Diwali’s five days of celebration begins on Saturday, October 22, and the festival of lights is observed around the world by Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and some Buddhists. It’s a five-day festival with the main festivities this year taking place on Monday 24. Diwali on the Square is the free Diwali celebration that welcomes a 35,000-strong crowd each year and returns to Trafalgar Square on October 9. The event opens with 200 colourfully dressed dancers in the main square followed by an exciting mix of performances from the Hindu, Sikh and Jain communities on the stage. Browse through the lively marketplace or tuck into some tasty vegan and vegetarian South Asian cuisine. There will be a host of activities to enjoy including Neasden Temple’s Diwali Festival Experience, dance workshops, yoga and meditation, Glimpse of Goddesses, Sari and Turban tying, the Diwali Culture Zone, the Unity Marquee, Soho Theatre Comedy and the ever popular Children’s marquee, plus there’s henna, face painting and a light up moment on the Square as the day turns to dusk.
Finding Diwali: The National Maritime Museum is hosting this takeover by South Asian art collective CommonGround& on Saturday 22. Showcasing an experience of sights, sounds, taste and smells of the festival of light. For more information click here.
Go to The London Cocktail Week
London Cocktail Week is the world’s ORIGINAL Cocktail Week and taking place in the cocktail capital of the world – it is most certainly also the best! Entry is completely free but make sure you get a London Cocktail Week wristband as this means you can enjoy drinks at the festival price of £7. The Little Cocktail Villages will be the perfect place to start your evening before exploring the fantastic bars across the capital. The four ‘micro-hubs’ will be dotted across the city, popping up in Belgravia, Borough Yards, Covent Garden and Devonshire Square – and will each host an exciting collection of pop-up bars and experiences all serving up delicious cocktails – plus music, masterclasses and more. Getting a London Cocktail Week wristband is the perfect way to explore the city’s unrivalled cocktail scene – giving you unlimited access to £7 Signature Cocktails in 300 of the best bars in London. The festival runs from 13-23 October 2022.
Celebrate Black History Month
October marks Black History Month in the UK, and there’s plenty happening across London for anyone who wishes to celebrate black culture and black-owned business around London. Here’s a few ideas to start you off:
-Have a dance at the Night Owl in Finsbury Park, a venue known for its strong support of Black History. With events all month that range from a reggae cookout to a payback funk night, you can’t go wrong here.
-Take a trip to The Way They See Us exhibition put on by Sokari Higgwe , which runs from October 1-31 and showcases the work of Jacqueline Suowari in a bid to make the voice of influence black artists have much louder and change the way black art is perceived. Find it at London Lighthouse Gallery & Studio.
-Head to the new speakers’ corner that has just opened ahead of Black History Month, aiming to give a platform to black poets in the city. Find it at Canary Wharf on October 8, 15 and 21, and read about it here.
-Head to one of the many events at London’s Union Chapel. This beautiful venue is playing host to plethora of events to mark Black History Month, from panel discussions on climate and past colonialism to music and poetry to a documentary screening on the church, slavery and reconciliation. View the lineup here.
-Get inspired at the BYP Leadership Conference, which is put on for thousands of black professionals to share inspiring stories, learn and connect with others. Read more and register to the event here!
Every year, Oktoberfest remains one of the things to do in London in October and is the biggest celebration of its kind in the UK, seeing more than 50,000 guests come together annually. You can expect a live Baravian band, authentic German food and beer and Oktoberfest decorations; you’ll feel like you’re in a traditional Oktoberfest tent in the middle of Germany. Don your best lederhosen and strap in for the best beer-fuelled German celebrations in the city.
Pergola Paddington’s Wunderbar pop-up: we’ve told you about the Halloween events here, but the Wunderbar runs all the way through Oktoberfest with plenty of parties planned.
Oktoberfest at BOXPARK: Stilt-walkers, traditional Bavarian games, street-food, and, of course, beers can all be found at Boxpark during Oktoberfest season.
KRAFT presents Oktoberfest: A plethora of Oktoberfest events across multiple venues are being held by this German beer company, complete with pretzels, beers, and dancing galore
Bermondsey Bierkeller: Catch live Oompah bands all through October at this lively south London beer hall.
