10 unmissable events and things to do in January 2024

With the joys of Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities left behind, it can be hard to think of activities in January. But ‘Blue Monday’ doesn’t have to become ‘blue month’!

We’ve created a list of things to look forward to in January 2024. From upbeat celebrations to centuries-long traditions, this is your chance to kick the year off with a bang!

1. London’s New Year’s Day Parade

1st January 2024

New Year's Day Parade in LondonThinking about venturing out on New Year’s Day? Join in on the fun and excitement of London’s New Year’s Day Parade (LNYDP). From noon, you can expect to see over 10,000 incredible performers from around the globe putting on a breathtaking series of indoor and outdoor performances.

From hair-raising marching bands to captivating dancers, unbelievable singers and more, there’ll certainly be something to make you smile. As you stand amongst a crowd of over 500,000 people, you’ll definitely feel the famous buzz of the LNYDP. Grab your tickets as soon as you can – this enormous event promises to sell out fast!

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2. Grab a bargain in the January sales

Bicester Village shoppingMissed out on that too-good-to-be-true Black Friday or Boxing Day deal? Don’t fear! The January sales are the perfect time to pick up a cheeky bargain. And what better way to clear the January blues than some window shopping?

Shopping outlets, including Bicester Village and the Designer Outlet Swindon, are known for their extraordinary deals throughout January. With big discounts on the UK’s favourite luxury and high street brands, plan your trip early to grab a great steal.

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Craving some retail therapy this January? Discover the UK’s favourite shopping destinations here.

3. Balloon Museum in London

Extended until the 14th April 2024
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This new year, check out the newest and quirkiest exhibition in London – the Balloon Museum. Located in the City of London, the Balloon Museum is an extraordinary sensory adventure and a perfect day out for all ages. This ‘Instagrammable’ exhibition features various exciting structures dedicated to inflatable art.

Taking soft play to the next level, the Balloon Museum makes for the perfect photo opportunity – with vast ball pits and colourful light installations.

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4. Liverpool Squared at Tate Liverpool + RIBA North

Until the 7th January

Child playing with arts and crafts Want to keep your little ones busy this January. Start the new year off right with a trip filled with creativity and imagination. During the first week of January, Tate Liverpool + RIBA North have created the Liverpool Squared workshop – a new learning space for families to cut, stick and create!

Inspired by spectacular architecture around Liverpool, your kids love making their own pieces of architecture using cardboard and boxes. Kids will also get the chance to dress up as an architect, explore arts and crafts resources and flex their creativity.

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5. Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer in Aberdeen

13th January 2024

Candle lit orchestra Prepare to be captivated by the charm and joy of live, orchestral music by one of the film industry’s most beloved score composers. Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer is a breathtaking experience – perfect for film and music lovers.

Held in Aberdeen’s Union Kirk venue with a gorgeous candlelight backdrop, discover as talented musicians serenade you with symphonies from your favourite movies. You might spot a tune from films including Interstellar (2014), Gladiator (2000), Inception (2010) or Dune (2021).

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6. Celtic Connections in Glasgow

18th January – 4th February 2024

Celtic Connections in GlasgowFor those who can’t get enough of folk, roots and world music, attending Glasgow’s renowned Celtic Connections is a must this January. Held at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, this incredible winter festival celebrates the city’s connections to cultures all over the globe. Festival-goers are in for a real treat with over 2,100 musicians attending to showcase their talent – many of whom you may recognise.

Prepare for a myriad of performances from concerts to engaging talks, as well as art exhibitions, workshops and much more. With shows running for 18 days from mid-Jan to early Feb, what are you waiting for? Embrace the magic of music at Celtic Connections 2024!

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7. Winter Beer Festival at GRUB MCR

18th – 20th January 2024

Group of people cheersing glasses of beerManchester’s favourite winter beer celebration is back for 2024. The Winter Beer Festival at GRUB MCR is a three-day extravaganza of exceptional street food, cheeky hot toddies, guided tastings and (of course) outstanding pints of locally brewed beer.

And that’s not all! Expect to hear your favourite pub karaoke tunes at ‘Beeroke’ on Friday and Sunday night. And on Saturday night, GRUB MCR has prepared the ULTIMATE PUB pub quiz – get ready to test your knowledge of, you guessed it, pubs!

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8. Burns Night

25th January 2024

Traditional Scottish Burns SupperWhy not join the people of Scotland on 25th January to celebrate the life and legacy of poet Robert Burns with a traditional Burns Supper? Comprising haggis, neeps, and tatties washed down with a whisky or two, this tradition began in 1801 when Burns’ friends marked the 5th anniversary of his death. Over 200 years later, Scotland still celebrates one of their most famous creatives by hosting several must-visit events.

Why not head to Edinburgh for Burns & Beyond, a collection of live music and incredible art? Or join the people of Aberdeen at the Burns Night Supper Celebration. There are endless ways to celebrate the legend
across the nation!

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9. Dydd Santes Dwynwen (St Dwynwen’s Day)

25th January 2024

Llanddwyn Island in WalesIn Wales, Dydd Santes Dwynwen is celebrated on 25th January to honour and celebrate Dwynwen, the Welsh saint of lovers. She was known to have a disappointing love life and instead dedicated herself to God and other lovers. Considered similar to Valentine’s Day, whereby locals celebrate their love for their other half, family or friends, it’s traditional to send cards, gifts or baked goods. Although many also enjoy a day out to celebrate.

Fancy a visit to Llanddwyn Island? This idyllic hotspot comprises lighthouses and picturesque cottages, as well as Dwynwen’s Well. Here you’ll find eels which predict whether your relationship with your lover will stand the test of time. Dare to take a trip?

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10. Devour your way through Veganuary

Vegan street foodVeganuary is back for 2024! Whether you’re eager to try a plant-based diet or already living a vegan lifestyle, London’s flourishing food scene is a great place to discover new and exciting vegan bites.

From street food to fine dining, the capital is full of tasty vegan restaurants and eateries waiting to be discovered. Check out our ultimate guide to the best vegan restaurants in London here and get your Veganuary food crawl started.

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