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Ten great things to do in Birmingham this week

Written by
Jon Cook

From lion dancing at Chinese New Year, to world-class modern art at IKON, Thai cookery lessons in the Bullring and penguins at the Sea Life Centre, it's all popping off in Brum this week. Here are ten things we recommend you do...

Nástio Mosquito ‘Daily Lovemaking’, IKON, Brindley Place
Tipped to be the art world’s next big thing, head to IKON to catch this bold and provocative exhibition from the fantastically named Angolan video director turned artist.

New Art West Midlands, Barber and Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, free
Now in its third year, this exhibition showcases the best work of our region's recent graduates. Highlights include a six-foot sock monkey and a ska-music street map of Coventry.

Chaophraya Cookery School, The Bullring, from £60
Until July 31, you can learn to cook Thai food like a pro at Bullring restaurant Chaophraya. You’ll be shown how to prepare three dishes – and then get the chance to eat them!

Stones & Bones Exhibition, Library of Birmingham, free
Take a trip through time at this exhibition that looks at 600 million years of Midlands history.

Tours by candlelight, Birmingham Back to Backs, Hurst Street, Feb 19,20, 21, £9.50
See these remnants of Birmingham’s past in the same way that their residents would have on one of the three atmospheric tours this week.

Amnesia presents Portal 1st Birthday, The Rainbow Venues, Digbeth, £14.50/£17.50
Legendary Ibiza night club Amnesia arrives in Birmingham on Friday for house and techno night Portal’s first birthday. A Spanish triple-header of Mar-T, Cuartero and Hector Couto will be playing on the night.

Backstage Tours, Birmingham Rep, Saturday Feb 21, £5
Take a guided tour backstage at the Rep for a rare chance to see behind the scenes at one of Birmingham’s best-loved cultural institutions. Starting at 10.30am, the tour lets you nose around in the props room, paintshop and wardrobe. Book tickets here.

Penguin Week 2015, National Sea Life Centre, Brindley Place, until Feb 22
Waddle your way to the National Sea Life Centre this week to see the new colony of Gentoo Penguins now calling Birmingham home.

Love Is Strange
Ira Sachs’ charming modern tale of gay marriage has been getting rave reviews. Make sure you check it on the big screen while you still can.

Chinese New Year, Sunday 22 Feb, Chinese Quarter, free
Chinese New Year is a big deal in Brum  - if you’ve never made it over to the Chinese Quarter for the annual celebrations, make sure you don’t miss out on this year’s festivities, rounded off with a Lion Dance and fireworks display.

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