Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 1-7 January 2024

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 1-7 January 2024

Budget-friendly things to do in London this week for £5 or less.

A group of people dressed in matching red hoodies parading through London holding the strings of a giant inflatable balloon
Photo: London New Year's Day Parade

Looking for more free things to do in London? Here are 102 of em! We've also compiled this epic map of free stuff in London.

Watch London's New Year's Day Parade

If you're not busy sleeping off the year's biggest hangover on New Year's Day, head into central London for London's New Year's Day Parade.

Marching bands, dancers, and huge inflatable balloons are all part of the entertainment, in a procession that winds its way from Piccadilly to Whitehall. It's free to watch from anywhere along the route, though you'll want to get there early to get a decent view — it begins at noon and usually goes on until about 3.30pm.

Free, 1 January

See comedy for a quid

Have a laugh on the cheap at Top Secret Comedy Club on Drury Lane, with tickets to its Tuesday Stand Up Comedy costing just £1. Exact acts TBC at time of writing, but for a quid, you can't go far wrong!

£1, 2 January.

Catch the final days of two free lights trails

A man and child peering at a colourful glowing sphere
This is the final week of Winter Light. Photo: Christoffer Askman

Two of London's free light trails get switched off this week. The Luminaze in Wembley Park is an illuminated neon light maze which you can walk through, with a specially curated soundscape, all centring around the four-foot tall centrepiece, The Hourglass.

Over at Southbank Centre, Winter Light is a trail of glowing art installations, dotted around the outside of the building and surrounding area.

Both free, The Luminaze until 2 January, and Winter Light at Southbank Centre until 7 January.

Showcase your DJ skills at Social Decks

Walthamstow's Big Penny Social offers a chance for budding DJs from the local area to showcase their skills to a live audience. Social Decks is a monthly, free-entry event — submit your mix in advance for a chance to take part, or just turn up and see what others can do.

Free, 4 January (and first Thursday of every month).

Track down The Snowman before he melts away

A sculpture of The Snowman standing in an alleyway
Photo: Matt Brown/Londonist

This is the final week of the free Walking With The Snowman art trail. Track down 12 incarnations of Raymond Briggs' festive character around the Fleet Street area, each one decorated by a different artist and representing one of the 12 Days of Christmas.

Free, until 5 January.

Join a social morning walk and stretch

Keen to get moving more in 2024, but not sure where to start? Poplar Union offers a morning walk and stretch on Friday, starting at 7.30am and suitable for any ability. Stretch Coach Nicole Buning leads the session, showing you a series of stretches to try as you walk an hour-long circular route from Poplar Bakehouse, followed by coffee. Age 18+.

Free, 5 January.

A man dressed from head to toe in foliage, clutching two woven crowns
Get your 2024 off to a trippy start. David Risley © Sas Astro

Witness London's Twelfth Night celebrations

London's annual Twelfth Night celebrations mix ancient customs with modern festivities, making for a bizarre and eclectic event. Head to the riverside near Shakespeare's Globe on Sunday to witness wassailing, The Holly Man (or Green Man) being paraded across the river, dramatic performances, and a chance to be crowned King or Queen for the day by finding a bean or a pea in a cake. Like we said, an odd (but fascinating) one.

Free, 7 January.

Last Updated 02 January 2024

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