As well as experiencing the changing of the seasons (cue earthy smells, crunchy leaves and beautiful colours!), visitors can also enjoy art fairs, live music, guided walks and London’s greenest half marathon. And there’s a few goodies over the October half-term for little people too. For a full list of what’s going on in London’s parks and gardens visit www.royalparks.org.uk/events
Enjoy a weekend of music in Hyde Park
In September, Hyde Park plays host to two epic days of music from an array of famous musicians. First up is the annual Last Night of the Proms celebration on Saturday 14 September, headlined by Barry Manilow and supported by a variety of acts including the Lighthouse Family, Chrissie Hynde and Gabrielle. The following day, Simply Red, Pet Shop Boys and Emeli Sandé will all take to the stage to perform at BBC Radio 2 Live.
When: 14 & 15 September 2019. For more information and to buy tickets for Last Night of the Proms click here and for BBC Radio 2 Live click here.
Where: Hyde Park
How much: Proms is free but BBC Radio 2 live is £53.55 and tickets can be purchased here
Enjoy a family day out in Kensington Gardens Allotment
Bring along the whole family to celebrate a year of food growing at the demonstration allotment in Kensington Gardens in London this weekend. Meet the magnificent Shire horses, listen to live music and take part in the ‘big dig’ of the potato crop. There will also be lots of nature-inspired children’s activities including bug hunts and seed sowing.
When: Sunday 15 September 2019, 11am-4pm
Where: Kensington Gardens Allotment
How much: free more info here.
Turn your next Hyde Park visit into a game
Explore one of the top places to visit in London and a world’s most iconic park with a free scavenger hunt game for your mobile phone. Take it slow, or go head-to head with your mates, to discover corners of Hyde Park you never knew existed and participate in photo challenges and games for all to enjoy. For more information and to download the game for free click here.
Watch swimmers compete in the Serpentine in Hyde Park
Children with Cancer UK Swim Serpentine is a one-day open water swimming festival staged in the heart of London. Organised by London Marathon Events, the festival is held in and around the Serpentine in Hyde Park. The ballot entry system for Swim Serpentine is now closed but spectators will be able to watch on the grandstands for free. A festival tent will host a series of talks and short films on open water swimming, and there will be free activities for families including swimming coaching sessions (sign-up on the day), a surf simulator and open water exhibition. The festival tent and family activities are free for both participants and spectators. More info here.
When: Saturday 21 September 2019
Where: Serpentine in Hyde Park
How much: free
Discover the hidden history of St James’s Park
What do pelicans, a disappearing lake and King Charles I’s final walk all have in common?
Go on a guided walk to discover the history of London’s oldest Royal Park. Your visit will include a stop off at The Mall and Horse Guard’s Parade, the setting for important Royal and military occasions. The walk will culminate in a visit to see the park’s most famous residents – the pelicans, a feature of the park since 1664. In May, The Royal Parks welcomed three new pelicans, Sun, Moon and Star, find out how they are getting on and watch them being fed their daily diet of roach and whiting. Afterwards, you will have the opportunity to quiz the Wildlife Officer on all things nature.
When: Friday 27 September, 1.15pm-2.45pm, and every last Friday of the month.
Where: St James’s Park~
How much: £10 more info & tickets here.
Frieze art fairs in The Regent’s Park
Visit Frieze London in The Regent’s Park to see some of the best works from leading and emerging contemporary artists. The event will also feature performance-based installations, debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures. Coinciding with Frieze London is Frieze Masters, bringing together 130 galleries specialising in pre-21st century art.
Pop into the English Gardens before the 6 October for your last opportunity to see the free Frieze Sculpture Park, featuring works from the likes of Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor, has been in place since July but will close on 6 October.
When: Frieze London and Frieze Masters – 3-6 October 2019. The Frieze Sculpture Park will be in place until Sunday 6 October.
Where: The Regent’s Park
How much: Frieze Sculpture is free but you will need tickets for Frieze London and Frieze Masters – buy here
Watch the changing seasons in a Royal Park
With over 170,000 trees across 5,000 acres of historic parkland in the capital, there is no shortage of places in the Royal Parks to watch nature’s greatest spectacle – the leaves changing colour.
In a guided walk through Hyde Park, discover what makes trees transform into the colours they do and how they fit into the landscape.
When: Saturday 5 October 2019, 10.30am-Noon
Where: Hyde Park
Cost: £10 get tickets here.
Discover a time machine in Brompton Cemetery
This family walk, led by a professional storyteller, will delve into the long held theory that the largest and most elaborate construction in Brompton Cemetery, is in fact, a fully functioning time machine. Suitable for families with children aged six or above. More info here.
When: Saturday 5 October, 2019. 11.30am-12.30pm
Where: Brompton Cemetery. Meet outside North Lodge Information Centre.
How much: Free
Cheer on runners at the Royal Parks Half Marathon
Bring on the family fun at the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada on 13 October. Cheer on 16,000 runners as they take on central London and four glorious Royal Parks. Then stick around for the Food and Fitness Festival from 10am-4pm. There will be delicious food and all-day entertainment including music, public fitness classes and cooking demos.
If you want to get in on the action, you can volunteer at The Royal Parks water station. This year, the Royal Parks Half is trialling Ooho! water capsules, which are made of biodegradable/compostable (and edible) seaweed. You’ll get a front row seat to cheer on the runners and will help the race work to protect the environment. For more info on this opportunity click here.
When: Sunday 13 October 2019.
Half term fun in the Royal Parks
During October half term, there’s lots of activities in the Royal Parks to keep little ones entertained.
Children can discover the fascinating world of London’s bugs with Mission Invertebrate in Brompton Cemetery, follow in the footsteps of David Attenborough by making a mini wildlife documentary In Hyde Park or drop into our free Halloween themed Discovery Days to concoct potions or build bat boxes.
The Field Studies Council will also be delivering several wildlife-inspired activities, including nature trails and arts and crafts in Greenwich Park, The Regent’s Park and Bushy Park.