If you’re visiting London in February, yes, you should expect chilly and short days, but ABSOLUTELY don’t let this scare you. There are a ton of cool special events, exhibitions and more happening across London in February, so check the list below to get some ideas for what to do around the city.
BTW to get you prepped for your February visit, watch my video video helping you stay warm when visiting London:
Image Courtesy of Kew Gardens
1. Orchids Festival at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens hosts the festival of Orchids annually, and in 2022 it will be celebrating the rich and colourful culture of Costa Rica (check the website if you’re reading this after 2022). Walking along the Princess of Wales Conservatory, which is designed to recreate the country’s landscape, you’ll hear and see displays of native animals made out of plants, including the native bird of Costa Rica, and in the middle of the glasshouse you can find a pond filled with brilliant vibrant orchids and bromeliads.
Tickets to the festival are included with Kew’s general admission tickets, starting at £15 per person.
2. London Fashion Week
If you happen to be in London during late February you might be able to snatch some tickets for London Fashion Week, one of the most important events in the fashion world. As we publish this, the schedule isn’t out yet but you can eventually find it on the LFW website. Get some tickets or you can just go around to where the events are happening and you might spot some designers, models, editors and celebs.
London Fashion Week | Visit from the 18th – 22nd of February 2022
3. Valentine’s Day in London
London’s got plenty of romantic options for Valentine’s Day celebrations, from sexy bars, to romantic dinners, to special events and experiences. My best suggestions for V-day can be found in my article Top Romantic Things to Do in London.
Or check DesignMyNight for more romantic events happening around London.
4. Celebrate the Chinese New Year
The Chinese new year is China’s biggest celebration of the year, and since London has such a big Chinese community living here, there’s a lot happening. Watch the parade that goes from Chinatown to Trafalgar Square, with dance performances and ceremonies to celebrate the Zodiac sign of the year.
Head to some of the stages in the West End for more activities like Chinese dances and musical performances. If you don’t know much about Chinese culture this will be a great introduction, and I’d also recommend that you try some of the amazing restaurants they have throughout Chinatown.
The traditional Chinese calendar is lunisolar, so the Lunar New Year falls on a different date each year. If you’re reading this after 2022, check here to see the date of the celebrations, which last just over two weeks.
Chinatown to West London | Visit from 31st of January until 6th of February 2022
Watch our video on How to Spend a Day in Chinatown:
5. Imagine Children’s Festival
In the UK, kids have their “half-term” break in February, so there are quite a few events dedicated to family activities. The Southbank Centre hosts the Imagine Children’s Festival dedicated to all kinds of art and cultural experiences, including children’s theatre, music performances, literature events, comedy shows, and creative workshops. The festival is an ideal activity for those aged 0 – 11 years old.
Imagine Children’s Festival | Southbank Centre | Visit from 9th – 20th of February 2022
6. Six Nations Rugby Tournament
If you are a rugby fan then you already know that the Six Nations Tournament happens across February and March, with events all over the UK and Europe. You can see if any games are happening while you’re in town, and either catch them at a London stadium or one of these bars that will be showing the games.
Six Nations Rugby Tournament | View from 5th of February until 19th of March 2022
Image Courtesy of the Illuminated River Project
7. View the Illuminated River Project
Illuminated River is a project to illuminate the Central London bridges, with an estimated cost of about £3 million per bridge, currently setting the total spend at around £30 million. With over 3.2 miles it is the world’s longest public art commission, “celebrating the structures as architectural, social and historical landmarks, and creating a symbolic link across the political, financial and cultural centres of the capital”, as per their website.
You can take a boat tour to see them or a long stroll around the Southbank, the project offers some free tours, check here.
Illuminated River Project | Central London | Visit all year
Image Courtesy of the London Classic Car Show
8. Visit the London Classic Car Show
The London Classic Car Show features over 700 classic cars, from vintage Formula 1 racing cars to American muscle cars, so it’s a big day out for any car enthusiast. You can even bid on the auction of rare and unusual cars, which at the time of writing includes a WWII era amphibious Porsche.
Tickets start at £20 per person.
London Classic Car Show | Olympia, West Kensington | Visit from Mid – Late February 2022
9. Watch the Super Bowl
If you are a fan of the Super Bowl, there are actually a few bars and restaurants in London that show it. For an up-to-date list for this year, check out DesignMyNight which has compiled a list of the best pubs, bars and parties where you can catch up with the NFL Super Bowl in London.
