Things to do in London this weekend

Things to do in London this weekend: September 21st-24th

Best for: Art in London

Basquiat: Boom For Real

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Untitled, 1982 Courtesy Museum Boijmans Van Beunigen, Rotterdam (C) The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. Photo: Studio Tromp, Rotterdam

The vibe:

The first large-scale UK exhibition for a modern art icon

Need to know:

Starting off as a graffiti artist on the streets of Manhattan in the late 70s, by the early 1980s, Jean-Michel Basquiat was the toast of the New York art scene, celebrated by the likes of Andy Warhol.

His career might have been cut tragically short, but his distinctive style continues to influence art and culture today. Earlier this year, one of his paintings sold for more than $110 million at auction - a record for any American artist. He's also inspired songs by artists like Jay-Z, Frank Ocean and Madonna.

Somewhat surprisingly, Basquiat's work is rarely exhibited in the UK - in fact, there's not been an exhibition dedicated to his work in this country for more than 20 years.

But that's set to change this week with the opening of Barbican's new blockbuster exhibition. The largest one ever devoted to the artist in the UK, Basquiat: Boom For Real includes more than 100 works.

Focusing on the artist's relationship to music, writing, performance, film and television, the exhibition is set to capture the exciting creative and clubbing scene that Basquiat was a part of.

The exhibition starts with a partial reconstruction of the famous group show New York/New Wave, which Basquiat first exhibited in, and takes you through his career, including his collaborative work with other artists, and the chance to see some of his most famous paintings.

Already gathering rave reviews from art critics, this is sure to be one of the year's biggest exhibitions.

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THESE INSTITUTIONS HAS THE MOST POLITICAL INFLUENCE A. TELEVISION B. THE CHURCH C. SAMO D. MCDONALDS', Jean-Michel Basquiat on the set of Downtown 81. (C) New York Beat Film LLC. By Permission of The Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Photo: Edo Bertoglio

When: Thursday 21st September-Sunday 28th January 2018
Opening times: Thurs-Sat: 10am-10pm, Sun-Wed: 10am-6pm
Getting there: Barbican Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS
Nearest Tube: Barbican
Price: £16 (concessions available) book in advance via the official website


Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen

English National Opera - Orpheus in the Underworld Act 1 transformation (C) Gerald Scarfe

The vibe:

Satirical stage and screen designs

Need to know:

Gerald Scarfe's distinctive, satirical illustrations are instantly recognisable from being published in newspapers and magazines around the world.

However, he's also had a long and successful career in designing for the stage and screen, most famously Pink Floyd's The Wall and the classic sitcom Yes, Minister.

For their latest exhibition, the House of Illustration are focusing on this side of Scarfe's work. Gerald Scarfe: Stage and Screen includes storyboards, costumes and props designed by Scarfe, for films, operas and ballets including The Wall, Disney's Hercules and The Nutcracker.

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Pink Floyd - The Teacher (C) Gerald Scarfe

When: Friday 22nd September-Sunday 21st January 2018
Opening times: Tues-Sun: 10am-6pm (Closed Mon)
Getting there: House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, N1C 4BH
Nearest Tube: King's Cross St Pancras
Price: £8.25 (concessions available) - includes entry to all House of Illustration exhibitions


Best for: Craft in London

Ceramics in the City

Ann Mercer - Metropolis, vessels based on architectural forms

The vibe:

Vibrant ceramics to suit all budgets

Need to know:

Hoxton's Geffrye Museum of the Home is filled with all sorts of fascinating, beautiful items of furniture and interior design.

And this weekend, it's also the place to go to pick up some unique, vibrant knick-knacks for your own home.

Ceramics in the City is the museum's annual celebration of the UK's ceramics art scene. More than 50 of the country's leading ceramicists will be there, showing their latest works.

There's something suitable for all budgets and tastes, with everything from practical tableware to one-off art pieces available to buy.

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Maria Wojdat - large yellow and orange vessel


When: Thursday 21st-Sunday 24th September
Opening times: Thursday (open evening): 6pm-8.30pm, Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm
Getting there: Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, E2 8EA
Nearest Tube: Hoxton (Overground)
Price: Free


Sculpt at Kew

David William Ellis - Maelstorm

The vibe:

Contemporary sculptures, surrounded by nature

Need to know:

One of London's lushest spots - there's something beautiful everywhere you look at Kew Gardens.

However, there'll be even more than usual to look out for this weekend, with the opening of the Sculpt at Kew exhibition.

Organised by Handmade in Britain, Sculpt at Kew features more than 70 sculptures, by renowned British and international artists.

The sculptures have been spread throughout the gardens, installed in carefully selected spots that showcase the artworks, and the gardens themselves in their best light.

Follow the trail through the gardens and try and spot each artwork.

