Guide to what’s on in London in February 2014
After a long, cold and frugal January, February is a much more exciting month for most of us. We’re that one step closer to spring and also there’s Valentine’s Day to brighten up the glum winter. Also the month is short, so we have a shorter gap between paydays – hurrah! There’s also two open-air ice rinks still open before the spring if you fancy doing your best Torvill or Dean impression. (NB. Please check back as I will update this guide throughout the month with more events).
For a guide to special events for Valentine’s Day, click here.
- 2 February : Chinese New Year
Festivities to mark the Year of the Horse take place across Chinatown, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square. Free. Nearest tube: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Chinatown website.
- Now until 2 February : Hogwarts In The Snow
A must for all Harry Potter fans. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter has been given a festive makeover with props and decorations from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £29.00, Children £21.90. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- 4 – 8 February : Burlesque On Ice
A production for those looking for something a bit different – the first time burlesque and ice skating has been combined. Featuring elite burlesque performers, including Vicky Butterfly and Gwendoline Lamour. Two performances a night. Tickets start from £12. Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, W12 7LJ. Nearest tube: Shepherd’s Bush Market or Shepherd’s Bush. For more information and tickets, visit Burlesque On Ice’s website. For Metro Girl’s interview with the team behind BOI, click here.
- 5 – 7 February : Battersea Beer Festival
Beer festival presented by CAMRA South West London, featuring over 150 real ales, cider and perries, foreign beers and food. Noon-11pm. Admission £3 for CAMRA members, £4 for non-members. Grand Hall, Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN. Nearest train station: Clapham Junction (Overground and National Rail). For more information, visit the Battersea Beer Festival website.
- 5 February – 11 May : Hockney, Printmaker @ Dulwich Picture Gallery
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of David Hockney’s first print, Dulwich Picture Gallery are celebrating the artist by displaying over 100 prints from his career. Tickets £11. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich, SE21 7AD. Nearest rail: West Dulwich or North Dulwich. For more information and tickets, visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.
- 6 – 9 February : Destinations – The Holiday & Travel Show
Presented by The Times, the Holiday and Travel show is full of inspiration for your next adventure or holiday. As well as meet lots of travel companies, there is also the Taste The World zone, where you can sample culinary delights from around the world, or see a nurse for vaccination advice. As well as entertainment, there is also the chance to listen to and meet travel experts, such as Simon Reeve and Jeremy Bowen. Tickets: £11 in advance, £13 on the door. Earls Court, Warwick Road, SW5 9TA. Nearest tube: Earls Court. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- 6 February – 1 June : Bailey’s Stardust @ National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition of 250 portraits by the acclaimed photographer Sir David Bailey of celebrities, politicians, designers, artists and people he has encountered on his travels. Tickets: £14.50 adults, £12 concessions. Advanced booking is highly recommended. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest tube: Leicester Square or Charing Cross. For more information and booking, visit the NPG website.
- 7 – 9 February : View Festival
Three day festival of art history, featuring debates, talks, film screenings, student presentations, exclusive museum tours and an art book fair. Some events are free, while others cost up to £10. Institut Français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, SW7 2DT. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information, visit the View Festival website.
- 8 February – 9 March : Orchid Festival
An orchid display is coming to the Princess of Wales Conservatory for four weeks. The sea of colour from one of the world’s most stunning flowers will certainly brighten up a dull winter’s day. General entrance tickets to Kew Gardens includes orchid exhibition: £16 adults or £14 concessions. Brentford Gate, Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- Now until 9 February : Take A View – Landscape Photographer Of The Year
Over 100 entries from the annual competition are on display in the Lyttelton Exhibition Space at the National Theatre. Entrance: Free. Open Monday – Saturday 9.30am-11pm, Sundays 12-6pm. Upper Ground, Southbank, SE1 9PX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information, visit the National Theatre website.
- Now until 9 February : Cirque Du Soleil’s Quidam
The newest touring production from the Cirque, about a young girl called Zoe who slides into an imaginary world. Tickets range from £20.00 to £95.00. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest tube: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.
