The Best Immersive Experiences In London

It’s become the buzzword in the worlds of exhibitions, theatre and entertainment, and thanks to the increased sophistication and availability of virtual reality technology, the age of immersive experiences is officially here. Why simply look at paintings or watch plays when you can step inside them?

Many immersive experiences involve being equipped with VR goggles, placed in a room with wrap-around projections and surround sound, playing games or exploring new worlds. Want to interact with alien life or travel back in time? Anything is possible in the virtual world.

Art-based immersive experiences have become particularly popular in London, with exhibitions like Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience, and the multi-artist space Frameless giving you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the greatest masterpieces ever produced. Other experiences allow you to step inside your favourite movies, blending live theatre and escape rooms, with a bit of audience participation thrown in, and there are even ones that have you competing against your mates. Immersive experiences are a fun way to escape the real world for a few hours and they’re perfect for livening up a social occasion, so if you’re looking for somewhere to have an office party or somewhere to go for your birthday party, the best immersive experiences in London will do nicely.

There are so many immersive experiences to enjoy in London. From visiting a Covent Garden comedy club like Comedy Carnival to exploring the Crystal Maze, London has some amazing experiences not to be missed.

Journey to the Moon with Tom Hanks

Until 13th October 2024
12 Lewis Cubitt Walk, London N1C 4DY

Immersive gallery Lightroom is following David Hockney with Tom Hanks. The Moonwalkers: A Journey With Tom Hanks, which tells the story of humankind’s exploration of the moon, is being narrated by the Oscar-winning actor, with an original score by Anne Nikitin. Hanks, who is a big space fan (pretty fitting that he starred in Apollo 13 then) has co-written the script with BAFTA-nominated writer-director Christopher Riley. As well as footage from the previous Apollo missions, the experience will feature interviews with Hanks and astronauts on the Artemis programme, which is preparing for the return of crewed surface missions to the moon. And all of that is gonna be projected using Lightroom’s cutting-edge tech.

BUBBLE PLANET

Until 9th June 2024
22 Fulton Road, Wembley

Bubble Planet, a new immersive experience centred around all things soapy and spherical, has landed in London, featuring lights, lasers, VR, and projection technology and eleven themed rooms. They include a bubble getaway with a robot-led bubble show; a giant bubble room; an ocean of balloons; a bubble bath pit; an inflatable cloud room; an infinity room; and a balloon flight simulator, and, of course, there’ll be numerous photo ops along the way – and that’s before you even reach the selfie room.

FRAMELESS

Marble Arch, London W1H 7FD

We’re no strangers to immersive art experiences in London but Frameless is taking things to a whole new level. It’s the capital’s first permanent digital art experience, featuring some of the world’s most iconic artworks spread across the walls, floors and ceilings of a 30,000 sq ft space. You can get up close and personal with over 40 works from 28 artists, including the likes of Klimt, Munch, Kandinsky, Monet, Rembrandt, Dali, Cezanne and van Gogh. The Frameless experience is spread across four different themed galleries – Beyond Reality, Colour In Motion, The World Around Us and The Art Of Abstraction – with bespoke musical scores accompanying the displays.

HORIZON OF KHUFU VR EXPEDITION

Westfield Stratford City, Montfichet Road, London

Travel back to Ancient Egypt with new VR expedition experience Horizon of Khufu at Westfield Stratford City. The experience, which has been a hit in France and China, has been developed by a leading Egyptology team from Harvard University in partnership with VR studio Excurio to realistically recreate the civilisation from 4,500 years ago. Over 45 minutes you’ll explore ancient burial chambers, witness mummification ceremonies, travel down the Nile by boat to attend the funeral of King Khufu, and climb to the top of the 146-metre high Great Pyramid of Giza to take in the 360° views as the sun sets.

CRYSTAL MAZE

If you grew up in the 90s it was probably your dream to play the Crystal Maze and, even though it’s not on our TVs anymore, now you can. At London’s Crystal Maze Live Experience, you’ll be guided through the four zones – Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic – by your Maze Master as you and your team test your skills and solve mysteries. Expect lasers, barrels, blinding masks and tricky puzzles and some signature satin bomber jackets. Fight against the clock to collect as many Crystals as you can before you face THE crystal dome and pocket those tokens. Mumsie would be proud.

MONOPOLY LIFESIZED

You’ve done the Monopoly Pub Crawl, now you can play the game for real at Monopoly Lifesized. Combining the best bits of the board game with escape room elements and immersive 4D production, Monopoly Lifesized features four different full-sized boards (Classic, Luxury, City and Classic: Own It All) for you to move around on guided by your Monopoly token, to earn money, dodge jail, collect rent and acquire properties by completing challenges.  While popular bingo games may not be available at the venue, each property square will have a full-size, location specific room where your team will have to solve a puzzle in order to gain that property. Once you’ve made your way around the board, built your fortune, taken control of the city’s rail network and utlilties, and amassed your London empire, it’s time to celebrate (or argue as often happens a Monopoly game) post-play with themed food and drink at the The Top Hat restaurant and bar. Who’s ready to pass GO and collect 200 smackers?

