Summer in South Kensington

This summer there are lots of things to do in South Kensington if you are looking for a great day out - from boating on the Serpentine, following our South Ken Green Trail, exploring the Serpentine Pavilion, enjoying a big-screen experience at the Science Museum's IMAX cinema or visiting a great exhibition and so much more...

Image credit: © Mark Hazeldine Photography
Outdoors

Serpentine Pavilion

On until 17 Oct
10am - 6pm
Serpentine
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Make the most of this wonderful Indian summer and enjoy the great outdoors at Serpentine where the 20th architecturally designed Pavilion is on display and a host of events in their galleries from James Barnor to Ain Bailey.

Fantastic Beasts: The Wonder of Nature

17 May - 3 January
Mon-Sun 10am-5:50pm
Natural History Museum
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Discover where the real and wizarding worlds intertwine, and how the wonders of the natural world have inspired myths, legends and magical creatures for generations. 

Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser

Until Friday, 31 December 2021
Wed-Sun 11am-7pm
V&A
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Exploring its origins, adaptations and reinventions over 157 years, this immersive and theatrical show charts the evolution of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from manuscript to a global phenomenon beloved by all ages.

Royal Style in the Making

Until Sun 2 January 2022
Wed-Sun 10am-6pm
Kensington Palace
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Explore the relationship between fashion designer and royal client. Featuring items from the archives of some of the most celebrated royal couturiers of the 20th century, alongside the glittering gowns and stylish tailoring created for three generations of royal women, the exhibition also includes the wedding dress of Diana, Princess of Wales.

Bags! Inside Out

19 May
Wed-Sun 10am-5:45pm
V&A
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From rucksacks to despatch boxes, Birkin bags to Louis Vuitton luggage, Bags! will explore the style, function, design and craftsmanship of the ultimate accessory.

Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street

On until 24th Oct
9.30am-6pm (Sun-Thur) 9.30am-9pm (Fri-Sat)
Design Museum Kensington
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Know your Air Jordans from your Air Force 1s? Step up and discover the footwear phenomenon that has challenged performance design, inspired new subcultures and shaken the world of fashion

Van Gogh Alive

June 4 - September 26, 2021
10am-8pm
The Royal Parks
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This summer, the stunning Kensington Gardens will host Van Gogh Alive, ‘the world’s most visited immersive, multi-sensory experience’ that exhibits the life and work of the seminal Dutch artist.

Kids
Family

Imax: The Ronson Theatre

Wednesday - Sunday
10am-6pm (last entry 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Following a major revamp, the Science Museum's popular IMAX cinema has now re-opened. Enjoy heart-pounding audio, awe-inspiring images and immersive 3D shots on a screen the size of four double decker buses.

Kids
Family

Our Future Planet

From 19 May 2021 - 2022
Wed-Sun 10am-6pm (last admission 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Can carbon capture help us fight climate change? The Science Museum's latest exhibition explores the cutting-edge technologies being developed to trap carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Free

Tokyo 1964: Designing Tomorrow

Thurs 5 Aug - Sun 7 Nov 2021
Mon-Sat 10am-8pm; Sun 12noon-6pm
Japan House London
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The Tokyo 1962 Olympic games, is often seen as a turning point for Japan. This exhibition explores the pioneering design of a group of young Japanese designers and architects who harnessed the opportunity to reframe the country’s profile and tell a fresh story to the world.

Kids

Princess Diana Memorial Playground

Daily
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.

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.

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.

Free Online

Serpentine Park Nights 2021

Fri 9 Jul — Wed 22 Sep 2021
Online Live
Serpentine
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Music and performance return to Serpentine Live encounters and performances in music, poetry, dance and more in the Serpentine Pavilion on selected nights throughout the summer.

Family

Investigate for Families

Daily
Mon-Fri 4pm-5:15pm; School hols 10:30-4:30pm
Natural History Museum
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Get a feel for how scientists work by having a go yourself. Come and explore hundreds of real nature specimens that form the evidence museum scientists use in their daily work.

Ciné Lumière

Various
Institut français
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Showcasing the best of foreign film - it screens a mix of French, European and Global films - with subtitles.

Free Online

Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It

From 21 May
Mon-Sun 10am-5:50pm (last entry 5pm)
Natural History Museum
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This free, evolving display explores how humans have transformed the natural world. Through over 40 objects chosen by Museum scientists, they reveal the consequences of our actions and examine some of the solutions that could help mend our broken planet. The display opens in three stages. From 21 May The Food We Eat, 23 July The Products we Use and from 20 September The Energy we Consume.

Outdoors

Boating in Hyde Park

April-31st Oct
10:30am-6pm
Hyde Park
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Hyde Park has a fleet of rowing and pedal boats on the Serpentine and the UK's first Solarshuttle, a magnificent vessel which glides across the lake powered only by the sun. The Solarshuttle carries up to 40 passengers and the pedal and row boats hold up to 6 persons each.

