Free And Cheap London Events: 15-21 December 2014

By Silvia Baretta Last edited 113 months ago

Last Updated 13 December 2014

Free And Cheap London Events: 15-21 December 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.

The Hermes Experiment quartet performs a free Christmas concert on Tuesday. Details below

All Week

CHRISTMAS MARKETS: December's here, which means Christmas markets and mulled wine to warm cold hands. To find the closest one to you, check our Christmas markets and fairs listing.

ART EXHIBITIONS: Feeling arty this month? Look at our top ten art choices for December. The great thing is, most of them are free.

FREE GIGS: Until Christmas Eve you can enjoy a series of free choir gigs inside St Pancras International. The Christmas music programme includes 30 performances by charities from across the UK, including the Salvation Army and the Amy Winehouse Foundation — check full programme. Free, until 24 December

Monday 15 December

AL FRESCO GAMES: Despite the chill, Devonshire Square is turning into an adult open-air playground. Head to the square near Liverpool Street and play air hockey, giant jenga, table football and table tennis. Free, just turn up, all day

BOOK LAUNCH: Professor Rob Imrie and Professor Loretta Lees discuss their new book Sustainable London which, along with other leading urbanists, explores the rise of sustainable development policies in London. The event takes place at 1 Whittington Avenue. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm

EVENING TALK: Foyles in Charing Cross Road hosts Nicola Streeten and Sarah Lightman, founders of Laydeez Do Comics. Since its launch in 2009 this women-led graphic novel forum has provided a platform for inspiration and discussion among emerging and established artists. Free (donation welcome), prebook, 6pm

Tuesday 16 December

KISSING POWER: Join Borough Market's romantic initiative to power its Christmas lights today, marking its 1,000th Christmas. You can join the attempt to get 1,000 simultaneous kisses under a 300 square ft ceiling of individually tied bunches of mistletoe — one for every couple taking part in the Market Hall. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm

WOMEN'S SAFETY: To mark the launch of the Women’s Safety Charter, Southwark Council has organised a panel discussion about harassment at Southbank University: panelists include author Zoe Williams and comedian Sara Pascoe. The event is free but places are limited, prebook your place now by emailing [email protected]. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

LOCAL HISTORY: John Harvard Library in Borough hosts a cinema event focusing on London history. On show during the evening will be a selection of archive films curated by London's Screen Archives, which shows changes in the city across the 20th century. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm

PUB SINGALONG: The British Humanist Choir holds a Christmas pub singalong at the Hand and Shears pub in Barbican. Think Tim Minchin, Monty Python, Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone and drinking songs to beat the chilly weather: join them or just nurse a hearty ale and watch. Free, just turn up, from 7.30pm

FORTEAN SOCIETY: London Fortean Society presents a talk from Dr David Clarke, taking place at The Bell pub in Liverpool Street. He presents his new book, Britain’s X-traordinary Files, and talks about the WW1 legend of The Angels of Mons. £3/£2, prebook, 7.30pm

CHRISTMAS CONCERT: The Hermes Experiment quartet performs a free-entry Christmas carol concert at St John's Church in Notting Hill tonight. Free, just turn up, 8pm

COMEDY: This is quite a pre-Christmas present. Rob Newman, Josie Long, Kate Smurthwaite and Max Davies join Chris Coltrane at Camden’s Black Heart for friendly political comedy club Lolitics. Expect gags about the Tories, climate change, religion and the world. £3, just turn up, 8.30pm

Concept visualisation of the Engineer Your Future exhibition. © Casson Mann

Wednesday 17 December

SCIENCE MUSEUM: Engineer Your Future kicks off today at the Science Museum. The new exhibition is in the Wellcome Wing on the third floor and focuses on the great potential of engineering in shaping the world we live in. Free, until December 2017

AUTHOR TALK: Sir Ranulph Fiennes was the first man to reach both Poles by surface travel and the first to cross the Antarctic unsupported. He's at the National Archives in Richmond with his new book, Agincourt. £5, just turn up, 2pm

CHEAP TALK: Join a talk about ecology and sustainability at Conway Hall in Holborn. A panel of experts will talk about how to change and create a better future for the human race and planet Earth. £5/£3, prebook, 6.30pm

