After a month of bank holidays, a half term and a coronation you’d think that London would be sitting back and putting its feet up for the month of June. But no, this month is as busy as ever in the city and while the weather hasn’t been cooperating much so far, there’s promise of brighter days, warm weather and the proper start of summer ahead.
And of course, June is when Father’s Day happens. This year it takes place on 19 June. Don’t forget to buy your dad a gift!
June is also a good time to explore London’s famous landmarks and major attractions before the schools break up for summer.
See the Changing of the Guard without the crowds, take a tour on the London Eye, marvel at the Crown Jewels, snap photos of famous figures at Madame Tussauds, or simply enjoy the street performers in Covent Garden. Don’t forget to book your tickets to the Sky Garden either.
Read on and enjoy our list of the best things to do in London in June.
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What’s happening in London for June 2023
Table of Contents
Happy Birthday Tower Bridge!
Contrary to what many people think, Tower Bridge is not actually that old. London’s most picturesque bridge opened on 30 June 1894 and will be celebrating it’s 129th birthday this month. Join in the celebratory fun on Saturday 17 June with free family activities including the chance to make a paper flower like the ones used as decorations during the original Victorian ceremony.
When: 17 June, free with entry
Where: Tower Bridge, closest tube stations Tower Hill and London Bridge
West End Live
Get ready to sing along to some of your favourite musical numbers at West End LIVE in Trafalgar Square, central London. Musical theatre fans will love this free event that takes place on Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 June. It’s the perfect place to hear some of your favourite show tunes – from the Lion King and Mamma Mia! to The Phantom of the Opera and SIX – for free. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.
When: 17-18 June; free entry
Where: Trafalgar Square; closest tube Charing Cross
Family Events at the British Museum
Design a mask inspired by objects from Ancient Greece and Persia or create a fan inspired by objects from China. Both are free, drop-in events.
When: Various dates, check the website for details; Events take place between 10am – 4pm and are non-ticketed, and operate on a first-come, first-served basis.
Where: The British Museum, closest tube Tottenham Court Road and Holborn
DIVA at the V&A Museum
Opening on June 24 is this new exhibition at London’s V&A Museum celebrating the power and creativity of iconic performers across opera, stage, popular music, and film.
Exhibition highlights include the sketch of the Flame dress worn by Tina Turner, Billie Holiday at her only ever London appearance at the Royal Albert Hall and photos of legendary divas Cher, Elton John and Diana Ross together at the Rock Awards in Santa Monica in 1975. A great option for teens in London.
When: Opens 24 June, tickets are available to book now.
Where: The V&A Museum, closest tube South Kensington
Family events at the V&A
There are some fun family activities taking place this month at the V&A Museum including a storytelling session focused on Caribbean tales, the chance to create your own wall art, a sculpture-making session and more.
When: Various dates, check website for details
Where: The V&A Museum, closest tube South Kensington
Animals Art, Science and Sound at the British Library
This fascinating new exhibition at the British Library showcasing the art, science and sound recordings collected by explorers documenting the animal world.
Listen to the mournful song of the last living living Kauaʻi ʻōʻō, recorded in 1983 and declared extinct in 2000, read the first scientific description of a duck-billed platypus, once thought to be so bizarre it must be a hoax, and discover fun facts along the way. Did you know, for example, that the first photograph of a live giant squid was only published in 2005?
When: Until 28 August, 2023
Price: £16/8 Adult / Child (Under 11s go free)
Book tickets for Buckingham Palace
If you fancy taking a look inside Buckingham Palace, the most famous of London attractions, then now’s the time to book your tickets. Sure, the palace look splendid during the Jubilee celebrations but in order to be really impressed you should take a tour inside too.
When: The State Rooms open for visitors on 14 July until 24 September and tickets are available now.
Where: Buckingham Palace; nearest tube Green Park Station
Hampton Court Palace Festival
Teens might enjoy the Hampton Court Palace Festival, one of the capital’s favourite summer music festivals. This annual event has seen everyone from Kylie to The Beach Boys take to the stage in the Tudor Courtyard of Henry VIII’s Palace.
The Festival takes place across three weeks in June and artists confirmed for this year include Gladys Knight, Soft Cell, Grace Jones, Kool & The Gang, Kaiser Chiefs, Tom Jones, Björn Again and Rick Astley.
