Things To Do This Weekend In London: 24-25 June 2023

All weekend

This weekend in London: Artist Aya Haidar sitting at a table with thread and embroidery hoops, smiling at the camera
Shubbak Festival takes over the River Stage,with Aya Haidar leading crafting sessions. Photo: Roo Lewis

MORPH TRAIL: Just in time for the summer holidays, a trail of up to 70 sculptures of TV character Morph is unveiled around the South Bank and the City. A map and app are available, with fun facts for kids to unlock along the way, and a programme of accompanying events to be announced. Crucially, the trail is step-free, to make it accessible to as many people as possible, and afterwards, the many Morphs will be auctioned off to raise money for Whizz Kids. FREE, 19 June-20 August

FREE WELLBEING FESTIVAL: A major festival exploring the relationship between mental health and environmental change takes place at Wellcome Collection this week. Land Body Ecologies encompasses sound, touch, taste and vision, for a four-day festival of free art installations, workshops, talks, films and performances that probe the deep interconnections of the health of the earth and our wellbeing. FREE, 22-25 June

LONDON DESIGN BIENNALE: This is the final weekend of the 2023 London Design Biennale. The theme this year is The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations, and Somerset House hosts the work of more than 40 designers from around the world, created in response to the theme. Until 25 June

This weekend in London:  people dancing and taking photos of performers live on stage
The Windrush 75 celebrations at Bernie Grant Arts Centre come to a close on Saturday. Photo: Nina Photography

LONDON FESTIVAL OF ARCHITECTURE: A celebration of architecture and 'city-making', the London Festival of Architecture programme continues. Highlights this weekend include a chance to go behind the scenes at Boston Manor House, a look at how climate change is affecting Victorian architecture, and a tour of the Sikh history of east London. Until 30 June

NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY: Finally, after a three-year closure, the National Portrait Gallery reopens its doors to the public. It'll look a little different from how we remember it, with a brand new entrance, a complete rehang of the artworks (so your old favourites might not be in the same place) and the reopening of the East Wing. Note: it's likely to be VERY busy this first weekend. FREE, from 22 June

LONDON INDIAN FILM FESTIVAL: Europe's largest South Asian film festival returns to BFI Southbank for a week of screenings, including several UK premieres. This weekend, catch a selection of short films by upcoming British-Asian filmmakers, and Max, Min & Meowzaki, an Indian film about what happens to the cat when a couple breaks up. 22-29 June

MAASAI MARA PHOTOGRAPHY: See an exhibition of photographs taken in the Masaai Mara by wildlife photographer Matthew Williams-Ellis. Images portray the animals he photographed as independent and emotional creatures, rather than just one in a whole species, and includes elephants, lions, hyenas and cheetahs. FREE, 22 June-2 July

BOTANICAL ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY: Feast your eyes on stunning interpretations of the natural world — from intricate depictions of Greek wildflowers, to works exploring the serenity of Kyoto’s temple gardens — at the Saatchi Gallery. The RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show brings together artists and photographers from across the globe, all vying for a coveted RHS medal. Tickets from £5. Until 9 July (sponsor)

This weekend in London: a band performing live on stage at the bandstand at Summer in Battersea Park
Summer in Battersea Park begins on Saturday

ILLUSIONARIES: Apparently 'London's first-ever story-based immersive art experience', Illusionaries is at Crossrail Place in Canary Wharf. The first show is Memories of a Dead Poet, a 40-minute experience across three galleries featuring wraparound projections, an infinity cube mirror and a soundscape room. 22 June-24 September

ENGINEERS GALLERY: Science Museum unveils its brand new major gallery, Engineers, designed to challenge misconceptions about what engineers do, and offer a new look at the range of topics the role can cover. Stories from more than 60 engineers feature in the gallery. FREE, from 23 June

HERNE HILL VELOFETE: Herne Hill Velodrome's annual open weekend, Velofete, is this weekend. It's a chance to have a go at cycling in one of the world's oldest velodromes, with taster sessions, races to watch, and talks by experts on the Cycle Chat Stage. 23-25 June

