Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 20-26 November 2023

Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 20-26 November 2023

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

A cardboard tub with two scoops of pale green ice cream.
Bag yourself a free scoop of gelato at Creams on Black Friday.

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.

Step into The Red Shoes: Beyond the Mirror

A red haired woman looking feverishly into the lens
See the actual red shoes from the classic 1948 film.

Powell and Pressburger's dark fairytale The Red Shoes has mesmerised audiences since its release in 1948, and spawned a Matthew Bourne opera to boot. Right now at BFI Southbank, free exhibition The Red Shoes: Beyond the Mirror invites you to dance in the footsteps of prima ballerina Victoria Page, by way of costume and production designs, scripts, behind the scenes photographs and posters — and the red ballet shoes featured in the film. Book your slot ahead of showing up.

Free, until 7 January 2024.

Mark Trans Day of Remembrance at the V&A

Monday is Trans Day of Remembrance, a time to pay respects to those who have been murdered as a result of transphobia, and it's being marked with a free event at the V&A. Members of the V&A LGBT+ Working Group showcase objects from the National Art Library which offer transgender and non-binary representation.

Free, 20 November.

Follow a new art trail themed on The Snowman

A painted plastic snowman near Tower Bridge
Do you wanna find a snowman?

12 decorated recreations of The Snowman appear in the area around Fleet Street from Tuesday, for the capital's latest free sculpture trail. The 1.6m-tall, individually painted sculptures are inspired by the 12 Days Of Christmas, and designed by various artists. It's a tribute to both the animated festive film, and the original picture book by Raymond Briggs.

Free, 21 November-January 2024.

Go to a free lunchtime concert in a beautiful setting

Once again, music students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance offer a free lunchtime concert in the Great Hall inside Queen's House in Greenwich. The Rufians Vocal Ensemble perform this time, and there's no need to book, however if you've got the time, it's worth booking a (free) gallery ticket, to allow you to explore your surroundings before or after the concert.

Free, 22 November.

Have a laugh at this cheap comedy night

Benjamin Lovell and Alexander Pankhurst host Top and Bottom Comedy, a regular night of laughs at The Book Club in Shoreditch which showcases up-and-coming-talent. You'll have to wait until the night to find out the exact line-up, but previous participants have also appeared on Live at the Apollo, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Comedy Central's Guessable, and Have I got News For You.

£3, 22 November.

Explore the history of Royal Festival Hall

Exterior of Royal Festival Hall
Image: Morley von Sternberg

Most Londoners have passed through the foyer spaces of Royal Festival Hall at one time or another, and now Southbank Centre is opening a free exhibition to dive into the spaces' history. View never-seen-before archive materials, tracking changes from the building's construction in 1951 through to the present day.

Free, 23 November-17 February.

Catch a free lunchtime lecture about Gabrielle Chanel

Tickets for the V&A's current Chanel exhibition are very hard to get hold of, but no ticket is required for Thursday's free lunchtime lecture by the exhibition's curatorial team. Find out about the life and work of pioneering French couturière, Gabrielle 'Coco' Chanel, and learn more about some of the objects featured in the exhibition.

Free, 23 November.

Find out what life was like in 1845

Guildhall Library hosts a free talk by historian Professor Michael Wheeler focusing on the year 1845. Find out what life was like at a time when when the penny post and the expansion of the railways had dramatically increased the speed and efficiency with which news travelled. Watch in person, or online.

Free, 23 November.

Watch a lantern procession winding its way through Bermondsey

The annual Illuminate Bermondsey & Rotherhithe lantern procession takes place, along a route from Market Place in Bermondsey to Southwark Park. Line the route to see local schools and community groups showing off their lanterns, created in workshops ahead of the event, then gather at the park bandstand for live music.

Free, 24 November.

Get free gelato at Creams for Black Friday

Dessert cafe Creams — which has more than 35 branches in London — is giving away free scoops of gelato and sorbet to mark Black Friday. Head to your nearest branch between 12pm-7pm on the day to claim your free scoop of one of 24 flavours, including salted caramel, banoffee, and bubblegum, with vegan options available too. No purchase necessary to claim your freebie.

Free, 24 November.

Enjoy an evening of free live music

Spend your Friday evening at Poplar Union, enjoying live music by the Grand Union Orchestra's Re:Generation Band. They're all musicians with roots in West African, Caribbean, Bengali, European and Korean music — which they perform together.

Free, 24 November.

Take part in a crafting session for adults

Colour therapist and Londonist contributor Momtaz Begum-Hossain hosts another edition of her regular craft session, Mindful Crafts For Adults, offering Londoners somewhere to step away from distractions and immerse themselves in a creative project.

It's a monthly event, with a different project to work on each time. All materials are provided, and no crafting experience is necessary. Sessions take place at Well Bean Co Café in Royal Docks and operate on a pay-what-you-can basis. Age 16+.

Pay what you can, 26 November.

Last Updated 21 November 2023

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