Free And Cheap London Events: 14-20 December 2015

By Londonist Last edited 38 months ago
Free And Cheap London Events: 14-20 December 2015

Interesting and unusual things to do in London for £5 or less this week.

All week

Last minute shopping at Southbank Centre's Winter Market

GLASS DELUSIONS: It's your last chance to catch Grant Museum of Zoology's Glass Delusions exhibition. Artist in Residence Eleanor Morgan explores the boundary between living and non-living materials, inspired by the Grant Museum's collection of intricate glass sponges — animals that naturally build themselves out of glass. Free, just turn up, until 19 December

WINTER MARKET: For last minute Christmas shopping, head to Southbank Centre's Winter Market, with wooden chalets selling gifts, festive food and drink, and decorations. Find out about other Christmas markets and fairs in London. Free entry, just turn up, until 24 December

MADE IN CHINA: The Fan Museum and Hong Kong-based collector and philanthropist, Edwin Mok, have collaborated for this exhibition. See a collection of Chinese export fans with further export articles such as ceramics, lacquerware and paintings on loan from the Oriental Museum. £4, until 31 December

BEATRIX POTTER: Beatrix Potter is most famous for her books about Peter Rabbit and co., but one of her books was never released. The V&A Museum has a new display about The Oakmen, showcasing drawings and correspondence relating to the never-published book. Free, just turn up, until 22 July 2016

Monday 14 December

CRAFT AND GIFT MARKET: Pick up a few last minute presents (or treat yourself) at the Stories on Broadway craft and gift market. Local designers and makers will be selling their products. Free entry (donations to Centrepoint welcome), just turn up, from 7pm

COMEDY: Felicity Ward headlines at the Good Ship in Kilburn, with other sets from Garrett Millerick, Stephen Grant, Cally Beaton, John Hastings and Alexander Bennett. £4, prebook, 8pm

Tuesday 15 December

LUNCHTIME YARN: Spend your lunch break at the Fleming Collection in Mayfair, where the group will be knitting and yarning blankets and clothing for Knit For Peace, who will distribute them to those in need. Free, just turn up, 1pm-3pm

SPACE LATE: To mark British astronaut Tim Peake's launch into space, the Science Museum is open late for all manner of space themed activities, including talks, debates, workshops and games led by space experts and real astronauts including cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, the first man ever to walk in space. Free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

FLOATING YOGA: Take part in a free yoga class on board the floating classroom in Paddington. The class is led by Monika Pawlowska, classically trained in India and is open to all abilities, with mats and bricks provided. Free, prebook, 6pm-7pm

CHRISTMAS PARTY: Head to Qbic Hotel near Aldgate East for a free Christmas party with a performance by ShezAr and the House Gospel Choir. Free, prebook, 7.30pm-10pm

Wednesday 16 December

Knitting Kittens at Battersea

RESTORED ALMSHOUSE: Take a tour of the Geffrye Museum's restored 18th century almshouse, which offers a glimpse into the lives of London's poor and elderly in the 1780s and 1880s. £4, book on the day, 11am-3pm

CAROL SING-A-LONG: Visitors to the food market at Sheldon Square in Paddington will be serenaded by carol singers — with song sheets provided for those who want to sing along. Free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

KNITTING KITTENS: Grab your knitting needles and head to Battersea Cats and Dogs Home to spend the evening knitting donations for the animals, including knitted toys and blankets. Minimum £2 donation, just turn up, 5pm-8pm

LONDON RIVERS: London Metropolitan Archives in Clerkenwell screens three films about London's rivers, followed by an informal discussion about the films. Free, prebook, 6pm

NATURAL BORN STORYTELLERS: Head to Camden Comedy Club to hear a group of storytellers spinning yarns on the topic of holidays — the good, the bad and the ugly. Free, just turn up, 7.45pm

Thursday 17 December

WINTER MARKET: Students aged 15-16 run a market selling festive homeware, scrumptious sweet treats, delicious chilli jams and chutneys and natural cosmetics. Free entry, just turn up, 5pm-7pm

ACOUSTIC MUSIC: The Wheatsheaf in Tooting hosts an evening of acoustic music from the likes of  Judie Goffe and Gabriel Mesh, plus there's a Christmas raffle. £5, just turn up, 7.30pm

Friday 18 December

Natural History Museum opens a new Human Evolution gallery

HUMAN EVOLUTION: Natural History Museum opens a new, free gallery about human evolution today. It spans 7m years of evolution and exhibits include the first adult female Neanderthal cranium ever discovered. There's a special launch event today at 2.30pm. Free, just turn up, permanent gallery

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY: Yep, that's right, today's Christmas Jumper Day (get your winter woollies here). To mark the event, there's a giant snow globe photo booth in Sheldon Square in Paddington, where you can take a photo as you make a donation to Text Santa. Free, just turn up, 11.30am-4.30pm

FRIENDZONE: The Friendzone, at Boxpark in Shoreditch, is a chance to meet new people in a friendly and relaxed setting. The team of minglers will help everyone settle in. Free, prebook, 7pm-10pm

CHRISTMAS CHARITY PARTY: Drinking in aid of charity is something we can definitely get on board with. That's exactly what happens at The Unicorn Camden Live's Christmas Party — a portion of the bar takings is donated to charity. There's live music and a raffle. Free entry, just turn up, 7pm

VINYL GIVEAWAY: At this party at Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes, the tunes are all played on vinyl — with every single vinyl used given away to someone in the crowd after it's been played. £5, prebook, 9pm

Saturday 19 December

BOOK SWAP: Bring along an old book and swap it for a new one all day today at Southbank Centre. Free, just turn up, 11.30am-7pm

GEFFRYE EXPLORERS: Budding museum explorers will be in their element at Geffrye Museum, where they can take part in quizzes, trails and craft activities. Free, just turn up, 12.30pm-4.30pm

GLASS DELUSIONS: As Grant Museum's Glass Delusions exhibition comes to a close, take part in this family art day, where you can recreate some of the pieces featured in the exhibition. Free, just turn up, 1.30pm-4.30pm

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: Head to Southbank Centre for a free screening of classic Christmas film It's A Wonderful Life. Wrapping Christmas presents while you watch is very much encouraged. Free, just turn up, 4pm-7pm

There's a free screening of It's A Wonderful Life at Southbank Centre

Sunday 20 December

MWALIMU EXPRESS: Head to Rich Mix for a free Pan African family day with music and film from Africa. Today is a Congolese Christmas session featuring Mulele and Kongo Dia Ntotila. Free, just turn up, 2pm-6pm

MOVEMENT FACTORY: UK dance group The Movement Factory hosts a youth dance platform at Southbank Centre featuring street dancers, breakers, poppers and lockers as well as traditional South American and African dancers. Free, just turn up, 2.30pm-4.30pm

ALLSORTZ: Allsortz at Rich Mix is an open mic night, showcasing the work of singers, rappers, dancers, comedians and spoken word artists. Free, just turn up, 7.30pm

Last Updated 13 December 2015

Continued below.