Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 13-19 May 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 13-19 May 2019

All week

See the Mudskipper launch on the Thames

FREE ICE CREAM: London City Airport and British Airways celebrate the airline's 100th birthday by sending an ice cream van on tour, with cabin crew handing out free ice cream, postcards and beach balls. There's also a chance to win prizes including holidays to Skiathos, The Algarve, Majorca and Monaco, or flights to Split, Nice, Majorca, Faro and the Greek Islands, plus other prizes and special offers. Free, just turn up, 16 May (ExCel), 17 May-18 May (Westfield Stratford)

POP IN: This pop-up shop brings together a curated selection of independent brands, selling everything from jewellery to candles to screen prints to clothes to leather goods to stationery. Even if you're a bit light of wallet until payday, it's bound to be an interesting browse. 32 Charlotte Road (Shoreditch), free entry, just turn up, 16-20 May

MUDSKIPPER: Artist James Capper debuts his new work, Mudskipper, this week. The 9.2 metre long mobile sculpture uses two step-type propulsion legs to move on land and in water, much like its namesake early invertebrates. Time your visit right to see it travel down the River Thames and walk out of the water at certain points of low tide. Battersea Power Station, free, just turn up, 16 May-21 June

Monday 13 May

Musical fun for little ones at National Army Museum

TINY TROOPERS: Aimed at kids aged 5 and under and their parents, Tiny Troopers is a sensory music session designed to engage their minds and get them playing. National Army Museum (Chelsea), £5, book ahead, 10am/11.20am

LIFE BEGINS AT 40: The term 'midlife crisis' was coined in 1965, and has since become embedded in our culture. Hear Professor Mark Jackson discuss why the midlife crisis is a fairly modern phenomenon, which arose as a result of demographic changes, new biological accounts of ageing, and deepening anxieties about economic decline, political instability, and rising divorce levels.The Royal Society (St James's), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-7.30pm

MEN'S MENTAL HEALTH: Rotimi Akinsete — author of new tome This Book Could Help — speaks about why men should make mental health a priority, and why we should all be talking about mental health more. He wrote the book in collaboration with charity Mind, and aims to offer advice on how to achieve balanced mental health and defeat the outdated ideas that can stop men from looking after themselves. Foyles Charing Cross Road, make a donation to Mind on the door, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Tuesday 14 May

A rare chance to see inside the Honourable Artillery Company

ARMED FORCES EVENING: Once a year, the Honourable Artillery Company — that castle-like building on City Road — invites the public in for an open evening. Meet British Army units, see helicopters and armoured vehicles, watch a parachute jump, observe police dogs at work, and tuck into a free barbecue. If you're in the Square Mile/Old Street area, expect to see helicopters and hear a bit of noise, even if you don't attend the event. Honourable Artillery Company (City Road), free entry, just turn up, from 5pm

ON STRIKE: The history, politics and ethics of strikes come under scrutiny in this panel discussion, which includes experts from Sheffield, York, Cambridge and KCL universities. They look at when strikes can be justified — probably of interest if a tube strike has ever disrupted your day — and what makes a strike successful. LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

MERMAIDS: London Fortean Society takes on mermaids in this month's meet-up. Specifically, Sophia Kingshill — author of Mermaids, a cultural history of sirens, selkies and other sea women — traces mermaids back through folklore history to find out whether their roots are in fish, flesh or fowl... or monkeys. She also looks at how mermaids have reflected how men have seen women. The Miller (London Bridge), £5/£2, book ahead, 8pm

Wednesday 15 May

Everyone's welcome at Southbank Centre's tea dance

FASHION AND PSYCHOANALYSIS: Fashion theorist Dr Alison Bancroft talks about the links between avant garde thinking in art, and the fashion from Christian Dior in this lunchtime lecture. She starts with the work of Dior himself, before moving on to the more recent collections from Dior's current Creative Director, Maria Grazia Chiuri. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 1pm-1.45pm

TEA DANCE: Put your dancing shoes on and head to Southbank Centre for a turn or two around the dance floor. The monthly tea dance is very friendly, open to everyone, and no dancing experience or partner is necessary. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 1.30pm

THE TIME I ALMOST: Doing pretty much what the title suggests, The Time I Almost... is a storytelling/comedy evening where host Alexis Strum shares some of her own true tales, before inviting the audience to come up on stage and share their own Sliding Doors moments. The Book Club (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 8pm-10pm

Thursday 16 May

What music do you want at your funeral?

