January often feels dark and cold, and we find ourselves pushing on through till the weather turns brighter. But not this year, here we have a jam-packed month of activities, to keep those pesky January blues from creeping in.
Whilst lots of Ice Rinks are shutting up shop, the Canary Wharf Ice Rink is open to the public until the 25th Feb. There’s no chance of rain cancelling play with their magnificent roof, lit up by the shimmering lights and a giant mirror ball. If you prefer to spectate, why not head over to the Off Piste Bar. With the best views of those skating on the rink, and a variety of drinks and lite bites on offer to cater to all tastes, this is the perfect place to warm up or cool down after your session on the ice.
Date: until 25th Feb. Address: Canada Square Park E14 5AH. Transport: Tube: Canary Wharf. Price: £19.95, £14.95 child. Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Chinese Lunar New Year the Year of the Rabbit in 2023
Date: 22nd Jan (Celebrations last up to 16 days)
Join the colourful parades, performances and displays in and around Chinatown and London’s West End. Remember to wish each other “Xin Nian Kuai Le” (Happy New Year in Mandarin) or “Sun Nin Faai Lok” (in Cantonese). Details of the 2023 celebrations are yet to be confirmed, so check back nearer the time for full information.
Here are further locations in London celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year :
Maritime Museum in Greenwich They have a whole range of celebrations, performances and activities (a Lion dance/creative workshops, talks/music art performances. Free Entry(pre-booking optional). Address: Romney Rd, London SE10 9NF
Museum of London Docklands – Here the whole family can celebrate the Lunar New Year! Join them for a weekend of free workshops, performances and more. A free drop-in SPECIAL EVENT for Families, under 5s. Enjoy crafts, workshops and performances. Duration: 5hrs. Address: No 1, West India Quay, Hertsmere Rd, London E14 4AL
The National Gallery Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and the Festival of Spring at Family Festival Day at the National Gallery. Address: Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN / 22 Jan / Price: Free.
The Museum of Home Renew your energy and spirit for the year ahead with a Green Lunar New Year celebration, in collaboration with the ESEA community group Green Lions. Address: 136 Kingsland Road/Date: 28 Jan / Price: Free
Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery Join Yuyu Rau from New Earth Theatre for an interactive storytelling of the Chinese folk story. Address: Ealing Green, W5 5EQ/Date 29 Jan/Price Free.
The British Library (Address: 96 Euston Rd, NW1 2DB) has a Family Event: Lunar New Year Celebration with an exciting day full of colour, creativity, and music. The day will begin with a traditional Lion Dance on Hampstead High Street, before moving to Burgh House (Burgh House New End Square NW3 1LT) for fun craft activities, and finally finishing at the British Library with dance performances, music, storytelling and illustration workshops. You will also have a chance to meet a curator of the Chinese and Britain exhibition, exploring British Chinese communities and culture. Free | All ages welcome. Check British Museum website for timings.
Meet Museum scientists and researchers from the Volcano and Magmatic Studies Group (VMSG) to learn how they study volcanoes and get hands-on with some specimens and activities: Date: 7th Jan. Address: Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD. Transport: South Kensington. Price: Free (booking required). Opening hours: 10am-10pm
Sam Mendes’s ‘The Lehman Trilogy’ returns, after it hit London runs in 2018 and 2019. With a new cast stars Michael Balogun (Death of England: Delroy, Macbeth), Hadley Fraser (The Antipodes, Coriolanus) and Nigel Lindsay (The Pillowman, A Small Family Business) as the Lehman brothers, their sons and grandsons, tell the story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts on a single evening. Date: 24th Jan – 20th May. Address: Gillian Lynne Theatre 166 Drury Lane WC2B 5PW. Transport: Covent Garden /Holborn. Price: £20-£150. Runs 3hr 20min. Opening hours: 7pm
Tiger Shark™, Boneshaker™, Bigfoot®, and more, plus the all-new Gunkster™ – light up the floor in outrageous monster trucks competitions and battles. With live dance performances, laser light shows, and Hot Wheels toy giveaways. Special kid’s pricing is available for all shows providing great value for the whole family!
