February is technically the final month of winter, so congratulations: you’ve pretty much survived another one in London. To make it go by quicker, you’ll always have London’s jam-packed schedule of events and things to do to make you forget about the chilly settings. Though we’ll never stop loving this city, February is also a month particularly steeped in romance, so there’s also that to look forward to. And hey it’s the shortest month so you damn better make the most of it by doing aaaaaallll the things on this list. Okay, that might be a little much, but you get the idea. Here’s the best things to do in February 2023.
1. Twirl around the Canary Wharf Ice Rink
Is it obvious that we’re missing the festive season? Because we are. Fear not, though. You can still do your best Torvill and Dean impressions at one of London’s temporary winter ice rinks: Canary Wharf. While the other lovely London winter ice rinks have mostly thawed away by February, the Canary Wharf edition is still going strong until the 25th, meaning you can have a late winter spin before the days start getting brighter. Read more about the Canary Wharf ice rink here.
2. Get smitten by these brilliant London Valentine’s Day activities
Romance ain’t dead everywhere in London, and there’s plenty of ways to make sure you aren’t receiving a raised eyebrow and/or death stare on the morning of the 14th when you’re expected to lay out your plan for the evening. Yes, you won’t forget, because here’s your reminder! Rumour has it that Cupid is paying a visit to London town in February, so it might be about time to start planning where you and your significant other are spending February 14. Here’s a few tips:
🎱 Head out for a game: Ah, the old and trusted activity date. Never fails. Be it crazy golf, bowling or the newly opened clay shooting spot, these are great for drawing a laugh and bonding on the day of love.
🎂 Grab yourself a loved up cupcake: The Hummingbird Bakery deliver the goods all year round, and between February 1-14, you can purchase a beautiful little Valentine’s cupcake to take home to your partner. If you haven’t doubled up with one for yourself, try not to eat it on the bus home!
😋 Tuck into some Valentine’s Day specials at a meal out: Plenty of London restaurants are running specials on and around the 14th. The Big Easy have a tempting lobster and prosecco offer, and there’s even a special afternoon tea to be sipped up at Theatre Royal Drury Lane.
💘 Have a romantic stroll around the city: Walking is underrated, guys. You could be pacing around Hyde Park or taking the scenic route to your local takeaway, and it can still be a meaningful moment. Plus, it gets that step count over the line before an evening of wine and boxsets.
Get even more Valentine’s Day inspiration from our handy guide!
To say the Dali : Cybernetics experience is a look into the life of the enigmatic Spanish painter is true to an extent, but it doesn’t give you the entire picture. It is, in fact, multiple ways of seeing into the life, work and influences of Salvador Dalí through a number of mediums. You’ll take a deep dive into his life, from his fascination in physics to details about works including The Ants, The Persistence of Memory and The Elephants. These paintings will later pop up in the totally immersive, 360-degree room, where you can kick back on a deckchair and absorb his masterpieces. To crown the experience, there’s a VR room to check out the paintings by the moustached maverick in an eye-opening new way. Get your tickets here.
4. Dine at the newest member of the Big Mamma family
Will we ever stop banging on about the trio of Ave Mario, Gloria and Circolo Popolare? Well, yes actually – but only to tell you that Big Mamma, the group behind them all, have brought us a FOURTH London location. Jacuzzi looks like they’ve knocked it out the park (again), and their four-storey pleasure palace in Kensington is bound to send even more Londoners to truffle pasta heaven. Read all about it here.
5. Have a boogie (woogie) at the Piccadilly Piano Festival
Showcasing both established acts and upcoming talents, Piccadilly Piano Festival boasts a lineup including Jools Holland, Melvyn Tan and Nadine Benjamin. Events take place at Christopher Wren’s grand St James’s Church across the month, with performers playing away on the church’s famous Fazioli grand piano, and you can select your night here.
6. Waltz into a new world cocktail experience
While you may have heroically completed Dry January, there’s a world to be explored in the form of Avora, a carefully crafted cocktail experience with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic tipples to be sipped on. Put on a jumpsuit and dive into the world of mystery and wonder at the Roscorp Laboratory. Find out more and book your place here.
7. Pick a romantic restaurant for a meal out
Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, another special occasion, or just… because; London is a treasure trove for dim-lit and romantic restaurants. Here’s a few that will have you belting out “That’s Amore” by the time you walk about.
🌸 Clos Maggiore: Boasting a glass roof and flowery décor, this Covent Garden screams love is in the air louder than most.
🤩 Bob Bob Ricard: Press for Champagne buttons? Yeah, this place knows what’s up. Gold-laden interiors, too.
💞 Bleeding Heart: Farringdon’s fine French bistro that offers over 450 kinds of wine should be near the summit of your lists this month.
✨ Delamina EAST: A fine array of Mediterranean dishes can be found at this cosy Spitalfields restaurant.
View more of London’s most romantic restaurants here.
8. Celebrate 160 years of the Tube at the London Transport Museum (February 11-19)
Love it or loathe it, most of us heavily rely on the vital service that’s celebrating 160 years in the capital. Over at the London Transport Museum, it’s celebration time in February. As it’s half-term, kids go free and can take part in numerous games including a giant edition of connect-four which, I won’t lie, will probably make the adults a tad jealous that they can’t join in. Visit their website for more information.
9. Step into a world of Van Gogh’s masterpieces
Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience offers a reimagined way of looking at the post-impressionist paintings. A floor-to-ceiling projection will have you marvelling at the sunflowers, starry nights, and self-portraits before you get to the VR room to take you even closer to some of the most treasured paintings in this world. Find out more and book your place here.
