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Things to do on New Year’s Day in London

Discover London's most festive events taking place on New Year’s Day 2019, plus which well-loved institutions are open too

Happy New Year! January 1 2019 is here, and chances are it’s bought a powerful hangover and a pounding headache with it. But, whether you’re full of energy or feeling a little worse for wear, there is plenty of things to do in London on New Year’s Day. There’s the New Year’s Day Parade, for starters as well as dances, walks and fun runs for the energetic. Plus, it’s business as usual for most of London’s museums and attractions, so peel yourself out of bed and start your year as you mean to go on. Just be aware that some venues will have reduced opening hours on New Year’s Day, so be sure to check details in advance.

If you're not quite ready to  say goodbye to the festive season, don't fret. There are plenty of high-spirited events taking place on Tuesday January 1 2019 too, so keep the festivities going! 

We’ll be updating this page with events for New Year’s Day 2019 as they are announced. 

RECOMMENDED: Read our full guide to New Year in London

Great things to do on New Year’s Day

New Year's Day Parade

London’s New Year’s Day Parade will celebrate its 33rd year in 2019. More than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries usually take part, including Pearly Kings and Queens, cheerleaders, marching bands, dancers and representatives from West End shows. 

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Christmas at Kew Gardens

Kew's mile-long, twinkling trail will lead visitors past singing trees, a flickering Fire Garden, kaleidoscopic projections and giant flora-inspired lights.

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Museums and attractions open on New Year's Day

All Star Lanes

Styling itself on stateside ‘boutique’ bowling alleys, this retro-themed venue is one of four branches of All Star Lanes in London, all of which are open on New Year's Day.

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Bloomsbury

Cutty Sark

The world's last surviving tea clipper was the fastest and greatest of her age. That was over a century ago now, but the Cutty Sark is certainly still a venerable sight, perched on her glass pedestal on the water's edge in Greenwich.

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Greenwich
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Horniman Museum

An anthropological museum set in 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the Horniman Museum has a traditional natural history gallery, a state-of-the-art aquarium and gardens that offer spectacular views over London.

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Forest Hill
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Imperial War Museum

The Imperial War Museum holds an important collection of twentieth-century art as well as collections of the machinery of war, official communications and manuscripts of war literature.

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Kennington
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Kew Gardens

Clear the new year drinking fog with a breath of fresh air, literally, among the natural splendour of Kew Gardens. You can also take your Christmas tree for recycling by the arboretum team. 

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Kew

London Eye

So long as you don't get vertigo, and your not too queasy from NYE activities, hop on the world's largest observation wheel to get a good nosey at the city while the majority of its inhabitants rest. On a clear day you can even see Windsor Castle, 25 miles away. 

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South Bank
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London Film Museum

Formerly known as The Movieum of London, London Film Museum celebrates the silver screen with props from films such as 'Superman', 'Star Wars', 'The Italian Job' and 'Batman'. They also currently have the largest collection of Bond vehicles on show as part of the 'Bond in Motion' exhibition.

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South Bank

London Transport Museum

The museum's design gallery is a tribute to Frank Pick, the man responsible for rolling out the London Underground brand and giving each line its own character. For children, the London Transport Museum has an under-fives play area.

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Covent Garden
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London Zoo

While everyone else is chilling at home after a hefty night of partying, join the animals who'll be out and about at London Zoo. It's home to more than 600 animal species, so make time to visit most of them, if not all. The walk-through aviary, the Meet the Monkeys attraction and the Animal Adventure children's zone are all worth a look-in.

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Regent's Park

Madame Tussauds

Now that stuffing the turkey is done and dusted for another year, go and hang out with something else stuffed at Madame Tussaud's (open 9am-6pm). Their stock in trade is waxworks of the famous and infamous, plus a dark ride – 'The Spirit of London' – which provides a whistle-stop tour of London's history.

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Regent's Park
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Museum of London

The history of London, from prehistoric times to the present, is told in the Museum of London through reconstructed interiors and street scenes, alongside displays of original artefacts found during the museum's archaeological digs.

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Smithfield

National Maritime Museum

As well as the National Maritime Museum, on this Greenwich Park site you'll find the Queen's House and the Royal Observatory, which houses the only public planetarium in the UK and features daily shows with astronomers.

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Greenwich
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Natural History Museum

The handsome Alfred Waterhouse building houses a collection that contains some 70 million plant, animal, fossil, rock and mineral specimens and the huge blue whale that now lords over the Central Hall, replacing Dippy the famous plaster cast of a diplodocus, which is currently on tour.

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Brompton

Novelty Automation

Forget 'Frozen' and 'Shrek' and all the other animations you'll be watchign on your telly boxes this season. Take in some old school animation at Novelty Automation's intoxicating mix of end-of-pier fun and eccentric artistry. 

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Holborn
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Science Museum

The Science Museum features seven floors of educational and entertaining exhibits, including the Apollo 10 command module and a flight simulator. Launch Pad is a popular hands-on gallery where children can explore basic scientific principles.

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Brompton

SEA LIFE London Aquarium

Kick off your new year by braving the Shark Walk and waddling along with the Gentoo penguins at the London Aquarium because it's open all day (10am-7pm). Just make sure you peel yourselves from a post-partying slump before 6pm as that's last admissions.

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South Bank
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Shakespeare's Globe

The original Globe Theatre, where many of Shakespeare's plays were first staged and which he co-owned, burned to the ground in 1613 after a special effect malfunction (a cannon set fire to the roof) during a performance of 'Henry VIII'.

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South Bank

The Shard

The very public progress of this mammoth building (just how do you keep a skyscraper under wraps?) ensured that, by the time of its completion in 2012, the Shard was a familiar part of London's skyline, visible from all over the city – contentiously so in the case of London's many protected views.

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London Bridge
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Tate Britain

Tate Modern gets all the attention, but the original Tate Gallery has a broader and more inclusive brief. Housed in a stately Portland stone-built building on the riverside, Tate Britain is second only to the National Gallery when it comes to British art.

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Westminster

Tate Modern

Thanks to its industrial architecture, this powerhouse of modern art is awe-inspiring even before you enter. Once you do enter, there's the stunning permanent exhibition to wander, which is free, and always a selection of fine ticketed shows to choose from.

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South Bank
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V&A

The V&A houses one of the world's greatest collections of decorative arts, in such varied fields as ceramics, sculpture, portrait miniatures and photography.

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Brompton
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Looking to party on New Year's Day?

New Year's Day parties in London

There are loads of great New Year's Day parties happening across London, meaning that the NYE fun doesn't have to stop on January 1.

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By: Ellie Broughton

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