Written by Studio BLUP features writer Danielle Temeng (@__daniafia)

Whilst we must now anxiously await July 19th to roll around for us to receive confirmation whether all the 30+ people activities we had scheduled for this summer able to go ahead, we compiled a list of 10 things to do in London this summer spanning art, culture and food that are all socially distanced (and budget) friendly, and are sure to make your Instagram the most enviable place on the net (don’t say we don’t spoil you). For all the musical events you can delve into this summer, take a look at our Summer 2021 Festival’s Guide – here’s to making up for our lost summer of 2020! 

1 | The Design Museum, ‘Sneakers Unboxed: Studio to Street’

Open: Until Sunday, 24th October 

Location: The Design Museum, London

Website: designmuseum.org/exhibitions/sneakers-unboxed-studio-to-street/ 

Price: £12.50 for adults, or FREE for members

A pair of shoes on a table

Description automatically generated with low confidence
PUMA x MIT Design Lab x Biorealize Breathing Shoe. Photo Source: Design Museum

Hailed as a ‘post-lockdown must-see’ by Vogue, the Sneakers Unboxed exhibition is for hypebeasts, hypebaes, fashion lovers, and art aficionados alike. Unveiling what can only be described as the footwear phenomenon of our generation, the exhibition aims to ‘unbox’ the item that has “challenged performance design, inspired subcultures” and hails the one piece of apparel that has “shaken the world of fashion” for good. So, whether you know your Air Jordan’s from your Air Force 1, want to uncover iconic collaborations throughout the years, or simply want to take a deep dive into the design process of some of the world’s most coveted sneakers to date, then this is the exhibition for you.

Purchase your tickets HERE.

2| Old Royal Naval College, Gaia Installation at The Painted Hall:

Open: Gaia exhibition available until Thursday, July 1st, after this date Painted Hall only.

Location: Greenwich, London

Website: ornc.org/whats-on/gaia/ 

Price: £13.50 for adults, kids go FREE

Photo Credit: Instagram @official_mbs

If you love Renaissance art (or Bridgerton) and oh-so-Instagrammable content, then you’re sure to love this. Marking its second appearance in Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College following the success of a sold-out display in summer 2020, Luke Jerram’s awe-inspiring ‘Gaia’ installation returns to wow visitors to the historic site. Open for a limited time only (until July 1st – so, be quick!), the monumental sculpture which aims to instil an “overview effect” of our globe, similar to what astronauts see from space, was created to evoke feelings of admiration for the planet and create a “sense of responsibility to take care of the environment”

Purchase your tickets HERE, please note tickets bought from 2nd July onwards will not include Gaia.

3 | SKUNA BBQ & Hot Tub Boats:

Open: Dates available throughout summer until further notice.

Location: West India Quay, Canary Wharf, London

Website: www.skunaboats.com 

Price: Hot tub boat from £35pp, BBQ boat from £15pp

Hot Tub Boat, Photo Source: SKUNA Boats

Dubbing itself the “world’s first hot tub boat experience”, SKUNA is offering a one-of-a-kind boating adventure with its luxurious hot tub or BBQ adventure. With no experience of sailing a boat even necessary, embrace Nordic tradition in the 75-minute experience with a completely bespoke electric, self-drive, wood-fired hot tub, perfect for hosting up to 7 people in its toasty 38-degree water. If you don’t feel like becoming at one with the ocean waters, then why not take your well-loved summer barbecues to the seas instead – because dry land is so 2020, amirite? With SKUNA’s BBQ boats up to 9 people can enjoy 100 minutes on the water sailing around Canary Wharfs North Dock, all you need to bring is yourself (and the food, of course).

Purchase your tickets HERE, now up to 40% off.

4 | Backyard Cinema:

Open: L.A. & Miami Nights until Sun, 29th August, Romeo + Juliet open 17th – 24th August

Location: Capital Studios, Wandsworth; Union Chapel, Islington (opens 17th August)

Website: backyardcinema.co.uk/ 

Price: L.A. & Miami Nights from: £19.99pp, Romeo + Juliet from: £29.70pp

The Miami Beach experience at Backyard Cinema
Miami Beach Experience, Photo Source: Backyard Cinema

Probably the closest we’ll get to L.A., Miami or Verona this summer with COVID travel restrictions still in place, Backyard Cinema is essentially running a public service by transporting us thousands of miles away mentally, though physically we will be in (the stunning) Capital Studio’s venue in Wandsworth. Taking us truly through the nostalgic travel experience, visitors are swept up and jetted away (literally), in the highly immersive adventure which includes a pre-screening flight, live music, artisan pizza, a street food yard, craft beer, live-theatrics and much, much, more. With three individual and unique experience to explore, and a huge range of films to take your pick with, there’s something for everyone.

Purchase your tickets HERE for L.A. Nights; HERE for Miami Beach; and HERE for Romeo + Juliet

5 | London in The Sky:

Open: From Thursday, July 1st until Sunday, September 26th

Location: O2, Greenwich

Website: londoninthesky.co.uk

Price: From £79pp (Breakfast) – £169pp (Dinner)

Dine suspended 100ft above the O2 with London in the sky...
Photo Source: Instagram @ldninthesky

If you’re great with heights and also happen to enjoy fine dining, then this one is for you because London in the Sky is an experience like no other. Picture this, a 22-seat Sky Table suspended 100ft in the air whilst you enjoy uninterrupted views of the city, gastronomic food, and drinks in a truly one-of-a-kind unique experience. If that sounds like your cup of tea, then you’re in luck as the experience is back at London’s O2 this summer from July 1st to September 26th. Serving breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon tea, cocktails, dinner & Sunday sessions (excuse me whilst I catch my breath), the experience isn’t the most budget-friendly activity starting from £99pp for brunch or cocktails but is so worthwhile and looks fantastic from below (which is exactly where you’ll find me). 

