Budget-friendly things to do in London this week for £5 or less.
1. Get your lugholes around some new live music
Every Monday evening, the Half Moon in Putney hosts New Moon, a night of new music, performed live. The line-up differs each week, but can feature singer-songwriters, bands, poets and performance artists. This time around, it includes country music singer Preston D Barnes, indie singer-songwriter Ali MacQueen, and RnB artist Lucy Wroe (backed by a live band).
The first 24 people through the door bag themselves a free Two Tribes beer, so it's worth being punctual.
£2.50 entry, 27 March.
2. Walk with Amal
Remember Little Amal, the oversized puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee? She's back in London for two appearances this week, and you can see her at either for free.
On Wednesday 29 March, she's making her way through the City of London, beginning at Paternoster Square outside St Paul's, heading via Bloomberg Arcade and Leadenhall Market down towards the Tower of London, where the Yeomen of the Tower will welcome her. Live music and other events take place at the stops along the route.
Then, on Sunday 2 April, she leads an interfaith celebration to celebrate Ramadan, Passover and Easter coinciding. Catch her at JW3 in North Finchley for Passover storytelling, a Christian celebration featuring gospel choirs and steel pans in South Hampstead, and a Ramadan lantern parade and Iftar event in King's Cross.
Free, 29 March and 2 April.
3. Coronation secrets
As the coronation approaches (6 May, FYI), swot up on the hidden meanings of various parts of the coronation ceremony. City Guide Robert Stephenson gives a free talk about the sacred and symbolic meanings of certain elements at Guildhall Library. Tickets to attend in person have sold out, but you can still watch online.
Free, 30 March.
4. Spend one of your nine lives at the Be A Cat Cafe
15 Bateman Street in Soho is the place to head if you want to try your hand at feline life. The Be A Cat Cafe is a pop-up featuring 'various different stations to connect with your inner cat'. Spend time in a wool pit, a relaxing cat nap area, or on a human-sized climbing frame. Sure, it's a promo event for cat food brand Felix, but it might also be one of the more... unique things you do in London this year.
Free, 30 March-1 April.
5. Interact with a growing artwork at Barbican
Interdisciplinary design practice collective RESOLVE takes over the sweeping Curve gallery at Barbican, for them's the breaks. This groundbreaking show sees a huge installation — made from objects foraged from various cultural institutions and exhibitions — gradually fill the space, with visitors encouraged to touch and interact. It'll be growing from 30 March well into the summer, and the exhibition is studded with numerous public events: talks from artists, activists, writers, etc. Could be one to visit more than once over the next few months.
Free, 30 March-16 July.
6. Get your fill of milk at Wellcome Collection's new show
Got milk? Wellcome Collection certainly does; its latest exhibition studies our relationship with milk — and how the white stuff has affected, and been affected, by global politics, society and culture. Over 100 objects and artworks feature in Milk, including retro advertising posters and a model of a mule carrying two trays loaded with cheeses, dating back to the 3rd century.
Free, 30 March-10 September.
7. Edges of Sign Language exhibition
Somerset House Studios unveils a new commission by American sound artist Christine Sun Kim. Edges of Sign Language looks at how sound is used in society, and explores the limitations of American Sign Language.
Free, 31 March-21 May.
8. Take aim at a virtual clay pigeon shootout
How good is your aim? Clays — two virtual clay pigeon shooting bars in the City and Canary Wharf — are inviting you to take part in their Friday Fever Shootout. Score high to win weekly prizes — plus, just for stepping up to the mark — you also get a free Fever Tree cocktail.
Free, 31 March and every Friday till 9 June.
9. Thread your way to London's Sewing Machine Museum
It's no April Fool that London's little-known Sewing Machine Museum has its monthly opening today. Browse the collection of 600+ of the machines, including one which belonged to Queen Victoria's daughter. Not convinced? Here's what we found when we visited in 2018.
It's free, though donations to The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and Leukaemia Research are appreciated.
Free, 1 April.
10. Smell the flowers at the Battersea Spring Festival
Battersea Power Station's Spring Festival launches on Saturday, with two weeks of events and activities, many of them free. Follow a giant flower trail to track down and learn about 10 different flowers — and if you complete the online quiz afterwards, there are prizes to be won. There's also a Wriggle & Scribble Illustrated Playground in Malaysia Square, open to all ages (adults included), with more activities coming next weekend.
Free, 1-16 April