Free And Cheap London Events: 16-22 June 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 114 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 16-22 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.

Queen of Hoxton rooftop bar hosts a free dog show on Tuesday. Details below

All Week

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

BRAZILIAN FESTIVAL: Joga 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, photographies 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  

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

Monday 16 June

ART: Menier Gallery in Southwark Street hosts Anhelo, a painting exhibition by Spanish artist Francisco J Jimenez. Free, until 21 June

SCIENCE MUSEUM: The Rubbish Collection is the new interactive exhibition at the Science Museum. Artist Joshua Sofaer invites you to participate in collecting, sorting, photographing and documenting one month’s worth of rubbish produced by the Science Museum’s visitors, staff, contractors and exhibition projects, to help create a visual day-to-day archive of rubbish. Free, until 14 September

Tuesday 17 June

SCIENCE TALK: The Royal Society in Charing Cross runs short screenings from its project Inspiring Scientists: Diversity in British Science, which explores the stories of ten scientists from different ethnic backgrounds active in the UK today. Free, just turn up, 6pm

CURATOR'S TALK: Meet Edith Devaney, curator of the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition, speaking at Heal's in Goodge Street. Find out how she selects, curates and hangs the work of thousands of established and amateur artists in one space. Ticket includes drink and nibbles on arrival. £5, prebook, 6pm  

DOG SHOW: Queen of Hoxton in Shoreditch hosts an extravagant rooftop dog show on its terrace. Dog owners are welcome to style up their puppies and show them in public. Everyone is welcome to attend and watch the show. Free, register online if participating, 6.30pm

LONDON ZOO: Listen to the story of one of London’s very early public zoos — Walworth's Surrey Gardens — at the John Harvard Library in Borough. The talk is led by Judy Aitken, who will use exhibits from the Cuming Museum during the talk. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

BOOK CLUB: Today at The Book Club in Shoreditch you can choose between playing ping pong — winners get a £35 drink voucher (£5, just turn up, from 6.30pm) or watching Shark Attack 3: Megalondon, part of Crap Film Club (£3.50, prebook, 7pm)

HISTORICAL TALK: Ian Bull, member of Greenwich Industrial History Society, talks about the narrow gauge railways of the Royal Arsenal at The Old Bakehouse in Blackheath. £1, just turn up, 7.30pm

Wednesday 18 June

ROOFTOP MUSIC: As a preview of the upcoming West End Live happening at the weekend, listen to some free music on Cardinal Place roof garden. The one hour show features songs from West End musicals such as Billy Elliot, The Pajama Game and Wicked. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm

LANDSCAPE INSTITUTE: A free talk about the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and its waterways takes place at the Landscape Institute in Holborn. Part of a series of free talks connected to London Festival of Architecture. Free, prebook, 6pm

FILM SCREENING: The Wiener Library in Russell Square teams up with Pan Intercultural Arts to host a one-off film event marking Refugee Week 2014. Ticket includes a drink reception after the screening. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

SCIENCE IN A PUB: Everyone is invited to listen to Dr Robin Carhart-Harris from Imperial College London, who talks about the effects of psychedelic drugs on the human brain. The scientific talk is part of PubSci events and takes place at The Old King's Head in London Bridge. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 7pm

STORYTELLING: Natural Born Storytellers evening takes place at the Camden Head pub and focuses on obsessions. The line-up includes Matt Price, Adam Kossew, HT, Tony Marrese and Sarah Louise Campbell — audience members can also mount the stage. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 8.15pm

CINEMA AND MUSIC: The Cinema Museum in Kennington hosts The Kennington Bioscope, which presents a selection of rarely seen and forgotten silent films. There's a live piano accompaniment by John Sweeney and Cyrus Gabrysch as well. Free, prebook by email, 7.30pm

Thursday 19 June

ART EXHIBITION: See what was rejected from the main Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy at the Salon des Refuses exhibition, taking place at Dog Eared Films Studio in King's Cross. Free, just turn up, until 24 June

BOOK TALK: Dinah Jeffries and Isabel Wolff discuss novels set in the Far East, following the recent publication of their novels Ghostwritten and The Separation. The event takes place at Hatchards Bookshop, close to Green Park. £5, prebook by email, 6.30pm

ART TALK: Join the free debate at the Mosaic Rooms Gallery in Earl's Court. Photographer Jason Oddy talks about his visual examination of the relationship between mankind and built environment in his new series, Concrete Spring. Free, prebook by email, 7pm

COMEDY: Stand-up comedian Inder Manocha previews his Edinburgh Festival show at the Top Secret Comedy Club in Covent Garden. Cultural identity and causing offence are given an original and hilarious spin. Expect big laughs and a lack of political correctness. Free, just turn up, 7pm

MORE COMEDY: Princess Victoria Pub in Shepherd's Bush hosts an evening of comedy featuring The West London Comedy Club. £5, prebook by email, 7.30pm

Friday 20 June

ART IN A CHURCH: The Church of St Barnabas in Dalston hosts Transformations, a two-days-long event of art and music performances. This evening enjoy Transformation Trolley and a music performance by Multiplicity Ensemble (Free, just turn up, 6pm-9pm), while on Saturday, both art and music performances occur throughout the day (Free, just turn up, noon-6pm)

MUSIC NIGHT: The Book Club in Shoreditch turns its basement into a dancing floor, playing R&B, hip hop, disco, funk and soul classics. Free before 9pm/£5 afterwards, just turn up, from 8pm  

