Free And Cheap London Events This Week: 24-30 July 2017

All week

The London Riviera

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: Want to keep the kids busy on a budget? Check out our helpful list of free things to do with kids in London. Worked your way through those? Get stuck into our guide to things to do in the summer holidays.

SEE THE WHALE: South Kensington's new centrepiece has been unveiled. Head to the Natural History Museum to see Hope, the blue whale skeleton, suspended from the ceiling of the Hintze Hall. While you're there, why not check out the museum's impressive new Whales exhibition? Natural History Museum, entry is free, just turn up,ongoing

GRADUATE SHOW: This raw, atmospheric warehouse space plays host to a season of must-see London graduate art, as four sprawling floors showcase works from students on leading creative arts courses. Bargehouse (South Bank), free, just turn up, 27-30 July

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN: That's the name of these seven cemeteries built in the suburbs of London from 1832 to 1841. Experience their distinctive character and learn why they became popular public spaces in this photographic exhibition. Ziferblat (Shoreditch), £5, just turn up, 24 July-4 August

LONDON RIVIERA: If the weather's looking decent, get yourself down to City Hall for the London Riviera festival. Every evening there's different entertainment, including film and sport screenings, dance classes, and live music. Best of all, it's free. Just turn up, until 31 August

COLOURFUL MAZE: Artist Camille Walala has used her signature colourful, patterned designs to create a psychedelic maze that sounds part puzzle, part fun house, part Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole. Solve clues, look at things from different angles, and embrace the fun of playing. NOW Gallery (Greenwich Peninsula), free, just turn up, until 23 September

Monday 24 July

WALKFIT CLASS: A low impact, outdoor workout involving bodyweight exercises mingled with brisk walking. The sessions are led by qualified military instructors — but don't let that put you off, it's just a fun way to burn some calories while you meet new people. Finsbury Park, free, book ahead, 9.30am-10.30am

LOVE ISLAND QUIZ: TV will never be the same again (well, until next year), as Love Island draws to a close. Watch the final and test your knowledge in a Love Island quiz, while raising money for charity. For those without any interest in Love Island, just know that it'll be safe to turn on your TV again after tonight. The Hare & Hounds (Walthamstow), £2, book ahead, 7.30pm-11pm

FREE COMEDY: Spend an evening with Carmen Lynch's Edinburgh preview show as she shares her twisted stand-up comedy, discussing everything from Jesus to giraffes, scoliosis to her Spanish mother. The Betsey Trotwood (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 8pm-10.30pm

Tuesday 25 July

The world's longest running rowing challenge

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POLAROID: One of the world's most iconic and recognisable brands is celebrating its 80th anniversary this year. Take a trip down memory lane and play with vintage models of Polaroid cameras, as well as models the brand plans to release in the future. Boxpark (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, until 28 July

COAT AND BADGE RACE: They've managed to pull this off every year since 1715, making it the world's longest running rowing challenge. Head down to the river to see 2017's Doggett's Coat and Badge Race, where young Watermen apprentices contest the sculling race. Starts at London Bridge, free, just turn up, 11.30am

BLUE PLAQUES: 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the blue plaques, revealing fascinating glimpses of history all over the city. Celebrate the occasion and learn more at this free talk. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

OUT IN THE ARCHIVES: Reflect on significant moments and milestones in LGBT+ history, as you journey through The National Archives' collections, getting an insight into how governments interacted with and viewed LGBT+ communities in the past. The National Archives, £4-£5, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

Wednesday 26 July

Cubitt Sessions at King's Cross

FIRE BRIGADE: War thriller film Dunkirk inspires this London Fire Brigade pop-up museum special exhibition, celebrating the role of the fire brigade's Massey Shaw fireboat in rescuing soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk during the second world war. London Fire Brigade Pop-Up Museum (Lambeth), free, just turn up, 10am-3pm

CUBITT SESSIONS: King's Cross hosts a programme of live music performances from a range of genres, from classical to experimental jazz. Tonight, sit back and relax in a deckchair as rock act Tess of the Circle takes the stage. Lewis Cubitt Square (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 6.30pm

BIT OF THE SEASIDE: In celebration of their new pale ale, the Draft House is having a bit of a do. Bring your bucket and spade, because there'll be a pop up seaside stall, a quiz, and a DJ. The Draft House (Old Street), £5 entry, just turn up, 6.30pm-11.30pm

MUSEUM LATE: We love a museum late here at Londonist, we do. Examine the impact of conflict on science and society at this Science Museum late, marking the centenary of the Passchendaele offensive this month. Age 18+. Science Museum, free, just turn up, 6.45pm-10pm

Thursday 27 July

Fancy a look into 100 years of cabinet history?

