Soak up the fiery hues of autumn trees and celebrate the season in the Royal Parks with art fairs, historical walks, Halloween themed events, nature play, high teas and more.
For a full list of events taking place in the Royal Parks visit our What's on page.
1. Get cultural at Frieze art fairs in The Regent’s Park
Indulge in some of the best works from leading and emerging contemporary artists during Frieze London.
The event will feature performance-based installations, debates, panel discussions and keynote lectures. And coinciding with Frieze London is Frieze Masters, bringing together 130 galleries specialising in pre-21st century art.
You can also visit the Frieze Sculpture Park, set in the English Gardens in The Regent's Park, free until Sunday 31 October.
You can find an informative audio guide to this year’s sculptures here.
2. Spook it up with our bone-chilling Halloween events
Treat the family to a feast of FREE hair-raising activities this October Half-term from ghostly storytelling, creepy crafts, eerie nature trails, potent potions to fang-tastic bug hunting.
We have activities running every day during the school half-term week in a variety of locations:
- Monday 25 October Mission: Invertebrate Roadshow, Brompton Cemetery
- Tuesday 26 to Thursday 28 October Discovery Days, Hyde Park
- Friday 29 October Mission: Invertebrate Roadshow, Brompton Cemetery
For those who do not scare easily, join our Dead After Dark: The Queen's Gardens ghost walk.
Brave the gruesome tales of buried secrets and nightmarish hauntings in St James's Park and The Green Park on this magical yet eerie night walk. We will bring to life enchanting stories of walking statues, sentient trees, secret tunnels, headless women, shapeshifting rats and more.
3. Cheer on runners at the Royal Parks Half Marathon
We are excited to welcome the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada back to the parks on Sunday 10 October.
We look forward to welcoming thousands of runners on race day who will start their 13.1 miles on The Mall. Welsh rugby player Gareth Thomas is starting the race on behalf of the charity. The race will finish in Hyde Park where friends and family are invited to join their runners to celebrate at the Finish Festival.
Find a spot along the route to cheer on participants and celebrate the beauty of the Royal Parks here.
4. Discover the hidden history of Hyde Park and its secret pet cemetery
For centuries, this famous space covering 350 acres has provided royals and members of the public with a green oasis to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Join our guided walk that brings the park’s history and culture to life with stories from Tyburn Tree, The Great Exhibition, Rotten Row and Peter Pan.
In the lead up to Halloween you will also have a special chance to explore the rarely-opened Victorian Pet Cemetery in Hyde Park dating back to the 1800’s with over 300 tiny headstones marking beloved pets.
5. Fire up the kids’ imaginations in Greenwich and The Regent’s Park
From dressing up to making up games, from constructing cardboard space-ships to knocking down towers of teddy bears – Our Play in the Park team will ensure that the possibilities are endless.
Our free play sessions run from April to October complimented by events and mini play projects inspired by the parks.
Bring your family along to one of our fun and creative play days in and around The Regent’s Park, Gloucester Gate and Greenwich Park playgrounds.
Find out more about nature play and it’s benefits here.
Newly refurbished Gloucester Gate Playground, The Regents Park
Sign up for Wednesday 20 October play session
Sign up for Friday 15 October play session
6. Get Fit for Free with Our Parks
Have you ever heard of the phrase “Summer bodies are made in winter”? Although it may be colder and darker and you feel your motivation slipping, there are still plenty of perks for staying fit in autumn, for example how amazing does it feel to have the crisp autumn air cooling you down after an intense workout or run?
Another exciting bit of motivation for staying fit in autumn is ‘Our Parks’, a brand-new initiative allowing you to participate in quality group exercise classes, outdoors in one of your favourite parks all for free.
Free classes on various days of the week
7. Get ready for Winter Wonderland
Although it is not quite winter yet, why not be prepared for the much-loved mid-November wonderland spectacular and get your tickets now?
Yes, you heard correctly – Winter Wonderland is back this year and better than ever! The UK’s most iconic festive event is back with a wondrous list of attractions, new themes and returning favourites including the UK’s largest outdoor Ice Rink, new Magical Ice Kingdom and Bar Ice experiences, new Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk shows, the Giant Wheel, and more.
8. Go bird spotting on a walking trail
Walking is a wonderful way to experience the changing seasons as well as the exotic and native birds on migration over autumn.
Our parks have miles of paths for you to explore as well as a wealth of different bird species. By watching them from a distance rather than seeking an up-close encounter, you can help nature thrive in the Royal Parks.
The seven-mile-long Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Walk passes through St James's Park, Green Park, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. And if you love insects and minibeasts, then Mission: Invertebrate's self-guided walks offer a way to discover the tiniest inhabitants of the city.
With help from our bird spotter sheets, you can have a go at identifying some of the wonderful creatures in your favourite Royal Park on your next walk or join the Friends of Greenwich Park as they go for their monthly bird watching ramble.
9. Visit the world-famous Meridian line and Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park
There's so much to explore at Royal Observatory Greenwich, from historic objects, to cutting edge astronomy.
This autumn you can look forward to starry-eyed events where you and your family can take a voyage across the solar system and explore its many moons or have an evening with the stars with the rare chance to look through the 130-year-old Great Equatorial Telescope in return of this popular live planetarium event.
10. Treat yourself to a decadent afternoon tea
When it comes to food and drink in the Royal Parks, you are spoilt for choice. There is something for every occasion from the convenient ever-necessary cup of coffee and croissant to a lush fancy day out with champagne, scones, and all.
If feeling like a royal floats your boat then visit The Italian Gardens Café in Kensington Gardens. Sit back, relax and treat yourself to beautiful food and drink surrounded by over 300 years of royal history.
Richmond Park’s Pembroke Lodge is another must if you are looking for that picture perfect afternoon tea. The magnificent listed Georgian Mansion is set in 13 acres of landscaped grounds, situated at the highest point in Richmond Park, boasting spectacular views over the Thames Valley in autumn.
What are your favourite things to do in the Royal Parks during autumn? Let us know!