PHANTOM PEAK

Take a trip through the Wild West at Phantom Peak. It’s an entire steampunk town complete with its own residents, a lake, a waterfall, and a street of shops and bars, and there are plenty of adventures for you to get involved in as you explore. You can go on a boat ride, play carnival games, grab a bit to eat on Main Street, or go digging for clues about the secrets that the town and townspeople are hiding.

Soak Up Vincent Van Gogh's Masterpieces From All Angles

Until 9th June 2024
Commercial Street, London E1 6LZ

Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience has been a hit in the States and in Europe and now it has come to Spitalfields. The exhibition sees more than 300 of Van Gogh’s works projected across a floor-to-ceiling two-storey space so you’ll be able to soak up the art from all angles. There’s also a drawing studio and a VR experience that takes you through a day in the life of the artist and explores the inspiration behind some of his most iconic paintings. 

GET TICKETS

DOPAMINE LAND

Until 19th May 2024
85 Old Brompton Road, London SW7 3LD

The world is a scary place at the moment so if you need a break from reality, this is the immersive experience for you. Dopamine Land, which is billed as an interactive ‘world of happiness’, transports you to a place of excitement and imagination, and deliver a big dose of childhood nostalgia at the same time. Making use of cutting edge technology, optical illusions and sound effects, the experience boasts multiple sensory rooms each with different activities and photo ops (if you don’t Instagram it, did it even happen?) First up is the ‘The Ground Is Your Enemy’ room, filled with infinite mirror illusions that you have find your way out of without falling. Then you’ll navigate through a Bubble Room, with a bubble sky, stained glass windows and bubble tea; ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, an immersive digital forest; a Popcorn Room where you can step inside a popcorn machine; and a Pillow Fight Room, which is pretty self-explanatory. Ready to dive in?

TWIST MUSEUM

248 Oxford St, London W1C 1DH

Dive into a world of illusions and discover the science behind how they work at Twist Museum. Created in collaboration with experts from the worlds of art, psychology and neuroscience, Twist blends immersive multi-sensory experiences with education and technology to help you understand what happens to the brain when your senses are deceived and how different stimuli shape your sense of reality. There are over 60 exhibits inside, including the Ames Room, which creates the feeling of shrinking; the Life Without Colour Room, where you can experience a world without colour; the Sound Lab, where you can unlock the extrasensory power of your ears; and the Kaleidoscope Room, which reacts and refracts to your presence.

SHERLOCK | THE OFFICIAL LIVE GAME

If you’re a big fan of Sherlock and you fancy yourself as a bit of a detective, then you’ll defo want to play Sherlock: The Official Live Game. It’s the first escape room to be based on the hit TV series and as well as detailed recreations of Sherlock locations, there’s specially-recorded video and audio segments featuring original cast members and plenty of puzzles and challenges to solve against the clock. Mycroft Holmes is on the hunt for new recruits for his covert network of spies and you’ll need to complete a routine training mission to see whether you have what it takes to become an agent, but all is not as it seems….

F1 ARCADE

Live out your best Lewis Hamilton fantasy at F1 Arcade, an immersive racing simulation experience where you can race the official Grand Prix circuits around the world. You can race against your pals, in teams or in all-venue racing formats and with motion and audio visual effects, you’ll be fully immersed in the on-track action. Once you’ve passed the chequered flag, you can hit the bar for a boujee cocktail, like The Drive In (with Engine Gin, Piper-Heidsieck Champagne, lime sherbet and topped with popcorn) and The Grand Chelem Old Fashioned (with black truffle-infused Johnnie Walker blue label, Capovilla tobacco, white chocolate, smoked and topped with fresh truffle), and a couple of wagyu burgers and Cornish crab tacos.

IMMERSIVE GAMEBOX

Take on the Squid Game challenges or dive into the world of Angry Birds at Immersive Gamebox. The experience encourages shared gameplay and teamwork through projection mapping, surround sound, touch screens and motion tracking in private gameboxes, ensuring you’re fully immersed in the action. There’s a variety of games on offer, so you can get involved in everything from slingshot battles to word puzzles to blasting blocks and dodging danger.

FAIRGAME

Funfairs are no longer just for summer, or for kids, because Fairgame is here with a whole load of fairground games that have been rebooted for grown-ups. The 20,000 sq ft arena is decked out with all sorts of classic carnival games for you to test your skills and rack up points. Have a go at their version of whack-a-mole Gopher Broke, take aim in duck shooting game Phoeny Island, dunk basketballs in Alley Hoop, and much more. Plus, with their dedicated app and electronic wristbands, you can keep track of everyone’s scores and see which of your friends comes out on top. Of course, no fairground is complete without food and drink and there are some crowd-pleasers on offer, with Burger&Beyond, Rudy’s Pizza Napoletana and Tacos Dos Mas dishing up the goods, and three bars pouring cocktails and craft beers.

Loading...