Guide to what’s on in London in January 2018

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

The Winter Lights Festival lights up Canary Wharf

Happy New Year! All the festivities are over and things are a bit calmer and cash-strapped after the big blow-out of Christmas and New Year. In January, it can feel tempting to curl up in front of the TV in the warm and not go out. However, if you’re not the type for cosy days in, there’s plenty of events and festivals going on around town, many free.

To find out where to celebrate Burns’ Night in London on 25 January, click here.

For a guide to Valentine’s events for both couples and singles, 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 1 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, Cirque Berserk, The Sooty Christmas Show, The Magical Ice Kingdom and more. Open 10am-10pm daily. Free to enter. Nearest station: Hyde Park Corner, Victoria, Knightsbridge or Marble Arch. For more information, visit the Winter Wonderland website.

  • Now until 1 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, Children £10. Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, TW9 3AB. Nearest station: Kew Gardens. For more information, visit the Kew Gardens website.

  • Now until 1 January : South Pole Saloon @ Brixton Rooftop

Brixton Rooftop has had a festive makeover, with plenty of bars, street food, live music, DJs and entertainment to keep you occupied. Opening Hours: Thur: 5pm-12am, Fri: 5pm-2am, Sat: 4pm-2am. South Pole Saloon @ Brixton Rooftop, Pope’s Road, Brixton, SW9 8JH. Nearest station: Brixton. For more information, visit the Brixton Rooftop website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Now until 1 January : Magical Lantern Festival

Go on an immersive journey through a sea of lights. Over 50 life-sized sculpted lanterns will be dotted through the gardens with light depictions of animals and nature. Open 5pm-10pm daily (except Xmas Eve, Xmas Day and Boxing Day). Tickets: Adults £16.50, Child £10. Chiswick House Gardens, Chiswick, W4 2QN. Nearest stations: Turnham Green and Gunnersbury. For tickets, visit the Magical Lantern Festival website. For photos of a previous year’s festival, click here.

  • Now until 1 January : Winterville

An alternative festive wonderland in south London, featuring Christmas markets, ice rink, roller disco, cinema, plonk golf, fairground, spiegeltent and more. Free entry (except Fri and Sat nights). Clapham Common, SW4 9DE. Nearest station: Clapham Common. For more information, visit the Winterville website.

  • Now until 4 January : Beauty And The Feast

Go on an underground dining immersive theatrical experience, featuring pantomime, performers, cocktails, food and fabulous fun. For 16+. Show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets from £35 (includes dinner, dessert and DJs). The Vaults (entrance via Leake Street tunnel), Launcelot Street, Waterloo, SE1 7AD. Nearest station: Waterloo. For booking, visit The Vaults website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • 7 JanuaryTwelfth 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.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2012

Cirque du Soleil is on at the Royal Albert Hall

  • 7 January – 4 March : Ovo by Cirque du Soleil

The newest touring production from the Cirque, a spectacular exploration of the ecosystem, with insects working, playing, fighting and looking for love. Tickets range from £25-£231. 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.

  • Now until 7 January : Christmas in Leicester Square

The West End’s famous square will feature a Christmas market and a Spiegeltent, hosting shows including A Christmas Carol, Al Murray: The Pub Landlord, Austentatious, Black Cat Cabaret, Fascinating Aida, House of Burlesque 2.0 and more. Free entry to Leicester Square, but tickets required for the Spiegeltent. Leicester Square, WC2H. Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square. For more information, visit the Christmas In Leicester Square website.

  • Now until 8 January : Winter Forest

New winter installation comes to Exchange Square, featuring food and drink stalls, Tipi cinema, market and art exhibitions. Open Mon-Fri 9am-11pm, Sat 11am-11pm, Sun closed. Free entry. Exchange Square, Broadgate, EC2. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For more information, visit The Winter Forest website.

  • 10 – 14 January : London Boat Show

Boats of all shapes and sizes on show at ExCel in Docklands. Open Fri-Sun 10am-6pm (late nights Thurs until 8pm). Tickets: Adult £15-£22, Children 15 years and under free with a paying adult. ExCel, Royal Victoria Dock, E16 1XL. Nearest station: Prince Regent or Custom House (DLR). For more information and to book tickets, visit the London Boat Show website.

