Free & Cheap London Events: 26 May-1 June 2014

Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week. For more free of charge London events, see our Free & Cheap page.

Celebrate

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of Harley-Davidson shop Warr’s on Sunday 1 June. Details below

All Week

Check the week ahead with our guides to market & shopping eventsart exhibitions and theatre events around town. Plenty of free ones, too.

WILDLIFE ART: Are you a nature lover, dreaming of escaping into the wild? Then find your corner of heaven in one of these free exhibitions about nature and wildlife. They take place in different venues across London. Free, until July at latest

THEATRE: Incoming Festival at New Diorama Theatre has at least two different shows every day this week, and all tickets are £5. For information and to book, click hereUntil July

JOHN LEWIS GARDENVisit the rooftop garden of John Lewis’ flagship store in Oxford Street, which celebrates its 150th anniversary. The popular department store hosts a special exhibition as well. Free, until 21 June

CULTURE FESTIVALWandsworth Heritage Festival kicks off today with a rich programme of free events, bringing back to life the history of the borough. Expect guided walks, talks, family activities and so on. Free, prebook suggested, until 8 June

HALF TERM FUN: It’s that time again, and we’ve published a round-up of the best activities for May Half Term. Many of the events are free. Until 1 June

FREE FILM FESTIVAL: A rich programme of free films in unusual venues characterises the Herne Hill Free Film Festival. No need to pre-book in most of the venues. Free, until 31 May

LOVE THE TREESLondon Tree Week celebrates all the woodlands and green spaces in town. Highlights include free guided walks and cycle tours, wander in the woodland and even pop-up forests in town. Check website for events and prices, until 31 May

PARENTAL ADVICE: Meet experts at Birkbeck’s Pop-up University in Willesden Green, join free talks and workshops, all about family, baby care and parental advice. See website for full programme, 27-31 May

Monday 26 May

AFRICAN MARKETThe African Market returns to Spitalfields with stallholders including fashion designers, artists, interior designers, music, film and food vendors. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

WWI WALK: Organised by Tooting History Group, this guided walk tells the story of Tooting in the First World War. Meeting point is at Church Corner (junction of Church Lane and Mitcham Road). £5, just turn up, 2pm 

ART DISCUSSIONCalvert22 Gallery in Shoreditch hosts a panel discussion about art education in Britain and Russia in the post-communist era. Free, prebook7pm

Tuesday 27 May

KINDERTRANSPORT: As part of My Story series, the Wiener Library hosts Catholic minister and Kindertransportee Father Francis Wahle. He will tell the story of his life, followed by a Q&A session, tea and biscuits included. Free, prebook, 11.30am 

WAR TALK: Listen to professor Vernon Bogdanor from Gresham College, talking about Britain and 1914 at the Museum of London. The talk is about the political position of Britain during the First World War. Free, just turn up, 6pm 

FITNESS CLASS: Enjoy a free fitness class and do some pro-summer training at Equinox in South Kensington. Free, prebook, 6pm

ART NIGHT: Merging Inks is a creative night of collaborations and expression of contemporary artists. Head to Rich Mix where you can listen to improvised music and see live art performances. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

SETH MACFARLANE: Seth MacFarlane found fame as creator of Family Guy and Ted. He’ll be signing copies of his debut novel A Million Ways to Die in the West at Waterstone’s Piccadilly. Free, just turn up (get there early as places are limited), 6.30pm

POETRYTemplar Poetry Live evening at Keats House presents the launch of Damian Smyth’s poetry collection, Mesopotamia, alongside the 2014 iShot Poetry Pamphlet, The Outsider, by Tom Weir. Free, prebook, 7pm

BRAINY: In order to celebrate the European Month of the Brain, the British Science Association teaches you how to make your own brain-shaped bath bombs to take home. Material is provided and there will be neuroscientist talks during the night. £3, prebook, 7pm

CINEMA QUIZ: You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat cinema quiz happens tonight at The Ritzy Cinema in Brixton. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm

OPEN MIC:Poetry Unplugged is an open mic night at the Poetry Cafe. £5/£4, just turn up, 7.30pm

CRAFTY: The Make Escape marks its second anniversary with a special party and crafty night, Makerversary No. 2. Sew your own cupcakes, make decorations and design your own party items. Free, just turn up, from 7.30pm

