91 Simply Smashing Things To Do In London In September 2022
September already? Where did the time go? It’s not officially autumn until late September, so there’s no need to head inside or start making buckets of pumpkin-spiced lattes just yet. And the weather may be cooling down, but we’d wager there’s still a few summer-y days left. Regardless of if you’re chomping at the bit for all the autumnal weather and events, or still clinging on to the summer warmth, here’s our rundown of the best things to do this September.
Life has, uhh, found a way. With the opening of Jurassic World: The Exhibition on August 25, you can now get up close and personal with life-size replicas of the most iconic creatures from the franchise. We’re talking the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex, the clever girls in the raptor paddock, and even some adorable baby dinos. And, don’t worry, we’re sure this facility is much more secure than the ones in the films. Right? Grab your tickets here.
If there’s one thing you can always count on the Southbank Centre for, it’s the absolute best events and exhibitions designed to delight but also educate. The biennial Unlimited Festival is no exception to this. A five-day major festival celebrating the extraordinary creative work of disabled artists, Unlimited Festival presents incredible performance, music, film, visual art, and more from disabled artists and companies. This year be sure not to miss Leave The Light On For Me, Ruth McGinley, The Not F**kin’ Sorry Cabaret, and Saturn Returns. With over 60% of the Festival’s events are free to attend,it’s one of the most accessible and inclusive festivals around. See a full listing of the events, and grab tickets, at the website.
Step back in time, and even into the upside down, as you visit Hawkins as part of Stranger Things: The Experience. Unlock your power as your journey through the Hawkins Lab, interacting with all of your favourite characters from the show, as you attempt to save Hawkins in the immersive, interactive experience. Afterwards head to Mix-Tape, where a whole host of 80s themed locations await. You can check out the Byers’ living room, explore the Palace Arcade, and even get a photo with a Demogorgon, all while you chow down on themed food and drinks. Anyone for ice cream from Scoops Ahoy? Grab your tickets now.
4-6. Celebrate Oktoberfest
Proper Oktoberfest celebrations don’t start in October, despite what the name may suggest, but rather end in October. And plenty of venues across London are honouring the authentic dates with celebrations starting in mid to late September – and we are all for it to be frank. Let’s be real, how are Londoners not going to participate in a weeks-long celebration of great beer, great food, and great (depending on who you ask) brass bands? Neverland, are hosting multiple five-hour festival sessions, and Battersea’s Four Thieves is performing a traditional tapping of the barrel (where they promise a VERY special guest). Meanwhile London-based-authentic-German-brewery German Kraft are kicking off ‘The Big Triple London Craft Oktoberfest‘ with celebrations at their Elephant and Castle brewgarden. Lederhosen optional!
There’s something mysterious going on in this steampunk mining town, and it’s up to you to discover what. What is hiding deep in the mines? Was the blimp crash that resulted in the mayor’s disappearance really just an accident? And why the sudden interest from the JONACO company in this sleepy town? Wander around the New Town and enjoy the shopping, sightseeing, games, and food, or explore the Old Town if you want to uncover the mystery. Phantom Peak is a fully-immersive open-world adventure where the choice is up to you how far you delve into the story. You definitely won’t want to miss this incredible, unique experience. Book your tickets at the website.
8. Grab a tequila brunch
Head to the Brixton location of London’s favourite tequila bar, and the home of the legendary Mirror Margarita, Hacha, for tequila brunches every Saturday. Grab a three-course meal with cocktail pairing, or choose from the a la carte menu and sample such delights as Huevos Rancheros or Mushroom Pibil on Toast. Throughout the month the menu will change as they collaborate with different tequila brands, so you’ll have to keep going back to sample all the dishes. Only at Hacha Brixton, be sure to grab a reservation through the website.
The paintings of Van Gogh come alive in this breath-taking event that has been ranked one of the best immersive experiences in the world. Book now for Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience to find out what it feels like to lose yourself inside Van Gogh’s brush strokes for a few hours. You’re sure to come away inspired to pick up the paintbrush yourself, or at the very least with a newfound admiration of the artist’s work.
10. Take your furry friends to a street party (September 3)
Nine Elms will be the host of a delightful street party when The Embassy Gardens Pawfect Street Party brings a day of doggy festivities. There’ll be activities for your canine friends, a raffle with plenty of prizes on offer, and the presentation of the PAAWstival Awards 2022. There’s even going to be what they’ve termed a ‘Human Crufts’ – can we expect dog-owners on all fours jumping through hula hoops? Only time will tell! Check out the Embassy Gardens socials for more information and ‘pupdates’ nearer the event date.