10. Find a spot to watch the Six Nations
The annual rugby face-off between England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, and Italy returns in February for six weeks, and plenty of London venues are hosting spaces to watch all the action play out each weekend.
🏉 Flat Iron Square: Having made a name for themselves as a hub to watch the big footy tournaments, you can be that a brilliant atmosphere will be created for the rugby over at Flat Iron Square.
🍻 Big Penny Social: The giant Walthamstow venue is showing all the games between February 4 – March 18, and the two giant screens in the beer hall are the perfect way to catch every try.
11. Get hypnotised by a gym class
GYMBOX are helping people stick to their new year goals with a radical new method: hypnosis. This form of commitment therapy is hoping to get into the subconscious of gymgoers to help overcome blocks and stick to goals. Holistic Hypnotherapist Hannah Apperly is running the hourly classes with around 20 minutes of the hypnosis segment from February 1, and you can find out more via the GYMBOX site
12. Have a dance at the internationally acclaimed Bresh club night (February 10)
After a couple of sellout shows in London, Bresh is making its return to the capital in February to deliver the world’s favourite night of reggaeton, pop, and disco. More than 200,000 people across the planet, from Buenos Aires to Madrid, have danced the night away at a Bresh night, so you wouldn’t want to be missing out on that now, would you? Book your spot here.
13. Or, head to a rambunctious night of Tango dancing
Tango dancing is jumping from Argentina to London in the form of Wonderville nights. You’ll witness a jaw-dropping dance show before having a go yourself at the expert-led classes. Afterwards you can let loose and shake it off into the night at the social that follows. Wonderville is also playing host to a number of comedy club events for kids, which you can find out more about here!
14. Jump around at a London gig
The Darkness (February 4): Wembley Arena — do you believe in a thing called love? It’s Valentine’s Day soon, after all…
Ellie Goulding (February 7-8): KOKO
Mahalia (February 7): Moth Club, Hackney
Sugababes (February 8): Highbury Garage — yes, they’re really back and you can catch another show this month!
Jungle (Feb 10-11): EartH
Belinda Carlisle (February 10): London Palladium
Carly Rae Jepson (February 15): Alexandra Palace — HEY, I JUST MET YOU.
Rolo Tomassi (February 15): Electric Ballroom
Mala (February 17): Electric Brixton
Whitney (February 23): Shepherd’s Bush Empire
DJ Spoony (February 24): Royal Festival Hall
15. Walk into a world of street art at the Saatchi Gallery
After a successful run in New York and Los Angeles, Beyond The Streets is arriving in London on February 17 and will occupy the entire Saatchi Gallery. Surround yourself in the worlds of graffiti, street art, hip-hop and punk rock, and learn about the artists who defined them. Read more about Beyond The Streets here.
16. And check out more brilliant art exhibitions in London this month
Of course, when it comes to art, there’s always plenty going on in London. Once you’ve checked out the world of colour at the Saatchi Gallery, you can make your way through a host of other top-notch exhibitions in the big smoke during February.
🏊 Pool Life And Other Memories (February 3-9): A selling exhibition of paintings and drawings by Alex Manolatos, inspired by his swimming routine.
🎨 The Sad Zither (February 9-March 18): The first solo exhibition in Europe by Hao Liang, using a reinvention of traditional Chinese ink wash painting. Gagosian.
☠️ Mike Nelson: Extinction Beckons (February 22 – May 9): An interactive exhibition diving into the fictional worlds that echo our own. Hayward Gallery.
✨ Making Modernism (until February 12): A first of its kind exhibition in the UK, featuring work from Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter, and Marianne Werefkin. Roya Academy of Arts.
17. Watch a discussion with Bernie Sanders
Senator Bernie Sanders is rolling into the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall to discuss his new book It’s Okay To Be Angry About Capitalism as part of the spring literature season. 2,700 will pack into a hall to hear the man speak about the economic climate in what’s sure to be a thought-provoking evening.
18. Witness the stunning Kew Gardens Orchid Festival
While it still may be cold and dark in February, the annual orchid festival sure does brighten things up when it rolls into Kew Gardens. This year, the event commemorates Cameroon, marking the first African country heralded by the festival. On top of being dazzled by the plants, there’s a photography exhibition and plenty of delicious food making this one of the month’s hot tickets. Read more about the festival here.
If you’re stuck for something to do in London, there’s no safer bet of a good time then heading out to one of the countless theatre productions.
Mandela (until February 4): The ongoing show at the Old Vic is not one to be missed, telling a tale of determination and hope.
2:22 A Ghost Story (until April 23): A haunted house tale starring Cheryl in her West End debut, offering up a scary start to the year at the Lyric.
Phaedra (February 1-April 8): Kicking off the month in style at the Lyttleton Theatre, starring Janet McTeer in the title role.
Medea (February 11-April 22): The new Soho Place is the home of the tragic tale of Medea.
Browse more London theatre shows here.
Pizza helps with, well, pretty much anything. A meal before heading out on a Friday night, or a cure for an ungodly hangover, it’ll tick any box. It’s handy that National Pizza Day falls on February 9, so you’d best head out for a circular dose of food heaven. Not that you needed an excuse, am I right? I am right.
21. Keep going out and exploring this fantastic city
It’s impossible to cover every single thing that this city has to offer over the space of an entire month (though we do try our darndest), but we can ensure you there’s plenty going on, so here’s a few more that we think are worth shouting about before we leave you!
More things to do inspiration…
Also published on Medium.