Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 11-17 December 2017

Kyra Hanson
By Kyra Hanson Last edited 9 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do In London This Week: 11-17 December 2017

All week

A giant catapult is part of one of the free exhibitions you can see in London this week.

FREE ART: Feeling like you need to do something cultural to balance out all the mulled wine you've been drinking lately? We've rounded up the biggest exhibitions on right now, and guess what? They're all free.

DISABILITY HISTORY MONTH: The Together! is where you'll find the next generation of grassroots deaf and disabled artists. The festival closes with a reading by punk goddess Penny Pepper and an open mic night. Various venues (east London), free, until 15 December

IDEAS FOR THE CITY: The final part of this Smarter City competition focuses on smart infrastructure. Ideas for improving London's security, energy and transport are proposed in this exhibition. The City Centre (City of London), free, just turn up, until 16 December

TWINKLE OF CHRISTMAS: Do a Lucy and enter an oversized wardrobe into a world where design and fantasy collide. Overhead 6,500 snowballs cascade from the ceiling, while characters from Narnia are dispersed among frost-covered fir trees. Design Centre, free, just turn up, until 22 December

STREET FANS: How does art that's typically found on a Shoreditch brick wall fare when it's transferred to a dainty fan? Pretty well we think. 25 street artists including C215 and Pure Evil have created designs for this fantastic show — geddit? The Fan Museum (Greenwich), £4, just turn up, until 31 December

TAKEAWAY DREAMS: Takeaway dreams, or pizza box art as we are affectionately calling this exhibition, sees artist Oliver Malin use the throw-away box as a canvas for his faces. If you get peckish, the exhibition is held in a kebab house — where else? Marathon Kebab House (Camden), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-9pm

Monday 11 December

HOLLABACK! LONDON: A night of powerful spoken word performances challenging street harassment faced by Londoners every day. Confirmed artists include Roundhouse 2017 slam finalist Thembe Mvula and actor and poet Tanaka Mhishi. Theatre N16, free, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

RIGHT FUNNY COMEDY: Don't resign yourself to being miserable this Monday. Have a laugh instead at this comedy night showcasing some rising stars of the stand up scene. Hawkins Forge (Battersea), free,book ahead, 7.30pm-10pm

Tuesday 12 December

Join the Library at Willesden Green for an unforgettable night of vintage hilarity in the company of two comedy legends.

FOCUS LDN: Whether you're into impressionism or abstract expressionism, you should find something that suits your taste at the second edition of this winter art festival showcasing the work of 22 established and emerging artists. Menier Gallery (Southwark), free, book ahead, 6pm-8.30pm

LAUREL AND HARDY: The comedy world is full of double acts, but do any come close to this pair of comic geniuses? Find out who they were behind the act then settle back and enjoy the festive classic Big Business. The Library at Willesden Green, £2, book ahead, 6.30pm-7.30pm

WHY DYLAN MATTERS: Even Bob Dylan himself seemed sketchy about accepting the Nobel Prize for literature but author Richard F. Thomas is adamant Dylan is much more than a rock 'n' roll star and he'll tell you why in this presentation with visuals and audio. Rough Trade East, free, just turn up, 7pm-9pm

Wednesday 13 December

Join Shorts on Tap for an explosive programme featuring some of the best new sci-fi shorts from around the world.

GREENWICH GROTTO: With so many Santas competing for your kid's attention, this time of year can be a minefield for parents. At this grotto, your little ones can do Christmas crafts while you explore the historic market, and the well-behaved get a present to take home. Greenwich Market, £5 per child, just turn up, until 24 December

FREE GIFT WRAPPING: Got the gifts but always end up in a tangle of sellotape and torn paper when it comes to wrapping? Call in the guys at Network Rail to give you a hand and don't forget to donate to the Barnardos bucket collections as a thank you. Victoria Station, free, just turn up, 10am-8pm, repeated tomorrow

GALLERY BUS TOUR: Get your culture fix in one easy bus ride around west London's small, independent galleries tonight. There are 11 shows to see, which is a lot of free gallery wine. Pace yourself. The Muse (Portobello), free, book ahead, 6pm-9pm

EXTINCT ANIMAL ART: How do you go about depicting something that died out millions of years ago? How artists reconstruct and recreate the dead is the topic of this one-off pop-up exhibition. King's College, free, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

VISIONS OF DYSTOPIA: Indulge your inner Scrooge at this night of sci-fi shorts offering bleak visions of the future, plus festive drinks to liven things up. 93 Feet East (Shoreditch), £3/£4 on the door, book ahead, 7pm-11pm

Thursday 14 December

Cover cups, vases, plates and cake stands in swirling patterns at an evening ceramics class.

