With the crowds of London thinning out after the Olympics, it’s a great time to visit this exciting city. Instead of just hitting all the typical tourist attractions, try adding a festival or two to your plans. Below are some events that are sure to please.
Notting Hill Carnival-Touted as Europe’s biggest street party, this carnival has been taking place every year since 1964. Started by the Caribbean immigrants as a small gathering to bring their people together, the carnival now takes a year to plan. Held on the last weekend in August, the fun takes place on Sunday, August 26, and Monday, August 27. Sunday is the Children’s Carnival with parades and events geared to the whole family. Monday will bring people of all ages into the street for a day of entertainment. Parades run all day until about 9 p.m, and everyone dances in the street. You will find lots of great food with the focus being on authentic Caribbean food. The Notting Hill Carnival is free, so be sure and check it out. To learn more, go to thenottinghillcarnival.com.
Gather at Somerset House’s amazing courtyard to watch a movie under the stars of London. Featuring an open-air cinema, folks bring blankets and picnics to this great venue. This season features such films as The Birds, Apocalypse Now, Pretty in Pink, and more. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., but you’ll want to arrive early to ensure a good spot. Shows run from August 16-27, but call ahead as some sell out quickly.
Located in Regent’s Park August 17-19, this is a great event for the kiddos. Arts and crafts, dancing, science workshops, and more create an unforgettable experience for children up to age 10. Lollibop is the largest UK festival dedicatet to kids. Tales come alive with expert storytellers and activities such as the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and Queen of Heart’s Croquet. Tween Town is ideal for older children as they become spies in the Laser Room and learn magic tricks from comedian Lee Thompson. This three-day festival will have your children begging to return next year.
Battersea Park is the place to be August 17, 18, and 19 for the 2012 Foodies Festival. Visit with famous chefs, watch live cooking demonstrations, and sample terrific food at this event. You can purchase your favorites from the more than 100 exhibitors set up. Always a popular festival, this year’s crowd is expected to top 25,000 people. There are even cooking events for children, so the whole family will love this outing. After getting your fill of tasty treats, sit back and enjoy the live music and entertainment that runs all day throughout the event. Check out foodiesfestival.com for more information.
London is full of exciting things to do and see. Challenge yourself to try something different, and experience the city in a whole new way. Local festivals give you a real taste of a city, and London is no exception. Cheerio!