the home of science, arts and inspiration

Free Events in South Kensington

We have an abundance of free events in South Kensington for a great day out. From guided tours through the galleries, self-led walks, a new series of Lates events, free displays and miles of galleries covering art, science, design, natural history and so much more. 

Theatre & Performence

Daily
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The collections document current practice and the history of all areas of performing arts in the UK, including drama, dance, opera, circus, puppetry, comedy, musical theatre, costume, set design, pantomime, popular music and much more...

V&A jewellery collection

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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One of the finest collections of jewelry in the world - over 3,500 jewels, including pendants given by Queen Elizabeth I.

Mission: Invertebrate

The Royal Parks
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Download Mission: Invertebrate's free activities and information sheets to see London’s green spaces in a whole new way. Whether you’re at home, in your local park or one of the incredible Royal Parks, these resources will help you and your family discover fascinating nature on your doorstep.

Kaleidoscopic Minds on Exhibition Road

From 18 June
Exhibition Road
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Local artist, Azarra Amoy, celebrates neurodiverse people and their contribution to the arts and sciences in South Kensington, through a series of colourful kaleidoscopic artworks on Exhibition Road. Azarra uses a kaleidoscopic spectrum of colours to represent the uniqueness of an individual’s neurodiversity.

Princess Diana Memorial fountain

Daily
Hyde Park
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A unique fountain memorial to Princess Diana designed to reflect her spirit of life and love of children.

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates

June — 16 Oct 2022
Tues - Sun 10am-6pm
Serpentine
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Last chance to see the Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel - designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates, drawing inspiration from the architectural typologies of chapels and the great kilns of Stoke-on-Trent.

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Daily
During winter/spring 6am-7:45pm
Kensington Gardens
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Explore and have a great adventure in the playground with a huge wooden pirate ship which is the centrepiece of the Diana, Princess of Wales' Memorial Playground.

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Daily
10am-6pm (last entry 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Mathematics is too often perceived as dry and complex, but this new gallery will tell stories that place the subject at the heart of our lives, exploring how mathematicians, their tools and ideas have helped to shape the modern world.

Bibliothèque Quentin Blake

Daily
10am-9.30pm
Institut français
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The children's library has reopened providing children with easy access to a wide range of interactive resources.

Ceramics

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Visit the V&A's amazing collection of ceramics, first opened in 1868. The galleries include the stunning Ceramic Staircase which was designed by Frank Moody, a master in the Schools of Design, together with his students.

Cancer Revolution: Science, Innovation and Hope

25 May - Jan 2023
10am-6pm
Science Museum
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From busting myths about the causes of cancer to exploring how the latest cancer science, early detection technologies, and immunotherapies are advancing cancer care today. This exhibition shows how far we have come in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

Cocoon

Daily
Monday-Sunday 10am-5:50pm (last entry 5pm)
Natural History Museum
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Inside the Cocoon see hundreds of Museum specimens. Marvel at beetles and butterflies, metre-high plants, huge tarantulas and historic herbaria.

The Raphael Court

Daily
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Rediscover the newly refurbished V&A’s Raphael Court - home to the iconic Raphael Cartoons. Commissioned in 1515 by Pope Leo X for the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, they depict the lives of the apostles, Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

The Royal College of Music Museum & Guided Tours

10:15am–5:45pm
Royal College of Music
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The Royal College of Music's Museum offers a unique opportunity to interact with over 500 years of musical history. Items include the world’s oldest guitar and earliest keyboard instrument with strings. Enjoy a tour of the Museum, led by their knowledgeable team on Wednesdays at 12:30pm.

Tomorrow's World

Daily
10am-5:45pm
Science Museum
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How do today’s scientific discoveries shape tomorrow’s world? Get the scoop on the most surprising science stories and the biggest breakthroughs in the Tomorrow's World gallery.

Image credit: © Sarah Lee

Stephen Hawking at Work

On until March 23
10am-6pm
Science Museum
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The Science Museum has acquired a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire Professor Stephen Hawking's office - including his personal reference library, innovative wheelchairs and communications equipment, medals, memorabilia and even the office furniture.

Dippy Returns to South Ken

Until 2 Jan 2023
10am-5:45pm
Natural History Museum
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Don't miss your chance to see Dippy, the first Diplodocus to go on display anywhere in the world, when it returns to the Museum for a short visit. Now you can see Dippy's memories of UK landscapes and hear how nature inspires different communities.

