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21 fantastic things to do in London this weekend

Alexandra Sims

This weekend, get in touch with your inner-kidult by playing on giant swings in the Tate Modern's Turbine Hall, explore Dulwich Picture Gallery after hours at a tasty late and live out all your weird and wonderful 'Twin Peaks' fantasies at a festival dedicated to David Lynch's brilliantly bizarre series. Have a good one!


 Too Young for What? Barbican Centre. Sat. Free. Get free entry to John Akomfrah’s installation 'Purple', take part in a drop-in zine making workshop and become part of a giant collage art project at this free day of art and activities celebrating Jean-Michel Basquiat and the Barbican’s exhibition ‘Basquiat: Boom for Real’. 

The Festival of Radical Fun. Museum of London. Sat. Free. There’s a jam-packed programme of workshops and performances to get stuck into at this takeover for 12 hours of ‘DIY radicalism’. Practise self-care with gal-dem, hear a DJ set from the editor of The Quietus and dance the night away at ‘Restart Party’.

China Changing Festival. Southbank Centre. Sat. Prices vary. See ‘China’s Oprah Winfrey’, Hung Huang, in conversation, watch the myth of Mu-Lan told through wu-shu martial arts and loads more at this festival celebrating modern Chinese artists and their inspiring work.

‘Superflex: One, Two, Three, Swing!’ Tate Modern. Ongoing. Free. A Danish art trio have gone and put 30 sets of three-person swings throughout the gallery’s Turbine Hall, spilling out through the new building and into the rear courtyard. Head on down and unleash your inner-kidult.

National Theatre Posters. National Theatre. Ongoing. Free. Since it was founded in the ’70s, the National Theatre has put on epic productions accompanied by equally wonderful posters. See this remarkable collection of NT poster designs from the ‘70s until the present day.  

Store. 180 Strand. Ongoing. Free. The Vinyl Factory is putting on some rather wonderful things in this former office building, now gallery. See a screening of Arthur Jafa’s ‘Love is the Message, the Message is Death’ and an immersive installation by the fantastic Ryoji Ikeda.


Twin Peaks Festival. Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre. Sat-Sun. Join this giddy, immersive two-day celebration of all things ‘Peaks’. Watch a huge range of festival screenings while stuffing your face with complimentary doughnuts, cherry pie and coffee. You get to meet actual real-life cast members too. 

Handmade in Highgate. Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution. Fri-Sun. Free. Buy original crafts at this design and makers fair held in Highgate’s stunning institute. Get one-off goods from the UK’s best designers and snoop around the building – usually closed to visitors.

Frieze London. Regent’s Park. Until Sun. £35-£38. Get your fill of world-class art by seeing work from the biggest and best galleries and artists all under one roof. It’s art fair season at the moment in London, but if you only make it to one, this is the ticket.

Tank Party. Camden Town Brewery. Sat. Free. Camden Town’s famous brewery is throwing its fifth annual Tank Party at its Kentish Town HQ. Their Camden Hells Lager will flow unfiltered from their 60 hectolitre tank and there’ll be burgers, music and design workshops too.



The Pancake and Booze Art Show. Studio Spaces E1. Fri. £5. Join this batter-and-booze-filled party with body painting, live music, walls heaving under art and all-you-can-eat pancakes. Cripes (or should that be 'Crepes!').

E17 Designers Market. Waltham Forest Community Hub. Sun. Free. A whole mix of makers will be selling their wares at the autumn edition of this designers’ market. Browse everything from handmade clothes and soft furnishings to prints and stationary.

Turning Earth Ceramic Market. Turning Earth Hoxton. Sat-Sun. Free. This Hoxton archway studio will be bustling this weekend as 60 ceramicists and potters fill it up with one-off pieces for you to buy. The studio will be raising money for the Hackneys Migrant Centre over the weekend and there’ll also be food and drink to snack inbetween purchases.



Peckham Salvage Yard. Copeland Gallery. Sat-Sun. Free. Get those busy hands on vintage threads, cool ceramics, atomic era electricals and antique luggage at this south London fair from the good people behind Hackney Flea Market. 

Lambeth Open. Various venues in Lambeth. Sat – Sun. Free. Have a snoop around the homes, workshops and studios of Lambeth’s most creative inhabitants. Venues all over the Borough will be open to the public in order to showcase the many arts and crafts that are produced under locals' noses. Look online for a map of all the places you can venture in to.

Gallery Lates: Feast. Dulwich Picture Gallery. Fri. £5-£12. Feast your eyes, ears and nose on this multi-sensory evening, and discover how Dulwich Picture Gallery’s collections relate to food. Make your own work of art with edible paints, and dive into a 'The Candy Floss Cloud'.

Pegasus Opera. Brixton Library. Sat. Free. Mark Black History Month by seeing inclusive south London arts company Pegasus celebrate the black presence in Opera through a mix of performances about African American poet Paul Lawrence Dunbar and Margret Garner.



We Love Cheese. Dickens Yard. Sun. Free. A humungous cheese fest is taking over Ealing. Dairy lovers can drool over melted cheese, hard cheese and soft cheese from traders hailing from around the world, who’ll be entering their best slices for the W5 Cheese Cup.

Festival of Films. Royal Albert Hall. Sun. £15-£25. See the many sides of iconic actress Marilyn Monroe in this rare screening of the 1952 film noir ‘Clash By Night’, showing a lesser known side to the platinum-haired figure and hear a post-film discussion about Monroe led by Mia Bays. Follow it up with a screening of ‘Some Like it Hot’ if some laughs are in order.

The Drums. 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Sat. £22. The New York post-punky outfit are back with plenty of the kind of bouncy, new wave-indebted tunes that made them so darn buzzy back in 2010.

Illuminating India. Science Museum. Ongoing. Free. This is a fascinating look at India’s influence on science and maths. See the earliest example of the ‘zero’ symbol in ancient Bakhshali manuscript and rich monochrome Indian photography dating back to 1857.

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