While most people consider spring, summer and fall as the ideal seasons to get out and about in London, winter has no shortage of exciting events to attend. There are plenty of festivals, markets and wonderlands that will help you embrace the Christmas spirit and enjoy the wintry wonders of this beautiful city. Not sure where to go? Here are six events you shouldn’t miss, whether you live in this fine city or are just visiting.
The New Year’s Day Parade in London will involve more than 8,500 performers and 20 different countries. You’ll have a chance to see West End show representatives, Pearly Kings and Queens, dancers, marching bands and cheerleaders. There’ll be plenty of floats, acrobats and clowns as well. The parade is 2.2 miles. It begins at the Ritz Hotel and there are three grandstands that are temporarily erected to offer attendees a better vantage point.
Dress Code: There’s no formal dress code for the parade, though many dress semi-formally in case they come across any celebrities or happen to meet a royal. The most important thing to consider when attending the New Year’s Day Parade is the weather. Make sure to dress in layers so you can keep warm while you’re being entertained. Average temperatures range from a low of 3 degrees Celsius and a high of 6 degrees Celsius on January 1st. A warm tweed jacket or an overcoat with a few layers of knitwear under can mean the difference between enjoying the parade and counting the minutes until you go home.
Considering a bit of travel at some point during the new year? Make sure to mark your calendars for January 21st, when the Adventure Travel Show comes to town. Here you’ll find inspiration talks, seminars, expert tips and more that will help enhance your skills and provide you with plenty of information on some of the best locations in the world to travel to.
Dress Code: There’s no official dress code for this event, though most choose smart business attire when attending the seminars and talks. Be sure to layer; most events are held indoors, though you may have some outdoor walking as well. A men’s tweed jacket will keep you warm outside, but will be easily removable when you sit down inside a theatre.
While the weather outside may be frightful, that certainly isn’t going to stop Londoners from getting out and enjoying a good show. The London Boat Show takes place from January 6th to January 15th and offers 500 showcases of different types of watercraft and equipment. There are even exhibitions on where to go with your new boat on holiday. The show takes place in ExCel London and provides visitors with a chance to test out new technology and equipment before they buy it.
Dress Code: Comfortable shoes are a must-have at a London boat show. Deck shoes are the best option. When choosing the rest of your attire, consider the importance of first impressions. There have been many storeys in recent years of salesmen at these types of shows completely ignoring the specific individuals because of the way they dressed. Their attire suggested they didn’t have the money to purchase a new boat or the latest technology, so the salesman didn’t bother addressing their needs. If you want to be noticed and ‘taken care of’ consider semi-formal attire for this event. A nice men’s suit or even fitted trousers and a blazer can go a long way in making the right first impression.
This annual fair celebrates its 29th edition in 2017 and takes place at the Business Design Centre. There are over 125 galleries that show off the works of many contemporary artists. There are also curated sections that focus on newer works of art and photography by up-and-coming artists.
Dress Code: Anyone with a ticket can attend this art fair, and there’s bound to be a variety of attire here. However, business-smart is the ideal look for the event out of respect to the artists and the location. Men’s suits or dark trousers with a dress shirt and tie will help you look your best.
Held on December 9th, this event in King’s Cross is one the entire family will enjoy. Enjoy fire-lit revelry, spiced cocktails ideal for winter, open fires and mulled cider and wine.
Dress Code: This event is casual. Enjoy it while wearing chinos or jeans and your favourite shirts. Knitwear and tweed jackets are layering essentials for warmth, though you may want to take them off when sitting around an open fire.
Every New Year’s Eve, a brilliant fireworks display, launched from rafts and from the London Eye, showers the Thames. People gather around the riverbank for the best views. Be sure to grab your ticket beforehand. They cost only £10, but the tickets are necessary due to the great number of people that crowd along the south bank. You can find tickets at London.gov.uk.
Dress Code: There’s no official dress code for this event, but it’s a typically casual affair. The temperatures can drop greatly at 12:00 o’clock in the morning, however, so be sure you’re wearing plenty of layers to keep warm.
Of course, the dress code can vary depending on where you intend to watch the fireworks. Some individuals, for instance, enjoy the view from the 31st level of The Shard. Here you’ll need to wear fine men’s suits and ties as you enjoy live music, champagne and a five-course dinner while you wait for the fireworks at midnight. The same type of dress code is required if you attend the New Year’s Eve party at the Sky Bar on top of the Millbank Tower.
Looking for a fun way to enjoy London during December and January? There are plenty of events you can attend. Just make sure you’re dressed appropriately for them and purchase tickets in advance if they are required.