Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 16-22 September 2019

All week

Last chance to see The Colour Palace

SCIENCE CITY: A reminder that Science Museum's new, permanent gallery all about London is now open. Science City focuses on the capital's contributions to science between 1550 and 1800. Highlights include a copy of Newton's Principia Mathematica (which some would argue is the most important book ever published), Newton's telescope, and Robert Hooke's microscope and illustrations. Science Museum, free entry, just turn up, from 12 September

BAFTA PICCADILLY: For the first time, BAFTA opens its HQ on Piccadilly to the public. The new venue hosts a free exhibition celebrating the creativity and talent of BAFTA winners and nominees. Ogle the original costumes from Killing Eve, including that iconic pink dress, see the shooting script from David Lean’s Summertime, or get an insight into Chiwetel Ejiofor’s preparation for 12 Years a Slave. BAFTA Piccadilly, free, just turn up, from 16 September

CATCH YOUR BREATH: Last chance to see this free exhibition about breathing. Using art, philosophy, medical history and literature, the exhibition argues that breathing is so much more than a bodily function, allowing us to communicate and create music. Royal College of Physician (Regent's Park), free, just turn up, until 21 September

BAFTA Piccadilly opens to the public

MADGE GILL: An exhibition about local Walthamstow artist Madge Gill enters its final week. See drawings, large-scale embroideries, textiles and archival objects, many of which haven't been displayed before, and which she attributed to her spirit guide, Myrninerest. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), suggested donation £5, just turn up, until 22 September

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL: It's the main week of London Design Festival, with free events, installations and pop-ups going on around the city. Hear prolific designer and architect Paolo Navone (16 September) discuss her career, attend the Marylebone Design District Day (18 September), featuring a range of late night openings and special events, or go to a late night opening of Kinska’s My Opera House at NOW Gallery (19 September). 14-22 September

COLOUR PALACE: As summer ends, so does Dulwich Picture Gallery's temporary pavilion. It's your last chance to see The Colour Palace, a psychedelic cube containing an atrium, inspired by both African and European design. Dulwich Picture Gallery, free, just turn up, until 22 September

Monday 16 September

Make flower pots inspired by Frida Kahlo

PHILIPPA GREGORY: Hear from Philippa Gregory — author of historical novels including The Other Boleyn Girl — about writing historical fiction, and why she is writing her new book, a history of women in England. She chats to Stella Tillyard, author of George IV: King In Waiting. Birkbeck (Russell Square), free, book ahead, 5.30pm-8.30pm

FRIDA KAHLO: Spend your evening at cafe/bar/craft shop Drink, Shop & Do, fashioning flower pots inspired by Mexican artist Frida Khalo. Materials and a drink are included. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £5, book ahead, from 6pm

ENGINEERING CLEANER AIR: Find out about air quality in London and what's being done to improve it at this free lecture and networking drinks. Expert speakers cover the challenges engineers face with dealing with air pollution in London, ahead of car-free day on 22 September. Institution of Civil Engineers (Westminster), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9.30pm

Tuesday 17 September

Enjoy a free lunchtime piano recital

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Spend your lunch break being serenaded by Lauderdale House's resident pianist Stephen Hose. It's the first in a series of lunchtime piano recitals, and consists of 45 minutes of classical music overlooking Waterlow Park. Lauderdale House (Highgate), free, just turn up, 1.15pm

IMPERIAL INTIMACIES: Author Hazel V Carby reads from and discusses her new book, Imperial Intimacies: A Tale Of Two Islands. She was one of the so-called 'brown babies' in London after the second world war, and the book covers her experiences of constantly being asked 'where are you from?'. Pages of Hackney, £5, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

OUTDOOR CINEMA: Canary Wharf's late night movie nights present Blade Runner. Watch the 1982 sci-fi film, which is set in a futuristic 2019, and see how many of its predictions were correct. It's an outdoor screening so dress for the weather. Canada Square Park (Canary Wharf), free, just turn up, 9pm

Wednesday 18 September

An Afrabian journey in Euston

COURT AT PLAY: Gresham College begins its new term with a free lecture about the court of King James I and VI. When he took to the throne in 1603 — having never even been inside an English royal palace before — he hated the stuffy formality. Architectural historian Professor Simon Thurley talks through the new style of royal country residence that James created as a result. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

