Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 28 October-3 November 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 28 October-3 November 2019

All week

Diwali celebrations continue, including a huge free festival in Trafalgar Square on Sunday

HALLOWEEN: It’s Halloween week, which means there are spooky goings-on all over town. Read our guide to Halloween events for adults and kids, covering parties, pumpkin trails and plenty more. Otherwise, book yourself into one of these Halloween film screenings, or tuck into spooky, limited-edition food and drink.

FIREWORKS: The capital is also ramping up for fireworks night, with displays and bonfire events all over town. We’ve compiled all the ones we know about into one handy guide, so you should be able to find a display near you.

DIWALI: The Diwali celebrations continue this week too, with special feasting menus in Indian restaurants, and other events, culminating in the free Diwali festival in Trafalgar Square on Sunday.

Jim Grover's Day of the Dead photography goes on display from Monday

BREAKING BARRIERS: Proud Gallery opens a new exhibition, telling the stories of refugees through objects linked with their experiences, such as swimming medals. It's the work of refugee charity Breaking Barriers, and features interviews with people helped by the organisation, alongside portraits of them. Proud Gallery (Embankment), free (donations welcome), just turn up, 29 October-2 November

FORGOTTEN VICTIMS: The Wiener Library launches a new exhibition, Forgotten Victims, focusing on the genocide carried out against the Roma and Sinti communities in Europe during the Nazi era. The 'forgotten Holocaust' resulted in the persecution and murder of up to 50,000 people, and documents, photos and eyewitness accounts are used here to tell their stories. Wiener Library (Russell Square), free, just turn up, 30 October-11 March

Monday 28 October

Explore the links between architecture and performance

DIA DE MUERTOS: Photographer Jim Grover displays a selection of his images taken in Mexico, portraying local people marking the Dia de los Muertos festival. The photos were taken in Oaxaca, south Mexico, and its surrounding villages, and depict shrines and altars covered in food, drink and sugar skulls, and locals taking part in candlelit vigils in cemeteries. Leica (Royal Exchange), free, just turn up, 28 October-31 December

PUBLIC PERFORMANCE: The City Centre hosts a panel discussion about the links between architecture and performance, inspired by the Urban Bodies exhibition, and associated performances in the City of London. Choreographer Willi Dorner is among the panellists who discuss the effects that performances can have on citizens of a city. The City Centre (Guildhall), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-9pm

Tuesday 29 October

Eric Parry and Richard Deacon discuss One Eagle Place. © Dirk Lindner

WAR FOOTBALL: What happened to football during the second world war? The Museum of Enfield hosts a free talk about how the conflict affected the sport, what measures were taken to ensure it could still be played, and how it was used to keep morale up. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), free, book ahead, 1pm

EGYPTIAN SOCIETY: Professor Anna Marie Roos talks about the Egyptian Society, the first of its kind, which emerged during the 18th century. Although it's often portrayed as a drinking club, Roos argues that it was crucial in promoting the development of early archaeology and early modern antiquarianism. Ideal prep for the upcoming Tutankhamun exhibition. Wellcome Collection (Euston), free, just turn up, 5.30pm-6.30pm

ONE EAGLE PLACE: Hear architects Eric Parry and Richard Deacon discuss their collaboration on One Eagle Place, a building in St James's. The design incorporates a 25-metre sculptural cornice formed of 39 individual ceramic sculptures, and red and white speckled ceramic framed windows. The Building Centre (Fitzrovia), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

Wednesday 30 October

Science Museum hosts a Halloween late. © Science Museum Group

50 YEARS OF THE INTERNET: In October 1969, a message was sent between two computers for the first time, marking the birth of the internet. At this free talk, hear from a series of experts (including the man who gave the Queen her first email address) who look back over the last half a century, and what the future is likely to look like. Plexal (Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), free, book ahead, 6pm-8pm

MUSEUM LATE: As always on the final Wednesday of the month, Science Museum stays open late, and this time there's a Halloween theme. Debunk myths about ghosts and zombies, learn about creepy crawlies from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and get involved in an immersive pandemic. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.45pm-10pm

DECOLONISING HISTORY: The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) continues its work around ‘decolonising history' with a performance of two new audio dramas on the topic. The writers were given unlimited access to SOAS's history department, and based the work on the institution's own uncomfortable past as a training college for officers of the British Empire. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), £5, book ahead, 7.30pm

