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What's on January

Ends 31 Jan 2020 at 11:59 PM

Sunset over Canary Wharf

Set sail into the new decade with Thames Clippers

Here are some of the great things taking place along London's riverside this January.


London's winter lights

The long nights mean more time to enjoy London’s winter illuminations and there are plenty of avant-garde displays across the capital to brighten your January:

  • Battersea Power Station's Light Festival

    Battersea Power Station's first Light Festival promises to bring spectacular light installations by international artists to the UK for the first time, Wednesday 8 January – Sunday 16 February.
    Nearest pier: Battersea Power Station

  • Tate Britain Winter Commission

    Dominating the gallery’s famous façade The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light by Anne Hardy, ponders the origins and future of our winter celebrations through light and sound. The Winter Commission is on display until Sunday 26 January.
    Nearest pier: Millbank

  • Southbank Centre Winter Festival

    There’s still time to enjoy the Southbank Centre Winter Festival which is bringing light and merriment to the South Bank until Sunday 26 January .
    Nearest pier: London Eye (Waterloo)

  • Canary Wharf Winter Lights

    Visit Canary Wharf to see the world-famous business district’s acclaimed lighting display. This year, there are over 25 light art and interactive installations by innovative international artists until Saturday 25 January.
    Nearest pier: Canary Wharf

See all of the lights with 2FOR1 River Roamers!


ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition

How well do you know the Swedish pop sensations? Now open at The O2, ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition features lyrics, costumes, instruments, backdrops, album artwork, photography, film and more. ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition unveils the story of one of the most enduring music acts of all time.

Nearest pier: North Greenwich


London Short Film Festival

The seventeenth London Short Film Festival takes place Friday 10 – Sunday 19 January. Showcasing new and innovative independent British short films alongside international submissions, the festival takes place at numerous independent cinemas across the capital but mostly in the West End.

Nearest pier: Embankment or London Eye (Waterloo)


New dates added: Illuminated River Official Boat Tours

Ensure your new decade gets off to a bright start by joining us and City of London Guides for an Official Illuminated River Boat Tour. This month, we will be hosting tours of the first phase of the world’s longest public art project on Thursday 16 and Saturday 25 January.

Nearest pier: Tower


Last chance to see William Blake at Tate Britain

William Blake opened to rave reviews in October and explores some of the visionary poet, painter, and printmaker's most striking images. The largest show of Blake’s work for almost 20 years, William Blake is on display until Sunday 2 February.

Also taking place at Tate Britain, Steve McQueen, Year 3 presents an epic portrait of London’s Year 3 pupils explored through the vehicle of the traditional school class photograph.

Travelling to Tate Britain for Steve McQueen’s Year 3? Click here to find out how children can travel for free and school groups can benefit from special discounts and assistance.

Nearest pier: Millbank


The Mail Centre Takeover in Nine Elms

Two free public art exhibitions take over the former Royal Mail Delivery Office in Nine Elms this month. From Wednesday 15 January Stan's Cafe will take up residence expressing human statistics using individual grains of rice to represent a person. Matthew Harrison’s The Actual Reality Arcade will also be on display in Nine Elms. The Actual Reality Arcade brings back nostalgic memories and creates new ones by merging retro gaming with the real world, featuring Tetris inspired walls and real-life pac-man. Both exhibitions are suitable for all ages and are on display until Sunday 26 January.

Nearest pier: Battersea Power Station or St George Wharf (Vauxhall)


Salon Evening: A Play for Five Voices and a Painted Hall

For one night only, the iconic Painted Hall at Greenwich’s Old Royal Naval College hosts a star-studded, semi-staged reading of monologues that tell the stories of the men and women whose faces gaze down from the stunning ceiling. Written by renowned West End playwright Ian Kelly, the Salon Evening features performances by Jane Asher, Hugh Bonneville, Robert Bathhurst and Paterson Joseph and takes place on Thursday 23 January.

Nearest pier: Greenwich


Chinese New Year

Celebrate the end of the year of the pig and the start of the year of the rat across Chinatown and the West End on Sunday 26 January. The free annual event, the largest celebration of Chinese New Year outside Asia, features the New Year Parade, lion dances and stage performances from Trafalgar Square to Soho.

Nearest pier: Embankment


VAULT Festival

Returning to Waterloo for its seventh year, VAULT Festival features over 550 shows from more than 2,700 artists. Centred on the labyrinth of tunnels beneath Waterloo Station, VAULT Festival is London and the UK’s biggest, boldest and wildest curated arts and entertainment festival. Hosting theatre, comedy, cabaret, immersive experiences, family shows and late-night parties, VAULT Festival lasts for six weeks, starting on Tuesday 28 January.

Click here for your chance to win two tickets to VAULT Festival’s first late night party!

Nearest pier: London Eye (Waterloo)


Feeling inspired?

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