  • 10 January – 3 FebruaryLondon 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 £9-29. Venues include the Barbican, Jacksons Lane, Platform Theatre, The Little Angel Theatre, Soho Theatre, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Peacock. For more information, visit the London International Mime Festival website.

  • 12 – 21 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.

  • Now until 14 January : Skylight London

London’s highest ice rink surface on top of Tobacco Dock’s car park. Features alfresco and covered bars, fondue and ice hockey slap shot. Under 18s allowed until 6pm. Free entry to Skylight. Skating tickets: £10 (45 minutes). Skylight, Tobacco Quay, Pennington Street entrance, Wapping, E1CW 2SF. Nearest station: Shadwell or Wapping. For booking, visit the Skylight London website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • 15 JanuaryChristie’s Lates: The Lifestyle Edition

Late-night opening of Christie’s auction house discovers the art of living well, featuring a seismic sound bath by Bompas & Parr, yoga classes led by Julie Montagu, a talk from interior designer Alidad and a pop-up wardrobe including activewear from THE 6pm-8.30pm. Free entry, pay bar. Christie’s London, 8 King Street, St. James’s, SW1Y 6QT. Nearest station: Green Park or Piccadilly Circus. For more information, visit the Christie’s website.

  • 16 – 27 January : Winter Lights

Over 30 light installations and interactive art have been dotted around Canary Wharf for just two weeks. 5-10pm. 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 2017 Winter Lights festival, click here.

  • 17 – 21 JanuaryLondon Art Fair

Contemporary and modern British art fair in Islington, featuring talks, tour, performances and showcases. Opening hours vary. Tickets: £15.95 (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.

  • 18 January : The World’s Best Martini Challenge @ Oslo

Guests will taste the best gin brands and Martini recipes as six spectacular finalists compete at Nordic influenced bar, kitchen and live music venue. Guests will help the three independent judges find the World’s Best Martini. 6.30pm-11.30pm. Tickets: £15pp. Oslo, 1A Amhurst Road, Hackney, E8 1LL. Nearest station: Hackney Central. For tickets, visit

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2018

Light Of The Spirit (Ch.2) by Patrice Warrener on Westminster Abbey for Lumiere London 2018

  • 18 – 21 January : Lumiere

Light festival returns to the capital two years after its debut in 2016. Over four consecutive evenings, international artists will light up some of the West End, South Bank, Mayfair, Fitzrovia, Westminster and Kings Cross’ most iconic buildings with 3D projections, interactive installations and illuminated artwork. From 5.30pm-10.30pm. Free. For more information, visit the Lumiere website. Check out Metro Girl’s photos of this year’s festival.

  • 19 – 21 January : Fast And Furious Live

Live action performance from the car movie franchise, including motoring acrobatics, 3D projection mapping and cars from the films. Tickets: £35-£75. The O2, Peninsula Square, North Greenwich, SE10 0DX. Nearest station: North Greenwich. For tickets, visit the O2 website.

  • 19 January – 18 February : Crème Egg Camp

Cadburys are hosting a pop-up to celebrate Crème Egg hunting season. At the camp, you’ll be able to see the biggest Crème eggs you’ve ever seen in a giant nest, climb the tree house, whizz down the slide and search for the rare white Crème Egg. You’ll also be able to feast on chocolate Crème Egg goodies, such as Forest-top Fongoo, Campfire Cookies, Woodland Waffles, Fire-pit Toasties and more. Proceeds going to the Prince’s Trust charity. Open Thu-Fri 5pm-9pm, Sat-Sun 2pm-6pm. Tickets £5 (inc 45 mins at camp, a treat from the menu, a hot or cold drink). Last Days of Shoreditch, 288 Old Street, Shoreditch, EC1V 9LA. Nearest station: Old Street. For tickets, visit Eventbrite.

