From Bimini to board games, it’s time to start 2022 with a bang

Ah, January, Christmas is over, and the idea of having to look another piece of tinsel in the eye is frankly upsetting. The sparkliness has disappeared from the air and the days ahead seem colder, starker – and certainly less infused with meat and booze. That’s right folks, the first month of the new year is upon us once more, and we’re here with some of the best ways to help you beat the blues and get to the other side in one piece.

Please note, all events are due to go ahead as normal at the time of publishing but please do double check nearer the time on these ones. We live in uncertain times.

Read on for the best things to do in Leeds this January.

Hyde Park Book Club Leeds
Hyde Park Book Club: a snug space to be Image: Hyde Park Book Club

Board Game Afternoon | Hyde Park Book Club | 2 January

If the festive season’s been rough on you – or even if it hasn’t – why not head down to HBPC on the second day of the year for a spot of therapeutic dice rolling and counter tapping? Expect a humungous range of retro and modern games, and even some friendly faces on hand to teach you some killer moves.

Hyde Park Book Club, 27-29 Headingley Lane, Headingley, Leeds LS6 1BL (12pm; free entry)

Monster – an exhibition by Giles Walker | Left Bank | 13 - 29 January

Add a bit of contemporary art to your January with this provocative, kinetic installation centring on immigration, patriotism, domestic abuse and the pandemic. No big deal then, right? I joke. Giles Walker’s exhibition is here to inspire, explore and challenge, featuring animatronic sculptures and a haunting electronic soundtrack to captivate every viewer.

Left Bank, Cardigan Road, Burley, Leeds LS6 1LJ (tickets PAYF at

A Person Works On A Watercolour Picture Of Orange Flowers
Blooming lovely at The Bowery Image: The Bowery

Watercolour Workout | The Bowery | 15 January

Ever wondered if it was possible to build muscles from daubing different shades of paint onto paper? Me neither, but if we had, this would be the perfect way to find out. You can’t go wrong with The Bowery’s engaging, creative workshops – and this beginners’ one is no different. You’ll experiment with different styles, create your very own plant portrait, and leave covered in watercolour sweat.

The Bowery, 54 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds LS6 2AL (10.30am-2.30pm; tickets £49.10 at

Bimini Bon Boulash With Blonde Hair And A Silver Choker
Bimini Bon Boulash, a real UK Hun Image: Bimini Bon Boulash

Bimini Bon Boulash: Release the Beast | City Varieties Music Hall | 16 January

The nation’s favourite drag queen has got a book out, and she’s here in Leeds to tell us all about it, in an evening that promises laughter, wisdom and witticisms by the bucket load. Bimini’s book, Release the Beast is full of fearlessly funny advice on the power of drag, self-love and acceptance – and that’s exactly the energy you’ll see flowing from the stage. Tickets even get you money off a copy of the book.

City Varieties Music Hall Swan Street, Leeds LS1 6LW (7.30pm; tickets £20.10-29.60 at

Film Screening: There Will Be Blood | Belgrave Music Hall | 18 January

Catch Paul Thomas Anderson’s epic tale of savagery, optimism and obsession in a far less ominous setting. Grab a drink and relax in Belgrave’s upstairs events zone, and prepare for grit, drama and a decent dose of Daniel Day Lewis.

Belgrave Music Hall, Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds LS2 8JP (7pm; tickets from £4 at

The Twilight Sad Nicola Collins
No reason to be sad at the Brude Image: Nicola Collins

The Twilight Sad ‘Stripped Back’ | Brudenell Social Club | 19 January

Scottish post-punk indie rockers are taking it down a notch with a chilled-out set at the Brude this January. Mentored by The Cure and now looking forward to two international tours, this is the perfect chance to see the band at their intimate best.

Brudenell Social Club, 33 Queen's Road, Burley, Leeds LS6 1NY (doors 7.30pm; tickets £17.50 at

Jamali Maddix In An Orange Jumper Smiling
Jamali was hugely popular on Taskmaster Image: Jamali Maddix

Jamali Maddix | The Wardrobe | 21 January

As seen on Taskmaster, Frankie Boyles New World Order and his critically acclaimed series Hate Thy Neighbour, it’s Jamali Maddix. And he’s here with a show full of the prescient, poignant and playful.

The Wardrobe, 6 St Peter's Square, Leeds LS9 8AH (doors 7pm; tickets £16

Early Rehearsals For Operal Norths Rigoletto
Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow, pow Image: Opera North

Opera North’s Rigoletto | Leeds Grand Theatre | 22 January – 19 February

Moody, bleak and full of the kind of drama we all need in our lives right now (i.e. the fictional kind), Opera North’s Rigoletto promises a beautifully told tale of passion, vengeance and power. Directed by leading UK theatre artist, Femi Elufowoju Jr., this is a performance that’ll be with you for days.

Leeds Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU (various times; tickets £15-£77.50 at

Strictly Come Dancing Live Arena Tour | First Direct Arena | 25 & 26 January

Love it or hate it, it’s probably not going anywhere anytime soon. Strictly is here in all its glittering glory this January, and whether you’re all about the fancy footwork or still wondering where exactly the ‘strict’ part comes in, these two nights at the arena are set to be full of glamour, rhythm and fun.

Leeds first direct arena, Arena Way, Leeds LS2 8BY (6pm; tickets from £41.10 at 

Header image: o2 Academy

Read next: Charitable endeavours in Leeds this Christmas

Read again: The ultimate Leeds pub crawl 2021

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