36 Things to do in London in May 2022

Head outdoors to explore London in May, join cultural celebrations and marvel at vibrant flower shows across the city.
People walking, admiring the floral displays of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
Discover what’s on in London in May. Snap away at the flower displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Credit: RHS/Georgi Mabee. Image courtesy of RHS.

In May, spring is well under way with warm weather and some delightful sunshine, but you may still need a light coat and a brolly, in case of a light drizzle.

Schools across the UK usually break up for a half-term holiday at the end of May, bringing a packed programme of family-friendly activities and events at some of London’s top attractions.

There's also one public holiday (bank holiday) this month: the Early May Bank Holiday. So, keep an eye out for what’s on in London in May to make the most of the extended weekend.

Unmissable London events May 2022

A woman looking at the colourful flowers during the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

  1. Enjoy the Hampton Court Palace Artisan Festival, included with entry to the palace: Browse the stalls, play traditional garden fête games or enjoy a Shire horse carriage ride. 13-15 May
  2. Marvel at stunning horticultural displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show: Pick up the latest gardening trends and rehome a plant or two. 24-28 May
  3. Check out world-class photography at Somerset House's Photo London: Experience a large-scale celebration of photography, featuring emerging talent from across the globe. 12-15 May
  4. Join the Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Square: Enjoy family activities and feast on street food from around the world. 7 May
  5. Admire vibrant floral displays at Chelsea in Bloom: See the streets of Chelsea burst with colour at London's largest free flower festival. 23-28 May
  6. Don't miss the exhilarating eSkootr Championship at Printworks: Watch athletes compete in London at the world's first electric scooter racing series. 13-14 May
  7. Get a ticket for the Men's FA Cup Final (14 May) and Women's FA Cup Final (15 May) at Wembley stadium: Or join football fans in pubs all over London to cheer on your favourite team.

London Theatre in May

The colourful artwork for the My Fair Lady musical 
  1. Be captivated by My Fair Lady at the London Coliseum: Follow Eliza Doolittle on her quest to become a high society lady. From 7 May
  2. Groove along to Grease at Dominion Theatre: Have an electrifying summer night at the much-loved musical based on the iconic film. From 3 May
  3. See Disney's The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre: Join Simba on his adventures in the majestic Serengeti.
  4. Be spellbound by Wicked at the Apollo Victoria: Experience magic as you watch the witches in the Wizard of Oz.
  5. Go on an epic journey with Life of Pi at Wyndham's Theatre: Be mesmerised by a story of strength and survival, featuring amazing puppetry and effects.
  6. Be amused by The Book of Mormon at the Prince of Wales Theatre: Chuckle at the hilarious musical numbers in this award-winning show.
  7. Watch Legally Blonde at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre: Enjoy a musical version of the popular Hollywood movie in the stunning surrounds of Regent's Park. 13 May-2 Jul

Family activities in May

The Dumbledore office set, including stairs, pictures on the wall and Dumbledore costume, at Warner Bros. Studio Tour - London

  1. Make the most of a whole week for May half-term: Check out London's top attractions and the capital's popular kids attractions
  2. Spend special moments together and see multiple attractions in one go: Pick up a sightseeing pass, such as the London Pass, the London Explorer Pass or the Merlin London Attractions Pass.
  3. Plan a Harry Potter-themed day outHave a magical adventure at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, where the iconic films were made.
  4. Head outdoors and explore London: Tour the city on an open-top or hop-on hop-off bus tour, or take to the river on a special Thames tour or cruise.
  5. Climb the famous masts of the Cutty Sark: Bring out your inner adventurer as you climb the rigging of London's iconic ship and experience breathtaking views of the capital.
  6. Celebrate the release of the new Downton Abbey film with a Downton Abbey walking tour of London: Follow in the footsteps of your favourite characters from the period drama.
  7. Take a multimedia tour of the Houses of Parliament: Explore the Palace of Westminster and learn about the history one of the world's most famous buildings.
  8. Don't miss Jurassic Park in Trafalgar Square: Marvel at a state-of-the-art life-sized dinosaur at London's famous landmark, to celebrate the film release of Jurassic World Dominion. 25-29 May

London exhibitions in May

A rainbow coloured display of rounded objects made from sugar and candy.

  1. Immerse yourself in a rainbow landscape at Pip & Pop, included with entry to Kew Gardens: Head to the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art to see vibrant artworks made from everyday materials such as sugar and candy. 21 May-5 Mar
  2. Discover Japan: Courts and Culture at the Queen's Gallery: Get a glimpse of rare Japanese art and diplomatic gifts from the Royal Collection. 
  3. Experience at Our Time on Earth at the Barbican: Discover how global creativity and technology can transform the future of our planet in this thought-provoking exhibition. 5 May-29 Aug
  4. Don't miss Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirror Rooms at Tate Modern: Be mesmerised by endless reflections as you step into the immersive installations
  5. Be intrigued by Cornelia Parker at Tate Britain: See the artist's iconic large-scale installations along with her films, paintings and drawings. 18 May-16 Oct
  6. Explore Surrealism Beyond Borders at Tate Modern: Be mind-blown by dreamlike images and the imaginary creations of renowned artists from around the world.
  7. Admire The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Raphael at the National Gallery: Learn about the life and legacy of the iconic Italian artist through his celebrated work and ingenuity.

What else is on in May?

Red and yellow tulips planted on the grass in a circle around the fountain at Hampton Court Palace on a sunny day.

  1. Start your spring at the annual Tulip Festival at Hampton Court Palace: Admire spectacular displays of rare and historic flowers all across the gardens. Until 2 May
  2. Be thrilled by The Gunpowder Plot at Tower Vaults: Immerse yourself in virtual reality and multi-sensory special effects as you travel back in time to experience the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605. From 6 May
  3. Go on an adrenaline-fuelled adventure with Tomb Raider: The Live Experience in Camden: Step into the world of Lara Croft in this high-energy immersive experience.
  4. Be awestruck by Ilan Eshkeri's Space Station Earth at the Royal Albert Hall: Experience the planet and the stars through the eyes of an astronaut. 15 May
  5. Watch ABBA Voyage at the ABBA Area, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park: Sing along to your favourite ABBA hits in this state-of-the-art digital concert. From 27 May
  6. Explore the Urban Village Fete at Greenwich Peninsula: Spend a day immersed in arts and crafts, browsing markets and dancing to live DJ sets. 15 May
  7. Be part of the action in Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds: The Immersive Experience: Save London from an alien invasion in this epic immersive adventure.

For more things to do in London in May, take a look at this events calendar and guide to what's on in London. And catch the best of the London stage with this London theatre guide. For on-the-go adventure ideas, download the Visit London app.

WEATHER: For average seasonal temperatures and rainfall, see our London Weather page.