Despite being the shortest month of the year, February is no less packed with exciting free events that are sure to fill your free time and keep the kids occupied
With these 25 free events taking place this coming February, you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to keeping yourself busy. From classes to help you keep up your new year’s resolutions to exhibitions and outdoor activities, your appetite for wellness, leisure and learning will be thoroughly sated.
So, sit back and relax (before getting out and about) as we take a look at February’s best online and in-person events that are free to attend. Whether you’re exploring an undiscovered place, learning a new skill or simply enjoying a day out, these picks will fill your monthly calendar with variety, adventure and fun…
1. Become a puff pastry expert
Baking from Scratch 101, 3 February – Online
Ideal for lovers of baking, this Instagram live class is designed to teach you how to work with puff pastry to create perfect treats. Often considered intimidating, this online tutorial aims to overturn the pastry’s reputation as a difficult ingredient to work with and should leave you with a delectable creation to enjoy. Taking place on 4 February, this class is hosted by pastry experts from Michel et Augustin, not one to be missed!
2. Learn to play the piano
Simply Music Piano Introductory Session, throughout February – Online
Thinking of taking up the piano but unsure whether it’s for you? This introductory session is the perfect way to try it out without a big commitment. Taking place online, this informative event will give participants the opportunity to ask questions about what to expect when playing the piano, different learning methods and the various styles of piano music. Plus, you’ll even get to practice part of a classical song during the session.
3. De-stress with Tai Chi
Try Tai Chi/Ki Gong Free Online Live Class, 27 February – Online
No experience is necessary to get stuck into this one-hour zoom class that will teach you some of the basics of Tai Chi. A Chinese marshal art, Tai Chi is designed to help you to improve your balance, practice mindfulness and get some exercise. Ideal for improving circulation and joint movement this wellness activity will no doubt leave you feeling peaceful and calm.
4. Uncover an icon of the north
Angel of the North Maquette, dates throughout February – Gateshead
This exhibition gives visitors a unique opportunity to see an icon of British sculpture up close at Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead. Rarely seen by the public, the maquette of the Angel of the North represents an important part of the sculpting process, where ideas are tested before they are built full-scale. Made from plaster and balsa wood, this maquette was later used by sculptor Antony Gormley to cast the bronze replica of the Angel which is now on permanent display at Gateshead Civic Centre.
5. See Beethoven performed live
Kate Gould & Daniel Tong, 'Beethoven 251', 3 February – Belfast
A wonderful way to experience some of Beethoven’s most masterful work, this concert at Queen’s University Belfast is performed by world-class Cellist Kate Gould accompanied by expert pianist Daniel Tong. Whether it’s a first introduction to the beauty of classical music or a treat for a seasoned Beethoven afficionado, this special concert is sure to impress. Including some of the composer’s most intense and intimate sonatas, it’s hard to believe a concert of this calibre is free to attend.
6. Find out about flying lessons
Skyborne Open Day, 5 February – Cheltenham
If you’ve ever considered taking up flying lessons, or if you simply have a general interest in aviation, this event at Skyborne Skypark in Gloucestershire is one for you: a free-to-attend open day during which visitors can find out all about the ins and outs of learning to fly light aircraft. During your visit you could enjoy a tour the academy, see the planes up close, plus you’ll have a chance to try out a fixed-base Boeing 737 simulator.
7. Experience railway history
How railways created the original Northern Powerhouse, 10 February – Sunderland
Whether you’re interested in the industrial history of England’s north, or the story of railways themselves, this free public lecture on how railways created the original Northern Powerhouse is not one to miss. Delivered by award-winning writer and broadcaster Christian Wolmar, this talk at the University of Sunderland covers the fascinating history of early railways in the north and how they shaped the economy there.
8. Laugh it up at a comedy show
Comedy @ The Alex, Southend, 20 February – Southend
For a line-up of talented comedians, some novices just starting out and other seasoned professionals, look no further than Comedy @ The Alex in Southend. With something on offer to suit every comedic taste, this pay-what-you-like gig provides the perfect opportunity to kick back and have a giggle over a drink at the end of the weekend.
