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London events in April

Own April with our selection of the very best events happening in London

© Ash Narod

April in London is when things really kick into gear. The city finally sees some warm weather, meaning that outdoor London comes alive and some brave souls take on the London Marathon. If that all sounds far too energetic, just become an enthusiastic spectator and get stuck into some chocolate Easter eggs and the first bank holiday weekend of the year. Here are our cultural highlights to keep you entertained throughout April.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our April 2017 highlights

International Pillow Fight Day

There are only a few rules at this worldwide fluffy mosh-pit: soft pillows only, don't hit anyone holding a camera, don't hit anyone without a pillow and no feathery pillows. In its early years, it took place in Trafalgar Square, but moved south to Kennington Park last year, where there's still ample room to swing your pillow case.

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Kennington Park , Kennington Saturday April 1 2017

Moomin Adventures at Kew Gardens

Created by Finnish artist Tove Jansson in the 1940s, these fictious Finnish creatures are known for being in touch with nature, and from April 1-17, they'll be hiding among the spring daffodils, crocuses and magnolias of Kew for an Easter special. Visitors can join the Moomin Aventures Easter Trail to help Hemulen find his missing plants or take part in the Moomin Adventures craft workshops.

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Kew Gardens , Kew Saturday April 1 2017 - Monday April 17 2017

The Goat Race

The annual Spitalfields Goat Race is fast becoming as popular as its Thames-based rival and sees two goats – one representing ‘Oxford’, the other ‘Cambridge’ – take part in a dash around the farm. The gates open at noon with lots to enjoy on the farm, including bands, booze and other fun, goat-related nonsense.

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Spitalfields City Farm , Bethnal Green Sunday April 2 2017

The Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race

The traditional rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge universities began in 1829 for chaps and 1927 for ladies. Much more trad than the previously mentioned Goat Race (and involving far less farmyard animals), it now attracts around 250,000 spectators to south-west London every year. The women's race is up first at 4.35pm, followed by the men's race an hour later at 5.35pm.

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Putney Bridge (south side) , Putney Sunday April 2 2017

Bethnal Green's Affordable Vintage Fair

The UK's largest travelling marketplace for retro clothes, homewares and accessories returns to York Hall in Bethnal Green for a shopping event where you'll find vintage bargains dating from the Twenties onwards. Be sure to bring cash as there will be gems to be found on over 60 stalls.

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York Hall , Bethnal Green Sunday April 2 2017

Queer British Art at Tate Britain

2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality in England. This show charts the preceding century: a hundred years of queer artists either making deeply personal work (about lives led in necessary secrecy) or avowedly political statements. Duncan Grant, John Singer Sargent, Dora Carrington and David Hockney are among those on display.

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Tate Britain , Westminster Wednesday April 5 2017 - Sunday October 1 2017

Bear's Den

Anyone allergic to banjos or beards, be warned: this trio of hirsute Londoners have supported Mumford & Sons live and one of them co-runs Communion Records with the Mumfords' Ben Lovett. Unsurprisingly, they play wistful, twangy folk-pop.

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Eventim Apollo Hammersmith , Hammersmith Wednesday April 5 2017

London Coffee Festival

Returning for 2017, the London Coffee Festival is the UK’s largest coffee and artisan food event, a celebration of London's vibrant coffee culture featuring gourmet coffee, speciality tea, artisan food, demonstrations from world-class baristas, live music and a comprehensive ‘lab’ seminar programme that will educate even the keenest of coffee lovers.

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Old Truman Brewery , Brick Lane Thursday April 6 2017 - Sunday April 9 2017

Now Play This

Play more than 50 games at this fun-filled weekend, from the lo-fi and familiar to the new and cutting-edge. Step into the 'Cabinet of Possibilities' where you can play unfinished game prototypes that never made it into the public realm, and get silly in 'The Awkward Arcade', a real life video game arcade designed to make the player move and engage in unexpected ways. 

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Somerset House , Temple Friday April 7 2017 - Sunday April 9 2017

Imagine – Unification Flash Mob

It looks like flashmobs are making a comeback. However you feel about crowds spontaneously breaking into song and dance, a little unity goes a long way. The IMAGINE – Unification Flash Mob is all about bringing people together. All the attendees are asked to bring a flag of their different countries, and a simple dance routine will show the evolution from separation to unification between each region. 

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A secret location , London Saturday April 8 2017
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Find great things to do all year round

101 things to do in London

London is a treasure trove of brilliant days out and activities worth boasting about. Find great new ways to fill your free time with this list of our favourite things to do in the capital.

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By: Laura Lee Davies


Brenna L
Brenna L

Is there any annual spring music festivals that take place in London? We are looking at a Music trip in 2017 for students and hoping for something related to do there. 

Ceri D
Ceri D

An alternative lecture on C.L.R. James and other writers’ opposition to WWII with James Heartfield, author of Unpatriotic History of the Second World War. CLR James wrote,"My friends, ... the democracy I haven’t got Hitler didn’t take from me."  Organised by education charity WORLDwrite, at Hatch, Homerton,London E9 6AB on Wednesday 8th April, 7.00pm .Book tickets online via https://clr-lecture.eventbrite.com