Whilst the summer is always a welcomed arrival, mind-rot can sometimes start to seep in over the holiday period. Whether its staying at home with the kids all day, overdosing on Love-Island episodes or one too many trips to the swim up bar, if your brain needs a kick into gear, head to one of the below places for some apres-work cultural stimulation.

  1. Wellcome Collection 

Opening Times: Mon: closed. Tues/Weds/Fri/Sat: 10am-6pm. Thurs: 10am-10pm. Sun: 11am-6pm.

The free destination for the incurably curious: the London museum that invites you to explore what it means to be human. Their Summer Exhibition ‘A Museum of Modern Nature’, shines a light on how each of us connects with nature. We are displaying objects borrowed from members of the public that tell a story about their relationship with nature. Together they create a collective snapshot of how we think about nature in the 21st century and explore how the health of our planet is intricately bound up with the behaviours and values of the people who inhabit it.

  1. House of Illustration 

Opening Times: Mon: closed. Tues-Sun: 10am-6pm.

House of Illustration is the UK’s only public gallery dedicated to illustration and the graphic arts, founded by Sir Quentin Blake, it opened in July 2014. It exists to champion, celebrate and explore illustration in all its forms, placing it at the heart of contemporary visual culture. Showing until August is ‘Anime Architecture: Backgrounds of Japan’, the first UK exhibition of architectural illustrations for classic anime films.

  1. The British Library

Opening Time: Mon-Thurs: 9.30am-8pm. Sat: 9.30am-5pm. Sun: 11am-5pm

Showing until 29th August, ‘Russian Revolution: Hope, Tragedy, Myths’ is a definitive exhibition which takes a fresh look at the Russian Revolution 100 years on. With rarely seen items from both sides of the conflict – from a first edition of the Communist Manifesto to anti-Bolshevik propaganda – this is a unique chance to understand the lesser-known personal stories behind the events that changed the world.

  1. The Foundling Museum

Opening Times: Mon: Closed. Tues-Sat: 10am -5pm. Sun: 11am-5pm

The Foundling Museum explores the history of the Foundling Hospital, the UK’s first children’s charity and first public art gallery. Running until 3rd September, the ‘Picturing Hetty Feather’ exhibition explores how Hetty Feather (the character in Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s series of novels) has helped bring the history of the Foundling Hospital to life. The exhibition explores the ways in which writers, directors and designers have used historical evidence and factual gaps to bring the nineteenth-century Foundling Hospital to life. Find out about the real history of the Hospital, discover how it inspired Dame Jacqueline Wilson to create the character of Hetty, and explore how Hetty’s story has come to life as a stage show and television series.

  1. Pangolin 

Opening Times: Mon-Sat: 10am to 6pm. Sun: closed.

Pangolin London is one of the city’s few galleries dedicated to exhibiting sculpture.

Representing a solid stable of both established and emerging artists and artist estates, Pangolin London curates a dynamic exhibition programme that focuses on the historic developments of British Sculpture as well as the cutting-edge contemporary. On display until 25th August is the Central Saint Martins Final Year BA Ceramic Design exhibition, showcasing the works of some especially talented students from the prestigious university.

  1. The Crypt Gallery 

Opening Times: depends on the exhibition

One of London’s most unique and atmospheric exhibition spaces, The Crypt Gallery hosts a range of exhibitions and events throughout the year and is available to hire for book launches, arts events, filming, photo-shoots and performances. Opening times vary according to what’s on so do check the website for current and forthcoming exhibitions for opening times.

  1. Sid Motion Gallery

Opening Times: depends on exhibition

Sid Motion Gallery is a new independent art gallery exhibiting contemporary art and photography that opened in King’s Cross last year. It aims to showcase the work of a range of fresh vibrant artists working in different media.

  1. Shaw Theatre 

Opening Times: depends on the show

Originally built in 1971 and known as the Library Theatre, the Shaw (named after George Bernard Shaw) was fully refurbished in 1998. The comfortable, air conditioned and intimate 446-seat auditorium with cinema-style seating offers an excellent view of the stage from every single seat. As part of the four-star Pullman London St Pancras, it is located just three minutes’ walk from St Pancras Station and five minutes’ walk from both Euston and King’s Cross Stations. From 24th to 29th August, Saro, a breath taking Nigerian musical will be performing. Weaving together the trials, misfortunes, loves, and destinies of the foursome into a 14-act masterpiece, Saro tells the inspiring story of the journey to success in a harsh, unwelcoming city; as we see Lagos personified by numerous colourful and unforgettable characters, frenetic pace of living, and endless drama.

 

  1. 2Northdown

Opening Times: depends on the show

The site previously known as The Invisible Dot, has officially re-opened its doors as 2Northdown. The 100-capacity venue, located at 2 Northdown Street in King’s Cross is now under the management of the British entrepreneur (and TicketText founder) Nick Mills. As part of the Camden Fringe Festival, multiple acts are performing in 2Northdown over the August period including Alfie Brown, Baba Brinkman and Tim Key.

1.Central Saint Martins 

Opening Times: depends on exhibition

Well known as a world-famous arts and design college, the Central Saint Martins site also offers several venues (including the Platform Theatre, Lethaby Gallery and the Window Galleries) that host a range of performances, shows and exhibition throughout the year. Running until 7th September is ‘Faces of Mustang’, a series of photos by Marcus Bastel. The project saw Marcus travel across the US ahead of the US election to photography mustangs and their owners across 26 states.