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London events in May

Get ready for a marvellous month with our selection of the best events, exhibitions and things to do in May 2020 in London

Swans, Kensington Gardens, London, May 2017
Richard/ Flickr
By Time Out London Things To Do |

Prepare yourself for a marvellous May in London. Spring has officially sprung, the days are warming up and London’s parks are at their blooming best. Spend those sunny May days in London exploring the capital's great outdoors or sinking a drink (or two) on one of London's rooftop bars, which have just started to open. Be sure to make the most of not one, but two Bank Holidays in May, by checking out the city's new exhibitions and theatre shows. May in London is also the month of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, London Craft Week, London Wine Week, the Hackney Half Marathon, Chelsea Fringe and Museums at NightHere's our guide to the best events, parties, pop-ups and things to do in May 2020 in London. You're in for one sweet, sweet month.

While your diary’s out, remember that it's never too early to start planning for June either.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

The best May events in London

SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Things to do, Quirky events

Silent disco at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium

icon-location-pin SEA LIFE London Aquarium, South Bank

Experience one of our signature silent discos at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Don a pair of glowing headphones and tune into one of three channels as you immerse yourself in the world of water. Tickets are just £29 and include the silent disco, welcome drink and guided tours of the brand new jellyfish exhibition.  

Summer by the River
Diana Jarvis
Things to do, Event spaces

Summer by the River

icon-location-pin London Bridge City, Tower Bridge

Spent all your money on your summer hol? Keep yourself occupied for the rest of the balmy months at Summer by the River, a three-month festival that's totally free.

Henry IV, Part 1, Shakespeare's Globe 2019
© Tristram Kenton
Theatre, Shakespeare

‘Henry IV Part 1, or Hotspur’

icon-location-pin Shakespeare's Globe, South Bank

Shakespeare's beloved history play. Michelle Terry is jaw-droppingly good with her psycho take on rebel lord Hotspur.

Time Out says
'AI: More Than Human 2065 (preview)' by Lawrence Lek Courtesy the artist and Sadie Coles HQ, London

AI: More Than Human

icon-location-pin Barbican Centre, Barbican

This massive interactive exhibition shows that the cleverest (or maybe the stupidest) thing humans have ever done is to create machines that can outwit us all. 

Things to do

The Monster

icon-location-pin Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace

At 300 metres long and with 40 hazards, this giant inflatable obstacle course really is one huge beast. See if you can beat the wobble (and tackle the 18 metre-long mega slide), before thrashing around in a unicorn ball pit.

Wicked, Apollo Victoria
© Matt Crockett
Theatre, West End


icon-location-pin Apollo Victoria, Victoria

After its 2006 opening at Apollo Victoria, Oz prequel 'Wicked' continues to fill this massive theatre, but this stylish and bombastic musical still delivers, sailing over its patchy score thanks to a gravity-defying performance from its current leading lady Rachel Tucker. 

Time Out says

‘Van Gogh and Britain’

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Millbank

A show all about the artists who influenced big Vinnie, and the ones he later inspired. There are some truly breathtaking paintings here.

Time Out says
Things to do, Food and drink events

The BBQ Club: Patch & Picnic

icon-location-pin Southbank Centre, South Bank

This summer barbecue bonanza created and helmed by chef Jimmy Garcia shows off his 7-course grilled barbecue creations on the rooftop terrace. Besides good food, you'll be able to get competitive with include Giant Jenga, Boules, Skittles, Beach Tennis and Swingball.

Luke Jerram's 'Museum of the Moon' at Greenwich and Docklands International Festival
© Luke Jerram
Things to do, Exhibitions

Museum of the Moon

icon-location-pin Natural History Museum, South Kensington

Luke Jerram's six-metre glowing sculpture has Nasa-inspired detail. It's lighting up the Natural History Museum for the fiftieth anniversary of Apollo 11. We have lift off!

Lee Krasner 'Icarus' (1964) Thomson Family Collection, New York City. © The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. Image courtesy of Kasmin Gallery, New York. Photo: Diego Flores

Lee Krasner: Living Colour

icon-location-pin Barbican Centre, Barbican

Expect vivid canvases that explode in fireworks of colour at this retrospective of innovative abstract expressionist Lee Krasner. It's the visual equivalent of one of those Pret ginger shots - a proper kickstart to spring. 

Edvard Munch 'On the Waves of Love'. Image courtesy of Munchmuseet

Edvard Munch: ‘Love and Angst’

icon-location-pin British Museum, Bloomsbury

Prints from art's greatest miserablist. The eyes of his works follow you around the room, and they'll haunt you when you leave. 

Time Out says
Toast, The Other Palace
Theatre, Drama


icon-location-pin The Other Palace, Victoria

Watch the adaptation of food writer Nigel Slater's memoir, Toast. Set in 1960s West Midlands and it'll also set your tastebuds well-seasoned.

Time Out says

Find great things to do all year round

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