Things to do in London on weekends


The weather in London on weekends

People always wait for a weekend with good weather just to make their day memorable. In London, mostly sunny weather is seen on Friday while Saturday anticipate much of the same. But, Sunday is set to be rainy and windy.

Ride the Arcelor Mittal Orbit Slide

A divisive structure when it opened during the summer of the 2012 London Olympic Games, the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower – categorised as the country’s tallest structure – may have fallen off tourists’ radar in recent years but a newly unveiled slide is hoping to change that. The world’s tallest and longest tunnel slide, it measures some 178 metres and circles the tower 12 times to provide a descent that’s more a helter-skelter ride than a straightforward drop. Telegraph Travel’s Hugh Morris was among the very first to ride the slide and you can read more about his experience here; for a taster of what it’s like, see our video below.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 2AD

Cost: £15 in advance, or £17 on the door; access to the top-level viewing platform, without access to the slide, is £10 in advance or £12 on the door

Mosey through Mayfair during Brown’s London Art Weekend

Mayfair’s Brown’s Hotel this weekend hosts the third Brown’s London Art Weekend, a free event that invites members of the public to explore exhibitions and special events at some 100 galleries spread across the locale and neighbouring St James’s, and to follow art walks and participate in gallery talks while they’re at it. Complementing the programme will be a day-long Royal Academy-supported Burling Gardens arts festival on Saturday; the website has more details on what’s happening when and where.

Where: venues throughout Mayfair

Cost: free

Get on board TfL’s Transported by Design Festival

TfL’s enduringly appealing aesthetics are celebrated during this Sunday’s Transported by Design festival on Regent Street, which presents a chronology of Transport for London’s logos and designs from Victorian times to the present day (and will perhaps provide a glimpse at the logos and branding likely to become everyday fixtures in the city in the months and years to come). Visitors will be able to explore heritage vehicles no longer in everyday use; admire an exhibition of maps, signs and posters past; and don VR headsets for a virtual trip through the London that might await us in the decades to come – an experience that may or may not be traumatic depending on the approach the designers have taken.

Where: Regent St

Cost: free

Stay up for Art Night

A new contemporary arts festival inspired by Nuit Blanche in Paris, Art Night has been developed by Unlimited Productions who will each year partner with a leading cultural institution and curator to work in a different area of the capital. For the event’s inaugural year, the ICA (with curator Kathy Noble) presents 10 artists’ works and new commissions in locations spread across Westminster. Among the many events and exhibitions scheduled are a tour of the imposing and ordinarily inaccessible Admiralty Arch led by Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost and a visit to a disused platform in Charing Cross Tube station to be immersed in a site-specific installation by Korean artist Koo Jeong A.

Where: throughout Westminster

Cost: various; advance booking sometimes required

Lose yourself at a family-friendly rave

The words “rave” and “kids” may not make the most natural of bedfellows, but this Saturday they’ll come together as the Ministry of Sound plays host to Rave-a-Roo. Suitable for parents and their offspring, from babies to older children, this daytime event is a mini indoor festival complete with line-up of DJs and live performances, plus neon craft, a UV tattoo station, a “Glow Chill” room with an area for babies and a play room. There’s also tea and cake for sale, in addition to a fully-licensed bar. Concerned parents need not fear – sound levels are carefully monitored to suit little visitors. Two sessions are being run, each two hours long, from 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm.

Where: Ministry of Sound, 103 Gaunt Street, London SE1 6DP

Cost: £12.50 general admission, toddlers under 18 months go free

Show your support at Wimbledon

One of the capital’s most popular sporting events, Wimbledon continues despite the weather refusing to play ball. For everything you need to know on how to secure tickets, when to go and what to wear, see our complete guide to the 2016 Wimbledon Championships.

Where: The All England Lawn Tennis Club, Wimbledon SW19 5AE

Wish along with Aladdin

London’s latest big-budget (both for its backers and ticket purchasers) West End Musical, Disney’s Aladdin has arrived at Soho’s Prince Edward theatre. Fans of the film will find much is familiar but a slugglish, somewhat schmaltzy start is only saved when the genie, played by Trevor Dion Nicholas, makes a show-stopping turn. His arrival heralds a distinct change in tempo – and coincides with Aladdin’s descent into a remarkable, treasure-laden gilded cavern that is one of the most dazzling sets you’re likely to see in a London production. A later turn on a magic carpet provides another wow moment in a musical that’s big on colour and clamour if not substance; for more on what to expect, Telegraph theatre critic Dominic Cavendish’s three-star review provides the details.

Where: Prince Edward Theatre, 28 Old Compton St, W1D 4HS

Cost: from £29.75 to £94.75

Explore the Serpentine Pavilion

The annual unveiling of the Serpentine’s temporary pavilion is another welcome sign that the London summer season is fully up and running. This time it’s Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) behind the design: an “unzipped wall” constructed from 1,802 pultruded fibreglass frames stacked on top of each other. The pavilion will be a focal point for events throughout the summer, and visitors who make the effort to explore it should also set aside some time to visit the four temporary summer houses that have also been erected. Grouped around Queen Caroline’s Temple (staff will tell you how to get there), they are designed by other notable architects and provide additional spaces in which to relax in warm weather.

Where: Serpentine Gallery, Kensington Galleries, W2 3XA

Cost: free