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46 sensational things to do in London this weekend

Sonya Barber

Guzzle on cider, beer and other tasty beverages at booze-fuelled markets and pop-ups, watch cute pooches strut their stuff through Hyde Park at a charity fundraiser, or celebrate the life of Frida Kahlo at a spectacular outdoor performance during the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival. Here are the things that should be on your radar this weekend.

Things to do 

Play at Wellcome Collection, Euston, TONIGHT, free. Designers, scientists and playful members of the public can choose to go head to head or work together at Wellcome Collection's July Friday late spectacular. After the museum closes for the day experts in the culture, science and history of games will gather to discuss what play means to them and to showcase their latest creations. 

Bermondsey Carnival, Southwark Park, Sat, free. There's a whole heap of family-friendly entertainment to enjoy at Bermondsey Carnival, but its focus is the music line-up. Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel will headline, and other acts on the schedule include the Bermondsey Voices choir, blues band Nine Below Zero and Cameroonian musician Jo N'gala.

Big Sleep Out, secret London location, Sat, free. This fundraiser for Street Child asks participants to spend a night on the street to help them to provide aid for orphans in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Hyde Bark, Hyde Park, Sun, free. Put your pooch through its paces at this day of fun for families and their four-legged friends. Dogs are clearly the main event at this fundraiser for The Mayhew Animal Home. 

The Very Big and Amiable Summer Picnic, Regent's Park Tube Station, Sun, free. Join cheerful meet-up society The Lutrinians for a picnic in the park to share food, drink and games with friendly new faces. The event is free but the organisers will ask for a small donation which will be given to Action Village India.

The Beach at JW3, West Hampstead, Sun, free. Those who like to be beside the seaside can feel the sand between their toes in JW3's piazza this summer. The area will become a mecca for all the best bits of summer – deckchairs, paddling pools, mojitos, barbecued food and plenty of sand to play in.

Global Streets, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, all weekend, free. Global Streets sees three immersive events burst into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, providing entertainment for visitors of all ages during the Greenwich + Docklands International Festival.

Strawberries and Screen, Cubitt Square, all weekend, free. Tennis fans who haven't got the willpower to queue for Murray Mound should pack a picnic and head to King's Cross for these free outdoor screenings of Wimbledon 2015.

Children’s Commission: Rivane Neuenschwander, Whitechapel Gallery, all weekend, free. This year's children's commission was created by Brazilian artist Rivane Neuenschwander, who decided to explore childhood fears. The work, titled 'The Name of Fear', is a collection of fabric capes which are translated from London children's drawings of what scares them.

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

Hackney Drinks Market

Eating and drinking

Beer Hive London 4th of July Party, Arch 283, Brixton, Sat, free. For a very beery Independence Day, Brixton is the place to be. The Beer Hive, London's first co-operative brewery, will showcase a range craft lagers from its current residents including Smoked Chili Hell Yeah and COWGIRL IPA, inspired by America and created by Clarkshaws Brewery specially for July 4th.

Ciderdog, Sebright Arms, Sat, free. Those fond of an apple-based brew will be happier than a pig in a field full of windfalls at Ciderdog, a two-part festival serving more than 40 British ciders (and an awful lot of real ales, too). 

Hackney Drinks Market, Hackney Downs Studios, Sat, free. This monthly gathering of London producers is a more liquid sister to the Dalston Food Market, so if your passion is for things that come in bottles you'll be in thirst-quenching heaven. 

Neave's Pop Down Bar, Ely's Yard, all weekend, free. Monkey Shoulder malt whisky has created Neave's Pop Down Bar. Here the doormen have been trained in 'public manner' etiquette so should be more jovial than the usual surly bunch. The team will aim to get you in as fast as possible but if you do find yourself with a bit of a wait then it might be worth your while; those waiting in line will be treated to cocktail tasters and be given 'mates rates' tokens to use at the bar. 

