Budget-friendly things to do in London this week for £5 or less.
Check out an exhibition about London after the Great Fire
A City Full of People is the latest exhibition that runs simultaneously at various City of London churches, as part of the Wren300 celebrations. Volunteers have dug deep into local archives and records, researching the long-forgotten lives of the people connected to Wren's City churches, built after the Great Fire of London, including Hannah Brace, who continued her husband John's glazing business after he died, and Hackney nurseryman Thomas Fairchild, who argued that public squares should be planted in a wilderness style. You can see the free show at St Bride's, Fleet Street (until 30 November); St Vedast alias Foster, Foster Lane (until 1 December); St Martin Ludgate (until 31 December 2023); and St Botolph Aldgate (until 31 January 2024).
Free, until 31 January 2024.
Get the lowdown on personal finance
For the final event in its series of November workshops, Big Penny Social in Walthamstow offers a personal finance session. It's led by Brian Byrnes, Head of Personal Finance for the app Moneybox, and covers the basics of savings, mortgages, pensions, investments and the like. You can put your questions to him via the form to book your place for the event.
Free, 27 November.
Get in the festive spirit with winter romance novels
Waterstones Kensington hosts Lizzie Huxley-Jones, author of Make You Mine This Christmas, and Abiola Bello, author of Only For The Holidays. They discuss their books, and the genre of wintry romances, followed by a Q&A session, and a chance to buy copies of their books and have them signed.
£5, 28 November.
Celebrate Tree Week
To mark 50 years of Tree Week — an annual celebration marking the start of the winter tree planting season — Guildhall Library hosts guide Lester Hillman for a free talk about all aspects of trees, including one particualr London tree that became famous quite recently. Watch in person at Guildhall Library, or online.
Free, 29 November.
Attend a free lunchtime lecture at the V&A
This week's free lunchtime lecture at the V&A Museum in South Kensington focuses on the depiction of high days and holidays in 19th-century genre painting. Art historian Dr Kathy McLauchlan compares the early half of the century, when artists presented an idyllic vision of country life, to the latter half, when some artists tried to give a more sober and realistic account of the lives of working people.
Free, 30 November.
Hear from an expert about abortion law
Thursday's free Gresham College lecture is given by Gresham Professor of Law, Professor Leslie Thomas KC, who discusses the history of abortion in English law, from common law to the Abortion Act 1967. He looks at the current state of abortion law in England, the Commonwealth Caribbean, and recent developments in the US, and looks at whether there's a case for further liberalising it. Watch in person at Barnard's Inn Hall (Holborn) or online.
Free, 30 November.
Go to the free Drummond Street Winter Market
Head to Drummond Street in Euston for its Winter Market — and register for a free ticket in advance to bag yourself a free samosa on the night. Watch performances spanning drumming, flame throwing, Bollywood dancing and more — and get yourself some free Henna art, before browsing the stalls.
Free, 30 November.
Start your weekend with a free open mic night
On the first Friday of each month, Poplar Union hosts The Mixer, a free-entry open mic night, with musicians, poets and other performers taking to the stage to entertain you. It's open to anyone in the audience who wants to perform too — just sign up on the night. Age 18+.
Free, 1 December.
Take part in free workshops at Shepherds Bush Market
The first Christmas at Shepherds Bush events take place this week, with a free pottery workshop on Saturday. Learn how to make clay ornaments and decorations for your Christmas tree — just turn up between 12pm-4pm to take part. There's also a free festive performance between 1pm and 2pm, and children's theatre performances at 2.30pm and 3.30pm.
Free, 2 December.
Explore the Luminaze at Wembley Park
A brand new neon light maze is switched on in Wembley Park from Saturday. The Luminaze is a reflective, light-based, walkthrough maze from Emergency Exit Arts, using energy-efficient neon lighting to create scenes including a living room, stars, and trees, along with motivational messages. It's free to visit and suitable for all ages.
Free, 2 December-2 January.