50+ Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: February 2024

50+ Fantastic Things To Do In London This Month: February 2024
Yolanda Brown and her band posing with their instruments in a colourful studio
Imagine Children's Festival returns to Southbank Centre this February. Image: CBeebies

LGBT+ HISTORY MONTH: February is LGBT+ History Month, with a wealth of events going down all over the country to mark the occasion. Find out what's on in London, including exhibitions and tours.

HOT SAUCE FESTIVAL: Get your February off to a fiery start at the Hot Sauce Festival, taking place at the Farrier in Camden. Sample a range of sizzling sauces all vying to win the top prize, and tuck into a selection of spicy eating challenges. 1 February

CLOCKWORK TREASURES: The Science Museum opens a major new exhibition, Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍, Clockwork Treasures from China's Forbidden City. Over 20 automata dating back to the 1700s and collected by Chinese emperors are on display, having travelled from the Palace Museum in Beijing to be displayed together in the UK for the first time. Find out how technical skills, creativity and international trade combined to create the musical timekeeping pieces. 1 February-2 June

LEGION: The British Museum's huge new exhibition — in partnership with Horrible Histories — is Legion: life in the Roman army. Get the lowdown on the West's first modern, professional fighting force through the life and service of a real Roman soldier, Claudius Terentianus. Letters written on papyri by soldiers from Roman Egypt and the Vindolanda tablets — some of the oldest surviving handwritten documents in Britain — feature, with special trails and activities to make it accessible to younger visitors. 1 February-23 June

A golden clock on the back of a golden ostrich, displayed on a red carpeted plinth
Zimingzhong 凝时聚珍, Clockwork Treasures from China's Forbidden City opens at the Science Museum © The Palace Museum

SIX NATIONS: England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy go head-to-head once again in the Six Nations rugby tournament. Whoever you're cheering on, here's where you can watch Six Nations in London. 2 February-16 March

WINTER WASSAIL: Get yourself over to Barnes on the first Saturday of February to witness the Barnes Common Winter Wassail. Taking place at the Vine Road Recreation Ground, a Wassail Master oversees a session of storytelling, crafts and singing, in keeping with the traditional rural celebration to hope for an abundant crop in the coming year. 3 February

KEW ORCHIDS FESTIVAL: You know spring is on its way when the Orchids festival returns to Kew Gardens. This year is Madgascar's turn in the spotlight; the country is home to some of the world's rarest plant species so being able to see them at Kew is a real treat. They're accompanied by horticultural sculptures of Madagascan wildlife, including lemurs, and there's a chance to learn about Kew's conservation centre in Madagascar too. 3 February-3 March

ENTANGLED PASTS: J.M.W. Turner and Ellen Gallagher. Joshua Reynolds and Yinka Shonibare. John Singleton Copley and Hew Locke. Just some of the artists featured in the Royal Academy's new exhibition, Entangled Pasts, 1768-now, which brings past and present together for a look at art's role in shaping narratives of empire, enslavement, resistance, abolition and colonialism. 3 February-28 April

CLOWN CHURCH SERVICE: Forget clowns in a Mini — this is a chance to see how many of them you can pack into a church. The Annual Grimaldi Clown Service usually takes place at All Saints Church in Haggerston on the first Sunday in February. Some seats are available for the non-clowning public, but you'll need to get there early if you want one. FREE, 4 February

Two gold Roman coins
Legion: life in the Roman army opens at the British Museum. © The Trustees of the British Museum

KIDS' LIT FEST: Head to Herne Hill for a children's literature festival celebrating poetry, performance, writing and illustration. Authors Mariesa Dulak and James Catchpole, and author and illustrator Frann Preston-Gannon are among those leading workshops and events for different ages. Until 4 February

GENERATION HOPE: Young climate advocates, educators and museum scientists team up at the Natural History Museum for Generation Hope: Act For The Planet. Free talks, pop-ups and workshops take place across four days, all exploring the topic of climate emergency. Learn about disinformation and how to tackle it, and how policy decisions relating to the climate are made by the government. FREE, 7-10 February

IMAGINE CHILDREN'S FESTIVAL: Southbank Centre's Imagine Children's Festival is back for February half term, celebrating all facets of kids' literature, theatre, dance, and music. The programme is packed, catering to all ages and budgets (plenty of events are FREE!), but stand-out events include appearances by children's laureate Jospeh Coelho, comedian Rosie Jones and author Michael Rosen. 7-17 February

