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41 frightfully fun things to do in London this weekend

By Stephanie Hartman

Halloween weekend is upon us and it's set to be a total treat! Tons of fear-fuelled events are happening across town including ghost walks, Harry Potter comedy nights, 'The Craft' themed club nights and Day of the Dead feasts. Have yourself a killer time with our suggestions below!

Things to do 

Day of the Dead Late, British Museum, TONIGHT, free. This celebration of the spooky Mexican festival will see the British Museum filled with music, performances and displays for one evening only as it stays open until 9.30pm. 

Halloween In The Sky, Sky Garden, TONIGHT, £20. Take your Halloween celebrations to new heights at this all night party held 35 floors above London. The Sky Garden will be transformed into a deadly disco with live music from The Soul Jets kicking off the evening and DJs spinning tracks into the witching hour.

Chills in the Chapel, Union Chapel, Fri-Sat, £20, £15 mems; £18/£12 early bird. Following a sold out event last year the Union Chapel will be screening classic slasher horrors for two nights in 2015 – 'Escape from New York' on Oct 30 and a medley of the 'Halloween' series on Oct 31.

Regent Street Motor Show, Regent Street, Sat, free. Regent Street's sweep from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus will be packed with stationary cars on October 31, but in a good way. The UK's largest free-entry motoring extravaganza will see it filled bumper to bumper with hundreds of vehicles of all ages and abilities.

Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens Fire Festival, Vauxhall, Sat, free. A Halloween spectacular is in store for south London once more as the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens are turned into Asgaard, home of the Norse Gods.

The Halloween of Crossbones, The Table, Sat, £10 adv. The Halloween of Crossbones was first performed in 1998 and honours those buried in the Crossbones Graveyard. John Constable and Nigel of Bermondsey perform poems and songs before a procession sets out to the gates of the graveyard where a candlelit ceremony and reading of the Names of the Dead takes place.

Sinister Smithfield Halloween Walk, various, Sat, £8, £3 children + booking fee. Spooky goings-on in the City and the Square Mile's gruesome history are the subject of this Halloween walk. With stories of body snatchers, public executions and ghosts, this is not for the very young but older children are welcome.

London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, Hyde Park, Sun, free. This annual event began in 1896 when the law requiring motorists to have a man bearing a red flag preceding their cars was abolished. Car owners celebrated by destroying their flags and setting off for Brighton in the 'Emancipation Run'.

Oxford Street Christmas Lights, Soho, Sun, free. Those sparkly, glowing orbs are back for a third year. The Oxford Street Christmas lights switch-on will see 1778 snowball-like decorations (and their 750,000 LED lightbulbs) lit up once again for what is the fifty-sixth year the road has been decorated for the festive period.

RHS Secret Garden Sundays, RHS Lindley Hall, Sun, £5; free for RHS members. The RHS hosts these ever-changing open days in celebration of gardening, plants and growing your own. The exhibitors change each month but the event always features a mix of florists, beekeepers, and local, independent and artisan food producers.

Egypt: Faith After the Pharaohs, British Museum, all weekend, £10, £8 concs. This exhibition delves into a whopping 1,200 years of Egyptian history, spanning the transition to a primarily Christian population and then onto a majority Muslim population, with Jewish communities periodically thriving throughout.

…or check out more events happening in London this weekend.






Eating and drinking

London Restaurant Festival, various, Fri-Sat. This festival is a real treat for London's food-obsessed, offering special dishes, affordable menus, special events and restaurant tours which allow the very hungry to eat their way around six restaurants in one day.

El Patron’s Day of The Dead, El Patron, Sat. A devilish menu will be gracing the tables of Mexican restaurant El Patron this Halloween with a bespoke selection of dishes that require diners to have their wits about them.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.


Richard Gadd






Richard Gadd: Waiting for Gaddot, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £15, £12.50 concs. Undoubtedly the buzziest comedy show from this year's Edinburgh Fringe. Richard Gadd's 'Waiting for Gaddot' had people queuing for hours hoping to nab one of the few pay-what-you-want seats.

Liam Williams: Bonfire Night, Soho Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£17.50. The Edinburgh-nominated stand-up returns with another thought-provoking show full of smart jokes.

Harry Potter and the In-Appropriate Halloween (An Unofficial Sequel), Leicester Square Theatre, Sat, £12.50. Forget the official, West End Potter saga. After a couple of experimental nights at the Camden Comedy Club, this (unofficial – we repeat: unofficial) Harry Potter comedy gig goes all-out for Halloween.

…or check out all the critics’ choice comedy shows.






Live music

Three Trapped Tigers, The Dome, TONIGHT, £16. Loud headlining trio TTT bring their twisted, shifting time signatures and wobbling, electro-assisted 'death-improv' back to London as part of the Illuminations festival. 

Beach House, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, Fri-Sat, £22. The acclaimed dream-pop duo from Baltimore are back in the saddle, riding into town for a preview of their next album ‘Depression Cherry’ – their second LP since 2010’s ‘Teen Dream’ made them major indie players.

