As World Cup fever encapsulates London, make the most of the warm weather and high spirits by filling your weekend with glorious things to do
Fly by Night
A flock of 1500 pigeons will soar above the River Thames this week, for an airborne performance orchestrated by American artist Duke Riley. Titled Fly by Night, the unique event debuted in Brooklyn in 2016 and was created in homage to the messenger pigeons of World War I. The traditional small leg bands, used during the war to carry vital messages, are replaced by diminutive LED lights, thus illuminating the sky. Part of the popular Greenwich and Docklands Festival (more on that below), the special event will take place in East Thamesmead each evening from 21 through 23 June and there will be food and drink available onsite.
From £7.50 per person; 8.15pm each evening; 21-23 June, liftfestival.com
Greenwich and Docklands Festival
This weekend marks the beginning of Greenwich and Docklands Festival, an internationally-acclaimed outdoor event, presenting more than 130 diverse performances across theatre, dance and music. Taking place across Royal Greenwich, Docklands and Tower Hamlets, this year's festival will be celebrating themes of love, struggle and ambition encapsulated and expressed by multi-media platforms and art installations.
Free, 22 June - 7 July, festival.org
London Seafood Festival
Battersea Power Station is hosting a five-day seafood extravaganza this week. The riverside celebration is held under Grosvenor Arch and within Circus West Village, offering beautiful views across the Thames. The lively, family-friendly pop-up festival brings together local restaurants including Wright Brothers, Cinnamon Kitchen and Modern Pantry, accompanied by live music and entertainment. Visitors can buy tickets for special events including seafood masterclasses and outdoor film screenings, while enjoying free demonstrations from esteemed chefs including Tim Hughes of J Sheekey and Sexy Fish, who will be cooking up a storm on Saturday afternoon.
Free entry, 20 June - 24 June, londonseafoodfestival.com
Not strictly London, but Londoners will be flocking in their finery this week to Royal Ascot for five days of horses, hats and bonhomie. Cheer on the action each day from a choice of four enclosures and join in a champagne-fuelled sing-along around the bandstand. Highlights this year include a performance from London's fashionable female DJ duo, Pips and Henri, who will headline the main stage on Thursday evening, alongside music throughout the week by Duke, The Roots, and Gatsby. Enjoy a diverse bounty of fine dining and thirst-quenching options, as well as Afternoon Tea, a first for Royal Ascot.
From £37 per person; until 23 June, ascot.co.uk
Zoo Nights is returning to ZSL London Zoo this weekend, bringing the wildlife centre alive after closing. Explore a menagerie of animals after hours, spanning penguins, bears, gorillas and giraffes, whilst enjoying special animal-inspired events such as Wild Yoga and a ZSL Superheroes Trail around the enclosures. The adult-only event will include a street-food market; experts talks and a Zooniversity Challenge Quiz, alongside aerial acrobatics and live comedy.
£18.50, Friday evenings 6pm - 10pm, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY, zsl.org
Seven Dials Soundtrack
Enjoy a one-day music festival this Saturday in the Seven Dial district, featuring family-friendly music; comedy; theatre and debates, alongside street food and al-fresco dining. A pop-up lawn will be placed around the dial, setting the stage for a day of summer entertainment, whilst the interconnecting streets will be coned off. The festival celebrates the Mayor of London’s Sounds Like London campaign, and will be presented by broadcaster and author Gemma Cairney. Highlights include flash mob performances from Some Voices choir, occurring throughout the day, and free makeovers by Gypsy Shrint.
Free, 23 June 12 - 6pm, SevenDials.co.uk