2020 is a Leap Year, which means we get an extra day! Why? Because the Earth actually takes 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes and 46 seconds to complete its journey around the sun. To keep the calendar cycle synchronised with the seasons, one extra day is added in every four years as 29 February. So what should you do with your extra day? Hop on a train to Brighton or stick around in London – either way, there’s plenty to do…
Lead image: The Magic Lantern Rave: London
1 DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY AT THE MAGICAL LANTERN RAVE
Head for the most colourful rave in Europe for a night of mesmerising visuals and a kaleidoscope of colours at the Troxy in east London.
2 MEET VAN GOGH ON THE SOUTH BANK
Experience stepping inside the vivid paintings of artist Vincent Van Gogh, you can even take a selfie in his bedroom!
3 SEE PRETTY WOMAN THE MUSICAL
Pretty Woman the Musical is now on at the Piccadilly Theatre. The theatre play remains true to the original story of a wealthy businessman who strikes up a relationship with a Hollywood sex worker. Escorting her to events around the city, the pair grow closer together.
If you are looking for some high adventure and quality outdoor time, Branching Out Adventures can offer you and your family the perfect day out.
5 DINE 40 FLOORS HIGH AT DUCK & WAFFLE
Visit Duck & Waffle to treat yourself to a cocktail or dinner whilst enjoying the stunning views of London.
6 TOUR BRIGHTON ON FOOT FOR FREE
Walk!Brighton is the official free walking tour of Brighton. These tours are aimed at introducing visitors to aspects of this unique and vibrant city that they would not encounter without the help of a local guide.
7 LIGHTOPIA FESTIVAL AT CHISWICK HOUSE & GARDENS
Brighten up your month with Lightopia. From handmade Chinese silk lanterns to state-of-the-art light technology the incredible light show has it all, located at Chiswick House & Gardens.
8 RAISE A GLASS AT LONDON’S BRAND NEW BEER FESTIVAL
Featuring 150 exhibitors, street food and live music BrewLDN at the Old Truman Brewery will be a great day out.
9 SEE BRIGHTON ON THE BA I360
Experience Brighton’s best views by far with British Airways i360, gently glide up to 450ft in the spacious glass viewing pod to enjoy 360º views of Brighton, the South Downs and the expansive stretch of coast all the way from Seven Sisters cliffs to the Isle of Wight.
Taj 51 Buckingham Gate Suites and Residences has launched a brand new Alice in Wonderland-themed afternoon tea. Alice’s Queen of Hearts Afternoon Tea features beautifully designed pastries and scrumptious savoury treats inspired by the foul-tempered monarch herself from the classic children’s story.
11 BEACH BOX SPA BRIGHTON
Beach Box is an all year round, wood-fired sauna created from a beautifully converted horse trailer, with the English Channel as plunge pool (cold water showers also available). The simple set-up, on a secluded area of Brighton beach, includes a wood-fired sauna, a warm and cold shower/buckets and chill-out area.
12 BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH & BLOW DRY IN CAMDEN
Enjoy a delicious (completely gluten-free) Mexican brunch with two hours worth of bottomless margaritas, Bloody Mary and Aperol Spritzes at Near & Far in Camden. You also get to choose a new ’do from the look book and have your hair blow dried to perfection.
13 VISIT BRIGHTON’S UPSIDE DOWN HOUSE
Capture the most surreal images, using your most favourite poses at the Upside Down House. The unique and fun attraction is not only for the kids but for the adults too!
14 MAKE FRIENDS WITH LLAMAS IN ASHDOWN FOREST
Set in 33 acres in the heart of the beautiful Ashdown Forest, The Llama Park has more than just llamas! You’ll also find alpacas, reindeer, Spanish horses, Shetland ponies, donkeys, sheep, goats and pigs and a wide range of bird life including geese, turkeys, ducks and chickens.
A Ridgeview Tour & Tasting is the perfect way to delve behind-the-scenes and taste some award-winning English sparkling wines! Throughout the year a number of events are hosted, ranging from general tours to food & wine pairing evenings.
