time to discover South Kensington. With captivating exhibitions and the beautiful Royal Parks nearby, there's plenty to see and do. Here are some of the season's highlights.

Design Museum:  

This summer, the Design Museum presents Enzo Mari: Curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Francesca Giacomelli until September 8th. This major exhibition celebrates the life and work of Enzo Mari, one of the most influential Italian designers of the 20th century. With ticket prices starting at £16.33 for adults and £8.16 for children aged 6 to 15, it’s a must-visit for design enthusiasts.  

Opening on July 5th, immerse yourself in Barbie®: The Exhibition, which showcases the evolution of the iconic doll through over 250 remarkable objects. Tickets for this exhibition start at £14.38 for adults and £7.19 for children. 

Natural History Museum: 

Discover the fascinating world of birds in Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre, on until January 5th. Tickets are £16.50, and the exhibition unravels the epic story of birds, highlighting their surprising tactics for survival.  

Opening on July 18th, explore the new gardens, where you can meet a full-size diplodocus and walk in the footsteps of our earliest ancestors. The new garden is free and open daily from 10am to 5.50pm - you don't need a ticket to access this wonderful new space. 

Science Museum:  

Energy Revolution: The Adani Green Gallery, is a free exhibition that explores sustainable energy solutions to combat climate change.  

For a more interactive experience, check out Turn it up: The Power of Music, running until September 1st, where you can make your own music and explore the science behind its impact on us. Tickets are £10.  

For gaming enthusiasts, Power Up offers a hands-on experience with the best video games and consoles from the past 50 years, with tickets priced at £12. 

V&A South Kensington:  

The V&A showcases Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection, on display until January 5th. This exhibition features iconic images from the world's leading photographers, capturing subjects like fashion, celebrity, and reportage. Tickets are £22. Another highlight is NAOMI In Fashion, running until April 6th, 2025, which explores the extraordinary career of fashion model Naomi Campbell. Tickets for this exhibition are £18. 

Plus, opening soon (on the 27th July) is Taylor Swift | Songbook Trail. Explore a free trail across V&A South Kensington celebrating Taylor Swift groundbreaking impact, with 13 stops along the way, each showcasing a particular era of her iconic music and prolific song writing. Open daily from 10am - 5.45pm and free to access!

Royal Albert Hall:  

Experience the magic of the BBC Proms 2024, from July 19th to September 14th. This year’s programme ranges from Mozart and Tchaikovsky to Disco and Doctor Who. For just £8, you can be a Day Prommer and purchase up to 1,350 standing tickets available on the day of each concert, making it an accessible option for music lovers. 

Boating on the Serpentine:  

Head to the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen to hire a boat . Recognised as one of the most famous boating spots in London, Hyde Park is the perfect place to take in the scenery, enjoy an ice cream and float down the Serpentine in the middle of the park. Tickets for an hour range from £12.60 for an adult, £6.30 (3 to 15 years) or a family ticket at £33.60 (2 adults and up to 3 children).  

Serpentine Galleries:  

Visit Yinka Shonibare CBE: Suspended States at Serpentine South, an exhibition running until September 1st that interrogates the ecological impact of colonization and imperialism.  

Also, don't miss Judy Chicago: Revelations at Serpentine North, which traces the arc of the artist’s career and brings together never-before-seen artworks.  

Both exhibitions are free and open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm. 

Serpentine Pavilion 2024 by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies:  

The annual Serpentine Pavilion has become one of the summer architectural highlights in London and for the global architectural community. This year's Serpentine Pavilion envisions a unique void surrounded by a constellation of smaller, adaptable structures strategically positioned at the periphery of the lawn. 

It is free to visit, open daily from 10am – 5pm.  

Kensington Palace:  

Explore the Untold Lives: A Palace at Work, running until October 27th. This exhibition uncovers the forgotten stories of those who worked at the royal palaces over 300 years ago. Tickets are £24 for adults, £12 for children, and free for those under 5 and are included in palace admissions . 

Explore more: 

For a leisurely experience, use our walking Footways map to navigate around South Kensington and between cultural venues along quiet, scenic routes, while learning a little of our history. 

Whether you’re passionate about design, fascinated by natural history, or a music aficionado, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this summer. If you are interested in keeping up to date with all the latest events in South Kensington, sign up for our fortnightly newsletter.

1992 Totally Hair Barbie.Petra Rajnicovafor the Design Museum

Aglimpse of the full-size diplodocus in the newly opened gardens at the Natural History Museum

An interactive display at Turn it Up: The Power of Music at the Science Museum 
Boating on the Serpentine
Yinka Shonibare CBE: Suspended States at Serpentine South
Serpentine Pavilion 2024 by Minsuk Cho, Mass Studies
Untold Lives: A Palace at Work at Kensington Palace