Guide to what’s on in London in January 2015
Blimey… it’s 2015! How did that happen? Well the Christmas and New Year’s festivities are over for another year and January is quite generally regarded as one of the glummest months thanks to the cold weather and financial hangover from the festive period. However, why not lift your sprits with some of the fun things on in London this month – many of them free, which I’m sure is a word many like to hear right now thanks to their strained bank balances.
For a guide to open-air ice rinks in London, click here.
Or for a guide to what’s on in London this Valentine’s Day, click here.
- 1 January : New Year’s Day Parade
Hundreds of thousands of spectators will line the streets of London to watch 10,000 performers from around the world. Starts from Piccadilly at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.15pm. Free. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website.
- Now until 3 January : Christmas At Kew
A new evening experience for 2014, featuring a one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be vintage rides, festive food and Santa’s Snowflake Grotto. 5-10pm. Tickets – Adults: £15 in advance £17 on the day, Children: £10 in advance, £12 on the day. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Tube: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 4 January : Twelfth Night Celebration
Theatre company the Lions Part host their annual celebration of the new year, ‘mixing ancient seasonal customs with contemporary festivity’ in the Bankside area of London. Free. 2.30pm onwards. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- Now until 4 January : Winter Wonderland
Winter Wonderland does exactly what is say on the tin – the south east corner of the park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and lots of mulled wine, as well as Christmas gifts. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. There is also an open air ice rink for those who fancy a twirl and Zippos Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. Nearest tube: Hyde Park Corner, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- Now until 4 January : Hidden House
Take a break from shopping and enjoy an immersive fairy tale experience at Hidden House, which will transport you to another land. Tickets: Children £5, Adults 16 and over: £10. Opening hours: Mon-Sat 11am-10pm, Sun 11am-8pm. Stratford Westfield, City, Stratford, E20 1EJ. Nearest tube/train: Stratford. For more information, visit the Westfield Stratford website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on the Hidden House for further details.
- 6 January – 1 February : Pillow Cinema
The team behind Hot Tub Cinema venture into drier shores for their pop-up Pillow Cinema, where film fans cosy up on giant fatboy bean bags and watch their favourite movie. Films include Fight Club, City Of God, Frozen, 12 Years A Slave, The Dark Knight, Lost In Translation and Argo, amongst others. Tickets: £10pp. Former Shoreditch Underground station, Pedley Street (off Brick Lane), Shoreditch, E1 5ER. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information and booking, visit the Eventbrite ticket page.
- 8 – 31 January : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Tickets range from £7-£27.50. Venues include Southbank Centre, Royal Opera House, Platform Theatre and Soho Theatre. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.
- 9 – 18 January : London Boat Show
Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Tickets: Adult Mon-Wed £10, Adult Thu-Sun £15. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest tube: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.
- 9 – 18 January : London Short Film Festival
Ten day festival celebrating the best in short film-making at venues across the capital, including the ICA, Opal Space and Hackney Picturehouse. For more information, visit the London Short Film Festival website.
- 9 – 22 January : The Death Of Bronson
A collection of the art and literature of Britain’s most notorious prisoner Charles Bronson, who changed his name to Charles Salvador in 2014. His final exhibition as Bronson before his new era as an artist as Salvador. Free admission. Open 11am-6pm. Apiary Studios, 458 Hackney Road, E2 9EG. Nearest station: Bethnal Green or Cambridge Heath. For more information, visit the Guerrilla Zoo website.
- Now until 17 January : Sleeping Booty!
An adults-only panto providing a saucy take on fairytale classic Sleeping Beauty, starring the fabulous Miss Dusty O as the Evil Mangelina. Tickets £22. The Lounge, Leicester Square Theatre, 6 Leicester Place, WC2H 7BX. Nearest tube: Leicester Square. For more information and tickets, visit the Leicester Square Theatre website.
- Now until 18 January : God’s Own Junkyard @ Lights Of Soho
An exhibition celebrating the 40 year of neon artist and designer Chris Bracey, who sadly lost his battle with cancer in November. Features a collection of his neon light creations in pop-up gallery Lights Of Soho, in the same area he lit up with his iconic signs on the strip clubs of W1. Free entry. 10am-8pm. Lights of Soho, 35 Brewer Street, Soho, W1F 0RX. Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Lights Of Soho website. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post on her visit to the pop-up.
- 21 – 25 January : London Art Fair
Contemporary and modern British art fair in Islington, featuring talks, tour, performances and showcases. Tickets: £14 in advance, £20 on the door. Opening hours vary. Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest tube: Angel. For tickets and more information, visit the London Art Fair website.
- 22 – 25 January : LOCO London Comedy Film Festival
Festival celebrating international comedy film as venues across the capital including BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Hackney Picturehouse, Greenwich Picturehouse, Stratford Picturehouse, Clapham Picturehouse, Hackney Attic and more. Ticket prices vary. For more information, visit the LOCO website.
- 22 January – 15 February : Mapping The City
An innovative exhibition featuring over 50 international artists from the street and graffiti art world expressing their chosen cities through art. There will also be events including talks, workshops, performances and film and music evenings. 10am-6pm (last entry 5.30pm). Free. (Enter via the River Terrace), Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 1LA. Nearest tube: Temple, Embankment or Holborn. For more information, visit the Somerset House website.
