Free And Cheap London Events: 9-15 May 2016

By Londonist Last edited 19 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 9-15 May 2016
Climb aboard a boat at Alexandra Palace this week.

All week

BE CAPTAIN: Now that summer's almost here, it's the perfect time to captain your own boat on Alexandra Palace's Boating Lake. Sail on a swan, drift off on a dragon or race in a floating car. Boat rental from £4.95, just turn up, 10am-6pm

EINSTEIN'S LEGACY: All round clever chap Albert Einstein's been in the news this year with his gravitational waves. See how his theories and ideas revolutionised our understanding of the world at this fascinating Science Museum exhibition, filled with artefacts. Free, just turn up, 10am-6pm

MANGA: Catch manga-inspired exhibition Marching On The Butterbur Leaf by Yoshitomo Nara outside the Hayward Gallery. It's the first in a series of large-scale commissions by international artists that will be seen by the thousands of people crossing Waterloo Bridge daily. Free, just turn up, 10am-10pm, until 30 June 2016

Monday 9 May

TRANSIT OF MERCURY: Taking place only 12 times per century, Mercury's transit between the earth and the sun is pretty rare. It should be pretty easy to see this Monday's transit in London — and it doesn't have to cost a penny. We've got a list of some of the best places to see it. Free, just turn up to most, best times: 12.12pm-7.40pm

BIG BRASS BAND: Hear some of London's best young musicians from Trinity Laban's Brass Department as they play in ensembles of up to 10 players at Blackheath Halls. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

FREE MUSIC: Eclectic band Red Passion bring their blend of beats to Shoreditch's Bedroom Bar for an evening of musical happiness and soulful vocals. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Tuesday 10 May

MARX MEMORIAL LIBRARY: Take a behind the banner view of Marxism on this guided tour of the Marx Memorial Library. Visit Lenin's working space, original banners, posters and ceramics — even go underground and visit the cellars. £5/ £3, prebook, 1pm

FREE LECTURE: Belinda Jack delves into the representation of love in play within a play The Real Thing, by Tom Stoppard, at the Museum of London as part of The Mysteries Of Writing Poems and Plays series. Free, just turn up, 6pm

THE LOST WORLD: History of biology professor and film buff Joe Cain presents the original 1925 film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, at the Grant Museum Of Zoology.  Free (plus wine reception), just turn up, 6.30pm

FREE MUSIC: Head to Nashville for free this Tuesday at the Monarch's Nashville Round featuring Charlotte Campbell and Belle and the Busker. Expect country sounds and good ol' Tennessee hospitality. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm

Wednesday 11 May

Meet the man behind amazing shots like this at Clive Arrowsmith.

VINTAGE FASHION: Shop for some old school fashion at Canary Wharf this Wednesday with Pop Up Vinatge Fairs London. Grab some 60s gems or shoes from the 70s. Whatever your time, find your fashion here. Free entry, just turn up, 10.30am-6.30pm

BOOK LAUNCH: Meet one of the fashion world's best loved photographers, Clive Arrowsmith, as he launches his newest book, Fashion, Beauty and Portraits, at Marylebone's The Conran Shop. Ask him everything you've always wanted to know about shooting some of fashion's biggest stars. Free, RSVP, 6.30pm

SUMMER SESSIONS: The IOP brings leading researchers together with music and art to explain some of science's biggest questions. Tonight they're looking at Making Waves — how do gravitational waves happen? Head to King's Cross to find out more. Free, pre-register, 6.30pm

PAUL MCCARTNEY: One of Britain's greatest biographers, Philip Norman, discusses his latest book on the life of Beatle Sir Paul McCartney at Waterstones, Islington. Hear the secrets behind the cheeky Scouse chap from one of our best-loved chroniclers. Free, prebook, 7.30pm

Thursday 12 May

FREE HAIR DO: As part of Hair Fashion Night, get your barnet styled for free at Village Underground by top L'Oreal stylists at this Shoreditch showcase. Free, prebook, from 6pm

QUEER LATE: Horniman Museum presents an evening of events celebrating all things queer. From music, films and spoken word, to extravagant performances in the south London museum, as part of Museums At Night. Aged 18+ only. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

FREE FILM: The Overlook Screening Room at The Water Poet screens the debut feature from director Jamie Babbit. But I'm A Cheerleader follows cheerleader Megan after she's sent to a correction camp by her parents. Free, just turn up, 7pm

BEER PONG: Toss balls into red cups filled with beer — you know the drill on this one. Drink Shop Do invite you to come and play pong to a musical background and comedy of DJ Huw Joseph. Free, just turn up, 7pm

Friday 13 May

PUNK 1976-78: The British Library's punk exhibition explodes today with a collection of Sex Pistol images, memorabilia and items from The Jon Savage Archive. Contains adult content and probably a fair few safety pins. Free, just turn up, 9.30am

PSYCHEDELIC FACE PAINTING: Release your 60s self and get painted at the Queen Of Hoxton. Make up artist Saskia Laroque will be on hand to transform your face with flowers, peace and love. From £4, just turn up, 6pm-9pm

FREE VINYL: A club night where you get to keep the records? Yep it's real and it's at The Lexington this Friday. All vinyl must go, so head to The House Clearance Party and grab some for yourself. £5, just turn up, 11pm

Saturday 14 May

Enjoy all the fun of the fair with Carters today. Image: Anton's Show

SURREY DOCKS SPRING FAIR: Shed your winter coat and join the sheep at Surrey Docks Farm. They're throwing on a whole day of activities including sheep sheering, BBQ and morris dancers, plus you're on a working farm so there's loads of animals to meet too. Free entry, just turn up, 11am-4pm

STEAM FAIR: Travel back in time at Carters Steam Fair in the Imperial War Museum Gardens. Their traditional rides and sideshows date from the 1870s-1960s, plus vintage food vans and all types of entertainments and beautifully-painted machines. Free entry (purchase tokens for rides), just turn up, 12pm-10pm

LIVE MUSIC: Relax into the weekend with the sounds of Sachin at The Tea Box. The jazz singer is a popular regular musician, so you're in good hands. Sounds like our cup of tea. £5, just turn up, 8pm

Sunday 15 May

ARTIST LOCK IN: Lock yourself into The Book Club this Sunday with loads of other artists and get creating. Turn off the phone, disconnect the internet and see your productivity soar. Then join the after party and reward yourself for all the hard work. £5, prebook, 10am-midnight

WALK: Stroll through the Isabella Plantation — a 40-acre woodland garden in Richmond Park. Join a guided walk with the gardeners and enjoy some spring beauty with the staff who help make it all happen. Free, just turn up, 11am-12.30pm

RAYS JAZZ: Foyles on Charing Cross Road vibrates with jazz beats this Sunday. Successful NYJO Jazz Jam, with a guest performer to be announced and the opportunity for young musicians to get up and play with the professionals. Free, prebook, 12pm-3pm

FUNNY FALAFAL: The brilliantly-named Olaf Falafal tests out his newest funny stuff at the Top Secret Comedy Club. Expect one-liners and Scandinavian-tinged tales as he gets set for Edinburgh. Free, prebook, 7pm

Last Updated 17 May 2016