Find out what’s on in the capital this May, including the Chelsea Flower Show, Foodies Festival, Photo London, MCM Comic Con and more.

St Paul's Cathedral and flowersMay has arrived and it finally feels like spring is fully realised. The weather’s warmer and there’s two bank holiday weekends.

There’s some bumper events taking place this month, including MCM Comic Con, the Affordable Art Fair in Hampstead, the Mind Body and Spirit Festival and Photo London.

Meanwhile, horticulturalists will have plenty to keep them occupied, including the iconic Chelsea Flower Show and the Tulip Festival at Hampton Court Palace.

Most schools will be having half-term the last week of the month, so expect to see attractions busier than usual.

Find out what’s on in London in May, including transport details, prices, opening times and more.

Look out for the 🐻 for family-friendly activities.

  • 2 – 5 May 2024 : SicilyFEST

A celebration of Sicily and its food, wine, produce and culture. Also featuring a kids’ area and DJs. Open Thur 5pm-10pm, Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 11am-8pm, Sun 10am-5.30pm. Tickets: £3.50-£17. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For tickets, visit Eventbrite. 🐻

  • 2 – 24 May 2024 : Herne Hill Free Film Festival 2024

The free film festival returns to Herne Hill Films include The Holdovers, Sisu, Rye Lane, Pretty Red Dress and more. Venues include Prince Regent pub, Brockwell Lido, Herne Hill Velodrome, Herne Hill Baptist Church, Off the Cuff and the Half Moon. Nearest station: Herne Hill. For more details, visit the Free Film Festival website. 🐻

  • 3 – 5 May 2024 : A Place in the Sun Live 2024

Lusting after that expat life abroad or want a holiday home? Featuring seminars, talks and chances to talk to overseas property experts, or even screen test for the show. Open Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm. Tickets: Adults £10, under 18s free. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House. For tickets, visit the Place in the Sun website.

  • 3 – 27 May 2024 : World Press Photo Exhibition

Exhibition of photojournalism and documentary photograph, featuring entries from 130 countries. Open Mon-Thu 11am-8pm, Fri-Sun 10am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £15, Children 12-16yrs £5, Child under 12 free. Borough Yards, Stoney Street, Borough, SE1 9AD. Nearest station: London Bridge or Borough. For more information, visit the event’s website. 🐻

  • 4 May 2024 : Queen’s Yard Summer Party

Festival spread out across Hackney Wick showcasing the best of local art, culture, wellness, food and drink. 12pm-11pm. Tickets from £52. At various venues across E9, including . For listings and more information, visit the party’s website.

  • 4 – 6 May 2024 : HYROX 2024

The World Series of fitness racing comes to London, with 1km races and workout stations. Open to professional and regular fitness enthusiasts. Open 6.30am-10pm. Entry from £79. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets and more information, visit the HYROX website.

  • 4 – 12 May 2024 : Grand Designs Live

The team behind the hit design show host a week of ideas, innovation and home project guidance. With live talks, experts and exhibitors. Open 10am-5pm. Tickets: Weekday £13, Weekend £16. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House. For tickets, visit the Grand Designs Live website.

  • Now until 6 May 2024 : Tulip Festival @ Hampton Court Palace

Check out the UK’s biggest display of planted tulips in the grounds of historic Hampton Court Palace. Open 10am-5.30pm. Tickets (inc with regular entry): Adults £27.20-£30, Children £13.60-£15, under 5s free. Hampton Court Palace, East Molesey, KT8 9AU. Nearest station: Hampton Court. For more information, visit the Hampton Court Palace website. 🐻

  • Now until 6 May 2024 : Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition

Check out images from the competitions of the annual awards. Open daily 11am-8pm. Tickets: Standard £15, Children under 12 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Somerset House website. 🐻

  • Now until 6 May 2024 : Burtynsky – Extraction / Abstraction

Exploring 40 years of work by renowned photographic artist, Edward Burtynsky. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets from £10. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.lwi

Dulwich Festival fair

The Dulwich Festival returns

  • 8 – 12 May 2024 : Affordable Art Fair – Hampstead

An event giving people a chance to buy a unique piece of art or photography for their homes at an affordable price, between £50-£7,500. Open Thur-Fri 11am-9pm, Sat-Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £14.84-£23.32. Hampstead Heath (Lower Fairground Site), East Heath Road, Hampstead, NW3 1TH. Nearest station: Hampstead Heath or Hampstead. For more information, visit the Affordable Art Fair website.