V&A free tours & talks

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Get closer to the Museum and its incredible collections with our wide range of free or paid-for bespoke tours.

Exploring Space Gallery Tour

Daily
10am-6pm
Science Museum
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Discover space firsts such as Sputnik, Yuri Gagarin and the work of Sergei Koralev. Delve into an amazing history, bringing to life objects from our Exploring Space gallery.

Atmosphere

Open Daily
10am-6pm
Science Museum
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The Atmosphere gallery is an exciting place to make sense of the climate—the science of how it works, what it’s doing now and what it might do next. Uncover the secrets of ice cores and stalagmites, then head for the future to wonder at the latest ideas for a low-carbon life.

Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries

Daily
10-6pm (last entry 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Showcasing extraordinary medical artefacts including the world’s first MRI scanner, Fleming’s penicillin mould, a professional pianist’s prosthetic arm and even robotic surgery equipment.

The Garden

Daily
Open from 11.15 am
Science Museum
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The Garden is an exciting interactive space, created especially for children aged 3–6 and their parents and carers in the basement of the Museum.

Self-Guided Tours at the Natural History Museum

Daily
10am-5:50pm
Natural History Museum
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Whether you're visiting for the first time or the fiftieth, these tours and free things to do, will take you through the best the Museum has to offer.

Hyde Park Self Guided Walks

All Year Round
Hyde Park
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Discover the magic of Hyde Park and head on a self-guided walk. All of the activities are guaranteed to get you walking and discovering interesting things about the history, wildlife and horticulture around you.

V&A Photography Centre

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The Photography Centre at the V&A houses over 600 spellbinding photos including some of the oldest known photographs to modern masters. The Museum began acquiring photographs in 1852, and its collection is now one of the largest and most important in the world.

Designer Maker User

Open daily
Sun-Thurs 10am-6pm; Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Designer Maker User, the Design Museum's only permanent exhibition, features almost 1000 items of twentieth and twenty-first century design viewed through the angles of the designer, manufacturer and user, including a crowdsourced wall.

V&A Highlights Tour

Til Sun 1 January 2023
10:30am & 2pm
V&A
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Join one of the V&A's volunteer guides on this free tour and discover the origins of the Museum while learning about the many fascinating treasures held in the V&A’s extensive collection. Every day at 10:30am and 2pm

Europe 1600-1815

Daily
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Showcasing over 1100 objects from the V&A’s collections of 17th- and 18th-century European art and design in a suite of seven galleries.

Fashion

Daily
V&A
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Spanning five centuries, the Fashion collection is the largest and most comprehensive collection of dresses in the world.

The V&A's Glass Collection

Open Daily
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The V&A's glass collection is one of the largest and the most comprehensive in the world, showcasing the development of design and technology in glass-making over 3,500 years. Find the exhibition in rooms 131, 129 and 83-84.

Maurice Broomfield: Industrial Sublime

Until Sun 6 November 2022
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Maurice Broomfield's dramatic photographs captured factories and their workers in an era of rapid transition, depicting the remnants of the industrial revolution alongside emerging technologies.

V&A Lates

Last Friday of every month
6.30-10pm
V&A
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An ever-changing, programme of live performances, fashion, film, installations, debates, special guests and DJs, with bars, food, and late-night exhibition openings.

Kaleidoscopic Minds on Exhibition Road

From 18 June
Exhibition Road
Read more

Local artist, Azarra Amoy, celebrates neurodiverse people and their contribution to the arts and sciences in South Kensington, through a series of colourful kaleidoscopic artworks on Exhibition Road. Azarra uses a kaleidoscopic spectrum of colours to represent the uniqueness of an individual’s neurodiversity.

Hyde Park

Daily
Hyde Park
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One of the greatest city parks in the world covering 142 hectares with over 4,000 trees, a large lake, a meadow and further ornamental flower gardens, all here in the home of London’s arts and science district.

LauncherOne Replica Rocket on Exhibition Road

15th & 16th October
Sat: 1-6pm, Sun 11am - 4pm
Discover South Kensington
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A free event in Exhibition Road hosted by the UK Space Agency to mark the first satellite launch from UK soil, A 72ft life-size replica rocket that will be on display together with a range of free hands-on educational activities hosted by the UK Space Agency, Spaceport Cornwall, Virgin Orbit the Science Museum, Imperial College London & the Natural History Museum.

