Guides / Guide

Things to do in London this month

Check out the latest and greatest events happening in the capital.

No matter who you are or where you come from, you’ll find something captivating, unusual and oh-so-amazing going on in London. This is the city where everything happens.

The iconic arch of Wembley Stadium reaches toward the sky, and the West End radiates energy unlike anywhere else. Throw in age-old royal palaces, skyscraping architecture, the Tube, world-class museums, sport of all forms and nonstop live music…and you’ve just begun to scratch the surface.

Although the London weather can be unpredictable, you can be certain each month will bring a whole new ginormous selection of events – and you’re not going to want to miss these awesome October activities.


Spotlight on: Halloween 

London is one of the best places to be for Halloween. Not only does the capital go all out in terms of massive nightclub parties, but you’ll be spoilt for choice with ghoulish theatre, freakishly awesome gigs and marvelous make-believe.

The West End boasts a handful of hair-raising productions. There’s the brilliantly gripping Woman in Black at Fortune Theatre, while Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson’s hit horror Ghost Stories just opened at Ambassadors Theatre.

Also perfect for the witching season are Wicked at Apollo Victoria Theatre, The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre and Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution at County Hall (tip: pay no booking fees if you grab tickets before 14 October).

And attention Potterheads! Why not scare yourself senseless at Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at Palace Theatre? Then take the Warner Brothers Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter in Leavesden and check out everything from movie props and magnificent sets, to chocolate frogs and the Hogwarts Express.

 

Consummate showman Alice Cooper will be in the capital on 10 October at The O2 with his Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back tour that includes special guests The Stranglers.

And Cradle of Filth, the extreme black, gothic and symphonic metal band, will appear at the London Palladium on 19 October.

On 31 October, All Hallows’ Eve itself, see Little Mix in their LM5 tour at The O2, Beyond the Black at The Dome, Happy Mondays at Roundhouse, Honeyblood at The Garage, Royal Republic at Electric Ballroom, Charli XCX at O2 Academy Brixton or Lisa Stansfield on her 30th anniversary Affection tour at Royal Albert Hall.

Prefer to find something evil lurking from the dark? Of course, another great way to celebrate Halloween is by mixing in the excitement of clubbing and live DJ sets.

Don’t miss the KISS Haunted House Party when it returns to The SSE Arena, Wembley on 25 October with the freakiest line-up yet – Sean Paul, Young T & Bugsey, Anne-Marie, Liam Payne and Jax Jones.

Prepare for a frightening Friday night at Halloween House Party at O2 Academy Islington on 25 October which will bring DJs and monsters alike together amid haunted stage décor, hellish smoke machines and spooky inflatables.

Also on 25 October is Thriller, the UK’s biggest Halloween festival, at Loves Company in Imperial Hall. Not only will resident DJs play bangers from the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s all night long, but also expect candy, Halloween props and much more.

The Reggaeton Halloween Party at The Grand in Clapham on 25 October allows you to get down with ghosts and goblins to reggaeton music all night long.

Make tracks for Cafe Mambo Ibiza London Halloween at the Church on 26 October for an epic Halloween party inside a Grade 2-listed church.

Satisfy your blood-curdling appetite on the Thames. Horror and gothic elements combine with monstrous beats across two decks on the Halloween Boat Party at Westminster Pier on 26 October.

Check out the Club de Fromage’s Zombie Apocalypse: Halloween Party on 26 October at O2 Academy Islington.

Or wait until the witching hours of 31 October to join a nightmarishly wonderful party like the Super Sonix Halloween Special at O2 Academy Islington, the ’90s v ’00s Halloween Party at 229 The Venue or The London Halloween Ball at Electric Brixton.

Discover lots more Halloween fun throughout London in our Club Nights guide.


Other things to do

This October enjoy a wide mix of music, comedy, sport and theatre – plus some fun stuff for all the family.

Multi platinum-selling performer Hozier and his band have been touring the UK this autumn and will wrap up with five shows at the London Palladium from 1 – 5 October.

Enjoy karaoke? Then don’t miss Brassaoke, a mass karaoke party backed by a 10-piece brass band at XOYO on 4 October.

Ministry of Sound presents The Annual Classical, the orchestral re-imagining of the popular dance music compilation series, on 4 October at Royal Festival Hall.

Grammy Award-winning singer John Mayer will play The O2 on 13 – 14 October as part of his latest world tour.

 

National Geographic: Symphony for Our World offers a breathtaking musical journey through some of the world’s most incredible wildlife spectacles on 16 October at Eventim Apollo.

Globally adored music superstar Wizkid will take over The O2 on 19 October.

Metallers Killswitch Engage will be at O2 Academy Brixton on 20 October in support of their forthcoming new album Atonement.

On 20 October, the inimitable Cher will take the stage at The O2 on her Here We Go Again tour which features hits from her 26 solo albums, as well as cuts from her most recent Dancing Queen release.

You can’t say no to seeing Brighton-born Conor Maynard on 24 October when he appears at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

See gravel-voiced singer-songwriter Tom Walker when he stops at O2 Academy Brixton on 24 October during his biggest UK headline tour to date.

Legendary Jamaican roots reggae singer Horace Andy is playing two special shows in London at Boisdale of Canary Wharf on 23 October and Fairfield Halls, Croydon on 25 October.