When: 6 – 17 June
Where: Hampton Court Palace; closest train station Hampton Court
Coronation Bench Trail at the Tower of London
Hundreds of schools across the UK designed their own illustrated Coronation benches to celebrate the Coronation of King Charles III and to express their hopes for the future. Fifteen winners were selected from more than 1,500 entries and these were brought to life by professional artists and 14 benches are now on display throughout the Tower of London (the 15th, the winning bench for Northern Ireland is on display at Hillsborough Castle). See if you can find all 14 as you tour the Tower.
When: Until 1 September
Where: The Tower of London; nearest underground Tower Hill
Open Square Gardens Weekend
Taking place on 10 and 11 June is the Open Square Gardens weekend when over 100 secret gardens and hidden green spaces across the city will open their gates to visitors. Weekend tickets and walking tour tickets are on sale now. Under 12s go free.
When: 10 – 11 June
Where: Various locations in London
Art in Mayfair
Enjoy art in all its forms during Art in Mayfair when the upscale neighbourhood transforms into an open-air gallery with sculptures, colourful flags and pop-up events. The event, a collaboration between Mayfair, the Royal Academy of Art and the New West End Company, last for one month from 12 June to 9 July.
When: 12 June – 9 July
Where: Throughout Mayfair, see website for details.
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur
The Natural History Museum is a great place to visit with kids at any time (not to mention one of London’s top attractions) but this new exhibition is a must!
Titanosaur: Life as the Biggest Dinosaur explores the world of the magnificent titanosaur Patagotitan mayorum, one of the largest creatures to have ever walked the earth. Learn how he found food, kept cool and stayed safe on this journey from tiny egg to towering creature.
If you have time, pop next door to the Science Museum once you’ve finished stopping for lunch along the way.
When: Until January 2024
Where: The Natural History Museum; nearest tube South Kensington
Taste of London at Regent’s Park
Enjoy five days of feasting at the Taste of London Festival taking place in Regent’s Park, one of the Royal Parks. Some 36 restaurants are taking part this year including Seoul Bird, Hoppers, Flesh & Buns, Bone Daddies and more. Meet chefs, talk to artisan producers, discover delicious food stalls and street food, check in at cookery school and much more. Arrive hungry!
When: 14 – 18 June; Children under six are free; children aged six and over need to have their own ticket. Specially priced tickets for teens (accompanied by an adult) are available
Where: Regent’s Park
Marylebone Summer Festival
Marylebone’s annual summer festival returns with an open-air cinema, a dog show, live music performances and family-friendly activities. On Saturday 10th June, Paddington Street Gardens will host open-air screenings of family friendly screening of Disney’s Encanto (U) at 1:30pm and blockbuster hit Elvis (12A) at 8pm.
When: 10 – 11 June
Where: Marylebone Village; closest tube Baker Street
London Bridge City Summer by the River
Enjoy Summer by the River with dozens of fun events, live music, theatre, pop-up events, film, and activities across three locations – The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and The Pier – alongside the River Thames.
When: From June to 3 September
Where: Events will be taking place across three locations, The Scoop, Hay’s Galleria and The Pier, check the website for details.
Sculpture in the City
Bringing some much needed colour to the traditional domain of button downs and brogues is Sculpture in the City. This annual sculpture park will launch in late June this year and features artists including Emma Louise Moore, Emma Smith, Jesse Pollock, Jocelyn McGregor, Pedro Pires, Ugo Rondinone and Victor Seaward. Download a map and information booklet from the website.
When: Late June
Where: Closest tube stations are Liverpool Street, Bank, Monument and Aldgate
Great Exhibition Road Festival
If you’re looking for free things to do then make a note of the Great Exhibition Road Festival. Taking place on the 17 – 18 June the weekend of free events is for all ages exploring how awe and wonder can inspire science and the arts.
When: 17 – 18 June
Where: Exhibition Road; closest tube South Kensington
Royal Opera House Family Sunday
Family Sundays at the Royal Opera House are packed full of creative and practical activities for families. Activities may include singing and dance, informal performances, live theatre, and craft or design activities. It’s a great place for kids to get creative. This month, Family Sunday takes place on 25 June.
When: 25 June at 10am and 1.30pm
Where: Royal Opera House, closest tube Covent Garden and Leicester Square
The Fans Strike Back
You’ve still got a couple of weeks to catch this exhibition taking place in South Kensington. The Fans Strike Back – a Star Wars fan exhibition invites all Jedi Knights, Jedi Masters and Palawan to visit and marvel at the hundreds of collectibles on display. There’s also plenty of official merchandise plus plenty of interactive photo ops and VR experiences (over 14s only). May the Fourth be with you!
