Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

The Alexandra Palace summer festival features a giant water slide

The Alexandra Palace summer festival features a giant water slide - Credit: Archant

Our top five this week features “London’s biggest summer festival”, a conversation with renowned children’s author Judith Kerr and cabaret at Lauderdale House.

1. Saturday - Summer Festival

Alexandra Palace will be hosting London’s largest celebration of summer on Saturday with a day packed full of activities and events. The iconic venue and neighbouring 196-acre park will be transformed for the one-day festival, which includes a 150 metre water slide. Street food stalls will be serving a range of well-known and local dishes while craft beer stalls provide some of the “best beer and cider on offer” from local craft breweries – all in London’s largest outdoor beer garden. Live music will be performed on two stages, with the Great Hall also hosting a “Prom in the Palace” with acclaimed classical musicians. An outdoor cinema will be screening Dirty Dancing while a “silent disco” will see revellers partying to summertime hits. The Palace’s ice rink will also be open with the day ending in a public skating disco session. A Family Zone will see a range of fairground rides, including dodgems and a helter skelter. The Pitch and Putt and pedalos on the boating lake will also be available. Visit for more information and to book activities.

2. Sunday - Judith Kerr

Renowned children’s author Judith Kerr talks about her life and work in this conversation with Nicolette Jones of The Sunday Times. The 92-year-old is a German-born British writer and illustrator and will be speaking on Sunday. She has created both enduring picture books, such as the Mog series and The Tiger Who Came to Tea, and acclaimed novels for older children such as the autobiographical When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit which give a child’s-eye view of the Second World War. She is the daughter of Alfred Kerr, an influential German-Jewish theatre critic whose books were burned by the Nazis shortly before he and his family fled Germany. Mrs Kerr then settled in London and was given a scholarship at the Central School of Arts and Design where she became an artist, and later a scriptwriter. She will be speaking at the Jewish Museum in Albert Street, Camden Town. This event is aimed particularly at children, aged five to 16. Runs from 2pm to 3pm. Tickets £15 (children free with museum entry). Visit to book.

3. Thursday - Owen Sheers

Welsh writer Owen Sheers talks with Piers Plowright as part of Burgh House’s long-running Lifelines series of talks. Mr Sheers, an eminent and award-winning poet, has also achieved success as an actor, playwright and TV presenter – and was the first-ever Writer in Residence for the Welsh Rugby Union. He also wrote and presented BBC 4 series A Poet’s Guide to Britain. Held at Burgh House in New End Square, Hampstead. Tickets £12 (£10 Friends of Burgh House). A supper including wine in our Buttery Cafe is available after the conversation for £20. All proceeds in aid of Burgh House.

For more information and tickets, call 020 7431 0144 or visit

4. Thursday - Cabaret

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Cabaret comes to Highgate in this show at Lauderdale House in Waterlow Park. “Samantha’s Backstage Cabaret” promises the audience “will experience everything from witty satirical comedy to insanely fast patter-songs to uplifting Broadway power-numbers”. Samantha has performed for audiences across the world, from in Las Vegas and London. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £10 (£8 concs.). Call 07710878178 or email to book.

5. Sunday - Piano Concert

A free piano concert presented by the UK Sibelius Society will be put on in Hampstead. The featured pianist will be Rudi Eastwood. Jean Sibelius was a Finnish violinist and composer of the late Romantic and early-modern periods. He is widely recognised as Finland’s national composer, and is often credited for helping his country develop a national identity in their struggle for independence. Held at Burgh House in New End Square. Starts 2pm. To reserve tickets, email