First or Second Sunday of February
10. Attend the International Mime Festival
If you’ve seen our January list of recommendations, then you might remember the International Mime Festival which spans over 26 days with events all over London, these include theatre pieces, international productions, short films, post-show discussions with creators and performers, and expertly led workshops. In February you have six more days of the festival, so see what’s on while you’re in town.
International Mime Festival | Visit from 12th of January until 6th of February 2022
Image Courtesy of Lightopia Festival
11. Visit the Lightopia Festival
Similar to the last event, the Lightopia Festival was also mentioned in our January article, but this event runs all through February, giving you a good window of opportunity to visit.
The Lightopia festival is a first of its kind in the UK and Europe, an immersive and visually-dramatic lantern and light experience, mixing beautiful art installations with human experience. It includes an incredible 3D projection onto Chiswick House, and pieces like The Love Gate, Tree of Life, Flower Hand, Happy Valley and many more, symbolising various experiences throughout life and humanity.
Tickets from £18 per person.
Image Courtesy of Matilda The Musical
12. Catch a theatre show
If you want to do something a bit more culturally enriching and far away from the chilly temps, then try the world-famous West End theatre district. Here are just a few options:
- Mary Poppins at the Prince Edward Theatre, musical on display until 3rd of April 2022;
- Get Up Stand Up! The Bob Marley Musical at the Lyric Theatre, on display until 18th of September 2022;
- Doctor Who: Time Fracture at Immersive LDN Theatre, on display until 17th of April 2022;
- Cinderella at the Gillian Lynne Theatre, on display until 29th of May 2022;
- Magic Goes Wrong at the Apollo Theatre, comedy on display until 27th of February 2022;
- Matilda the Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, on display until 18th of December 2022;
- Tina – The Tina Turner Musical at Aldwych Theatre, on display until 18th of December 2022;
- Moulin Rouge at Piccadilly Theatre, on display until 28th of May 2022.
13. Visit a Museum Exhibition
Most museums in London are free, but we encourage you to always make a donation (ps: some of the exhibitions have a cost). We also have a list of 15 unique museums in London that you should check out, they are mostly open all year round with permanent exhibitions as well.
This is such a fun and cultural enriching activity that you can’t miss when you visit. We have gathered a few 2022 events:
- At Tate Modern: Yayoi Kusama- Infinity Mirrors Rooms (until 12th of June 2022), The Tanks (until February 2022), or A Year in Art: Australia 1992 (until Autumn 2022);
- At the Science Museum: Amazonia (until September 2022), event When Worlds Collide: How Modern Technology Reveals the Ancient Past (18th of February 2022), event The Salt of the Earth Screening and Q&A (23rd of February 2022), or Our Future Planet (until September 2022);
- At the Natural History Museum: Wildlife Photographer of the Year (until 5th of June 2022), or Our Broken Planet: How We Got Here and Ways to Fix It (until late Summer 2022);
- At the V&A (Victoria and Albert Museum): workshop In Practice: Colour Theory (8th of February 2022), workshop Introduction to Fashion Illustration (Saturday and Sunday mornings through February and March), Laughing Matters: The State of a Nation 2021 (until 29th of March 2022);
- From London Transport Museum: explore The Lost Tunnels under Euston station (until 13th of February 2022), or Down Street: Churchill’s secret station (until 13th of February 2022);
- At Westminster Abbey: The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries (until 31st of December 2022).
If you are reading this past 2022, check their individual websites to see what’s on.
Image Courtesy of Wembley Stadium
14. Watch a football Game or do a stadium tour
If you or someone you’re visiting London with is a football enthusiast, then try to catch a football game at one of the many stadiums in London. Or you can book a tour of the Emirates Stadium or Wembley Stadium.
15. Attend an event from the London Borough of Culture
London Borough of Culture is a competition between the 32 boroughs of the city in which they bid for more than £1 million to organise a programme of local cultural events and initiatives. The winner of 2022 was the borough of Lewisham, so they are working on lots of fun events. Check their website to see what’s happening when you’re in town (this link will bring you to a list of events no matter which year you’re reading this!)
London Borough of Culture | Lewisham
There’s your list of what to do in London in February. Have a great time in London and be sure to tag @Loveandlondon on IG if you do any of our suggestions!
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