  • 10 – 19 May 2024 : Dulwich Festival 2024

The Dulwich Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary, with dozens of events, including live music, theatre, talks, fairs, local history, guided walks, workshops, street art walks, family events and more. At various locations in Dulwich Village, East Dulwich and West Dulwich, SE21 and SE22. Nearest stations: West Dulwich, North Dulwich and East Dulwich. For more information and listings, visit the Dulwich Festival website. 🐻

  • 11 May 2024 : Hot Sauce Society

London’s biggest hot sauce festival sees over 40 independent hot sauce makers from the UK, featuring tastings, live music, DJs, games, competitions, craft beer bar and street food. Open 11am-7pm. Tickets: £2, Children 12 yrs and under free. 133 Copeland Road, Peckham, SE15 3SN. Nearest station: Peckham Rye. For more information, visit the Hot Sauce Society website. 🐻

  • 11 – 12 May 2024 : Salad Days’ Handmade Fashion Market @ The Hoxton Southwark

Popular pop-up market hosts a fashion special at The Hoxton, Southwark hotel, featuring 30 small brands a day. Open 11am-4pm. Free entry. The Hoxton Hotel Southwark (mezzanine), 40 Blackfriars Road, Southwark, SE1 8NY. Nearest stations: Southwark or Blackfriars. For more information, visit the Salad Days website.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2014

The Art Of The Brick returns to London

  • Now until 12 May 2024 : Art of the Brick

An exhibition of Lego art from Nathan Sawaya, which is back in London after touring 24 countries. Open Mon, Wed-Thur 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm, Sun 10am-8pm. Tickets: Adults £16-£20, Child 4-17 yrs £13.90. The Boiler House, 152 Brick Lane, Spitalfields, E1 6RU. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street. For tickets, visit the Art of the Brick website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the 2014 Art of the Brick exhibition.🐻

  • Now until 12 May 2024 : Zineb Sedira – Dreams Have No Titles

The UK debut of Zineb Sedira’s critically-acclaimed immersive installation comprising film, sculpture, photography and performance. The experience interweaves her life story with activist films produced across France, Algeria and Italy in the 1960s and 1970s. Open Tues-Sun 11am-6pm. Tickets: £12.50. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel, E1 7QX. Nearest station: Aldgate East or Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Whitechapel Gallery website.

  • Now until 15 May 2024 : The Subversive Tea Towel Series exhibition

Artist Holly Searle showcases her collection of textile art highlight social and domestic issues. Free entry. Riverside Studios, 101 Queen Caroline Street, Hammersmith, W6 9BN. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For more information, visit the Riverside Studios website.

  • 16 – 19 May 2024 : Photo London

Photography fair at Somerset House, featuring expanded exhibition spaces and the chance to experience a range of photographic practices. Tours and workshops also available. Open Thu & Fri 1pm-8pm, Sat 12pm-8pm, Sun 12pm-6pm. Tickets: Adults from £35, Children under 13 free. Somerset House, Strand, Westminster, WC2R 1LA. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Photo London website. 🐻

  • 16 – 19 May 2024 : Firsts – London’s Rare Book Fair

The 67th edition of the prestigious book fair returns to London, featuring titles by acclaimed authors, historic manuscripts and ephemera from celebrity readers. ??? Tickets prices vary on Thur-Fri, free entry on Sat-Sun. Saatchi Gallery, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the Firsts London website.

  • 16 May – 13 October 2024 : Now You See Us – Women Artists in Britain

Art exhibition highlighting women who fought to become professional artists from Tudor Britain to World War I. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: £20 (free for members). Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico, SW1P 4RG. Nearest station: Pimlico. For booking, visit the Tate website.

  • 17 – 18 May 2024 : Laithwaites Wine Festival

The Laithwaites Wine Festival returns, featuring over 350 wines from 100 wine producers from 17 countries, artisan foods, tastings and sensory experiences. Open Fri 6pm-9pm, Sat 11am-3pm, 5pm-9pm. Tickets: From £50. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the Laithwaites website.

  • 17 – 19 May 2024 : Sarnie Party

New food festival celebrating the iconic sandwich with 20 of London’s best chefs and sandwich shops. Open Fri 5pm-10pm, Sat 11am-4pm, 5pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-5pm. Tickets: £30 (inc entrance, 3 sandwiches and 1 can of beer). Camden Town Brewery Beer Hall, 55-59 Wilkin Street Mews, Kentish Town, NW5 3ED. Nearest stations: Kentish Town West or Kentish Town. For tickets, visit the Sarnie Party website. Victoria and Albert Museum London

  • 18 May 2024 – 5 January 2025 : Fragile Beauty – Photographs from Sir Elton John and David Furnish Collection

The celebrity couple showcase their collection from some of the world’s acclaimed photographers. Open daily 10am-5.45pm, except late night Fri until 10pm. Tickets: £20. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL.

Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website.