9. Learn how to write a novel
How to Write a Novel in Three Months, 9 February – Online
With two novels already under his belt, David Samuel Levinson knows a thing or two about writing. Having written his first in three months, he’s now turned his hand to helping others attempt this impressive feat. This free online talk covers a variety of tips for writing a novel successfully including setting unbreakable goals, creating an obsession to write and how to get out of your own way. With such useful advice on offer, you’ll be putting pen to paper in no time.
10. Improve your oratory skills
Public speaking skills – with Society Speakers, 16 February – London
Hosted by the Speak Up Language School in London, this useful talk is a great way to introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to the world of public speaking. An integral professional and personal skill, speaking publicly is likely to crop up in everyone’s life at some point. So, take the stress out of your next speech with handy guidance on reducing anxiety and improving your confidence both on and off stage. And if you’re feeling particularly brave, there’s even opportunities to speak up during the talk too.
11. Take perfect pet portraits
How To, Photograph Pets Creatively, 22 February – Online
Taking the perfect portrait of our beloved pets is no mean feat. During this free tutorial, professional Sony photographer Tatiana will show you not only how to take a great snap of your furry friend, but also some insight into her own unique style of pet portraits. Expect to learn about locations, kit requirements, working with animals and some other useful tips and tricks.
12. See Scottish interiors
Scottish interiors showcase, 22 February – Falkirk
With a rich design heritage stretching back decades, Scotland is a great place to find home décor inspiration. Known for deep colours, dark woods, classic touches and (of course) tartan, Scottish design is admired around the world. And at the Scottish Interiors Showcase 2022, you can bring a piece of it home with you. Showcasing 150 of the best brands in Scottish design today, you’ll be spoilt for both choice and ideas when tackling your next home makeover project.
13. Discover the history of typewriters
The Typewriter Revolution, throughout February – Edinburgh
A nostalgic reminder of days gone by for some, and an unidentifiable relic of history to others, there’s no doubt that the typewriter had an immeasurable impact on society as we know it. First invented in 1876, the typewriter has a fascinating history that’s charted throughout this free exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland. Featuring a mind-boggling collection, this exhibit explores the changes wrought by the widespread adoption of the machine, from technological advancements to new opportunities for women in the workplace.
14. Take your little ones to a library story time
Raynes Park Library Storytime, 2 February – London
Hosted by Raynes Park Library in London, this free story time session is sure to stimulate your child’s imagination and give them the chance to make new friends. Suitable for children aged 0 to 5 years, this session includes a variety of age-appropriate books read by a library professional. And, as an added bonus, while your little one is enraptured, you’ll have a chance to peruse the shelves for a good read yourself.
15. Forage and craft your own Valentine’s wreath
Valentine’s Forage and Wreath Making – Glencairn Park, 12 February – Belfast
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, this unique event combines the joys of a leisurely walk in Glencairn Park with some fun foraging and crafting, leaving you with a beautiful piece of décor to gift to a loved one (or yourself!). Led by Forage Ireland expert, Dermot Hughes this event will give you the chance to create a heart shaped wreath entirely from locally found materials, plus your lunch is included at no additional cost.
16. Experience the train of the future
Step inside Driver’s Cab from ‘Train of the Future’, throughout February – Glasgow
For the locomotive lover in your life, look no further than this one-off opportunity to see inside the ‘Train of the Future’. A child-friendly interactive display, this event provides visitors the chance to see inside the cab of a brand new Nova 2 state-of-the-art electric train. Taking place on dates throughout February, this exhibit is sure to delight guests young and old. Expect to see these Nova 2 trains in action on routes between Scotland and Northern England this year.
