13 Things To Do This Weekend, From Festive Thrills To Halloween Parties

oktoberfest portsmouth

On the hunt for the most haunting Halloween events? Finally kicking off your Christmas shopping? This weekend we’ve rounded up the best things to do in and around London, whether you’re after Halloween activities, festive shopping inspo or the must-visit Oktoberfest Portsmouth experience.

Things To Do This Weekend, From Oktoberfest Portsmouth To Exhibitions

Embark on a spine-chilling Halloween adventure

Halloween may be next Tuesday, but that isn’t stopping Lío London from thrilling city dwellers with a twisted extravaganza early. This weekend the restaurant presents ‘Cupid’s Curse’, a journey through the twists and turns of unrequited love and the dark side of romance and seduction.

The space will be transformed into the lair of Cupid the Corruptor and will see guests confront their own desires on a night that they’ll love to death… 

Armed with fire and arrows, expect Cupid to take you through this hair-raising experience complete with dinner, dancing and drinks.

When: 26.10.2023 – 28.10.2023

Where: Lío London, 3-4 Coventry Street, W1D 6BL 

Website: www.liolondon.co.uk

Venture to the Scottish Highlands (without leaving London)

This October, Macallan is transforming Rosewood London’s iconic terrace and courtyard into an immersive Amber Meadow installation. Inspired by the McCartney sisters’ love of Scotland and the Speyside home of The Macallan Estate, this Highland-inspired destination is a must-visit for this autumn – and this weekend is your last chance to catch it.

To tie in with the release of The Macallan’s latest whisky – The Macallan Harmony Collection Amber Meadow created in collaboration with Stella and Mary McCartney – The Amber Meadow installation will see Rosewood London’s iconic courtyard re-imagined as an expansive meadow, complete with authentic foliage, a babbling brook, plus a stone archway and dry-stone walls. 

When: Until 29.10.2023 


Website: www.holborndiningroom.com

With just nine weekends until the big day, the countdown for Christmas is on. Whether you’re just kickstarting your present shopping or you’re on the hunt for the final few stocking fillers, the Spirit of Christmas Fair is the perfect place to find those heartfelt gifts. 

Returning to Olympia London on 30th October, the Fair will bring a curated collection of 700 independent brands and designer-makers. Peruse the fair, stopping by the stalls and taking home beautiful gifts. Expect to shop everything from toys to fashion, homeware to stylish seasonal décor. 

Running for a whole week, the event will be packed out with workshops, demonstrations, live music and a pop-up restaurant from acclaimed Spanish chef José Pizarro. 

The Handbook Readers can get an exclusive 25% off tickets using the code HANDBOOK at checkout – offer ends 29.10.2023 and applies to on-the-door prices.

WHEN: 30.10.2023 – 05.11.2023

WHERE: Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, W14 8UX 

WEBSITE: www.spiritofchristmasfair.co.uk

Spoil your tennis-loving friends with tickets to Wimbledon or UTS London

It’s never too early to start thinking about gifts for Christmas, and what better present for your tennis-loving pals than front-row seats to all of the Wimbledon action? Helping to make their dreams come true is Keith Prowse, Wimbledon’s official, award-winning hospitality partner that creates premium packages and experiences for tennis fans. It’s one of the only ways to guarantee courtside tickets on the day and court of your choosing, so you know your friend’s face will light up come December 25th. 

We love their Treehouse premium informal dining option, home to roaming small plates curated by 2 Michelin Star chef Tom Sellers, exclusive balcony access and live DJs. But you’ll want to act quickly as Keith Prowse’s Wimbledon experiences are nearly 90% sold out for 2024. Book now to avoid disappointment. 

For a more affordable gifting option, look to the best pre-Christmas tennis event, UTS London. Taking over ExCel London on 15th-17th December, you’ll be able to get closer to the action and the stars at this super interactive event. It’s the perfect experience to book for a pre-Christmas gift or party for sports lovers alike, from just £210pp +VAT.

Book tickets for UTS here and Wimbledon here

Head on a pumpkin trail around Belgravia

Credit: Kieran Cleeves/PA Wire

For those looking for a fun activity or kid-friendly Halloween adventure to embark on this weekend, look no further than Belgravia’s free pumpkin trail. 

Complete with floral installations from Moyses Stevens and Neill Strain, the neighbourhood’s trail features a series of spooky events. From free ticketed ghost tours delving into the area’s haunted history to sweet treats and pumpkin carving competitions, there’s something for everyone to get involved in. Finish off with autumnal cocktails at Boisdale’s pumpkin-themed Negroni bar.

