Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 29 July-4 August 2019

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Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 29 July-4 August 2019

All week

Culture Under Attack at Imperial War Museum. © Andy Morgan

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: As the school break rumbles on, check out our guide to spending the holidays in London as a family — whatever their age and whatever your budget.

CAMDEN FRINGE: Performing arts festival Camden Fringe begins on Monday, bringing a month of comedy, theatre, dance, circus and magic shows to venues all over Camden. Not all events are budget-friendly, but browse the programme carefully and you'll find plenty of tickets for just a fiver. Various locations and prices, book ahead, 29 July-25 August

CULTURE UNDER ATTACK: For free exhibitions, you could do a lot worse than the Culture Under Attack series. It comprises three simultaneous exhibitions looking at the ethical implications of the destruction of culture in a bid to win a war — here's our full 5* review. Imperial War Museum, free, just turn up, until January 2020

Monday 29 July

Tropical crafts at Drink, Shop & Do

LOVE ISLAND: It's Love Island final night, and the final action from the Villa — including the announcement of the winners — is being shown for free on a large screen in Camden Market. Food and drink is available to buy from stalls and restaurants nearby. Camden Market North Yard, free, just turn up, 6pm-11pm. Elsewhere, creative cafe and cocktail bar Drink, Shop & Do marks the finale with tropical crafts, glitter painting, and of course, a screening of the episode. Drink, Shop & Do (King's Cross), £5, book ahead, 6pm

AUTHOR TALK: Live A Little is a new novel, based in north London and centred around two elderly people coming to terms with the end of their lives. Tonight, author Howard Jacobson gives a talk about the book. Owl Bookshop (Kentish Town), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

HEADS AND BODIES: Play kids' party game Heads and Bodies — but it's adults-only, and there's booze on hand to fuel the fun along. Draw the head, fold it over, the next person draws the shoulders, and so on, until it's unfolded at the end to reveal a monster. The Book Club (Shoreditch),  free, just turn up, 7pm-8.30pm

Tuesday 30 July

Come and play at Morden Hall Park

COME AND PLAY: Active adventures including volleyball, rounders, cricket and archery are open to all at Morden Hall Park's free come out and play sessions, running throughout the summer holidays. It's suitable for all ages and abilities, and aims to bring families together to spend time outdoors. Morden Hall Park, free, just turn up, 30 July-29 August

JAPANESE LIVING: Celebrate new travel book Be More Japan, at an evening dedicated to the art of Japanese living. History, art and cultural quirks are all covered in a panel debate, with plenty of travel and trip-planning tips thrown in. Stanfords (Covent Garden), £4, book ahead, 7pm-8.15pm

Wednesday 31 July

Science Museum stays open late

IS THERE A FUTURE: Given the current ecological crisis, should we be having children, or should we remain childless to protect the future of the planet? That's the debate at this evening of performance and installation art which focuses on the links between reproduction and ecology. Ugly Duck (Bermondsey), £5, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

FILM SCREENING: Come on babe, why don't we paint the town... at a free screening of musical film Chicago. As Velma and co do the Cell Block Tango on the big screen, keep the pedal-powered cinema going by hopping on one of the static bikes (or cosy up under a blanket and let others do the work). Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 9pm

MUSEUM LATE: It's the last Wednesday of the month, which means the Science Museum stays open late for adults-only events and activities. This month celebrates the 50th anniversary of the moon landings, and activities include a multimedia concert, space-themed cocktails, and a chance to take home and grow some rocket seeds (see what they did there?). Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead, 6.45pm-10pm

Thursday 1 August

Hattie Briggs performs a free gig in Paddington

LIVE MUSIC: Head to Paddington after-work for a free evening of live music, taking place on a floating park. Pull up a deckchair, tuck into food and drinks from nearby restaurants and watch a live performances by singer-songwriter Hattie Briggs. Merchant Square (Paddington), free, just turn up, 5.30pm-7.30pm

MUSEUM LATE: England's oldest medical college, the Royal College of Physicians, stays open late to let the public explore its exhibitions and objects. See artworks by Sir Joshua Reynolds and unusual medical objects, and join a curator-led tour, all under one (Grade-I listed) roof. Royal College of Physicians (Regent's Park), free, book ahead, 5.30pm

TIME OF THE RAJ: Political journalist Anita Anand talks about her research into the relationship between Britain and India in the early 20th century, focusing on how the use of archives can help us bear witness to individual people's stories. In particular, Anand focuses on the lives of two very different people, one a princess and suffragette, the other an assassin. National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

Friday 2 August

Little Gay Brother performs at Southbank Centre

PEOPLE'S WAR: Author and lecturer Dr Jonathan Fennell offers a free talk about the history of the British and Commonwealth armies in the second world war. Learn about the experience of ordinary soldiers within those armies, and how incidents on the home front had a knock-on effect for their work. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, book ahead, 11.30am

PALACE GARDENS: The marvellous Lambeth Palace, home to the Archbishop of Canterbury, holds its monthly open garden event. For a £5 charity donation you can have a poke about inside the usually-private walled garden next to the Thames. We found it rather enchanting when we visited. Lambeth Palace, £5, just turn up, 12pm-3pm

LITTLE GAY BROTHER: Queer performance collective Little Gay Brother bring their touring show to Southbank Centre. The free performance uses music, dance and humour to challenge gender perceptions, and ties in with the current Kiss My Genders exhibition. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 5.30pm

Saturday 3 August

Free acrobatics performances in Hounslow

FESTIVAL OF FLIGHT: The RAF Museum opens its doors for a free family fun weekend, with several activities based around its impressive collection. Watch hot air balloon demonstrations and bird of prey flights, dress up as an RAF pilot or get stuck into arts and craft activities. RAF Museum (Colindale), free, just turn up 3-4 August

ACROBATICS: Head to Hounslow for a free, open-air acrobatics performance. Gravitas consists of two performers and revolves around the theme of gravity, with the dancers challenging its limits. Bell Square (Hounslow), free, just turn up, 3pm/5pm

MELTDOWN: Southbank Centre's week-long Meltdown Festival, curated by Nile Rodgers of Chic, begins today. Not all events are free — and many have sold out — but plenty are affordable including today's Disco Wonderland, a day of singing and dancing that's open to all. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, from 4pm

Sunday 4 August

Waltham Forest Mela is free

VINTAGE SALE: Hunt out a bargain new wardrobe at the Vintage Kilo Sale. Once you've paid your entrance fee, you pay for whatever takes your fancy by weight — meaning you can spend as little as 50p if you stumble across a bangin' belt. There are 6 tonnes of stock laid out though, so maybe bring a little more money than that. York Hall (Bethnal Green), £3 earlybird access (booking required)/£1.50 general entry (just turn up), 10am-4pm

CUBITT SESSIONS: It's the final day of this year's Cubitt Sessions — free, outdoor music performances. Check out the full line-up — Sunday is family day, so expect world music and international culture. Coal Drops Yard (King's Cross), free, just turn up, from 1pm

WALTHAM FOREST MELA: London's current Borough of Culture, Waltham Forest, hosts a Mela — a huge, free festival for all the family. Expect music from all over the world, a fashion show, spoken word performances, South Asian street food, a funfair and plenty more. Leyton Jubilee Park, free, just turn up, 2pm-9pm

Last Updated 26 July 2019