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. 

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.

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.

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...

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.

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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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.

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.

Kensington + Chelsea Festival

1 July - 31 Aug
Varies
Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea
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K+C Festival returns with a programme, full of free and pay-what-you-can events. Be inspired by theatre, wowed by circus and try something new with a range of extraordinary talent spread right across the borough. The Festival re-imagines the borough’s well-known and less-discovered places.

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.

Drop-in Design: Joyful Patterns

29 July - 27 Aug (Sat & Sun)
11am - 4pm
V&A
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Inspired by the Africa Fashion exhibition, artist Onome Otite and designer Malaika Carr have created two garments for you to embellish and bring to life. Visitors are invited to create their own joyful patterns, exploring shapes, colours, fashion and architecture.

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.

Friday Late: We Face Forward

26 Aug
6.30 - 10 pm
V&A
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In celebration of the landmark Africa Fashion exhibition, this Friday Late brings together next-generation designers, artists, musicians and more in a museum-wide pan-African takeover.

India Lates

31 Aug
6.30 - 10pm
Science Museum
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This month's lates celebrates the science, tech, art & innovation from India & the global Indian diaspora. Experience traditional dance & music with a contemporary twist & explore ways to solve global problems with cutting-edge tech & design through talks, tours, hands-on workshops & more.

London Design Festival 2022

17 - 25 Sept
10-5.45 Daily (10pm Fridays)
V&A
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London Design Festival returns to the V&A as the official Festival Hub & its iconic spaces will be transformed by an extraordinary collection of specially commissioned installations & displays by contemporary designers from across the globe. This year's theme is centered around 'transformation'.

Digital Design Weekend

24 - 25 Sept
10.30 - 5pm
V&A
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Digital Design Weekend returns to take over the V&A, with interactive installations, showcases, workshops, talks and family-friendly activities taking place around the museum. Events are free and drop-in, but places for some are limited.

Generation Hope: Act for the Planet

12 - 16 Sept
12 - 8pm
Natural History Museum
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Join a free programme of inspiring workshops, panels & talks created for young people aged 16+. Whether it's getting to grips with the science, understanding the impacts of the planetary emergency, or strengthening your own skills, come & take the next steps. Booking tickets is essential.

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.