Free & Cheap London Events: 12-18 May 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 56 months ago
Free & Cheap London Events: 12-18 May 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.

The Book Club has a ping pong area. Details below

All Week

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

MUSEUMS AT NIGHT: This week, from Thursday until Sunday many London museums will be animated by Museums at Night. Culture24's initiative offers people the chance to visit London museums after the normal opening times and we've highlighted some of the best events happening. From 15 May until 17 May

Monday 12 May

FREE MUSEUM: Florence Nightingale Museum celebrates the birthday of its namesake, and offers free entry throughout the day. Free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

ART TALK: Habla de Arte is a talk focusing on Spanish art for those also interested in learning Spanish. It takes place at Oxford House in Bethnal Green. £5, prebook, 7pm

MUSIC SESSION: Monday Musicians happens at Cecil Sharp House and it's open to everyone who can play an instrument. This is a repeated event where you can just turn up and play folk dance tunes from the British Isles and associated traditions. £5/£4, just turn up, 7pm

OPEN MIC: Rich Mix hosts Allsortz Open Mic Nights. The event welcomes singers, rappers, dancers, comedians and spoken word artists. Free, just turn up, 7pm

CAMDEN JAM: The Forge hosts an evening of music jam sessions, where you can listen to a wide variety of music genres mixing together. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

Tuesday 13 May

HEALTH TALK: The Cholesterol Conundrum: Why Heart Health Concerns All Ages is a free talk at the Royal College of Physicians. The talk clears up the common confusion surrounding cholesterol and what it means for your heart. You'll also get a free cholesterol test and a heart-healthy lunch. Free, prebook, 11am

DISCOVERY GAME: Join this discovery game of the City of London, unveil forgotten tales from those who lived and died there. Team up with your friends and bring a map, get the clues and start the game — meeting point is at Smiths of Smithfield. £20 (per team — cheap if you're four people or more), prebook, 11am-1.30pm

PING PONG: The Book Club in Leonard Street has a small ping pong arena on its ground floor. Today's competition includes drinking vouchers for the winners. £5, just turn up, 6.30pm-11pm

HISTORIC INTEREST: Andrew Collins heads to Foyles on Charing Cross Road to celebrate the publication of his new book Göbekli Tepe: Genesis of the Gods, about an ancient cave complex he discovered in Turkey. He will answer questions and sign copies. £3, prebook, 7pm

MUSIC: The Social, close to Oxford Circus, plays host to Huw Stephens (Radio One) and plenty of free live music. He is assisted by DJ Felson and the line-up includes Kagoule, Gallery Circus and The People The Poet. Free, just turn up, from 7pm

MORE MUSIC: The Old Blue Last pub in Shoreditch hosts an evening of free live gigs featuring Adolescent, Shift Work and Shinamo Moki. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

Wednesday 14 May

LUNCH BREAK: Join a talk about pubs at Shoe Lane Library lead by John Spicer, who looks at the brewing and pub retailing changes of the past 50 years. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm

BRICK LANE: At Waterstones Piccadilly, Phil Maxwell talks about his project photographing Brick Lane daily for 30 years. Free, prebook, 7pm

BOOK TALK: Stephen E Hunt discusses his new book The Revolutionary Urbanism of Street Farm, which examines the innovative work of a London-based collective of anarchist architects in the 1970s, at Housmans in King's Cross. £3, just turn up, 7pm

MUSEUMS: Museum Showoff 7 is an occasion for anyone who enjoys London's museums. Hear tales from the museum from curators, conservators, trustees, directors, designers, volunteers and more at The Black Heart in Camden Town. Free, just turn up, from 7pm

FREE GIG: East India Club Night at Rich Mix features award-winning Rosabella Gregory and her band, with an Indian supper club as well. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm  

Thursday 15 May

ART: Space Unfolding exhibition is on at the Espacio Gallery. Expect a varied and rich range of works by artists from very different backgrounds. There will be an artist talk on Saturday 17 as well. Free, until 20 May