Wednesday 28 May

ART: Unearthly Synthesis brings together the work of 15 artists at Asylum, a bombed chapel turned into an art space in Peckham. Free, just until 30 May

TALK: Explore the relationship between Mathematic and Aesthetics throughout the centuries with Professor Marcus du Sautoy from Gresham College, at Museum of London. Free, just turn up, 6pm

ANIMALS AT WAR: Join a free talk about the relationship between animals and humans on the London Home Front, 1939–1945. In this talk Dr Hilda Kean presents her new book on the subject. Free, prebooking necessary, 6pm

SHERLOCK STORY : Waterstone’s Covent Garden has an evening with Mitch Cullin, author ofA Slight Trick Of The Mind, which is narrated by a 93 year old Sherlock Holmes. £3, prebook6.30pm 

HOLOCAUST: The Wiener Library runs a Public Consultation about the current state of Holocaust education and commemoration in Britain, after the recent call made by Prime Minister David Cameron. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

MUSEUM LATE: The Science Museum Late this month is all about making, hacking and doing. Enjoy themed talks and workshops, music, pub quiz and comedy. Plus the chance to explore the museum with a glass of wine. Free, just turn up, from 6.45pm

MINERS’ STRIKESettling Scores is a book coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike. At Housman’s, contributors to the book, including Nick Jones and Tony Harcup, come together to discuss how recently released material has shed new light on the corrupt policing and biased coverage of the strike. £3, just turn up, 7pm 

POETRY NIGHT: Jawdance is the open mic night happening at Rich Mix, where everyone is welcome to join and share their creations. Registration to secure a slot starts at 6.15pm. Free, just turn up, event starts at 7.30pm

PUBLIC TALK: As part of the development project for Crystal Palace park, today there’s a public talk focusing on future ownership and development of urban setting within the park. The talk takes place at the Salvation Army Worship Hall. Free, prebook7.30pm

Thursday 29 May

ART: At Home at the Mill is an exhibition showcasing local artists from the E17 area. The exhibition opens today and includes artwork by local children, poetry and artists’ talks as well. Free, just turn up, until 5 July

PING PONG: Find free-admission ping pong tables in Exchange Square and get ready to play. There will be table tennis coaches available both to teach and challenge. Free, just turn up, 11am-3pm & 4pm-7.30pm

TALK: Robert J Seidman talks about his new novel Moments Captured, which is about the life, loves and exploits of photographer Eadweard Muybridge. The talk takes place at Kingston Museum and Local History Room. Free, prebook by email6pm

LIVE MUSIC: Listen to some raw funky music at 93 Feet East. Music acts include James Hillyard, DJs Ronnie King, Fred Mann and Ben Osborne. Free, just turn up, from 6pm

LEARN SPANISH: Interested in learning a new foreign language? Lingua Diversa Group offers a really cheap introduction to Spanish in its offices in Holborn. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

CAMDEN COLLECTIVE: Meet actor Ashley Walters and get the chance to ask him questions about his career and his life. He is the special guest today at Camden Collective, as part of Latimer Talks series. Free, prebook by email, 7pm

CABARETSt George’s Players, Forest Hill’s very own theatre company, present their mini cabaret show at The Hob. £3, just turn up, 7pm

GOOD CAUSE: Join and contribute to support a crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign launched by Art Map London, in order to put together a new website. The event includes a panel discussion and an exhibition launch. Free, donations welcome, from 7pm

Friday 30 May 

RUSSIAN ARTRussian Art Week kicks off today and presents a rich programme of exhibitions, performances, talks and even auctions. Includes plenty of free and cheap events, see full programme on the website. Until 6 June

INTERIORSThe Spring Clean, at the Londonnewcastle Project Space in Shoreditch sees interior designers, fabric, rug and furniture companies selling off excess stock at reasonable prices, to raise money for Kids Company. There will also be food trucks, a raffle and a champagne bar. Free, just turn up, until 1 June 

JAPANESE CRAFTThe Japan Foundation in Russell Square is running free workshops on making Kaburimono, a type of outlandish headgear from Japan, led by Japanese artist Norio Nishihara. Ages 7+. Free, prebookuntil 31 May 

MOTOWN NIGHT: The Clissold Arms in East Finchley hosts resident DJ Duncan Burton spinning Motown classics. Free, just turn up, from 9pm 

MUSIC NIGHT: The Book Club turns its basement into a dance floor for a night of dance and fun. Expect a wide variety of music genres: house, disco, electro, techno and so on. Free before 9pm/£5 after, just turn up, from 8pm

Saturday 31 May

HANDMADEWe Are Handmade at Spitalfields gives the public a chance to buy handmade items directly from the makers.

