Free And Cheap London Events: 23-29 June 2014

Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week. For more ideas have a look at our Free & Cheap page.

Tuyet Trinh Do, Fishing net making in Mekong Delta, Vietnam, 2012. Part of Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibition. Details below

All Week

BRAZILIAN FESTIVALJoga Bola! Brazilian cultural festival kicks off today at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. The free festival’s line-up includes music and DJs from the UK, Brazil and Europe, artists at the forefront of the contemporary Brazilian scene, film screenings, Brazilian culture and World Cup football. See website for full programme. Free, until 13 July

ART EXHIBITION: Guildhall Art Gallery celebrates the 120th anniversary of Tower Bridge with a dedicated exhibition featuring painting, photography and projects from the time of the bridge’s construction. Free, until 30 June 

WATER BELOW: See an exhibition about the importance of water. Artist Amy Sharrocks is the mind behind the Museum of Water in the catacombs of Somerset House: see remnants of evaporated snow and lots of interactive exhibits. Free, until 29 June  

ENVIRONMENTAL PHOTOGRAPHY: The Environmental Photographer of the Year exhibition opens today at the Royal Geographical Society showcasing breathtaking photos (like the one above) from all over the world. Free, until 4 July

FREE ARTS FESTIVAL: Greenwich+Docklands International Festival continues until the end of the week with stunning circus and street theatre, gravity-defying acrobatics and live music. Free, until 28 June 

Monday 23 June

WATCH WIMBLEDON: It’s tennis time. Can’t afford a ticket? Watch the matches for free on big screens at One New Change at St Paul’s, Cardinal Place in Victoria, New Street Square in Chancery Lane, Thomas More Square in Tower Hill and Canary Wharf. Free, until 6 July

FREE PASTA: To celebrate the new opening of Italian restaurant Scarpetta at 110 Cannon Street, the restaurant’s offering free pasta to everyone (until stock lasts). Choose between Amatriciana, Norma and so on. Free, just turn up, noon-3pm. PLEASE NOTE, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FRIDAY 4 JULY.

POP-UP UNIVERSITY: Birkbeck pops-up at Leytonstone Library until 10 July with free talks and workshops for adults to encourage them into study. This week the theme is Employment and Enterprise. Free (+ refreshments!) but prebook — check website for full programme.

MUSIC IN A STATIONAlex Mendham & His Orchestra perform world music on the upper level of St Pancras station, by the Betjeman statue. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Tuesday 24 June

SWIMMING: Find out about the Thames Baths Project which wants to re-introduce  swimming in the Thames at Somerset House, £3/£2, prebook, 1pm. Later in the evening in the screening room, watch 2007 documentary Swim about a ‘fleshmob’ of 50 people swimming across London, £3, prebook, 7pm.

TALK: The Wiener Library in Russell Square hosts Marina Cantacuzino speaking about the The Forgiveness Project. The talk involves themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and conflict resolution. Free, prebook, 11.30am

AUTHOR TALK: Hatchards Bookshop on Piccadilly hosts Dicon Bewes who talks about Switzerland, following the publication of his book A Slow Train To Switzerland. £5, prebook by email6.30pm

FOCUS ON ARCHITECTURE: Join the panel discussion about the architecture and development of smart cities, as part of London Festival of Architecture. The event is led by experts and takes place at The Podium inside Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford. Free, prebook, 7pm  

Wednesday 25 June 

ART: Ben Uri Gallery in St John’s Wood presents its new exhibition about American artist Max Weber, whose career as a Cubism exponent developed between Paris and London. Free, until 5 October    

ROMA CULTURE: Watch a screening of Our School, “the bittersweet story of three Roma children from a rural Transylvanian village caught up in an initiative to integrate ethnically-segregated Romanian schools” and explore the exhibition Roma – from ‘extra’ to ‘ordinary’ at the Romanian Cultural Centre in Manchester Square. Free, prebook by email, 6.30pm

MUSEUM LATE: The Science Museum hosts its regular Late and explores the science behind sexuality. The evening includes science shows, a silent disco and a pub quiz. Free, just turn up, from 6.45pm

FILM CLUBCinémathèque, a monthly film night at The Proud Archivist in Haggerston, presents a screening of HI-SO by Aditya Assarat. £4+bf, prebook, 7.30pm 

LET’S JAM: Listen to some music or take part in a jam session during Meet & Jam Night, which takes place at Underbelly in Shoreditch. If you want to play, book your place by email. Free just turn up, from 8pm

Thursday 26 June

ART: Selected from our June Art listing, today you can choose between two openings. Last Seen Entering the Biltmore is a group exhibition that displays artworks connected to stage sets and scenographic tools, at the South London Gallery, Peckham (free, until 14 September) while Caroline Jane Harris explores and reproduces the complexity of nature through precise paper-cutting artwork at Scream gallery, W1 (free, until 2 August)

OPEN DAY: Everyone is invited to learn about the Nine Elms and Vauxhall regeneration project at the two-day long exhibition at Bolney Meadow Community Centre in Vauxhall. There will be family activities and talks throughout, as well as free shuttle buses to get there. Free, just turn up, Thursday 3pm-8pm & Friday 8am-6pm

HISTORICAL TALK: At the Weiner Library, Russell Square, Professor Anthony McElligott gives a talk about the deportation of Jews from Rhodes and Cos during the Holocaust, 70 years on. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

MEMORIAL TALK: Professor Lisa Jardine talks about her father, humanist Jacob Bronowski, at Conway Hall in Holborn. Free (donations welcome), prebook, 7.30pm

