Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 21-27 October 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 21-27 October 2019

All week

Last chance to see Manolo Blahnik at The Wallace Collection

ABANDONED ENGINEERING: Photos of stunning examples of abandoned engineering go on display at a free exhibition. Shots from around the world, including railway yards and nuclear bunkers, feature, to publicise the new series of TV show Abandoned Engineering. Gallery @ Oxo, free, just turn up, 23-27 October

HARVEST CELEBRATION: Borough Market celebrates the season with a family-friendly harvest celebration. Learn how to use seasonal produce at free cooking demonstrations, keep the kids entertained with storytelling and face painting, and donate your homegrown apples to make a community cider. Borough Market, free, just turn up, 24-26 October

See photos of abandoned engineering projects

WHERE LIGHT FALLS: St Paul's Cathedral serves up a right treat in the form of Where Light Falls. See historic scenes projected onto the exterior building, paying tribute to the St Paul's Watch, a group of people who protected the building from destruction during the Blitz. St Paul's Cathedral, free, just turn up, 24-27 October

MANOLO BLAHNIK: Final chance to see Manolo Blahnik exhibition An Enquiring Mind. Shoes and fine art don't sound like a good match, but it makes perfect sense once you see classic Manolo Blahniks displayed in front Wallace Collection's paintings of fashionable folk. It's a frilly and flamboyant showdown to see who can be the most stylish. Wallace Collection, free, just turn up, until 27 October

See St Paul's Cathedral illuminated. Image: Historic England/Double Take Projections

SECRET RIVERS: Time's trickling away to see Museum of London Docklands' excellent Secret Rivers exhibition. Find out about the hidden watercourses of the city, their histories, geography, and the secrets that have been dredged up in them through the centuries. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, until 27 October

HALF TERM: As the kids are off school this week, keep them occupied with our guide to spending half term in London. We've covered family-friendly events, exhibitions, theatre shows, restaurants and afternoon teas.

Monday 21 October

Take part in a bioblitz at Natural History Museum

BIOBLITZ: Join experts from the Natural History Museum and help to conduct a bioblitz — a snapshot of the wildlife in a particular location at a particular time. Under guidance, identify as many species of plants, animal and fungi in the wildlife garden as possible. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

AMAZING GRACE: Hauser Wirth Gallery hosts a screening of 2018 film Amazing Grace, to coincide with its current exhibition, Cerberus. The film shows footage of the live recording of Aretha Franklin's gospel album of the same name, recorded in Los Angeles in 1972. Curzon Mayfair, £5, book ahead, 6pm-8.45pm

CHEAP COMEDY: Get yourself to Hogtoberfest for a night of stand-up, sketch and character comedy...maybe even a spooky piggy twist. Lewis Goody, Alice India and Martin Willis are among the line-up. Paper Dress Vintage, £5, book ahead, 7.45pm-10pm

Tuesday 22 October

Enjoy an evening of climate conversation

BIOMETRICS: What are biometrics, how can they be used to reduce crime, and what risks does a biometric system pose to the security of personal information? All is revealed in this free talk by IT expert Professor Richard Harvey. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

STATE OF THE EARTH: Hear a panel of experts debate how human activity has influenced the natural world in recent years. Climate diplomat Christiana Figueres and Professor Sir Brian Hoskins are chaired by BBC Countryfile presenter Tom Heap to talk about the greatest challenges humanity now faces in saving the planet. The Royal Society, free, just turn up, 7pm-8.30pm

Wednesday 23 October

See comedian Michael Brunström in action

FESTIVAL OF LEARNING: RIBA hosts a one-day, family-friendly Festival of Learning, looking at how technology can help to shape and design the built environment. Take part in workshops showing you how to translate 2d designs into 3d models, and learn about other new technologies. RIBA (Portland Place), free, book ahead, 11am-4pm

ANGEL COMEDY: Comedian Michael Brunström brings his surrealist take on comedy to north London. In his show, World Of Sports, he adopts the role of an Olympic athlete striving for a gold medal, whatever it takes. The Bill Murray (Islington), £5, book ahead, 6.45pm-7.45pm