The capital’s biggest celebration of blues and soul, BluesFest, returns to The O2 and indigo at The O2 from 25 – 27 October with headline performances from John Legend, Raphael Saadiq and Rickie Lee Jones.

Catch singer and E Street Band member Jake Clemons at O2 Academy Islington on 26 October.

 

Following the release of her highly praised third album, Grey Area, Little Simz will be appearing at EartH on 29 October.

Sport fans will discover plenty of thrilling clashes in London this month too.

Enjoy a fantastic afternoon of American football as the 2019 London Games get underway this month. The action kicks off at the new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with the Chicago Bears taking on the Oakland Raiders on 6 October, followed by the Carolina Panthers facing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on 13 October. Then on 26 October, Wembley Stadium hosts the Cincinnati Bengals as they meet last year’s Super Bowl contenders, the Los Angeles Rams.

Enjoy loads of fast-breaking basketball action at the British Fast5 All Star Championships on 12 October and the British Basketball All-Stars on 13 October. Plus, cheer on London Lions on 23 October as they go up against the Plymouth Raiders. All three games will be played at the Copper Box Arena in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Six Day London is set to return to the capital for its fifth year. Be there as top international riders face off in the velodrome at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 22 – 27 October. Four British Olympic heroes have been confirmed to appear at this year’s event: Mark Cavendish, Owain Doull, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker.

 

On 29 October the first ever RugbyX event, a new fast-paced format of the game featuring the world’s leading international 7s teams (England, France, Ireland, Argentina and the US), will be launched at The O2.

Over in the West End there’s plenty of hot entertainment to keep summer shining on.

The dance and music extravaganza Heartbeat of Home, from the producers of Riverdance, runs until 13 October at Piccadilly Theatre.

Throughout October you can see Sir Ian McKellen taking the stage in a solo show at the Harold Pinter Theatre.

Recently opened at Wyndham’s Theatre is the classic Ealing comedy The Man in the White Suit starring Stephen Mangan and Kara Tointon. At Garrick Theatre Michael Frayn’s iconic backstage comedy Noises Off has also premiered and if you book before 13 October you’ll pay no booking fees!

Two must-see productions are also opening in the West End on 23 October – the story of the world’s favourite nanny, Mary Poppins, at Prince Edward Theatre and Arthur Miller’s Death of Salesman, which will be told through the eyes of an African-American family.

 

Get more insider news from Theatreland by reading our monthly roundup here.

Enjoy some comedy in the capital as well – like Jason Byrne, who is on the road again with his Wrecked and Ready tour. He’ll appear at Leicester Square Theatre from 10 – 12 October.

Catch Adam Kay in This Is Going to Hurt at the Duchess Theatre on 7 October and then at the Vaudville Theatre on 21 and 28 October.

See the hidden camera comedy stars Impractical Jokers during The Cranjis McBasketball World Comedy Tour on 17 October at The O2, or watch Rose Matafeo talk about mid 20s angst at EartH on 18 October.

Held at ExCeL London on 4 – 6 October, cake connoisseurs or anyone with a sweet tooth will want to explore The Cake and Bake Show, which features interactive baking exhibitions and celebrity guests like Great British Bake Off stars Candice Brown, Selasi Gbormittah and Briony Williams.

Kids of all ages will want to be there when Spider-Man, The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy join forces with Doctor Strange to battle against Loki in Marvel Universe LIVE! at The O2 from 3 – 6 October.


Live music venues

Looking for a gig to see? On any given night, you’ll be spoilt for choice in London. From stadiums and world-class concert halls to historic theatres and hole-in-the-wall bars, we’ve rounded up some of October’s music offerings as a starting point.

Stadium and arena shows:

Mid-sized venues with big atmosphere:

New music to have on your radar:

  • Sea Girls at O2 Forum Kentish Town on 10 October
  • Benee at The Camden Assembly on 15 October
  • Aeris Roves at London Omeara on 17 October

Iconic attractions

Along with the London Underground, the capital is famous for many things – among them its royal palaces, beloved landmarks, fantastic selection of museums and gloriously green parks. Here are a few ideas of the fun you can have at these and other popular sites this month.

Take in the view from The Shard, Western Europe’s tallest building and one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. The highest viewing gallery in London, you can access the indoor platform and open-air Skydeck to enjoy 360-degree views of London.

Shard

Not far from London is the beautiful Kensington Palace and Gardens. Since being renovated in 1689, it’s been an official residence of the British royal family and currently occupied by the Prince and Princess Michael of Kent.

Tour an iconic piece of British history by visiting Westminster Abbey which has been the traditional coronation site for English monarchs since William the Conqueror, as well as the burial place of kings, queens, statesman, poets, and philosophers.

ZSL London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo. Opened in 1828, it now holds one of the largest animal collections in the UK with everything from penguins and lions to meerkats, gorillas and Galapagos tortoises. Plus, there’ll be plenty of family Halloween fun this October half-term as the attraction celebrates the gruesome side of nature!

Don’t miss Bond in Motion at the London Film Museum which is home to an extensive collection of original vehicles and props featured in the revered 007 film series.

Looking for some thrills? The Slide at the ArcelorMittal Orbit is the world’s tallest, longest and fastest tunnel slide with breathtaking views across London.

And over at Shakespeare’s Globe, there’s a magical staging of the bard’s much loved A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 3 – 13 October.


You can do all this and more in the capital this October. For full details, head to our London Guide.

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