12 Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 5-11 June 2023

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Last Updated 06 June 2023

12 Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 5-11 June 2023

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

Jonny Woo at the River Stage. Image: Stephanie Claire

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.

1. Watch a free gig by the Thames

The lead singer of a band in a black t shirt and sunglasses
Noah and the Loners headline a free gig at The Scoop

Punk teens Noah and the Loners headline a free 'Unravelling by the River' gig at The Scoop, by City Hall, with The Molotovs, Bighead Tea Drinkers and Fever Rouge in support. As well as inviting you to do a spot of headbanging by the Thames, the gig raises awareness of charity Beyond Food Foundation. The jams kick off at 7pm and food and drink stalls open a couple of hours beforehand.

Free, 7 June

2. Seek out Jeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms

It's a sure sign that summer's here when the play fountains outside Southbank Centre are switched back on. Officially known as Jeppe Hein's Appearing Rooms, the water feature is a favourite with kids on hot days, as they try to catch the water jets before they disappear again. Parents: a change of clothes and a towel are advised.

Free, 7 June-3 September.

3. Spin a yarn at a storytelling open mic (or just come to listen)

A packed audience laughing at something
Are you sitting comfortably? Streatham Space Project hosts a storytelling open mic.

Vanessa Woolf, artistic director of London Dreamtime, hosts an open mic at Streatham Space Project, where you can brave the mic and spin your own yarn (if you want do to do that, make sure you secure your spot). Alternatively, sit tight and listen to others' stories. This is the culmination of the Between Worlds storytelling festival.

Pay what you want, 8 June

4. Have your cosmic questions answered

Comedian Robin Ince hosts a panel of leading physicists and astronomers at the Royal Society, discussing some of the biggest experiments on Earth, including giant particle colliders and huge radio telescopes. Find out how these inventions are helping us to understand the universe, and then ask your own questions.

Professor Jon Butterworth (particle physicist), Professor Anna Scaife (radio astronomer), Dr Laura Nuttall (gravitational wave astronomer), Dr Sarah Williams (particle physicist) are on the panel.

Free, 8 June.

5. Revel in The Glory of the River Stage

This weekend is the opening of this year's River Stage, a free al fresco programme of entertainment by the National Theatre. Legendary queer bar, LGBTQIA+ performance venue and nightclub The Glory curate the first weekend's performances, so head down to South Bank to see Grande-Dames of drag and performance, Jonny Woo and John Sizzle, along with DJs and cabaret artists.

Free, 9-11 June.

6. Find out who the F**k Arthur is

Camden Open Air Gallery launches a month-long graffiti exhibition Who the F**K is Arthur. In answer to that rather brazen question, Arthur is a street artist who's been going two-odd decades, and whose bold, vibrant artworks you may have already clocked on the tube network. Here's a chance to check out his snazzy street designs for nowt.

Free, 9 June-9 July

7. See the new Serpentine Pavilion

It's that time of year when a new building mysteriously appears in Kensington Gardens. It is, of course, the Serpentine Pavilion, an architectural commission by the nearby Serpentine Galleries, and this year's is À table, designed by French-Lebanese architect Lina Ghotmeh. We're promised 'notions of memory, space and landscape' in a low, modest and skeletal structure.

Free, 9 June-29 October.

8. Watch the World Naked Bike Ride whizz through town

Hundreds of cyclists take to two wheels and cycle through London's streets in the nude on Saturday. The World Naked Bike Ride takes several different routes across the capital, with around 1,000 riders usually taking part, all converging on the finish line at Wellington Arch. It's all good fun, but has a more serious message, protesting against our reliance on cars, demonstrating how vulnerable cyclists can be on the city's streets, and demanding more rights for cyclists.

It's free to take part, or to watch (though do be respectful, particularly when taking photos). Remember your sun cream, won't you — there are some places that should never, ever, get sunburnt.

Free, 10 June.

9. Show what you're made of at Bearpit Karaoke

A phenomenon which started in Berlin, Bearpit Karaoke is back in London for four dates this summer. Head to the mini amphitheatre in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and strut your stuff with karaoke anthems. All sorts of people take part, including professional singers and West End stars, as well as non-professionals, each trying to coax the audience into joining in.

Picnic chairs and blankets are available.

Free, 10 June.

10. Celebrate Bankside's open spaces

A huge free, unticketed street party, Bankside Open Spaces Festival takes place across venues including Red Cross Garden, Crossbones Graveyard and Flat Iron Square. Inspired by Elephant & Castle, there's a Latin twist to this year's event, with a procession, live music, sports and craft workshops, face painting, historical activities, a dog show and more.

Free, 10 June.

11. Celebrate the best of east London

Created by Queen Mary University London, the Festival of Communities is a celebration of everything great in east London. Taking place in Stepney Green Park and the QMUL Mile End campus, events include sports trial sessions, hands-on science and craft activities.

Free, 10-11 June.

12. Embrace the rural life at the Lambeth Country Show

The annual two-day Lambeth Country Show pitches up in its usual spot in Brockwell Park for all manner of entertainment spanning sheep shearing, a flower show, birds of prey, vegetable sculptures and a pop-up farm.

It's not all countryside pursuits, though. Dozens of artists and musicians are lined up to perform across the Main Stage and Village Green, plus there's chocolate making, jousting, and motorcycle stunt displays. You don't get that at your average village green fair in the home counties.

Free entry, 10-11 June.