Unmissable Things To Do in London - Summer 2018

Unmissable Things To Do in London – Summer 2018

Festival season is truly upon us, so here’s a bumper Summer To Do List of things to do in London covering July & August to keep you busy in between Fringe frolics and the annual tent airing…

This summer’s top picks include drag cabaret, circus hi-jinx, EdFringe previews, learning-made-fun, community fun, free festivals, super-tasty vegan food, pride celebrations, jaw-dropping performances, Christmas in July and Jessica Fletcher!

Cabaret & Circus

Bechdel Theatre presents Drag To Watch Out For | Styx | 4 July | 7pm | Pay What You Can

Help raise money for the progressive performance podcast by discovering some talented kings, queens and cabaret superstars.

Paulus: beta | PizzaExpress Live (Holborn) | 22 & 29 July | 8pm | £19.50

A deliciously dark cabaret from BBC’s ‘All Together Now’ star.

Filibuster | Jacksons Lane | 26 July | 8pm | Pay What You Want

Old-time vaudeville spectacle from the incredible talents of Tom Gaskin.

Club Swizzle | Roundhouse | 31 July – 26 August | Times Vary | From £10

The team behind our fave cabaret, La Soiree turn up the heat for summer at the Roundhouse. Expect raucous entertainment and live music in the famous round railshed.

Backbone | Royal Festival Hall | 14-19 August | 7:30pm | From £15

Jaw-dropping circus from gravity&other myths at Southbank Centre.

Tricity Vogue’s All Girl Swing Band | Wilton’s | 26 August | 7:30pm

Warm up those happy feet at this all-girl swing band fiesta with hostess with the mostest Tricity Vogue.


Chortle Presents Fast Fringe | Underbelly Festival | 9 July | 7:30pm | From £19

Save approximately £500 on a short trip to Edinburgh and have a staycation to see 28 top fringe acts in the capital.

Day Out

Animal Walk | Horniman Museum | Daily | 12.30pm – 4pm

Get close to big alpacas, goats, sheep, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens and more at the Horniman Museum.

Lambeth Country Show | Brockwell Park | 21-22 July | 12pm – 8pm | FREE

Sheep and owl displays, home grown vegetable and flower competitions and VITACOCO’s giant slip and slide (pictured) all combine to create the perfect free day out.

Exhibitions, Galleries & Museums

Darren Evans: Everyone is Divine! | The Horse Hospital | Until 14 July | Monday–Saturday 12–6pm

A photo series celebrating the legendary looks of queer punk princess Divine.

Handle With Care | Wellcome Collection | 6 July | From 7pm | FREE

Spend an evening with performance artist Lois Weaver and friends celebrating and investigating care in 2018.


Bedford Square Festival 2018 | Bedford Square | 4-7 July

Bedford Square comes alive with talks, walks and fun free events.

Art Night | Nine Elms, South Bank & Vauxhall | 7 July | From 6pm | FREE

A bonkers night of extraordinary art south of the river including the participatory procession work of Marinella Senatore (pictured).

People’s Day 2018 | Mountsfield Park | 7 July | 12pm – 8pm | FREE

Our favourite free festival returns with live music, lovely community stalls and an unrivaled feeling of unity.

BST Open House | Hyde Park | 9-12 July | FREE

Free outdoor cinema including The Greatest Showman, uplifting live music from acts like House Gospel Choir and a wealth of street food and activities.

River Stage | National Theatre | 13 July – 12 August | FREE

Drag queens, dance & theatre combine on the riverside.

Croydon International Mela | Wandle Park | 15 July | 1pm – 8pm | FREE

Croydon get it’s own satellite Mela with banging Bhangra and more irresistible food than you can handle.

Enfield Balloon Festival | Enfield Town Park | 21-22 July | £6

Hot air balloons, a human cannon ball and aerial displays make for the most Instagram friendly festival of the summer.

Takeover – City of Possibility | Rich Mix | 27 July – 10 August

Young people take over the Shoreditch venue including Rosie Vincent with her London is Vomit photo project.


Summer Screen: Miss Congeniality | Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens | 24 July | 7pm | FREE

Watch the quirky classics including Sandra Bullock staple, Miss Congeniality outdoors for free in Vauxhall.

