Free And Cheap London Events: 19-25 December 2016

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 25 months ago

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Free And Cheap London Events: 19-25 December 2016

All week

The Wave Pictures at All You Read Is Love

ADVENT WINDOWS 2016: Celebrate the Christmas season with Advent Windows: 2016. Greenwich's St Alfege's Church is unveiling a newly-decorated window in its living advent calendar every day until Christmas Eve. You can check the locations of each window here. Free, just turn up, until 2 January

TATE'S CHRISTMAS MARKET: Tate Modern has the perfect Christmas market if you're buying for anyone who's artistically inclined. It also has a Victorian carousel for anyone looking to go for a ride, and a nearby winter market. Free, until 23 December

ROALD DAHL'S BIRTHDAY: In honour of Roald Dahl's 100th birthday, illustrator Sir Quentin Blake has drawn special portraits of Dahl's most famous characters. Head to the British Library for Quentin Blake: The Roald Dahl Centenary Portraits to celebrate this phizz-whizzing anniversary. Free, just turn up, until 21 May 2017, excluding 24 & 25 December

180 YEARS OF LONDON BRIDGE: Learn the history of London Bridge, the capital's oldest rail station at this pop-up exhibition. Free, just turn up, until 23 December

Monday 19 December

SCROOGED: The Alibi in Dalston's weekly Monday night film club features a festive choice just before Christmas. See Scrooged, Bill Murray's modern twist on Dickens' classic tale. Free, just turn up, 8pm-10pm

Tuesday 20 December

MASS CAROL SINGALONG: Let the festive spirit overcome you, with a mass carol singalong in Waterloo. Don't worry, it won't just be out of tune amateurs, there will be some local choirs leading the singing. Free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

OH BOY, COMEDY!: 'A laughing orgasm from start to finish'. So one reviewer said about a Helen Duff set, the headliner for this alternative comedy night at The Rose & Crown in Kentish Town. Free entry/pay what you want, just turn up, from 7.30pm

LOLITICS: Self-described as London's friendliest lefty political comedy club, Lolitics is where comedians come with jokes that aim to make the world a better place. It doubles as a live podcast taking place upstairs at The Black Heart in Camden. £3, just turn up, from 7.30pm

Digital Jihad at the ICA

Bloomberg New Contemporaries

DIGITAL JIHAD: A vast improvement on last year. Out with the ponderous video art and in with snappy videos like Digjihad where radical imagery is mixed with super sweet animations. Back to its experimental best. Bloomberg New Contemporaries at ICA, The Mall, £1 (free on Tuesdays). 23 November-22 January ★★★★☆ Monday-Sunday but closed 24 & 25 December

Wednesday 21 December

SOFAR SOUNDS: There's a secret gig in Elephant & Castle. Even we don't know who's playing, but whoever it is you'll have a lovely time in the cosy and intimate venue. Free, apply for tickets online, from 7.30pm

Thursday 22 December

THE WAVE PICTURES: Head down to All You Read Is Love in Leytonstone, to see the class British alt pop band, The Wave Pictures. Free, just turn up, from 7pm

COMEDIANS' CINEMA CLUB: Watch film-loving comedians improvise their way through The Nightmare Before Christmas. Warning: they are liable to get very drunk along the journey. It's at Aces and Eights in Tufnell Park, £5, doors 7pm

GOSPEL CHOIR: St Martin's Courtyard in Covent Garden has got Get Gospel to make your last minute Christmas shopping that little bit more bearable, with their infectious musical joy. The surrounding shops will be open late as well. Free, just turn up, 5.30pm-8.30pm

Gavin Turk. Photo: ® Vitoria Mara Ltd

Friday 23 December

FAKING IT: Gavin Turk is famed for playing with the perception of what's real. His graduate show piece was a fake blue plaque dedicated to himself. For this exhibition he places himself on the cover of Hello magazine and creates his own Warhols and Pollocks. He's not a new artist but this show is perfect for the post-truth era. Gavin Turk: Who, what, when, where, how and why at Newport Street Gallery, Newport Street, SE11 6AJ, free. 23 November-19 March but closed 24 & 25 December ★★★★★

Saturday 24 December

SMITHFIELD MEAT AUCTION: Get your turkey at an absolute bargain, in a traditional manner at the Smithfield Meat Auction. Free, but whatever meat you're bidding on is going to cost you, from 10.30am

CAROLS AT ST PAUL'S: For traditionalists there's nothing better than seeing Christmas carols sung in a grand cathedral like St Paul's. Free, but this will be packed so get there early, from 4pm

The Peter Pan Cup in Hyde Park. Photo: sinister dexter

Sunday 25 December

DESERTED LONDON: Ever wanted to experience a completely deserted central London? Live out your own 28 Days Later fantasy and spend a morning wandering around a deserted Oxford Street. The only other people you'll likely bump into are photographers making the most of the empty streets.

CHURCH SERVICES: Take a look at the services at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey (free tickets require booking), St Martin-in-the Fields and St Paul's Cathedral. Of course, churches all over London will run services on Christmas Day; check with your local for details. From 8am

PETER PAN CUP: Every year, a group of hardy swimmers takes to the water in Hyde Park's Serpentine, in pursuit of the Peter Pan Cup. You can't take part unless you're a member of the Serpentine Swimming Club (and really, would you want to?), but you can drop by and offer your support from the safety of dry land and the warmth of proper clothing. Find out more about the history of the Peter Pan Cup here. Free to watch, just turn up, from 9am

We'll be taking a break next week — Free and Cheap listings returns in the new year.

Last Updated 16 December 2016