Guide to what’s on in London in January 2017
Happy New Year! January tends to be a bit of an anti-climax after all the fun of December. We’re all feeling lighter in our pockets, our bills are bulkier than usual and the weather’s not helping to lift our spirits either. Fortunately, there’s plenty going on around town – many of it free – to lift us out of the winter doldrums. Here’s a guide to what’s on in London this January.
For a guide to Valentine’s Day events, 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’s Berkeley Street at 12pm, ending at Parliament Square at 3.30pm. Free. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus, Westminster or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the Parade website.
- Now until 2 January : Winter Wonderland
The south east corner of Hyde Park is transformed into a Christmas fair with rides, food and drink stalls, ice rink, Zippos Christmas Circus and Cirque Berserk – an alternative circus show. It’s free to enter, but of course the aforementioned will cost. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website. Read about Metro Girl’s previous visit to Winter Wonderland.
- Now until 2 January : Christmas at Kew
A one mile glittering trail which weaves its way through Kew Gardens with stunning sights lit up upon the way. There will also be Santa at the North Pole Village, a Tunnel of Light, vintage rides, festive food and drinks. 5-10pm. Tickets (advance): Adults £16-£18, Children £10-£12. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.
- 6 – 15 January : London Boat Show
Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Open 10am-6pm (late nights Thurs until 8pm). Tickets: Adult £15-£20, Children 15 years and under free with a paying adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.
- 6 – 15 January : London Short Film Festival
Ten day festival celebrating the best in short film-making at venues across the capital, including the ICA, Ace Hotel, Round Chapel, Oval Space, Hackney Attic, and Hackney Picturehouse. For more information, visit the London Short Film Festival website.
- 7 – 8 January : Vegan Life Live
Two day festival celebrating and exploring the vegan lifestyle. Open Sat 7 10am-6pm, Open Sun 8 10am-5pm. Tickets start from £10. The West Hall, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For more information, visit the Vegan Life Live website.
- Now until 8 January : Christmas in Leicester Square
The West End’s famous square features a Christmas market. A Spiegeltent will play host to La Soiree‘s variety show, starring The English Gents, Acantha Lang, Hamish McCann, Denis Lock and Ursula Martinez. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square.
- 8 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. From 2pm. Free. Outside Shakespeare’s Globe, Bankside, SE1 9DT. Nearest stations: Blackfriars, London Bridge or Southwark. For more information, visit the Lions Part website.
- 9 January – 4 February : London International Mime Festival
Festival at various events across London including performances of physical theatre, dance, circus, puppetry and live art. Workshops also available. Tickets range from £9.50-£29. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, Soho Theatre, Southbank Centre, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.
- 12 January – 4 February : Amaluna by Cirque du Soleil
The newest touring production from the Cirque, a spectacular re-telling of The Tempest. Tickets range from £20-£115. Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AP. Nearest stations: South Kensington, Knightsbridge or High Street Kensington. For more information and booking, visit the Cirque Du Soleil website.
- 13 – 15 January : Telegraph Travel Show
Plan your next travel adventure with over 200 exhibitors. Featuring travel experts at Destinations Theatre, world food pop-ups and Travel Genius Bar. Open Fri 13 and Sat 14 10am-5pm, Sun 15 10am-4pm. Tickets £15 (also include entrance to Telegraph Cruise Show and London Boat Show). ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Custom House (DLR). For tickets, visit the Travel Show website.
- 16 January : James Levelle – Explorer Series @ Mr Fogg’s
Explorer and film-maker James Levelle, who has directed shows for National Geographic and Discovery Channel, will be sharing tales of his Latin American adventures, followed by a Q&A at old world-themed bar Mr Fogg’s Residence. Talk begins at 7.01pm. Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park and Bond Street. For more information, visit the Mr Fogg’s website.
- 16 – 27 January : Winter Lights
Thirty light installations and interactive art have been dotted around Canary Wharf for just two weeks. 4-9pm. Free entry. Canary Wharf and Canada Square, Docklands, E14. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. For more information, visit the Canary Wharf website. For photos of the Winter Lights festival, click here.
- 18 – 22 January : London Art Fair
Contemporary and modern British art fair in Islington, featuring talks, tour, performances and showcases. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £11.50-£15 (not inc booking fees). Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, Islington, N1 0QH. Nearest station: Angel. For tickets and more information, visit the London Art Fair website.
- 19 January : George Michael tribute @ Maggie’s
Eighties themed nightclub Maggie’s hosts an evening in memory of the late, great George Michael following his recent passing. Featuring performances from George Michael impersonator Rob Lamberti, music by George and Wham! and cocktails inspired by the singer. 10.30pm-2.30am. Entry: £15 (10% of cocktail earnings will go to the Terrence Higgins Trust). Maggie’s, 329 Fulham Road, SW10 9QL. Nearest station: Fulham Broadway or West Brompton. For more information, visit the Maggie’s website.
