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Top Things to do in London in January

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by Serena Reidy (subscribe)
Freelance writer and avid reader living in the North of London. Check out my blog at www.ramblingsofanotherunigraduate.com
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january 2022, events 2022, january events, museums, london museums, canary wharf, shopping, sales, discounts, volunteering, charity
Source: Amy-Leigh Barnard / Unsplash


The festive season may be officially over, but there's still plenty of things to do in London in January. Despite the cold weather that has hit the capital, London is inevitably busy in January, and you're unlikely to run out of things to do and see. From watching the latest Cirque du Soleil production, to shopping 'til you drop, to volunteering for charity, there are plenty of activities and events to keep you busy over the next couple of weeks.

1. Make the most of the January sales

Although we're almost halfway through the month, many shops will still be holding their post-Christmas sales. Get your Christmas shopping done for next year, buy a whole new wardrobe, or support an independent store. Westfield and Oxford Street are the typical shopping destinations in London, but they tend to be really busy at this time of year, so try to hunt for some bargains in places like Marylebone or your local high street. If you've got a free weekend or a day off work, why not head to the designer outlet in Wembley, or one of the shopping centres just outside London, like Bluewater or Lakeside?

2. See Cirque du Soleil: Luzia

2022 marks 32 years since Cirque du Soleil first enchanted audiences in London, so it's worth booking tickets for their new show in January. This time performances will be inspired by Mexico, and according the website "Luzia takes you to an imaginary Mexico, like in a waking dream, where light ('luz' in Spanish) quenches the spirit and rain ('lluvia') soothes the soul". Expect jaw-dropping acrobatics and stunning costumes, as well as visual surprises like rain. The show runs for 2 hours 15 minutes and tickets start from around 50.

3. Volunteer for a charity

Volunteering is a fantastic way to boost your CV and meet new people - and it'll make you feel good about yourself too. There is an endless amount of opportunities for helping different charities in London, for example volunteering at your local charity shop, serving food to the homeless, being a 'buddy' to elderly people, and fundraising. Churches, schools and hospitals are always on the lookout for new volunteers - and in most cases, you won't need any prior experience. You can find volunteering placements through your local council website or on Indeed and other jobsites. Ohter opportunities are available at The Feminist Library, FoodCycle, Girlguides, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

4, Indulge in delicious hot chocolate

January is the best time of year to enjoy a mug of warming hot chocolate. While you might be inclined to buy this drink from big chains, the best hot chocolate in London can be found at lesser-known brands and independent stores. The hot chocolate from Hotel Chocolat is guaranteed winner, and it's worth trying one of the drinks available at Knoops (you can choose your level of chocolate - from 28% to 100% cocoa - and add flavours like nutmeg, star anise, lemon, lavender, matcha and mint). The Ube hot chocolate from Mamason Dirty Ice Cream is probably the most unusual hot chocolate you can get in London - but it is tasty and will liven up your Instagram feed.

5. Visit the museums

When the weather is as unpredictable as it is in London, spending the day at a museum is your safest option. London has so many great museums: you'll have a hard time choosing which one to visit. Head to the London Transport Museum, Natural History Museum, Victoria and Albert Museum, Science Museum or The British Museum. London is also home to a number of more obscure and bizarre museums, such as Churchill War Rooms, Horniman Museum, The Cinema Museum, RAF Museum, London Museum of Water and Steam, and British Dental Association Museum. Most of the biggest museums in London have free entry, but the 'secret' ones may charge. Remember to check the museum's website in advance to book tickets and familiarise yourself with their Covid regulations.

6. Admire the lights in Canary Wharf

Didn't get the chance to visit any light displays over Christmas? You're in luck, as Canary Wharf is hosting its own light display later this month. Visitors will be able to see over 27 installations, including a family of mammoths and swans. There's also a market and food stalls. If you have time, go for a skate on the Canary Wharf ice rink, which is open right up until February, or roam around the stores in Canary Wharf Shopping Centre. Be sure to visit the Canary Wharf website beforehand to check when the area will be less crowded. The installations are open between 5pm and 10pm daily.
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Why? Banish away the January blues with these fun things to do in London
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