38 Things to do in London in May 2023

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 two public holidays (bank holidays) this month: the Early May Bank Holiday and Spring Bank Holiday, so keep an eye out for what’s on in London in May to make the most of the long weekends.

How to celebrate the Royal Coronation in London

Military parade of troops from the Household Division honouring the Queen's official birthday during Trooping the Colour in London.

  1. Keep up to date with the latest on King Charles III's coronation in London this May: Figure out how you can be a part of this iconic moment in history.
  2. Visit London's top royal attractions: Tick off the capital's most memorable royal landmarks.
  3. Take a walking tour around London's royal hot spots: Explore the city's top royal locations or learn the history of royal coronations of the past. 
  4. Head to the royal town of Windsor: Wander the idyllic cobbled streets, take a riverside walk and explore the iconic Windsor Castle. 
  5. Visit the capitals most beautiful royal palaces: Uncover fascinating history at Hampton Court Palace, and see the birthplace of Queen Victoria at Kensington Palace.

Unmissable London events May 2023

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

  1. Bring beloved characters to life at Disney Wonder of Friendship The Experience: Mark 100 years of Disney and enjoy enchanting installations at this AR experience. 12-21 May
  2. Get a ticket for the Women's FA Cup Final at Wembley stadium: Or join football fans in pubs all over London to cheer on your favourite team. 14 May
  3. Start your spring at the annual Tulip Festival at Hampton Court PalaceAdmire spectacular displays of rare and historic flowers all across the gardens. 14 Apr-1 May
  4. Enjoy great food and music at Pub in the Park: Award-winning pubs bring incredible dishes to this foodie festival happening at various locations on select dates this May. 12 May-21 May
  5. Head to the Chelsea Physic Garden: Take a behind the scenes tour (18 May), learn all about bee keeping (28 May), and attend a kids lab on hairy flowers and fuzzy plants (30 May).
  6. Sing along to smash hits at MASSAOKE: 80s Live: Join your fellow music enthusiasts at this spandex-clad experience. 12 May
  7. Discover Grand Designs Live at ExCel: Join the epic exhibitions dedicated to all things design, with inspiration and expert advice. 29 Apr-7 May
  8. See great acts at Wide Awake Festival in Brixton: Discover a music event that celebrate independent music and counterculture. 27 May
  9. Go dancing at the Jazz Cafe for Soul City: House & Disco: Bust out your best moves at this iconic venue in Camden. 6, 13, 20 and 27 May
  10. Marvel at stunning horticultural displays at the RHS Chelsea Flower ShowPick up the latest gardening trends and rehome a plant or two. 23-27 May
  11. Or admire vibrant floral displays at Chelsea in Bloom: See the streets of Chelsea burst with colour at London's largest free flower festival.
  12. Join the Eid Festival celebrations in Trafalgar Square: Enjoy family activities and feast on street food from around the world. 29 Apr

Take a look at the London events calendar to see what else is happening.

London theatre in May

The good witch glenda and wicked with elphaba from london musical Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.  
  1. Be spellbound by Wicked at the Apollo Victoria: Experience magic as you watch the witches in the Wizard of Oz. 
  2. Meet the world's most hilarious housekeeper Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre: Based on the beloved film, this musical promises a night of fun for all. 
  3. See the bizarre TONY! The Tony Blair Rock Opera at Leicester Square Theatre: Discover the story of one of the UK's most famous modern-day prime ministers. 15 Apr-21 May
  4. Discover the exhilarating Ain't Too Proud at Prince Edward Theatre: The creators of Jersey Boys bring you the tale, and fantastic tunes, of The Temptations.
  5. Meet the inspiring Shirley Valentine at the Duke of York's Theatre: Discover the life-affirming story of a woman finding her way in the world after marriage and motherhood. 
  6. See the Hollywood classic Pretty Woman at the Savoy Theatre: One of the most famous love stories of all time electrifies West End audiences.
  7. Be dazzled by the spectacular musical Moulin Rouge at Piccadilly Theatre: Sparkling costumes, colourful cabaret and sensational music awaits. 
  8. Join the immersive Mamma Mia! The Party at The O2: The ultimate dinner with a show featuring ABBA's most catchy hit songs. 
  9. Laugh out loud at live comedy shows at West End Comedy ClubSee veteran acts and up-and-coming performers at this iconic club.

Check out even more exciting theatre shows in London this May.

Family activities in May

A selection of burgundy, gold and brown furniture next to figures with costumes in the gryffindor common room at the warner bros studios.

  1. 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.
  2. Make the most of a whole week for May half-term: Check out London's top attractions and the capital's popular kids attractions
  3. 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 Attractions Pass.
  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. Take the family on a Paddington Bear Walking Tour: Be on the lookout for iconic locations from the films and storybooks of London's most beloved bear. 13, 20, 27 and 30 May
  6. Spend the day at a Theme Park: Ride the UK's fastest roller coaster at Thorpe Park and let your imagination run wild at LEGOLAND Windsor.
  7. Explore the Cutty Sark: Bring out your inner adventurer as you discover London's iconic ship and its many workshops and events this spring.

Discover more fantastic activities for families in London.

London exhibitions in May

The marble statue of David by Donatello is exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum

  1. Discover the captivating Thin Air exhibition at The Beams: A vast space with interconnecting installations from seven global contemporary artists.17 Mar-4 Jun
  2. Climb onboard a spaceship for Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of Imagination at the Science Museum: Travel through the cosmos for a once in a lifetime immersive adventure. Until 4 May
  3. Marvel at Magdalena Abakanowicz's famous Abakans at Tate Modern: See the ambiguous woven fibre sculptures in a towering forest-like display, Until 21 May
  4. Don't miss Donatello: Sculpting the Renaissance at the V&A: Explore the life and talents of one of the Renaissance's grand masters. 
  5. Explore Hallyu! The Korean Wave at the Victoria and Albert Museum: Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of South Korea. 

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.