- 19 January onwards : Vauxhall Winter Village
Returning following the festive break is a pop-up alpine ski village in the heart of Vauxhall. Featuring street food market, winter sports on the big screen, bookable Alpine cabin booths, bars serving winter cocktails. Open Mon-Fri only from 11.30am-10pm. Free entry. Vauxhall Winter Village, South Lambeth Place, Vauxhall, SW8 1SP. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Vauxhall Winter Village website. Read Metro Girl’s blog post on Vauxhall Winter Village.
- 19 January – 26 February : Magical Lantern Festival
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with an immersive journey through a sea of lights, with the theme ‘Explore The Silk Road’. Over 50 life-sized sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with light depictions of animals and nature. Tickets: Adults £16.50, Children £10.50. Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For tickets, visit the Magical Lantern Festival website. For photos of last year’s festival, click here.
- 20 January : Late Shift Extra – Everything You Can Imagine Is Real @ NPG
The National Portrait Gallery is hosting a late-night opening inspired by Picasso’s circle in Montmartre, Paris in the early 20th century. Featuring sound installations, Cubist portrait machine, live music, performances, poetry, DJ, video projections, drinks and lots more art. 6-9pm. Free entry. National Portrait Gallery, St. Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE. Nearest station: Leicester Square or Charing Cross. For more information, visit the NPG website.
- 21 – 22 January : Adventure Travel Show
For those who like to travel off the beaten track, featuring exclusive expeditions, volunteering opportunities, walking and trekking, safaris, wildlife encounters and more. Open Sat 23 9am-6pm, Sun 24 9.30am-5pm. Tickets: £8-£12 (in advance), £10-£15 (on the door). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Adventure Travel Show website.
- 21 January – 19 February : Winter Happiness Festival
Cheer yourself up at the Museum Of Happiness, featuring a giant ball pit (book time slots in advance from 16 Jan), talks from speakers from the happiness world, yoga and mindfulness, enjoy mindful colouring in and more. Museum of Happiness (back of Canvas Café), 42 Hanbury Street, Shoreditch, E1 5JL. Nearest station: Shoreditch High Street or Aldgate East. For more information, visit the Museum Of Happiness website.
- Now until 22 January : Bump Rollerdisco
Mobile rollerdisco comes to London’s Southbank for the festive season. 11am-11pm. Tickets: Adults £12, Children £9, Fri & Sat club nights: Adults £15, Children £11. Builders’ Yard, South Bank, SE1 8XX. Nearest station: Waterloo or Embankment. For more information, visit the Southbank Centre website.
- 25 January : Childhood Wonder – Science Museum Lates
Late night opening of the Science Museum gives adults the chance to relive their childhood wonder. Featuring laughter therapy, scientific see-saw, toy car racing, voice Pong, bee home building, live music, Punk Science comedy show and silent disco. Over 18s only. 6.45-10pm. Free entry. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.
- 25 January – 5 March : Vault Festival
Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across three venues, five bars and a restaurant. Entertainment includes live music, theatre, film, dance, comedy and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary, although venue entry is free. The Vaults, Arch 233, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For booking, visit the Vault Festival website. For highlights, check out Metro Girl’s blog post on this year’s festival.
- 26 – 28 January : London A Cappella Festival
Festival featuring the best of jazz, contemporary and choral a cappella singing. Tickets prices vary. Kings Place, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, N1 9AG. Nearest station: King’s Cross St Pancras. For more information, visit the London A Cappella Festival.
- 27 January : Cadbury’s Creme Egg Hunting Lodge
A touring immersive chocolate experience is coming to London. For just three days (also 25-26 February), guests will be able to enjoy a special Creme Egg-inspired menu in the cosy lodge. Proceeds will go to the Prince’s Trust charity. Open 4.50pm-9pm (book in advance). Coca-Cola London Eye, Jubilee Gardens, South Bank, SE1 7PB. Nearest station: Waterloo. Visit the Facebook event page, or tweet @CadburyUK using the hashtag #CremeEggHuntingSeason, or booking, check out Eventbrite. Check out Metro Girl’s blog post for more information.
- 27 January : Natural History Museum Lates
After-hours opening of the Natural History Museum so you can check out the exhibits while enjoying food and drink. Featuring the chance to meet scientists at the pop-up science stations. 6-10pm. Free entry, but entry to some exhibitions will cost. Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, Kensington, SW7 5BD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Natural History Museum website.
- 27 January : Australia Late @ National Gallery
Late night opening of the National Gallery with a night inspired by Australia’s Impressionists. Featuring live music, painting on the Portico Terrace, landscape quilting workshop, photo theatre, drop-in drawing, drinks and many other workshops. 6-9pm. Free entry. National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, Westminster, WC2N 5DN. Nearest station: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the National Gallery website.
- 27 – 29 January : The France Show
The best of French food, drink, property, travel, and entertainment. Open Fri 27 and Sat 28 10am-5pm, Sun 29 10am-4pm. Tickets: £12 (in advance), £16 (on the door). Kensington Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit The France Show website.
- 28 – 29 January : World Championship of Ping Pong
Watch the world’s best ping pong players in action. Tickets start from £11. The West Hall, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For tickets, visit the World Championship website.
- Now until 29 January : 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. Featuring Christmas-themed gifts and costumes from the film franchise. Tickets: Adults £35, Children £27. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, Hertfordshire, WD25 7LR. Nearest station: Watford (then a shuttle bus to studios). For more information, visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour website.