Oink: Swine Dining, all weekend, Crisis Café, £25. Bacon-lovers, get ready to go to piggy food heaven. Oink is a new foodie pop-up with a completely pork-themed menu. Expect pork in all its forms including ribs, pulled pork, crackling and even a bacon salt-infused bloody mary.

Waterloo Food Festival, various venues in SE1, all weekend, from free. The Waterloo area is packed with restaurants, pubs, cafés, bars and specialist food shops and they've collaborated to stage The Waterloo Food Festival: a month of exclusive events, tastings and demonstrations.

…or check out the latest restaurant reviews.





Friday Night Freaks, Udderbelly, TONIGHT, £15.50, £14 concs, £20.50 Sirloin seats. Weirdos of London, unite! This late-night showcase of the most twisted, rude, shocking and just downright bizarre comedy and cabaret acts in town is back, for a sixth year.

Katherine Ryan – Glam Role Model, Bloomsbury Theatre, TONIGHT, £14.50. Ryan's had a phenomenally successful couple of years, popping up regularly on the telly, from 'Mock the Week' to 'QI', '8 Out of 10 Cats' to 'Live at the Apollo'. Her latest solo show explores the murky world of glamour modelling.

ARGComFest – An Actually Rather Good Comedy Festival, Shoreditch Town Hall, Sat-Sun, Weekend ticket £34-£40, day tickets £19-25. Two days. One venue. A shit-ton of Edinburgh Fringe previews. Yep, you can hit yourself up with an intense dose of stand-up at ARGComFest, which crams dozens of hour-long work-in-progress shows from top comics into one weekend.

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





Live music

The Jesus And Mary Chain, Roundhouse, Sat, £27.50. The founding fathers of fuzz-pop return to the London stage to play a special show as part of Mogwai’s twentieth anniversary series at the Roundhouse. 

Calling Festival, Clapham Common, Sat, £57.50. Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds headline the Clapham Common rock fest. 

Wireless, Finsbury Park, all weekend, £62.50-£69.50. Drake, Avicii, David Guetta, Nicki Minaj and many more hit Finsbury Park. 

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





Flamingo Pier, Counter Café, all  TONIGHT, £10-£12. Soak up some sublime South Indian vibes at the latest Flamingo Pier, as the crew explore Kerala. As well as the usual treats and beats, there'll be South Indian street food from Horn OK Please, slushy cocktails, plus spiced rum Keralan cocktails with...

Coffin Dodgers Disco, The Phoenix, TONIGHT, £7 adv. Let's get reeeeeady to… er, grumble? Old timers Don and Reg have had enough of those fresh-faced youngsters clogging up dancefloors all over the capital, they're making some space for the golden oldies in the heart of city.

Silent Disco at The View from The Shard, Southwark, Sat, £37.50. The silent disco phenomenon reaches new heights at these exclusive Time Out events. Pick your channel and choose your side as three DJs battle it out over separate wireless channels, playing the best in pop, rock and party classics, while you dance the night away at 1,000ft. 

Kitsuné Club Night, Dalston Roof Park, Sat, £20. The funky French label joins forces with the Magic and Medicine Party, and moves its operations up to Dalston Roof Park for a tropical-tinged day and night showcase. Soaking up the sun and spinning the goods will be Just Kiddin, Kartell and Jerry Bouthier...

Alfresco All-Dayer, Shapes, Olympic Park, Sat, £20 adv, £15. An all-day party at a Hackney Wick warehouse and outside terrace space, featuring top DJs spinning house and disco. 

Turntables, 119 Wallis Rd, all weekend, free. A pop-up party on a canalside Hackney Wick terrace, with DJs, street food vendors and cocktails. 


 …or see all the parties planned this weekend.






London on Film: 'Night and the City', BFI Southbank, TONIGHT, £8.35–£11.75. The BFI’s big summer season explores the capital on screen. This is a wonderfully bizarre film noir with Richard Widmark as a small time nightclub tout trying to hustle his way into the wrestling rackets, but finding himself the object of a murderous manhunt when his cons catch up with him.

