10 exciting things to do in London in August 2023

The big city has so much to see and do that it can be difficult to know where to start. Take the stress out of planning your summer trip to the capital with our latest blog. From high-energy street performances and the unmissable West End, to catching mythical creatures and experiencing virtual concerts – no matter what you fancy, we’ve got you covered.

Keep reading to discover 10 exciting things to do in London in August 2023!

1. Free theatre tickets for West End Kids Week

17th July – 31st August

Wicked Musical at the Apollo VictoriaLike the summers of our childhood, ‘Kids Week’ really does seem to last forever. And in this case, it really does – the offer of free theatre tickets for children under 17 runs throughout August. Every full paying adult at select shows and performances is entitled to a free child ticket, as well as half price tickets for an additional two children. From stories of triumph over adversity to the downright daft, there’s a huge range of shows on offer for toddlers to young adults. Many West End shows are included in the offer, with highlights including Wicked, Horrible Histories and SpongeBob the Musical.

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2. Pokemon GO Fest

5th – 6th August

Catch ‘em all this summer as this huge interactive family event descends on the capital. Pokemon GO Fest takes place over two locations with Trainers splitting their day across the two. In Brockwell Park in South London, there will be a double decker Pokemon bus and the chance to meet Eevee and Pikachu. Across the city, meanwhile, you’ll have freedom to roam and choose your own adventure. Fans of the long-running mobile game can enjoy specially- designed gameplay for the event. Highlights include a Mega-Evolved surprise from the heavens, the Mythical Pokémon Diancie making its game debut, and a special delivery from Aerodactyl.

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3. Notting Hill Carnival

27th – 29th August

Notting Hill CarnivalA small community street fair that began in the 1960s to promote unity is now a world-renowned celebration of the diverse cultures that make our capital a rich melting pot. The three-day family event is an assault on the senses, as a blanket of colour and sound envelops the West London district. This year’s celebrations include the UK National Panorama Steelband Competition. The jewelled heart of the carnival is the Mas – a parade that both the general public and masters of the masquerade can take part in. Food stalls, bars and fringe events all add to the invigorating celebratory atmosphere.

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4. Ice Cream Festival

19th August – 4th September

Covent Garden Ice Cream FestivalThere’s no cooler place to be this summer than Covent Garden’s Ice Cream Festival. Over 40 varieties of sundaes, sorbets, frozen drinks and gelato will be on offer across 35 locations, and there’s nothing vanilla about them. Expect sundaes made with freshly baked biscotti, ice cream macarons and flavours including basil, honeycomb, and lavender. There’ll be endless scoops of vegan options on offer, including sour cherry, hibiscus sorbet and coconut faux creme. If you fancy a tipple, be sure to get your hands on a damson and sloe gin flavoured ice cream, an Aperol spritz lolly or even a frozen cocktail!

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5. Visit the National Portrait Gallery After a 3-Year Refurbishment

National Portrait GalleryBe one of the first to visit this jewel in British culture – reopened after a three year refurbishment. The significant building improvements include the creation of public spaces, a welcoming visitor entrance, public forecourt and a new learning centre. Curators have also taken the unique opportunity to re-display the entire collection to represent a wider audience. Works have been chosen for their relevance to modern viewers and present missing or hidden stories from British history. Set among the gallery’s best-loved paintings are more works from its collection of 250,000 photographs, ranging from 1840 to the present day.

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6. Visit Arcade – Battersea’s Brand New Food Hall

Battersea Power StationVisit an arcade that isn’t an arcade in a power station that isn’t a power station. It sounds confusing but this is a destination well worth getting your head – and your mouth – around. This formerly disused Grade II-listed building has been given a new lease of life as a unique shopping destination with boutique shops. And the latest exciting addition is its cavernous 24,000 sqf food hall. Taking inspiration from street markets around the world, Arcade offers a 500-cover food hall, two bars, three restaurants and a private dining room. Visit Italy, India, Japan and Nepal – all of them accessible on the Northern Line.

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7. Greenwich+Docklands International Festival

25th August – 10th September

Greenwich and Docklands International FestivalThis free annual outdoor arts festival features a packed programme of theatre and performance. With a commitment to breaking new ground, this year’s event brings together UK and international artists for 16 action-packed days. Highlights include Open Lines – a heart-stopping spectacle from tight-rope walker Tatiana Mosio Bongonga. Greenwich Fair – a festival within a festival featuring family-friendly street arts, theatre, circus, installations and dance. Woman, Life, Freedom – a stirring production revealing the colour, warmth and vitality of Iranian culture, for which a courageous young generation are currently fighting. And Ancient Futures – combining West African folklore, fantasy and science fiction to imagine inspiring and inclusive futures.

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8. ABBA Voyage at ABBA Arena

3rd – 28th August

ABBA VoyageBe the first in line and don’t change your mind – gimme, gimme, gimme the ultimate Scandi pop experience aboard the ABBA Voyage. This experience is so unique it has a purpose-built arena in Olympic Park. Blurring the lines between the physical and digital, Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid perform for their fans at their very best – as digital versions of themselves. Backed by today’s finest musicians and using the latest in motion capture technology, the 1974 Eurovision winners serve up some of the most beloved songs ever written. Hits including Waterloo, SOS and Knowing Me, Knowing You among a catalogue of others.

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9. Genesis at Swiss Church London

28th July – 22nd October

Dreamt of experiencing something extraordinary? Well, get ready to have your mind blown with Genesis! It’s the hottest event of the year, straight from Europe to the UK, and it’s taking place at the stunning Swiss Church in London. In just 30 minutes, you’ll go on a mesmerising journey through light, water, earth and plants, representing the first three days of creation. It’s like stepping into a whole new world! The church itself is a hidden gem from the 18th century, perfectly designed to immerse you in a breathtaking fusion of art, technology and spirituality. Picture this: mind-blowing projections seamlessly fitting the architecture like a glove, surrounding you with sound and stunning images. It’s beauty and creativity like you’ve never seen before!

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10. Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms – Tate Modern

July – 30th September

Infinity Mirror Rooms at the Tate ModernStep into a world of endless patterns, colours and lights, and experience the mesmerising installations of the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who has been creating immersive environments for over 50 years. This is an incredible opportunity to see this renowned artist’s work which has been featured across the globe (and a great Instagrammable experience too!). Don’t miss the chance to see Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern until 30 September 2023.

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