Things to do in London in October 2020

London celebrates its food and drink scene, while Halloween showcases the capital's spooky side – just some of the many October events to enjoy in London.
London panorama above golden trees.
Roam London's Richmond Park, as it is covered in autumnal colours. Credits: Jon Reid. Image courtesy of Jon Reid.

What's on in London in October?

  • Explore London's food scene with the London Restaurant Festival.
  • Top October events include October-half-term, London Cocktail Week, London Oktoberfest and the opening of the National History Museum Ice Rink.
  • In 2020, the London Marathon takes place in October (it's usually in April).
  • Join in the fun with Halloween celebrations across London.

London becomes a little colder in October as autumn splashes the city’s parks and gardens with a riot of autumnal colours, changing the vivid greens to warm coppers, golds and russet reds. 

Take a trip to Kew GardensRichmond Park or other major parks, London's largest open spaces, to bask in the beautiful display of colours, and celebrate the season in cosy spots.

British schools break up for a October half-term, so look out for special family activities at many London attractions and others to enjoy from home.

Some events which usually take place in October have been cancelled in light of coronavirus, but there's still lots to do throughout this colourful month – and some large-scale celebrations have turned into virtual or contact-free events.

Contact-free and virtual events in October

  • Discover top London restaurants and hang out with celebrity chefs during the month-long London Restaurant Festival, full of one-off menus and foodie events.
  • Devour classics or new mixes during London Cocktail Week – which lasts the entire month this year – with events, discounts and tastings across the city.
  • Experience Bavarian culture under a tent brimming with oompah bands, sizzling bratwurst and pints of good old German beer at the socially distanced Oktoberfest in Camden.
  • See the world's longest-running show, The Mousetrap, which makes a socially distanced comeback to the St Martin's Theatre towards the end of the month.
  • Wander around recently opened art exhibitions and museum exhibitions including Bruce Nauman at Tate Modern, Dub London: Bassline of a City display at the Museum of London and Paradise Lost by Jan Hendrix at Kew Gardens.
  • Or admire the best of photography from your living room at Photo London Digital, which is taking place virtually this year.
  • Catch the last few days of online movie screenings, talks and film-themed workshops at the Leytonstone Loves Film.
  • Get to know artists through TRANSMISSIONS Season 2, an online series dedicated to artistic discussions hosted on Twitch.
  • End your working day with a drink in hand as you wander the London Transport Museum after dark every Thursday this month. 
  • Prepare for endless laughter you'll experience at the Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt play in Apollo Theatre, one of the first London theatres to reopen post-lockdown. 

Unmissable London events in October 

  • Sign up to the Virgin Money London Marathon, which is taking place virtually in October this year.
  • Enjoy online and in-person events throughout Black History Month, which celebrates black culture and history throughout October each year.
  • Join talks, readings, poetry performances and more events with the London Literature Festival at the Southbank Centre.
  • Catch films and movie-themed fun at the BFI London Film Festival, which has moved online this year.
  • Meet artists, engineers and designers during London Craft Week.
  • Celebrate art with a whole load of artsy events in London's famous gallery district during the Mayfair Art Weekend with some events lasting the entire month.
  • Get on your broom and head to Leicester Square to check out the Harry Potter sculpture, a new addition to the film-tastic Scenes in the Square trail. 

Halloween in London

Celebrate Halloween in London with an array of themed events, from family activities at museums, to spooky London tours and frightening events. Explore eerie ways to celebrate with our picks of the best things to do in London or at home this Halloween

Fun family events in London

  • Take your pick from fun events and activities at London attractions and from home during October half-term.
  • Get your detective hat on and search for the Gruffalo who is hiding in the woods at Kew Gardens .
  • Dig out your skates and enter the National History Museum Ice Rink to skate under thousands of twinkling lights, as London welcomes the festive season. TBC

For more things to do in October in London, take a look at our events calendar and guide to what's on in London. Or discover plenty more seasonal events and activities with our ultimate guide to autumn in London and London-themed things to do from home

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

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