Go to The Upside Down
Because what screams spooky more than taking a trip to Hawkins to immerse yourself in the uneasy, 80s-soaked universe of Stranger Things? When you’re not plotting the fight against the Demogorgans you can hit the arcades, try some of the cool and colourful flavours available at the Scoops Ahoy store and splash out on all the merch you can get your hands on. Worth it for making a deal with God, and well worth a trip this Halloween. Get your tickets here.
Visit The Pumpkin Patches
The start of October means we’re just around the corner from creepily carved pumpkins filling windows and doorsteps around the capital, and it’s never too early to start planning your creations.
A pumpkin patch is the best place to go on a hunt for the perfect pumpkin. There are hundreds of pumpkins spread across fields, and it is your job to find the perfect one to meet your pumpkin carving or decorating (or cooking) needs. These pumpkin patches are all reachable from London and will all provide you with a pumpkin fit to frighten Pennywise the clown away. Plus, snaps among all those sweet fruits are bound to be a hit for your Instagram feeds. Read the list here!
Go to Jurassic World: The Exhibition
Step into Jurassic World: The Exhibition, inspired by the much-loved film series Jurassic Park, and discover the wildlife and science behind the scenes. Your adventure begins as you board the ferry to Nusa Island and as you enter, prepare to be mesmerised by famous dinosaurs that roamed the earth, from the Velociraptor and Brachiosaurus to the Tyrannosaurus Rex, among other prehistorical species. The exhibition is located in ExCeL London at the Royal Victoria Docks. The closest station is Custom House. Make sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes before your booked time. Once inside the exhibition, you can expect to spend around 45 minutes to one hour exploring, although there is no time limit once you have passed through the gates.
Book your tickets for the Jurassic World: The Exhibition here.
Go to Fairgame
We might be entering winter, but Canary Wharf is welcoming in Fairgame; a playground for adults with candy-floss cocktails, prizes to be won, a giant hook-a-duck game and much more.
All the classic fairground games with a fresh take can be found at Fairgame. And, in true 21-t century fashion, each gamer can get their hands on a RFID wristband to log scores and purchase rounds on.
The experience is four years in the making, and arrives at a unbeatable riverside location, which, of course, Fairgame are making use of. Your duck challenge game will be assisted by the North Dock; with the giant floating installation bound to draw any passers-by in hook, line and sinker.
And, as this is an adult fairground experience we’re talking about, you can gorge yourself giddy on prosecco-infused candy floss, as well as other boozy sweets and slushies from Hackney Gelato and plenty of toffee apples to go round. Those who fancy a tipple but don’t get down with candy floss, there’s a fine spread of funfair-themed cocktails, alongside artisanal spirits and craft beer. Best of all, you can pay in advance and load up tokens on your swanky wristbands. Tickets for Fairgame start at £13, and you can book your place here.
Go to The Chinese Food Festival
As the temperature drops, you’ll be wanting to treat your stomach to some excellent hot food; and this three-day Chinese Food Festival at the end of the month is sure to be just the tonic. For the first time, the event will be ticketed, and will take place at Bedford Square Gardens, London’s largest private Georgian garden, and the perfect place to soak up the autumnal shades of copper and gold while tantalising your tastebuds with delicious food from over 10 different stalls. Aside from feasting, there are plenty of other activities available across the Friday–Sunday that provide a taste of Chinese culture. Head to the workshop area to try your hand at lantern making, creating enamel jewellery,tea-tasting., or wander over to the Craft Market to purchase jewellery and handmade artworks. If you’d rather kick back and soak in the atmosphere, there’ll be mesmerising performances, including folk music, classical dance and immersive Han costume play. Book your spot here!
Watch Halloween Movies at The Outdoor Cinema
Taking to London’s radiant Osterley Park between October 29-31, three belters are being projected onto the big screen. Wrap up, pick up one of the many food and drink options on site, and take in the action.
First up we have The Lost Boys (1987). A vampire picture with Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Feldman and a belting Echo and the Bunnymen rendition of The Doors’ People Are Strange leading the soundtrack. Catch it on October 29 from 8pm. Next up we move over to the formidable 1990s with an all-time family favourite, Hocus Pocus (1993), playing from 6:30pm on October 30. Let Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and the witches of Salem accompany you through the eve-of-All-Hallow’s-Eve in this classic that’s perfect for younger audiences. No Halloween movie night is complete without The Shining (1980). Stephen King’s tale meeting Kubrick’s masterful lens, topped off with performances of a lifetime by Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall make this one… a pretty good (the best) horror outing. October 31. 7:30pm.