There is so much fun stuff to do in London it can be overwhelming to think about. I feel like that sometimes, and I live here! So since I haven’t been on any travels for a few months due to Covid-19, I thought it was time I put together a post of recommendations for fun things to do in London. And this will not be your standard tourist post telling you to go to the British Museum, or Covent Garden, because there are plenty of posts like that out there. Instead, I want to share some of my favourite places to go, many of which offer a unique experience.
They largely involve food and drink and some sort of entertainment. So if you are looking for some post-lockdown weekend fun-spiration, I got you covered. Let us go have fun in London!
You want to go to a fun bar in London? What more could you want to do with an evening or weekend day than go and drink cocktails and then frolicking in a giant adult sized ball pit? Nothing? Thought not.
Ballie Ballerson now have two locations in London, one in Shoreditch and one in Soho. I happen to have visited both, the Shoreditch branch for my birthday night out a few years ago, and the soho one just before lockdown. Both are full of vibrant, fun decorations, UV walls, mirrored ceilings in the ball pits for the ultimate selfie.
You can get bottomless pizza brunch too, with pornstar martinis and prosecco flowing and pizzas brought round. I believe they have a vegan pizza on offer too, as well as margaritas, a veggie pizza and pepperoni – the usual suspects. You can pay a bit more for seating, or you can opt to stand. More money for extra cocktails later am I right?!
The cocktails are amazing, filled with sweets and all sorts if you are visiting at non-brunch time. Sadly you cannot take your drinks into the ball pit, although realistically no one wants to be that sticky…
Definitely a great one for a party. Probably not so great for an intimate catch up, but good boozy fun with excellent instagram bragging rights await. You have to book tickets in advance, so please check the slot you want on their website before going. Friday and Saturday evenings can sell out far in advance so do bear this in mind.
Click to visit BallieBallerson’s site
ZSL zoo nights
The zoo night yearly visit is one of my favourite nights of the year! I am so gutted they probably won’t be happening this year seeing as how the zoo is only just opening up again and it is now June, which is when they usually take place.
London zoo, if you didn’t know, opens its gates at 6.30-10pm for an over 18s only experience on Friday nights in the summer months. Located in Regent’s Park the zoo is a big attraction, which is usually aimed towards families. However, if like me you aren’t really a fan of small children, you want to go enjoy the animals without screaming small people everywhere. Here is your chance to have fun at London Zoo!
The event tickets costs less than regular entry to the zoo – think it was £18.50 in 2019. They put on the feeding talks for various animals so you don’t miss out on that. As well as animals there is a street food market, face painting, carousel and there are acrobat shows and lights and bean bag chill out areas as well as bars. It is a really fun event, especially when the weather is good! I have actually written a full post on this, so I won’t repeat myself too much here but you can read all about zoo nights by clicking here if you want to know more!
You can also click here to see the Zoo’s event page from 2019
Bunga Bunga brunch
Bunga Bunga have put a very fun, Italian twist on brunch for us Londoners. They have 2 places, one in Covent Garden, and one in Battersea. As a south Londoner I have only been to the Battersea branch, which is filled with large tables on arrival. Again, book in advance as the place does fill up. There are no menus, everyone gets the same.
On entrance, you flute will be filled with bubbles. Some juice is also provided for breakfast cocktails if you don’t fancy straight bubbles that early. Next comes the bread basket, with nutella and jams to get your appetite going. Then comes the meat plate. Then the main event – Giant four seasons pizzas are placed across the table for sharing.
Once you are all stuffed, then it is karaoke time. Hopefully you are feeling brave after some bubbles! I also got a free birthday cocktail which was excellent. It has usually been filled with big parties who are up for some good fun, definitely not a casual brunch destination. They have two sittings, 11-1 and 2-4 which you can choose from. The Covent Garden venue costs slightly more for the brunch package, just fyi, but it may be the most fun brunch in London.
Gordons Wine Bar
Gordon’s is a London institution, and chances are if you work around the Strand, Westminster, Victoria area, or have a friend who does, you have already heard of this legendary drinking establishment. It is hands down my favourite bar for a fun after work drink in London.
It is a funny sort of place. You go down some steps through a gate right be the arches at Embankment tube station, and before you is a long corridor of outdoor tables. Standing on the left and seated on the right. To your immediate left is what can only be described as a cave like bar. There are a few tiny tables dotted around, adorned with old wine bottles with candles sticking out. I have only sat inside once when I met some friends for lunch at Christmas and it was far too cold to be outside, even with the patio heaters. It would be a cute place for a date, very intimate.
