Things to do this weekend is sponsored by Japan Centre.
HALF TERM: For most London schools, half term runs until this weekend. Stuck for things to do with the kids? In need of family days out in the capital? Our guide to May half term in London covers family-friendly events, exhibitions, theatre shows and more, with a helpful guide to the capital's best playgrounds, and plenty of free things to do too.
BLACK CULTURE MARKET: Shop gifts, cards, unique prints, jewellery, male grooming kits, skincare, clothes and more at the Black Culture Market at The Department Store in Brixton, an event which supports emerging entrepreneurs and new businesses of African & Caribbean descent. 3-4 June
PETANQUE CHAMPIONSHIPS: Across two days, watch players from UK club level and international champions going head to head in the Pétanque Championships in Crystal Palace Park. Food and drink stalls and a picnic area are available on site. 3-4 June
ROMEO AND JULIET: Backyard Cinema hosts atmospheric screenings of Baz Luhrmann's 1996 take on Romeo and Juliet at Alexandra Palace — accompanied by a live choir. In previous years, the show's been held at Islington's Union Chapel (and always sells out), and brand new songs have been added this time round. This weekend is your last chance. Until 4 June
SCI-FI LONDON: Film festival Sci-Fi London is well underway, and screenings this weekend include the world premiere of The Great Glitch, about best friends in their mid-20s in Copenhagen who experience a series of unlikely events, and The Eye and The Wall, in which a city is shut off from the rest of the world under the regime of a brutal police force. 31 May-6 June
QUENTIN BLAKE: The London Wetlands Centre in Barnes celebrates the works of illustrator Quentin Blake with a series of events throughout the summer, including an exhibition of 54 Blake's prints, inspired by wetlands and wildlife, on display in the art gallery. Until 10 September (exhibition until 14 July)
Get a taste of Japan with Ramen Yokocho's £9.99 Retro Ramen
Ramen Yokocho — located within Japan Centre near Leicester Square, and on Heddon Street near Regent Street — is a culinary journey around the regions of Japan, serving up speciality bowls with an array of broths and noodles from different areas. And for a limited time only, you can try them for under a tenner.
On Mondays and Tuesdays (all day), tuck into hearty bowls of Signature Retro Ramen for £9.99. Choose between the Tonkotsu Ramen with 12-hour tonkotsu-based pork broth with hosomen noodles, kikurage mushrooms, BBQ pork belly, spring onion, takana mustard, nitamago egg, nori seaweed and red ginger; the Tokyo Shoyu Ramen with 3-hour soy-based chicken and pork broth with chijire noodles, menma (bamboo shoots), BBQ pork belly, spring onion, naruto fish cake, nitamago egg and nori seaweed; or the Vegan Miso Ramen with 1-hour miso-based vegetable broth with hosomen noodles, ganmo tofu, menma, kikurage mushrooms, broccoli and nori seaweed.
Each dish is £9.99, and you can add on a selection of soul food sides including karaage, buns, gyoza and shio kosho chicken wings to start your week off right. Wash it down with a range of ice-cold Japanese draft beers, Shochu cocktails, or flights of sake. For a real taste of nostalgia, try the melon cream soda, a vibrant green float topped with vanilla ice cream and a maraschino cherry.
Ramen Yokocho at Japan Centre, 35a Panton Street, Leicester Square and 8 Heddon Street. Offer valid all day, Monday and Tuesday. Find out more and book your table.
Saturday 3 June
FAMILY FILM CLUB: For family-friendly fun, head to the outdoor cinema screen in Canary Wharf for Family Film Club. It's a free screening of the superb 2016 animated film Sing, about a koala theatre manager who goes to extraordinary lengths to save his theatre. Get there early to bag a good spot — and remember that there's free crazy golf nearby for afterwards. FREE, 10.30am
MIGRATING MILLIMUNGER: Children's author Charlotte Chaplin reads her new book, The Migrating Millimunger, about a creature who lands on Blue Bear Island after being chased from home by a hungry crocodile. For added fun at this interactive storytelling session at Elephant and Castle's SoLo Craft Fair shop, there'll be puppets. FREE, 11am-12pm
CHINGFORD TOUR: Join Footprints of London guide Joanna Moncrieff for a guided walking tour around Chingford. Use old maps to see how the area has evolved throughout the years, as well as what has remained the same, and find the remains of one of Chingford's long lost manor houses. 11am-1pm
HANWELL WALK: Alternatively, head for the opposite end of London for a guided walk around Hanwell, organised by the Victorian Society. Take a wander around the west London suburb passing some 19th century remnants, a 20th century church, and I.K. Brunel's Wharncliffe Viaduct soaring above the trees in Brent Valley, with millions of bricks bringing the Great Western Railway into London on eight huge Egyptian arches. 11.15am-3pm
WITNESSING HISTORY: As part of its Witnessing History: Films by Sergei Loznitsa series, Cine Lumiere in South Ken screens Mr Landsbergis, a documentary about Lithuania's fight for independence between 1988 and 1993, told through the story of music professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who became the first Head of State of Lithuania after it gained independence from the Soviet Union. 1.30pm