All of the sculptures will be available to purchase after the exhibition closes next month.

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Jenny Pickford - Agapanthus

When: Until Sunday 15th October
Opening times: Mon-Thurs: 10am-6.30pm, Fri-Sun: 10am-7pm
Getting there: Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE
Nearest Tube: Kew Gardens
Price: Included in gardens' entry fee (£15.50 in advance from the official website)


Best for: Style in London

Carnaby Fashion Festival

The vibe:

Four days of free fashion and beauty events

Need to know:

One of London's most fashionable addresses, Carnaby Street is celebrating its place in style history with this weekend's Carnaby Fashion Festival.

Throughout the four day festival, the street's chic shops will be joining in the celebrations, offering all sorts of free events and special offers.

Among the events on offer will be makeup masterclasses from MAC and Illamasqua, free breakfasts at Jack Wills' in-store espresso bar and free hair styling and nail art at True Religion.

Sweaty Betty will also be marking the opening of their new flagship Carnaby Street store, with a selection of fun activities, including DIY donut glazing, matcha latte art classes and glitter root hair makeovers in their in-store hair bar Duck & Dry.

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When: Thursday 21st- Sunday 24th September
Opening times: Varies (Check online schedule for details)
Getting there: Around Carnaby Street, City of Westminster, W1F 9PS
Nearest Tube: Oxford Circus/Piccadilly Circus
Price: Free


Best for: Fitness in London

Wanderlust 108

The vibe

A triathlon and festival like no other

Need to know:

Producer of the world's biggest yoga events, Wanderlust are bringing their signature triathlon to London.

The Wanderlust 108, produced in partnership with Adidas, combines a 5k run (or walk), with an outdoor 90-minute yoga class and a 30-minute guided meditation.

Past triathlons in the USA have attracted thousands of attendees, and this Saturday's event in Tower Hamlets' Victoria Park is sure to be just a popular.

Alongside the main event itself, there'll be a real festival vibe, with sessions in activities ranging from aerial yoga to hula-hooping also taking place.

The festival's Kula Marketplace will offer a handpicked selection of health, beauty, clothing and jewelry vendors. And there'll also be plenty of food stalls - including some of the city's street food favourites - to choose from.

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When: Saturday 23rd September

Opening times: 7.30am-4pm
Getting there: Victoria Park, Old Ford Road, E3 5TB
Nearest Tube: Bethnal Green
Price: £37.85 via eventbrite.com


Best for: Clubbing in London

The Little Festival's 4th Birthday

The vibe:

A boutique beat-filled birthday bash

Need to know:

A club night with a festival vibe, the Little Festival is celebrating its fourth birthday with a series of exciting events.

Known for showcasing innovative house and techno DJs, in spectacular surroundings, the Little Festival is one of the most personality-filled and friendly clubbing experiences around. Taking place in clubs, theatres, basements and warehouses, the Little Festival's events are known for their amazing production values, props and mesmerising visuals.

And this weekend's birthday party is the perfect place to experience the unique atmosphere for yourself. Taking place at The Steelyard - a vast new space underneath Cannon Street Bridge - the party will feature a cutting edge line-up of DJs, spinning tunes from 10pm through to 6am.

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When: Saturday 23rd September
Opening times: 10pm-6am
Getting there: The Steelyard, 13-16 Allhallows Lane, EC4R 3UL
Nearest Tube: Monument/Cannon Street
Price: From £16.90 via residentadvisor.net


Best for: Cinema in London

Vauxhall Pop-Up Cinema Club: Moana Family Fun

The vibe:

An afternoon of Disney-inspired fun

Need to know:

If you're looking for something to keep the kids happy this Saturday, South London pop-up space The Workshop is the place to go.

The Vauxhall-based venue will be hosting a pop-up cinema club, screening Disney's hit movie Moana.

Before the film, there'll be a whole afternoon of interactive workshops for kids. Inspired by the film, activities on offer will include face-painting, poster designing and singing and dancing classes.

And while you're there, you can also check out the free London Fire Brigade Pop Up Museum.

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When: Saturday 23rd September
Opening times: Doors open: 2.30pm Film starts: 5.30pm
Getting there: The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, SE1 7AG
Nearest Tube: Vauxhall
Price: Adults: £5, Kids: £2.50 via travellingfilmshow.co.uk


Essential weekend information

Find more inspiration for things to do in London here.

We've also pulled together a guide of 50 brilliant things to do in London in the summer, and a list of the city's best riverside pubs and bars, if you want to make the most of the pleasant weather. (And a list of 28 things to do in London when it rains, just in case)

For all the latest news and travel information, visit the Transport for London website.

If you're planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of London hotels.

And finally, remember to check out the weather forecast.