Things to do this weekend in London: September 10-11, 2022

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Things to do this weekend are sponsored by Art of London.

The whole weekend

Unlimited Festival takes place at the Southbank Center all weekend. Image credit: Harry Elletson

NO SANTANDER CYCLES: Remember that from 10pm on Friday 9th September until 6am on Monday 12th September you will not be able to hire a Santander Cycle anywhere in London (although you can always return bikes you already have on hire) . This is due to the system being upgraded for new e-bikes to be available from Monday. September 9-12

UNLIMITED FESTIVAL: Southbank Center shines a spotlight on artists and companies with disabilities with Unlimited Festival. The five-day program covers dance, performance, comedy, music and visual arts, including BSL performances, and a street art project designed for mobility wheel users. Some events FREE, September 7-11

LONDON PODCAST FESTIVAL: Headphones ready for the London Podcast Festival in Kings Place, which sees mainstream and more specialist podcasts filmed in front of live audiences, with some of the recordings also streamed online. Among the big names are The Guilty Feminist and Empire Film Podcast, along with offerings on comedy, food and politics. September 8-18

OPEN DOORS IN LONDON: It’s the most wonderful time of year, when all sorts of London buildings and structures that are usually closed to the public open their doors and welcome us. on the roof of 55 Broadway. September 8-21

CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL: Head to St Katharine Docks near the Tower of London to see around 40 preserved vintage boats moored for the Classic Boat Festival. Over the weekend, some of the boats are open for visitors to board, with talks and entertainment available on land for anyone who hasn’t found the sea legs. FREE, September 9-11

Crowds seated on the grassy canalside steps at King's Cross, with a riverboat floating in the water
The Life Lessons festival takes over King’s Cross this weekend

LIFE LESSONS FESTIVAL: The Times hosts the Life Lessons Festival, three days of lectures, masterclasses, arts and culture at King’s Cross. Louis Theroux, Caitlin Moran, Paloma Faith, David Gandy, Dan Snow and Vicky McClure feature on the programme, along with Jeremy and Ian, the duo behind the All On The Board tube station messages. Topics include business, motherhood, happiness, careers and the importance of nature. September 9-11

CITY OPEN DAYS: The City of London is taking part in the Open House Festival action with its own Big Weekend, offering access to iconic and historic buildings, as well as guided tours and expert talks across the Square Mile. Visit buildings such as Guildhall, Temple Bar, Livery Halls and the city’s churches, and enjoy free walking tours by trained city guides, starting in Guildhall Yard. September 10-11 (sponsor)

FAMILY WEEKEND: The monthly Family Weekend takes place at Cutty Sark in Greenwich, with additional family activities on top of the usual sea fun. Help create a large 3D map of the tea clipper’s previous voyages, watch sea shanty performances and interact with characters such as the captain. September 10-11

CARTERS STEAM LOUNGE: The legendary Carters Steam Fair hopes to find a permanent location next year, which means this is its last tour – and the last chance to catch it in London (well, on the Tube map). Head to Croxley Green at the top of the Metropolitan line to enjoy restored vintage fairground rides and attractions dating from the 1890s to the 1960s. September 10-11

ROTATING TIDES: The free world music festival Turning Tides is back on the Greenwich Peninsula. Enjoy live outdoor performances by DakhaBrakha (a world music quartet from Kyiv who performed at Glastonbury this year) and the Brixton Chamber Orchestra, plus street food stalls and a pop-up bar. FREE, September 10-11

SCI-FI 48 HOURS: Calling all budding filmmakers! The Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Challenge is just that – a challenge to make a film in 48 hours. You receive a title, dialogue, prop list, idea or optional science theme – and you have 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film up to five minutes long. September 10-12


Sponsor’s message

Hunt down aliens and kaleidoscopic artwork in the West End

Walking around the West End right now, you might find yourself doing a double take. But let us assure you that yes, they ARE little green aliens. They are part of Brighter Future – a public art initiative part of The Art of London Season 2022 – which has transformed the West End into a huge outdoor gallery emphasizing optimism, progressivism and the collective determination to build a better future.

What else is available to feast your eyes and ears? Well, there’s Zarah Hussain’s mural and patterned flower gardens, inspired by her Islamic heritage. They create a calm and tranquil environment and are on display at St James’s Market until mid-September. At the same time, the Austrian-Nigerian artist Fiona Quadri created Crossing Paths. These colorful freestanding creations celebrate London’s multiculturalism and diversity and are accompanied by audio interviews.

As for these extraterrestrials, they are the work of a certain Harry Hill (yes, THAT Harry Hill). Look for the green kids in Leicester Square, St James’s Market and The Garden at St James’s Church, Piccadilly.

Brighter Future screens are fun for everyone, free to see, and HUGE Instagram compatible (just to say). There is also a great immersive augmented reality course (QR codes at each installation), voiced by Harry Hill. The exhibitions run until the fall. Check the Brighter Future website for more details.