SEWING MACHINE MUSEUM: The monthly open day at London's little-known Sewing Machine Museum takes place this afternoon. It's home to more than 600 of the machines, including one which was owned by Queen Victoria's daughter. We visited it ourselves back in 2018. FREE (donations appreciated) 2pm-5pm
PLANET ARDBEG: If you're a fan of peated malt whiskies (and detective noir), this Ardbeg Day event is for you: the launch of Heavy Vapours — Ardbeg's first whisky distilled without a purifier — features an array of immersive activities in which you work with an 'investigative journalist' to solve puzzles, and wind up tasting drams. 2pm-7pm
LAUREL AND HARDY: The quarterly meeting of the Laurel and Hardy Society takes place at Kennington's Cinema Museum, with non-members welcome to attend. A series of short films starring the duo will be screened, including Angora Love (1929). Me and My Pal (1933), Dirty Work (1933), and Pack Up Your Troubles (1932). 3pm
FA CUP FINAL: If you've not got your ticket for City Vs United at Wembley this afternoon, better secure yourself a spot at one of London's best pubs and bars for watching football. As it's a biggie today, you may want to reserve your place, or otherwise arrive nice and early. KO 3pm
ORGANOKE: Taking karaoke to a godly level, Organoke invites you to sing along to your fave pop hits, as played on the majestic organ at St Giles church in Camberwell. Sk8er Boi never sounded like this before. Doors 7pm (and again tomorrow, doors 6.30pm)
SYNTHPOP SPECIAL: Alternative club night Scared To Dance is at The Victoria in Dalston for a synthpop special. DJs Paul Richards and Bob Brown play the likes of Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, New Order, The Human League, LCD Soundsystem, Soft Cell, OMD, Future Islands, Eurythmics, Hot Chip and Bronski Beat. 10pm
Sunday 4 June
PRIDE TOUR: Once again, Shakespeare's Globe is offering Pride Guided Tours, taking you around the famous theatre and sharing stories of queer characters from Shakespeare's time. Find out about members of the LGBTQ+ community and their links to the theatre, from rebellious icons down in the yard to nobility in the galleries. 10.30am
NOTTING HILL BLACK HISTORY: Join Black History Walks for a walking tour focusing on Black British Civil rights and Caribbean history in the Notting Hill area. The area is best-known for Notting Hill Carnival, but this is chance to go beyond that and find out about pioneering African/Caribbean people who fought for equality, paving the way for modern multi-cultural London. 10.30am-1.30pm
WINDRUSH 75: As the 75th anniversary of the Empire Windrush's arrival in London approaches, the British Museum holds a celebration of sound system culture. It's curated by artist and educator Linett Kamala, and includes DJ and dance workshops, talks and film screenings, focusing on the culture's lasting impact on British society. FREE, 11am-4pm
SPIRIT OF INVENTION FESTIVAL: Head to the National Archives for Spirit of Invention Festival Day, a family-friendly day out inspired by the venue's new exhibition, Spirit of Invention. Expect workshops, demonstrations, tours of the exhibition and more, including a sound garden of reclaimed instruments, the art of Japanese plant printing, and a chance to make your own peg puppet. 11am-4pm
FLEA MARKET: Big Penny Social near Blackhorse Road station hosts Walthamstow Flea Market today, with heaps of vintage furniture, homewares and various curios up for grabs. Plenty of food and drink is available (it's a beer hall after all) onsite, and vendors take card and cash. 11am-5pm
OLD YORK ROAD UNPLUGGED: Old York Road in Wandsworth goes traffic-free for a day of live music performances. One stage is curated by a local radio station, while another is an acoustic stage, with open-mic slots open to anyone. There's also a street food market, and games and rides to keep kids entertained. FREE, 11am
SHIRLEY WINDMILL: There's a chance to visit Shirley Windmill in the borough of Croydon today — with guided tours taking place throughout the afternoon on one of their opens days. (Note also that Upminster Windmill is now hosting open days once again after years of closure. Check here for dates.) FREE, 12pm-4pm
POLLY TOYNBEE: Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee comes to Conway Hall to talk about the guilt of privilege, coming from a family of left-wing rabble-rousers who also happen to be wealthy. 3pm
INTERNATIONAL LITERATURE FESTIVAL: Rich Mix in Shoreditch hosts the Saudha International Literature Festival, which brings together new literature from different cultures and heritages around the world. It's curated by poet Ahmed Kaysher and features talks, readings and performances. 4pm
GARDEN SUPPER CLUB: As part of a special Company of Cooks series of events, chef Nikita Pathakji cooks for a one-off supper club served up in the middle of Chelsea Physic Garden. Dine on a seasonal tasting menu by the Masterchef professional winner 2022, with dishes including cured sea bass, Iberico pork, and cardamom custard tart. 6.30pm-10pm
WORK IN PROGRESS COMEDY: Catch Sallyann Fellowes' work in progress comedy show at 2Northdown in King's Cross — part of the London LGBTQ+ Stand Up Comedy Festival. 8pm