LIVE MUSIC: Enjoy an evening of grunge, rock, ska punk and alt rock at The Good Ship in Kilburn. Main headliner is Black Ashes. £4, prebook, 7.30pm

BOOK LAUNCH: Author Elizabeth Blanchet presents her new book Prefab Homes at Islington Town Hall. She will tell the story behind the Excalibur estate and its residents, and how the Prefab Museum came to be. Free, prebook by emailing [email protected], 8pm

DRUNKEN NIGHTS: Join an evening of free comedy at The George Tavern in Commercial Road. The line-up of Drunken Nights comedy show includes Yann Allsopp, Bare Mask Ensemble and Alice Malseed. Free, just turn up, from 8pm

FREE GIG: Listen to Balkan group Tashkezar playing tonight at The Magic Garden pub in Battersea. Free, just turn up, 9pm

Thursday 18 December

FASHIONING WINTER: Take part in a candlelit journey around the nine displays of Fashioning Winter exhibition at Somerset House and discover the stories behind winter sports and style, both past and present. Please note: tickets are available at the Seamen's Hall Info Desk 30 minutes before each tour on a first come, first served basis — limited places. Free, just turn up and book, 4pm-5pm and 5.30pm-6.30pm

BOOK LAUNCH: Mad About Poetry is an evening of performance and spoken word at the Poetry Cafe in Covent Garden. Line-up includes Ant Smith, Ernie Burn and Habiba Hrida. £3, just turn up, 7pm

CINEMA NIGHT: Shorts on Tap presents a special Christmas-themed cinema evening at 93 Feet East in Shoreditch. Watch seven short films on screen, followed by a group discussion. Free, prebook, 7pm

Friday 19 December

THEATRE QUIZ: Emma Freud hosts the annual battle for theatrical knowledge between two competing teams at the National Theatre. £4/£3, prebook, 5.30pm

ART TALK: Join award-winning directors and visual artists Martha Fiennes and Peter Muggleston as they talk about the launch of the world’s first digital painting: SLOimage Nativity. The event takes place at the V&A Museum. Free, prebook, 6.30pm

BOOK TALK: Housmans book shop hosts Fred Turner, associate professor of communication at Stanford University, to discuss his latest book, The Democratic Surround. Free, just turn up, 7pm

CAROL CONCERT: Get into the festive spirit and listen to a Christmas carol concert at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church. Free, prebook, 7pm

XMAS FIESTA: Enjoy an evening of ska and hip hop at the Movimientos Xmas Fiesta 2014, at Dalston's Passing Clouds. During the night there will be both live music and DJ tunes. Free before 9pm/£5 before 10pm, just turn up, from 7pm

Join London Dreamtime for a storytelling walk this Sunday. Details below

Saturday 20 December

GUIDED WALK: Discover the hidden gems of Ilford by taking part in a guided walk led by local artist Lucy Harrison, meeting point outside The Exchange. The route will refer to the new guidebook Good Company, all about the retail history of the local area. Free, prebook by emailing [email protected], 11am  

SNOWMAN'S PARTY: 3-8 year olds and their families are invited to the Snowman's Party in Canning Town (exact location revealed on booking). Snowman needs help to find the buttons he lost in the Arctic. Activities on offer include messy play, storytelling, arts and crafts, refreshments, photo booth, face painting, biscuit decorating and more. Free, prebook, 2pm-6pm

MIDNIGHT APOTHECARY: Brunel Museum's Cocktail Gardener Lottie Muir serves drinks flavoured with herbs and fruits grown in the rooftop garden. £5, prebook, 5.30pm-10.30pm

ALTERNATIVE MUSIC: New music night Somewhat Damaged runs a special event at The Unicorn in Camden, with money raised going to Crisis. Acts performing include Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster, Black Sixteen, Hollowdrone and Spider Redundant. Free (donations encouraged), just turn up, 7pm

Sunday 21 December

LONDON DREAMTIME: Storyteller Vanessa Woolf and musician Nigel of Bermondsey lead a storytelling walk in a fairytale location near Whitestone Pond NW3, with a theme of Snow Queen. Adults only, exact location revealed on booking. £3, prebook, 2.30pm

CHURCH CAROLS: For the third year running Wembley Arena will open its doors to 10,000 people for what's known as the largest Christmas carol concert in the UK, led by Hillsong Church. £5, prebook, 3pm

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.