Purchase your tickets HERE.

6 | Hangloose Skywire Adventure Bluewater 

Open: Every day until October 2021, weekends thereafter until 2022

Location: Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent

Website: hangloosebluewater.com

Price: From £50pp

Adventure centre with giant swing, zip wire and skydiving machine set to  open at Bluewater - Kent Live
Pictured is the Skywire Cornwall, Photo Source: Hangloose Bluewater

So technically just a little outside of London at Kent’s Bluewater Shopping centre, Hangloose Bluewater is England’s longest zip wire spanning over 700m…and that’s just the start. So, for all the adrenaline junkies and thrill-seekers out there, this is the perfect summer activity to take in Kent’s expansive landscape, as well as discovering the first (and only) outdoor Skydive Machine, Climbing, Giant Swing and much more!

Purchase your tickets HERE. Please note this activity is not suitable for children under 8 years old, persons weighing under 40kg or over 120kg.

7 | Tiffany Blue Box Café at Harrods:

Open: Dates available to book until August 31st, further dates to be released thereafter.

Location: LG Floor, Harrods, Knightsbridge 

Website: harrods.com

Price: Breakfast from £42 pp, Afternoon Tea from £69pp

Tiffany Blue Box Cafe - Afternoon Tea
Photo Source: Harrods – The Tiffany Blue Box Café

Noted as Tiffany & Co.’s’ only café outside of its Fifth Avenue, New York flagship store, if you’ve always dreamt of embracing your inner Hepburn, or just really want to caption a post with the iconic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” line then you, my friends, are in luck. Taking over the lower ground floor restaurant space in London’s most loved luxury retailer, Harrods, is none other than Tiffany’s Blue Box Café, and yes, it is as opulent as you’d imagine. Only serving breakfast (understandably), or an Afternoon Tea option (equally as bourgeois and insta-worthy) “all served with a side of diamonds”, the café is open 7-days a week until August 31st, with subsequent dates set to be released on the 2nd of each new month.

Book your table HERE.

8 | Openair Float-In Cinema presented by Häagen-Dazs 

Open: Until 27th June 2021

Location: Merchants Square, Paddington

Website: openaire.co.uk

Price: Boats – £240 exc. fees (for up to 8 people inc. children), Deck Chairs – £17.50 exc. fees.

Photo Source: David Parry/PA Wire

This is another unique cinema experience and one that’s sure to float your boat! Open for their second year in London, Openaire Float-In Cinema is docked in London’s Merchant Square but be fast as slots are selling out and the experience is only available for one more week! From cult classics such as Top Gun to blockbusters like The Dark Knight, you can enjoy your time on the water (or on the deck) with an artisan pasta dish in hand from pop-up restaurant, RaviOllie, or cool yourself down with an extraordinarily indulgent Häagen-Dazs ice cream. 

Purchase your tickets HERE.

9 | Electric City, Leadenhall Market:

Open: Until July 31st 

Location: Leadenhall Market, London

Website: leadenhallmarket.co.uk

Price: FREE

A picture containing text, indoor, decorated, colorful

Description automatically generated
Leadenhall Market, Photo Credit: Instagram @bubigarcia

Walthamstow’s famous God’s Own Junkyard – a neon dreamland and treasure-trove of history in epic proportions has been (temporarily) raided and given its own pop-up in Central London’s Leadenhall Market. Until July 31st the late, great Chris Bracey’s junkyard will take pride-of-place over the Victorian market for an immersive trip through film history. Named ‘Electric City’, this pop-up exhibition will be completely free to attend, and with the gift store on hand, you can purchase and take home your very own neon artwork memento.

10 | Van Gogh Alive – The Experience:

Open: Until September 26th 2021

Location: Kensington Gardens, London

Website: vangoghaliveuk.com

Price: Adults £29, Children (5-16) £16.50, Under 5’s go FREE 

A person standing in a field of flowers

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Van Gogh Alive, Photo Credit – Instagram @thelondonchatter

If you missed out on tickets for the Yayio Kusama: Infinity Mirrors Room exhibition like I’ve done (for a third time and second country in a row – can you tell I’m very upset about this?), you’ll be thrilled to know that there’s another extraordinary immersive art experience that you can delve into this summer in London. Van Gogh Alive is the world’s most visited multi-sensory experience suitable for the whole family; with it being powered by SENSORY4TM immersive technology not only will you get a chance to view over 3,000 pieces of the artists most famous works, but you’ll step into them and experience them in a unique way too. This is one you definitely need to Gogh to (see what I did there?).

Purchase your tickets HERE.

*Please note, all information was correct at the time of research and publishing. Dates and events may be subject to change or cancellation in line with the ever-changing coronavirus regulations, please check before booking.

Article written by Danielle Temeng (@__daniafia)

Want to write for theblup.com please contact talent@studioblup.com