SWEET SUMMER: New market Just Desserts is serving up something sweet, as it invites you to celebrate all things sugar. Street food traders specialising in everything from doughnuts and cupcakes to ice cream and patisserie will be serving up their sugary delights. Mercers Walk (Covent Garden), free entry, book ahead, 11am-6pm

BRIXTON ORCHARD: Lend a hand at this fantastic community project, encouraging more people to interact with the natural world. Care for fruit trees and young edible hedgerow at this unassuming oasis, hidden next to one of London's busiest junctions. Brixton Orchard, free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

INSIDE THE CABINET: Join acclaimed political historian and commentator Sir Anthony Seldon as he discusses significant events of the 20th century and how they were dealt with and viewed from inside the cabinet. The National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

ROCK THE STRAND: It's not quite the weekend, but that's no excuse not to rock down to Strand Palace Hotel for a free music night, showcasing a stellar lineup of rock and indie acts. Rock on! Strand Palace Hotel, free, just turn up, 7.30pm-10.30pm

Friday 28 July

The London Animal Hospital open day

WILDLIFE ART An exhibition we look forward to every year, wildlife photographer Roger Hooper's work is going on display at gallery@oxo. Elephants, pandas, tigers and more are all in there. Oxo Tower, free, just turn up, 28 July-20 August

STREET EATS: London's biggest halal food festival comes to the east end, complete with an alcohol free bar, lawn games, giveaways and live music. Old Spitalfields Market, free entry (£2 donation suggested), book ahead, 28-29 July

ANIMAL HOSPITAL: After its first four months, this animal hospital throws open its doors for an afternoon of sunny celebrations. Tour the bespoke clinics and help create an animal themed chalk mural. Plus, there's face-painting and animal balloons for the kids. The London Animal Hospital (Camberwell), free, just turn up, 2pm-7pm

PLACE FOR ME: Jamaican immigrant Roland Phillips moved to the UK in 1956, and documented his life here using his first camera. Best known for photographing Notting Hill at a time when the area was racked with poverty, check out some of his work at this exhibition. Lomography Gallery Store (Soho), free, just turn up, 6pm-9pm

ROCKAOKE: Live your childhood rockstar dream at this rock band karaoke evening. Have a few drinks and take to the stage — you're great at singing all your favourite hits, you really are... Star of Kings (King's Cross), £3, book ahead, 9pm-2am

Saturday 29 July

See a historic lineup of Rolls-Royce Phantoms

EIGHT PHANTOMS: Car lovers rejoice, as a line-up of historic Rolls-Royce Phantoms from the last 92 years hits Mayfair, including John Lennon's Phantom V. The event also sees the introduction of the next generation Phantom VIII. Bonhams (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

SECRET VAUXHALL: Alright, Vauxhall probably doesn't sound like the most exciting place to go and visit — but this tour will reveal all the local gems, from tropical community gardens to the animals at Vauxhall City Farm. Vauxhall, £4, book ahead, 11am-2pm

INTERACTIVE TREATS: These street games have delighted audiences in streets and squares in more than 30 countries, and now it's London's turn. Invented in Catalonia, this weird and wonderful kit for games is made from everyday objects. Theatre Square (Stratford), free, just turn up, midday-4pm

VILLAGE FETE: Apparently this event will be a spectacle within a spectacle. While we don't quite know what that means, the raffle, party games and BBQ sound good to us. Grow (Hackney Wick), free, just turn up, midday-6pm

WILDLIFE IN INDIA: Prominent wildlife photographer and conservationist Belinda Wright OBE has spent her entire life in India, working on wildlife issues. In this lecture, she will reveal all — including growing up in a house full of animals. The Nehru Centre (Mayfair), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

FAMILY FUN DAY: Inspired by the famous artists who went to Walthamstow School of Art, make your own 1960s pop art (including badges) at this day full of fun activities for all the family. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), free, just turn up, 1pm-4pm

Sunday 30 July

The architectural history of Keats House

ICE WELLS: A lack of mechanical refrigeration meant ice had to be kept underground in early Victorian times. This is a rare chance to take a look at the storage wells underneath the London Canal Museum. London Canal Museum (King's Cross), free with admission, booking recommended, 10am-4.30pm

KEATS HOUSE: Hear the stories of John Keats and his good friend Charles Brown on this tour of the basement and first floor areas of their former home, and discover how it was transformed into the building we know and love today. Keats House, free with museum admission (£5), just turn up, 11am-11.45am

CLOCK TOWER TOUR: All true Londoners love a good view of our city. Climb the 220 steps to the top of the Caledonian Park Clock Tower for a spectacular one. Caledonian Park, free, just turn up (first come first served so get there in plenty of time), midday-4pm

SHOP LOCAL: Support local designers and makers while raising money for charity, just in time for payday. With products ranging from art prints to handmade soaps, there's lots of local goodies to browse through at Maker's Crusade. The Yard Theatre (Hackney Wick), free entry, just turn up, 1pm-6pm

HIP HOP HANGOVER: An all day hip hop party, with good food and even better music. Better than feeling sorry for yourself in bed all day, right? Strongroom Bar and Kitchen, £5, book ahead, 2pm-10pm

Funzing

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing.

Talk: Is MDMA The Future of Therapy?
Ben Sessa is a child psychiatrist, who takes a developmental perspecitve on adult mental disorders and addictions. He's started looking at the benefits of MDMA therapy, which he believes is psychiatry's best opportunity for a therapeutic breakthrough. His talk focuses on using MDMA to tackle alcohol abuse and PTSD. Get tickets

Talk: Neuroscience of Relationship Success
Relationships are not easy. Each of us has completely different brains, which affects our thinking, communication and different reactions to the same events. Problems occur when we try to understand other people's behaviour using only our brain. Often, even if we understand that we are different from another person, we still feel lost and misunderstood, affecting our own wellbeing and health in the relationship. In order to change that we need to look at the place where it all starts and ends, our brains, to understand what the recipe is for successful relationships. Get tickets

Lecture: The Science of Psychedelics
Scientific research is no longer afraid of psychedelics, now studying how they affect the weirder aspects of human consciousness. LDN Talks @ Night present Dr David Luke, and engages in current study into pyschedelics and their historical use in shamanic rituals. Be prepared, you might leave with more questions than answers. Get tickets