Beatrix Potter needs your help to rescue Peter Rabbit from old Mr. McGregor’s rabbit-pie-shaped plan. Explore the flower and vegetable gardens, greenhouses, and potting sheds, as you meet some of Beatrix Potter’s other beloved characters. The Peter Rabbit Garden Adventure ends soon, so you’ll want to act quick to snap up some of the last remaining tickets.
12. Get some tattoo inspiration (September 3-4)
The Big London Tattoo Show hits London this month, and the ink-inclined will not want to miss it. 360 world-class tattoo artists will be in attendance and there’ll be all sorts of attractions and entertainment such as fairground rides, art exhibitions, sideshows, and more. Anyone and everyone is welcome, regardless of how tatted, or not, they may be. Head to the website to find out more.
It’s the 10th anniversary of Camden Town Brewery’s Tank Party, and following a nationwide Tank Party tour they’re returning to London for some blow-out partying. Expect some of the freshest (straight from the tank!) beer you’ve ever guzzled, delicious subs from some of London’s top sandwich makers, and family-friendly birthday-themed activities. Oh, and they’ll also be serving up a special birthday batch of fan-favourite seasonal beer, Strawberry Hells Forever. Pour all of it straight into our mouths, please.
14. Marvel at some tiny artworks (ends September 4)
You’ve still got a handful of days left to hit up the Small Is Beautiful: Miniature Art Exhibition. The run has been extended due to high demand, and you won’t want to miss your chance to check out the biggest international exhibition entirely devoted to mini art. There’s over 143 works to view, so be sure to grab a ticket!
15. Experience a taste of Brazil (runs through to September 7)
Casa Brasil, the fortnight-long celebration of all things wonderful about Brazilian food, drink, fashion, and design, started back over Carnival weekend and runs until the bicentenary of Brazilian independence, on September 7. Head to The Stables on Earlham Street, Covent Garden, where you’ll get the chance to participate in experiences and masterclasses on each of the themed days. There’s even a whole day of events dedicated to Cachaça, count us in! Find out more at the website.
16. Kick back to some jazz (September 7-10)
Soho Live Jazz Week is bringing a multitude of jazz performances to London across a number of different venues. Expect established and emerging jazz artists and the chance to get a look inside some private member’s clubs where some of the gigs take place. Plan ahead by checking out the programme of performances.
17. Try out some world-class cocktails (September 8-10)
Ever bemoaned the fact that to try out cocktails from different bars you have to actually go to different bars? Wouldn’t it be easier if they were all in one place so you could try out a bunch of things at once? Well, that’s exactly what’s happening at Cocktails in the City. The event finds some of London’s best bars popping up in a beautiful private Georgian garden for you to enjoy. Expect 20 bars, live music, delicious food, and plenty of fun games and activities.
18. Be dazzled by British Beauty Week (September 5-11)
Now, technically British Beauty Week is a national event, but of course most of it is actually happening in London – lucky us! There’ll be talks, shopping events, panel discussions, treasure hunts, freebies, and more. Find the full schedule on the website, where you’ll also find a variety of online events you can attend from the safety of your home – where no one can judge your pyjamas.
19. Sip on offerings from a completely new spirit brand (September 5)
An all new spirits brand, The Orientalist Spirits, is having it’s London launch at the acclaimed East London cocktail bar, Silverleaf. The award-winning Parisian bar, Little Red Door, will also be on hand collaborating with Silverleaf on September 5 to mix up special cocktails utilising the new liquors.
20. Snag some records with serious underground cred (September 10)
In conjunction with the last week of the Sweet Harmony: Radio, Rave & Waltham Forest, 1989-1994 exhibition, the ‘Sweet Harmony’ Record Fair is popping up for one day only. Featuring records from independent record labels, record dealers, and record shops all based in Waltham Forest, audiophiles won’t want to miss the chance to grab some brilliant records and support independent businesses.
21. Support Black-owned businesses at a night market (September 16)
Head to Bohemia Place Market for the Black-Owned Hackney Night Market, where you’ll find street food, artisan traders, and many more Black-owned businesses. It’s a festive night with DJs on hand, plenty of drinks and food, and the option to grab some sustainably-made clothing, gifts, and skincare. With Christmas looming in the near-future, it could be the perfect place to start the gift-shopping early.
22. Try out Stand Up Paddling on the Thames (September 14-18)
The London Stand Up Paddling Open is back in London, and they’re taking over the waterways of Canary Wharf. Not only can you watch the pros, they’ll also have introductory sessions available for those keen to give it a go! Already a dab hand at it? Try out the yoga on the water, or speed past the competition in one of the open races. Find out more here.
