Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week, sponsored by CommuterClub.
ART EXHIBITIONS: Feeling arty this month? Look at our top 10 art choices for January. Most of them are free.
PADDINGTON: It's your last couple of weeks to catch A Bear Called Paddington at Museum of London. The exhibition consists of a collection of objects charting the famous bear's transformation from page to screen. Free, just turn up, until 25 January
Monday 19 January
WOMEN IN SCIENCE: Professor Lesley Yellowlees was the first female President of the Royal Society of Chemistry in its 171 year history. Tonight at UCL she talks about women working in chemistry, and how the problem of women choosing not to study STEM subjects can be fixed. Free, just turn up, 5.30pm
LONDON LIBRARY: Take a free guided tour of one of the world's largest independent lending libraries, The London Library near Green Park. Explore 1 million books spread across 15 miles of shelving. Free, prebook by emailing email@example.com, 5.45pm
Tuesday 20 January
LUNCHTIME LECTURE: Professor Steve Jones leads a lecture at UCL entitled Did God Evolve? He discusses what science can tell us about the origins of religion. Free, just turn up, 1.15pm
CHARLIE CHAPLIN: Head along to the John Harvard Library in Borough to hear Dr. Patricia Dark talk about how Charlie Chaplin's work reflects his childhood in Victorian south London. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm
KILLERZ: Short Sighted Cinema is an online magazine and pop-up event, dedicated to grassroots filmmaking and screening. Tonight at Ritzy Picturehouse, see a series of short films with the theme "killerz". £3/£4, prebook, 7.30pm
MOVING PICTURES: Rich Mix in Shoreditch hosts a film screening aiming to tackle the stigma and discrimination which are still associated with the words ‘mental health’. Four short films will be shown, followed by a Q&A session with their creators. Free, just turn up, 8pm
Wednesday 21 January
FILM MATTERS: Head to the University of Westminster for a screening of Google and the World Brain, a film looking at how Google has come to represent H.G Wells's 1937 vision of a "world brain": a library containing all human knowledge for humans to share. Free, prebook, 3pm
FILM CLUB: City of London's Film Club looks at the plethora of films produced by the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA), aimed at pupils, students and teachers across the inner London area from the 1960s-1980s. Free, prebook, 6pm
PET STORYTELLING: Natural Born Storytellers bring their — often hilarious — brand of storytelling to Camden Comedy Club, for a night themed around pets. Storytellers include David Pickering, Bruce Cochrane and Jennifer McLaughlin. Free, just turn up, 7.45pm
BRASS BAND: The Trans-Siberian March Band, a London-based Balkan brass band, plays at Rich Mix tonight. Free, just turn up, 8pm
COMEDY: BBC radio sketch show Here Be Dragons features the Welsh talents of Cariad Lloyd, Elis James, Nadia Kamil and Lloyd Langford. A new series is being recorded at Up The Creek in Greenwich tonight, 28 January and 4 February. Tickets are free but are first come first served by registering with SRO Audiences. Free, prebook, 7pm
The list continues after a message from our sponsor.
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Thursday 22 January
LUNCH LECTURE: Today's lunch lecture at UCL focuses on the visualisation of time, and will attempt to explain why visual representations of time developed in some ancient and medieval cultures but remained unknown in others. Free, prebook, 1.15pm
WINSTON CHURCHILL: To mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill, Gresham College runs a lecture about The Legacy of Winston Churchill at the Museum of London. Is he seen as pointing the way to the future or as the prelude to the collapse of British power? Free, just turn up, 6pm
TOKYO CALLING: Shorts on Tap screens a selection of films all originating from Japan at 93 Feet East, Brick Lane. It's a precursor to the London Calling event which takes place in Japan next month. £3, prebook, 7pm
WEST END WENDIES: Cabaret stalwart Paul L Martin presents West End Wendies at Brasserie Toulouse Lautrec, in Kennington. Singers of all genres and abilities are invited to step up to the mic. Free (tips encouraged), just turn up, 7pm
DIRTY OLD LONDON: Victorian London author Lee Jackson is at Dagenham Library to talk about his latest book, Dirty Old London. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm
Friday 23 January
SHOW 'N' TELL: UCL PhD student Jennifer Adams picks just one object from the Grant Museum of Zoology's collection to talk about. Find out more about her research on the biodiversity of the wetlands of rivers surrounding the world heritage site of Lake Baikal in Siberia. Free, just turn up, 1pm
ANDREW MOTION: The former Poet Laureate is the subject of a platform at National Theatre, where he'll be talking about the work of Treasure Island author R L Stevenson. Followed by a book signing. £4/£3, prebook, 5.30pm
ASTRONOMY: Hampstead Observatory‘s weekly open nights give the public a chance to view the heavens. NOTE: the observatory only opens if the skies are clear — keep an eye on the Facebook page for updates. Free, just turn up, 8pm-10pm. Repeated Saturday 24 January.
Saturday 24 January
FREE WALKS: All weekend, TfL has organised 41 free walks around and across the capital, with routes between 1.5 miles and 10 miles in length. Free, just turn up, 24-25 January
OLYMPIC PARK: The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford has a weekend of free family workshops to celebrate the Year of the Bus. All 60 buses from the sculpture trail will be on display. Free, just turn up, 10am-4pm, 23-25 January
LUNAR TALK: The Swedenborg Society on Bloomsbury Way hosts Simon Schaffer, Professor of History of Science at the University of Cambridge, to talk about Swedenborg's lifelong quest to solve the longitude problem by astronomical observation of lunar position. Free, prebook, 4pm
Sunday 25 January
CHARLES I: The English Civil War Society holds an annual commemoration of the route taken by Charles I to the place of his untimely death in Whitehall. Takes place at Horse Guards Parade. Expect to see several members of the Society dressed in 17th century costume. Free, just turn up, 11am
NATURE WALK: The Totally Thames Stroll ambles around the trails of RSPB Rainham Marshes taking a look at the wildlife, both local creatures and those from far flung places that have emigrated to our shores. Free, just turn up, 1pm
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.