Things to do in dry January

Things to do in dry January

The best alcohol-free activities

Over-indulged in December? We’ve put together a list of the best events this January that don’t feature a single pub, bar or beer festival.


Basquiat at the Barbican 

The largest Jean-Michel Basquiat exhibition to date is showing at the Barbican until 28th January. One not to miss.

Address: Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS

Telephone: 020 7638 4141

Tickets: U14s, FREE; 14-17-year-olds, £10; concessions, £12; adults, £16


Amadeus at the National Theatre 

Set in Vienna with a plot showcasing the intense rivalry between Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and court-composer, Antonio Selleri, the highly-acclaimed Amadeus returns to the National Theatre in January for another run.

Address: Upper Bank, South Bank, SE1 9PX

Telephone: 020 7452 3000

Tickets: From £15-£62


Lumiere London 

For another year Lumiere London is set to brighten up January in the capital. This four-day festival of light transforms urban landscapes into spectacular light installations by renowned artists. You can enjoy the four-day show from Thursday 18th to Sunday 21st January.

Address: Various locations

Tickets: FREE


London Art Fair 

The annual London Art Fair at Islington’s Business Design Centre runs from Wednesday 17th until Sunday 21st January. Over 100 leading UK and Internationally based galleries will be present, showcasing the very best in contemporary artwork.

Address: Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH


Tickets: Preview ticket, £28; day ticket, £15.95; Thursday late ticket, £9


Tove Jansson at the Dulwich Picture Gallery 

The Dulwich Picture Gallery is hosting a large retrospective of the universally-loved Finnish artist, Tove Jansson. Best known for creating the Moomins, the exhibition also features over 150 works from Jansson’s vast and eclectic career.

Address: Gallery Road, West Dulwich, SE21 7AD

Telephone: 020 8693 5254

Tickets: Children, FREE; concessions, £7; adults, £15.50


Scythians: Warriors of Ancient Siberia 

The Scythians exhibition at the British Museum showcases a wide array of artefacts from this little-known nomadic Siberian tribe. Interesting exhibits include stones, bones, hair, skin, tattoos and clothing – all of which have been preserved by the bitter cold. Until Sunday 14th January.

Address: 44 Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury, WC1B 3DJ

Telephone: 020 7323 8299

Tickets: U16s, FREE; adults, £16.50


Brush Lettering at Carousel 

London’s Carousel restaurant frequently hosts arts and crafts workshops, and this January is no different, with illustrator Alice Gabb putting on a course about the ancient art of calligraphy.

Monday 22nd January at 6.30pm.

Address: 71 Blandford Street, Marylebone, W1U 8AB

Telephone: 020 7487 5564

Tickets: £55 per person


Burns Nights

Bored of the January health kick? Then eat, drink and dance in celebration of Scotland’s prodigal poet, Robert Burns, on 28th January. Parties go on long into the night every year and often include whiskey tasting, roast haggis and poetry reading. Our choice would be Hackney Wick's Gotto Trattoria, which is putting an Italian twist on this classically Scottish event.

Address: Canalside, Here East, 27 East Bay Lane, Hackney Wick, E15 2GW

Telephone: 020 3424 5035

Tickets: Contact for details


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