Patti Smith, Roundhouse, Fri-Sat, £40. We’re confident that these two ‘Horses’ gigs at the Roundhouse (site of a seminal Smith gig in 1976) will be super powerful and inspirational. If you didn’t see her in Victoria Park, don’t miss this.

Mirrors, various Hackney venues, Sat, £20. A cast of cool indie acts hit three venues in Hackney for this new festival on Halloween. The chance to see the ever-impressive Nadine Shah in a church is a highlight, as is a rare show by LA R&B duo Rhye and a set by Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore.

Sound Unbound, Barbican Centre, all weekend, £25 day ticket, £40 weekend pass. Never has such a wealth of classical talent been assembled in such a concentrated event! The London Symphony Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia and so many more will taking over the Barbican all weekend. Perfect for classical aficionados and newbies alike.

…or take a look at all the live music events in London this weekend.







Fake Blood's Halloween Party, The Nest, TONIGHT, £5-£10. Everyone loves a bit of Fake Blood at Halloween, right? The moody tech-breaks don brings his dancefloor-filling skills to Dalston for a Halloween bash.

Krankbrother: The Apocalypse, Pulse, TONIGHT, £15. It's Halloween and the apocalypse is nigh. Bummer. But on the plus-side, Krankbrother are putting on a mighty Halloween bash to ensure that we all go out with a bang. Phew.

The End of the World Halloween Party, Electric Brixton, Sat, £20, £10-£16 adv. The Devil and his minions invading the earth, causing havoc and killing us all may sound like bad news. But take a leaf out of this crew's book and see it as an excuse for a bloody huge party.

We Are the Weirdos, Mister, Book Club, Sat, £5 adv, £7 on the door. Don your deadliest goth-rock outfit for this Halloween night inspired by cult flick 'The Craft'. A free screening of the 1996 classic will be shown at 6pm, along with a jewellery making session where guests can channel their inner Neve Campbell. As the witching hour crawls closer, a club night will kick in downstairs with sounds from the ’90s and ’00s.

White Mischief Heaven and Hell Halloween Ball, Scala, Sat, £24.99-£29.99. As big as vaudeville parties come, White Mischief returns to the former art nouveau cinema for a Halloween ball of epic and eerie proportions.

…or see all the parties planned this weekend.


Taxi Tehran



Classic Cinema Club: ‘A Matter of Life and Death’, Ealing Town Hall, TONIGHT, £7, £6 concs. Powell and Pressburger’s magnificent post-war film grew out of the Ministry of Information’s desire for a film celebrating British-American relations. 

The Best Worst Night of Your Life All-Nighter, Electric, Sat, £40. There are shedloads of Halloween movie pop-ups this weekend – you can find a thorough list of them right here. But one that initially slipped under our radar was this superb all-nighter at the Electric, kicking off with Hitchcock’s timeless 1960 game-changer ‘Psycho’ and climaxing in the wee hours with the original ‘Friday the 13th’.

‘Brazil’ & ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’, Regent Street Cinema, Sun, £11, £10 concs. A sterling double bill of very British lunacy, despite the fact that one-and-a-half of these films were made by an American.

Or at the cinema...

Taxi Tehran ★★★★★ The Iranian authorities have banned director Jafar Panahi from making films – but he keeps ignoring them.

Spectre ★★★☆☆ The 'Skyfall' team of director Sam Mendes and star Daniel Craig take James Bond for another spin, with messy but enjoyable results.

…or see all of the latest releases.


© Sue Kessler






RoosevElvis, Royal Court Theatre, Fri-Sat, £10-£25. This mad roadtrip takes one too many turns but with The TEAM driving there's still plenty to boggle at.

Carmen, Royal Opera House, Sat, £5-£100. Carlos Acosta gives a superb performance if middling choreography in his Royal Ballet swansong, 'Carmen'.

Orpheus, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Sat-Sun, £10-£62. The Royal Opera House returns to the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in an attempt to recapture the wonder that was last year's 'L'Ormindo'.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.






This week's best new art

Jeff Wall, Marian Goodman Gallery, Fri-Sat, free. Best known for his large-scale, backlit images, the acclaimed photographer presents a new body of work.

David Ben White: Inside Outside, l’étrangère, Fri-Sat, free. The British artist embraces modernist architecture in his paintings and sculptures. For his first show at l'étrangère, White will alter the gallery’s white cube space, transforming it into a constructed domestic interior.

Gravity: Universal & Cosmic Art, The Hospital Club, all weekend, £5-£12. Coinciding with the hundredth anniversary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, the Kinetica Museum in partnership with the Paris Centre for Cosmological Physics presents a four-day festival about innovative metaphysical concepts in art and science.

Caterina Silva, Bosse & Baum, all weekend, free. New paintings by the young Italian artist who recently completed a residency at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... a Disneyland Paris holiday for two or a two night stay at a boutique hotel with breakfast, dinner and champagne

Grab... exclusive tickets to the pop-up crazy golf experience at The Vaults

Book… these gigs while you still can

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