RIVER STAGE: Shubbak Festival takes over National Theatre's free, open-air River Stage on South Bank, for a weekend of contemporary Arab culture. Jordanian-British actor Lara Sawalha hosts both days, with entertainment including traditional and contemporary dance performances, live music from a range of genres and countries, origami and tapestry sessions, and plenty more. FREE, 23-25 June

JURASSIC LIVE: Head to Fairfield Halls in Croydon for Jurassic Live, a touring production which uses professional puppeteers and special effects to bring dinosaurs back to life. Aimed at age 2+, the show follows a team of dino rangers hunting for a missing baby dinosaur, meeting several different species of dinosaur along the way. 24-25 June

Saturday 24 June

This weekend in London:  a group of walkers, some wearing WWF t shirts, walking through the countryside
WWF brings its Great Wild Walks to Epping Forest © SolStock, WWF-UK

DIVA: One of the biggest exhibitions opening this month is DIVA, the V&A's deep-dive into the power and creativity of iconic performers from the 19th century onwards, looking at the origins of the term 'diva' and how it has been subverted and embraced. It features costumes worn by Maria Callas, Cher, Elton John, Janelle Monae and Marilyn Monroe, as well as the late Tina Turner. From 24 June

SUMMER IN BATTERSEA PARK: Wandsworth hosts a free series of outdoor events, Summer in Battersea Park, across four weekends in June and July, beginning today. Events include live music from the bandstand, free screenings of sports events, kids' activities, a dog show and plenty more. FREE 24 June-16 July

GREAT WILD WALK: Sign up to take part in a six- or 10-mile walk through Epping Forest, raising money for the World Wildlife Fund. The Great Wild Walk is a family-friendly event, and dogs are welcome, with a fundraising target of £150 per person, and money raised going to the WWF's conservation projects around the world. 10am

WINDRUSH FRONT ROOM: You'll probably have noticed Windrush events going on all week, because 22 June is Windrush Day, and this year is the 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush docking in Tilbury. Events continue this weekend too, including The Windrush Front Room at Horniman Museum. See inside a recreation of a Windrush era living room, with a chance to meet community elders. FREE, 10am-5.30pm

Events in London in June:  a black and white photo of Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross, part of V&A's DIVA exhibition
DIVA opens at the V&A. Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross at Rock Awards Santa Monica Civic Auditorium 1975; Various Locations; Mark Sullivan 70's Rock Archive Photo: Mark Sullivan/Contour by Getty Images

THE BUBBLY SHOW: Today's the final day of the first ever Bubbly Show, a two-day celebration of all things fizz by restaurant brand Searcys. It includes exhibitors from champagne houses and English sparkling wine producers, as well as tastings, talks, masterclasses and even a lesson in sabrage. 10am-6pm

ENCANTO: We don't talk about Bruno... except at Family Film Club in Canary Wharf, which screens 2021 Disney animated film Encanto this week. Get there in plenty of time to pick your spot in front of the open-air cinema screen. Find other outdoor cinemas in London this summer. FREE, 10.30am

FAMILY WAR WALK: Museum of London Docklands offers a family-friendly walking tour through the City of London, looking at how local residents were affected by the second world war. Find out how women and children lived during the war, and how food supplies were rationed. Age 7+. 10.30am

WRENATHON: 11 community choirs. Nine City of London Churches. A wealth of musical genres. Wrenathon: A Vocal Marathon invites you to explore a number of churches (four of which were designed by Wren), while soaking up music in them from the likes of Filament Theatre Company and Newham-based youth choir NewYVC. 12pm-7.30pm

WINDRUSH 75: The Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham is another venue celebrating Windrush today; tt hosts a Windrush 75 Block Party, with live music, workshops, performances and DJ sets all afternoon. 12pm-8pm

This weekend in London:   the exterior of the Golden Hinde, a galleon ship in a dry dock on Bankside
Shenanigans Cabaret takes place on board The Golden Hinde.

