Jan 24, 2023
If you’re staying in the UK capital this month, the January Blues are one thing you don’t need to worry about. With all sorts of fantastic London events in January, there’s plenty to keep you entertained even though the days are short and cold. Use our guide to find out about Chinese New Year celebrations, ice skating, theatre shows, festivals, cultural events, and much more.
Chinese New Year 2023 falls on 22 January, and it’s an event you do not want to miss. The celebration marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, with the coming cycle being the Year of the Rabbit according to the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese New Year Parade is the highlight of the celebrations in London. Beginning with Lion and Dragon dances in Charing Cross Road at 10am, the parade moves along Shaftesbury Avenue into Chinatown before ending in Trafalgar Square.
Enjoy various cultural zones along the way, where you can see martial arts demonstrations, try your hand at calligraphy, and sample an array of traditional Lunar New Year dishes and delicacies. The parade ends in Trafalgar Square with dance and music, martial arts displays, performances by Chinese artists, a thanksgiving ceremony, the Lions’ Eye-Dotting Ceremony, fireworks, and speeches. Many restaurants in Chinatown will have Chinese New Year specials on, so if you’re feeling hungry, wander through this vibrant cultural zone and you’re sure to find something that hits the spot.
The annual London Short Film Festival brings together a wide variety of fantastic short films by independent producers from around the globe. The 2023 program includes drama, comedy, documentary, animation, horror, experimental, action, sci-fi, fantasy, and musical films, which will be screened at various locations such as BFI Southbank, Curzon Soho, and Garden Cinema.
Among the highlights of this year’s London Short Film Festival program are Shasha Movies: Hijra, Animation: Slippery Border, Romantic Matinee, the Joy and Sorrow of the Here and Now, Straight 8: Best of 2022, the Universe Is a Haunted House, Gothic, Not Too Sweet, and Pulp Fictions. The program of this popular London event in January also includes events such as workshops, talks, and networking drinks.
The Christmas markets and winter festivals have closed for the season, but that doesn’t mean you no longer have opportunities to enjoy a spot of ice skating in London. A few rinks offer extended or year-round seasons, so you can don your skates and show off your skills on the ice.
Ice Rink Canary Wharf is one of the best seasonal ice rinks to visit. Located on Canada Square in Canary Wharf, the rink is covered for all-weather skating. The venue will be open until 25 February. Alternatively, head to Queens at 17 Queensway, where you’ll find one of London’s few year-round ice rinks. The venue also boasts a bowling alley, an arcade with retro-style games, and a diner with burgers, vegetarian options, and a mouth-watering selection of family-friendly dishes.
For unforgettable ice skating in London, make your way to Alexandra Palace on Alexandra Palace Way, where you’ll find another of the city’s year-round ice rinks. The Ally Pally ice rink offers family sessions, professional lessons, ice hockey, and on Friday and Saturday nights, ice discos.
There are many more London events in January that are not to be missed. Here are some of our top picks.
London International Mime Festival: Enjoy a wide variety of shows ranging from dance and traditional miming to puppetry, Gandini juggling, exclusive international films, and tributes to Charlie Chaplin and Stan Laurel at the London International Mime Festival. Various locations. 16 January – 5 February.
Burns Night: Celebrating the birth of Scotland’s favourite bard, Robert Burns, isn’t limited to north of the island. Numerous venues around London host Burns Night celebrations with poetry recitals, whisky tasting, traditional dishes, music, and dance. Make your way to Boisdale of Belgravia for an evening with Scottish songstress Sandi Thom, a piper, and a four-course Burns Night dinner including haggis. 15 Eccleston Street, Belgravia. 25 January.
Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth: Gain a new appreciation of an epic tale 2,000 years in the telling. The British Library’s major exhibition Alexander the Great: The Making of a Myth explores the fantastical stories that have reinforced the Macedonian emperor’s mythical status by bringing together ancient papyri, astrological tablets, mediaeval manuscripts, Hollywood and Bollywood movies, and video games. British Library, 96 Euston Road. Until 19 February.
Find your ideal base for attending London events in January. Stay at Fraser Suites Kensington. Located in a heritage building in stylish South Kensington, our hotel offers exquisite fully furnished serviced apartments with fully equipped kitchenettes, ranging from compact studios to expansive three-bedroom apartments. Other hotel amenities available include a fully equipped gym and sauna, meeting facilities, a digital concierge service, and a private 2.5-acre garden. Our hotel is close to major attractions, shops and restaurants, and excellent transport links. Contact us and book your stay at Fraser Suites Kensington.