- 29 January : Chinese New Year
Festivities to mark the Year of the Rooster take place across Chinatown, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square. The parade from Duncannon Street to Shaftesbury Avenue will start at 10am. From 12-6pm there will be performances from Chinese artists in Trafalgar Square. Free. Nearest stations: Charing Cross, Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the London Chinatown Chinese Association website.
- 30 January : Winter Pride
Brighten up the dark winter nights with a seasonal edition of the Pride festival, featuring entertainment and live music. 9pm-6am. Tickets on the door TBC (advance sold out). Coronet Theatre, 28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For more information, visit the Winter Pride website.
- Now until 2 February : Broadgate Ice
Temporary ice rink at Broadgate Circle in the City of London is open for over three months. There is also a rinkside bar and street food stalls. Open 10am-10pm. Session times last 1 hour. Adults £13.50, Children £9.50. Broadgate Ice Rink, Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2A 2BQ. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit Broadgate’s website.
- Now until 5 February : Take A View exhibition
Exhibition of the winning and shortlisted images from this year’s Landscape Photographer Of The Year are on display on the balcony at Waterloo station. Open during station hours. Free. Mezzanine level, Waterloo Station, SE1 8SW. Nearest station: Waterloo. For more information, visit the Take A View website.
- Now until TBC : Backyard Studios (Pop-up cinema)
Watch your favourite movies as Backyard Cinema sets up camp at the Mercato Metropolitano Italian food market. Tickets from £16.50. Backyard Cinema, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit Backyard Cinema’s website. For a review of Backyard Cinema’s Lost World in the same location, click here.
- Now until 25 February 2017 : Luminocity – Ice Rink Canary Wharf
Skate over ice filled with 8km of LED lights in the middle of the soaring skyscrapers of Canary Wharf. Non-skaters can watch the action from the bar or street food stalls. Session times last 1 hour. Opening times vary. Adults £9.95-£16.95, Children £9.95-£10.95. Canada Square Park, E14 5AB. Nearest station: Canary Wharf. To book, visit the Ice Rink Canary Wharf website.
- Now until 21 May : Quentin Blake: The Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits
To mark Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, illustrator Sir Quentin Blake has drawn portraits of some of the author’s best characters. Open Mon-Thu 9.30am-8pm, Fri 9.30am-6pm, Sat 9.30am-5pm and Sun 11am-5pm. Free entry. Second Floor Gallery, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Nearest station: Euston, King’s Cross or St Pancras. To find out more, visit the British Library website.
- Now until 3 September : Star Wars Identities
Star Wars fans are in for a treat as over 200 costumes, props, models and artwork from the franchise are displayed in a special exhibition. Find your own Star Wars character in an interactive quest. Open 10am-6pm. Tickets: Adults £20-£25. Children £10-£15. The O2, Peninsula Square, Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For more information, visit the Star Wars Identities website.
- Now until 1 January : The Snowman
The Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s production of The Snowman comes to the Peacock Theatre. Tickets: £15-£36. Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, WC2A 2HT. Nearest station: Temple or Holborn. For booking, visit the Sadlers Wells website.
- Now until 7 January : The Nutcracker
Over 100 dancers and musicians from the English National Ballet bring The Nutcracker to the London Coliseum. Tickets £29-£79. Coliseum, 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 12 January : The Nutcracker
The Royal Ballet’s production of the iconic Nutcracker returns to the Royal Opera House. Tickets range from £6-£120. 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.
- Now until 29 January : The Red Shoes
Matthew Bourne takes on Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s film and Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale to create new ballet production The Red Shoes. Tickets: £12-£68. Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4TN. Nearest station: Angel. For booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.
- Now until 5 January : Prince Bendover In Boots (Vauxhall)
A saucy panto for adults-only. Royal Vauxhall Tavern, 372 Kennington Lane, Vauxhall, SE11 5HY. Nearest station: Vauxhall. For more information, visit the Tavern’s website.
- Now until 7 January : Aladdin (Hammersmith)
Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.
- Now until 7 January : Peter Pan (Bromley)
Churchill Theatre, High Street, Bromley, Kent BR1 1HA. Nearest station: Bromley South or Bromley North. For tickets, visit the Churchill Theatre website.
- Now until 8 January : Peter Pan (Greenwich)
Greenwich Theatre, Croom’s Hill, Greenwich, SE10 8ES. Nearest station: Greenwich or Cutty Sark (DLR) . For tickets, visit the Greenwich Theatre website.
- Now until 8 January : Sleeping Beauty (Hackney)
Hackney Empire, 291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For tickets, visit the Hackney Empire website.
- Now until 8 January : Sleeping Beauty (Richmond)
Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ. Nearest station: Richmond. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
- Now until 15 January : Dick Whittington (Wimbledon)
New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1QG. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For tickets, visit the ATG website.
- Now until 15 January : Cinderella (West End)
Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, W1F 7TE. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For tickets, visit the Really Useful Theatre website.
- Now until 21 January : Sinbad The Sailor (Stratford)
Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, E15 1BN. Nearest station: Stratford. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.