AFRABIAN JOURNEY: Sudanese-British artist Rayan Elnayal hosts a storytelling session based on the novel A Season of Migration to the North by Sudanese author Tayeb Salih. Listen to excerpts about the 'hybrid Afrabian journey', and discuss your own experiences of hybridity. P21 Gallery (Euston), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

BAD DATES: Had a bad date in London? See how it compares to other people's experiences at Color Me Badd Dates. It's not a dating night, but an open mic night where people share their cringeworthy and hilarious dating fail stories. LOLs guaranteed... unless it's your ex up on stage. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7pm-8.30pm

Thursday 19 September

Science Gallery opens a new exhibition about anxiety

POO BERGERS: The Bureau of Silly Ideas pops up with fun and games to mark the 200th birthday of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the engineer responsible for the construction of London's sewers. Play with water, pipes, smells and sewers at the free, family-friendly event. Aldgate Square, free, just turn up, 19-22 September

AGE OF ANXIETY: Science Gallery opens a new exhibition about living in an age of anxiety. Artists and scientists have worked together to create works based on different experiences of anxiety, including the effects of sleep, and experiences of anxiety through sound and light. Science Gallery (London Bridge), free, just turn up, 19 September-19 January

WOMEN ON STRIKE: Hear writer Luan Goldie read her short story about the Dagenham Ford Factory women’s workers strike, taken from new book Resist: Stories of Uprising. Hear about the 1968 strike — since made into a film and musical — from the point of view of someone who was there. LSE (Holborn), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

Friday 20 September

Hear stories of Jewish Londoners

OPEN ART STUDIOS: Wapping Open Studios weekend begins tonight, offering the public a chance to see inside the working studios of painters, photographers, jewellery makers, film producers and people working in other mediums. Meet the artists themselves, and buy work directly from them, cutting out the middle man fees. Wapping Studios, free, just turn up, 20-22 September

JEWISH LONDONERS: London Metropolitan Archives hosts a free talk about Jewish Londoners through history, based on documents and other materials from its collections. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, book ahead, 11am-12.30pm

BLETCHLEY PARK: Fascinated by the codebreaking that went on at Bletchley Park during the second world war? Hear from the venue's own research historian Dr David Kenyon, who talks about the scale of the operation and the 'intelligence factory' it created. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

Saturday 21 September

See inside the new Museum of London for Open House

OPEN HOUSE: Advance tickets for Open House have all gone, but you can still turn up on the day and see inside hundreds of building which are usually closed to the public. The programme is overwhelming, so we've put together a few suggestions — but bear in mind that the more popular the building, the longer the queue to get in. Full programme here. Across London, free, just turn up, 21-22 September

LONDON CIRCLE WALK: Up for a challenge? Join a group for a 20+mile circular walk around London, expected to take about nine hours. Dress appropriately for the walk, and bring supplies to keep you going until the lunch stop somewhere around Kensington. Tower Bridge, free, just turn up, 10am-7pm

WE ARE ALL LONDONERS: City Hall opens its doors to all Londoners for a celebration of the diversity of our city through stories, language, sport and music. Storytelling, short films about Londoners from other EU nations, a language cafe and a panel discussion about Brexit all feature. City Hall, free, book ahead, 11am-3.30pm

PIER FESTIVAL: Erith Pier Festival is a free, all-day event for visitors of all ages. Street food stalls, live music from local performers, a mini beer festival and fun and games are all on the programme. Part of Totally Thames. Erith Pier, free, just turn up, 11am-9pm

Sunday 22 September

See inside Inner Temple Gardens

CAR FREE DAY: London's streets look completely different for Car-Free Day. Several major thoroughfares in London and the West End are closed to traffic completely, while others are only open to buses. Look out for special events going on to make the most of the extra space, cleaner air and quieter roads. All day

EARLY DOORS: The National Army Museum opens its doors early for children with special sensory needs and their families. Noises and lights are turned down, a quiet room is available for anyone who needs it, and sensory backpacks are provided so that children can explore the exhibitions with additional aids. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 8.30am-10am

GARDENS OPEN DAY: There's a rare chance to get inside Inner Temple Gardens, and donate money to charity while doing so. Members of the gardening team are on hand to answer questions, with entry fees donated to the British Red Cross. Inner Temple Gardens, £5, book ahead, 12pm-4pm