CHOIR CONCERTOrlando Chamber Choir and director Will Dawes sing music by the Renaissance greats at St Andrew Church in Holborn and you can choose your ticket price according to your means and moods. Just turn up, 7.30pm

COMEDY: Character comedians Cariad Lloyd and Louise Ford perform bizarre and delightful comedy creations at Drink, Shop, Do in King’s Cross. £3+bf, prebook, 7.30pm

POP-UP: Jardim is an interactive pop-up show where fashion meets drawing and garden design. Expect fashion collections on display, live drawing and flower installations to animate the atmosphere at Stoke Newington Studios. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

PHILOSOPHY: Author and founding member of Blondie rock group, Gary Lachman, talks about the life and career of controversial philosopher Colin Wilson at Dirty Dicks pub on Bishopsgate. £3/£2, just turn up, 8pm  

Friday 27 June

LUNCH BREAK: Grant Museum of Zoology invites UCL PhD students to talk about one object they’ve selected from the museum’s collection. Today the focus is on one of the planet’s most ecologically and economically important habitats, mangroves. Free, just turn up, 1pm

LECTURE: The Royal College of Nursing presents a lunchtime lecture about self-help books and how to deal with health self-care. The event takes place at the college’s library and heritage centre in Cavendish Square. Free, prebook by email, 12.30pm

Saturday 28 June

SPREAD THE LOVE: Festival of Love starts today at the Southbank Centre, spreading love and fun throughout the summer. Check the website for full list of events, many of them are free or cheap. Until 31 August 

OPEN WEEKEND: Eel Pie Island in Twickenham is a small hidden haven on the Thames: a nature reserve but also home to 26 artists studios all situated in and around a working boatyard. This weekend the island opens to the public. Free, just turn up, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm

ILLUSTRATION FAIR: Spoke is a cycling-themed design and illustration event happening at the CLF Art Cafe in Peckham. The day-long event brings together over 25 British artists, cyclists and design enthusiasts: enjoy a screen printing workshop, an illustration competition and music. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

FAMILY DAY: The Wallace Collection teams up with RNIB (Royal National Institute of Blind People) and focuses its family day activities on experiencing a day in the life of an 18th-century aristocrat. The event is especially for blind and partially sighted children accompanied by their families. Free, prebook by email, 11am-4pm  

BERMONDSEY CARNIVAL: Southwark Park hosts Bermondsey Carnival. Family activities include the Cuming Museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities Workshop (free, just turn up, noon-5pm) and plenty of live acts including Chas ‘n’ Dave, performing at 6.30pm. Free, just turn up, noon-8pm

LOCAL FUN: The annual Abbeville Fete takes place in Clapham. The day-long community event features food stalls, live music, family activities and raises money for five local good causes. Free, just turn up, noon-4pm

KENTISH TOWNKentish Town Festival runs throughout the day with live poetry and music, a community meal and even Zumba! Volunteering opportunities available as well — put yourself forward by email. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm-6.30pm

ARTIST TALK: In connection with his new exhibition Hell on Earth, Cambodian artist Leang Seckon talks with historian Dr. Peter Sharrock about the tumultuous history of Indochina, at Asia House in Marylebone. Free, prebook, 2pm

FREE MUSIC: Explore the musical heritage of Eastern Europe and the Balkans with Tatcho Drom at the V&A. Their music and dance is based on traditional Gypsy music and culture. Free, prebook, 3pm

SCI-FI SCREENING: The British Science Association screens 1956 British sci-fi film The Gamma People at Birkbeck Cinema to mark the start of Birkbeck Science Week. Free, prebook6.30pm

Sunday 29 June

DRAGON BOATS: See Dragon Boats on the Thames at the London Regatta Centre in Royal Albert Dock. The London Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival includes food stalls, family activities, martial arts displays and traditional Chinese lion dancing. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

EAST END: Roman Road Festival showcases the best the area has to offer and begins with “a relaxed afternoon of trails, chat and chilled music centred around the Albert Pub, who will also feed you roast potatoes”. The event goes on for a week until Sunday 6 July — see full programme on the website. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

SWING PARTY: Head to Poplar’s Chrisp Street Market for Swing East: a whole day of swing music, dancing and themed entertainment from the 1940s-50s. Expect vintage clothes, records and home wares plus food stalls. Free, just turn up, noon-6pm

MUSIC PERFORMANCE: Artsdepot in North Finchley hosts the premiere of a new work by composer Niraj Chag, commissioned as part of the New Music Biennial. The performance is followed by a Q&A session. Free, prebook, 1pm

KEATS POETRY:Keats House poets Stephanie Turner and Dean Atta host an afternoon of poetry writing. Free, prebooking essential, 2pm 

FAMILY WORKSHOP: Parasol Unit arts foundation in Angel hosts a family workshop inspired by the work of artist Jimmie Durham and his preoccupation with finding stones while walking. Take a journey around the local area to collect discarded items and turn them into new sculptures. £5 (whole family), prebook, 2.30pm

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 | 131 Articles | View Profile

  • alex mendham

    Hi Silvia we dont play WORLD music, we play swing and jazz music. Alex Mendham & His Orchestra

  • hola

    isnt the free pasta at Scarpetta on 27th of June?

  • Anna Mae

    Sad for anyone who turned up at St. Pancras this evening at 7pm just as Alex Mendham and his Orchestra were starting their final set. 5pm was the start time. Also the play Jazz music that transports you back to the 1920s & 30s

  • Gio

    Thanks for omitting the fact that it’s gay pride