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Summer in South Ken

This summer there is lots to do in South Kensington if you are looking for a great day out - from boating on the Serpentine, visiting some of South Ken's brand new exhibitions, enjoying a big-screen experience at the Science Museum's IMAX cinema and so much more...

Summer Family Festival: Build!

3rd August
11am - 4pm
V&A South Kensington
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Celebrate the vibrant spirit of the Tropical Modernism exhibition, architecture and illustration. Dive into a day filled with immersive workshops, hands-on activities, and captivating performances.

Yayoi Kusama: Pumpkin

9th July - 3rd Nov
All day
Serpentine
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Serpentine and The Royal Parks are hosting a new large-scale sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Since 1946 Kusama’s pumpkins have taken many forms, colours and shapes, but they are always covered in the artist’s signature polka dot pattern. Located by the Round Pond in Kensington Garden.

Serpentine Pavilion 2024

7th June - 27th Oct
Serpentine
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Seoul-based Korean architect Minsuk Cho and his firm Mass Studies have been selected to design the 23rd Pavilion which opens at Serpentine South on 7 June.

The River

26th July - 26th Jan 2025
10am - 4.30pm
Natural History Museum
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Opening Soon! This new sound installation by artist Jana Winderen in collaboration with sound specialist Tony Myatt explores the watery depths of the River Thames. It features captivating recordings from an underwater habitat that’s often inaccessible to our ears.

Image credit: 1959 Barbie No. 1 © Mattel, Inc.

Barbie: The exhibition

5th July - 23rd Feb 2025
10am - 5pm
Design Museum
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A major exhibition exploring the design evolution of one of the world’s most famous dolls: Barbie®. Journey into the Barbie universe and discover over 250 remarkable objects, with rare, unique and innovative dolls dating from 1959 to the present day.

BBC Proms 2024

19 July - 14 Sept
Various Times
Royal Albert Hall
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See your favourite classical standards, a wealth of special guests, contemporary concerts including Florence and the Machine, Sam Smith, and the return of the CBeebies Prom, and much more!

Boating on the Serpentine

Daily except Nov- March (Wed - Sun)
From 10am (closing times vary)
Hyde Park
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Head to the Serpentine Bar & Kitchen to hire a boat over the summer. Recognised as one of the most famous boating spots in London, Hyde Park is the perfect place to take in the scenery, enjoy an ice cream and float down the Serpentine in the middle of the park.

Footways - exploring London on foot

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

Yinka Shonibare CBE: Suspended States

12th April - 1st Sept
10am - 6pm
Serpentine
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Suspended States is the artist’s first London solo exhibition in over 20 years. It showcases new works, interrogating how systems of power affect sites of refuge, debates on public statues, the ecological impact of colonialisation and the legacy of imperialism on conflict and consequential attempts at peace.

Taylor Swift | Songbook Trail

Opens 27th July
All day
V&A South Kensington
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Explore a free trail across the museum celebrating Taylor Swift, with a range of her iconic looks on display. The costumes will sit alongside instruments, music awards, storyboards and previously unseen archival which will explore her childhood and recording legacy, many on display for the first time.

Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre

24th May - 5th Jan
10am - 5.50pm
Natural History Museum
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Birds: Brilliant and Bizarre explores the world of birds like never before. From surviving the mass extinction that wiped out all the other dinosaurs to their remarkable evolution into more than 11,000 species.

IMAX: The Ronson Theatre

Daily
Varies
Science Museum
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Experience this fully immersive IMAX, on one of the biggest cinema screens in the UK. With an IMAX laser 4k projector and an IMAX 70mm film projector, this experience is great for all cinema lovers. Regularly showing are scientific documentaries and the latest blockbuster releases.

Natural History Museum Gardens Opening Soon!

Daily
10am - 5.50pm
Natural History Museum
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It's official on July 18th will unveil its new gardens! Discover a haven for wildlife sights and sounds this summer season.

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.

Design Discoveries: Towards a DESIGN MUSEUM JAPAN

15th May – 8th Sept
10am - 8pm
Japan House London
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This free exhibition sees seven major Japanese designers, from filmmakers to architects, consider what they would select for a permanent design collection in Japan. Displays range from Jōmon pottery to sportswear, musical instruments to festivals, together with their story.

Pavilion Family Day

21st July
11am - 3pm
Serpentine
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Enjoy a free drop-in event with storytelling under the trees and discover hands-on activities and creative workshops throughout the day. All families are invited to bring a picnic to enjoy on the Serpentine Lawn.

Places to Eat

Daily
Varies
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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!

Power Up

10am - 5.30pm
Science Museum
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Immerse yourself in this hands-on gaming zone, featuring the very best video games and consoles from the past 50 years. From Pong to Pacman and Minecraft to Mario, there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a retro games fan, a serious gamer or just want to beat your family at Mario Kart.

Day Promming at the BBC Proms

19 July - 14 Sept
Various Times
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 £8! Promming tickets will be available online only at 10.30am on for most performances on the day of the event, with some exceptions.

Enzo Mari

29th March - 8th Sept
10am - 5pm
Design Museum
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Celebrate the life and work of one of the greatest Italian designers of the 20th century, Enzo Mari, in this major exhibition. Explore the exhibition with The Fable Family Trail featuring activities for children and young people.

Judy Chicago: Revelations

23rd May - 1st Sept
10am - 6pm
Serpentine
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This exhibition is the artist’s largest solo presentation in a London institution. It focuses on drawing – a medium Chicago has explored for over six decades and traces the arc of the artist’s career, bringing together archival and never-before-seen artworks.

Image credit: Versace dress El Mirage, © Herb Ritts Foundation.

Fragile Beauty: Photographs from the Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection

On until 5th Jan 2025
10am - 5.45pm
V&A South Kensington
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An unparalleled selection of the world's leading photographers, telling the story of modern and contemporary photography. Discover iconic images across subjects such as fashion, celebrity, reportage and the male body.

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.