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Things to do on New Year's Day in London

Check out which museums, galleries and attractions are open on New Year's Day 2017, along with the best events to help you see in the new year

It's business as usual for most of London's museums and attractions, so peel yourself out of bed and start your cultural year as you mean to go on. Note that some venues will have reduced opening hours, so be sure to check details in advance, oh and - Happy New Year! 

RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to New Year in London

Things to do on New Year's Day

Skate at Somerset House

The grand 18th-century courtyard that is home to Somerset House ice rink provides a stunning location for a skating session this winter – and no matter how unimpressive your skills a trip to this 900-square-metre outdoor rink will look the very definition of festive fun on Instagram.

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Somerset House , Temple Until Sunday January 15 2017

Serpentine New Year's Day fun runs

Kick-start the new year with the Serpentine Running Club's annual NYD10K run through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, or opt for the more easygoing 3k fun run. The former is held under UK Athletics Rules with a race memento for all finishers and vouchers for the first three men and women, while those finishing the fun run will receive medals. It's not just about winning: at last year's event a couple got engaged to be married on the finish line. A great start to the year, we think. 

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Hyde Park , Kensington Sunday January 1 2017

New Year's Day Parade

London's New Year's Day Parade will feature performers representing 20 countries, including Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and representatives from West End shows. The American-style extravaganza of musicians, dancers, acrobats, clowns and floats twirl, march and drum a 2.2-mile route beginning at the Ritz Hotel, taking in Piccadilly Circus, Lower Regent Street, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square, Whitehall and Big Ben, with temporary grandstands erected for better viewing in some places.

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Various , London Sunday January 1 2017

Turner Prize

Over the years the coveted art prize’s annual exhibition has caused quite a stir amongst both critics and the general public. It’s been criticised for being sexist, politically incorrect, elitist and out of touch. Celebrating its thirty-second year, the Turner Prize has four shortlisted artists selected by a jury including ex-Art on the Underground curator Tamsin Dillon and The Hepworth Wakefield director Simon Wallis. It ends on January 2, so catch it while you still can!

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Tate Britain , Westminster Until Monday January 2 2017

Oval Space Music Presents NYD

If you are still standing at 11pm on New Year's Day then why not opt for some heavy duty techno? The special guest hasn't been announced yet but there's a good chance they will worth the ticket price alone - being signed to Ostgut Ton, Berlin's uberclub Berghain's in-house record label. Detroit's Robert Hood and Radio Slave (Rekids) will also be turning the techno dial up to 'very intense'.

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Oval Space , Bethnal Green Sunday January 1 2017 - Monday January 2 2017

Mighty Boosh Exhibition

To celebrate ten years of The Mighty Boosh Live, The Book Club is hosting an exhibition and events. Noel Fielding's illustrations hang alongside Dave Brown (aka Bollo)'s photos and work by other Boosh-linked artists Ivana Zorn, Andy Hollingworth, Mr Bingo and Jake.

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The Book Club , Shoreditch Until Monday January 30 2017

Bump Roller Disco

Do you love nothing more than rolling with your homies? Bump is a wooden-floored roller disco that's popping up under Hungerford Bridge as part of the Southbank Centre's Winter Festival. It opens at 3pm on New Years Day, so you'll have the morning to get over any NYE hangovers.

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Southbank Centre , South Bank Until Sunday January 22 2017

The Sherlock Holmes Experience

Prepare for the 'Sherlock' special on New Year's Day by swotting up on the Baker Street detective. Trek down to the basement of Madame Tussauds, where a Sherlock Holmes-themed interactive experience awaits. Explore the world of the Conan Doyle character, featuring Holmes's drawing room, a lamp-lit Victorian street and search for the infamous 'demon' hound on a dark moor.

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Madame Tussauds , Regent's Park Until Saturday July 15 2017

Natural History Museum Ice Rink

The truly beautiful backdrop of Alfred Waterhouse's Natural History Museum buildings, a row of trees just dripping in fairy lights and a majestic Christmas tree in the middle of the ice all help to make this London's most enchanting ice-rink to keep that festive spirit going just that little bit lnoger.

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Natural History Museum , Brompton Until Sunday January 8 2017

Venues open on New Year's Day

All Star Lanes

Styling itself on stateside ‘boutique’ bowling alleys, this retro-themed venue is one of four branches of All Star Lanes in London, all of which are open on New Year's Day.

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Cutty Sark

The world's last surviving tea clipper was the fastest and greatest of her age. That was over a century ago now, but the Cutty Sark is certainly still a venerable sight, perched on her glass pedestal on the water's edge in Greenwich.

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Hampton Court Palace

Henry VIII had many homes, but this one oozes historical drama. Shakespeare performed here and Cromwell made it his home after the Civil War.

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Horniman Museum

An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum has a traditional natural history gallery, a state-of-the-art aquarium and gardens that offer spectacular views over London.

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Forest Hill

Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum holds an important collection of twentieth-century art as well as collections of the machinery of war, official communications and manuscripts of war literature.

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Kew Gardens


Clear the new year drinking fog with a breath of fresh air, literally, among the natural splendour of Kew Gardens. You can also take your Christmas tree for recycling by the arboretum team. Gates open at 10am and last entry is at 3.45pm, but given the vastness of the grounds, the earlier you arrive the more you'll be able to take in.

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London Eye

So long as you don't get vertigo, and your not too queasy from NYE activities, hop on the world's largest observation wheel to get a good nosey at the city while the majority of its inhabitants rest. On a clear day you can even see Windsor Castle, 25 miles away. Booking is advised but a number of tickets are held back for same-day sale on site, so it may be worth turning up and taking pot luck if you haven't booked.

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South Bank

London Film Museum

Formerly known as The Movieum of London, London Film Museum celebrates the silver screen with props from films such as 'Superman', 'Star Wars', 'The Italian Job' and 'Batman'. They also currently have the largest collection of Bond vehicles on show as part of the 'Bond in Motion' exhibition.

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South Bank

London Transport Museum

The museum's design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. For children, the London Transport Museum has an under-fives play area.

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Covent Garden

Find your perfect New Year's Day party

New Year's Day parties in London

There are loads of great New Year's Day parties happening across London, meaning that the NYE fun doesn't have to stop on January 1.

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By: Amy Smith