the home of science, arts and inspiration

Summer in South Ken

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, seeing the colourful Kaleidoscopic Minds installation stretching along Exhibition Road, 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...

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.

Africa Fashion

From Sat 2 July 2022
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am – 10pm
V&A
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The V&A is staging its first Africa Fashion exhibition, which will be as eclectic and varied, diverse and dynamic as its people. It will tell a story of fashion as a self-defining art form; a kind of movement culture that goes beyond individual garments to encompass attitude, gesture, style.

BBC Proms 2022

Fri 15 July - Sat 10 September 2022
Times vary
Royal Albert Hall
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This year’s eight-week celebration features 84 concerts, with 73 of these taking place in the Royal Albert Hall's spectacular auditorium. The season features large-scale repertoire not heard at the festival since 2019, plus the return of international orchestras.

Wonderlab: The Equinor Gallery

Daily
10am-6pm (last entry 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.

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.

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.

Life through a Royal Lens

Til Sun 30 October 2022
Mon-Sun 10am-5pm
Kensington Palace
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Life Through a Royal Lens explores the Royal Family through photography and brings together some of the most iconic images ever taken of the Royal Family to Kensington Palace.

Beatrix Potter: Drawn to Nature

On til 8 Jan 2023
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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Book ahead to see the life and work of one of the best-loved children's authors of the 20th century. Featuring original drawings, watercolours, and manuscripts that inspired some of Potter's most beloved characters. Kids go free.

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.

Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear

Til Sun 6 November 2022
Daily: 10am-5:45pm - Friday: 10am–10pm
V&A
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At a moment of unprecedented creativity in men's fashion and reflection on gender, we will explore how designers, tailors and artists – and their clients and sitters – have constructed and performed masculinity, and unpicked it at the seams.

Image credit: El Clasico at Camp Nou by Chitra Gulabrani

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game

On til 29 August 2022
Sun-Thur 10am-6pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Fanatic supporter or part-time punter, discover the incredible design stories behind the beautiful game. Discover how design has pushed the game to its technical and emotional limits while exploring the incredible cultural plurality at its heart.

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.

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.

Platinum Jubilee Blooms

1 June - Sept 2022
Kensington Palace
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Kensington Palace is joining in the Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer with a vibrant, colourful display of flowers and patterns in the palace gardens.

Our Broken Planet

Until 29 Aug
Mon-Sun 10am-5:50pm (last entry 5pm)
Natural History Museum
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Last chance to see this free display exploring 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.

Boating on the Serpentine

April-31st Oct
12pm- 8pm (July & Aug), 7pm (Sept)
Hyde Park
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Head to the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen to hire a boat on the Serpentine Lake over the summer for either 30 or 60 minutes. Take advantage of the stunning views over the Serpentine from the popular terrace area of the restaurant and make a day out of your trip.

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.

Mystery at the Museum: The Search for Dippy

29 June, 19 July, 16 Aug
6.45 - 10.30 pm
Natural History Museum
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Looking for a new and exciting experience this summer? With just one hour on the clock, Mystery at the Museum will have you scouring the galleries after hours, seeking out hidden clues and interrogating suspects in order to solve this mystifying case in this escape room-like game. .

The Italian Gardens

Daily
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.

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.

Day Promming at the BBC Proms

15 July - 10 Sept
Varies
Royal Albert Hall
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Promming is an essential part of the character of the BBC Proms and a great British tradition and allows you to enjoy world-class performances for just £7.12! Promming tickets will be available online only at 10.30am on for most performances on the day of the event, with some exceptions.

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.

Behind the Scenes Tour: Spirits Collection

Daily
11am, 3pm
Natural History Museum
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Go behind the scenes withthe science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit. Explore some of the Darwin Centre's 27 kilometres of shelves, you'll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.

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.

Park Nights 2022

24th June - 13th Oct
8pm
Serpentine
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Each year, Park Nights presents a series of new performance commissions conceived in response to the Serpentine's annual architectural commission, the Serpentine Pavilion which offers audiences unique ways to experience architecture and performance.

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.

Footways - exploring London on foot

Online Map
Footways
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Why not plan your visit to South Ken using the new Footways walking map available at railway stations and also online. You can plan your route away from the busy roads and discover a quiet and alternative side to London.

IMAX: The Ronson Theatre

Daily
Varies
Science Museum
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Book your ticket to watch this fully immersive IMAX experience on one of the biggest screens in the UK. Experience the very best of digital and analogue cinema on one screen with Antarctica, A Beautiful Planet and Hubble all in 3D.

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.

Princess Diana Memorial walk

Daily
Hyde Park
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The Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk takes visitors through four of the most beautiful parks in the world, including Hyde Park and Kensington Palace.

Earth Photo 2022

17 June - 26 Aug
10am - 5pm (Mon - Fri)
Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)
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Visit the Society’s Pavilion to see a stunning selection of Earth Photo shortlisted images, from the international competition which includes categories for People, Place, Nature, Changing forests and a Climate of change.

