Rejuvenate Your January!

Congratulations! You’ve passed the midweek slump of the first full week back at work since Christmas and…it’s cold, it’s wet and it’s depressing! So, cheer yourself up by doing some fun things in January.

Of course, you may be trying to hold onto that festive feeling, in which case you might want to take a last turn around one of London’s outdoor ice rinks before they close – both the rink at the Natural History Museum and the one at Somerset House are open until the 12th.

20190315_135712(0)If you’ve recovered from your new year celebrations but feel you can tackle another, then head to Trafalgar Square and Chinatown on Sunday 26th to celebrate the start of the Year of the Rat. London has one of the largest Chinese New Year celebrations outside of China with a massive parade that wends its way from Chinatown to Trafalgar Square. There are dragon and lion dances, music, stage performances and tasty dim sum. You’re a Rat if you were born on or after Chinese New Year (the exact date varies according to the lunar calendar) in 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 or 2008. I’ll be there – even though I’m the Year of the Dragon!

20190123_180205Loved London’s Christmas lights? Then wrap up warm and make a bee line for Canary Wharf between the 16th and 25th to see their Winter Lights – last year’s were fabulous, so I’m expecting great things again this year. There’ll be over 25 light installations to enjoy, plus street food stalls if you’re feeling peckish or need a hot toddy to warm you up.

Perhaps your new year’s resolution to put a bit of zing in your life? Well then, head to The Adventure Travel Show at Olympia Exhibition Centre (18th and 19th) and see where 2020 takes you. Or maybe it was to invest in some new art to brighten up your home? Well, you’re in luck as the London Art Fair takes place at the Business Design Centre in Islington (22nd-26th).

Fancy taking in a bit of culture? The English National Opera’s Carmen opens at the London Coliseum on the 29th, La Boheme opens at the Royal Opera House (10th) and the English National Ballet celebrates its 70th anniversary with gala performances at the London Coliseum (17th and 18th). And as one door closes at the Royal Academy, another opens with Lucien Freud’s Self-Portraits closing on the 26th and Picasso and Paper, which explores the artist’s work with and on paper, opening on the 25th.

Need a bit of peace and quiet? The 44th London International Mime Festival has just started across a variety of venues, including the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells. However, if you want to be amazed by twists, turns and acrobatics, Cirque du Soleil’s new show Luzia opens at the Royal Albert Hall (12th). Plus The Queen of Pop, Madonna, is in town with her Madame X tour at the London Palladium (opens 27th).

Hampton-574684 (2)Forget the January Sales (who needs more stuff anyway?), soak up some history and grab a bargain with a visit to Hampton Court Palace, who are offering half-price tickets when you book online. Or head to Banqueting House on Whitehall on the 30th for the Feast of the Martyrdom of Saint Charles, which commemorates the one and only time we’ve executed a king of England for treason (Charles I back in 1649).

In terms of other historical anniversaries in January, Madame Tussaud opened her first waxwork exhibition in Gray’s Inn Road (4th in 1834), Henry VIII married wife number 2 Anne Boleyn (24th in 1533) and wife number 4 Anne of Cleves at Greenwich Palace (6th in 1540), Lord Nelson was buried in St Paul’s Cathedral after being killed at the Battle of Trafalgar (9th in 1806), the world’s first underground railway opened between Paddington and Farringdon (10th in 1863) and Income Tax was introduced (9th in 1799) – which reminds me, I must do my tax return!

20191114_135614Finally, it’s your last chance to see the Gauguin Portraits exhibition at the National Gallery (closes 26th), Northern Ballet’s Dracula at the Royal Opera House (closes 16th), and the wonderful Pre-Raphaelite Sisters exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (closes 26th), and don’t forget to pipe in your haggis and raise a glass to Scottish poet, Robert Burns, on the 25th!

#lifeofaguide #ChineseNewYear #CNYLondon #CanaryWharf #WinterLights #LondonArtFair #MimeLondon #BurnsNight

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