THE SKY'S EDGE: Standing At The Sky's Edge — winner of the 2023 Best New Musical Olivier Award — transfers to the West End, having previously been performed at the National Theatre and Sheffield's Crucible. Originally set on Sheffield's Park Hill Estate, it charts the hopes and dreams of three generations over the course of six decades. From 8 February

Four women taking part in a panel discussion on stage
Generation Hope is four days of climate science. Image: Trustees of the Natural History Museum

EVERYBODY'S TALKING ABOUT JAMIE: Another treat for musical fans, as Everybody's Talking About Jamie returns to the London stage, this time at Sadler's Wells. It's the story of Jamie overcoming prejudice, beating bullies and stepping out of the darkness, into the spotlight. 8 February-23 March

STRICTLY LIVE TOUR: If you were glued to the latest series of Strictly when it was on TV, catch the live show as the Strictly Come Dancing tour comes to The O2. Past contestants (names TBC) are strutting their stuff, watched by judges Shirley Ballas, Anton Du Beke and Craig Revel Horwood. 9-11 February

HEARTBREAK AND MAGIC: Somerset House unveils a new experiential VR installation, Heartbreak and Magic, by artist and quantum physicist Dr. Libby Heaney. It takes the form of a virtual reality artwork set within a physical installation, inspired by Heaney's own experience with personal grief and sudden loss. 9-18 February

CHINESE NEW YEAR: 10 February 2024 is Chinese New Year/Lunar New Year, with plenty of events going on around London to welcome in the Year of the Dragon. 10 February

ROC KING CLUB: Porchester Hall in Paddington hosts The Roc King Club, a family-friendly immersive theatre and dining experience. Tuck into a three-course meal as you enjoy 'The Greatest Knight of the Year, an interactive tournament hosted by the charismatic compere Arthur Chalice, with audience participation between the three courses. Best suited for 6-12 year olds and their families. 10-11 February

Elizabeth Ayodele wearing a black leather jacket, standing in front of the London skyline
Elizabeth Ayodele stars in Standing At The Sky's Edge. Image: Steve Gullick

ROMEO & JULIET: In what is fast becoming a Valentine's staple in London, Backyard Cinema's incarnation of Romeo & Juilet is back at Union Chapel in Islington. Watch Baz Luhrmann's 1996 film version of Shakespeare's play inside the beautiful building, lit by candlelight, and accompanied by live choir performances of the soundtrack. The show sells out every time it comes to London, so be quick if you're eyeing up tickets. 10-18 February

HALF TERM: With most schools closed for a week this month, take a look at our guide to February half term events in London, including family-friendly shows and exhibitions, one-off events and more. 10-18 February

DINOSAUR REVOLUTION: Forest Hill's Horniman Museum opens new exhibition, Dinosaur rEvolution. It features five large animatronic dinosaurs, and highlights discoveries from recent decades which have changed the way we picture dinosaurs — with an array of colours, feathers, quills and spikes, rather than scaly green reptiles. It's also a last chance to see the beloved Horniman walrus in situ, as the museum's Natural History Gallery closes in early March, until 2026.  From 10 February

SUPER BOWL: 11 February is Super Bowl Sunday, when two of America's finest NFL teams face off against each other. Assuming you're not jetting off to Vegas to watch in person, here's a guide to Super Bowl screenings and parties in London. It runs into the early hours, so consider booking Monday off work. 11 February

CLUELESS THE MUSICAL: See a musical based on 1995 film Clueless — which itself was based on Jane Austen's Emma — at the Churchill Theatre Bromley. Clueless the Musical is the story of popular high school student Cher who befriends a new student and gives her a makeover. 12-24 February

Heartbreak and Magic opens at Somerset House

WWF WINTER WANDER: Conservation charity the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is encouraging people to organise their own sponsored walk this month, to raise money for its work. To get involved in the Big Winter Wander, complete a 5k or 10k walk in your local area, either on your own or with family and friends. 12-25 February

A PINCH OF VAULT: A year after it was announced that VAULT Festival was being kicked out of its Waterloo home, it's back! A Pinch of VAULT features four weeks of early-stage shows across theatre, comedy, and cabaret. More than 130 shows are on the programme, taking place at various venues around Waterloo and Bankside. 12 February-10 March

PANCAKE DAY: Flippin' heck, it's that time of year again! 13 February is Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day, so it's time you reacquainted yourself with our guide to where to eat pancakes in London, and get yourself booked in for a feast. We've also got vegan and gluten-free pancakes covered. 13 February

