We'll begin with the biggie: an event that really needs no introduction. What's that? You'd like one anyway? OK, how about: sound systems, dance troupes, rice n' peas, trumpeters, masquerade, street food, steel drums, feathers galore, DJs, curried goat, Red Stripe, samba dancing with strangers and one great. Big. Almighty. STREET PARADE? But really we could have done it in one word: CARNIVAL.
Extra exciting this year is that the legendary RBMA (that's Red Bull Music Academy) soundsystem is open to all for the first time. Check out dancehall star Spice, rapper Stefflon Don and Mixpak boss Dre Skull at Emslie Horniman's Pleasance Park.
Notting Hill Carnival, 26-28 August; free
We love Carnival, really we do. But you know what it's missing? Ten-pin bowling and ice skating, obviously. Happily, here to rectify the situation is Queens Skate, Dine Bowl, who are holding a mighty two-day party, with Carnival vibes right up our (bowling) alley. Hosting a Mas-themed DJ takeover from super-cool label Island Records in the middle of the even-cooler (literally) ice rink, expect back-to-back sets from a specially built beach-shack booth. Your ticket price gets you unlimited skating, a game of bowling, an Island Records Beer and a MEATLiquor Burger: or, in short, F-U-N.
27-28 Aug; £18.50
Queens, 17 Queensway, Bayswater, London W2 4QP