23. Gain a new perspective on Klimt’s artwork
Experience the artwork of Austrian painter Gustav Klimt in a whole new way in Klimt: The Immersive Experience. Step into moving paintings that reshape the work of one of modernism’s most hailed painters as you explore the colour-filled experience.
24. Fight for the Jenga Championship title (September 18)
Fancy yourself a dab hand at Jenga? Reckon you could take on the best Jenga players that London has to offer? Then you’ll definitely want to partake in Roof East’s Jenga Championship – where the game gets turned up to 11. Team up with a friend to be in with a chance for a £500 holiday voucher. Roof East’s website has all the details for you.
25.Delight your senses
Step into a world of pleasure at Dopamine Land, an interactive museum exploring that happiness-inducing hormone, dopamine. Exhibits and rooms are designed to thrill and delight all of your senses, giving you a chance to truly leave your worries at the door. Grab your tickets here.
26. Try out a brand new bao menu
Bao Yum is bringing a whimsical twist on the much-loved bao bun format with an all-new menu of sweet and savoury buns perfect for lunch or dinner, and for any palate. Fillings range from Cheeseburger to Satay Chicken to Cheesecake and Raspberry. They’re available for eat in, delivery, or Grab & Go – perfect for those last summer picnics. Check it out in The Westminster London.
27. Crack the code at this WWII experience (September 22-24)
An evening of mystery solving, code-cracking, and drama awaits you as part of Operation Black Door. The immersive theatrical experience will have you living out the history books as you join a government organisation and eavesdrop on conversations in your search for answers. Can you unlock the secrets of Operation Black Door? Grab your tickets here.
28-31. Enjoy an enchanting candlelight concert
Have a gorgeous, candle-lit date night (or just take yourself out on a solo date!) as you take in these dazzling tributes to the music we all know and love. Ranging from Coldplay to Ludovico Einaudi, and beyond, there’s something for all musical tastes.
🕯Candlelight: A Tribute to Ludovico Einaudi at Central Hall (September 2)
🕯Candlelight: A Tribute to Coldplay at Southwark Cathedral (September 7)
🕯Candlelight: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac (September 9)
🕯Candlelight: Soundtracks of Ennio Morricone, Hans Zimmer & More (September 25)
32. Sip on an 80’s style slushie with an alcoholic twist
Cult-favourite Australian whisky maker, Starward Whisky Distillery, have partnered up with some of London’s best cocktail and drinking spots to offer up Starward Slushies. The drink is a dangerously delicious blend of the brand’s single-malt whiskey with slushie flavours like Banana Colada, Mango Tango, and Cherry Crush. Find it at Jones Family Kitchen (Belgravia), Bull in a China Shop (Shoreditch), Sam’s Riverside (Hammersmith), and plenty of other venues. But don’t dawdle, as the promotion ends in late September.
33. Surround yourself with the artwork from Mexico’s most famous painters
Immerse yourself completely in the colour-filled world of Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s paintings and murals. The Mexican Geniuses experience takes you on a head first ride through the works of the two hugely influential artists. You won’t want to miss, so be sure to grab a ticket.
34-38. Catch some flicks
As autumn slowly makes itself known, the weather becomes perfect for movies. So check out some of these film-themed events.
Make your own film
🎬Sci-Fi London Film Festival’s Annual 48-Hour Film Competition (10-12 September) – Anyone can participate, and you have two days to make a sci-fi film.
Attend a film festival
📽️Fringe! Queer Film & Arts Fest (September 20-25): Multiple venues and cinemas across London
📽️London Spanish Film Festival (September 22-29): Ciné Lumière
Make the most of the last outdoor film showings
🎞️LUNA Cinema – Kew Gardens (August 31 – September 4), Regent’s Park (September 14)
🎞️Rooftop Film Club – Bussey Building and Roof East (until early October)
39. Celebrate Singaporean food
As part of London’s Singapore Food Festival, Poppies Fish & Chips is collaborating with Chinatown heroes Rasa Sayang to offer pots of the latter’s legendary Singaporean Chilli Crab Sauce. The perfect pairing for the venue’s famous chip-shop chips, the sauce will only be available at the Soho branch of Poppies Fish & Chips. Since it’s only available throughout September, once you’ve tried it, you may find the need to stock up!
40-52. Jump around at a top London gig
There’s no shortage of brilliant music on offer this month, with international superstars, indie artists you should definitely be checking out, and plenty in between.