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.

Places to Eat

Daily
Varies
Various
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If you are planning a day out in South Kensington, there are lots of delicious places to eat or enjoy a drink both inside and outside depending on the weather. From cafes, bars, afternoon tea to indoor picnic areas - there is plenty of choice!

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.

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.

Serpentine Lido

Mid-May to mid-Sept
10am-6pm
The Royal Parks
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The Serpentine Lido is, arguably, London's most iconic 'open water' swimming location. The Lido is open for public swimming on weekends from mid-May, and every day between June and Mid-September.

Kensington Gardens

Daily
Open from 6am
Kensington Gardens
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Formal avenues, magnificent trees, ornamental flower beds, and wildflower meadows outside Kensington Palace make this a stunning end to our trail as well as home to the Princess Diana Playground, the Italian Water Gardens and the Albert Memorial.

V&A tours are back

Dates & times vary
V&A
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Discover the work of the V&A's conservation studios, or join a guided tour through their unique galleries. Members can also explore hidden places and historical sites in and around London, often inaccessible to the public.

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.

Asteroid Hunters 3D (U)

Dates & times vary
Science Museum
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Narrated by Daisy Ridley, Asteroid Hunters 3D ventures into deep space for a fascinating look at asteroids, their cosmic origins and the potential threat they pose to our world.

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.

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.

Children & Families at the Royal Albert Hall

Dates and times vary
Royal Albert Hall
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Enjoy a wide range of shows and events for children and families to get involved in, which all promise an unforgettable day out. From storytelling for babies and toddlers to interactive concerts featuring Albert’s Band.

Classical for Kids - Tuneful Trios

20th Aug
11am & 1.30pm
Royal Albert Hall
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Classical for Kids offers the opportunity for families to attend a chamber concert performed by the professional musicians from the Hall’s very own Albert’s Band. This concert is recommended for ages 4-11 but babies and budding musicians of all ages are welcome!

How vaccines can help cure cancer

17 Aug
7.30 - 8.45pm
Science Museum
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How can vaccines help to prevent and even reverse the effects of cancer? Join a panel discussion that will examine cancer immunology and how advances in vaccine technology are taking on cancer like never before.

Body Adornment Workshop

18 Aug
11am - 3.30pm
V&A
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Make your own wearable creations using a wide range of materials and design techniques. Embellish your own creation with memories and stories as Artist Anita Quansah demonstrates and shares her diverse creative skills in exploring the past and the present

Artist Walking Tours with K&C Festival

Weekly on Sun & Thur til end Aug
11am - 12.30pm
Leighton House and Sambourne House Museum
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This summer and as part of the Kensington and Chelsea Festival, join a free guided walk 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.

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.

Wildlife Garden Explorers

1 April - 31 Oct
11am - 5pm
Natural History Museum
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Go on a small safari with a handy guide to the minibeasts that live in the Wildlife Garden and their habitats. Then, complete the NHM's leaf bingo by spotting fabulous foliage in the Museum's outdoor space. There's an incredible variety and volume of life in the garden just waiting to be discovered.

Weird Sensation Feels Good

Til 16 October 2022
Sun-Thurs 10am-6pm - Fri-Sat 10am-9pm
Design Museum Kensington
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Have you ever heard a sound that has brought you a sense of calm? Or even made your skin tingle? Step into an acoustically tuned world of ASMR and explore the emerging field of creativity that is shaped and shared by a novel online community.

KCAW Art Trail

On until 31 Aug
Kensington & Chelsea
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Kensington + Chelsea Art Week presents its fifth annual Public Art Trail. with vibrant and immersive public art, free for all to enjoy for the duration of the summer. Featuring world-class sculpture, installations and exhibits throughout the borough including Kaleidoscopic Minds on Exhibition Road by local artist, Azarra Amoy.

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.

The Sunken Garden

Wed - Sun
9.30-17.45
Kensington Palace
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The beautiful Sunken Garden was planted in 1908, transforming part of the gardens previously occupied by potting sheds into a tranquil ornamental garden. Today, the garden continues the tradition of rotational flower displays in the spring and summer.

Space Descent Virtual Reality with Tim Peake

Daily
10am-6pm (last entry 5:15pm)
Science Museum
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Tim Peake is your guide for an out-of-this-world virtual reality mission that puts you in the pilot’s seat of a Soyuz capsule. As the European Space Agency’s first British astronaut, Tim Peake spent six incredible months aboard the International Space Station.

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.

Royal Albert Hall Tours

Most days of the year
Royal Albert Hall
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Take a peek inside London's most iconic music venue. Did you know that the Royal Albert Hall once hosted a séance; flooded the auditorium with 56,000 litres of water for an opera concert; and that criminals, as well as musicians and politicians, have graced the Hall’s stage?