Now the thing with Gordon’s is it is a wine bar. They aren’t kidding. You want a drink? Great you can have any of a huge selection of wine, water, or orange juice. That is all they stock. No beer, no soft drinks. You therefore don’t tend to get any families with small children, or big rowdy groups. It is a great place for an after work drink if you can get there around 5 on the dot to get a table! It fills up quick and they are quite strict about capacity – on the weekends there is often a queue down the street to get in… They also boast what I can only describe as probably the narrowest staircase in London to get up to the toilets so that is an experience.
So you have your friends and a table and your wine, what are you missing? Cheese of course. That is right folks, Gordon’s boasts an impressive cheese and charcuterie collection, which you go and queue for inside, paying by the number of cheeses you select. You automatically get half a baguette, butter, pickles, chutney and cranberry sauce free, and you can pay for extra salad and bread if you want it.
The cheese portions are also huge – you get an actual wedge or block of whatever cheese you buy – they work out around £6-7 a chunk, they get cheaper the more you buy. I cannot begin to state how great this set up is. You go and each pick a cheese and have a cheese feast, or you can go for lunch with a friend and share one or two, it is totally up to you. They also sometimes run an outdoor BBQ during summer, I have only had the halloumi from it but that was great – I was hungry for more cheese after my cheese and what.
It is such a great atmosphere always and probably my favourite place to meet up with people after work in summer! If you are lucky enough to be here as a visitor on a sunny weekday, you should absolutely go for a mid afternoon wine and cheese break on your sightseeing!
Also it is too edgy to have a website, so you will have to go and see for yourselves.
There are two locations to pick from if you want to go and play mini golf at Swingers – one in the West end and one in the City.
I have only been to the branch in the City so I can only speak for that one, but it is really fun! You are going to want to use the cloakroom for this one folks as you don’t want to be dragging bags and coats around with you here, the course is quite tight so there isn’t much space for people to get around you if you are hauling an unnecessary clothes mound.
You are given a time slot for your game, but either side of that you are welcome to sit on the benches and in the booths around the bar and enjoy some street food such as pizza and tacos or sip a few beverages. I have actually written a full post on my Swingers experience which includes much more detail on the refreshment options so I won’t repeat myself, you can click here to read a more extensive review!
We went for a party package, as we were there for a leaving party, but you can purchase games and drinks and food individually too. Each game you go in small groups of 2-6, so if you are a large party you will be split up. Each golfer will have 6 attempts to get their ball in that hole, your score is the number of hits it takes you (if you don’t get it in you just get 6, there are people waiting you know!). Lowest score wins!
It is a great fun evening, nice atmosphere, pretty wooden course for all your selfie needs, and would definitely make a good fun early date activity in London. Please check out my post for more info like prices and packages available by clicking here!
Flight club is another sports themed bar, but in the fun way where everyone can join in rather than the one that shows lots of other people playing sports that your friends/other halves drag you to.
You book a booth, and waiting for you are a myriad of games to choose from, of varying difficulty. You get a few hours on your booking to try and work your way through and crown your darts champion.
All the boards record the hits electronically, so no one has to faff over scores and there can be no arguing on where they landed!
The food and drink offer is decent too, with meant to share pizza paddles and giant portions of fries. They do an extensive cocktail menu – I have sampled a lot and I couldn’t find any faults! Brunch deals are also available.
It seems to be a popular place for team parties and birthdays and it really is a lot of fun. They have several locations available in London, including Victoria, Shorditch, Islington and Bloomsbury. Plus in a few other places in the UK too.
Click here to visit the London website
My yearly visit to winter wonderland is literally one of my favourite evenings of the year! Everyone knows this is a great place to go and have fun in London. Located in Hyde Park, it is a Christmas feast for the senses not to be missed.
I must confess we have always avoided the weekend crowds and gone after work since it is only a 20 minute walk from Westminster, so I cannot speak for the weekends other than they are busier and you will most likely have to queue to get in. There has only ever been a short queue on a Thursday night which is the night we usually pick to visit.
Food and Drink
I love it so much, it has a huge Bavarian Village area which is designed to look like a German Christmas market selling beer, mulled wine, hot dogs, pretzels etc. We usually head here for some beverages, there is an oompa band that plays which is great fun and it is a good atmosphere. there are fire pits and overhead heaters widely available too so you don’t get too chilly.