WINDRUSH SECRET: Meanwhile, the British Museum hosts a performance of play Windrush Secret, which looks at different perspectives on the Windrush migrants. Hear speeches by a young, white, far-right racist party leader, a black Caribbean diplomat, and an Oxford-educated Home Office government official — all given on the same day in different locations, with very different viewpoints. Followed by a Q&A. FREE, 2.30pm-4.30pm

WEAPONS OF MASS HILARITY: What happens when an Arab, Persian and Turk walk into a bar? Find out at tonight's Weapons of Mass Hilarity — a night which showcases Middle Eastern comedians. Tonight they include multi award-winning American-Egyptian Maria Shehata; Palestinian comic Nadz; and AYN Theatre Group alumnus Baz Shadnia. It's also a fundraiser for the Turkey and Syria earthquake fund. 8pm-10.30pm

SHENANIGANS CABARET: The Golden Hinde on Bankside hosts Shenanigans Cabaret, an evening of debauchery featuring contortionists, burlesque acts, drag stars and an extreme violinist. The event celebrates the replica galleon's 50th anniversary. Age 18+. 8pm-11pm

Sunday 25 June

This weekend in London: a colourful display of ceramic pieces on a stall at the Independent Ceramics Market
The Independent Ceramics Market is in Walthamstow.

WHITEWEBBS MUSEUM: 'Tis the monthly opening of Whitewebbs Museum, London's *other* transport museum which is located up in Enfield, in an old Victorian water pumping station. The eclectic collection includes model aeroplanes, toys, motorbikes, vintage fire engines, classic cars, a train carriage and much more. Read all about our visit. 10am-4pm

ANTIQUES FAIR: More than 120 exhibitors flock to the Royal Horticultural Halls in Westminster for the Adams Antique Fair. Browse and buy antique jewellery, silver, decorative pieces and collectables. 10am-4.30pm

CERAMICS MARKET: If you're looking for something a bit more contemporary to liven up your home, the Independent Ceramics Market takes place at Big Penny Social in Walthamstow. 90 ceramic artists are present, selling cups, tableware, vases, sculptures and more. 11am-5pm

REFUGEE WEEK: As Refugee Week comes to an end, Southbank Centre holds a day of events around this year's theme, Compassion. Take part in a mass singing performance, hear a panel debate about protests against immigration raids, and take the kids to a West African dance workshop. Some events FREE, 11.45am-8pm

WOMEN OF THE CITY: For much of its history, the City of London was not a place where women could easily make their mark. But there were exceptions. Join London on the Ground's Groundbreaking Women of the City tour to "Hear tales of pioneers and leaders from queens to thieves, including publishers and poets, artists and rebels, business leaders and socialites." 2.30pm

THE LOST PATHS: Jack Cornish, Head of Paths at the Ramblers, has dedicated the last five years of his life to walking forgotten routes through the British countryside. Today he's taking the more urban route to Conway Hall, to talk about his book, The Lost Paths, which shows how special these routes are, and the role they played in Britain's history. 3pm

INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING: Queer Britain in King's Cross hosts an interactive storytelling event celebrating LGBTQ+ families. It's led by Jodie Lancet-Grant, author of The Pirate Mums, and aimed at children aged 3-7 and their parents/carers. Hear the story of Billy, whose two mums are pirates. 3pm-5pm

MEZCALERIA: KOL Mezcaleria in Marylebone hosts a pop-up by Amsterdam bar Sins of Sal. Tuck into six special cocktails created by the Sins of Sal team and the KOL Mezcaleria team, using three different expressions of agave available from The Lost Explorer Mezcal (Espadín, Tobalá, Salmiana). 5pm-10pm

JEY: Korean-Australian singer, and FA Crew member, Jey, goes solo at The Garage in Highbury tonight. Support comes from KHAKII. 7pm

UKRAINIAN MUSIC: Musicians from a variety of countries team up for a concert in aid of the Odesa Peace Fund, which helps those affected by war in Ukraine. It's a chance to hear pieces of music written by Ukrainians including Boris Lyatoshinsky, Leonid Desyatnikov, Valentin Silvestrov and Artem Lyakhovic. Takes place at The Duke's Hall in Marylebone. 7.30pm-10.30pm