In many parts of the world, autumn is the time of year when the world starts to get cooler, the leaves change colours, and you can finally bring out that nice jumper or coat you haven’t been able to wear for a the last few months. There’s also any number of fun activities that pepper the season and help keep the energy up, even as the temperature is going down. London has its share of great activities to participate in during the season, each one appealing to a different taste. If you’re in London this autumn and are looking for something fun to do, consider attending one of these events.
NFL International Series
For several years now, the National Football League has brought its own brand of American Football to the City of London. What began as one match has now evolved into three as the NFL takes over both Wembley and Twickenham Stadiums as well as Regent Street. More than just a sporting competition, the NFL’s exhibition on Regent Street is every bit the cultural showcase including celebrations of the teams, performances, and interactive games where visitors can test themselves against professional American athletes. With the increased interest in the American sport, it’s a guarantee that there will be plenty people in attendance from both countries. The international series runs throughout October.
London Design Festival
An event used to promote London as “the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community”. The festival is spread out over the city in more than a dozen locations and multiple exhibits. Markets, galleries, and special installations all show off the best and brightest artistic talents from all over the world, with the Victoria & Albert Museum and also Somerset House. More than just art, the exhibits also touch upon modern issues such as social equality, migration, and the environment. The Design Festival runs from 17 – 25 of September and is held annually.
MCM London Comic Con
San Diego Comic Con, NYCC, and DragonCon may be the big cultural events in America, but the UK is not without its own celebration of popular culture with MCM Comic Con. Run by the Movie Comic Media Expo Group and held twice per year, one of the conventions falls in October, and this year will be on the 28th-30th of that month. Located in Newham at ExCel London, visitors can see television and film stars, participate in fan-run panels, and dress up as their favourite characters. Additionally, it can be an opportunity for every studio from the BBC to Disney to show off upcoming projects and promote new media.
Diwali on the Square
Hindu, Sikh, and Jain cultures come together every year at Trafalgar Square to celebrate the Festival of Lights. While only a one-day festival running from 1 – 7 PM on 16 October, those six hours are jam-packed with light, music, and dance, not to mention a smorgasbord of Indian dishes. There’s also a great number of goodies to purchase and henna tattoos to really help you get in the spirit of things. While Diwali represents many things to the different Indian groups, all of the holiday’s themes are on display during Diwali in London. No tickets are required and everyone is invited to attend.
The Lord Mayor’s Show
The Lord Mayor of the City of London (not to be confused with the Mayor of Greater London) is a position elected from amongst the city’s leaders around Michaelmas each year (falling in late-September). To celebrate his or her election, the Lord Mayor’s Show is a festival that combines elements of a parade and a carnival. It is an event with a rich history that stretches back to the reign of King John I and has been interrupted only a few times in the ensuing centuries. The route of the parade begins at the Guildhall and ends at the Lord Mayor’s residence, usually stopping at St. Paul’s Cathedral for the Dean of the Cathedral’s blessing. Held on the second Saturday of November, this year’s show is on 12 November and typically runs from 11 AM to 2:30 PM along the three-and-a-half-mile route. The city’s livery companies and may other contribute elaborate floats for the parade and several “privileged regiments” and performers put their full talents on display. For an 800+ year institution, it’s certainly one not to miss.