There are also tonnes of food stalls about the place offering every kind of street food imaginable – I usually like to find some sort of halloumi based cuisine, but I am also very partial to a pretzel!You certainly won’t go hungry, and the prices are fairly standard London street food prices – you will likely pay £5 for some fries, close to £10 for a burger etc. If memory serves (I am writing this post in June so it has been a while!) the mulled wine is around £5-6 a cup and you can add a spirit for £2 if you really want to warm up! They also do mulled ciders and alcoholic hot chocolates, honestly it can be overwhelming to decide what you want!
Rides and Funfair
As if this wasn’t enough to keep you entertained, you have the fair ground which is huge and if you come in that entrance good luck ever finding your way to your friends, it is an actual maze! Its extremely colourful and loud with flashing rainbow lights everywhere you turn, the smells of candy floss and popcorn from vendors and fair ground stall holders trying to entice you to win giant stuffed animals.
Now the rides are quite pricey at about £8 a ride, so I have only ever been on a few of those, but they aren’t exactly Space Mountain so I am not too fussed about dropping too much money on those – not when there is food and drink to be had and stuffed animals to be won!
My poor extremely tolerant boyfriend has won me many creatures over the years and has faced no small amount of pressure to win me a giant pokemon and a giant tiger. I am pleased to say after far too much money and much manly pride exerted, both sit proudly on top of my wardrobe to this day. I have promised I will let him off this year as he’s done such a great job the last few…
There is so much to discover I could spend days there, carousels, lodge bars, you name it it is there. So I am really hoping it isn’t cancelled due to Covid-19 this year, I will be absolutely gutted. Plus I kind of want to do an actual full post on it for you guys so that would be annoying!
Southbank Market is so cute and is right across from work for me so I really love visiting here. What’s better is it does both a winter and a summer version!
It isn’t a huge space like Winter Wonderland, but in winter a small strip of huts selling various crafts and foods and mulled wine, with one larger area containing the Rekorderlig Cider Lodge and some more bars and food stalls and a bit of seating.
It is a cute intimate little place which is lovely to visit for an after work drink or a pre-train home if you have been out shopping in central. The cider lodge does the hot winter cider, which is delicious, plus most of their usual fruity flavours are on offer too. There is mulled wine available as well for those who need that extra christmassy feel!
On the other hand in summer, the space hosts the Uderbelly Southbank festival, with a theatre showing different works every night. Similarly there are the food and drink stalls around with Rekorderlig running the show.
Backyard Cinema is constantly changing locations every season, which is fun, and always has a different theme. We went to visit when it was at Mercato Metropoliano in Elephant and Castle, and was castle and fairytale themed which was lots of fun.
We watched a Knight’s Tale (one of my faves) and paid a little extra for our tickets to get some mulled wine included from the little bar at the back of the screen. We also went a little early and had a cheeseboard from the cheese stall in Mercato, which if you haven’t been, is a little under cover street food market, which is in itself a great place to go hang out with some friends where everyone can choose their own cuisine which is ideal.
They had really gone for the theme and we had to walk over a small drawbridge in an icy cave to get to the screen with out own personal lantern, its a great touch and was a memorable evening.
For fun in South London, you want to head to Franks. Franks is this awesome roof top bar hidden away in Peckham. Going there feels a little sketchy, as you find yourself headed into a multi-storey carpark – and yet, hidden at the top of that bright pink staircase, there is arguably the best view point to have a drink in London and marvel at the skyline.
The downside is, it basically has a wooden long drop/portaloo hybrid for toilets, so you have to brace yourself for that. But there is a great drink selection and some food available too – i believe we ordered some sharing plates like sea salted patron peppers last time we were there, and drank far too much Aperol!
For those looking for the more cultural experience, the roof top features various art installations too, which you can wander around at your leisure.
Roof East popped up a few years ago, and much like Frank’s is situated on top of a car pack. Its actually on to of the Stratford Centre, which is rather overshadowed by Westfield nowadays.
It offers various activities alongside the usual street food and drinking. There is a rooftop cinema and then games which have past included curling, bowling, giant Jenga and roller skating.
You can find old cars being used as planters for decor, and huts serving food. It really is quite charming.
During the winter they have previously had little bubble igloos for hire, which I have done before which was a lot of fun, and much cheaper than a lot of other places to do!
It is a great place to spend an afternoon or an evening if you are out East, definitely the most fun place I’ve been in East London.
And that’s all folks!
For now… I fully intend to keep updating this page when I visit fun new places (or revisit some I didn’t have pictures for!) so stay tuned! Hopefully I have provided some inspiration for your own fun in London
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