The bluest month of the year is nearing an end and we can finally welcome February with open arms. With any luck the weather will lift and we’ll start to head outdoors to enjoy all that London has to offer. Bearing in mind that this month we have Pancake Day, Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year to look forward to, here’s just a few of our recommendations on how you should spend the month.
Chinese New Year
18th February 2018
The Year of the Dog is approaching which means it’s nearly Chinese New Year in London, one of the most exciting events in February! You can expect the city to be full of colour, noise and a whole lot of dragons. We’ll be heading to Chinatown to see all the decorations and dancers marking the start of the Chinese New Year, where the celebrations will begin on the Friday, 16th February.
On the Sunday, dragon and lion dancers will kick the celebration off on Charing Cross Road at 10am, making their way down through the streets to China Town. Come noon, Trafalgar Square’s main stages will spring into action with an array of entertainment including traditional dance shows, contemporary hip-hop acts and Chinese performers. Leicester Square will be hosting a family zone so your little ones can get involved with calligraphy workshops, dressing up and some entertaining performances.
Feeling peckish? There will be an abundance of food from street food trucks and special festive menus in Chinatown’s restaurants. But certainly don’t leave before the finale, as the main stage in Trafalgar Square will be holding closing a pyrotechnics display.
13th February 2018
It isn’t pancake day in London if there isn’t a magnitude of festive goers taking part in the most absurd pancake races. Well this year will not disappoint, with plenty of fancy dress fundraising races for you to take part in – all for a good cause after all! You can watch our MPs and Lords race in the Parliamentary Pancake Race, some of London’s big companies taking part in Inter-Livery Pancake Race, or take part yourself at races taking place at South Bank and London Bridge.
Cloud Cuckoo Land Gallery,
Here East Press Centre, Unit 1,
East Bay Lane, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
10am – 5pm (Mon-Fri)
17th Jan- 28th Feb 2018
Nearest Station: Stratford
A must see this month is the Exquisite garden exhibition at Cloud Cuckoo Land, which will feature the work of over 24 artists, using wood and “found objects” or “repurposed materials” to create an installation of the garden within themselves.
This event is part of The Exquisite Garden Project which aims to produce one installation a year that waters the deep roots of creativity we all have within us.
Each year the experience has become deeper, more profound and more addictive. Gardeners have come and gone, with new members invited to participate wherever they are installing the Garden.
This year, the exhibition has weaved in themes of light and dark – the darkness being the dystopian future, and light that comes from nature and growth.
Image: Movie Nights at the Museum
Movie Nights at the Museum
Natural History Museum
Weekends from 9th February – 3rd March
Nearest Tube: South Kensington
For those rainy days, head indoors to the Natural History Museum where they will be showing a series of sci-fi films in February. You can expect the best of science fiction favourites featuring dystopian adventures and terrifying alien encounters – Star Wars, District 9 and E.T to name a few! You’ll be gathered into the stunning Hintze Hall where you’ll be seated under Hope the blue whale for a night of adventure and excitement! Check out the list of screenings here to find the perfect film (or maybe 2) for you.
Image: Delancey’s UK School Chess Challenge
This month will see the start of Delancey’s UK School Chess Challenge with competitors aged 7 – 18 years old from 1,208 schools and clubs, welcoming all-comers from beginners to National Champions, and schools from all corners of the United Kingdom to take part. Last year saw a turnout of over 40,000 competitors!
During the tournament, seven rounds will be played, one every week in each of the schools taking part, either during a lunch break or in an after-school session. This competition has become massively popular because all school children can take part and win prizes. The best players will then make it through to their area Megafinal and potentially even to the semi-finals (‘Gigafinals’) or National final (‘Terafinal’). It’s still not too late to get your kids involved – you can sign them up here.
How will you be spending your free time this February? Let us know in the comments below!