Free And Cheap London Events: 1-7 February 2016

By Londonist Last edited 19 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 1-7 February 2016

All week

100 different shows in Waterloo. Image: Vault Festival

VAULT FESTIVAL: Six weeks of underground exploration and adventure, from performances, parties and play. Pop up bars, restaurants, galleries and over 100 shows across the next few months take up residence under Waterloo station. Free (admission charges to some shows apply), just turn up, 12pm-12am

INTERACT WITH CRAVINGS: Can food control you? Touch, taste and smell your way round this interactive Science Museum exhibit. Take part in chef Heston Blumenthal's food perception experiment and play fast-paced game, Craving Commander. You'll be looking at your lunch in a whole different way. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

TATTOO LONDON: From sailors to Shoreditch, Londoners have a long history of getting inked. Get up close with Tattoo London at the Museum of London's exhibition. Have a peek into four London studios and see newly commissioned art work from the city's tattoo artists. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

Monday 1 February

FRANTZ FANON LECTURE: In what way can the revolutionary thinker, known for his championing of Algerian liberation, help us understand today's political landscape? This LSE lecture explores the value of his writings in the contemporary world, with Danielle Sands, Madhu Krishnan, Michael Burns and John Narayan. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

NAVAL COLLEGE CHOIR: Choral evensong from Trinity Laban's resident choir in the beautiful setting of the Old Royal Naval College Chapel. Monday's programme includes pieces by Tallis, Sumsion and Mendelssohn. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

DIARY DAYS: Giggle at the cringeworthy at The Book Club's Diary Days. Bring your old journal, love letters, postcards, Christmas list — anything you like, and share the silliness, laughing at yourself and others. £4, prebook, 7pm

MASK AND MOVEMENT: Learn new skills, improve your practice or create new work with dance artist Mark Carberry's Mask And Movement workshop. Get involved with mediative movement, mask making and improvisation. All experience levels welcome. £5, prebook, 7pm

Tuesday 2 February

RARE BOOKS: Interact with rare books from 16th, 17th and 18th centuries at this National Archives event. Learn about their ownership as you get hands on with history. Part of the National Libraries Day celebrations from 2-6 February. Free, prebook, 2pm

CAPITAL IDEA: New London Architecture presents Street Party: Capital Ideas For London's Streets. This evening of quick-fire presentations will invite speakers to put forwards their ideas for improving London's streets and roads. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

DRONE WARFARE: Drones. They're everywhere at the moment — from toys to TV cameras. But how much do we really know about the drones used for war? Join Chris Woods and Anne McElvoy at the Imperial War Museum as they explore how drone warfare changed the modern battlefield with The Secret World Of Drone Warfare. Free, prebook, 7pm

JOY SCREENING: Catch David O. Russell's  latest offering, Joy, for a bargain price at the London Jewish Cultural Centre. This academy award-nominated film stars Jennifer Lawrence as the inventor of the miracle mop in this semi-biographical film. £5, prebook, 8.40pm

Wednesday 3 February

THE FORMATION OF OUR GALAXY:  With one hundred billion solar masses in the typical galaxy, like our Milky Way, how are they formed? At Gresham College's The Formation Of Our Galaxy, Professor Joseph Silk presents the mind-blowing galactic facts of how it all began. Free, just turn up, 1pm

SWING AT SOUTHBANK: Get social and swing with a dance class at the Southbank Centre. This Wednesday step into the Lindy Hop with Temujin Gill and Sunanda Biswas at the Clore Ballroom. You'll be a pro at the Texas Tommy in no time. Free, just turn up, 1.30pm

COMRADE CORBYN: As if from nowhere, Jeremy Corbyn swept in to win the Labour Party leadership last summer. Award-winning journalist Rosa Prince heads to LSE to talk about her new book, Comrade Corbyn: A Very Unlikely Coup, revealing the story behind this unlikely new political icon. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

Thursday 4 February

A night of spells with Harry Potter Book Night. Image: Harry Potter Book Night

HARRY POTTER BOOK DAY: Calling all Hogwarts fans! Get on your broom and make for Waterstones in Finchley for a whole day of Potter-based activities in celebration of Harry Potter Book Day. There'll be competitions and puzzles with potion-based prizes to be won. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