Halloween: Thursday 31 October

There's a free Halloween party in King's Cross

HALLOWEEN AT KING'S CROSS: Halloween events needn't be expensive — King's Cross hosts a free, open-to-all Halloween party. Giant skeleton puppets, free face painting, dance performances, and LED skeleton drummers are all part of the fun — and there are prizes for the best skeleton costume. Granary Square (King's Cross), free, just turn up, from 5.30pm

HISTORY OF HAIR: Social and cultural historian Professor Joanna Bourke talks about how hair has been seen as symbolic of empowerment, deviance, and identity throughout history. The promotion of grooming products, military regulations and the political significance of facial hair are all covered. Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

SCARED TO DEATH: Join storyteller Vanessa Woolf of London Dreamtime for a night of horrifically scary stories in a dark, secret location. Dress warm and bring a candle in a jar and something to sit on. Not for children or anyone of a nervous disposition. Secret location near NW3, £5, book ahead, 7pm

Friday 1 November

Science Gallery hosts a Friday late

MILITARY HISTORY: Brigadier John Powell OBE talks about the significance of the military career of General Sir Edward Bulfin, one of the few Irish Catholics to rise to the rank of full general in the British Army. Powell has just written the first biography of Bulfin, using primary sources unearthed for the first time. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

GHOST HUNT: Things are getting spooky at the Garden Museum — no surprise, considering its housed in an ancient church. Join experts to try to make contact with some of the rumoured ghosts believed responsible for spooky sightings and weird happenings in the building, using augmented reality technology. Garden Museum (Lambeth), £5, book ahead, 5pm-7pm (1-3 November)

FRIDAY LATE: On Edge is the theme of Science Gallery's Friday Late, which focuses on mental health. Attend free talks, workshops and performances, including a chance to get out of your comfort zone by trying rapping, and a crocheting workshop demonstrating how life events alter our genes. Science Gallery (London Bridge), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-10pm

Saturday 2 November

The Regent Street Motor Show is in town

REGENT STREET MOTOR SHOW: Regent Street shuts to traffic for the day — ironically, to make way for vehicles. The Regent Street Motor Show, organised by the Royal Automobile Club, showcases vehicles from the last 125 years, including veteran cars, sports cars, and modern low-emission vehicles. It's a family-friendly event, with displays and entertainment throughout the day. Regent Street, free, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

FAMILY HISTORY DAY: Learn how to delve into your roots at the Migration Museum's family history day. It's for anyone who wants to trace their family tree, with a chance to pick up tips and advice on your research from experts, whether you're new to genealogy, or have hit a wall with your current research and don't know how to proceed. Migration Museum (Lambeth), £5, book ahead, 10.30am-4pm

STAND UP COMEDY: Comedian Alexander Bennett performs his Edinburgh Fringe 2019 show for a London audience. Bennett's work has been described as dark, silly, filthy and thoughtful, so expect plenty of oversharing in this show about our identities and how we define ourselves. Etcetera Theatre (Camden), £5, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

Sunday 3 November

Take part in a Halloween pooch parade

HALLOWEEN POOCH PARADE: Get your dog into a Halloween costume (no, really), and head to Monument to join a parade down to Flat Iron Square. On arrival, there are games and a competition for the canine visitors, and food and drink for the humans, with the family-friendly fun continuing throughout the afternoon. Meet at Monument, £5 to enter dog competition, just turn up, from 10.45am

LONDON GAMING MARKET: Stock up on retro video games, board games and merchandise at the London Gaming Market — the more niche, the better. It's also a chance to meet fellow gamers in London. Royal National Hotel (Russell Square), just turn up, £5 entry from 11am/£2 entry from 12pm

DIWALI IN LONDON: The pinnacle of London’s Diwali celebrations is the free festival in Trafalgar Square. Everyone’s welcome to enjoy live music and dance performances on the stage and through the square, plus Bollywood and puppet dancing workshops. The street food market sells snacks including vegan and vegetarian dishes and Indian sweets, and there's information about the background of the festival for Londoners and tourists who aren't familiar with the culture. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 1pm-7pm

Last Updated 25 October 2019