- 23 – 25 January : The France Show
The best of French food, drink, property, travel, and entertainment. Tickets in advance £10, on the door £13. Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest tube: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit The France Show website.
- Now until 24 January : Monumental Masonry
Sir John Soane’s Museum have teamed up with Bompas & Parr to create a month-long exhibition to explore funerary architecture. On display will be 3D prints of the ‘perfect tombs’ from entries submitted in a competition, which were inspired by the museum’s sarcophagus. Free entry. Sir John’s Soane Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, WC2A 3BP. Nearest tube: Holborn. For more information, visit the Sir John Soane website.
- 24 – 25 January : Year Of The Bus Sculptures all together
All 60 of the Year Of The Bus sculptures have been brought together at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after being dotted around London in 2014. As well as being on display, there will be many events, including arts and crafts, face painting and balloons, meet the artists of some of the sculptures, the chance to step on the new Routemaster and the 1914 ‘Battle Bus’ and live music.10am-4pm. Free. Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, E15 2NG. Nearest tube/train: Stratford. For more information, visit the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park website.
- 28 – 31 January : London A Capella Festival
Festival featuring the best of jazz, contemporary and choral a cappella singing. Tickets start from £9.50 for individual shows. Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest tube: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the London A Capella Festival.
- Now until 31 January : Landscape Photographer Of The Year
Exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images from this year’s Landscape Photographer Of The Year has moved from the National Theatre to the new balcony at Waterloo station. Open during station hours. Free. Mezzanine level, Waterloo Station, SE1 8SW. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Southbank London website.
- Now until 3 March : Post Pop: East Meets West
An exhibition of pop art and its influence from the US to Russia to China. Artists includ George Pusenkoff, Leonid Sokov, David Mach, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid and Michael Lin, among others. 10am-6pm. Free. Duke of York’s HQ, King’s Road, Chelsea, SW3 4RY. Nearest tube: Sloane Square. For more information, visit the Saatchi Gallery website.
- 28 January – 8 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo, featuring 10 performances a day. There will also be free live music every Wednesday and Sundays. On Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays there will be late night parties, including a Valentine’s Ball and Mardi Gras. Tickets range from free to £15. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest tube: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Vault Festival website. For Metro Girl’s post on the Vault Festival, click here.
- 29 January – 1 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 Experience The World zone, where you can sample culinary delights from around the world, or see a nurse for vaccination advice. Tickets: £11 in advance. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest tube: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit the Destinations – Holiday & Travel Show website.
- Now until 31 January : Winter Sun @ Granary Square
For those who suffer from the winter blues, head to the temporary ‘hearth’-like artwork and public space in Granary Square. On site will be an art installation featuring 12 glowing suns with ever-changing light. There will also be a series of free events during the period. Open Mon-Thu 10am–11pm, Fri-Sat 10am–12pm and Sun 11am–4pm. Free. Granary Square, 4 Stable Street, Kings Cross, N1C. Nearest tube: Kings Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the Kings Cross website.
- Now until 1 February : Hogwarts at Christmas
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 £31.00, Children £23.50. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- Now until 29 March : Bond In Motion
An exhibition of over 50 James Bond vehicles, including the Lotus Esprit from The Spy Who Loved Me and Aston Martin DB5 from Goldeneye. Tickets – Adults: £14.50, Children: £9.50. Booking in advance highly recommended. London Film Museum, 45 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7BN. Nearest tube: Covent Garden or Temple. For more information, visit the London Film Museum website.
- Now until 12 April : The Art Of The Brick
Nathan Sawaya’s Art Of The Brick exhibition features a range of sculptures made from millions of Lego building blocks, from recreations of iconic artwork to new contemporary pieces. Tickets – Adults: £14.50-£16.50, Children under 12: £8-£9.50. Open daily, hours vary. Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, Shoreditch, E1 6QL. Nearest station: Aldgate or Shoreditch High Street. For more information, visit The Art Of The Brick website. For Metro Girl’s review of the exhibition, click here.
- Now until 12 April : Sherlock Holmes exhibition
An exhibition of the world’s favourite fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, featuring historic artefacts from Victorian London and author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Tickets: £12 adults, £10 concession. Museum Of London, 150 London Wall, City of London, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest tube: Barbican or St Paul’s. For more information and tickets, visit Museum Of London website.
- Now until 30 August : Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition
An exhibition of the annual Wildlife Photographer Of The Year – the 50th year of the competition. Although entrance to the museum is free, this exhibition is ticketed. Adults: £12.60, Children & Concessions: £6.30. Open 10am-5.50pm daily. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest tube: South Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the NHM website.
- Now until 4 January : Nutcracker
The English National Ballet’s production of the iconic Nutcracker comes to the London Coliseum. Tickets from £29 to £79. St. Martin’s Lane, Charing Cross, WC2N 4ES. Nearest stations: Leicester Square, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the English National Ballet’s website.
- Now until 11 January : Edward Scissorhands
Matthew Bourne’s dance adaptation of classic film Edward Scissorhands is on this Christmas at Sadler’s Wells. Tickets: Adults range from £24 to £55. Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, EC1R. Nearest station: Angel. For more information and booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells Theatre website.
- Now until 15 January : Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland
The Royal Ballet and Christopher Wheeldon’s production this Christmas is an adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic tale. Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. Nearest stations: Covent Garden, Holborn, Charing Cross or Embankment. For more information and booking, visit the Royal Opera House website.