‘Becoming expert - why it matters to us all’, an Evening Lecture with Roger Kneebone

19th Oct
6-8pm
V&A
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Drawing on his recent book Expert, Professor Roger Kneebone explores the nature of expert practice and asks how craftspeople, performers, clinicians and scientists can enrich one another’s understanding of the embodied activity on which their work depends. Free, but book ahead.

Women in Science Tour: Space

8th, 15th, 22nd, 27th & 30th Oct
2.15 - 3pm and other times
Natural History Museum
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Discover the fascinating work of women scientists - past & present - who have focused on space, meteorites and planetary materials as you take a guided tour of the first floor Hintze Hall balconies and the Minerals gallery Meet at 'Guy' the Gorilla, Hinze Hall.

Penny Siopis: For Dear Life

Oct 5th-Oct 29th
10am-6pm
Cromwell Place
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For Dear Life will feature the latest works from the ongoing painting installation series, Viscous Worlds (2017-present), Atlas (2020-present) and a selection of solo canvases exemplifying Siopis’ long-term engagement with the notion, ‘the poetics of vulnerability’. Free to visit!

Yinka Ilori: PARABLES FOR HAPPINESS

15th Sep- 25th June 2023
10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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The display showcases key elements of Ilori’s vibrant aesthetic where visitors will discover 100 objects ranging from artworks, photographs and furniture, to textiles, books and personal possessions. The display offers an unprecedented glimpse into Ilori’s use of the power of design to absorb cultural influences and express London’s rich mix of identities.

Digital Kids: Character Animation for Musicals

26th Oct-29th Oct
11am-5pm
V&A
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Invent a character and get creative thinking about where they live, their hopes and dreams, and how they dance, sing and perform their story. Then animate your drawings with easy-to-use animation tools and with a chance to bring your character to life! This free event is drop-in but entry tickets must be booked.

Discovery Day: Hair-Raising Halloween

25th Oct- 27th Oct
11am-3pm
Hyde Park
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Celebrate Halloween with the little ones and take part in a host of free creepy crawly activities including guessing the gruesome contents of the feely boxes, exploring the eerie nature trail and learning about the brilliant bats in the Royal Parks.

Injecting Hope: The Race for a Covid 19 Vaccine

30th Nov - 7th Jan 24
10am - 6pm
Science Museum
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A new free exhibition explores the worldwide effort to develop vaccines at pandemic speed. See how scientists and researchers adapted to the various challenges of this massive programme.

Image credit: Goethe-Institut

Universum.Mensch.Intelligenz

19th Sept - 14th Oct
Mon - Fri (10am - 4pm)
Goethe-Institut
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The exhibition is dedicated to cutting-edge research in Germany. Through images, films & research projects, the interactive exhibition tells of the great mysteries of humanity & the achievements of scientific thinking.

Lunchtime Lecture: Visions of Ancient Egypt at the V&A

20th October
1-1.55pm
V&A
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Sainsbury Centre Norwich’s exhibition 'Visions of Ancient Egypt', in partnership with the V&A, explores how artists and designers have looked to Egypt as inspiration for centuries. Co-curator Benjamin Hinson will shine a spotlight on the V&A’s relationship with ancient Egypt. Free, drop-in.

Exploring Our Oceans: The Challenger Expedition and its Legacy

On til Jan 23
Daily
Natural History Museum
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This free display of historic and contemporary images and specimens marks the 150th anniversary of the Challenger expedition - a ground-breaking scientific endeavour to sail around the world and systematically study the oceans for the very first time.

Everest through the Lens

5th Oct - 20th Jan 23
10am - 5pm (Mon - Sat)
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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The Society’s new exhibition marking the centenary of the Everest expeditions in the 1920s explores how Captain John Noel’s films shaped the popular image of the mountain while sometimes obscuring the role of local intermediaries.

The Carpenters' Line: Woodworking Heritage in Hida Takayama

29 Sept - 29 Jan 2023
Japan House London
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Discover one major aspect of Japanese craftsmanship in this free exhibition which explores 1,300 years of master woodworking from the densely forested Hida region of Gifu Prefecture in central Japan.