Best outdoor theatre and entertainment in London

Discover the best open-air shows, performances and public art spots in London.

There are many exciting spots to enjoy outside in London, whatever the time of year. Discover Christmas pop-ups and mesmerising light shows each winter; enjoy films, games and more at seasonal rooftop bars; or relax during summer at outdoor cinemas, outdoor events and screenings in pub beer gardens.

From drive-in cinemas and outdoor theatre shows to open-air art exhibitions, London has plenty more outdoor entertainment on offer.

Best outdoor theatre, musicals and cinema

A crowd of people seated around the stage watching a performance in the evening
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre © David Jensen. Image courtesy of David Jensen
  1. Enjoy a dazzling performance in leafy surroundings with the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre season each summer. Take your pick from a programme of exciting shows in 2022, including Legally BlondeAntigone and 101 DalmatiansMay to September
  2. Get ready for some popcorn and prosecco atop Waterloo's Mercury House, as Bar Elba's Rooftop Movie nights make a comeback this summer. Summer only
  3. Rediscover classic plays alfresco at Shakespeare's Globe with Much Ado About Nothing, Henry VIII, The Tempest and more taking to the stage this summer season. May to October 
  4. Enjoy cult classics, from Pretty Woman and Top Gun to Pulp Fiction and Casablanca, with Rooftop Film Club's screenings at Peckham's Bussey Building and Roof East in Stratford. Summer only

Outdoor entertainment in London

  1. Go on a self-guided Theatreland tour, narrated by the legendary Sir Ian McKellan, to learn the secrets of the stage and the history of the West End. 
  2. Movie buffs alert: rediscover icons from a century of cinema and iconic film scenes with Scenes in the Square, an interactive trail of statues in Leicester Square. Snap a selfie with Paddington Bear, say hello to Harry Potter or sing the famous chorus of Singing in the Rain with Gene Kelly!

London art in the open air

People looking at the illuminated bridge on the river Thames in the evening
An illuminated bridge on the river Thames. ©James Newton.
  1. Check out the new installation at the Serpentine Pavilion each summer. The 2022 pavilion designed by Theaster Gates is inspired by chapels and pottery kilns from Stoke-on-Trent. June to October
  2. Wander nocturnal exhibition Illuminated River, which transforms the Thames into a glowing art piece stretching across nine of London's bridges as night falls. Marvel at the colourful displays which reflect into the water and shine a new light on London.
  3. Follow The Line sculpture trail from Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to The O2. Along the way, you'll be able to spot artworks from famous names including Antony Gormley, Anish Kapoor and Abigail Fallis.
  4. Wander the city with a London Mural Festival map in hand and see if you can spot the works which first popped up across London as part of the festival in 2020.
  5. Head over to Trafalgar Square and check out the latest installation on The Fourth Plinth. The current artwork by Heather Phillipson features a giant squirt of whipped cream, topped with a cherry, a fly and a drone with a live feed of the square. 
  6. Seek out incredible street art across the city, from large-scale murals decorating Shoreditch and canalside artworks in Camden to the graffiti-filled Leake Street Tunnel. 

Find more things to do outdoors in London, or download the Visit London app for more inspiration while out and about.