Looking for a way to beat the January blues? Then you need our guide to the best London events in January. Peter Gray reports
London Events in January was published on the 2nd of January 2020
January, eh? It’s like a whole month of Mondays, isn’t it? January is the season of violent colds, freezing your ass off weather, office battles (over the aircon) and seasonal affected disorder.
But wait, before you decide to go into hibernation until spring, City Countdown is here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better kind of January. A January full of hot gigs, dazzling events and cool new things to do and see.
So, without further ado, here’s our guide to the 10 best London events in January 2021.
1 New Year’s Day Parade
London’s New Year’s Day Parade is one of the capital’s best events. It is packed with great bands, amazing music, flamboyant costumes, not to mention a million photo opportunities. Honestly, what’s not to like?
Now in its 34th year, the parade has a wealth of things to see with bands and performers coming from all over the world to take part. You could join them – if your hangover allows.
When: 1st of January 2021
Read our guide to the event here: LNYDP
Category: London events in January, Outdoors
2 No Trousers Tube Ride
No guide to the best things to do in London in January would be complete without the NTTR. I dare you to go along and not smile. A now annual event, the No Trousers Tube Ride is the British equivalent of the equally zany US No Pants Subway Ride.
The event sees scores of ordinary Londoners shed their trousers and their modesty and take to the Tube. Wearing nothing but their underwear and a smile, these intrepid adventurers brave the cold and the odd looks just to put a smile on the face of the humble January commuter. It almost makes us want to shed a tear.
When: this year’s No Pants Tube Ride is happening in mid January 2021.
Read our guide to the event here: No Trousers Tube Ride.
Category: London events in January, Outdoors
3 Things to do in London in January – Veganuary
Vegan January combines supporting a good cause (animal welfare) with doing something for your own health (cutting out red meat).
It’s not just about sitting indoors trying to avoid ads for Burger King and McDonald’s, either. There are loads of events to go along to, not to mention all the cool new restaurants to get to know.
If you fancy a bit of vegan fast food, we recommend the Vurger Co. These guys make burgers that taste better than their meat filled alternatives.
When: all month
Read our review of the venue here: The Vurger Co.
Category: Food & Drink
4 Twelfth Night
With a mix of ancient and modern customs, London’s Annual Twelfth Night celebrations are one of the highlights of the January calendar in London.
The pick of the events takes place near Shakespeare’s Globe on Bankside. This is where you’ll find the Lions Part company. The theatre group annually treat a huge and friendly crowd to wassailing ( a kind of celebratory group singing event), a traditional Mummers play, with storytelling, dancing and general merry making later on at the historic George Inn.
When: Twelfth Night will take place on the 5th of January 2021
Website: The Lions Part Company
Category: Things to do, Festive Events
5 London events in January – Winter Lights
There’s no better tonic for the dark and forbidding days of January than a good light festival that’s why we’re so made up to see the Winter Lights return to Canary Wharf.
Now in its sixth year, the festival offers a host of dazzling light installations, all set amongst the futuristic skyscrapers of the Wharf. Best of all, the whole thing is gloriously free.
When: The Winter Lights Festival at Canary Wharf will open in mid January 2021.
Website: Winter Lights at Canary Wharf
Category: Things to do, Outdoors events
6 Brent 2020
Following hot on the heels of Waltham Forest’s year in the spotlight, 2020 sees Brent take up the baton as London Borough Of Culture.
The home of London’s oldest road, the biggest Hindu Temple in Europe, as well as Zadie Smith, the Borough will look to go one better than its East London counterpart with a calendar of events which already looks absolutely tantalising.
The fun begins with a massive party called Rise. A “spectacular family-friendly outdoor show”, RISE will attempt to tell the story of the Brent through dance, theatre and projections. Sounds fantastic.
Category: London Events in January, Community Events
7 London Events in January – Burns Night
If you’re thinking that toasting a Scottish poet who you’ve never read sounds like the basis of a pointless evening, then you really need to do Burns Night. The event falls on the 25th of January each year (which makes it the perfect for a post Christmas excuse for a party) and celebrates Scotland’s finest son, poet Robert Burns.
The event is the perfect excuse to indulge with events, parties and even a few ceilidh’s thrown in for good measure.
When: Burns Night will take place in mid January 2021
Read our guide to the Best Burns’ Night Events here.
Category: Things to do, Community Events
8 Chinese New Year
London’s Chinese New Year celebrations give the city two New Year Days (and the attendant celebrations) to enjoy. If you have never experienced the Chinese New Year celebrations in the capital then you really are missing out.
The festival is the biggest event of its kind outside of China with countless performances, shows alongside the stunning parade to wow revellers.
When: This year’s Chinese New Year’s Day celebrations will fall in late January or early February 2021
Read our preview of the event here: Chinese New Year’s Day Celebrations.
Category: Things to do, Outdoor Events
9 Watch a musical
London has a wealth of fantastic musicals and January is the perfect time to see one. From Mary Poppins to Matilda and from Hamilton to Six the Musical, there is bound to be something to suit every taste.
If you are looking for a tip then we recommend the fabulous Waitress. That rarest thing – a rom com with real depth and heart – the production tells the story of baking crazy Jenna Hunterson (Lucie Jones).
Jenna works in a bakery, when she’s not trying to avoid her abusive husband Earl. However, the story is much more about the friendship and love that exists between Jenna and her fellow waitresses at the diner. The story is warm and witty, the songs are fantastic and you really couldn’t do much better when it comes to London musicals at the present time.
Read our review of the show here: Waitress the musical
Category: Things to do, Theatre & Musicals
10 Go see an exhibition
London has some of the best museums and galleries in the world and some of the best exhibitions in town open in January. One of current favourites is Tate Modern’s brilliant retrospective of Dora Maar. For too long in the shadow of cubist legend Pablo Picasso, the Tate’s new show sets out to prove that Maar was a major artist in her own right.
Read our preview of the show here: Dora Maar at Tate Modern
Category: London events in January, Exhibitions
Well, we do hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the best London events in January 2020. This is just a tiny selection of the many events going on in the city. If you’d like information on any of the other cool things going on in the capital, just browse our site.