November’s here, and from getting in early with the festive cheer to Diwali and exhibitions, there’s plenty of things to do with your family, children or friends. Here’s our pick of what’s on in London this month…
Photo: Yinka Ilori
1 Birthday Month at Cutty Sark, Greenwich
Marking yet another anniversary, Cutty Sark has a host of things to do for families and children this November. On November 6-7 the ship plays host to a Family Fun Weekend, with shanty singers, actors and arts and crafts activities. There’s also a Kids in Museums Takeover on November 12. However the big birthday bash takes place on November 20 and will be filled with sea shanties and fun things to do. Also, for this event, young people from Greenwich aged between 16-25 can enjoy the festivities for free.
Opening hours: Daily 10am-5pm
Address: King William Walk, SE10 9HT
2 Catch a Show at Between the Bridges, Southbank
A fun and camp night or day out, Between the Bridges has a line-up for families and friends looking to get silly. The venue’s drag brunches often feature Ru Paul Drag Race faves such as Tia Kofi, Cheryle Hole and Baga Chipz, comedians, drag shows, DJs and karaoke by Karaoke Hole and Massaoke. For families who like to party together, there are Massaoke family matinee sessions and Big Fish Little Fish family raves.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday 12pm-11pm; Saturday to Sunday 11am-11pm
Address: Queen’s Walk, South Bank, SE1
3 Purcell Sessions at Southbank Centre, Southbank
A programme of championing creative exploration, Purcell Sessions events include audio-visual installations, album launches and cross-genre concepts in the intimate Purcell Room, and an opportunity to listen to something new. On for November, Robert Ames, co-founder of the London Contemporary Orchestra who has collaborated with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Vivienne Westwood and Frank Ocean presents his latest album Change Rising. Experimental composer Laurel Halo collaborates with London Contemporary Orchestra and Gigi Masin presents his new album Calypso, inspired by the mythical Greek island of Ogygia.
When: Various dates and times throughout November
Price: Events are individually tickets
Address: Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall
4 Glow in the Dark Cricket at Sixes, Fulham & Fitzrovia
Test your batting skills with Sixes’ new UV Cricket, where your bat and ball (and cocktails) glow in the dark. Sixes, an indoor cricket simulator, use special lights coupled with state-of-the-art technology to illuminate your game with a neon glow. After, try a cocktail or two and tuck into a British BBQ themed menu – slow cooked chicken wings, house-smoked sausages and mac & cheese croquettes.
When: Open daily, opening hours differ between venues
Price: From £20 for three people for 30 minutes
Address: 170 Great Portland Street, Fitzrovia, W1W 5QB;
18 Farm Lane, Fulham, SW6 1PP
5 Go Virtual Clay Shooting at Clays, Moorgate
Now, guns and booze almost rarely work well together, however, at the newly opened Clays, a virtual clay shooting venue and and bar, they kind of do. Spanning across two floors, Clays features 12 booths which can be booked by groups of up to 20 people for a 90-minute session, and is suitable for pros and novices. Each set up has four-metre wide screen that transports you to the British countryside, and the game has been developed use state of the art technology that tracks the gun’s movements with sub-millimetre accuracy. So if you miss, you only have yourself to blame. There’s also a bar serving food from a menu put together by Roger Ollson (ex-The Ritz, The Dorchester and Pied a Terre). This includes an extensive array of vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes. There’s also a selection of smashing cocktails, which can only improve your aim, right?
When: Opens November 1; Monday-Saturday 12pm-12am; Sunday 12pm-10pm
Price: From £40
Address: 55 Moorgate, EC2R 6LL
6 LEGO and Yinka Ilori’s Launderette of Dreams, Shoreditch
You may have seen Ilori’s colourful designs brightening up London’s streets recently and this latest, interactive installation is just as colourful. One to take the kids to, this might be the best laundrette you’ll ever enter. Made with more than 200,000 LEGO bricks, it features kaleidoscope laundry drums, mural walls and hopscotch tracks. For the adults, the laundromat will host a series of talks.
When: Until November 6, 10am-6pm
Price: Free. Pre-book workshop sessions and there will be limited walk-ins available for each viewing time slot and workshop session
Address: 133-135 Bethnal Green Road E2 7DG
7 Make a head start on Christmas, London-wide
While many of us lament that Christmas always comes early, many more of us love embracing the festive cheer as soon as we can. For those in the latter camp, it’s Christmas market season, and time for the Christmas lights switch-ons – including the ever-popular Carnaby lights switch on featuring shopping and restaurant deals alongside festive cheer (November 4) – and light trails too. For those in the former camp, there’s always a pub or a restaurant to fill you with merriment on these cold, winter nights instead.
8 Celebrate Diwali, London-wide
The Hindu festival of lights is upon us again this November 4, and there are various ways you can mark the celebration. Try one of London’s lip-smacking Indian restaurants – Gymkhana, Trishna, Brigadiers, the newly opened BiBi, Jamavar and Cinnamon Kitchen City and Farzi Cafe have created special festive menus for the occasion. The National Maritime Museum has put together a programme for the whole family to enjoy including story-telling, lantern-making and performances. That’s on Sunday, October 31, from 11am-5pm, and it’s free. Pop-Up London also has free dance performances around London you can take the kids to.
9 Art of Banksy exhibition, Covent Garden
On loan from private collectors, this colossal collection which has already been displayed in Australia, Israel, Europe and America includes some of Banksy’s lesser-known works, alongside iconic favourites. While the exhibition hasn’t been created in collaboration with Banksy himself, and as a concept a bit of a contradiction (when does street art stop being street art for a start?), it is an opportunity to see a load – and I mean a load – of his works. And they are great.
When: On now, until May 22, 2022
Price: From £25/£17.50 adult/concession
Address: 50 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LJ
10 Skuna Hot Tub Boats, Canary Wharf
You can still enjoy being in water and embrace the outdoors now that the cooler weather is here. Skuna Hot Tub Boats are wood-fired heated to a toasty 38°C, and the water, thankfully, is changed after each trip. No experience is needed to steer your private floating hot tub around Canary Wharf, so gather up your mates or family, and don your cossie. Each boat can accommodate up to seven people, and changing rooms and lockers are provided.
Price: £225 Sunday-Friday; £250 Saturday
Discount offers: 50 per cent off Monday to Wednesday using code BOATOUT or get 50 per cent off BBQ Boats using code AUTUMN50
Address: West India Quay, off Hertsmere Road, Canary Wharf, E14 4AL
11 Rick Stein’s Stephane Delourme pop-up at Sam’s Riverside, Hammersmith
Stephane Delourme, Group Head Chef of Rick Stein Restaurants, teams up with the Sam’s Riverside team to create a series of special lunch and dinner services at this Thames-side pearl. The four-course menu will make the most of seasonal produce from local suppliers including Carlingford Oysters, Gusbourne English sparkling and Phoenix Farm in White City. The menu includes such delights as queen scallops and salpicon dressing; razor clams, Cornish white crab meat, jamón Ibérico de Bellota; and Tronçon of Cornish turbot, girolles and chicken jus.
When: Dinner: November 16-18; Lunch: November 17-18
Price: £90pp with an optional wine pairing for £30. Add 6 Carlingford oysters for £19.50; three cheeses for £13
Booking: Call 020 8237 1020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 1 Crisp Walk, Hammersmith W6 9DN