- 9 February : February Fling @ Royal Festival Hall
Southbank Centre host a free social dance so you can listen to a live band and dance the afternoon away. Hosted by the Star Dance Club with music by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra big band. Free. 3-6.30pm. Clore Ballroom, Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 10 – 23 February : Imagine Children’s Festival
Two weeks children’s festival at the Southbank Centre, including art, dance, theatre and literature. Highlights include dressing up days. Lots of activities and events are free. Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, SE1 8XX. Nearest tube: Waterloo. For more information and booking visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 12 – 16 February : Ealing Music & Film Valentine Festival
Five day festival at Ealing Studios featuring musical performances, film screenings, tours of the studios, talks and exhibitions. Ticket prices vary. Ealing Film Studios, Ealing Green, W5 5EP. Nearest tube: Ealing Broadway or South Ealing. For more information, visit the Ealing Music & Film website.
- 12 February – 1 June : United Visual Artists: Momentum
New art installation coming to The Curve at the Barbican. Unique Visual Artists have created ‘a carefully choreographed sequence of light, sound and movement, which responds to the unique space of the Curve’, featuring 12 pendulums which activate light and sound. Free admission. Be prepared for possible queues at peak times. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Nearest tube: Barbican or Moorgate. For more information, visit the Barbican website.
- 13 – 16 February : Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show
The UK’s largest exhibition for adventurous people who like travelling, photography, climbing, watersports and exploring the British countryside. Tickets: £16 in advance, £20 on the door. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show website.
- 14 February : Valentine’s Fireworks Display
Fantastic Fireworks will be staging a four minute display of heart-shaped fireworks on a barge between Canary Wharf and the O2 Arena. Free. 8.30pm. Nearest tube: Canary Wharf, Canada Water or North Greenwich.
- 15 February – 15 March : Portals To The Past – Archaeology exhibition
Crossrail are displaying their finds from their excavation for the project, including Roman London skulls, 9,000 year old flint and items from a suspected Black Death Plague burial ground. Free. Opening hours Tues, Thur: 11am-7pm, Wed 11am-5.30pm and Sat 10am-5pm. Closed Mon, Fri and Sun. Crossrail Visitor Information Centre (behind Centre Point), 6-18 St Giles High Street, WC2H 8LN. Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road. For more information, visit Crossrail’s website.
- 17 February – 30 March : Richmond Performing Arts Festival
Six week festival featuring dance, music, singing and drama at various venues across Kew and Richmond. For more information, visit the Richmond Festival website.
- 20 – 23 February : Vodafone London Fashion Weekend
London Fashion Weekend follows London Fashion Week, giving access to everyone who loves fashion (who has tickets!). Strongly recommended to buy tickets in advance, which are available for different prices and packages. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple or Holborn. For more information, visit the London Fashion Weekend website.
- Now until 2 March : Isabella Blow – Fashion Galore! @ Somerset House
Exhibition celebrating the life of the late Isabella Blow, an icon of the fashion and art world. Featuring items from her clothing collection and photographs of her interesting life. Tickets: £12.50. Open 10am-6pm, or until 9pm on Thursday. Recommend buying tickets in advance, but some are also sold on the door. Embankment Galleries, Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple. For more information and tickets, visit the Somerset House website.
- Now until 4 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo, featuring live music, plays and other entertainment. Free entry to bar, but event tickets start from £7.50. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest tube: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Vault Festival website.
- Now until 6 April : Sensing Spaces : Architecture Re-Imagined
Exhibition at the Royal Academy featuring creations from architects across the world imploring you to gain a new perspective on architecture. Tickets: £14-£15.50. Opening times: Saturday-Thursday 10am-6pm, Fridays 10am-10pm. Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus or Green Park. For more information, visit the Royal Academy website.
- Now until 27 April : The Sunflowers
Two of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers paintings have been reunited – shown together for the first time in 65 years. The masterpieces will be displayed side-by-side so visitors can compare and contrast. Free, but expect to queue at busy times. Room 45, National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the National Gallery website.
Last weeks of the open air ice rinks…
- Now until 16 February : Ice Rink Canary Wharf
In the middle of the soaring skyscrapers on Canary Wharf and surrounded by shops is another pop-up rink. Session times last 1 hour. First session times vary from 9.45am/10.45am ending at 11pm most nights. Adults £13.50, Children £9. Canada Square, E14 5AB. Nearest tube Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
- Now until 27 February : Broadgate Ice
Last of the festive ice rinks in London is open at Broadgate Circle in the City of London. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £12.50, Children £8.50. Broadgate Circle, EC2M 2QS. Nearest tube: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.