EU FUTURE: If you thought March would be the end of discussions and debates about the EU... bad luck. Tonight, focus is on the upcoming European elections, and what they might mean for the future of the EU, and of Brexit. Could the results change the power balance within the EU, and what will that mean for our negotiations? LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

ANGEL COMEDY: Comedian Joz Norris... is dead, apparently. That's the premise of his latest show, described as "a sort of absurdist meditation on anxiety and grief performed by an idiot from Pontefract who doesn't exist". Make of that what you will. The Bill Murray (Islington), £5, book ahead, 6.45pm-7.45pm

DEAD BEATS: What song do you want played at your funeral? Not an easy (or fun) question, but tonight Steve Cross of Science Showoff, and a line-up of comedians and experts on death make their case for the playlist they want to send them on their way. Old Tiger's Head (Blackheath), free, book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Friday 17 May

Tuck into Italian food at Sicily Fest

SICILY FEST: Tuck into food and drink from the southern Italian island of Sicily at Sicily Fest. The three day food and drink festival celebrates cheeses, pastas, arancini and wines, with plenty available to sample and even more available to buy to take home. The Boiler House (Brick Lane), free entry, just turn up, 17-19 May

ON THIS PLANET: This new art exhibition draws attention to the issues of habitat loss and fragmentation, which is endangering many animal species around the world. 30 illustrators have chosen an animal affected by habitat loss, with money raised from the sale of the works going towards fundraising for land purchase, which prevents developers from causing further destructions.The Old Street Gallery, free, just turn up, 17-21 May

SYMMETRY BREAKFAST: 16-24 year olds who are interested in social media are invited to the V&A for an insight into the industry. Focus is on the Symmetry Breakfast Instagram account, which has over 770k followers and features in the current Food: Bigger Than The Plate exhibition. V&A Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Saturday 18 May

There's an open day at Nunhead Cemetery. Photo: Laura Reynolds

SOUND UNBOUND: This free, two-day festival is all about hearing unexpected music in unexpected places. Focus is on classical music, with over 100 short concerts spilling into ancient and modern venues across the City of London and 'Culture Mile', from Fabric to the Charterhouse. Barbican and Culture Mile, free, just turn up, 18-19 May

CEMETERY OPEN DAY: Nunhead Cemetery, one of the Victorian 'Magnificent Seven', holds an open day with tours of the cemetery, visits to the usually off-limits chapel and crypt, and stalls run by local groups and volunteers. You get a pretty decent view of St Paul's from the western edge of the cemetery too. Nunhead Cemetery, free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

CLASSIC CARS: Classic cars and other vintage vehicles pitch up in Waterloo for a monthly car show. Get a closer look at the retro motors, chat to some of the owners, and wander around the market. Lower Marsh (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

Sunday 19 May

Pooches galore in Kensington Gardens

DOG SHOW: You'd be barking mad to miss the Canine Partners London Walking Dog Show. Part dog walk, part show, take in a Royal Park while entering your dog into categories such as cutest canine and waggiest tail. Kensington Gardens, £5 per person/entry to classes £3 per dog, book ahead, from 10am

LADYBIRD LIVE: The Ladybird children's books celebrate the relaunch of the brand with a rhyme and rave afternoon for kids and their parents. Theatrical storytelling, face painting, glow sticks, confetti and live DJs come together for a child-friendly version of an adult rave... and it's all over long before bedtime. Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, adult £3/child free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

COMEDY: See comedian Helen Bauer try out some of her latest gags at this work in progress show. She's previously been featured on BBC Radio 4, BBC3 and Comedy Central, and is tipped as a rising star in the stand-up world. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £5, book ahead, 7.45pm

Last Updated 10 May 2019