When: Ends 18 June
Price: £20.50/13.50 Adult / Child (aged 4 – 12)
Where: 81 Old Brompton Road, SW7 3LD, London, SW7 3LD
Appearing Rooms at the Southbank Centre
One of the best places to spend a sunny summer’s day with kids in London is at the Appearing Rooms at the Southbank Centre. The shooting jets of water appear and disappear at random creating “rooms” within them and ensuring that you will come away very, very wet! The fountains start spouting on 7 June.
When: 7 June – 3 September
Where: Southbank Centre, South Bank
Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination
This exhibition at the Science Museum has proved such a hit that it’s been extended until the end of August. Blast off into space on this unique story-led exhibition that examines visions of the future through science and science fiction. Encounter authentic items from science fiction films, TV series and literature as well as scientific objects that have shaped modern life.
When: Until 20 August 2023
Where: The Science Museum; closest underground South Kensington
Dennis & Gnasher and other shows at the Southbank Centre
The Southbank Centre is always a great day out with kids. This May month they’ve got a calendar of events on offer including Dennis & Gnasher: Unleashed at the Orchestra on 3 June, The Marvellous Myth Hunter Ceilidh on 2 June (and 20 August), One & Everything Family Trail (until 4 June), and Rug Rhymes for under-5s on 9 and 30 June.
When: Various dates, check website for details
Where: The Southbank Centre on the South Bank.
Ai Wei Wei’s Lego Sculpture at the Design Museum
One of the best things to do in London in June is at London’s Design Museum. Chinese artist Ai WeiWei has a major new show at that includes an enormous piece made entirely from LEGO.
Titled Water Lilies #1, the piece is a homage to Impressionist painter Claude Monet and is a reconstruction of his famous water lilies piece, constructed entirely from 650,000 LEGO bricks in 22 colours.
When: Until 30 July 2023
Where: The Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, W8 6AG
Crown to Couture at Kensington Palace
The Crown to Couture exhibition opened on 5 April and is the largest ever staged at the Palace. On display are some 200 objects including Lady Gaga’s luminous green MTV Awards dress, the Thom Browne dress worn by Lizzo at the 2022 Met Gala and the world-famous Silver Tissue Gown worn at the court of Charles II.
It’s the perfect place to take fashion-forward older children and teens!
Don’t forget to enjoy Kensington Gardens while you’re there and the nearby Diana Memorial Playground.
When: Until October 23
Where: Kensington Palace; nearest underground Queensway, High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate
Brick Dinos at the Horniman Museum
Don’t miss this family-friendly event where some of the largest beasts to ever walk the earth have been created in miniature form by artist Warren Elsmore and his team.
The exhibition also features rarely seen specimens from the Horniman’s stores, and a range of hands-on activities for children to enjoy including build your own dinosaur and digging for fossils.
When: Until 29 October, 2023. Advanced booking recommended.
Where: Horniman Museum, 100 London Rd, London SE23 3PQ
London Design Biennale & Eureka 2023 at Somerset House
Running for nearly the entire month of June is the London Design Biennale, an “interactive, musical and kinetic exhibition” where you can weave a tapestry, get inside a space pod, visit a virtual garden, bake break and watch an AI Robot designing – and more! Over 40 designers from around the world are taking part. A great one for older kids and teens.
When: Until 25 June; advanced booking highly recommended
Where: Somerset House; nearest tube Charing Cross
Paul McCartney Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery
On display for the first time ever are a collection of portraits captured by Sir Paul McCartney between December 1963 and February 1964. This was the period when The Beatles were catapulted “from a British sensation to a global phenomenon”. The collection provides a unique perspective on Beatlemania.
When: Opens 28 June – 1 October
Where: The National Portrait Gallery, nearest tube Charing Cross
Trooping of the Colour, Horse Guards Parade
The Trooping of the Colour, otherwise known as the King’s Birthday Parade, is an incredible display of pageantry performed by the King’s personal troops, the Household Division. Over 1,400 officers and men are on parade along with 200 horses, over 400 musicians from ten bands, and some 113 words of command are given by the Officer in Command of the Parade.
When: The Parade will take place on 3rd, 10th and 17th June at 10am
Where: The Parade route extends from Buckingham Palace along The Mall to Horse Guards Parade, Whitehall and back again.
Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy
This annual celebration of art and artists has run since 1769 and anyone can submit their work – from prints, painting, film and photography to sculpture, architecture mural works and more – for consideration. If selected then your work will go on display in the museums’ Main Galleries. Come and get inspired this year from 13 June.
When: Opens 13 June – 20 August
Where: Royal Academy; nearest tube Piccadilly Circus