When: Until 31.10.2023

Where: Across Belgravia 

Website: www.belgravialdn.com

Head to this Tex Mex Halloween party

For a Halloween party filled with fiery tacos, spooky cocktails and music until the early hours, you’ll want to book in for The Lowback’s Friday experience.

Think Dusk til Dawn meets Tex Mex as you sip your way through the limited-edition spooky cocktail menu and tasty tacos. After dinner, Rinse FM’s Ben Daley will be blasting the Halloween tunes until 1am.

When: 27.10.2023 

Where: The Lowback, 1 Water Street, E14 5GX 

Website: www.thehawksmoor.com

Sip free fizz this World Champagne Day


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A post shared by Searcys (@searcyslondon)

Raising a glass to World Champagne Day is the newly opened Searcys Champagne Bar. The team will be giving away free glasses of Searcys Selected Cuvée this Friday and Saturday all day to celebrate. 

All you need to do is present a Searcys shilling, which will be distributed across the station by Searcys’ actors or simply quote ‘SEARCYS SHILLING’ when receiving a table.

When: 27.10.2023 – 28.10.2023 


Website:  www.searcys.co.uk

Get into the spooky spirit with this afternoon tea

Who said Halloween had to be super spooky? Get into the spirit with The Lane’s brand new Halloween afternoon tea experience created by London-based baker, Lily Vanilli.

Perfect for those wanting to get into the spirit without getting chills down their spines, this afternoon tea edition features Vanilli’s signature vanilla and passionfruit sponge with gingerbread tombstone, edible soil, and ghostly graveyard-vine piping.

When: Until 31.10.2023

Where: catherine street, WC2B 5JF

 Website: www.thelane.co.uk


Spook yourself silly at London’s best Halloween events

Witching hour is upon us and this weekend is set to see the city turned upside down as the spookiest events and creatures come alive. From Skylight’s haunting carnival extravaganza to spooktacular cinema screenings, we’ve rounded up the best Halloween events taking place in London this weekend.

Book in for this special supper club

As part of Bingham Riverhouse’s series of Black History Month events, this weekend will see the hotel’s stunning restaurant welcome two chefs for an exciting kitchen-takeover supper club. 

African chef and ex-MasterChef The Professionals semi-finalist, Victor Okunowo, and AYO Collective chef Angelo Gonzalez will join forces for a special eight-course tasting menu exploring Pan-African cuisine. 

Dishes include steamed moi moi with fried pepper sauce and egg yolk crumb; Suya grilled lamb rack with smoked offal kofta and crispy sweetbreads; and chocolate pave with fried plantain ice cream and mbatala crumb. There’ll be a wine pairing to go along with it, created by GQ Sommelier of the Year 2022, Henna Zinzuwadia.

When: 29.10.2023 

Where: Bingham Riverhouse, 61-63 Petersham Road, Richmond, TW10 6UT 

Website: www.binghamriverhouse.com

3 Events Worth Travelling For 

Take the kids on Wakehurst’s cute bear hunt

Wakehurst Picture by Jim Holden

Let’s be honest, this half-term has been a bit of a washout. Make the most of the last weekend and spoil your little ones with an epic day out in the woods. Wakehurst – Kew Garden’s little sibling – has created a special activity trail centred around the bellowed children’s story, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Families are invited to embark on a journey, exploring the grounds and searching for that all-important bear. Children will be able to complete the new Nature Heroes wildlife tracking mission and earn themselves a badge. 

Expect to be roaming through swishy swashy grass, conquering thick oozy mud and braving a swirling whirling snowstorm. Rain macs and wellies at the ready!

When: Until 29.10.2023

Where: Wakehurst, Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN 

Website: www.kew.org

Catch the Witworth’s (Un)Defining Queer exhibition


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Over in Manchester, you can catch The Witworth’s leading exhibition, (Un)Defining Queer. Running until December, the exhibit examines ‘how we can use a queen lens to define what the team ‘queer’ means’. 

Artists included in the retrospective include David Hockney, Maggie Hambling, Chester Tenneson, Keith Vaughan, Niki de Saint Phalle and more.

When: until 03.12.2023

Where: The Witworth, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6ER 

Website: www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk

Head to Portmouth’s legendary Oktoberfest

From steins filled with German biers to live oompah bands, Oktoberfest Portsmouth is legendary. Following three sell-out years, the festival returns to the Portsmouth Guildhall and is set to be packed out with just as much entertainment, laughter and fancy dress as always. 

Look forward to VIP tables with waitress service, DJ sets alongside live oompah bands, games and plenty of bier to go around.

When: 28.10.2023

Where: The Portsmouth Guildhall, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth, PO1 2AB 

Website: www.portsmouthguildhall.org.uk

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