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Somerset House Dodge
Photograph: Somerset House

Brightly coloured bumper cars are taking over Somerset House’s courtyard

It’s turning into an arty fairground

Alexandra Sims

Somerset House may have put our skating plans on ice this year by cancelling its famous rink for the first time in 21 years. But to make up for all the Christmas disruption, in the new year it’ll be turning its grand eighteenth-century courtyard into a buzzing arty fairground. 

You won’t find any coconut shies here, though. Dodge: Drink, Dine & Dodgems will be packed with designer dodgems, immersive art installations and artisan takes on fairground fast food. 

Like your art full throttle? Mercury Award-shortlisted musician Anna Meredith and Bafta-winning sound artist Nick Ryan have been drafted in to re-invent the traditional bumper car experience, which happens to be the perfect activity for social distancing. 

After you’ve been battered around in your alt-dodgem, there’ll be multicoloured outdoor installations to explore from artist and designer Yinka Ilori, who was responsible for Dulwich Picture Gallery’s 2019 vibrant multicoloured summer pavilion ‘The Colour Palace’. 

Jimmy Garcia, the man who installed those fancy igloos on the South Bank, will be dishing up artisan burgers, hotdogs and build-your-own s’mores. Plus, there’ll be Dodgem Lates with DJ takeovers, just like the Skate Late days of old, where you can bump around to booming sets from the likes of Queer House Party, Manara and Eliza Rise. 

2021 might be full of uncertainty, but one thing’s for sure: January just got a lot more exciting.

Dodge: Drink, Dine & Dodgems will be at Somerset House from 22 Jan-20 Mar 2021. Entry is free and dodgems rides are available for pre-booking from £5. More info and tickets here

The new openings don’t stop there: Kerb has a new street-food market off Oxford Street.

Can’t wait for January? Find out what’s going on in London in December (even in Tier 3). 


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