HARRY POTTER AT FOYLES: Foyles hosts an afternoon of interactive Hogwarts fun at its Southbank branch with sorting hats, snitches and a spell cracking challenge. With edible potions, Quidditch pitches and treasure hunts, you'll be ready for Hogwarts in no time. Free, just turn up, 3pm-7pm

PLAY WITH CLAY: Get clay-creative at Drink Shop Do's Play With Clay Lionel Ritchie Style. They suggest moulding into the shape of Lionel's head like you're in the video for Hello, but feel free to craft whatever you fancy. Free (when buying a drink), just turn up, 7pm

LEARN LATTE ART: Pact Coffee's finest baristas will be taking you through the swishes and swirls of Espresso And Latte Art at this workshop in their Old Street pop up store. Learn how to be a wizard with the milk and (probably) drink a fair few coffees while you're at it. Free, prebook, 6pm

ACOUSTIC AT THE HIDEAWAY:  London Acoustics welcome four talented musicians to this North London pub. Covers, collaborations and originals, followed by an open mic. We also hear rumours of pizza and beer. Free, just turn up, 8pm

Friday 5 February

THE AMERICAN STORY: Dallas Seitz's new exhibition of photography, video and objects dissects the American Dream. His work takes over the IMT Gallery with ideas addressing the Cold War, god, isolation and Mutual Assured Destruction. Free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

JOHN IRVING EVENING: Waterstones welcomes Oscar winner and author of The Cider House Rules, John Irving, talking about his new novel, Avenue of Mysteries. Head to the Trafalgar Square branch for an informative, entertaining evening. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

BEDROOM BEATS: There'll be no snoozing at Bedroom Bar's Soulclectica night. With tasty beats from DJ Couscous, soul, Afrobeat, funk, hiphop and loads more, dance through to the small hours. Free (£5 after 11pm), just turn up, 10pm-3am

Saturday 6 February

Show your inner glow at Southbank. Image: Southbank Centre

SHOW YOUR INNER GLOW: Explore the work of Craftimation Factory at the Southbank Centre in this presentation delving into the inner world of our mental health. A specially constructed UV-illuminated pod allows you to see the truths we only reveal in certain conditions. Part of Changing Minds. Free, just turn up, 10am-11pm, until 7 February

DOODLE AT THE SAATCHI: Coffee table book company, Doodle Nest, invites all children to visit them at the Saatchi Gallery and get doodling for the gallery's next installation, created entirely by children. Free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

MARIE LLOYD TALK: Celebrate the raucous era of music hall's biggest acts at this illustrated talk at Tower Hamlets Local History Library. Hear the secrets of stars including Champagne Charlie, Little Tich and Gus Allen and the brightest, and maybe most troubled, of them all, Marie Lloyd. Free, just turn up, 2.30pm

90S CLUB NIGHT: Whether you're grunge or Britpop, jump into this 90s club night at Rolling Stock, Dalston. DJ Jazzy George will be spinning the tunes, so expect all the classics you loved at school. There'll be Spice Girls, Titanic talk and probably people wearing combat pants. Free, just turn up, 10pm

Sunday 7 February

DESIGN TONIC: As part of Changing Minds, students and alumni from Royal College of Art's Design Interactions bring you Design Tonic. How does technology affect our mental health? For the better or worse? Head down to the Southbank Centre to find out. Free, just turn up, 11am-6pm

SMILE ACOUSTIC NIGHT: Free music, free cake and three different acoustic performers, what's not to love in this night of fresh music? From Colombian guitars, beatbox stars, poets and pianists, Rich Mix opens its doors for some Sunday night smiles. Free, just turn up, 6pm

SARA PASCOE'S LITERARY SALON: With funny girl Sara Pascoe (Mock the Week, QI etc), join comedians and writers presenting new and specially written work at The Book Club. Bring pen and paper and get stuck into your own tales on the night's surprise theme. £5, prebook, 7pm

Last Updated 01 February 2016

Alan O'Kelly

Is the best entertainment to be found on the streets of London? Can anyone really equal the talent of brilliant singer songwriter Charlotte Campbell who you will often find busking near the London Eye?