16 CLIMB THE WALKIE TALKIE FOR CHARITY
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity is hosting a once-in-a-Leap-Year opportunity to climb all 896 steps of London’s iconic Walkie Talkie Building on 29 February 2020. Conquer the 36 floors to help raise money for this great cause and then enjoy a drink in the Sky Garden at the top. Entry is £25 and the fundraising target is £250.
17 WALK THROUGH THE RAINBOW IN GREENWICH
Visit Slices of Time by Emmanuelle Moureaux at NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula, which features layers of dangling numbers, created from 100 different colours.
18 SEA LIFE BRIGHTON
Go on a fascinating journey through the original Victorian architecture of the oldest operating aquarium in the world. Based opposite the iconic pier, SEA LIFE Brighton was built in 1872 and features 5,500 mesmerising creatures including rays, sharks, turtles, terrapins, starfish, seahorses and an anaconda.
19 TAKE A TOUR OF SIPSMITH’S GIN DISTILLERY
Sip a G&T while listening to a little history of gin in London and touring the Sipsmith stills at the Sipsmith Distillery in Chiswick. You’ll get a tutored tasting, too.
20 HAVE A LAUGH AT KOMEDIA
In North Laine near Brighton Station you’ll find Komedia, the city’s premier live entertainment venue for over 20 years. The venue hosts over 700 performances a year including comedy, music, cabaret and kids shows.
21 IMMERSE YOURSELF IN DINNER & DRAMA IN WEMBLEY
Waiter! There’s a Murder in my Soup! is an immersive theatre experience complete with a three-course dinner, served up in newly opened Studio 5ive restaurant at Wembley Park Troubadour Theatre. You’ll travel back to 1946, where socialites, dignitaries and cultural bigwigs have gathered for the grand opening of Marchioness du Jour’s performance. But all is not as it seems…
22 SHOP TILL YOU DROP IN BRIGHTON
Start by exploring the North Laine, with more than 300 unique shops in less than half a square mile. Beyond Retro is a treasure trove for vintage fashionistas; bag lovers will adore Cambridge Satchel Company and Little Beach Boutique specialises in beautifully crafted, locally sourced accessories, homeware and gifts. Then head up to the city centre and visit Churchill Square Shopping Centre, where you’ll find big name stores such as Lakeland, Flying Tiger and Zara.
23 EXPLORE LONDON’S SCIENCE MUSEUM
Interactive and thought-provoking, the Science Museum is a great place to see, touch and experience science first-hand. From space travel to IMAX, there’s something for all the family. Free entry.
24 CELEBRATE MARDI GRAS AT POP BRIXTON
Pop Brixton welcomes the return of a huge Carnival & Mardi Gras mash-up with a non-stop line-up of Afro-Latin jazz rock world fusion vision on 29 February. The Pomba Girls, London’s female-driven immersive party hosts, will be bringing their box of glitter and costume fun and frolics.
25 BE PART OF PHILEAS FOGG’S WORLD OF ADVENTURES
Phileas Fogg’s World of Advenure is an immersive interactive adventure experience offering family-friendly and adult-only adventures to try. Great fun for families and group gatherings plus coming soon is the Jack the Ripper scare attraction!
26 TREAT YOURSELF TO A WELL NEEDED MASSAGE
Little Jasmine is all about therapy -massage therapy, skin therapy, nail therapy and even ‘escape-from-the-city’ therapy. Each treatment is customised to address individual concerns and uses the most effective products and techniques.
27 ROOFTOP FONDUE OVER TRAFALGAR SQUARE
Enjoy cheese fondue for two at Veuve Clicquot’s Sky High Winter Chalet at The Rooftop St James. For £130pp, you can enjoy a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, a cold sharer and a cheese fondue for two.
28 TAKE PARK IN THE BIG LONDON BAKE IN TOOTING
Challenge your friends at London’s multi award-winning bake-off in Tooting, with 90 minutes to whisk, roll and drizzle your way towards a winning bake. You will get instructions, tools and tips to create a masterpiece or a right old mess.
29 SEE BRIGHTON BY CHOPPER
There can be no better way to see Brighton and Hove than from a helicopter. With fantastic cockpit visibility the majestic sights of the city open up before you.