TEXTILE ART: Ideas about power, resistance and survival are communicated through the medium of textiles in a new exhibition at Barbican Art Gallery. Unravel has works by more than 50 artists from around the world, from small, handcrafted pieces to large scale sculptures. 13 February-26 May

VALENTINE'S DAY: Looking for ways to woo your significant other this Valentine's Day? Try one of London's romantic days out, or visit one of these romantic restaurants. London's full of romance and love-themed events, but they're not just for couples — there's plenty to get up to on and around 14 February, whether you're with a date, mates or flying solo. 14 February

Two young girls in winter clothing walking through woodland, with the rest of the family behind them
Organise your own Big Winter Wander

SOULSCAPES: Painting, photography, film, tapestry and collage all features in Soulscapes, a new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery which aims to expand and redefine the genre of landscape painting. Established and emerging artists feature, offering a view through the eyes of artists from the African Diaspora. 14 February-2 June

SIMON AND GARFUNKEL: For one night only, 60 years of musical duo Simon & Garfunkel is celebrated at the London Palladium. A full live band and brass ensemble perform their hits including Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, Bridge Over Troubled Water and Homeward Bound — with photos and film footage projected onto a large screen. 15 February

MERCHANT OF VENICE 1936: Tracy-Ann Oberman stars in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of The Merchant of Venice 1936 at the Criterion Theatre. It transplants Shakespeare's play into 1930s Britain, with Shylock as a businesswoman and single mother. 15 February-23 March

YOKO ONO: One of our picks for the top exhibitions to see in London this year, Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind at Tate Modern features 200 of the artist's works to look back over her 70-year career. Visitors can get involved, by playing on her all-white chess set, leaving a photograph and a message on a long wall dedicated to mothers, or dedicating a wish for peace on her 'wish tree'. 15 February-1 September

RADIO GAGA: A tribute show to rock band Queen, Radio GaGa takes over indigo at The O2 for two hours of their best-known songs, delivered with signature showmanship. 16 February

Tracy-Ann Oberman on stage in a black outfit, with other cast members in the background, and Union Jack flag hanging behind her
Tracy-Ann Oberman stars in The Merchant of Venice 1936. Image: Marc Brenner

LONDON BOOKSHOP CRAWL: London Bookshop Crawl encourages you to visit as many independent bookshops as possible over the course of one weekend — with events at different shops around the capital (as well as online) to get foster a community of book lovers. The aim, of course, is to support London's independent bookshops, while treating yourself to a few new reads. 16-18 February

LONDON MOTORCYCLE SHOW: Start your engine for the London Motorcycle Show, wheeling into town for three days at ExCeL. See the latest bikes, kit and accessories, as well as a 'base camp' hosted by Charley Boorman. 16-18 February

CABLE STREET: The story of the real-life Battle of Cable Street in the East End is brought to the stage in a musical at Southwark Playhouse Borough. Set in 1936, it's the story of the local people who blockaded their street against Oswald Mosley's British Union of Fascists. 16 February-16 March

LONDON BRICK FESTIVAL: One for Lego fans, the London Brick Festival is a one-day extravaganza of the colourful plastic building blocks, aimed at adults and children alike. Ogle ready-built displays, take part in speed-building competitions, and buy bricks, accessories, retired Lego sets, and more. 18 February

HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS: American exhibition basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters pitch up at Wembley Arena as part of their world tour. Watch them go head-to-head against the Washington Generals while showing off some seriously impressive basketball skills. 19 February

An illustration flyer for Cable Street, depicting dozens of people standing as a crowd at the end of the street
Cable Street opens at Southwark Playhouse Borough.

BLACK PORTRAITURE: Another of our art critic's picks for 2024 opens at the National Portrait Gallery. The Time is Always Now: Artists Reframe the Black Figure examines how artists from the African diaspora in the UK and USA depict the Black form, given that Western art history is dominated by white faces. 22 contemporary artists feature, curated by Ekow Eshun who was responsible for In the Black Fantastic at Hayward Gallery in 2022. 22 February-19 May

A DAY OF CATS: Southwark Cathedral has an impressive programme of talks throughout this month, but we particularly like the sound of a day of talks about cats, with various speakers covering feline topics. They include author and screenwriter Kimberlie Hamilton offering a look at history from a cat's perspective, and cat expert vet surgeon Dr Jo Lewis. 24 February

SPIDER-MAN CONCERT: Watch 2018 film Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse on a large screen, accompanied by a fusion of live orchestra, turntables and percussion playing the music from the score and soundtrack. Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse in Concert takes place at Southbank Centre. 24 February

