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23 sensational things to do this New Year weekend in London

By Stephanie Hartman

Feeling a bit worse for wear after a gluttonous Christmas? Well nurse your festive fatigue, then get straight back on it and welcome the New Year in style. Dance off the turkey at an underwater-themed bash at the Natural History Museum, spin yourself silly at the JW3 ice rink or party until the sun comes up at Egg. See you on the other side!



Draw Like A Fashion Designer, Fashion and Textile Museum, Fri, £10. Aspiring fashion designer? Brush up on your draftsmanship at this drop-in workshop, run in conjunction with the publication of ‘How to Draw Like a Fashion Designer’. 

Southbank Centre Wintertime Market, Royal Festival Hall, Fri-Sat, free entry. This market is perfect if you want to continue the festive feelings past Christmas. You’ll find food and tipples, unique gifts (for next year) and plenty of treats.

A Vintage New Year’s Eve Party, Royal Festival Hall, Sun, £99. You can expect pop-up venues inside the Royal Festival Hall at this glitzy affair, plus jive dance classes and OTT cocktails from the TIKI Bar. Pick a decade and dress glamorously.

Strauss New Year’s Eve Gala, St John’s Smith Square, Sun, from £10.75. Take some time to chill out in style before the chaos of NYE descends. The Orchestra of St John’s will be playing waltzes, polkas and songs by Strauss with tenor Christopher Turner. Dreamy.

New Year’s Eve: Under the Sea, Natural History Museum, Sun, £129. Raise a glass to the new year under the skeleton of an enormous Blue Whale at this ultimate museum late, complete with workshops, after-hours tours, and dancing of course. 

New Year’s Day Parade, various London locations, Mon, free. This parade celebrates its 32nd year in 2018 bringing together 8,500 performers representing 20 countries. Keep an eye out for Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and reps from West End shows.


© James Berry

Egg London NYE, Egg London, Sun, from £62.15. North London’s dance cavern, Egg, is famed for its long opening hours (and great parties, of course), and this New Year’s Eve they’re going bigger and better than ever, hosting an eight-hour NYE marathon.

New Year’s Eve Ceili, London Irish Centre, Sun-Mon, £40. Fairy-reel your way into 2018 at this NYE ceili. Start the night with cocktails, and start practising your two-step and swing hold now. Sláinte! 

JW3 On Ice, JW3, all weekend, £13. West Hampstead’s Jewish arts, culture and community centre has gained a 70-capacity ice rink in its piazza once again. Sip on hot chocolate and mulled wine, and feast on seasonal food before and after a skate. 


Christmas Past at the Geffrye, Geffrye Museum, Fri-Sat, free. Get an eyeful of ’30s paisley upholstery and see how Brits set a Christmas table back in 1965. The ‘museum of the home’ is closing for two years in January, so make the most of the curtain-twitching while you can.

Broadway Vegan Market, London Fields Primary School, Sat, free entry. This vegan market brings together 30 of London’s best vegan food stalls in one place. Feast on plant-based street food from the likes of Young Vegans, Club Mexicana and Spice Box. 

Scottee’s Naff Drag NYE, Hackney Showroom, Sun, £20 + booking fee. This underground star-studded NYE party sees Scottee hosting a night of ‘naff drag’ performance, music and dancing – and there’s not a single Drag Race contestant in sight. 

Flamingo Pier NYE, Mick’s Garage, Sun, from £25. Head to a festival-esque party in Hackney Wick this NYE. Mick’s Garage are teaming up with nearby Brewshed, providing punters with dancefloors, two outdoor areas and an upstairs chill-out space for cheeky dance breaks. 

NYE Dinner Dance, Geffrye Street Studio, Sun, £10-£90. Hurray! The Disappearing Dining Club has reappeared for a New Year’s Eve party, joining forces with Strangers in Paradise who’ll be on the decks and pumping out tunes all night long.


Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Dulwich Picture Gallery, Fri-Sun, £15.50. Work your way around a huge retrospective showing the exceptional breadth and talent of the Finnish artist who brought us the Moomins and friends. 

Winterville, Clapham Common, Fri-Mon, prices vary. Take a final spin around the festive playground featuring more dancing, eating, laughing, drinking and skating than you can shake a snow globe at.

The Festival of Light London, The Grand, Sun, £42.50. Welcome 2018 with laser shows, indoor fireworks, lanterns and oversized UV displays. Throbbing techno, bass and garage will be blasting out as the bells chime. 

Dumpling Making Workshop, Peckham Levels, Sun, £25 + booking fee. Roll up your sleeves with Hao Hao Chi and learn how to make dumplings from scratch. Tickets include a glass of prosecco, and Chinese tea or soft drinks.

Playaz New Year’s Eve 2017, O2 Academy Brixton, Sun, £45.84. Get ready for extreme vibes: Roots Manuva brings an exclusive performance of ‘Dub Come Save Me’ to this massive end-of-year bass party from Playaz. Clipz (Redlight’s D&B alias) and the buzzing Bristol duo My Nu Leng are also on the lineup. 


Hampton Court Palace Ice Rink, Hampton Court Palace, Fri-Sun, £14. Take a spin around Henry VIII’s sixteenth-century pad this festive season. The Palace makes a mighty picturesque backdrop for this outdoor rink, especially when lit up after dark. 

Magical Lantern Festival, Chiswick House and Gardens, Fri-Mon, £20. Catch the last few days of the annual Magical Lantern Festival, with beasts and birds illuminating Chiswick House and Gardens. 

Club De Fromage’s New Year’s Eve Spectacular, Eventim Apollo Hammersmith, Sun, £23.90. Slow Alfie and his crack team of disco dollies will be rolling in the art deco glamour of the Eventim Apollo. Make a beeline for the bouncy castle and giant ball pool.

Lost in Disco New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, Bush Hall, Sun, £45. Disco, funk or soul lover? Bush Hall has the perfect NYE for you. Six hours of floor-fillers, plus a performance by Hot Heels, a 1970s-style cocktail lounge, and free bubbly at midnight. Time to squeeze back into those flares...


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