Date: 7th & 8th Jan (various slots : 7th Jan 11:30am sold out). Address: The O2 , Peninsula Square, SE10 0DX. Transport: Boord Street (MW) is 3 min walk. North Greenwich is 2 min walk. North Greenwich Station (D) 3 min walk. Price: Paid. Opening times: check the website.
This is a free open-air exhibition. Showing the incredible works of:
Jakob Kvist: Dichroic Sphere (A geodesic dome with a single energy-efficient light bulb at its centre that casts multicoloured light in every direction.) until 31st Jan.
Fred Tschida: Sphere (spinning, glowing work is recreated at a technically ambitious scale) until 8th Jan.
Fred Tschida: Frederick Carder Vase Forms (seven rotating sculptures trace half of a vase design – set to rotate, they create a luminous three-dimensional vessel) until 31st Jan.
David Ogle: Loomin (an electric neon canopy sculpted by David Ogle, bathes the riverside Queen’s Walk in light) until 31st Jan.
David Batchelor: Sixty Minute Spectrum (transforms large parts of the Southbank Centre site into an enormous colourful clock) until 31st Jan.
Lisa Cheung & Alex J Tuckwood: STELA (the aurora borealis, the Super Terrestrial Electric Light Aurora lights up with electric blues, greens and violet) until 31st Jan.
Conrad Shawcross: Dark Heart (two spinning metal arms mounted with lights) until 31st Jan.
Combine this with a stroll along the Thames under twinkling lights and sample indulgent drinks and scrumptious street food at the Southbank Winter Market.
Dates: vary – listed above. Address: Belvedere Road. Waterloo. SE1 8XX. Transport: Rail/Tube: Waterloo; Tube: Embankment. Price: Free. Opening times : Check website beforehand
Step aboard and set sail on a fantastic family adventure at Cutty Sark! Taking place on the first weekend of every month, Cutty Sark Family Weekends feature workshops, songs, activities and experiences for all ages. (Tea Mixology, Sea shanties, character encounters, Date: First weekend of every month.
Date: event on 7th & 8th Jan. Address: 4-6, Ballast Quay, SE10 9PD. Transport: Greenwich Station/Cutty Sark DLR/Maze Hill Station. Price: Free with paid entry to the ship. Opening hours: 10am – 5pm
On the weekends pick up an activity backpack, or a Museum explorer trail/create a Japan-themed family photo with a little green-screen magic in the Impossible images: Japan drop-in event, 7th Jan – 11th Mar. Other drop-in events are design a mask inspired by objects from ancient Egypt and Aztecs in Making masks: ancient Egypt. 14th Jan – 17th Feb. Making masks: Aztecs. 07th Jan – 11th Mar. (sponsored by Samsung).
Dates: various – listed. Address: Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DG. Transport: Tottenham Court Road: 5-minute walk./Holborn: 7-minute walk.Russell Square: 7-minute walk./Goodge Street: 8-minute walk.. Price: Free. Opening: Daily: 10.00–17.00 (Fridays: 20.30) . Last entry: 16.00 (Fridays: 19.30), check the website for event times.
A quirky, yet tender and funny rom-com about what we say, how we say it, and what happens when we can’t say anything anymore. Starring Aidan Turner (Poldark, The Lieutenant of Inishmore) and Jenna Coleman (The Serpent, All My Sons), this is a bold and brilliant play from Sam Steiner (Fingernails, You Stupid Darkness!) is directed by Josie Rourke (Mary Queen of Scots, As You Like It)
Dates: 18th Jan – 18th Mar. Transport: Piccadilly Circus. Address: Harold Pinter Theatre, London. Price: £15. Opening: Monday – Fri: 7.45pm. Wed & Sat matinees : 3pm: Running Time: 75 minutes no interval
Meet real and imagined characters from the Army’s past and hear their amazing stories in the galleries. Meet Tommy Roper, a soldier from 2 Commando; Sister Evelyn Morgan, a nurse who newly arrived in France as part of the 1944 Normandy Landings; and Walter Tull, a professional footballer and one of the British Army’s first infantry officers of black heritage.