🎶Lewis Capaldi (September 1-2): The O2
🎧Amber Mark (September 2): O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire
🎸Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert (September 3): Wembley Stadium
🎵Aminé (September 10): O2 Academy Brixton
🎙️Immortal Technique (September 11): O2 Academy Islington
🎶BANKS (September 16): Roundhouse
🎧Mica Millar (September 17): The Jazz Café
🎙️SAINt JHN (September 19): Electric Brixton
🎵Nile Rodgers & CHIC (September 19): O2 Academy Brixton
🎸Godspeed You! Black Emperor (September 20-22): Electric Ballroom
🎶Soccer Mommy (September 22): O2 Forum Kentish Town
🎧Bret McKenzie (September 26): Eventim Apollo
🎸Christine and the Queens presents Redcar (September 30): Southbank Centre
Read about the rest of the year’s don’t miss gigs here.
53-66. Absorb some culture at an art exhibition
Explore colour, performance, sculpture, and more through the many shows opening in September, and be sure not to miss out on those closing soon!
ART EXHIBITIONS OPENING IN SEPTEMBER
❤️Alys Tomlinson – ‘Gli Isolani’ (Opens September 7): Hackelbury Fine Art
💛Ant Carver – ‘All Alone in a Crowded Room’ (7-11 September): The Copeland Gallery
💚Harry Skeggs – ‘Beyond’ (September 7 – 21): Clarendon Gallery
💙Dawn Beckles and Poppy Lennox – ‘Life Still’ (Opens September 9): 99 Projects
💜Ksenia Dermenzhi – ‘In Bloom’ (Opens September 11): BEERS London
🧡Maria Bartuszová (Opens September 20): Tate Modern
❤️Marina Abramović (Opens September 23): Royal Academy of Arts
💛Nick Grindrod – ‘STRATA’ (September 23 – 29): Smithson Gallery
💚Hallyu! The Korean Wave (September 24): V&A
💙William Kentridge (September 24): Royal Academy of Arts
ART EXHIBITIONS CLOSING IN SEPTEMBER
💜Reframed: The Woman in the Window (closes September 4) – Dulwich Picture Gallery
🧡Walter Sickert (closes September 18) – Tate Britain
❤️In the Black Fantastic (closes September 18) – Hayward Gallery (pictured above)
💚Feminine power: the divine to the demonic (closes September 25) – The British Museum
Read about the rest of the year’s don’t miss exhibitions here.
67. Head to Europe’s largest axe-throwing experience
The latest and greatest of Whistle Punks‘ axe-throwing venues is due to open September 5, and we couldn’t be more stoked. Set to be the largest axe-throwing experience in all of Europe (so, big…), participants will find themselves in a venue right in the middle of Oxford Circus flinging axes at targets. Grab tickets at the website so you can lay claim to being the first of your friends to try it out.
68. Try out an avocado-centric meal
The Avocado Show is celebrating the first birthday of their London location this month, what better excuse to head down and try their avocadoey delights? Pretty, healthy, and made with sustainable avocadoes – their Avo Fries and Peanut Butter Avo Ice Cream have to be tried to be believed. Head on down to Mayfair to give the food a try – paired, obviously, with one of their signature Avo Cocktails.
Is there a better way to spend these cooler evenings than grabbing a ticket for some brilliant theatrical productions?
🎭Who Killed My Father (September 7 – September 24): Young Vic
🎭Tragedy Plus Time (Opens September 8): The Free Association
🎭Lysistrata – (September 8 – 10): Lyric Hammersmith Theatre (A Springboard production showcasing emerging young West London talent and exciting new writing)
🎭The P Word (Opens September 9): Bush Theatre
🎭The Crucible (Opens September 14): National Theatre
🎭 Ballooniana! (Opens September 22): New Wimbledon Theatre
🎭The Doctor (Opens September 29): Duke of York’s Theatre
🎭Mad House (Closes September 4): Ambassadors Theatre
🎭The Seagull (Closes September 10): Harold Pinter Theatre
Read about the rest of the year’s don’t miss shows here.
78. Check out a plant-based burger pop up
Until the end of September, plant based food brand BVRGER is popping up at King’s Road hot spot Bluebird Chelsea. Head on down to try out favourites from the brand such as the Classic, a meatless burger patty with all the toppings, or the Chicken Burger, which swaps in a meatless fried chicken patty tumbled in a unique spicy southern style breading. And you know you’ll want to opt for the activated charcoal bun for that visual WOW factor. Try them once, and you’ll definitely be coming back for more.
79-91.Keep exploring this wonderful city
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.