Saturday September 10

People sitting and standing around tables at Cocktails in the City in Bedford Square, with orange and blue streamers hanging between the trees
It’s the last day of this year’s final Cocktails in the City event.

GREAT RIVER RACE: A 21.6 mile stretch of the River Thames from London Docklands to Ham in Surrey is the setting for the Great River Race. Head to the water’s edge along the course to see up to 330 crews from around the world compete, from serious athletes to charities. FREE, 9:45 a.m.

LIGHT YEAR: The film chosen today at the Barbican’s Family Film Club is Lightyear, the animation of the recently released Buzz Lightyear origin story. The movie is subtitled for the hearing impaired, and there’s a pre-movie Pixar quiz performed by BSL, so start getting excited. 11 a.m.

REGENCY DAY: Apsley House – also known as Number One London – is hosting a Regency Day, a chance to experience what Regency life was like in a grand London house like this. Try a few dance moves and learn about the food, drink and etiquette of the era. 11am-5pm

COCKTAILS IN TOWN: The last Cocktails in the City event of the summer ends today. Bedford Square Garden is home to pop-up versions of some of London’s best bars, including The Blind Pig, Callooh Callay, London Shuffle Club and TT Liquor. Sip specially concocted cocktails while enjoying live music and entertainment, workshops and street food. 12pm-4pm/5pm-10pm

WEMBA’S DREAM: Wembley Park and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are teaming up for Wemba’s Dream, a free show of carnival music, dance, poetry and arts, celebrating Brent’s diverse communities. FREE, 1:15-4:30 p.m.

Wemba’s Dream comes to life at Wembley Park. Photo: Chris Winter

MINIBEASTS: Zoologist and author Dr Nick Crumpton and entomologist and curator Beulah Garner tell you why everything you know about minibeasts is wrong. For example, it’s not true that all bees die after they sting you, or that centipedes have 100 legs. 7 years and over. 2-3:15 p.m.

ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR: Head to Poplar Union to celebrate the Ethiopian New Year with live music from Ethiopian band Tikur Anbessa and free food including enjira (or injera), a delicious spongy flatbread. 7-9 p.m.

HAS NOT STOPD DANCING YET: A club night launched to give people in their 40s and 50s a place to dance, Haven’t Stopped Dancing Yet takes over Islington Assembly Hall for a night out to 1970s-80s tunes. Despite the origins of the event, anyone over the age of 18 who enjoys a good boogie is welcome. 7:30 p.m.-midnight

CHEESE CLUB: For tunes from a wider selection of decades, Club de Fromage is at the O2 Academy Islington. DJs spin everything from Madonna to Bon Jovi, and Taylor Swift to S Club 7, complete with confetti cannons, balloons and chants for a very nerdy evening. 10:30 p.m.-3:30 a.m.

Sunday September 11

Classic boats moored at St Katharine's quays
The Classic Boat Festival is open all weekend. Image: St Katharine Quays

DREAM CITY: The British Library hosts creative workshops specially designed for deaf families. With the help of artists Damien Robinson and Mónica Rivas, try to build the city of your dreams – think parks made of candy or houses made of trampolines. FREE, 11 a.m./1:30 p.m.

MEMORY WALK: The Alzheimer Society is looking for people to take part in its London Memory Walk. Choose between a 2km or 5km route, starting and ending at Potters Field Park, next to Tower Bridge, with a fundraising target of £160 per person. The shorter route is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers and is suitable for all ages. From 11 a.m.

DINOSAURS: Dinosaurs and All That Rubbish is Michael Foreman’s environmentally conscious children’s book, adapted for the stage. Expect dancing dinosaurs and lots of rock ‘n’ roll as the dinos take over Artsdepot in North Finchley. 11am/2pm

LIBRARY VISIT: Join Conway Hall Librarian, Olwen Terris, for a tour of the Conway Hall Library, used by radicals, political and social reformers since 1886. It’s also a chance to see a special exhibit of rarely printed anarchist materials. seen. FREE, 2 p.m.

TWELFTH EVENING: The Handlebards Theater Group perform a bicycle production of the play Shakespeare, outdoors at Strawberry Hill House. Don’t worry, the cast is driving, not you. Instead, bring a blanket or chair to sit on and enjoy the show, and don’t forget your raincoat if the weather turns shady. 7 p.m.

NEW BRITTANY MUSIC: The London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, begins its new season with a concert of British music at the Barbican – think, past, present and future. Hear works by Elgar, Frank Bridge and current composer Daniel Kidane. 7 p.m.

UNBUILT LONDON: Giant pyramids, monorails, impractical skyscrapers and elegant avenues – some of the buildings once planned for London, which were never realized. Join Footprints of London guide Rob Smith for an online lecture on what London might have looked like if these buildings had been built. 8-9 p.m.


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