Dates: 08, 15, 22 & 29 Jan. Transport: Sloane Square. Address: National Army Museum, National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, SW3 4HT. Price: FREE (booking required). Opening hours: Mon: Closed/Tue-Sun: 10.00am to 5.30pm
8 weeks of exciting, experimental underground theatre, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, and late night entertainment from leading artists. With over 500 brilliant and diverse shows.A great way to start the new year.
Dates: 24th Jan – 19th Mar. Transport: Waterloo. Address: The Vaults Leake St, SE1 7NN. Price:Various, around £13-£17. Opening Times: vary – check program on website.
The Southbank Centre not just electric outside, inside they have a huge program for the whole of January, running into Feb, a great place to head for all the family. Check out their website for more listings in January. However, here is some of what they have to offer:-
Address: Belvedere Road. Waterloo. SE1 8XX. Transport: Transport: Rail/Tube: Waterloo; Tube: Embankment
Southbank Young Voices Are you aged 11 – 18 and curious about singing? Join Southbank Centre Youth Voices to discover the joy of singing with Nathan Devonte and Osnat Schmool.
Date: 11th Jan – 22nd Mar. Time: 5pm – 7pm. (Free). Location: Royal Festival Hall.
Rug Rhymes Enjoy nursery rhymes, poems and rhyming stories (ages 0 – 5). Date: 13th & 27th Jan. Time: 11am across the sit. (Free)
FUNharmonics: The Colour Monster The Colour Monster is all mixed up and very confused, and he doesn’t know why. Help untangle the Colour Monster’s messy emotions through the wonder of orchestral music. Inspired by the gorgeous book by Anna Llenas, published by Templar Books, this interactive concert. Date: 29th Jan. Time: 12pm. Location: Royal Festival Hall. Price: £8 – £24
OAE TOTS: LPO FUNharmonics – Musical Colours (ages 2-5)Take your little one for a colour-inspired interactive music workshop with the musicians from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Date: 29th Jan. Time: 10.15am, 11.15am & 12.15pm. Location: Level 5 Function Room, Green Side, Royal Festival Hall. Price: Adult £9, Child £2.
And here are some more events at the Southbank Centre in January.
‘Star Trek’ legend Takei stars in this musical inspired by his own childhood experiences of being held in a Japanese internment camp in the US.
Date: 7th Jan – 8th Apr. Address: Charing Cross Theatre, 3 The Arches, Villiers St WC2N 6NL. Transport: Tube: Charing Cross. Price: £20-£80
3 of the best places to celebrate Burns Night in London
The annual Scottish knees-up, falls on the 25th Jan. Celebrate Scotland’s national poet, Robert Burns
A glorious evening with London’s most radical & colourful live band The Ceilidh Liberation Front. There will be whisky flowing and floors shaking, all in celebration of Scotland’s favourite son, Date: 27th Jan. Address: 53 COLVESTONE CRESCENT, LONDON, GREATER LONDON, E8 2LG. Transport: Kingsland High Street / Dalston Jct. Price £16. Opening times: 7pm
It will be awesome, with a huge dance floor, with a fantastic sound system and a fab space to eat and drink.
Date: 28th Jan. Address: St. Mary’s Marylebone Wyndham Place, W1H 1PQ. Price:£39.00 – £49.00. Opening times: 7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Drams and Dramatic Skies : Burn’s Night Skylight rooftop bar
For an evening full of the sound of bagpipes with whisky tasting and a highland dance performance.
Address: Skylight, Rooftop at Tobacco Dock, Pennington Street, E1W 2SF
Date: 29th Jan
Transport: nearest tube: Shadwell
Price: £8 early bird. £15 door. £200 heated igloo for 10. Opening times: 6pm-11pm.
Kensington Gore London, SW7 2AP
Transport: South Kensington and High Street Kensington
The Royal Hall is celebrating its 150th anniversary with this steam-punk-inspired spectacle. Cirque du Soleil’s European Premiere of Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities, with daring acrobatics, clever contortion and breath-taking talent.
