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London events in January

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

By Time Out London Things To Do |
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Alan Habbick Photography/ Flickr

January 2020 in London is going to be a belter. Though the festive season is coming to a close and the days are still as dark and chilly as ever, there's tons of fun stuff happening in London throughout the New Year to enjoy. Whether you want to keep warm by a pub fire, dine out at the best new restaurants, take in the best theatre openings this month, start a new hobby or embrace a healthier lifestyle (bye, mince pies) or welcome in the ‘Year of the Rat’ at London's Chinese New Year celebration, which take place in January, we've got you covered for London in January. January is also the month of the New Year's Day Parade through central London, the London Short Film Festival, the London Art Fair, Winter Lights at Canary Wharf and Burns Night. So what are you waiting for?

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

RECOMMENDED: The definitive London events calendar

Our January 2020 highlights

Things to do, Festivals

New Year's Day Parade

icon-location-pin Various London locations, London
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London's New Year's Day Parade celebrates its 34th year in 2020 with more than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries taking part, including Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and representatives from West End shows. 

Things to do, Quirky events

Winter Lights at Canary Wharf

icon-location-pin Canary Wharf, Isle of Dogs
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The business district is glowing even brighter than usual thanks to the addition of sparkling installations and interactive experiences from international artists. 

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Things to do

Burns Night in London

Raise a wee dram to Scotland's national poet, Robert Burns! From foot-stomping ceilidhs to haggis-fuelled feasts, London's got Burns Night celebrations covered. Take a look at our pick of the best Burns bashes. 

Folding book containing a sermon on the Abhidhamma in Shan language, Mueang Lakorn, Thailand, dated 1917
Photograph: British Library Board
Museums

‘Buddhism’

icon-location-pin British Library, Euston
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A history of one of the world’s religions. Learn about the Buddha’s journeys and teachings, about life and rebirth, compassion and suffering. 

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Photograph: Paul Gauguin 'Self-Portrait Dedicated to Carrière' (1888 or 1889). Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon (1985.64.20) Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.
Art

‘Gauguin Portraits’

icon-location-pin National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
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Intimate paintings by an art historical giant. Gauguin was basically a bastard, but his work is so good it makes your skin crawl, but boy could he paint. 

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Things to do, Walks and tours

Christmas at Kew Gardens

icon-location-pin Kew Gardens, Kew
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Christmas at Kew sees the whole place get seriously lit. Feast your eyes on more than a million sparkling pea-lights, thousands of laser5 beams in the iconic Temperate House and a brand-new waterfall of lights falling from tree canopies flooded with festive colour. 

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Photograph: Laboratoriorosso
Museums

‘Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh’

icon-location-pin Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea
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The stunning ancient treasure of the boy king. Tut at the price sure, but this is your last chance to see these objects before they go home forever. 

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Photograph: Hugo Glenndinning
Art

Patrick Staff: ‘On Venus’

icon-location-pin Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Hyde Park
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A new exhibition by Patrick Staff. His art is about transformation and gender, but it’s not a celebration. Revealing the brutality of day-to-day queer existence in a crushing society. It’s art that’ll turn your stomach and change your mind, but it’s damn powerful stuff.

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

Nam June Paik: ‘The Future is Now’

icon-location-pin Tate Modern, Bankside
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Nam June Paik predicts how technology influences our lives. This Tate show brings together works made across five-decades by the artist credited with inventing video art.

& Juliet, 2019
Photograph: Michael Wharley
Theatre, Musicals

‘& Juliet’

icon-location-pin Shaftesbury Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue
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A brand new West End musical is coming to town and it’s bringing the biggest bangers with it. This sublimely OTT West End musical sees Shakespeare’s Juliet return from the dead and head off on a girls’ trip to Paris.

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Photograph: PA Prints 2008
Museums

‘Mary Quant’

icon-location-pin V&A, South Kensington
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Go big and go bold at this Mary Quant V&A exhibition. See what fast fashion was like back in the day.

Find great things to do all year round

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