SOVIET HIPPIES: Dash Cafe takes a look at the hippie movement in the USSR, at the UK premiere of 2017 documentary Soviet Hippies. Unseen archive footage and psychedelic animations offer a little-seen perspective on Europe at the time of the Iron Curtain. Screening followed by a Q&A with director Terje Toomistu. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7pm

Thursday 24 October

Celebrate International Gibbon Day

GIBBON DAY: It's International Gibbon Day, and the Grant Museum of Zoology is celebrating with a chance to meet gibbonologists (real job title!), who give an insight into how the mind of a gibbon works. Learn about their anatomy, behaviour, and hear folklore tales featuring the creatures. Grant Museum of Zoology, free, just turn up, 2pm-3pm

FREEDOM SONG: As part of Black History Month, hear stories of a choir of ex-slaves who toured America in the 1870s, singing folk songs. They received little respect until they came to England and sung for Queen Victoria and Gladstone. Museum of London, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

RICHMOND RAILWAY: Hear about the history of Richmond's railway links to central London and beyond. Celebrating 173 years since the railway came to Richmond, this talk covers the design and development of two stations in the area. Museum of Richmond, £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Friday 25 October

It's Doctor Who night at the Natural History Museum

CIVIL WAR PETITIONS: See researcher Dr Ismini Pells discuss military welfare during the British civil wars, in a free lecture. Find out about the first war pensions for wounded soldiers, for which veterans or their bereaved relatives had to submit a petition. Now, these petitions give an insight into the impact the war had on ordinary British families. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

LUNCHTIME CONCERT: Take your packed lunch along to Bishopsgate Institute's lunchtime concert, designed to introduce you to musical genres or instruments you may not be familiar with. Today, duo Zashiki Warashi combine Japanese taiko with Western flute for a piece on the theme of life and death. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), free. just turn up, 1pm

MUSEUM LATE: It's Doctor Who night at the Natural History Museum, as TV's time-traveller is the theme of this month's late night opening. Take a selfie with the TARDIS, learn about the science facts behind the science fiction depicted on the show, or simply browse the usual displays and exhibitions after hours. Natural History Museum (South Kensington), free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

Saturday 26 October

Celebrate Diwali at the National Maritime Museum

DIWALI: Several Diwali celebrations take place in London in the coming weeks, including today's lantern parade. Learn about Rangoli art, take part in a drumming workshop and make your own reflective lantern, before showing off your handiwork in the lantern parade when night falls.  National Maritime Museum (Greenwich), free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

SEASONAL SHINDIG: The Gerffrye Museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but that's no reason for the fun to stop. Head to its gardens for a seasonal shindig, and celebrate autumn with dancing, crafts, food and drink. Geffrye Museum (Hoxton), free, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

WINDRUSH VOICES: Author David Matthews tells some powerful  stories from the men, women and children of the Windrush generation, supported by film footage and a display of archive documents. It's followed by a discussion on the subject. The National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Sunday 27 October

Get stuck into architecture at Fulham Palace

FREE TATTOOS: For one day only, New Cross tattoo parlour South City Market is offering free inkings to celebrate its first birthday. Choose your free design from the selected flash sheets, then get down there early, as it's first come, first served. South City Market (New Cross), free, just turn up, all day

HALLOWEEN DOG SHOW: Canine charity All Dogs Matter holds a fundraising Halloween dog walk and show. Meet at the pub before going on a group walk across Hampstead Heath, then return to the pub for the fancy dress show and prizes. Spaniards Inn (Hampstead), £5 entry per dog, just turn up, 11am

ASTONISHING ARCHAEOLOGY: Fulham Palace hosts a family fun day, delving into the world of archaeology. Handle real artefacts, and find out about the Romans who used to live on the site, through trails, crafts and tours. Age 3+. Fulham Palace, free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

Last Updated 19 October 2019