Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week.
Monday 16 December
FINNISH SHOP: Today is the last day you can visit the Finnish Pop-Up Christmas Shop at The Finnish Institute. There’s a traditional delicatessen (for all your herring needs) plus free Finnish mulled wine and gingerbread. Free, just turn up, 10am-8pm
Tuesday 17 December
FILM QUIZ: If you love film, then don’t miss out on the final You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat film quiz of the year upstairs at the Ritzy in Brixton. £4, just turn up, 7.30pm (early arrival recommended to bag a good table)
Wednesday 18 December
HOMELESS ART: The Unit London in Chiswick have teamed up with UK charity Shelter to produce Utopia – a show that aims to raise awareness for homelessness by showing it through the medium of art. Free, just turn up, until 31 December
Thursday 19 December
CAROLS 1: ‘Tis the season fa la la la etc. Pop to Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church on Shaftesbury Avenue for their Carol Celebration, with classical contributions and a “superb pipe organ”. Free, just turn up, 7-8.30pm
WRITERS: Syrian writers Iyad Hayatleh, Maram al-Masri and Husam Eddin Mohammad are at the Poetry Cafe with Exiled Writers Ink. £4/£2, prebook, 7.30pm
Friday 20 December
CAROLS 2: Celebrate Christmas with a creative showcase of carols courtesy of Hillsong Church London at Wembley Arena. Free, just turn up, 8pm
ANCHORMAN: Anchorman 2 has just reached British cinemas and to celebrate, The Paradise in Kensal Green hosts an Anchorman Fancy Dress Party, giving you an excuse to don that dodgy suit of yours. £4, prebook for a table, from 8pm
MUSIC: A Christmas special at Effra Social in Brixton: James Brown, Slow Club, Elvis, The Supremes, Eartha Kitt, Morecambe & Wise, Rat Pack, Chuck Berry, Holly Golightly, Wizzard, Ramones, The Wombles and lots more. Free, just turn up, 8pm-1am
BURLESQUE: Free burlesque? HELLO. Les Coquettes perform at The Bird’s Nest in Deptford. Free, just turn up, 9pm
Saturday 21 December
CHRISTMAS MARKETS: Ok, so you may not be able to pick up all your Christmas shopping for under a fiver, but if you’re feeling festive then London’s Christmas markets are a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Most are free to enter, have plenty to see, and you can pick yourself up a mulled wine/hot chocolate to keep the blood flowing.
Sunday 22 December
CURIOSITY ROADSHOW: Wellcome Collection takes their wares to Camden Lock Market on a converted Routemaster bus for a special Christmas unique object handling session. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm
ACOUSTIC MUSIC: The Breathing Room is an acoustic music night at The Antelope Pub in Tooting Broadway. Only £3 to attend and there’s the promise of raffle prizes. Just turn up, from 7.30pm
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.