Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week.
Monday 26 August
ZOOLOGY: For the first time, the excellent Grant Museum of Zoology will be open today for bank holiday visitors. Pop along for animal skeletons, preserved specimens and even a jar full of moles … Free, just turn up, 1-5pm
DANCING: Learn the foxtrot, rumba and tango steps at Strictly Summer Ballroom in the Royal Festival Hall with live music and demos by the pros. Free, just turn up, 12-6pm
DOGS: Spitalfields Market hosts the annual Paw Pageant – that’s dogs in designer togs – raising money for Battersea Dogs and Cats Home. Free to watch, £5 to enter your dog, 1-3.30pm
Tuesday 27 August
WALKS: The kind folks at Clerkenwell & Islington Guides Association are still offering free walks every Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday. Check their website to see what you can join in with. Free, prebook.
PAPER AND PONG: Take part in a ping-pong tournament (£5, just turn up, 6.30pm) or practise your game design skills at a free weekly game producing night (free, just turn up, 7.30pm), both at The Book Club in Shoreditch.
GOOD CAUSE CRAFT: The Make Escape put on another free night of crafty goodness at Hackney Attic, but this time they’ve teamed up with War On Want and The Craftivists for their Love Fashion Hate Sweatshops campaign. As well as talks about the campaign, attendees can learn to stitch mini protest banners as well as the usual jewellery making and sewing/knitting workshops. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm
Wednesday 28 August
JANMASHTAMI: Bhaktivedanta Manor’s spectacular Janmashtami festival celebrates the birth of Lord Krishna on earth 5000 years ago. All are welcome. Free, just turn up, today and 1 September 9am-midnight
DREAM: Southbank Centre is the venue for I Have A Dream: Architects of Our Republic, an outdoor mass-participatory event celebrating the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s legendary ‘I have a dream’ speech. Free, just turn up, from 2pm
FOOD SCIENCE: Another excellent sounding late from the Science Museum: learn about the science of food and drink by trying a bug buffet, liquid nitrogen ice cream, or brewing your own ginger beer. Free, just turn up, from 6.45pm
VICTORIAN LONDON: Author Clive Bloom returns to Housman’s bookshop to present his latest book, Victoria’s Madmen, and tell the stories of some of the neglected figures of the Victorian age. £3, prebook, 7pm
Thursday 29 August
LONDON LORE: Join London Fortean Society host Scott Wood on a walk from the Royal Exchange to their home at The Bell on Middlesex Street, that takes in London lore, ghosts, urban folklore and psycho-geography. £3/£2, just turn up, 7.30pm
Friday 30 August
AFFORDABLE ART: Online gallery, The Affordable Art Studio, hosts a pop-up exhibition at The Shop in Kensal Rise to showcase the artworks they offer, usually only viewable online. Free, just turn up, until 30 September
MOUTH AND FOOD PAINTING: Join Mouth and Foot Painting Artists (MFPAs are artists who have lost the use of their hands through accident or illness) at Speakers’ Corner in Hyde Park for a demonstration of their painting techniques. Free, just turn up, between 11am-5pm until 1 September
CLOCKS: If you’re a clock lover (don’t want to misspell that…) then join Wallace Collection’s team of conservators for a special walking tour of the collection where you can see them open many of their historic clocks and wind the mechanisms. Free, just turn up (limited spaces so first come first served), 1-2pm
PING: The ping-pong craze is still going strong — King Ping’s annual tournament takes place tonight. Expect music, drinks and, ahem, “pingspirational” activities. Free, just turn up, 7-10pm
Saturday 31 August
COOLWALK: Join a CoolTan Arts CoolWalk today and learn about the Myths & Legends surrounding Nunhead Cemetery. Free, just turn up (meet at Nunhead Library), 12-3.30pm
Sunday 1 September
ICE SKATING: Ice skating in August? Why not. Today is the last day you can make the most of Alexandra Palace Ice Rink‘s ‘price freeze’, where sessions only cost a cool £5. Just turn up (but make sure you download the voucher beforehand), until 1 September
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.