Although Christmas and the New Year are over and the hangover is subsiding into mandatory resolutions, there’s still a lot to take advantage of this winter season in London.
Southbank Winter Festival – Ends 27th January
With a range of visual arts and performance experiences to take advantage of this winter, be sure to book a day on the South Bank into your trip from the Grand Park Hotel London Hounslow. The festival, which last into late January, plays host to the Winter Starflyer ride which spins adrenaline junkies 60 metres above the Thames River in a dazzling array of flashing lights and adrenaline. If heights really aren’t your thing then keep your feet firmly on the ground and check out the winter market with its wide array of gift and food stalls. There is also the new piece by NoFit State Circus’s Bianco performance, a spectacular feat of acrobatics and theatrics with a bar open throughout the promenade performance. Other events include the virtual reality Treehugger experience and the BUMP Roller Disco, all available throughout January.
Ice Skating at Somerset House – Ends 15th January
Sponsored by London shopping favourites Fortnum and Masons, Somerset House’s ice skating rink is fun for all the family. On top of the obvious draw to carving your way across the gliding ice, enclosed in the grand grounds of Somerset House, there are also extra opportunities to make this experience stand out. Late night DJ sets blare through the evening for the adults and the Fortnum lodge serves high quality meals to those who book in advance. The ice skating extras including the Chocolossus Hot Chocolate, Fondue and Wine for Two, and Smoked Salmon, Caviar and Blinis. Be sure to book in advance to really appreciate this annual wonderland of food, art and ice.
The London International Mime Festival – January 9 – February 4
There’s bound to be a sure fire hit for everyone in the January Mime Festival. Celebrating the weird and wonderful world of mime and clowning, the Mime Festival will have performers from all over the world creating fantastical worlds and showing off their skills. Shows to look out for include the juggling troupe Gandini, who combine physical theatre with juggling spectacle as well as Nothing to Say by professional clown Leandre, combining prop ingenuity with non-verbal tomfoolery. On top of this there’s a wide variety of beautiful puppetry on display with Plexus Polaire’s “Ashes” and clowning mask work from Familie Floz’s “Teatro Delusio” where three actors play over thirty characters.
Canary Wharf’s Winter Lights – 16th – 27th January
Before heading back to your Hotel near Osterley Station, check out the beautiful winter lights at Canary Wharf. Combining structures, installations and light shows around the iconic Canary Wharf, artists from across the world have come together to show their work, illuminating the docklands area. Best seen after 4pm, the Winter Lights installations are all free of charge and will have the whole family hypnotised up till 9pm.