February is a terrific month to visit London. As the city shrugs off the coldest days of the winter, days become longer and the first glimpses of spring begin to show. You will find a variety of interesting exhibitions, performances and events to keep yourself entertained indoors and out. Besides the attractions, you will be able to snap up shoulder season deals at the boutique hotels in London too in case you fancy a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend or a half-term adventure!
Check out our guide to the best of what’s on in West London in February.
Art and Exhibitions
Moving to Mars
Until 23 Feb; Design Museum
This multi-sensory exhibition lets you travel all the way to the Red Planet without barely stepping a foot out of your Marble Arch Hotel. Immerse yourself in the untouched beauty of the landscape with imagery from Mars which has never before been seen in public and peruse around 200 objects including contributions from NASA. Check out robotic builders by Foster & Partners, the first sustainable urban design for Mars and the first spacesuit designed for the Mars surface.
Cars: Accelerating the Modern World
All month, V&A
Conceived a mere 130-years ago, the car is perhaps one of the most innovative inventions in the world. It has revolutionized manufacturing, transformed how we move and is forever changing our cities, environment and economies. Journey through its fascinating past, ogle some of the most distinguished makes, delve into the culture of the automobile and get a sneak peek into the future of our trusty people carriers at this compelling exhibition.
British Baroque: Power and Illusion
From 4 Feb, Tate Britain
This riveting exhibition explores baroque art in Britain during the later 17th century. Many of the works will be on display for the first time; some pieces will be borrowed from the stately homes they have hung in since they were made. Leading painters featured in the show include Peter Lely, Godfrey Kneller and James Thornhill. It will give you plenty to talk about over afternoon tea at the nearby London hotels afterwards.
Music and Performance
Select dates until 16 Feb, The London Palladium
The Queen of Pop returns to London next month with 15 limited and highly anticipated performances in the West End. The London Palladium is a relatively modest arena with a capacity of only 2,286 which makes this experience thoroughly unique. Madonna will promote her latest album, Madame X, but you can expect to bop along to some of her 80’s classics as well.
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia
All month, Royal Albert Hall
Cirque du Soleil return to West London’s grandest performance hall with the dazzling Luzia. This waking dream of Mexico, where light (“luz”) quenches the spirit and rain (“lluvia”) soothes the soul. The show takes you through cenotes, jungles and city alleyways of Mexico,and constructs a kaleidoscope of Mexican culture, mythology and tradition. There’s some daring hoop diving and aquatic aerobatics to keep you on the very edge of your seat. The most splendid way to spend your evening after a relaxing day of spa treatments in London.
The Upstart Crow
From 7 Feb; Gielgud Theatre
Following the success of the critically acclaimed BBC TV sitcom, Upstart Crow, Ben Elton’s stage adaptation arrives with a flourish on the London stage this February. David Mitchell dons his wig and makes his West End debut as William Shakespeare. The great Bard is desperately trying to come up with a new play but is impossibly distracted by family woes and the unexpected arrival of two shipwrecked, Moorish identical twins at his door. It is utterly farcical and fabulously funny.
All month; Prince Edward Theatre
If you’re looking to coincide a stay at the Marble Arch Hotel in London with a musical, Mary Poppins is our top pick for February – particularly for families. Everyone’s favourite nanny return to the London stage with wisdom, a splash of magic and catchy songs. The tale of Mary Poppins and the Banks family is a pure classic. The critically acclaimed Zizi Strallen who is known for roles such as Fran in Strictly Ballroom The Musical is picking up the reigns in the starring role. ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ at the ready!
1 – 2 Feb; Olympia London
If adopting a more plant-based way of living is one of your resolutions for 2020, or if you’re simply curious to learn more about this lifestyle, pick up some tickets for the Plant Powered Expo. 235 stalls and around 100 speakers will take you through the history of veganism, shed some light on plant-based diets and teach you how to grow your own produce. Cookery classes will inspire you to rustle up your own veggie dishes and the Taste Plant-Based area lets you nibble on the goods.
Kew Garden Orchid Festival
8 Feb – 8 Mar, Kew Gardens
Running for its 25th year, the annual Orchid Festival at Kew Gardens returns this February with the exotic theme of Indonesia. The greenhouses will be filled with the sights, smells and sights of the South East Asian archipelago where 5,000 species of orchids can be found alongside a staggering variety of wildlife. Highlights of the festival include lush rainforests, bright orange orangutans and an erupting volcano all made up of hundreds of stunning orchid blossoms.
All month; Chiswick House and Gardens
Lightopia is an immersive lantern and light festival that fuses beautiful art installations with an interactive experience. Follow a breath-taking route through the gardens of this elegant 18th century villa guided by magical light trails. Installations include the Love Gate, Elysian Field, the Flower Road, Happy Valley and Two Moons Eagle. At the heart of it all is the 10m tall sculpture, the Tree of Light. Flanked by 20 drums, you can interact to change the tree’s colours. There will also be food stalls, live musicians and acrobats at this ‘illuminating’ event perfect for all to attend.