  • 19 May 2024 : Urban Village Fete

A contemporary twist on a traditional village fair featuring stalls, music, DJs, dance, art & design workshops and street food. From 11am-late. Free entry. Central Park, Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich, SE10. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Greenwich Peninsula website. 🐻

  • Now until 19 May 2024 : The Time Is Always Now – Artists Reframe the Black Figure

Exhibition showcases 22 contemporary artists from the African diaspora, including Michael Armitage, Lubaina Himid, Kerry James Marshall, Toyin Ojih Odutola and Amy Sherald. Open 10.30am-6pm. Tickets: £16/£18. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, Westminster, WC2H 0HE. Nearest stations: Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information, visit the National Portrait Gallery website.

  • Now until 19 May 2024 : SmileyWorld Art Trail

A new, free art trail around the Battersea Station Power complex, featuring unique artworks inside smileys. Free. Battersea Power Station, Circus Road West, Battersea, SW8 5BN. Nearest stations: Battersea Power Station, Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For more information, visit the Battersea Power Station website. 🐻

  • 20 – 29 May 2024 : Belgravia in Bloom 2024

The neighbourhood of Belgravia has been taken over by a floral festival with displays and experiences throughout the boutiques and restaurants. At Elizabeth Street, Motcomb Street, Pimlico Road and Eccleston Yards. Nearest stations: Knightsbridge, Sloane Square and Victoria. For more information, visit the Belgravia London website.

  • 21 – 23 May 2024 : Clerkenwell Design Week 2024

Independent design festival featuring workshops, presentations, product launches, showrooms, debates and even a design walk. Venues across Clerkenwell. Nearest stations: Barbican or Farringdon. For more information, visit the Clerkenwell Design Week website.

  • 21 – 25 May 2024 : The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2024

The biggest event of the year for horticulturists. Full of stunning fantasy gardens and opportunities to buy your own plants and flowers. Open Tues-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat 8am-5.30pm (Tues-Wed RHS members only). Most tickets sell out in advance, so buy ASAP. RHS members from £38.85, Public from £47.85. Royal Hospital, Chelsea, SW3 4SL. Nearest station: Sloane Square. For tickets, visit the RHS website. 🐻

  • 24 – 26 May 2024 : MCM Comic Con

Pop culture show featuring chances to meet your favourite stars and buy memorabilia from your favourite shows and films. Celebrity line-up includes Billy Harris, Brendan Wayne, Colleen Clinkenbeard, Cristo Fernandez, Emily Swallow, Gary Erskine, Hamish Stelle, Klaus Janson, Kola Bokinni, Marc Ellerby, Matt Garvey, Mindy Lee, Phil Dunster, Pigeon, Ryan Bartley, Toheeb Jimoh and Sulia, among others. Open Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 10am-5pm. Tickets: Adults £21-£95, Children 10yrs and under free. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For tickets and more information, visit the MCM Comic Con website. 🐻

  • 24 – 27 May 2024 : Mind Body Spirit Festival 2024

Festival of wellbeing, featuring workshops, demonstrations and performances on the live stage, alchemy of sound, wellbeing studio, ceremony space, midlife wisdom, pop-up temple, wellbeing market and more. Open Fri-Sun 10am-7pm, Mon 10am-5pm. Tickets: £18. London Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information, visit the festival website.

  • 25 – 26 May 2024 : Feria de Londres 2024

Two-day festival inspired by the Andalusian celebration of Spanish food and culture. Featuring Spanish dance and music performances and workshops, food traders, drink vendors, family activities and more. Open Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-9pm. Tickets: Daytime session free, evening session £10 (inc 1 drink token). Brick Lane Yard, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street, Whitechapel or Liverpool Street. For more information, visit the Feria de Londres website. 🐻

  • 25 – 27 May 2024 : Foodies Festival @ Syon Park

Food festival including Chefs Theatre; Cake & Bake Theatre; Drinks Theatre; live music from Sister Sledge, Blue, and Symphonic Ibiza; street food stalls, artisan market; Kids Cookery Theatre and more. Open 11am-9pm. Tickets: Adults £21, Teens 12-16yrs £8, Children under 12yrs £4. Syon Park, Brent Lea, Brentford, TW8 8JF. Nearest station: Syon Lane. For tickets, visit the Foodies Festival website. 🐻

  • 25 May – 2 September 2024 : Princess Diana – Accredited Access exhibition

Walkthrough photography exhibition charting the late Princess’ life through images and installations. Open 10am-7pm. Tickets: Adults from £17, Children from £15.50. Dockside Vaults, Ivory House, E1W 1AT. Nearest station: Tower Hill or Tower Gateway. For tickets, visit the Princess Diana Exhibit website.

