From Summer Lights to summer nights, here’s how to have the perfect day out at Canary Wharf.
If you’re stuck on things to do this summer, just head on down to Canary Wharf to be filled with inspiration! From the spectacular Summer Lights art installation to live Wimbledon screenings, outdoor theatre performances to the best in alfresco dining and drinking, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this beautiful – and frankly, underrated – part of London.
We’ve curated our top picks of things to do in Canary Wharf this summer to help you plan the perfect day out. Read on for all the details!
Be dazzled by the Summer Lights (June 21 – August 21)
This breathtaking outdoor art installation across the Canary Wharf estate is a colourful celebration of natural light. Launched on Midsummer (the longest day of the year), the unique exhibition consists of 11 new pieces of art which all shimmer, shine and sparkle in the sun’s rays. As such, Summer Lights is best admired between sunrise and sunset. Open daily, the installation is free to enjoy – find out more and download your free map here.
Watch Wimbledon on the big screen (June 28 – July 11)
Bring a picnic mat and settle down in front of the Summer Screens to catch all the action from Centre Court. That’s right, you can watch the Wimbledon Championships in style – on the big screen while you kick back in the sunshine with a refreshing Pimms in hand! These huge outdoor screens will also be showing other sporting events, documentaries, weekend children’s programmes, news, and special film screenings all summer. You can even sing along to Moana on Sunday, July 18.
Shoot some hoops in the brightest basketball court you’ve ever seen
British-Nigerian artist, Yinka Ilori, famous for his bold and colourful work has designed a vibrant, highly-Instagrammable 3 x 3 basketball court in Canary Wharf. The court installation, ‘Be The Best You Can Be’ is free to use and open daily between 12-9pm. BYOB (bring your own ball) or just ask one of the helpful event stewards on site to borrow one between the hours of 12-6pm. Find out more here.
Catch a free play at an outdoor theatre
Wander down to Westferry Circus and you can enjoy a free, alfresco theatrical performance every Monday in July. See classic plays from the likes of Shakespeare, Bronte, Wilde, and Gilbert & Sullivan from four fantastic theatre troupes. Each performance begins at 7pm, so pack some picnic snacks, grab a seat and prepare to be transported to wonderful new worlds as dusk falls over Canary Wharf.
If you’re into performance art, you should also pay a visit to The Greenhouse Theatre, the UK’s first zero waste performance space, in Jubilee Park. This award-winning pop-up venue built entirely from found and recycled materials will host a programme of shows and workshops over the summer dedicated to help audiences realise the impact they can have on the course of the climate crisis. See the power of art and storytelling come together in action to address one of the biggest challenges in human history.
Admire the Estate’s amazing art collection
While you’re meandering through the leafy green parks of Canary Wharf, keep your eyes peeled for the 75 pieces of art that make up the Estate’s incredible public art collection. Download your free art map here. And while you’re out getting your cultural kicks, don’t forget to check out Morag Myerscough’s ‘Sun Pavilion’ in Montgomery Square. The bright, joyous art installation is the perfect space to enjoy a leisurely lunch and safely meet with friends!
Lose yourself in some live music
On Wednesday lunchtimes in July and August, you can enjoy pop-up performances of classical music in Jubilee Park and Canada Square Park. Sit back in the grass and let Docklands Sinfonia and Spitalfields Music blow you away with incredible performances from jazz trio’s to string quartets!
Or listen to some of London’s hottest new emerging artists at a Canary Wharf Sunny Day Session! When the sun is in the sky, you’ll be able to liven up your lunchtimes with a free pop-up performance from some amazing new talent. And let’s be honest, nothing says summer like soaking up the sunshine while you bop along to a live music soundtrack in the park!
Feed your summer soul with all the best food and drink
Canary Wharf is bringing you a taste of the Mediterranean’s alfresco dining culture this summer – with an impressive array of outdoor terraces, bars and restaurants. From brunch at The Ivy in the Park, to tasty tapas at Ibérica, to quirky cocktails at the Alchemist, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dining out!
Let loose with a sunset session at Pergola Lates
Pergola Lates are the perfect place to kick off your weekend, and are the perfect excuse to stay late on a Friday! From 7:30pm to 1am you’ll enjoy a super fresh line-up of live acts and DJs playing Disco, Funk and House. Join the party every Friday – no tickets, no entry fees, just fun. Summer starts here, folks!
See, we told you, there’s just so much going on at Canary Wharf right now! And what’s more, with its extensive outdoor offering and wide open spaces, Canary Wharf is the perfect place to meet, relax, and reconnect with your friends and family, while continuing to keep safe and socially distanced this summer.
See what’s on in Canary Wharf and plan your visit here.
Social distancing measures will also be in place throughout the Estate, and visitors will be asked to wear face coverings when inside the shopping malls in accordance with government guidance. You can read more about Canary Wharf’s Covid-19 response here.