Food & Drink

Vegan Nights | 93 Feet East | 5 July | From 5pm | £7

A taste overload, arrive early to get the pick of the vegan hipster grub.

Catford Vegan Festival | Catford Broadway | 15 July | From 10am

A local vegan spectacular which is worth visiting!

Nights Out

Gay Shame 2018 | Royal Vauxhall Tavern | 7 July | From 9pm | £15

The tongue in cheek anti-pride returns to a pedestrian tunnel in Vauxhall.

Little Gay Brother | OMEARA | 7 July | 9pm | £15

New queer phenomenon Little Gay Brother take your Pride into a spin of live performances, DJs and fabulocity. .

Pride Party at Fontaine’s | Fontaine’s Bar | 7 July | 8pm | FREE

Andy Warhol and 50s/60s kitsch inspired Pride party.

Sodom & Begorrah | The Glory | 7 July | 8pm | £10

Irish drag epic.

Theatre & Performance Art

Asking for a Raise | The Space | 3-7 July | 7:30pm | £10

A surreal theatrical performance based on when one daring employee asks for a raise.

The Muppets take The O2 | The O2 | 13-14 July | £29 + bkg fee with this offer

‘It’s time to put on make up…’ as The Muppets take the O2 for the first time ever.

Hot Brown Honey | Queen Elizabeth Hall | 24-28 July | 8pm | From £22

The ★★★★½ neo-feminist sensation comes to London to spread the epic message.

Lamplighters | Old Red Lion Theatre | 24 July – 18 August | Tuesday – Saturday 7.30pm | £16.50

Interactive espionage thriller from the immersive master Neil Connolly.

A Generous Lover | The Glory | 27 & 29 July | 8:15pm | £8

‘A Generous Lover is the true, and very queer tale, of one soul’s journey through the wasteland of mental illness, to deliver their lost love. ‘

Quarter Life Crisis | Soho Theatre | 16-18 August | 7pm | From £10

A hilariously look at Yolanda Mercy’s ‘quarter life crisis’ through emojis and japes. Yolanda deserves an E4 show based on this performance.


tonight is the night baby and forever (but no recycling) | Paper Dress Vintage | 3 July | 7pm | FREE

A mad but addictive durational performance in a vintage store where Moa Johansson gives birth to shoes.

Hive City Legacy | Roundhouse | 10-21 July | Tuesday – Friday, 8pm | From £10

Hive City Legacy is a project with Hot Brown Honey directors showcasing the freshest Femmes of Colour. .

PUSSY Liquor: Christmas in July! | Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club | 20 July | 9pm | From £5

Get your Christmas jumper out and sweat through the heatwave with this pop party in the camp as Christmas – Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

Pop Horror XII: Slice Up Your Life | Royal Vauxhall Tavern | 9 August | 8:30pm | £6

Girl bands get the POPHORROR treatment for a beautifully offbeat night out.

Solve-along-a-Murder-She-Wrote | Royal Vauxhall Tavern | 22 August | 8:30pm | FREE

Event of the year? Perhaps. Join Jessica Fletcher for an interactive solve along episode of Murder She Wrote in the RVT.

Further Afield

Reykjavík Fringe Festival | 4-8 July

Fancy doing something on a whim? Book a flight to Iceland and discover the land of Bjork in all it’s strange perfomance glory.

Latitude Festival | Henham Park | 12-15 July | £197.50

Head out to Suffolk for the ulimate variety of festival entertainment from music by up and coming acts like MNEK to unusual experiences like ZU-UK’s Binaural Dinner Date (pictured).

Dreamland Variety: Tropical | Margate | 27 July | 7:30pm | From £5

Head on the train to Margate for Dreamland’s first variety curated by the lovely comedienne Bridget Aphrodite.

Byline Festival | Pippingford Park | 24-27 August | £95

A media themed festival where you can see intelligent slebs such as June Sarpong, John Cleese and talk about their work, do workshops in guerrilla journalism and then dance the night away.

Did we miss the perfect summer event or opening? Let us know and we’ll do our best to add in your amazing things to do in London!


I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.