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. 

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.

Free
Trails & Tours

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

Image credit: © Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.

Back to Earth: Pollinator Pathmaker

22 June - 18 September 2022
Tuesday - Sunday (Open Bank Holiday Mondays) 10am - 6pm
Serpentine
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Artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg kicks off Back to Earth 2022 activations, including a major exhibition, at Serpentine in June. as well as a garden at North Flower Walk in Kensington Gardens comprising 4,471 plants including over 60 different species which will come into bloom in early summer.

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster: Alienarium 5

Til 4 Sep 2022
Tues - Sun (Open Bank Holiday Mon) 10am - 6pm
Serpentine
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Alienarium 5 is a speculative environment that invites us to imagine possible encounters with extra-terrestrials. The exhibition is a culmination of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster's decades-long interest in science fiction and continued research into deep space and alien life.

Image credit: © 2022 Theaster Gates Studio
Free

Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel by Theaster Gates

Fri 10 June — Sun 16 October 2022
Tues - Sun (Open Bank Holiday Mon) 10am-6pm
Serpentine
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Designed by Chicago-based artist Theaster Gates with the architectural support of Adjaye Associates, the Serpentine Pavilion 2022: Black Chapel draws inspiration from the architectural typologies of chapels and the great kilns of Stoke-on-Trent, England.

Dippy Returns to South Ken

Fri 27 May - Thur 1 Dec 2022
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.

Image credit: ©Kevin Moran Photography

Artists Houses Walking Tours

5 May - 31 July (Thursdays & Sundays)
11am-12:30pm
Leighton House and Sambourne House Museum
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Join Leighton House's free guided walks exploring the unique group of Victorian studio-houses built on Holland Park Road and Melbury Road (Kensington, West London) by the so-called 'Holland Park Circle' of artists, sculptors and architects.

Free

The V&A Platinum Jubilee emblem competition

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The Royal Household in partnership with the V&A invited young people aged 13 – 25 to design an emblem for The Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022 and 19 year-old Edward Roberts, a graphic design student from Nottinghamshire, studying at Leeds University, has won the national competition.

Adults

Science Museum Lates: Cancer Revolution

Wed 25 May 2022
6:15pm-10pm
Science Museum
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Science Museum Lates are adults-only, after-hours theme nights that take place in the museum on the last Wednesday of every month. This May celebrates the opening of their new exhibition, Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope. There’ll be fascinating talks, illuminating tours, hands-on workshops and much more to explore!

Asia

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The Victoria and Albert Museum's Asian collections include objects from East Asia, South and South-East Asia, and the Middle East. They are rich in a broad range of artistic media and illustrate many different aspects of religious, courtly and everyday life.

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.

Free

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.

From the Forest

Mon 11 April - Mon 18 July 2022
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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This display features design projects that engage with questions around environmental stewardship and the sustainable use of wood.

Free

London Design Festival - Placeholders

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Discover the enduring possibilities of reusing stone with this outdoor installation and documentary as part of London Design Festival. Historic, large and precious stone that previously made up the V&A building, now makes a comeback in the form of street furniture.

Free Online

Make & Do at Home

Online
V&A
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Whether you're into knitting, coding, or crafting your own furniture, the V&A has got a creative project for you. These fun, free resources and tutorials are all inspired by their incredible collections – bringing you a range of DIY makes to try at home.

Free
Photography

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.

Free

Theatre & Performence

Daily
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Set design, costumes, make-up, posters - and the first folio of Shakespeare's play.

Free

Ukraine in Focus

Until Mon 29 August 2022
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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These portraits offer a glimpse of life in Ukraine before the war with Russia began in 2022. They were taken over six years, during a simmering conflict sparked by Russia’s invasion of eastern and southern parts of Ukraine in 2014.

Free

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.

Free

V&A joins the Happy Museum's New Peer Learning Programme

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The V&A's Sustainable Exhibitions For Museums Network (SEFM) has recently joined up with The Happy Museum to look at how the museum sector can respond to the challenge of creating a more sustainable future.

Clockmakers' Museum

Wed - Sun
10.00 - 18.00
Science Museum
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Discover the world’s oldest clock and watch collection in its new home at the Science Museum, including more than 1000 watches, 80 clocks, 25 marine chronometers and a number of fine sundials and examples of hand engraving.

Ancient Greeks: Science and Wisdom

17 November 2021 – 05 June 2022
Wed - Sun 10am-6pm
Science Museum
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Curiosity and investigation are central to furthering our understanding of the universe today, ancient Greek thinkers shared a similar philosophy. Step back through millennia and discover how this ancient civilization questioned, contemplated, and debated the natural world.

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.

Free

Serpentine Exhibitions

Daily
Serpentine
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Take a look at the regularly-changing exhibitions, displays and residences in the two Serpentine galleries, Serpentine South Gallery and Serpentine North Gallery on either side of the river in the centre of Hyde Park.

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.

Exhibition

Cancer Revolution: Science, Innovation and Hope

May - Oct 2022
Wed-Sun 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. Cancer Revolution: Science, innovation and hope shows how far we have come in the prevention, detection and treatment of cancer.

Free

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.

Free

The Raphael Court

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.

Music
Exhibition

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 new 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 Curator Professor Gabriele Rossi Rognoni on Wednesdays at 12:30pm.

Free

Tomorrow's World

Wednesday-Sunday
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
Free

Stephen Hawking at Work

Thurs 10 February - Sun 12 June 2022
Wed-Sun 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.

Free
Exhibition

Radio Ballards

31 Mar — 29 May 2022
10am-6pm
Serpentine
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The culmination of three years of work by artists Sonia Boyce, Helen Cammock, Rory Pilgrim and Ilona Sagar, Radio Ballads presents four bodies of work created through collaboration with social workers, carers, organisers and residents which explore stories of labour, and who cares for who and in what way.

Great Exhibition Road Festival 2022

Sat 18 - Sun 19 June 2022
Daily
Great Exhibition Road Festival
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Join us in South Kensington this June as Exhibition Road is transformed into a huge festival to explore the extraordinary as we celebrate London’s trailblazing innovators, scientists, artists and designers and the everyday heroes who inspire us all.

Free
Tours

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.

Free

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.

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.

Free

Mathematics: The Winton Gallery

Wednesday–Sunday:
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.

Free

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.

Kids
Free

The Garden

Mon-Sun
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.

Family

Self-Guided Tours at the Natural History Museum

Mon-Sun
10am-5:50pm
Natural History Museum
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Whether you're visiting for the first time or the fiftieth, these tours 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.

Free

V&A Photography Centre

Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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The new 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.

Free
Films

Japan House London Film Season: Windows on Mifune

Til Sun 14 August 2022
3pm-5pm
Japan House London
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Expanding on the themes of their exhibition Windowology: New Architectural Views from Japan, Japan House London is delighted to launch a series of free screenings offering different perspectives on the monumental figure of actor Mifune Toshirō (1920–1997). Tickets are free.

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.

Collections & Displays

Place to Place by Adi Toch

On display
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Place to Place by silversmith Adi Toch is a new piece created for the Gilbert Creation, in response to a 4,250 years old gold ewer, formerly in the Collection, on the occasion of its return to Turkey.