Interesting and unusual things to do for a fiver or less this week, sponsored by CommuterClub.
HALF TERM: Half term takes place 14-22 February. Click here for our complete guide to keeping kids and teenagers entertained in London, whatever your budget.
IMAGINE FESTIVAL: With free and cheap events inspired by Alice in Wonderland, literature and nature, Imagine Children’s Festival takes place at Southbank Centre 9-22 February
WIZARD OF OZ: Artsdepot in North Finchley has a free half term exhibition based on the Wizard of Oz. Elisa Cantarelli's works of art use a dotting technique applied to photographic images. Free, just turn up, 15-21 February
PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITION: The Royal Geographical Society hosts a photography exhibition, showing photos taken during PhotoVoice's participatory photography workshops in Ghana, Tunisia, Ethiopia, China, Peru and Nepal last year. Community members used photography to express their experiences of development progress. Free, just turn up, 16-27 February
Monday 16 February
EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY: At a National Theatre Platform, Armand Leroi, Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Imperial College London, talks about some of the themes surrounding Tom Stoppard’s new play, The Hard Problem. £4/£3, prebook, 6pm
LEFT HANDED: Ever wondered why some people are left-handed (one in nine, to be precise)? Head to the Royal Society for an exploration of the genetic factors that affect handedness. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm
BINGO: Every Monday at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern, The Big Bingo Show takes place. Expect entertainment themed bingo rounds interspersed with cabaret acts and the like. Free entry/£1 a round, just turn up, from 7pm
COMEDY: The Good Ship in Kilburn’s regular Monday night comedy slot is headlined by James Acaster, plus sets from Bethany Black, Diane Spencer, James Veitch and Martin Croser. £5, just turn up, 8pm
Tuesday 17 February
BRUNEL'S WORK: Southwark's Third Tuesday series brings a talk about the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel to John Harvard Library. Robert Hulse, Director of The Brunel Museum, talks about the life and achievements of the engineer. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm
MODEL ENGINEERING: ...and continuing the theme of engineering, Osidge Library in Barnet has a presentation by Ron Manning of the Chingford and District Model Engineering Club. Free, just turn up, 6.30pm
PEKING MAN: Crap Film Club meets at The Book Club in Shoreditch for a screening of The Mighty Peking Man, a 1977 film which attempted to cash in on the popularity of King Kong. £4.50/£3.50, prebook, 7pm
Wednesday 18 February
UTOPIA EXPERIMENT: Stanfords in Covent Garden is the venue for an evening with Dylan Evans, author of The Utopia Experiment. In 2006, Evans left his job and moved to the Scottish Highlands to found a community called The Utopia Experiment. £3, prebook, 6.30pm
FRESHWATER CHALLENGE: Earthwatch Institute holds a panel discussion called Meeting the Freshwater Challenge at the Royal Geographical Society. Subject experts talk about how we can tackle the issue of limited supplies of freshwater. £5, just turn up, 7pm
CALEDONIAN PARK CLOCK: Hear all about plans to conserve the grade II listed Caledonian Park Clock Tower and reopen it for local people, and build a visitor centre. Takes place at Islington Town Hall, organised by Islington History Society. £1, 7.30pm
LIVE MUSIC: The Trans-Siberian March Band teams up with The Discount Orchestra for a bit of a knees-up of live music at Rich Mix in Shoreditch. Free, just turn up, 8pm
MASS SURVEILLANCE: Quite a hot topic at the moment: head to Union Chapel for a discussion on the ethics of mass surveillance. How do you balance the demands of keeping the country secure against the expectations of privacy? Free, just turn up, 7pm
MUSIC HALL: Lauderdale House in Highgate recreates the traditional Victorian music hall, with songs and dancing. £5, just turn up, 8pm
The list continues after a message from our sponsor.
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Thursday 19 February
RIVER WATCH: Get involved in Thames21's River Watch Big Count. Today, volunteers are needed at Erith and Richmond to collect and count litter from the Thames Foreshore.
LGBT BOOKS: Head to Wood Green Library for an introduction to the work and publications of Paradise Press, an LGBT book publisher. There will be short readings (poetry, fiction and memoir) by several authors, audience questions, discussion and an opportunity to buy books. Part of LGBT History Month. Free, prebook, 5.30pm
CROSS DRESSING: The National Archives at Kew explores the story of two men who shocked Victorian England with their cross dressing. Neil McKenna, who has recently written a book about it, leads the event. Part of LGBT History Month. Free, prebook, 6pm
TATTOO PARLOUR: Enjoy the perks of getting a tattoo without actually having to face the needle at Drink Shop Do. The temporary tattoo parlour lets you design, draw and make your own transfer tattoos. Free, just turn up, from 7pm
BORDER CROSSING: Head to Hackney Downs to see Sub-Sublime, a company of 15 artists from 9 countries, host an evening of international exploration, from slam poetry to magic to Taiwanese drag. £5, prebook, 7pm
Friday 20 February
RIVER WATCH: Get involved in Thames21's River Watch Big Count. Today, volunteers are needed at Isle of Dogs and Isleworth Ait to collect and count litter from the Thames Foreshore.
LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Hear Russian-born pianist Alexander Panfilov perform work by Beethoven and Debussy at Bishopsgate Institute. Free, just turn up, 1.05pm
FILM CLUB: Coin Street Film Club hosts an evening of short films, including some from the London Short Film Festival. £5, just turn up, 6.30pm
Saturday 21 February
WEALTH INEQUALITY: Take Back Our World is the national launch event for Global Justice Now, an organisation campaigning against the fact that 85 people own as much wealth as half the world’s population. Head to Rich Mix to discuss topics such as food sovereignty, art and social change and reversing privatisation. Free, prebook, 10am-5pm
ZINE WORKSHOP: The National Archives at Kew runs a zine workshop based on LGBTQ History. Rediscover hidden histories from the LGBTQ community in a creative way, from love letters that were meant to be destroyed, to the calling card of the transgender diplomat Chevalier d'Eon. Free, prebook, 12.30pm-4.30pm
Sunday 22 February
MUSIC: The Sam Rapley Group performs at Artsdepot in North Finchley, with influences from jazz, samba, folk and pop music. Free, just turn up, 1.15pm
POETRY: Poet in the City presents an evening of new perspectives on poetry, featuring acclaimed German poet Ulrike Sandig who is joined in conversation by the artist Sebastian Reuter. Expect live poetry, film projections and the premiere of brand new sound art. Free, 6pm
Check out our map of free things to do in London for more frugal fun.