If your pockets are considerably lighter after Christmas, you don’t have to stay indoors this January to avoid spending money.
All the events we’ve picked out below are free, so pack your flask and sandwiches and enjoy a day out – without your wallet.
London’s New Year’s Day Parade 2014 (1 Jan)
London has held a New Year’s Day Parade on the first day of every year since 1987. Get 2014 off to a great start by joining thousands of spectators along the parade route to watch some 8,500 performers from around the world. Participants this year include All The Queen’s Horses, Merrydowners Morris and London’s Pearly Kings and Queens.
Farewell To Christmas at Geffrye Museum (5 Jan)
Wrap up warm and join the Geffrye Museum as it marks the end of Christmas with the old tradition of burning holly and ivy. Taking place in the garden, Farewell to Christmas also features carol singing, mulled wine, Twelfth Night cake and stories about Epiphany. If you arrive early, pop inside to check out the (also free) Christmas Past exhibition, exploring 400 years of seasonal traditions in English homes.
London Ice Sculpting Festival at Canary Wharf (10-12 Jan)
See a block of ice transformed into a work of art at the London Ice Sculpting Festival. Teams of talented sculptors will gather at the event in Canary Wharf and compete to win the top title in each of the main categories: Single Block (theme: River Life), Freestyle and Big Block (theme: Fabulous Fashion). Give it a go yourself at one of the Masterclass sessions.
Peacebeats at Rich Mix (29 Jan)
One for the young people out there, Peacebeats is a special one-day festival to promote peace and positivity. Taking place at East London arts centre Rich Mix, the event features spoken word, music, performance and film.
Free Music in January
London is a vibrant hub for musicians, so it’s no wonder there are concerts every night of the week all over the capital. Here are just a few of the free gigs taking place in London this January:
- Handel’s Messiah with The American Oratorio Chorus at Southwark Cathedral (2 Jan)
- Lokandes at Southbank Centre (4 Jan)
- RCM Student’s Film Orchestra at Royal College Of Music (9 Jan)
- Hackney Colliery Band + Orchestre du Montplaisant + Roundhouse Brass at Hootananny (11 Jan, free before 10pm)
- Facing the Modern: The Portrait in Vienna 1900 Music Programme at the National Gallery (11 Jan)
- Malphino (Live) + DJ Cal Jader at The Forge (24 Jan)
- Basin Street Brawlers at The Mahogany Bar, Wilton’s Music Hall (13 and 27 Jan)
- Juice Vocal Ensemble at the National Portrait Gallery (31 Jan)
- Monday Blues Jam at Ain’t Nothing But The Blues (every Monday)
Free Exhibitions in January
There are many ongoing exhibitions still available to catch in January, but what’s new? Here are a few free exhibitions opening this month:
- Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk to Freedom at Belgravia Gallery (5 Jan-2 Feb)
- Aurel Stein And The Silk Road: A Hundred Years On at Royal Geographical Society (6 Jan-14 Feb)
- The Artists And Illustrators Annual Exhibition at Mall Galleries (6-19 Jan)
- Andy Warhol: Photographs 1976-1987 Photographers Gallery (17 Jan-30 Mar)
- Vincent van Gogh: The Sunflowers National Gallery (25 Jan-27 Apr)
Don’t forget to check out our listings of Free London Attractions too.