10 THINGS TO DO AT THE 02 ARENA, LONDON

O2 Arena, London
O2 Arena, London

We visited the iconic O2 Arena, London, for a major sporting event and were bowled over by what a great venue it is and how much there is to do there!

Things to do at the O2 Arena: For concerts, sporting events and exhibitions in London, the O2 has a huge range on offer in the arena itself and exhibitions, shopping, bars and restaurants and a cinema onsite. Climb on top of the venue with the Up at the O2 experience and catch a cable car over the river with Emirates Airlines.

SPORTING EVENTS

We attended the World Cup of Gymnastics. A capacity crowd of gymnastic fans enjoyed world class competition from 8 countries, as well as entertainment from supporting acts and guest appearances from some of Britain’s best gymnasts.  Three hours of international women’s gymnastics sped by in this fantastic venue. This was a fantastic event to take my children to and really brought home the power of sporting inspiration to kids. My mini gymnasts loved it, especially when they spotted themselves waving their flags on the big screen!

The arena itself certainly has the wow factor, even though it only fills part of the dome. With capacity for 20,000 yet feeling surprisingly intimate, we were close to the action but if you wanted to nip out for a moment it was easy, thanks to the clever design of the arena with its many entrances.

 2020 sports events at the O2 Arena in London include basketball, boxing, tennis and darts.

O2 Arena, London
The arena before it fills up

CONCERTS

As well as the main arena there is a smaller venue for more intimate concerts.  I’ll be heading to the O2 Arena, London in 2020 to see Queen featuring Adam Lambert, in concert. I’m again taking my kids aged 12 to what will be their first rock concert!

2020 sees an eclectic mix of Sterophonics, Justin Bieber, The Script, Barry Manilow and Diana Ross performing at the O2.

Adam Lambert

COMEDY

Peter Kay famously became the first comedian ever to sell out 15 nights at the O2. Jimmy Carr, Mrs Brown and John Bishop have all filled this iconic stadium.

2020 sees Jimmy Carr returning to the O2

UP @THE O2

Yes you can walk on top of the O2 – with the appropriate safety gear and a climb guide of course! It takes 90 minutes to cross over the O2, stopping at the observation platform for stunning views of London on the way. If you love views and don’t mind heights, this is a unique way to visit the O2 and see London from above. There are age restrictions (no under 10s) as well as height and weight restrictions, so check out the details on the website to book. You can also now do a Climb and Dine restaurant and climbing combination.

Up at the O2
Photo Ash Chuan CC

CINEMA

There’s a multiplex inside the O2. Normally multiplexes are huge venues on their own, but this massive 11 screen cinema just slots into a small part of the dome.

RESTAURANTS & BARS

There are 26 restaurants and bars at the O2. Advance warning – they get extremely busy, with long queues, when shows or sporting events end and most don’t take bookings.  There are also other restaurants and bars just outside the venue.

There are food and drink counters arena-side as well. My dd made a beeline for the candy stand.

One small thing that I wasn’t a fan of at the O2 was that on entry to the arena itself you cannot take any water through security, like an airport. That would be fine but they charge £4 for small bottle of water on the other side! Top Tip: You can ask for tap water at any drinks outlet in the Arena

 

 

 

Bars & Restaurants O2 Arena, London

EXHIBITIONS

Exhibitions vary throughout the year but are usually crowd-pullers. For 2020, the Abba Super Troupers Exhibition  is the big draw taking visitors on an immersive journey through the music and fashion of one of the greatest pop groups in history. The exhibition alone takes up 14,000 square feet.

Tying in with the Abba theme, in 2020 the O2 hosts Mamma Mia the Party. I heard TV Chef and Bake Off judge Prue Leith saying on the radio this was the best Greek food she’d ever had!

O2 Arena
O2 Arena, CC

SKY STUDIOS

Sky Studios is a small area when you enter the arena where you can pose for pictures with TV superheroes or pretend to read the news. You wouldn’t head for the O2 just for this free activity but whilst you are there it’s fun to drop by for a few minutes.

SHOPPING

Icon Outlet is a new addition to the O2 and has 60 outlet stores all under one roof, mainly fashion and lifestyle brands. There’s always time to squeeze in a little shopping, right?

EMIRATES AIRLINE

Not at the O2 but right next door is the Emirates Airline Cable Car that goes from the O2 over the River Thames. Spectacular views of London and if you don’t fancy the Up@O2 experience or have people in your group whom it wouldn’t suit, this is a good alternative.  My children also enjoyed the small exhibition you can visit at the end and pretend to fly a plane.

As entertainment centres go, the O2 pretty much has something for all tastes.  I’d love to know what you’ve seen at the O2!

My Top Tips for visiting the O2 Arena, London:

  • If you’ve got tickets for an event at the O2 make a day of it by adding on the Emirates Airline, Up at the O2, an exhibition, cinema or meal.
  • Get there early it can take time to get through security in the arena.
  • Restaurants and bars get very busy but there are other restaurants outside the O2 as well if it is just too busy inside.
  • You can get free tap water at the bar in the arena.
  • Read the FAQs on the O2 Arena website before you go. That’s also the place to buy tickets and get travel information.

PIN FOR LATER

Where Jo Goes London Reviews

Things to do Greenwich/HMS Belfast/British Library/World’s Biggest Lego Store/

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre/Ham House/Royal Albert Hall

Hotels 4*  Pullman London St Pancras

Family friendly Restaurants Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel

Days out from London Legoland Top Tips/Legoland Top 10 Rides/Oxford

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8 Comments

  1. May 16, 2017 / 9:56 am

    I can’t imagine watching darts in the O2, it seems rather over-sized for such an activity, but then TBH I can’t imagine wanting to watch darts anywhere!!! I’d love to do the climb and I have been on the Emirataes Airline but I’ve never been inside the O2 and had no idea there was so much in there. #citytripping

    • May 16, 2017 / 12:45 pm

      I didn’t know darts had the capacity to use such an arena!

  2. May 16, 2017 / 11:11 am

    We often visit the cinema at the O2, which is excellent. It’s really handy to have all the restaurants at hand, too. I’d love to walk across it one day, too! #citytripping

  3. May 16, 2017 / 2:47 pm

    We head to The 02 (I can’t help but call it “Theo, too”!) each March for four days of the best live music – the annual Country2Country festival. The whole place is transformed, with lots of free music available near Starbucks and the cinema. Course, you can also buy tickets to go inside the arena, too 🙂 I love heading to Las Iguanas (er, 2-4-1 cocktails? Hello!) and Wagamama, just outside Theo.

    • May 16, 2017 / 3:15 pm

      That sounds totally awesome! I love country music!

  4. May 16, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    I finally went on the cable car a few weeks ago which was really fun but I would love to do the rooftop walk – I don’t live that close so we actually rarely visit but finding myself nearby for a conference was a good reminder of exactly how much there is to do. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

  5. May 18, 2017 / 11:39 am

    The O2 is super cool – I did Up at the O2 recently and the views are epic! #CityTripping

  6. May 20, 2017 / 12:39 pm

    Climbing up the O2 reminded me of the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Seems like climbing up landmarks is quite a thing all over the world! #CityTripping

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