East End Film Festival: 'Welcome to Leith', Hackney Picturehouse, TONIGHT, £11.60, £10.60 concs. The name may suggest extreme hipsterdom or movies shot entirely in rhyming slang, but the East End Film Festival is now the second-biggest annual cinema event in the capital, with 12 days of premieres, talks, short films, gigs, workshops and parties.

Independence Day, Prince Charles Cinema, Sat, £11, £8.50 concs. It’s July 4 – time to kick the tyres, light the fires and kick some alien ass. In this goonish sci-fi classic, massive metal spaceships loom over the cities of the world.

Athens Now!, Whitechapel Gallery, Sat, from £9.50. A symposium of radical film from contemporary Greece responding to the humanitarian crisis experienced by the people of Greece for the past seven years.

‘Loves of a Blonde’ + ‘Closely Observed Trains’, Regent Street Cinema, Sun, £11, £10 concs. A glorious double bill of mid-’60s Czech New Wave wonders. 

Or at the cinema...

Amy ★★★★☆ Asif Kapadia's documentary about the tragic singer is a tearjerker. Take tissues.

Magic Mike XXL ★★★☆☆ Channing Tatum’s male-stripper movie franchise still has some magic.

…or see all of the latest releases.





The Four Fridas, Royal Artillery Barracks, Fri-Sat, free- £15. The lead show of this year's Greenwich and Docklands International Festival is this grand theatre spectacle inspired by the life and work of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Directed by Bradley Hemmings, who co-directed the Paralympic Opening Ceremony in 2012, the show will be an outdoor celebration featuring contemporary dance, music, aerial choreography and video projections on a giant 'flying canvas'. 

The Trial, Young Vic, Fri-Sat, £10-£35. Rory Kinnear offers a masterclass in modern guilt in this challenging Kafka adaptation. 

Measure for Measure, Shakespeare's Globe, all weekend, £5-£43. As the clock ticks down on his final year as the Globe’s artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole puts flesh on the bones of one of Shakespeare’s most philosophically dense plays in a production that gives us light as well as shade.

Bromance, Udderbelly, all weekend, £15.50-£17.50, £14-£16 concs. Barely Methodical Troupe's macho circus show is much fun.

…or see our theatre critics’ choices.




This week's best new art

John Waters: Beverly Hills John, Sprüth Magers, Fri-Sat, free. The king of celluloid perversion presents witty yet reflective takes on false glamour, childhood fame and his sexual attractions for his first London solo show.

Joseph Cornell: Wanderlust, Royal Academy of Arts, Sat-Sun, £11.50, £8-£10.50 concs. For a man who never really left his home in Queens, New York, Joseph Cornell conjured a sense of adventure and discovery in his brilliantly intricate shadow boxes. 

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon, National Portrait Gallery, all weekend, £9, £7.50 concs. This summer the National Portrait Gallery celebrate the British actress and humanitarian worker with an exhibition of exquisite and rarely seen photographs. 

Brown’s London Art Weekend, various London locations, all weekend, prices vary. More than 100 galleries in Mayfair and St James’s will be open over the weekend (11am–5pm), including Sunday. Designers Paul Smith and Nicole Farhi are among the stars to devise art walks of the area (details are on the website).

Out Of Chaos, Cultural Institute at King's, all weekend, free. Ben Uri Gallery and Museum celebrates its centenary in London with an off-site show 'Out of Chaos – Ben Uri: 100 Years in London' of works by mainly Jewish émigré artists such as Jacob Epstein and Leon Kossoff.

…or see all London art reviews.

And finally

Win... an iPhone6 and Apple Watch or a weekend in Copenhagen including a guided Nordic Noir tour

Grab... up to 56% off tickets to ZSL London Zoo's Sunset Safari - from £10!

Book... these gigs while you still can

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