GUIDED WALK: CoolTan Arts presents a free and themed guided walk to explore the historical area of Bermondsey — meeting point is Blue Anchor Library in Market Place. Free, prebook by mail, 12.30pm-4pm

GEORGIAN LONDON: Connected to the V&A's current exhibition about William Kent, the museum hosts a talk called The Other Georgian History. The event includes a curator-led tour of the exhibition as well. £5, prebook, 6.30pm

Saturday 21 June

ART: Cool Cats Cafe in Camberwell host Room 131, an exhibition showcasing artworks made by Camberwell College of Arts' students. Today the exhibition opens with a private view from 7pm onwards. Free, until 21 August

MORE ART: Hang-Up Gallery in Stoke Newington presents Dancer Master, a vibrant and energetic multi-media show by the street artist RUN. The title of the exhibition is inspired by the artist's trips to South India. Free, until 9 August

CYCLING FUN: For the whole weekend, Haven Green in Ealing Broadway hosts Street Velodrome, a cycling event featuring King Ramps, BMX displays, cycling workshops and fix-it sessions. Today you can enjoy extreme performances, free velodrome cycling and BMX sessions for all ages, stalls and food outlets. On Sunday, there's a competition for amateur riders, competing in a time trial qualification process — you need to register to take part in it and pay a fee for participation. Free, just turn up, Saturday 9am-7pm & Sunday 9am-5.30pm

WEST END LIVE: See West End actors including the ones from The Commitments, Matilda, Les Mis, Billy Elliot and Mamma Mia! performing live in Trafalgar Square. West End Live provides live entertainment throughout the weekend, open to everyone. Free, just turn up, Saturday 11am-6pm & Sunday noon-6pm  

MUSIC DAY: Celebrate international Music Day with plenty of free music events around London. You can also take part, as a host or a performer. See full programme on the website. Free, different times — check each event  

BOOK SALE: The Blackheath and Greenwich Group of Amnesty International celebrates 40 years of its legendary book sale in Blackheath. Pick up an armful of summer reading, second hand and brand new. Free entry, just turn up, 9am-5pm

OPEN DAY: As part of the Year of the Bus celebration, today Stockwell Bus Garage opens to the public for free. The bus garage is a Grade II listed building and one of the most significant modernist buildings in London: expect heritage vehicles, vintage rides and so on. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

RECORD FAIR: Westminster Central Hall opposite Westminster Abbey, hosts the Vip Record Cd Music Fair. Find your favourite vinyls and CDs from rock classics to today's indie. £3, just turn up, 10am-3.30pm

ARCHITECTURE: New Perspectives is a headline event at London Festival of Architecture, with a group of architects holding talks and running activities throughout the day. The focus in on the Balfron Tower in Poplar, designed by brutalist modern architect Ernö Goldfinger. Free, prebook for some events, 11am-7pm

POP-UP VINTAGE: Find vintage and retro ladies & menswear, vintage & antique jewellery, homeware, picnic baskets, antiques, collectables, maps, books, curios & more at Pop-Up Vintage at Spitalfields. Free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

PERFORMANCE ART: Deux Chevaux is a moving sculpture, which travels through Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster today, stopping at nine local cultural landmarks from the Serpentine Gallery to the V&A and Duke of York Square. The day-long art performance involves two horses pulling an old Citroen 2CV (a two-horse power car) and it's by British artist William Mackrell. Free, 11.30am-5.30pm

FAMILY FUN: As part of the Celebrating Sanctuary London festival, the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green presents New Voices, a whole day of  live music from around the globe, as well as interactive activities for all the family and a photographic exhibition. Free, just turn up, noon-7pm

ART WORKSHOP: Connected to its latest exhibition Museum of Water, Somerset House South Wing hosts a free family workshop. Create your own stories or poems based on the river Thames. Free, just turn up, noon-3pm

MUSIC: Listen to classic octets for strings and wind by Schubert and Jean Françaix played by young players in a Maiastra concert, organised by the Aidan Woodcock Charitable Trust at St Anne’s Church, in Kew Green. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 7.30pm

SUMMER SOLSTICE: Cool Tan Arts have a midnight walk to celebrate Summer Solstice. The guided walk will go through South London and will stop for talks about various subjects along the way. It is 4.8 miles, starting at the Tate Modern on Bankside and ending at Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill. Free (donations welcome), just turn up, 11.45pm

Sunday 22 June

ANTIQUES FAIR: The Horti Antiques Fair returns to The Royal Horticultural Halls with traders coming from all over Europe and the UK. This month, dealers specialise in antique linens, fine jewellery, silver, ceramics and paintings. £4, prebook, 10.30am-4pm

ILLUSTRATORS' FAIR: As part of the Housewarming Season organised by House of Illustration in King's Cross, join a full-day Illustrators Fair for a packed day of fairground-themed illustration pop up shows, workshops, games and stalls. Emerging and established illustrators share with the public what they do best, throughout the day. Free, prebook, 11am-6pm

BUS CAVALCADE: Head to a traffic-free Regent Street for London Transport Museum's bus cavalcade. Explore 30 buses from the last century and take part in family activities. Free, just turn up, 11.30am-6pm

LAST CHANCE: Today is the last day of the Camberwell Arts Festival, which animates the borough with art events and live performances. Today you can choose from a photography workshop, literary talks and comedy — all free or cheap. Check the website for full schedule. Free, ends today

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 15 June 2014