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London events in February

Our guide to the best events, festivals, workshops, exhibitions and things to do throughout February 2020 in London

By Time Out London Things To Do |
Paul Shears/ Flickr

February 2020 in London is going to be great. We've said goodbye to January and now London is beginning to brighten up. Use the - slightly - longer days to enjoy the month's brilliant batch of events and celebrations. Get loved-up or celebrate being single on Valentine’s Day in London or join in the heaps of brilliant events, fun pop-ups and exciting new exhibitions happening. Here are our February 2020 highlights. February in London is also the month of Kew Garden's Orchid Festival, London Fashion Week Festival, the London Classic Car Show and Craft Beer Rising.   

Hey, and while you’ve got your diary out, remember that it's never too early to start planning for March either.

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar.

Our February 2020 highlights

Orchids Festival Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 2018
Photograph: Jeff Eden
Things to do, Exhibitions

Orchids festival at Kew

Kew Gardens, Kew

Kew Gardens’ celebration of the orchid returns for its twenty-fifth year, this time with a focus on the plant life of Indonesia. Kew’s Orchids Festival will see the botanical gardens’ tropical greenhouse bursting with colourful species, and in 2020 they will reflect the country’s diverse landscape – from tropical rainforests to spectacular volcanos. 

Valentine's Day Dog Walk
The Dogvine
Things to do

Valentine’s Day in London

Whether you’re blissfully in love or a superbly happy singleton, Valentine’s Day in London (Friday February 14 2020) has a lot to offer. Here’s your guide to the city’s most romantic restaurants, soppy spots, Valentine’s Day gift ideas, sexy hotels, best bars and dreamy events. 

Samuel Fordham 'I Thought I Would Sit Here and Look Out Over the Fjord for the Last Time' (2018). Image courtesy of the artist and New Contemporaries

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019

South London Gallery, Camberwell

The annual round-up of undiscovered art talent is back, so here are the ones that might just be the stars of the future.

Pretty Woman: The Musical, Broadway
© Matthew Murphy
Theatre, Musicals

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Piccadilly Theatre, Soho

Every hit romcom is destined to become a musical, and while the whole it’s-about-a-prostitute-who-falls-for-her-client, er, thing possibly stopped 1990 enormo-smash ‘Pretty Woman’ being adapted earlier, the inevitable has now happened. 

Nam June Paik 'TV Garden' 1974-7 (2002). Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen (Düsseldorf, Germany) © Estate of Nam June Paik

Nam June Paik: ‘The Future is Now’

Tate Modern, Bankside

Artist Nam June Paik has long been predicting how technology would soon be influencing our lives. This Tate show brings together works made across five-decades by the artist credited with inventing video art.

Unknown photographer, 'David Bomberg painting' (c.1912–14) © Tate Archive

‘Young Bomberg and the Old Masters’

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square

In this interesting-sounding free exhibition, the National Gallery shows the works of modernist painter David Bomberg alongside the Old Masters (Botticelli, Michelangelo and co.) that provided inspiration. 

Photograph: The Breakfast Club
Things to do

Pancake Day in London

Have your frying pans at the ready because Pancake Day is just around the corner. In 2020 Shrove Tuesday falls on Tuesday February 25 and London's best restaurants will be going flipping mad for it. 

Bruce Conner, 'Breakaway' (still) 1966. © The Conner Family Trust. Courtesy The Conner Family Trust and Thomas Dane Gallery

Bruce Conner: ‘Breakaway’

Thomas Dane, St James’s
4 out of 5 stars

An artsy take on a pop video turned inside out. It’s like the best and worst night of your life simultaneously. 

Unknown Fields 'The Breast Milk of the Volcano' (video still) (2016-2018) In association with the Architectural Association. Courtesy of the artists.


Royal Academy of Arts, Mayfair

A slightly different offering from the Royal Academy to normal, this thoroughly modern exhibition looks at artists and architects doing their bit in the fight against climate change and other assorted horrors facing the planet. 

Theatre, Circuses

Cirque du Soleil: ‘Luzia’

Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington
3 out of 5 stars

Cirque du Soleil is back with a Mexican-themed extravaganza. It’s the most atmospheric Cirque show to hit London aeons.

William Blake 'Newton' (1795 – c.1805) © Tate

William Blake: ‘The Artist’

Tate Britain, Millbank

Catch this major retrospective of Blake's idiosyncratic artworks. The man who wrote 'The Tyger' truly was one of a kind and his art is filled with beauty, mystery and fear.

'Mary Poppins' returns to the West End in 2019
© Seamus Ryan
Theatre, Musicals

‘Mary Poppins’

Prince Edward Theatre, Soho

Brolly-clutching supernanny Mary Poppins is floating back into the West End. The refreshed cast is led by Zizi Strallen ('Strictly Ballroom') and Charlie Stemp ('Half a Sixpence'). 

Maureen Scott 'Mother and Child at Breaking Point' (1970) .Image courtesy of Bethlem Museum of the Mind

‘The Four Ages of Woman’

Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind, Borough of Bromley
4 out of 5 stars

Art by women about women. And so much more. It’s topical, political, emotional – and well worth the length of the train journey to get there.

Things to do, Exhibitions

‘Insiders/Outsiders Festival’

Various, London

This year-long arts festival celebrates refugees from Nazi Europe and highlights their impact on British culture. Expect a vibrant and all-encompassing programme of exhibitions, performances and events across a variety of London venues.

Resolution 2020
Photograph: Chris Herzfeld
Things to do, Festivals

Resolution 2020

The Place, Euston

Dense about contemporary dance? change that in 2020 with a visit to the UK’s biggest festival of choreography. See shows from emerging dance artists, or throw some shapes of your own at a workshop.

My Brilliant Friend, National Theatre, 2019
Photograoh: Marc Brenner
Theatre, Drama

‘My Brilliant Friend’

National Theatre, South Bank
4 out of 5 stars

An epic two-part stage adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels. Go see Catherine McCormack’s ferociously brilliant turn as Lisa.

© Duffy Archive

‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’

V&A, South Kensington
4 out of 5 stars

A supercharged journey through the history (and future) of automobiles. Go see all types of special cars. From the Latino low-riders of LA to Hitler’s pet project, an olive VW Beetle. It’s going to be a great ride.

David Bomberg 'In the Hold' (about 1913-14) Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1967 © Tate

‘Young Bomberg and the Old Masters’

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
4 out of 5 stars

A small exhibition of big energy, big vision and big paintings. British artist David Bomberg deserves more love than he currently gets and this miniature exhibition makes a massive case for the importance of free access to great art.

Find out what's happening in March

Find great things to do all year round

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