ARENACROSS: Indoor motocross racing and freestyle motocross (FMX) combing for Arenacross, a fast-paced show full of daring stunts which comes to Wembley Arena for one day. A classic case of 'don't try this at home'. 24 February

LONDON WINTER RUN: Up for a physical challenge? Sign up for the London Winter Run, and power through a 10K, traffic-free route around London, raising money for Cancer Research UK. Not much of a runner? Line the route and cheer the fundraisers on. 25 February

Fiachra Garvey wearing a tux and bow tie and smiling, against a pink background
Fiachra Garvey opens Classical Vauxhall. Image: Marshall Light Studio

OPERA AT THE PALACE: Not *the* palace, sorry — but Fulham Palace is still a jolly good setting for a spot of opera. Enjoy classic arias and more modern pieces performed by up-and-coming stars from the National Opera Studio. 28 February

COLLECT 2024: Head to Somerset House for Collect 2024, an art fair specialising in contemporary craft and design. Over 400 artists are represented by specialist galleries and dealers, with prices ranging from £500 to £50,000. 29 February-3 March

CLASSICAL VAUXHALL: A four-day mini festival of classical music, Classical Vauxhall takes place at various venues around the area, opening on the final day of this month with pianist Fiachra Garvey performing music that's inspired by mythical events. 29 February-3 March

EXTRA DAY: It's a leap year, meaning it's the one year in every four when we have a 29 February. Make the most of the extra day by seeing that exhibition you've been meaning to see, visiting the museum you've always wanted to visit, or eating in the restaurant you've always wanted to see... assuming you're not at work of course: it falls on a Thursday. 29 February

SNOWDROPS: January and February are when the snowdrops drop, so keep an eye out for delicate white floors of the flowers, as you wander around London. If you're really keen to get a peep, consult our guide to the best places to see snowdrops in the capital.

LAST CHANCE TO SEE: A few things are closing this month too. It's your last chance to see:

Colourful projections on the interior of St Martin in the Fields
Life by Luxmuralis. Photo: Paul Marc Mitchell

LUXMURALIS: See St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square aglow with spectacular projections set to an atmospheric soundscape, celebrating the natural world. Life is an event by Luxmuralis, the projection art company who are making a habit of taking over impressive buildings and doing wonderful things with them. Until 3 February

GENTIC AUTOMATA: Artists Larry Achiampong and David Blandy exploring race and identity in an age of avatars, videogames and DNA ancestry in Genetic Automata at Wellcome Collection, delving into where our ingrained ideas about race come from. FREE, until 11 February

REBEL FASHION: Björk's iconic swan dress, worn at the 2001 Oscars, is one of the centrepieces of REBEL: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum. Items worn by Harry Styles, Sam Smith, Rihanna and Kate Moss also feature in the show, which highlights London’s unique fashion culture on the world stage. Until 11 February

BURMA TO MYANMAR: The country of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is the subject of the British Museum's current exhibition. It looks back at 1,500 years of the isolated country's history, from civil war to military dictatorship, and the extraordinary artistic output which came about as a result. Until 11 February

HAMNET: Time's running out to see the Royal Shakespeare Company's stage adaptation of Maggie O'Farrell's novel Hamnet, at the Garrick Theatre. It's a fictional account of the loss of William Shakespeare's son, Hamnet. Until 17 February

CANARY WHARF ICE RINK: The last of London's seasonal ice rinks stays open until the end of February, to make the most of the half term visitors. It's undercover, so great for rainy days. Until 24 February

A trail of large glowing blue butterflies, in front of Battersea Power Station at night
Battersea Power Station Light Festival runs for most of the month

BATTERSEA LIGHT FESTIVAL: Seven light art installations are dotted around the Battersea Power Station area for the light festival. It's free to visit and includes a giant diamond and illuminated butterflies. FREE, until 25 February

FANTASY: The British Library offers a magical, multimedia celebration of the fantasy genre, exploring its roots in myths and fairytales, and charting its rise in popularity in recent years. Read our full review of Fantasy: Realms Of The Imagination. At time of writing, the BL website is still down due to a recent cyber attack, but tickets can be booked here instead. Until 25 February

MALORIE BLACKMAN: Also at the British Library is Malorie Blackman - The Power Of Stories, a free exhibition about the Noughts & Crosses author's impact on the world of children's stories, offering readers a different way of seeing the world. FREE, until 25 February

Last Updated 09 February 2024

Continued below.