  • 20 JanuarySilver Screen Science Fiction: Ex Machina @ Royal Observatory

Watch a screening of the sci-fi film Ex Machina in the Royal Observatory, followed by a short talk on the science behind the movie. 6.45pm-9.15pm. Tickets: £10 (conc £8). Royal Observatory Greenwich, Greenwich Park, Blackheath Avenue, Greenwich, SE10 8XJ. Nearest station: Cutty Sark (DLR), Greenwich or Maze Hill. For booking, visit the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

  • 20 – 21 JanuaryAdventure 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 20 9am-6pm, Sun 21 9.30am-5pm. Tickets: £8. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For tickets, visit the Adventure Travel Show website.

  • 24 – 27 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.

  • 24 January – 4 March : Vault Festival

Six week arts festival in the tunnels beneath Waterloo across three venues. Entertainment includes live music, theatre, film, dance, comedy, immersive experiences and late-night parties. Open Wed-Sun. Ticket prices vary. The Vaults, 10 Leake Street, Waterloo, SE1 7NN. Nearest station: Waterloo and Lambeth North. For booking, visit the Vault Festival website. To find out about the highlights of this year’s festival, click here.

  • 26 January : Systems & Secrets – Friday Late @ V&A

Late-night opening of the V&A, featuring live performances, installations, debates, DJs and late-night exhibition openings. 6.30-10pm. Free entry. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website.

  • 26 January : Natural History Museum Lates – Blue Planet II

After-hours opening of the NHM celebrating the Attenborough documentary Blue Planet II, featuring the show’s producers and researchers hosting talks, activities and interactive experiences. 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.

  • 26 – 28 January : The France Show

The best of French food, drink, property, travel, and entertainment. Open Fri-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm. Tickets: £12. Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Kensington, W14 8UX. Nearest station: Kensington Olympia. For more information and tickets, visit The France Show website.

  • 27 – 28 JanuaryWorld Championship of Ping Pong

Watch the world’s best ping pong players in action. Tickets start from £18.15. The West Hall, Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Palace Way, N22 7AY. Nearest station: Alexandra Palace. For tickets, visit the World Championship website.

  • 27 January – 22 AprilRhythm & Reaction: The Age of Jazz In Britain

Exhibition exploring the impact of jazz on Britain from 1918, featuring painting, printmaking and cartoons, moving film, instruments and, of course, jazz. Open Mon, Thur-Sat: 10am-4:30pm, Wed: 10am-9pm, Sun: 11am-4:30pm, closed Tues. Two Temple Place, 2 Temple Place, Temple, WC2R 3BD. Nearest station: Temple. For more information, visit the Two Temple Place website.

  • Now until 28 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 £37/£39, Children £39/£31. 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.

  • Now until 29 January : The Luna Cinema @ Battersea Power Station

Roaming cinema club The Luna Cinema have set up camp (indoors!) at Battersea Power Station for the winter, screening classic films and new releases. Guests can sit on sofas or bean bags, with a bar serving hot and cold drinks. Tickets start from: Adults £17.50, Children £10. The Village Hall, 8 Arches Lane, Circus West Village, Battersea, SW11 8AB. Nearest station: Battersea Park or Queenstown Road Battersea. For booking, visit the Luna Cinema website.

  • 29 January : Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series presents Scotty Sears

As part of Mr Fogg’s Explorer Series, listen to Scott Sears, the youngest person to reach the South Pole solo, tell his amazing story. 6.01pm-8.30pm. Mr Fogg’s Residence, 15 Bruton Lane, Mayfair, W1J 6JD. Nearest station: Green Park. For more information and to reserve a table, visit the Mr Fogg’s website.

  • 29 January – 1 February : Food Film Festival 2018

The British Food Museum launches a new film festival that recognises the part that food and drink play on-screen. Produced by Bompas & Parr, the festival features screenings, themed culinary talks, workshops and events. 6pm-11pm. Tickets: £14. The Curzon, Mondrian Hotel, Upper Ground, SE1 9PD. Nearest station: Blackfriars. For more information and tickets, visit the Bompas & Parr website.

  • 31 January : Science Museum Lates – Food & Drink

Late night opening of Science Museum on the theme of food and drink, featuring the chance to ‘inhale your food, trick your senses, explore your drinks, feed yourself in a different way with samples and snippets from a smorgasbord of delights’. Also including the usual talks, silent disco and live music. Over 18s only. 6.45pm-10pm. Free entry. Science Museum, Exhibition Road, Kensington, SW7 2DD. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the Science Museum website.