Date: 13th Jan – 5th Mar. Opening times: 11:30am, 3:00pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm. Location: Auditorium. Prices: vary
Storytelling and music sessions (age 0-4)
Seasoned storytellers Paul Rubinstein, and Becky Dixon deliver a series of sessions for babies and toddlers, using musical instruments, singing, movement and stories.
Date: 25th Jan – 16th Mar. Opening times:10:00am, 11:00am, 12:00pm. Location: Door 3 Porch. Price: £5
43 White Horse Road, E1 0ND, nearest Tube: Limehouse C2C station.
Award-winning folk duo Megson’s Family Folk Show Nature Special is an organic, authentic and fun folk concert for big and little music connoisseurs.
Date: 14th Jan. Price: £7 / Times: 11am & 14pm
The award-winning Winter Lights will return on 18th January 2023 for its seventh year! With 20 installations. From a family of giant mammoths at Riverside to an immersive fibre-optic tunnel in Wood Wharf. This is an extensive public art collection.
Address: Throughout the Estate, Canary Wharf, London, E14. Date: 18th Jan – 28th Jan. Transport: start near Jubilee Place, Canary Wharf’s tube station. Price: Free. Opening times: 5-10pm.
Frantic Assembly brings its production of ‘Othello’ back for again. A Shane Meadows-esque take on Shakespeare’s tale of manipulation, sexual jealousy and murder.
Address: Lyric Hammersmith Lyric Square, King St, W6 0QL. Transport: nearest tube: Hammersmith. Dates: 19 Jan – 11 Feb. Price: £15-£35. Runs 1hr 40min (no interval). Opening times: 7:30pm, check the website for matinee times.
Address: 147 Tooley Street, SE1 2Hz
Transport : Nearest tube : London Bridge station
Anansi the Spider (ages 3-7)
These classic West African and Caribbean tales about the spider hoaxster are brought vividly to life as this hit production returns.
Date: 20th Jan – 25th Feb. Price: Under 18s £9 – £17 / Adults £15 – £25.50. Times vary
Josie Doesn’t Know What’s Going On (ages 9 – 13)
Join Josie, as she finds herself caught up in an absurd situation and needs her best mate Becca and all her courage to find her way out
Date: 26 Jan – 19 Feb. Price : Under 18s £11.50 – £13 / Adults £16 – £18.
Make-it: Costume Illustration: V&A. (ages 7-13 yrs)
Join designer Jesca Cherelle Warren and get your creativity flowing! Inspired by the Re: Imagining Musicals Display, with this families workshop to find out more about costume design and experiment with illustration techniques.
Price: Workshops £12.00. Date; Sat 28th Jan – Sat 4th Feb. Address: Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL. Nearest tube: South Kensington. Times: 10.30 – 16.00. Location: Art Studio, Learning centre
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Grégoire Pont . Marvel at the beauty and fragility of our world in a family concert of sound and storytelling, with Grégoire Pont’s drawings, projected live alongside thrilling music from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Address Barbican Centre Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS. Times: 17:00pm. Date: 28th Jan. Location: Hall. Price: watch in person £10-£16 / watch it online: £10.
Using large-scale projection in a remarkable new space, David Hockney takes us on a personal journey through sixty years of his art. His lifelong fascination with the possibilities of new media is given vibrant expression in a show that invites us to look more closely, more truly and more joyously.
Address: 12 Lewis Cubitt Square, N1C 4DY. Date: 25th Jan – 23rd April. Price:Adults from £25/ Students & Under 18s from £15/ Under 5s go free.
Burglar Bill(Age 3+)
Join The Pied Piper Theatre Company who bring to life on stage the beloved picture book Burglar Bill by Janet and Allan Ahlberg’s with an exciting set design, puppets, and original music and songs. By arrangement with Penguin Books LTD, a Penguin Random House company.
Dates: 22nd Jan. Address: artsdepot 5 Nether Street Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, N12 0GA. Price: from £10