17. Start gardening sustainably
Sustainable Gardening: Growing food with ease and minimal impact, 5 February – Online
There’s nothing quite like enjoying produce you’ve grown in your own outside space. And it’s even better if you can do that whilst also being mindful of sustainability. This free class provides a helpful introduction to beginning your own food garden. Covering topics such as where best to place your vegetable and fruit plots, how much it might cost to maintain and how to ensure it is sustainable in the long term.
18. Appreciate some technological art
Art x Tech - Opening night, 4 Feb – London
If you don’t know your NFTs from your Blockchain (we don’t either) then this free event should provide an excellent intro. The opening night of Paul Dowling’s new abstract art exhibition, this in-person evening at Open House Hackney will include drinks, canapes and an illuminating discussion about NFTs, Blockchain and what they mean for the world of art.
19. Teach your kids to cook
Kitchen 2.0: A Virtual Cooking Series for Kids, 21 February – Online
It’s never too early to get your kids familiar with the kitchen and that’s why this cooking series for kids is the perfect way to spend a free Monday evening. Hosted online by present Laura Carbonneau, this class includes useful cooking skills that will help to build your child’s confidence in the kitchen as well as nutritious recipes that you’ll want to use again and again. Aimed at children 8 to 14, parent supervision is still required as sharp knives and hot ovens will be in use.
20. Get lost in a science maze
Science Maze, Throughout February – Newcastle
What’s even more fun than running around trying to solve a maze? One that’s filled with exciting interactive displays that teach you a thing or two while you’re there. Exciting for all ages, the Science Maze at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle brings interesting lessons from the fields of science and engineering to life, with fun exhibits like shadow walls and air hockey tables. Whether they’re more interested in the science or the maze itself your kids will leave with a sense of accomplishment either way.
21. Buy something beautiful
Parbold Artisan Market 2022, 6 February – Wigan
From handmade confectionery, fudge, cakes and pastries, to ceramics, art, blown glass, hand-printed cushions, textiles, jewellery and plants, you’ll be blown away by the selection of artisanal products at the Parbold Artisan Market in Wigan. Spend time browsing the boutique wares while getting to know the designers, makers and producers. And as if all that wasn’t enough, you can get up close and personal with an owl or an eagle while you’re there, with the local rescued birds of prey charity in attendance too!
22. Plan a 2022 wedding
Luxury Liverpool Wedding Fair, 20 February – Liverpool
If you’re planning a wedding in 2022 or beyond (or even if you aren’t), this free-to-attend luxury wedding fair at The Formby Hall in Liverpool is a fun way to spend your Sunday. Showcasing over 50 luxury wedding brands in a stunning and prestigious venue, this event includes a variety of exhibitors offering exceptional food, wine and lots of other extras. Plus, you can enjoy it all with a free glass of fizz in your hand!
23. Uncover some architectural history
Lived in Architecture – Becontree Estate at 100, throughout February – London
Completed in 1935, the Becontree estate in Barking and Dagenham was once the largest social housing estate in Europe. One-hundred years on, this piece of living history is still inhabited. It’s for this reason that the estate is now the subject of an exhibition by Verity-Jane Keefe at the Royal Institute of British Architects. Keefe’s arresting photographs explore the details of the architecture and the character of its residents today.
24. Walk a sculpture trail
The Amelia Trail, throughout February – Edinburgh
Claimed to be one of the most famous Scottish artists that you’ve never heard of, Amelia Robertson Hill’s Victorian sculptures and statues can be found all over the city of Edinburgh. And if you’re interested in seeing a few of them, you can do so on this fun, informative and free walking tour of the city running on various dates throughout February.
25. Craft your own Chinese lantern
Chinese Lantern-Making, 12 February – Nottingham
With the Chinese New Year just around the corner on the 1 February, why not take the opportunity to do something to celebrate the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. Have a go at creating an authentic Chinese lantern (safely lit with an LED) to decorate your home this February. Hosted at Lakeside Arts Centre in Nottingham, this fun and free crafting event is an enjoyable and unique way of ringing in the Chinese New Year.
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