MORE ART: Stomach art show takes place in Hoxton and includes a group art exhibition, film screenings, installations, performances, music and even free food. Free, just turn up, from 5pm

WEATHER TALK: Join Dr Jason Lowe at the Building Centre for a talk about weather and climate change. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

HORNIMAN MUSEUM: Extremes Late happens today at the Horniman Musueum. Expect music from Zimbabwe, a pop-up art show, acrobats, a surreal film screening and storytelling. £5, prebook, 6.30pm-9.30pm

ART TALK: The Contemporary Art Society hosts a talk connected to the exhibition displaying paintings from three pioneer female painters: Phoebe Unwin, Clare Woods and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Free, prebook by email, 7pm

CANARY WHARF TOUR: Enjoy a free guided tour of the Docklands area and east London, organised by Occupy London Tours. Free, prebook, 7pm

Friday 16 May

NATIONAL THEATRE: Listen to poetry written during WWI. Kenneth Cranham and Deborah Findlay are among the reading guests and Josephine Hart will introduce the reading. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm

MUSIC: 93 Feet East in Brick Lane hosts an evening of indie, acoustic and alternative live music. Line-up includes The Planes, Kassassin Street, Jessie's Ghost and Emily Litta. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm

MORE MUSIC: Enjoy free live music at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, see the performance from High Cross Society and Eclectic Method. Free, just turn up, 8pm  

YEAR CELEBRATION: Record label Chromoza Recordings celebrates its first birthday with a special celebration at the Zigfrid von Underbelly in Hoxton. Expect cheap drinks and much music. Free, just turn up, from 8.30pm

Saturday 17 May

STREET CULTURE: Fresh Out The Box is a one-off event to celebrate 25 years of the brand Boxfresh. The event lasts the whole day and includes lectures from street wear designers, graffiti workshops, live DJ set and street-art tours. See website for full programme and venues of events. Free, just turn up, noon-11pm

SHOPPING: Shopping destinations Seven Dials and St Martin’s Courtyard present their Spring Shopping Festival where over 150 shops, bars and restaurants offer 20% discount on the day. The event is free to attend and you can register online to get your ticket. Free, prebook, noon-5pm

NATIONAL THEATRE: Get the chance to explore the later work of playwright Sean O’Casey with Abbey Theatre archivist Mairead Delaney, director Wayne Jordan, author James Moran, and readings by National Theatre actors. £5/£4, prebook, 10.30am

POETRY: Serpentine Galleries hosts a poetry reading. Poets Eugene Ostashevsky, Holly Pester and Sophie Seita present readings in the gallery's Powder Room, within the exhibition curated by Martino Gamper. Free, just turn up, 3pm

RICH MIX: The multi-functional centre in Shoreditch hosts two events today: Enig-Mas, a play that focuses on the relationship between women and men (Free, just turn up, 1pm) and the dance-theatre performance Scary Shit by Rhiannon Faith (£5, prebook, 7.30pm)

MUSIC NIGHT: Enjoy a night of music and dance at Powerlunches in Dalston. Line-up includes Loom, Love Buzzard, Dead Coast, Abjects and more. £5, prebook, from 8pm

FILM SCREENING: As part of Herne Hill Free Film Festival, the Prince Regent Pub hosts a screening of Cittaslow. The film is about a project born in Italy in 1999, which aims to benefit and preserve historical and environment-concerned towns. Free, just turn up, 8pm

Sunday 18 May

FAMILY DAY: Keats House has organised a family afternoon of arts and crafts inspired by forests, jungles and all things growing. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

LIVE MUSIC: The Old Blue Last pub in Shoreditch hosts an evening of free live music. On stage, I Like Go Go, Weak Nerves and Milk Teeth: expect a mix of music genres. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

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

Last Updated 11 May 2014