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Summer by the River launches today

Things to do

HALF TERM: Politics for kids and a childhood literary classic are among today’s half term events. We’ve also got the lowdown on child-friendly galleries and theatres, the best family-friendly exhibitions, and other ways to keep everyone happy in half term.

SUNDANCE FESTIVAL: A huge event in the film calendar, Sundance London gets underway today. It begins with a screening of Late Night, starring Emma Thompson as a talk show host. Other events throughout the festival include premiere screenings, short films and panel events. Picturehouse Central (Piccadilly Circus), various prices, book ahead, 30 May-2 June

SUMMER BY THE RIVER: This free riverside festival kicks off today, starting a summer of free live music, fitness classes, film and sport screenings. Tonight, the Chaps Choir perform, and there’s live music from Georgia and the Vintage Youth. London Bridge City, from 30 May

FERMENTATION STATION: Learn how to protect your gut and how doing so can make your everyday life healthier, at Biotiful’s Fermentation Station. There’s yoga classes to partake in, talks to listen to and kefir cocktails to quaff. Protein Studios, free, just turn up, 7.30am-7pm

Have a cheesy lunch at Borough Market

CHEESE TASTING: Tuck into all manner of cheeses at a lunchtime tasting and workshop. As you taste each cheese, learn about the different techniques and ingredients that go into making it, before washing it all down with a meal of bread and other produce from Borough Market. Neal’s Yard Dairy (Borough Market), £20, book ahead, 12.30pm-1.30pm

ISLAND OF BATTERSEA: Part of Wandsworth Heritage Festival, history writer Jon Newman leads a guided walk around the ‘island of Battersea’. It’s no longer an island, but historically the Heathwall River separated it from mainland until it disappeared in the 1860s. A copy of Newman’s book, Heathwall: Battersea’s Forgotten River is included in the ticket price. Falcon Glade Park (Clapham Junction), £8, book ahead, 2.30pm-5pm

LIQUID LATE: Stay late at the Museum of London Docklands to celebrate the launch of the new Secret Rivers exhibition. As well as visiting the exhibition itself, visitors can see a film about London’s underground sewers, listen to stories on board a boat, or tuck into oysters and bloody Marys. Museum of London Docklands, £12, book ahead, 6.30pm

Rum on the river? Count us in.

RUM ON THE RIVER: Embrace your inner pirate as you sip rum on board a ship — albeit a dry-docked ship. The Golden Hinde hosts representatives from 15 rum brands from around the world, to offer an insight into how the rum is made… with plenty of tastings, of course. The Golden Hinde (Borough Market), £20, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

DEEP OCEAN TALES: SeaLife London (known as the London Aquarium to old-school Londoners) stays open late for a family-friendly storytelling event, with tales read out loud against a backdrop of the ocean tank. Author Thomas Taylor reads from his new book Malamander, set in the town of Eerie-On-Sea. SeaLife London (South Bank), £20, book ahead, from 7pm

RACE SCIENCE: The four presenters of podcast Why Aren’t You A Doctor Yet? chat to science writer Angela Saini about her new book, Superior. In it, she covers the political roots of race, why scientists can’t seem to look beyond it, and ways in which scientific racism still exists today. Royal Institution (Mayfair), £16/£10/£7, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

STRANGE SUMMER MADNESS: The Society of Strange take audience suggestions and spin them into macabre and uncanny tales, live on stage. Think improv comedy… but without the laughs, and a lot more spooky. Wilton’s Music Hall, £6.50-£16.50, book ahead, 7.30pm

SUNSHINE CLINIC: Comedian Cam Spence takes on the role of rehab facility founder Janet Waitrose in character comedy show The Sunshine Clinic. Set in a rehab clinic, it’ll be Spence’s Edinburgh debut show this year, so see it before it gets big. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Tube ponderings with Barry Heck

Our resident tube fancier dishes out daily thoughts on the London Underground.

A building by Charles Holden on High Holborn.

Charles Holden is well noted for designing some of London’s most beautiful tube stations, as well as the London Underground headquarters at 55 Broadway. Long before any of that, when he was still in his 20s, Holden came up with this stately corner house on High Holborn. Very handsome, in a low-key way.

Good cause of the day

Local residents have launched a crowdfunder campaign to revive wild swimming in Broomfield Park in Palmers Green, Enfield. The boating lake used to be a paddling pool and the bottom pond was used as a bathing pond until the 1930s. Find out more and back the campaign.

What we’re reading

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