  • Now until 4 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 25 February : No Turning Back: Seven Migration Moments that Changed Britain

Exhibition at the Migration Museum focusing on seven turning points in Britain’s history which have changed its people and communities. Open Wed-Sun 11am-5pm (late opening on last Thursday of the month until 9pm. Free admission. Migration Museum @ The Workshop, 26 Lambeth High Street, Lambeth, SE1 7AG. Nearest station: Vauxhall, Westminster or Lambeth North. For more information, visit the Migration Museum website. Read Metro Girl’s blog on the exhibition here.

© Memoirs Of A Metro Girl 2017

Watch your favourite film at the Snow Kingdom

  • Now until 4 March : Snow Kingdom – Backyard Cinema

Backyard Cinema have created a wintry immersive cinematic experience in the foodie surrounds of Mercato Metropolitano. Travel through an ice cave and across a frozen lake to watch new and classic films in the atmospheric Snow Kingdom. Tickets from £17. Backyard Cinema, 42 Newington Causeway, Elephant & Castle, SE1 6DR. Nearest station: Elephant & Castle. For booking, visit the Backyard Cinema website. For Metro Girl’s review, click here.

  • Now until 8 April : Winnie The Pooh – Exploring A Classic

AA Milne’s beloved bear is celebrated with sketches, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion. Tickets: £8. Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 2RL. Nearest station: South Kensington. For more information, visit the V&A website.

  • Now until June : Sculpture In The City 2017/2018

Free public art exhibition, bringing contemporary pieces to the streets and spaces of the City of London. At various sites around the Square Mile. Nearest stations: Fenchurch Street, Monument or Liverpool Street. For more information and a map of the artworks, visit the City Of London’s official website. Check out Metro Girl’s gallery of this year’s exhibition.

  • Now until September : Painted Hall Ceiling Tours

The Painted Hall at the Old Royal Naval College is undergoing a huge restoration. For a limited time only, visitors will be able to ascend 60ft to see the painted ceiling up close. Times vary. Tickets: Adults £10, Children £5. Old Royal Naval College, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9NN. Nearest station: Greenwich, Maze Hill or Cutty Sark (DLR). To book, visit the Old Royal Naval College website. Read Metro Girl’s review of the tour here.

For a guide to London’s open-air ice rinks, click here.


  • Now until 4 January : Goosed (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 6 January : Jack And The Beanstalk (Hammersmith)

Lyric Hammersmith, Lyric Square, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Nearest station: Hammersmith. For tickets, visit the Lyric website.

  • Now until 7 January : Cinderella (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 13 January : Rapunzel (Stratford)

Stratford East, Gerry Raffles Square, Stratford, E15 1BN. Nearest station: Stratford. For tickets, visit the Stratford East website.

  • Now until 14 January : Dick Whittington (West End)

Palladium, 8 Argyll Street, Soho, W1F 7TE. Nearest station: Oxford Circus. For tickets, visit the Really Useful Theatre website.

  • Now until 14 January : Aladdin (Richmond)

Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 1QJ. Nearest station: Richmond. For tickets, visit the ATG website.

  • Now until 14 January : Jack And The Beanstalk (Wimbledon)

New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1QG. Nearest station: Wimbledon. For tickets, visit the ATG website.


  • Now until 10 January : The Nutcracker

Peter Wright’s production of the classic ballet returns to the ROH. Tickets from £6-£125. Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 9DD. Nearest station: Embankment. For tickets, visit the Royal Opera House website.

  • Now until 27 January : Matthew Bourne’s Cinderella

Matthew Bourne’s production of Cinderella is set in London during World War II. Tickets: £12-£69. Sadler’s Wells, Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell, EC1R 4TN. Nearest station: Angel. For booking, visit the Sadler’s Wells website.

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About Metro Girl

Media professional who was born, brought up and works in London. My blog is a guide to London - what's on, festivals, history, reviews and attractions. All images on my blog are © Memoirs Of A Metro Girl, unless otherwise specified. Do not use without seeking permission first.

Posted on 31 Dec 2017, in Festivals, London and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

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