Free

Destination Space Family Show

Dates and times vary
Science Museum
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Help to explode some rocket-fuelled bubbles, melt some marshmallows, and learn all about the challenges of space in this free interactive family show. This show is suitable for children aged 5 and above.

Webs of Life by Tomás Saraceno

On until 17th Oct
Daily
Serpentine
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These striking Augmented Reality (AR) creatures encourage you to reconsider your relationship with spiders – moving you from fear to protection. Two giant AR spiders lurk outside the Gallery and if you share a photo of a real spider or web, you will be able to interact with a third!

Kensington Palace Sunken Garden

Wed - Sun
10am - 6pm
Kensington Palace
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Walk in the footsteps of royalty in the beautiful gardens of Kensington Palace. The historic Sunken Garden is resplendent with white and pastel flowers to provide a picturesque setting for a new statue of Diana, Princess of Wales, unveiled to commemorate her 60th birthday.

Family

Heartbeat Heroes

Saturday & Sunday
11:15-11:45am
Science Museum
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Listen up and hear the beat! Time to take a closer look at this hidden hardworking hero… your heart. Get your blood pumping in this fun, family-friendly workshop where you can make your very own working stethoscope and put it to the test.

Outdoors

Footways walking round London

Footways
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Footways London’s guide reveals quiet and characterful walking routes. Discover beautiful streets in Kensington at a different pace.

Free

The Italian Gardens

Kensington Gardens
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The Italian Gardens is a 150-year-old ornamental water garden located on the north side of Kensington Gardens near Lancaster Gate. It is believed to have been created as a gift from Prince Albert to his beloved Queen Victoria.

Natural History Museum Wildlife Garden

Daily
11-5pm
Natural History Museum
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Escape the city bustle with a wander through a tranquil haven for plants, pondlife and insects. Home to thousands of British plants and animals, more than 3,300 species have been identified in the garden since it opened in 1995. Advanced booking to the Museum is recommended.

Hop on a Santander bike

Why not hop on a Santander bike and explore South Kensington - take a ride through the Parks, pass Kensington Palace, around the Serpentine and arrive at the Museums.

Family
Free

Hyde Park Self Guided Walks

All Year Round
Hyde Park
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Discover the magic of Hyde Park in the palm of your hand! A free scavenger hunt game using mobile phones that takes you on an adventure through one of London's most popular parks.

Free

Summer Exhibition 2021 Shape & Form

Until Sunday 19 September
Weekdays 11am - 5pm; Saturday 12-5pm
The Royal Society of Sculptors
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The 2021 Summer Exhibition has been curated by Sigrid Kirk, inspired by the possibility of a new exuberant era for the arts. Drawing a parallel between the 1920s and 2020s, Sigrid looks to the years following World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic as inspiration for a manic flight into sociability.

Download the South Ken Green Trail Map

Daily
Discover South Kensington
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From the end of July to mid-October, South Kensington is coming alive with exciting new installations and a green trail for visitors. Pop-up nature hubs and installations created by architects, artists and garden designers will leave you buzzing with new ideas and inspiring visions for a greener future.

Free

Magical mystery nature tour

Online and outside
Natural History Museum
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Boost your family's wellbeing with a magical mystery nature tour. Time in nature is essential for keeping us healthy and happy, even through winter's colder, darker months. Explore some of the key reasons why and venture out for some nature therapy.

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.

The Rooftop @ The Serpentine Lido

The Royal Parks
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What better location to host a celebration this summer than overlooking the Serpentine in London’s largest Royal Park. Serving up a delicious range of food from their menu or on-site BBQ and a wide selection of cocktails, wines and beers on offer.

Kids
Family
Free

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Monday-Sunday
10am-6pm (last admission 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Revealing the beauty of the science and maths that shape our everyday lives, this unmissable experience will ignite your curiosity, fuel your imagination and inspire you to see the world around you in new and exciting ways.

Family fun at the Science Museum

Wednesday-Sunday
10am - 6pm
Science Museum
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Rediscover some amazing galleries and more. Whether you're a space enthusiast or a codebreaking expert, choose a family trail to guide you around our inspiring free galleries this summer. You can also explore their programme of free family activities including storytelling sessions and interactive shows.

Kids
Family

Chelsea History Festival

17-26 September 2021
Various Times
Chelsea History Festival
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Chelsea History Festival is taking place 17 - 26 September 2021 and there's plenty for all the family! They have a variety of events to inspire budding young authors and their new ‘Street through Time’, where you can journey through 2000 years of London history and clash blades at Sword School.

Free

Go Jauntly around South Ken

Download the free app
Discover South Kensington
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Discover South Ken has teamed up with Go Jauntly to produce a fun walk around South Kensington. Download the free app and explore the area as it comes alive with new installations and a green trail for visitors.