SAMPLE SALE: Concrete Studio has a sample sale of its menswear at The Dray Walk Gallery in Truman BreweryFree, just turn up, until tomorrow

WILDLIFE: The Spotlight on Sumatra wildlife exhibition is outside More London for its final day. It portrays the species of Sumatra and the danger they are in. Free, just turn up, until 31 May

FOREIGN LANGUAGES: Start to learn a new language at Lingua Diversa Group language centre. Today you can choose between Italian (11.30am-12.30pm), German (12.45pm-1.45pm) and Brazilian Portuguese (2pm-3pm). All lessons are £5, prebook your place by email

POP-UP: Borough Market meets artistic talent: to celebrate local art, there will be a pop-up shop organised by Southwark Arts Forum inside the market hall. Pieces include: millinery, paintings, limited edition prints, bespoke furniture, photography and so on. Free, just turn up, 8am-5pm 

SMELL FLOWERS: Smell Provence at St Pancras International, where a flower display and a pop-up from Chelsea Fringe on the second floor await for you. Free, just turn up, 9am-5pm 

ART & DESIGNThe Wimbledon Village Affordable Art & Design Fair is a new event, showcasing photographers, scupltors, jewellery makers, potters and more. Free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

GOOD JUMBLE: Head to Lewisham Arthouse in Brockley for a sale of good-quality second-hand women’s clothes from Good Jumble. Unlike other similar sales, customers can try items on, and even have them adjusted on the spot if they don’t quite fit perfectly. £3, just turn up, 11am-2pm 

POP-UP DJ: DJ Park, the DJ school of London, is celebrating its launch with a whole day of free music at Old Street Station, unit 8pm. The event includes music, drinks, apparel and CD giveaways. Free, just turn up, noon-10pm 

Sunday 1 June

HARLEY-DAVIDSON: London’s biggest Harley-Davidson shop Warr’s celebrates its 90th anniversary with a one-off event. During the day, the largest collection of historic Harleys this side of America will be on display, plus customised bikes from Kings Road Customs team, live music, food and so on. Free, just turn up, from 10am

FILM SCREENING: As part of Walthamstow International Film Festival, the Vestry House Museum Community Room hosts some short film screenings. Free, just turn up, noon-6pm

DRAWING: As part of Chelsea Fringe, Inner Temple Garden hosts the Long Draw, a creative day of drawing in the garden, materials supplied. There will also be garden tours, an exhibition in the potting shed and an installation. Free, bring a picnic, 1-4pm

ROLLERSKATINGThe Sunday Stroll is a relaxed slow paced skate open to all roller skaters and rollerbladers able to stop, turn and control their speed on hills. Meet at Serpentine Road in Hyde Park. Free, just turn up, 2pm

TREE WALK: Join a free guided walk focused on trees in Bounds Green, adjacent to the Scout Park. Meeting point is under the tree at the bus stop opposite the Ranleagh Pub in Bounds Green Road. Free, prebook, 3pm

TALK: The Old Finsbury Town Hall hosts a talk about how to manage your energy. Free, prebook, 4.30pm

JAZZ AFTERNOON: Mau Mau Bar in Portobello Road hosts an afternoon of classic jazz. To warm up the atmosphere, the first 25 ladies to arrive will get a free glass of bubbles. £5, prebook, 5pm

Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun. Or pop over to BrokeInLondon.com who also have plenty of great ideas.

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Article by Silvia Baretta | 96 Articles | View Profile

  • Tabitha McGrath

    The lecture listed on 28th May was actually on 21st…

    • Silvia

      Hello Tabitha,
      Thanks for letting us know. I will take that out now.