It’s no secret that it gets dark in Iceland in winter, but Icelanders don’t let the darkness get them down. The dark winter nights have their own special charm about them. Celebrating the dark winter nights is what the Winter Lights Festival is all about. The festival offers a range of events, where the many faces of Reykjavík’s culture come together. Art and industry, environment and history, sports and culture come together when all the major museums, the swimming pools, and Harpa Concert Hall join forces and put on an amazing variety of events, all over the city.
Opening night is on February 7, and the opening ceremony is a beautiful outdoor light installation at Hallgrímskirkja church combined with a Viking-themed parade. Regular features of the Winter Lights Festival, like Museum Night and Swimming Pool Night, will have their place on the programme, and like last year, the Northern Lights Fun Run will get everyone moving.
Museum Night, February 8
On Museum Night, the museums across the whole Capital Area will open their doors to the public at 18:00 and stay open till 23:00. Museum Night is not only a chance to visit your favourite museum, free of charge, but most of the museums are also putting on special events and offer their visitors a chance to see, hear, and even taste the museum in a different way.
Special Museum Night buses will transport guests between museums, free of charge. Check out the programme and the Museum Night bus schedule at www.winterlightsfestival.is.
Swimming Pool Night, February 9
There aren’t many things that beat sitting in a geothermal hot tub underneath the stars (even northern lights if you’re lucky) feeling toasty warm. On Swimming Pool Night, 12 of the pools in the Capital Area open their doors to visitors. Entrance is free of charge from 17:00-22:00. During the evening, many of the swimming pools will host special events, creating a unique atmosphere, encouraging guests to take part, dance, sing, or just relax, and enjoy the moment.
Northern Lights Fun Run, February 9
This 4-5km run through the city centre is not a timed race but an experience where lights, music, and beats transform your run into something special. With fun stops scheduled along the way and a music and lights event by the finish line in the Reykjavík Art Museum, the Northern Lights Fun Run is a great way to engage with the city centre in a whole new way.
To celebrate the winter darkness, artists from all over the world have created light installations in the city centre. The works of art range from an interactive light display over the cover of Harpa, to a group of artists creating a new work of art over the course of the festival. The installations will be on from 19:00-23:00 all festival long so be sure to catch them all!
Check out the complete programme at www.winterlightsfestival.is.