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3rd January 2020

10 Unusual events and quirky things to do in 2020

Well then, ladies and gents – we’re now officially in the future. Ross and Rachel’s daughter Emma turns 18 this year, and we’re just as close to 2050 as we are to 1990. The year we thought would never come also marks the beginning of the roaring twenties (again…), and if you weren’t around to live through the first one then you owe it to yourself  to make the ten years that follow as memorable as can be. After all, who wants to be drawing blanks when our future spawn ask us, “what were you doing in 2020?”

So, get strapped in and get ready: this is the year to take yourself on that adventure you’ve been putting off. To do that thing you’ve never done. To cross the threshold into unknown realms and do something different. 

But where to start? Well, right here of course – we’ve gathered some of the best weird and wonderful happenings over the next 12 months to add to your 2020 experience bucket list. 

1. Get wet wet wet at the Underwater Music Festival

Did you know that music travels faster in water? Whether you’re a diver, music lover or just want to experience this incredible phenomenon for yourself, Florida’s Underwater Music Festival will satisfy those cravings for quirky things to do in 2020. See divers, snorkelers and musicians alike dressed up in whimsical nautical costumes, while participants mime along to music using specially sculpted underwater musical instruments. Glastonbury can wait.

2. Revel in darkness at The Clink Prison Museum

clink prison

Wander off London’s artsy South Bank and you’ll find Clink Prison, one of the oldest and most notorious prisons in England. Opened in the 12th century, the Clink has a long history of locking people up  but today operates as a museum. Visit at your peril – you’re free to leave eventually, but not before today’s Clink Prison Museum’s ‘prison guards’ and ‘inmates’ bring the grisly past back to life.

3. Escape the room at Lady Chastity’s Reserve

Do something different in 2020 and settle into an afternoon of hedonistic discovery with a trip to Lady Chastity’s Reserve, home of some of the naughtiest fabled parties to have ever been recalled. Groups of two to six (though, as Lady Chastity would insist, the more the merrier) are invited to the ruins of the Reserve, uncovering clues to point them towards the final bottle of the vineyard’s elusive aphrodisiac wine. 

4. Explore history at Guildhall’s Underground Roman Amphitheater

A 2000-year secret lies beneath the famous Guildhall building in London. Will 2020 be the first time that you see it for yourself? Walk in awe through ancient history with a visit to the magnificent Underground Roman Amphitheater, closing your eyes to imagine the raucous chants of the public in attendance of fights and public executions which took place millennia ago. 

5. Discover Floating Book store, Word on the Water 

If London’s most unusual bookstore isn’t already on your list of quirky things to do for 2020, then consider this a nudge to add it. Word on the Water, a 1920s Dutch barge, started its life a decade ago, popping up wherever it could snag a spot in the capital’s waters. After a lengthy campaign by regulars to get it a permanent location, it’s now floating serenely on Regent’s Canal, housing a varied assortment of cult, contemporary and classic fiction and non-fiction.

6. An authentic experience at Day of the Dead Festival 

day of the dead festival mexico

It seems every Hallowe’en in recent years has seen some reincarnation of Mexico’s sugar skulls adorn the faces of the genetically gifted, but Dia de Los Muertos – Mexico’s Day of the Dead – is far more sacred than a beauty fad. In its home country, the day serves as a family-focused, colourful, food-filled celebration of the lives of those who have left us, a complete contrast from its Western counterpart and definitely an event for your 2020 diary. There are so many great Day of the Dead tours, just pick the one to suit your budget.

7. Camper’s paradise at Camp Quirky

Ever wondered what it might be like to travel – or even live – in your very own camper van? Nope? Then scroll on. Yes son! Well, you’ve just hit the jackpot. You can explore every question you ever had and more at Camp Quirky, the definitive 2020 festival for campervan self-builders, professional converters and handmade campervan enthusiasts. Expect workshops, talks, quality food and drink, and plenty of opportunity to have a nosy on how the other half lives – all set against a backdrop of live music and entertainment.

8. A twisted adventure with Unusual Attractions Walk

Think you know your hometown like the back of your hand? You might know about London’s secret prohibition-style bars, but have you ever been hunting for noses and ears in the Big Smoke? Take on some of the most alternative events of 2020 with a very untraditional walking club by the team over at Adventure Geek. You might be visiting bone crypts, examining statues and their meanings, or generally just discovering the little-known weird and wonderful facts about the roads you walk on, but one thing’s for sure: if you didn’t know your city before then, you certainly will after.

9. Flex your brain muscles at Poppa Plock’s Wonky Workshop

Complete the great, befuddled vision of the late toymaker Poppa Plock at his Wonky Workshop in London’s Depot pub. With the help of his assistant Wynne and the ventriloquist dummy Okikokyo. You’ll learn all about the abandoned little boy and his unusual habits, finding out first hand what it really takes to create the most twisted and depraved toy of all time. Maybe you’ll get it right – maybe you’ll get it very, very wrong – either way, you’ll soon agree taking part in one of the most quirky events of 2020 is an excellent use of your time.

10. Weave spells at Wizard World Comic Con

Potterheads, unite for  one of the biggest upcoming events in 2020. Celebrating pop and comic culture in multiple locations across the US of A, Wizard World Comic Con is a fan convention celebrating pop and comic culture with a whole host of attractions and entertainment. 

potter fans wizard comic con

Visitors don their most elaborate costumes and gather for a weekend of movie screenings, artist and celebrity Q&A panels, costume contests, a masquerade ball, autograph sessions and more. If there was any year to satisfy your inner geek, let the opening year of the decade be it.

Plenty of quirky fodder for your events diary in 2020

So what are you waiting for? Pick up those journals and diaries, and add these unusual events and quirky things to do to your 2020 timeline. 

Still looking for more ideas? You can check out blogs on quirky outdoor activities in London or Anti-adulting activities for big kids.