With the first month of 2016 done and dusted already, its time to start filling up your London exploration wish list once again. Whether you’re looking for the hottest theatre ticket in town or a bit of artistic inspiration to fill your Saturday afternoon, we’ve gathered some of the best things to do in London this February. Read on and enjoy…
To mark its 30th birthday, Chelsea’s Saatchi Gallery has put together a special kind of art exhibition – one where every piece has been created by women. The line up of fourteen artists includes emerging names from across the world, such as Saudi Arabia’s Maha Malluh, London-based Australian Sigrid Holmwood and Iran’s Soheila Sokhanvari. Expect giant sculptures and taxidermy pieces.
Saatchi Gallery, Kings Road, until March 9 – free
The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race
Don’t want to spend Shrove Tuesday holed up in your kitchen? Head outside to take part in east London’s annual charity pancake race. It’s pretty self-explanatory, with participants running as fast as they can in the name of the London Air Ambulance, begging to take home the specially engraved winner’s frying pan. Good luck.
Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, 9 February – free
Valentine’s Evening with the Stars
February is the month of Valentine’s Day, so we couldn’t count down London’s best events without including something a little romantic. Instead of a dinner date, head down to Greenwich’s Royal Observatory for a loved up evening of stargazing with a glass of bubbly in hand, where you can take in the sky’s most stunning sights at a special planetarium show.
Royal Observatory, Greenwich, February 14 – prices vary
Magical Lantern Festival
See in the Chinese New Year right here in London by heading down to Chiswick for a festival like no other. One of its historic venues will be transformed into an extravaganza of lights and lanterns, marking the Year of the Monkey with some pretty amazing displays. Food, art and culture will also be on offer, resulting in a great night out for friends and family alike.
Chiswick House and Gardens, Chiswick, February 3-March 6 – tickets from £10.
The London Bike Show
Cycling enthusiasts, this one’s for you. Prepare to have your techniques put to shame by demos and displays from some of world’s top cyclists and trainers, all while you shop for accessories, equipment or even a whole new set of wheels. Plus, if there’s a cycling question that’s been bugging your for a while, you’re sure to get it answered here.
ExCel London, Custom House, 11-14 February – tickets from £15
Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris have given Lewis Carroll’s classic novel a modern makeover, taking their psychedelic interpretation of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to the London stage. Exploring the blurred lines between our on and offline lives, you can expect bright colours, stunning virtual reality displays and technology references a-plenty.
National Theatre, Southbank, until April 30 – prices vary
Annie Leibovitz: Women
Want to see portraits by one of fashion’s hottest photographers in the flesh? Get yourself down to Wapping as quick as you can, before Annie Leibovitz’s stunning exhibition packs its bags. A project spanning over 15 years, Women explores the ever-changing roles of outstanding females, from CEOs to musicians and beyond.
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station, Wapping Wall, until February 7 – free
Orchid Lates at Kew Gardens
The perfect spot to pop down to after work, Kew Gardens’ Lates series has returned for 2016 in celebration of its Orchid Festival. From inspiring talks to samba sessions, there’s a lot more than potted plants to look at – not to mention the live music that’ll be on offer in The Glasshouse. If that wasn’t enough, you can also sip botanical cocktails as you take in the natural beauty.
Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew, February 11-March 3 – £15
Life on Mars – A David Bowie Tribute
In honour of the late, great David Bowie, Alexandra Palace will be hosting a night to be remembered… on ice. Londoners can slip on a pair of skates and glide away to the sounds of Bowie’s back catalogue, played by DJing duo Feeling Gloomy. It’s all in the name of charity too, with 50 percent of the proceeds going to Cancer Research.
Alexandra Palace Ice Rink, North London – tickets from £8.
London Fashion Weekend
Pinned on the tail-end of London Fashion Week, its sister weekend is a true celebration of all things style. With talks from industry experts, catwalk shows from top notch designers and plenty of brands to shop all under one roof, this event should be on the must-do list of any fashionista. Prepare to come home with a few too many bags.
Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea, 25-28 February – tickets from £20