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 the energy high.

New Year’s Day Parade

NYE Parade London
Photo by Captain Roger Fenton used under CC

Watch as over 10,000 participants from the UK and abroad put on the show of a lifetime, with marching bands, floats, cheerleaders 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

10k run at Hyde Park
Photo by Sussex Sport used under CC

If you’re hell-bent on getting fit this year, why not start with a 10k run through 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 opportunity.

Condo Complex

Condo Complex returns to London for another year of red hot experimental art installations. With Artists coming from all over the world, this year boasts works from 50 galleries, spread across 23 art spaces. There’s a tonne to take in across the city, but with a little brainwork you can set up a little trail of close-together galleries when they’ll all be open. Plus you can dip out whenever you feel like ducking away for a much deserved drink or bite to eat. It’ll comfortably blow your friends and colleagues’ hipster weekend activities out of the water—and best of all, it’s totally free.

Delight: Media Art Exhibition

Wander through twelve zones and experience different sides of Seoul in this immersive, light-filled exhibition of lanterns and neons, household gods and street lights, and a soothingly hypnotic rising moon.

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.

Winter Lights

Photo by Matt Alexander/PA Wire

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. It’s not just Canary Wharf these days either—there are stunning displays across the city.

London Art Fair

Photo by Herry Lawford used under CC

If you’ve been saving up all your Cheapo pennies 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.


Photo by Richard Schroeder and Christophe Reynaud de Lage

The London International Mime Festival sadly ended last year; but long live MimeLondon. Four international companies bring you productions showcasing extraordinary visual performances including puppet shows, shadow puppetry and animation.

Last Chance Events

Somerset House Ice Skating
Photo by Steve Wilde used under CC

Christmas at Kew | Until Jan 7th | Kew

Leicester Square Christmas Market | Until Jan 7th | Leicester Square

Hampton Court Palace Ice Skating | Until Jan 7th | Richmond

Gingerbread City | Until Jan 7th | South Kensington

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland | Until Jan 2nd | Wesminster

Ice Skating at Somerset House | Until Jan 14th | Aldwych –>

Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Things to Do

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