11 Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 6-12 February 2023

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11 Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 6-12 February 2023

Things to do in London this week for £5 or less.

See 8 Stories by Jamie Lau at the British Library

1. Bag yourself a free hot dog

Soho's Beasy Bar celebrates its first birthday by giving away free hot dogs on Monday. Head down to the Greek Street menu pronto to claim one of the 100 freebies, given away on a first come first served basis — doors open at 5pm.

Free, 6 February.

2. Explore the Unfamiliar after hours

The Royal College of Physicians Museum stays open late for an evening celebrating its new exhibition, Unfamiliar, which uses photography to portray familiar medical instruments in a whole new light. Tonight is a chance to hear from a curator, as well as exploring the museum's other displays after hours.

Free, 8 February.

3. Enjoy Docklands After Dark

The University of East London hosts a free winter festival at its Docklands campus, featuring a lantern parade, dancing and drumming sessions, and illuminated installations along the waterfront and around the campus.

Free, 8 February.

4. Be inspired by a Punchdrunk designer

Woolwich Works continues its series about working in the arts in the 21st century with an event featuring Livi Vaughan, a design associate at Punchdrunk, who has worked on productions including The Masque of the Red Death, Sleep No More, The Drowned Man and current show, The Burnt City. She talks to production manager David Hockham from the University of Greenwich about creating immersive experiences for live audiences.

Free, 8 February.

5. Attend a night of (legal) drug experiments

Once a month, Imperial College in South Kensington stays open late for an evening of activities on a certain theme... and this month's theme is drugs. Medicines and narcotics feature in a programme of talks, demos and workshops by Imperial's scientists, including innovations in cancer treatment, and an artistic look at what happens to the brain when on psychedelics. There's also a bar, and a DJ set throughout the night.

Free, 9 February.

6. Celebrate 150 years of Speakers' Corner

Hyde Park's Speakers' Corner marks its 150th anniversary this month, and Royal Parks is offering a free, online event to celebrate. With someone playing the role of suffragette Christabel Pankhurst, it's a chance to see what went on at the famous debate site in the 20th century, and ask your questions.

Free, 9 February.

7. Get a last look at In Plain Sight

This is the final week of Wellcome Collection's exhibition, In Plain Sight — which was given a 5* rating by our reviewer when it opened in October — so well worth squeezing into your week.

It explores all aspects of sight and sight loss through art, science and history, from 17th century eye conditions and treatments, to stylish eyewear and the advent of NHS glasses. There's a VR experience which allows sighted visitors to experience something of what it's like to be blind, and Braille signs and hands-on exhibits make the whole display accessible to partially-sighted and blind visitors.

Free, until 12 February.

8. Peruse contemporary ceramics at Barbican

An array of contemporary pottery

Whether you're in the market for a new vase, or just fancy perusing pottery in all kinds of wonderful avant garde forms, get yourself to the Barbican Library this month, where London Potters are exhibiting some of their latest creations. From functional to decorative to sculptural pieces, there are ceramics here to catch the eye of everyone.

Free, until 25 February.

9. Check out 100 really cool football scarves

Scarfs are a big part of visual branding for footie fans the world over. At this free show at Tottenham's OOF Gallery, almost 100 scarves — designed by contemporary artists including David Shrigley, Guerrilla Girls, Babak Ganjei and Gray Wielebinski — are on display, brimming with humour, sexuality and cultural critique. It's football scarves, but not as you know it.

Free, until 26 February.

10. Catch up with Sculpture in the City

A large snail shell with bronze human legs, sitting on a rock
Jocelyn McGregor's anthropomorphic snails, at Aldgate Square.

The current instalment of Sculpture in the City is still going on, with a trail of 20 artworks on display for free around the Square Mile. They include anthropomorphic snails, amusing bench plaques, and functional bird boxes designed like fruit. We advise going at the weekend, when the City's streets are a little quieter.

Free, until April 2023

11. Find out what it means to be Chinese and British

Tying in with the current Chinese and British exhibition (also free), the British Library hosts a free display, 8 Stories by Jamie Lau, which aims to answer the question 'what does it mean to be Chinese and British?' through a series of photographs.

Lau was born in London and grew up in rural Bedfordshire with no extended Chinese community around him. These photos feature seven other Chinese and British individuals and what they love about countryside life, including Qu Lei Lei, who forages for wood for his sculptures on the forest floor, and Ruby Peng who grew up in Singapore but is fascinated by the slow pace of countryside living.

Free, until May 2023.

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.

Last Updated 13 February 2023