Now you’ve welcomed in 2019 with fireworks, parties or just a quiet night in, continue as you mean to go on (except the last one)! There are bucketfuls of great events this month, from parades to art fairs to light festivals, all designed to brighten up your January and keep you entertained.
New Year’s Day Parade
Watch as over 10,000 participants from the UK and abroad put on the show of a lifetime, with marching bands, floats, cheerleading and more. London boroughs each enter a performance for the Borough competition, vying to win a prize of thousands which they can distribute to chosen charities in their area, so performers will certainly be giving it their all. The route begins at 12pm on Piccadilly and moves through lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and ending on Parliament Street. There are plenty of great viewing points along the route, although there are stand seats available for around £30.00 if you book ahead. There are also a series of musical concerts which require tickets and feature some of the world’s best orchestras and choirs.
New Year’s Day 10k & Fun Run
If you’re hell-bent on getting fit this year, why not start with a 10k run through the beautiful Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens? There’s nothing better than a refreshing run, and if 10k seems a bit much, there’s also a 3k fun run you can take part in too. It does cost between £18.00 and £20.00 to participate, but it’s free to watch, so if you wanted to take a stroll and maybe be inspired, this is the perfect chance.
London Mime Festival
Who doesn’t like a bit of mime now and then? Before you laugh, things have changed—it’s far more sophisticated than it used to be, we promise. Running since 1977, this festival attracts some of the best performers in the world including mimers from Brazil, Mexico, the Netherlands, Switzerland and of course the UK. This isn’t the black-and-white street act you might be thinking of—there are full performances and plays as well as discussions and workshops if you want to get involved. There are various different performance areas and stages including the Barbican, Shoreditch Town Hall and Soho Theater, so check out the venues page for more details.
Short Film Festival
Named the best short film festival in the world by the Guardian Guide, this ever-growing event is screening cutting-edge and multimedia pieces in a variety of locations across the city. The schedule lists plenty of intriguing collections and you’ll be hard pressed to select one night over another, from the Friday eveing ‘Funny Shit’ collection to the intriguingly named ‘Lo-Budget Mayhem’ night and Animation Variety shorts. Tickets range from £6 to £12 and there are a variety of different locations and special events including talks with creatives and afternoon tea with British Council.
Brighten up one of the darkest months with some beautiful illuminations on Canary Wharf. There will be sculptures, structures and installations surrounding the commercial towers. The event is completely free and you can spend an evening wandering through the unusual creations—ideally with a hot chocolate in hand.
London Art Fair
If you’ve been saving up all your cheapo coins to start a new life as an art dealer, this is your opportunity to get involved in one of the most prestigious art scenes in the world. With previews of renowned works and international galleries displaying their best pieces, there will be works on show from the 20th century to contemporary creations. This is the first big event on the British art world’s calendar, and you can get evening tickets from £11.00 and day tickets from £16.00 if you book in advance (plus a booking fee of £1.75).
Last Chance Events
Christmas by the River | Until Jan 2nd | London Bridge
Christmas at Kew | Until Jan 5th | Kew
Leicester Square Christmas Market | Until Jan 5th | Leicester Square
Tower of London Ice Skating | Until Jan 6th | Tower Hill
Hampton Court Palace Ice Skating | Until Jan 6th | Richmond
Hooked at the Science Gallery | Until Jan 6th | London Bridge
Votes for Women Centenary Exhibition | Until Jan 6th | Barbican
Winter Festival at South Bank | Until Jan 6th | South Bank
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland | Until Jan 6th | Wesminster
Ice Skating at Somerset House | Until Jan 13th | Aldwych
Natural History Museum Ice Skating | Until Jan 20th | South Kensington
Poster Women: A Century of Art and Design | Until Jan 31st | Covent Garden
Canary Wharf Ice Skating | Until Feb 16th | Canary Wharf
Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt | Until Feb 24th | Knightsbridge
Living With Buildings | Until March 3rd | Euston