20 best... things to do summer 2008

We'd just like to point out that, at the time of going to press, it was sunny outside, so we went out on a limb and decided it was summer. But don't worry: if there's a torrential storm outiside as you read this, we've got suggestions for indoor activities to keep you busy too...

1. The Tate

There are loads of different art exhibitions going on at both the Tate Britain and Tate Modern this summer. “The Lure of the East” is being shown at the Tate Britain until 31 August, while at the Tate Modern six artists whose work is suited to the urban atmosphere are being displayed using the faces of prestigious London buildings.


2. Wimbledon

The most popular tennis tournament of the year. Although tickets can be hard to find, at least all the matches can be watched on television from the comfort of your own settee from now to July 6.


3. The West End

High School Musical (28 June) and Zorro (30 June) are just two of the exciting new acts taking to the London stage this summer. If you’re not so much of a singing and dancing fan then there are comical plays such as Dickens Unplugged (London’s Comedy Theatre) or classics such as Pygmalion (London’s Old Vic).


4. The lido

Kick back at the nearest lido to relax in the sun and refresh with a dip in the pool, the perfect day out for a group of friends with, well, nothing better to do! London Fields is one option for splashing in the sunshine…


5. Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition

This is the largest open contemporary art exhibition around, the theme this year being “Man Made”. New work is exhibited by both established and unknown artists from all over the world. £70,000 is being awarded to the most exceptional artist this year; see if you agree with the judges from now until 17 August.


6. Festival season

Muddy fields, wellies, hippies and music is in huge supply this summer. With T in the Park (11-13 July), Latitude (17-20 July) and the Carling Weekend (24-26 August), there is a huge range of festivals to choose from.


7. Work experience

Work experience is the best way to find out what you want to do in the future. Not only that, the experience makes you all the more attractive to prospective companies you may apply to in the future. Send your CV and a cover letter to the companies you fancy getting into; where possible, get hold of a specific person to send it to so it doesn't get left at the bottom of a pile somewhere. Also, the earlier you apply, the more likely you are to get a placement.


8. BBC Proms

From the first performance to the famous last night, the Proms promises a wide range of music performed to the highest of standards to huge audiences. This year includes a Doctor Who prom and favourites from Gershwin, Stravinsky and many more. The Proms last from 18 July to 13 September.


9. Get a Job!

Not only is it a great asset to have on your CV but you can also earn some extra cash, giving you money to spend on getting out and about in the summer. Jobs can be anywhere from high street shops to working in the local supermarket. Get your CV in quickly however, as the available jobs are often snapped up pretty quickly.


10. New film releases

Mamma Mia (released 18 July), X-files: I Want to Believe (1 August); the third installment of the Mummy (8 August) and Star Wars: The Clone Wars (14 August) are all new big releases over the summer, perfect for relaxing when the heat (if it arrives) is too much to handle.


11. The Wag and Bone Show

On the 2 August a man (or woman) and their best friend can enjoy the perfect day out, with entertainment including have-a-go agility and top dog shows where you can enter your dog into categories such as most lovable rogue or melting expression. A delightful day for both canine and human.


12. Go Camping!

Get in touch with nature and grab the old sleeping bag and tent, along with some marshmallows and a flask of hot chocolate. You don’t even have to go to the woods; back-yard camping allows you to enjoy Mother Nature as well as providing access to the joys of indoor plumbing just a few feet away!


13. Beijing Summer Olympics

It's a bit pricy and difficult to get to China, let alone buy tickets for the games, but these events are all aired on television. From the 8-24 August, athletics, boxing, canoeing, handball and synchronised swimming are just a few of the nail-biting events on offer.


14. Edinburgh Fringe Festival

With everything from comedy and murder to dance and musicals, 2,051 shows were produced in 2007, so you are bound to find something to suit your tastes this year between the 3 and 25 August. Tickets sold from mid-July.


15. Notting Hill Carnival

Colour, costumes and sound, line the streets of Notting Hill for two days, providing the most vivid entertainment around. From the 26-27 August, thousands of people get involved to see what the big fuss is about and come face to face with outlandish costumes, floats and dancing in the street.


16. London Fashion Week

All the latest fashion designs displayed on the catwalk for three days (15-18 September) where designers include Julien MacDonald, Aminaka Wilmont and Allegra Hicks. A brilliant week for anyone interested in the world of fashion or simply after a new look.


17. Bowling

Competitive? Bowling lanes are a great place for a fun evening out with friends and family, especially if it is wet and windy outside.


18. Theme Parks

If you wait long enough in line for the big rides you can get a tan as well, so this is an excellent day out, especially if you’re a fan of the adrenaline rush (or sheer terror). Here at Student we consider Alton Towers to be the daddy.


19. Open House week

London throws open the doors of some of the most interesting and oldest buildings in the city from the 17-18 September. It's your chance to explore some hidden interiors, rather than dream about them from the outside.


20. Learn a new skill

Could be anything from learning to knit, play archery or cook. Often there are courses that aid future plans, such as an acting course for students entering the dramatic world or language courses for those going abroad.


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