  • 31 May – 8 June 2024 : Brockley Max 2024

Nine-day community arts festival returns in-person to south-east London, featuring live music, dance, craft markets, poetry, art installations, film screenings, workshops, talks, interactive games and more. At venues across Brockley, Ladywell, Crofton Park and Honor Oak. For more information, visit the Brockley Max website. 🐻

  • Now until 23 June 2024 : Disney 100 – The Exhibition

Exhibition to celebrate 100 years of Disney magic in 10 themed galleries, featuring original artworks, artefacts, costumes, props, memorabilia and 14 interactive installations. Tickets: Adults from £28, Children 5-16 yrs £20. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, 1 Western Gateway, Docklands, E16 1XL. Nearest stations: Prince Regent or Custom House. For more information, visit the Disney100 website. 🐻

  • Now until 29 June 2024 : Van Gogh London

Immersive exhibitions exploring the life and works of tragic Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. Open 10am-7pm daily (closed Tuesdays). Tickets: £16-£20, Children 4-12 yrs £11. 106 Commercial Street, Spitalfields, E1 6LZ. Nearest stations: Shoreditch High Street or Liverpool Street. For booking, visit the Van Gogh Expo website 🐻.

  • Now until 30 June 2024 : Bubble Planet

An interactive, multisensory journey into a world of bubbles. Open Mon, Wed-Thur 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 10am-8pm, closed Tues. Tickets: Adults from £18, Children from £18.90, under 4yrs free. 22 Fulton Road, Wembley, HA9 0TF. Nearest station: Wembley Park. For more information, visit the Bubble Planet website. 🐻

  • Now until 30 June 2024 : Accidentally Wes Anderson exhibition

Inspired by the Accidentally Wes Anderson Instagram page is an immersive exhibition featuring 200 images of the charm and aesthetic of the director’s films. Open Thu-Sun only, times vary. Tickets: Adults £12-£16, Children 11yrs and under £8.99. 85 Old Brompton Road, South Kensington, SW7 3LD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the AWA exhibition website. 🐻

  • Now until 1 September 2024 : Yoko Ono – Music of the Mind

Exhibition covers nearly 70 years of Yoko Ono’s career, with over 200 works exploring politics, performance, photography, music and participation. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tickets: £22. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Nearest stations: Blackfriars or Southwark. For more information, visit the Tate Modern website.

  • Now until 8 September 2024 : Anne Desmet: Kaleidoscope/London exhibition

Explore three decades of wood engraver Anne Desmet’s artwork, including 41 London-themed prints. Open 10am-5pm. Admission: Pay what you can. Guildhall Art Gallery, Guildhall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AE. Nearest stations: St Paul’s, Bank or Moorgate. For more information, visit the City of London website.

  • Now until 29 September 2024 : Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds – The Immersive Experience

An immersive experience inspired by the classic story. Travel back in time to Victorian London and the Martian invasion of 1898. Experience immersive theatre, virtual reality, augmented reality, holograms and other cutting-edge technology. Over 12s only. Times vary. Tickets: £45-£130. The Old Metal Exchange, 56 Leadenhall Street, City of London, EC3A 2BJ. Nearest station: Aldgate or Fenchurch Street. For booking, visit the War of the World’s website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the show.

Billingsgate roman baths

The ruins of Billingsgate Roman Bathhouse

  • Now until 13 October 2024 : The Moonwalkers – a Journey with Tom Hanks

Hollywood star Tom Hanks narrates an immersive experience exploring humankinds’ past and future trips to the Moon. Opening hours vary. Tickets: Adults from £25, Children and teens from £15. Lightroom, 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4DY. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Lightroom website. 🐻

  • Now until 30 November 2024 : Billingsgate Roman House and Baths

Visit the Roman ruins of a house and bathhouse in the basement of a City office block. 8yrs and over. Tours on Saturday only. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £12, Children 8-12 yrs £10. 101 Lower Thames Street, City of London, EC3R 6DL. Nearest station: Monument. For more information and booking, visit the City of London website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the ruins.🐻

  • Now until 31 December 2024 : Frameless

Explore a new way to engage with art in an immersive, multi-sensory experience. Visitors can travel through four galleries, coming up close to masterpieces from the likes of Cezanne, Kandinsky, Monet, Dalí, Van Gogh, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Klimt, among others. Opening hours vary. Tickets from £15, Kids under 5 yrs free. 6 Marble Arch Place, Marylebone, W1H 7AP. Nearest station: Marble Arch. For tickets, visit the Frameless website. Check out Metro Girl’s review of the show. 🐻

  • Now until 5 January 2025 : The Art of Banksy

Exhibition of Banksy’s art made up of pieces from private collections (although not curated or authorized by the artist himself). Expect prints, canvasses, screen prints, sculptures and other unique works. Tickets from £17.50 (peak tickets £21), 12-16 yrs £15, Children under 12 free. 100 Charing Cross Road, Soho, WC2H 0JG. Nearest station: Leicester Square. For booking, visit the Art of Banksy website. 🐻

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