Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week.
Monday 9 December
UKULELE: Whether you’re a regular Ukulele-er or just Uke-curious, pop down to Queen of Hoxton and hire one for a Hootenanny (or bring your own). Free (£20 returnable deposit for the ukulele), just turn up, 7.30pm
Tuesday 10 December
PSYCHOLOGY: Stories of how mental health has been treated over the past 250 years, will be the focus of the new exhibition Mind Maps: Stories from Psychology at the Science Museum. Free, just turn up, until August 2014
CAROL CONCERTS: The N1 Centre in Islington is the setting for a series of carol concert this week. Today local school children perform Christmas songs but there are also performances this Thursday, Saturday and Sunday too. See website for further details.
ROGUES’ GALLERY: A Rogues’ Gallery is a journey through the past half-century, charting the ups and downs of leading writers, actors, thinkers, politicians and public non-conformists, with journalist Peter Lewis upstairs at the Wheatsheaf on Rathbone Place. £4, just turn up, 7.30pm
Wednesday 11 December
ANIMAL SINGING: Join Spitalfields City Farm to get jolly with the animals and sing Christmas carols in their general direction. There’ll be live music and an appearance from Santa too. Free, just turn up, 1-5pm
HEADS AND BODIES: Remember that game you played as a kid where one person draws a monstrous head on paper, folds, the next person draws a monstrous body, and so on? Remind yourself of what freaky creations can be made at Queen of Hoxton. There’ll be prizes. Free, just turn up, from 7pm
Thursday 12 December
CHRISTMAS FOOD: Guildhall Library’s Dr Peter Ross narrates the history of Christmas feasting, from Great Yorkshire Pies and Christmas pottage to Twelfth Night Cake, Brawn, boar’s head, and Turkey with all the trimmings. £5+bf, prebook, 6pm
COMEDY: The Camden Head’s Comedy Back Rub tonight features Lou Sanders, Sarah Campbell and Garrett Millerick – all for a shiny pound coin. £1, just turn up, 7.30pm
WINTER TALES: Pete Castle, a man of Kent, sings songs and shares the folklore of the region, upstairs at the Old King’s Head with the South East London Folklore Society. £2.50/£1.50, reserve a seat via firstname.lastname@example.org, 8pm
QT: Watch-along, Tweet-along and laugh-along with BBC Question Time at the Hackney Picturehouse. £5/£3, prebook, from 8.30pm
Friday 13 December
CLASSICAL CHERUBS: Two classical concert performances designed for young children take place in the Garden Room at St Mary’s Neighbourhood Centre. £5/£2.50, prebook, 3pm and 4.30pm
DICKENS CHRISTMAS: Birkbeck lecturer Dr Nicola Bown talks at the Idea Store in Whitechapel about how Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol created the idea of a traditional family Christmas. Free, prebook, 6.45pm
FILM: The Portico Gallery in West Norwood hosts the Huff International Underground Film Festival, screening 22 short films from across the globe. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm
CONCERT: A Maiastra concert, organised by the Aidan Woodcock Charitable Trust, takes place at St Mary’s Church in Twickenham with violin, viola and cello recitals. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 7.30pm
Saturday 14 December
CEMETERY: Take part in a Winter Fun Day at Abney Park cemetery in Stoke Newington. There’s guided tours, singing, storytelling and even a wreath making workshop. Free, just turn up, 10am-3pm
DRUNKEN NIGHTS: A series of site-based live events in pubs and bars, Drunken Nights is at The Bell near Liverpool Street station with dance, language and comedy performances. Free, just turn up, from 7.30pm
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.