Tag Archives: Trafalgar Square

Hop into the year of the Rabbit

Kung hei fat choi!

That’s happy new year to you and me, yes – we’ve made it through to another Chinese New Year.  One of my favourite times of year, there are plenty of ways to get involved and see what makes it so special.

Thursday, Feb 3 and Friday, Feb 4

Burlesque dancer

Chinese New Year Cabaret

For an alternative way to see in the new year, head on down to Volupte to see Marianne Cheesecake host Suri Sumatra and Rachel Ong as they bellydance and burlesque their way through the evening.

There are two shows starting at 6:30pm and 9:30pm at Volupte, 9 Norwich Street.  It’s £15 entry.

Nearest Tube: Chancery Lane

Saturday, Feb 5

Drop-in Day

The National Portrait Gallery is holding its annual Chinese New Year drop-in day.  I went to this last year and it was great fun…it’s aimed at kids really, with lots of story telling, but the performances can be enjoyed by all ages.  You can see traditional dancing and acrobatics, and learn about the Chinese calendar.

It’s free entry and on 1pm-4pm.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross/Leicester Square

Chinese Lanterns in NYC's Chinatown

Lantern Making

Get the kids involved and get over to the Geffrye Museum this Saturday.  Here you’ll be able to make Chinese lanterns using paper from the museum’s collection.

Activities are for those aged 11-16 and are free.

The Geffrye Museum is on Kingsland Road, and the event runs 10:30am-12:30pm and 2pm-4pm.

Nearest Tube: Liverpool Street/Old Street, then 149, 242 or 243 bus

Saturday, Feb 5 and Sunday, Feb 6

Chinese Calligraphy

Another one for the kids, this time you can learn to write in the Chinese art of calligraphy.

For children aged 6+.

It’s taking place at the Museum of London Docklands from 12pm-3pm

Nearest Tube: West India Quay (DLR)

Old Chinatown

The original Chinatown in London was in Limehouse – now’s your chance to have a tour around the area and find out what things were like in those days on this walking tour.

Tours are on Saturday and Sunday at 11am and 2pm each day, and tickets can be booked here (scroll to the bottom of the page).  Tickets cost £6, £5 concession.

The tours leave from the Museum of London Docklands (see above for details)

Lion dancing through the streets

Sunday, Feb 6

Paint Your Own Rabbit

Another activity at the Museum of London Docklands, this time you can paint your own ceramic bunny to take home.  Suitable for ages 3+.

It’s free and painting takes place at 12:30pm-1:30pm and 2:30pm-3:30pm.

The Main Event

This is it! The big celebration in Chinatown.  Loads of stuff is happening around Trafalgar Square and Shaftesbury Avenue on Sunday.

The opening ceremony kicks off at 12pm in Trafalgar Square, followed by dragon and lion dances, acrobatics, music and dance.

Chinatown will be awash with food and trinket stalls – but the traditional fireworks display that normally goes on in Leicester Square are cancelled this week, due to the work that’s going on there.

Celebrations will be on 12pm-6pm.

Nearest Tubes: Charing Cross or Leicester Square

 

 

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Thai Temptations

Blue skies and white sand in Thailand

If the sunny weather is making you dream of foreign climes, this could be your lucky weekend!

Thailand at Trafalgar Square is a celebration of the SE Asian country, and this Saturday, June 5 sees all sorts of Thai treats hit town.

There’ll be a parade, Thai dance, Thai Boxing and traditional Thai music all happening on stage.  As well as all that, there’ll be lots of tasty food and drink to try out.

Thai street food

The event kicks off at 12pm in Trafalgar Square and is free to enjoy.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus

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Celebrate Spring!

Two fun things to have a gander at this weekend if you’re ignoring the rain and embracing Spring!

Covent Garden May Fayre

Punch and Judy, clowning and dancing happening at this festival.  It starts at 11:30am and is at St. Paul’s Church on Bedford Street in Covent Garden on Sunday.

Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

Morris Men Day of Dance

Celebrate tradition and head down to Trafalgar Square on Saturday – 200 Morris Dancers are coming together at to show off their merrimient from 10am.  There’ll be groups around the area, including Westminster Abbey and Chinatown, but everyone’s meeting up again at 5pm in Trafalgar for a mass dance off.

A sight to be seen, I’m sure!

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross

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Georgie Porgie Pudding & Pie

We’ve had Paddy, now it’s time for George.

Friday sees St George’s Day, and there are lots of events going on around the city to keep us entertained and bring out the patriots in us all.  These are my pick of the best free events around London this weekend….

St George in Southwark

There’s loads going on in Southwark from the 22nd-25th, from the Southwark Mysteries, a St. George’s Day lunch and Morris Dancers!

Most of it’s free, but some things (like the lunch) have a small fee.

Find out more here

St George’s Day at Trafalgar Square

Lot’s of stuff going on at this  free event, on Saturday the 24th.  Events kick off at 1pm with music from young musicians, followed by traditional songs that you can get involved in by picking up a song sheet

The day ends with a free concert by Joe Brown and his band.

Nearest Tube: Charing Cross/Leicester Square

St George’s Day Pageant

The revival of a tradition not seen since 1585, this parade sees St. George ride through the city on horseback.

The pageant will start on Friday, April 23, at 11:45am at the Armourers’ Hall on Coleman Street.  It goes a (sort of) circular route, passing St Paul’s Cathedral, before finishing back at Coleman Street.

St. George will be accompanied by the King and his daughter and a lamb led by a maiden.  In addition, the Band of the Parachute Regiment, soldiers and armoured combat vehicles will be in the parade.

Nearest Tube: Moorgate

For Those in the North

Various events happening in Willesden and Kingsbury.

On Friday, there is story telling for adults and children alike (afternoon tea and cakes at the different events) at Kingsbury Library Plus (11am) and Willesden Green Library (from 2:15pm onwards).

Saturday sees Brent Archives open to the public at Willesden Green Library – to check out Medieval documents and experience some Medieval cooking.

See the website for full details.  All events are free.

Nearest Tube: Kingsbury or Willesden Green

St. George’s Gardens

A traditional fete-style event, there’s lots on here at the Gardens on Saturday.  From 2pm you can find Morris Dancers, music, food stalls, and, slightly randomly (although you can see the connection) a Chinese dragon dance.

Nearest Tube: Kings Cross/Russell Square.

For the best of the rest, try Time Out’s list of things to do, or View London’s guide.

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