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5 Must-Do Experiences in London This Summer

Planning a trip to London soon? The British capital’s many parks and Thames-side walkways are perfect for strolling in warm weather, but be sure to check out these special events for summer 2009.

Art Updates

The Design Museum’s Super Contemporary exhibition (to Sept. 13) is worth the £6–8.50 price for big-name designers’ takes on London icons, including those red double-decker buses. You can enjoy London’s major museums for free all the time, including the massive British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Britain, and Tate Modern.

Henry VIII History

For the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII’s ascension to the throne, special programs and exhibitions are ongoing at Henry’s famous haunts. His weddings and women are highlighted at Hampton Court Palace, while The Tower of London focuses on the monarch’s style.

Shakespeare in the Open Air

The South Bank’s recreated Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre has standing-room only £5 “groundling” tickets in the uncovered theatre as well as seats for it’s May–Oct. season. Regents Park Open Air Theatre is a magical setting for the current summer season’s shows: Much Ado About Nothing and the Tempest.

Science Celebrations

The Natural History Museum is celebrating Darwin’s 200th birthday right now, while the Darwin Centre expansion opens in September. 2009 is also the International Year of Astronomy—Greenwhich’s Royal Observatory has ongoing special programs and events.

Shopping on Sale

Biannual sales in late June (and just after Christmas) are the perfect excuse to venture beyond Harrods. Check out the latest fashions at department store Selfridges, which is celebrating its 100th aniversary this year.

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