Free And Cheap London Events This Week: 29 May-4 June 2017

By Jordan Waite Last edited 20 months ago

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Free And Cheap London Events This Week: 29 May-4 June 2017

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

Patchwork of the century at Southbank Centre

All week

FREE MINI GOLF: Get swinging at Columbus Courtyard in Canary Wharf, where a free-to-use 9-hole mini golf course has popped up. All equipment is provided, and it's open to everyone, regardless of age or golfing ability. Columbus Courtyard, free, just turn up, ongoing

VIRTUAL REALITY: The Barbican already feels out of this world, but now this VR installation promises to take you even further afield with a serene meditating experience. Mezzanine Level, Barbican, free, just turn up, 9am-9pm

Monday 29 May

NATURAL SELECTION: An odd combination of garden birds and punk plants meet in this exhibition of jewel-like paintings by Anna Dickerson and Sandra Fernandez, illustrating soap operas from the bird table. Jane Newbery, 33 Dulwich Village, free, just turn up, 9.30pm-5.30pm

HOMEMADE COFFEE: Unhappy with the quality of coffee that Nespresso was churning out, three friends took things into their own hands and set out to create their own compatible coffee pods. Meet the brains behind the operation and sample some of the coffee. 5 Bonhill Street, free, just turn up, 6.45pm-9.30pm

INSIDE THE COMEDIAN: David Reed of Film Fandango fame interviews those doing the most selfless, dangerous job around. True heroes. That's right — comedians. Delving deep inside the mind of comedy's funniest, he asks hard hitting questions like "Who are you under all that skin?" and "What's the microphone for?". The Bill Murray, Angel, £5/free, book ahead/just turn up, 8pm-10pm

Tuesday 30 May

Learn more about Dickens and his medical writings

APOCALYPSE: It's the end of the world — or is it? Join a panel of thinkers as they discuss the politics and philosophy behind the resurgence of modern apocalyptic thinking, and whether it actually ever left us. Sheikh Zayed Theatre, LSE, free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

MEDICAL HISTORY: Dickens's knack for the written word allowed him to describe many complex medical conditions in his writings, allowing him to speak directly to the population at large, and support hospitals, public health and the rehabilitation of prostitutes along the way. Learn more about Dickens and the various medical conditions he had himself, at this lecture. Museum of London, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Wednesday 31 May

Learn about the social impact of the industrial revolution on Battersea. Photo: gazamon888

HISTORY DAY: Southbank Centre is showcasing special objects from their archives in celebration of London History Day, including a giant quilt dubbed 'Patchwork of the Century'. It was made for the Festival of Britain in 1951 and contains 100 individual patches, each representing a different event in British history. Royal Festival Hall, free, just turn up, noon-3pm

SWING PATROL: Burn off the bank holiday binge with free swing dance classes hosted by Dragon's Den success story, Swing Patrol. Taster classes run throughout the evening, including a cardio workout inspired by vintage vibes and a spectacle of great swing tunes and dance. Deptford Market Yard, free, just turn up, 5.30pm-8pm

INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION: 200 years ago, Battersea was a million miles away from the bustling heart of the city. This talk explores the enormous social impact the industrial revolution had on the people from this once-rural area of London, as their population exploded from 16,000 to 168,000 in just 70 years. Battersea Arts Centre, free, book ahead, 6pm-7pm

ROBOT TAKEOVER: How would you feel if a robot took over your job? Would you date one? Or even let it give you a medical check-up? Robots take over in this museum late, giving you the chance to learn about the mysteries of our robotic future. Science Museum, free, over 18s only, just turn up, 6.45pm-10pm

POP UP MUSEUM: Little ones can make their own mini animation video, design their own fire mask or fire engine greeting card, and learn more about our emergency services at this pop up fire-brigade museum. The Workshop, Lambeth, free, just turn up, 10am-4pm

Thursday 1 June

PROJECT LITERACY: Today, 758 million individuals are not able to read. Project Literacy showcases the groundbreaking work of entrepreneurs working to end this global crisis, including an app for Indian teachers and an educational tool for incarcerated adults in the US. Royal Institute of Great Britain, free, book ahead, 3pm-6pm

FINANCIAL CRISIS: Arguing that we must see economic policy as a path coordinating monetary, financial and fiscal policy, Professor Jagjit Chadha discusses what the policy response to the financial crisis should be, in the final lecture in his series of post-crash talks. Barnard's Inn Hall, free, just turn up, 6pm-7pm

Friday 2 June

West Side Story at the East End Film Festival

FILM FESTIVAL: Join the East End Film Festival for an all-singing-all-dancing opening weekend of free screenings, kicking off with West Side Story, a story of love overcoming division. What better way to bring people from all walks of life together for a good cause. Old Spitalfields Market, free in exchange for food bank donation, just turn up, 6.30pm

STAND-UP COMEDY: Rachel Parris of IT Crowd fame presents an hour of songs, stories and stand-up about not having it all, recorded live in a one-off comedy special for what has been dubbed 'Netflix for British Comedy', NextUp. 2 Northdown Street, £5, book ahead, 7pm-8pm

PLATINUM PARADISE: Exploring what queer nightlife means to young Londoners today, the Tate Britain offers a contemporary response to its own major exhibition Queer British Art 1861-1967, curated entirely by 18-25 year olds. Part of the Late at Tate Britain series. Tate Britain, free, just turn up, 6pm-10pm

UP IN SMOKE: After having recently written a book detailing the history of Battersea Power Station, Peter Watts presents a lecture on some of the landmark's proposed outlandish schemes since it was decommissioned, including a museum of Empire and Industry, and a UK branch of Michael Jackson's Neverland. Battersea Library, free, just turn up, 6.30pm

Saturday 3 June

Visit one of the Geffrye Museum's historic almshouses

ALMSHOUSE TOURS: The Geffrye Museum is set in a stunning terrace of 18th-century almshouses, and one of them has been lovingly restored to its original condition, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of London's poor and elderly. You might want to visit the museum's herb garden while there, too. Geffrye Museum, £4, just turn up, 11am-3pm

SEWING MUSEUM: Only open one day a month, visit this Saturday and gawk at the collection of more than 600 sewing machines amassed by sewing aficionado Ray Rushton. A particular highlight is the machine given to Queen Victoria's eldest daughter as a wedding present. London Sewing Machine Museum, Balham, free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

COOKING LESSON: A family friendly cooking lesson hosted by the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation, where you can learn to cook up some of Jamie's favourites — homemade pizza with dressed green salad and very berry ice cream. Selhurst Park Stadium, free, book ahead, various times

Sunday 4 June

Visit the historic Croydon Airport on an open day

AIRPORT OPEN DAY: Before Heathrow, there was... Croydon. Step back in time to London's original international airport, complete with the world's oldest air traffic control tower in this monthly open day. Croydon Airport, free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

ZEN GARDEN: It's the end of the week, and you're probably worn out by now. Relax in this beautiful zen garden, complete with rocks set in islands of moss, surrounded by trees and bushes outside a cob wall. Complete with Japanese tea and talks from the creator of the garden, explaining the symbolism underlying its construction. Three Wheels Shin Buddhist Temple, £3, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

PRISON MUSEUM: Not normally open to the public, we reviewed Wandsworth Prison Museum way back in 2012. Having recently reopened in a brand new building, the museum is hosting an open weekend telling the story of the prison's 166 year history, along with residents such as Oscar Wilde and Ronnie Biggs. Wandsworth Prison Museum, free, just turn up, 10am-5pm

Last Updated 26 May 2017