London events in October

Your guide to the best stuff to do, see, eat and drink across London during October
Hunter Desportes/ Flickr
Hunter Desportes/ Flickr
By Time Out London Things To Do and Alexandra Sims |
Advertising

October in London means that autumn is here, but don't hibernate indoors. Get outdoors and see the capital's trees change colour on a city walk that ends with Sunday lunch at one of London's best pubs with a fire. If you're up for a fright, there's Halloween to look forward to, which means Halloween parties and fancy dress galore. Or, scare yourself silly with our guide to spooky London. October in London is also the time of the London Film Festival, London Literary FestivalLondon Restaurant Festival, London Cocktail Week, Museums at Night, Frieze London, Africa on the Square and the city's Diwali celebrations. While for sports fanatics the month holds the Six Day London and NFL London Games. October is packed with new openings, so get a load of our guide best events, things to do and cultural happenings throughout October 2019.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our October event highlights 2019

Paul Gauguin 'Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière' (1888 or 1889). Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (1985.64.20) Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Art

‘Gauguin Portraits’

icon-location-pin National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
icon-calendar

The art of Paul Gauguin isn't exactly unknown (to say the least), yet there's never been an exhibition exclusively of his portraiture - until now. 

Magic Mike Live
© Jerry Metellus Photography Inc.
Theatre, Comedy

‘Magic Mike Live’

icon-location-pin Hippodrome Live, Covent Garden
icon-calendar

This spin-off from the beloved stripper comedy that made Channing Tatum a household name is co-directed by the man himself (alongside choreographer Alison Faulk). The deal is… well, we're not totally sure what the deal is, but it's billed as ‘a 360-degree dance and acrobatic spectacular’, which we're guessing means ‘stripping’. 

Advertising
Lucian Freud 'Reflection (Self-portrait)' (1985) © The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images.
Art

‘Lucian Freud: The Self-portraits’

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
icon-calendar

Lucian Freud isn't especially known for his self-portraits, but it turns out he did quite a few of them - enough to fill an exhibition, anyhow. Freud's images of himself are sharply observant and, taken as a set, capture the effects of age with precision and poignancy. 

Advertising
Helene Schjerfbeck, 'Self-Portrait, Black Background' (1915)Herman and Elisabeth Hallonblad Collection. Finnish National Gallery / Ateneum Art Museum; photo: Finnish National Gallery / Yehia Eweis
Art

Helene Schjerfbeck

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
icon-calendar

Go on, say it. 'Who?' Helene Schjerbeck, that's who and, hopefully come 2019 you'll never need to ask again. Helene Schjerbeck might not be that well known outside her native Finland, but her paintings cry out for greater recognition. 

Mamma Mia! The Party
© Dewynters
Theatre, Interactive

‘Mamma Mia! The Party’

icon-location-pin The O2, Greenwich Peninsula
icon-calendar
Open run

This show –a night of eating, drinking and Abba songs set in a taverna on the same Greek island as Ulvaeus’s smash hit musical ‘Mamma Mia!’ – has now claimed a corner of the O2; not super atmospheric, but by all accounts no expense is being spared in making it as convincing as possible. 

Advertising
Things to do, Festivals

Oktoberfest in London

London is not the kind of city that turns down a party. So, we're giving Oktoberfest one big, warm wilkommen with plenty of big frothing Steins of beer, platters of Wurst, fetching leiderhosen getups and oompah bands playing the trumpet like they don't give a schnitzel.

Museums

Museums at Night

What is it? ‘Museums at Night’ is a series of seriously special after-hours events at some of London’s best galleries, museums and attractions. 
Why go? If the mention of a museum visit makes you think of stuffy exhibitions and school trips, think again.

Advertising
121110_4658 lowres.jpg
photo: Eleanor Salter Thorn
Things to do

Halloween in London

If you're going to celebrate Halloween (Saturday October 31 2015) this year, we suggest you go all out. Head down to your local costume shop and prepare to scare at one of the capital's best Halloween parties. Plan your fancy dress in advance, however – a pink bunny suit just won't cut it at this time of year.

Antony Gormley 'LOST HORIZON I' (2008) Photograph by Stephen White, London © the artist
Art

Antony Gormley

icon-location-pin Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair
icon-calendar

Catch this major new exhibition of Antony Gormley sculptures that should provide a neat overview of his career to date, showing how his best-known and most-recent works developed out of his earlier practice. 

Advertising
Mark Leckey 'Made in ‘Eaven' (2004) Tate © Mark Leckey
Art

Mark Leckey

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
icon-calendar

See new art from Turner Prize winner Mark Leckey. We know a sum total of zilch about this latest work, but his previous output has been about everything from dance subcultures to semi-invented memories.

William Blake 'Newton' (1795 – c.1805) © Tate
Art

‘William Blake: The Artist’

icon-location-pin Tate Britain, Westminster
icon-calendar

William Blake didn't think much of London when he was alive, but here's something that might help put a smile on the face of the average downtrodden Londoner: a major retrospective ofthe man who wrote 'The Tyger's idiosyncratic artworks.

Advertising
Nam June Paik 'TV Garden' 1974-7 (2002). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany) © Estate of Nam June Paik
Art

Nam June Paik: ‘The Future is Now’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, South Bank
icon-calendar

Artist Nam June Paik spent his life predicting how technology would soon be influencing our lives. This Tate show brings together works made across five-decades by the artist credited with inventing video art.

Find out what's happening in November

WithLocals Widget

Snap up exclusive discounts in London

Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...

Advertising