Dates, events and exhibitions across the UK to bookmark this autumn

Danielle Fowler
Freelance Writer
London’s famous Kew Gardens at Christmas [Photo: Kew Gardens]

As the nights grow darker and we whack the thermostat up, it can be tempting to crash into bed after work for a night with nothing but non-stop Netflix and soup on the agenda.

But although it may prove seriously tempting to hibernate this autumn, a quick social media scroll is guaranteed to leave you with #FOMO.

From the capital’s must-see (must-Instagram) exhibition of the year to late night museum openings happening across the country, these are the dates to mark in your calendar this season.

Yayoi Kusama’s latest exhibition

When Yayoi Kusama brought her debut exhibition to London a few years back, the streets were lined with iPhone-clutching millennials – all desperate to Instagram her now-famous Infinity Mirror Room.

‘The Moving Moment When I Went to the Universe’ [Photo: Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice]

Now, those who missed out will be pleased to learn that the Japanese artist is back at Victoria Miro.

The famous Infinity Mirror Room [Photo: Courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai and Victoria Miro, London/Venice]

The highly-anticipated exhibition will features works from her ‘Eternal Soul’ series alongside new paintings and those all-too-familiar pumpkins. Just make sure to arrive early with a coffee to hand if last year’s queues are anything to go by.

Free from 3rd October to 21st December at the Victoria Miro in London

Frieze Festival 2018

Frieze London has returned to Regent’s Park for its 16th season this autumn with an impressive line-up of emerging and established artists set to take over the capital’s landmark.

Why not book tickets to the capital’s most talked about art fair this month? [Photo: Frieze London]

The event kick-starts on October 5 and guests will have the chance to visit must-see exhibitions, talks and film previews over the weekend. The Stephen Friedman Gallery is home to David Shrigley’s latest work and includes five tongue-in-cheek neon pieces by the artist.

Make sure to clear your diaries to check out David Shrigley’s latest exhibition at the Stephen Friedman Gallery [Photo: Flickr]

Frieze Sculpture will also run until October 7 with 25 outdoor artworks on display.

For further information, visit the website

Museums at Night 2018

The brainchild of Brighton-based arts charity Culture24, Museums at Night is a festival of lates in museums and galleries across the UK. Set to take place from 25 to 27 October, the event will enable art-lovers to check out some of the most famous houses, libraries and archives after-hours.

Those based up north can book a Halloween-themed evening of storytelling at the Brontë Parsonage Museum on October 25 while the Swiss Garden will light up for two nights only this autumn. 

For further information, visit the Museums at Night website

Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival

Remember, remember… to book a spot at Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival on November 5. The annual display has been drawing thousands of visitors to its famous hill for over 150 years – impressive, huh?

But it comes as no surprise, as there’s no greater spot in London to watch the action unfold across the capital’s skyline. There will be two firework displays and a roaring bonfire on November 2 and 3rd so make sure book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Tickets are now available to purchase on the Alexandra Palace website

The UK’s largest pumpkin picking festival

Who said children should steal all the fun come Halloween? Farmer Copleys in West Yorkshire is famed for its annual pumpkin picking festival with over 120,000 hand-planted every season.

After a tough afternoon in the great outdoors, enjoy a well-earned cuppa in the award-winning farm shop. The pumpkin festival is free to attend and will run from Saturday 6th October.

For more information, visit the Farmer Copleys website

Catch a scary movie at the Natural History Museum

When the lights go out and the day’s final tourists head for the last tube, the Natural History Museum will welcome daring guests into the historic Hintz Hall this Halloween.

Why not catch a spooky movie this Halloween at one of London’s most famous landmarks? [Photo: Natural History Museum]

From Sunday 28 October, London’s landmark will host four screenings with the likes of ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘The Shining’ on the agenda.

Name a spookier location to watch your go-to Halloween flick [Photo: Natural History Museum]

So gather up your pals and enjoy a spooky movie night in one of the capital’s most famous buildings. Just don’t spill your popcorn.

Tickets are now available to purchase on the Natural History Museum website

Christmas at Kew Gardens

Even the most self-confessed Scrooges amongst us will struggle not to melt under Kew Garden’s festive glow. For the past six years, the botanical garden has invited thousands to witness its winter trail with twinkling lights dotted across its lake and Palm House Pond.

Kew Gardens lights up for a magical display every Christmas [Photo: Kew Gardens]

This year is set to be its biggest yet with millions of Christmas-hued pea-lights and a plethora of laser beams lined up for a seriously Insta-worthy spectacle.

The famous botanical garden is lit up in festive colours during autumn [Photo: Kew Gardens]

The event kick-starts on Thursday 22 November and will run until Saturday 5 January at Kew Gardens.

Tickets are now available to purchase on the Kew Gardens website

The Padstow Christmas Festival

Chefs Rick Stein, Paul Ainsworth and Nathan Outlaw will be on hand this festive season to show us how to cook up a dinner to remember.

Book a trip down to Cornwall for a festive weekend with the family [Photo: Adam Sargent]

Yes, Padstow Christmas Festival is back and always proves a must for foodies with pop-up stalls, booze and demonstrations aplenty. For those in need of burning off one too many mince pies, there’s a Santa Fun Run on the agenda too.

Name a greater way to burn off one too many mince pies this Christmas [Photo: Adam Sargent]

The event runs from 6-8 December 2018.

For further information, visit the website

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