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: The best things come in small packages, that measure seven by nine inches, according to this exhibition of tiny works, by more than 100 artists. Flowers Gallery, free, just turn up (book ahead for private view), 10am-6pm, until 6 January

MAKE KISS-TORY: If you find yourself smooching your loved one in a Westfield shopping centre this evening, you might just help break a Guinness World Record. Costa Coffee, now known as the roaster of romance, is behind the mass snogging session aiming for the ‘Most couples kissing under the mistletoe' title. Westfield Straford City, free, from 6pm

LATE NIGHT PAINTING: Some people spend their evenings dancing and some people spend their evenings painting. If you're in the second group, join this late night ceramics class. It's BYOB. Creative Biscuit Ceramics Cafe (South Woodford), £4, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

THE ONE I LOVE: Five writers read their work touching on themes of invisibility, invisible illness (physical or emotional health), pets and love at the closing event of this photo exhibition exploring the relationship that people living with long-term invisible conditions have with their pets. Free Project Space (Kentish Town), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8.30pm

DARK SIDE OF CHRISTMAS: Learn about the gruesome ghosts of Christmas past at this talk from Geraldine Beskin, proprietor of The Atlantis Bookshop. The Old King's Head, Borough/London Bridge, £3, just turn up, 8pm

Friday 15 December

Possibly the most exciting Christmas news of this year has arrived in the form of a GIANT SNOW SLIDE.

SNOW SLIDE: Just like that flurry the sprinkled over London the other day, blink and you'll miss this two-day only 'alpine adventureland'. Grab a rubber ring and slide down the snowiest hill you'll probably see this winter in the capital. Victory Park, free, just turn up, noon-8pm, 15-16 December

BEER TASTING: The best things in life are free and taste like hops. Craft microbrewery BBNo is showcasing its beer selection at this free tasting event tonight. After Hours, Whitechapel Gallery, free, just turn up, 6.30pm-9pm

BRIDGE THE CHANNEL: Support local makers, take part in free screen printing and drawing workshops and donate your stuff or your money to L'Auberge des Migrants at this pop-up shop. Pempeople (Peckham), free, 10am-7pm, 15-17 December

Saturday 16 December

Zalon will perform among the twinkling trees at Devonshire Square.

KIDSMAS ART CLASS: Why waste money buying decorations when your kids could have a blast making them? Remember to dig out old clothes for them to avoid the glitter monster. Pop Brixton, free, book ahead, 10am-noon

COMMUNITY OPEN DAY: Children can take part in festive fan decorating and activity trails as well as joining a tour of the current Street Fan exhibition as part of this community open day. The Fan Museum (Greenwich), free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

ZALON: Smooth operator and former lead singer to Amy Winehouse Zalon and his band hit the mics this evening, as part of the Art for Love festivities happening at Devonshire Square. Free, just turn up, 7pm-11pm

SATURDAY SESSIONS: A big ol' knees up in a shipping container shopping mall with resident DJs Tripitaka & Jay Knox. Boxpark Croydon, free, just turn up, 8pm-11pm

CAMDEN ROCKS CLUB: A Christmas party sprinkled with all your indie faves kicks off tonight, and with £3.50 drinks deals, you won't break the present kitty. The Underworld (Camden), £5, book ahead, 11pm-3am

Sunday 17 December

Musicians can sign up at the The Big Christmas Wind Orchestra and Choir website to come and play or sing.

WIND ORCHESTRA: Up to 200 novice and pro musicians gather at Spitalfields every year for this massive communal singalong, where you'll hear traditional carols and pop classics. Spitalfields Market, free, just turn up, 12.30pm-4pm

MOVING LINES: Stour Space will be a riot of activity as artists, poets, musicians and filmmakers come together to show off their work in aid of Help Refugees. Stour Space (Hackney Wick), £5, book ahead, 2pm-1am

THE CAROUSEL: A lively afternoon from London's up and coming improv stars, who are treating you to this free show. The Nursery Theatre, free, just turn up, 5.30pm-7.30pm

ACOUSTIC NIGHT: Chill out with a beer while bearded duo Mackenzie & Bidgood serenade you. Plus there's a free open mic for budding performers. The King & Co (Clapham), free, just turn up, 7pm-10pm

Fun things to do with our friends and sponsor Funzing...

Lost London Walking Tour


London is a city of incredible transformation. With structural remains that date back to ancient history still in existence, this unique walking tour takes in Lost London in all its former glory. From the Titanic booking office to the graveyards of man's best friend, you'll discover the weird and wonderful places that used to exist in the capital but are now only committed to memory. Using old photographs, newspaper cuttings and stories from the past, you'll be amazed at what has largely been written out of our history books...   Get tickets

Paddle Boarding in East London - Beginners


Take to the waters and glide about in this beginner paddleboarding session. By the end of it, you'll be standing up and paddling solo, and there's plenty of help on hand to improve your technique. Change of clothes required.  Get tickets

The London Cheese Crawl


Whether you’re a pre-grated cheddar sprinkler or mimolette fan, this cheesy walking tour will delight your senses. Starting off at a cheese counter in Mayfair that has been serving for more than 300 years, you'll tour the city's best dairy delights - including Fortnum & Mason, where the royals get their fix.   Get tickets

Step on Board the Haunted Tube Express


The London Undergound is over 150 years old, and it's seen a thing or two in its time. Are you brave enough to face the ghosts of the Underground? Travel through the home of the Bank's Black Nun, learn about the elderly angel who saved a tube worker from death, and come to face to face with Farringdon's screaming spectre. Bring your oyster card and discover the hidden secrets of the Underground. You'll need to have an Oyster card or travelcard for this event. Get tickets

Last Updated 11 December 2017