Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 14-20 May 2018

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 28 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 14-20 May 2018

All week

See Daniel Raphael Gallery in full bloom.

KEEP IN MIND: Gain a better understand of burnout, learn how to eat your way to a happier mind and introduce your teen to the benefits of mindfulness this Mental Health Awareness Week. East London community hub St Margaret's House are hosting a week of free expert-led workshops and talks to help you strengthen your mental resilience. St Margaret's House (Bethnal Green), free, book ahead for some events, 14-19 May

FLOWER POWER: From Botticelli's Primavera to Jeff Koons' Bouquet of Tulips, artists throughout history have used floral imagery to examine everything from mortality, to materialism, to spirituality. Anthophile, curated by Yan Skates, showcases 10 artists who have used botanical displays to create their own idiosyncratic vanitas, featuring work from Tracy Emin and Carol Mizrahi. Daniel Raphael Gallery (Marylebone), 15-31 May

ONENESS WHOLENESS: French-Iranian artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar challenges western perceptions of Iran through his vivid, mixed-media paintings interwoven with ancient Persian motifs. Discover previously unseen work at this major new exhibition. Saatchi Gallery (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 10am-6pm, 15-27 May

JAPANESE POP ART: Explore Japan's vibrant artistic scene — from pop art, to modernism and beyond. Espacio Gallery are showcasing over 80 works from contemporary Japanese artists. Don't miss out on free refreshments at Thursday's open view. Espacio Gallery (Bethnal Green), free, just turn up, 15-20 May

UNSPOKEN: Prepare to confront the unspeakable, the unconscious, the shameful, and the secret in the depths of an aptly atmospheric crypt. 30 artists have contributed work that visually explores the repressed and the taboo — join them for a fun and inclusive night of drinks, freebies and surprises at Wednesday's opening reception. The Stash Gallery (Tower Hill), free, just turn up, 6pm-11pm, 16-30 May

Monday 14 May

HTML WORKSHOP: Learn how to build your very own webpage at a digital skills workshop that'll introduce you to HTML and CSS coding. You just need to provide your own laptop. WeWork (Marylebone), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

PINT OF SCIENCE: Make your post-work pint a bit more productive with the help of two scientists. Join Dr Orli Thau-Zuchman and Dr Patrick Pallier as they explain how diet and technological advances can help aid recovery from traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries over a couple of frosty ones. Various locations, £4, book ahead, until 16 May

Tuesday 15 May

On today's menu at the Death Cafe: tea, cake and chats about mortality.

HAC OPEN EVENING: Pet police dogs, see a Red Devils parachute jump and learn more about the British military at the Honourable Artillery Company's open evening. Did we mention there's a free BBQ? Honourable Artillary Company (Barbican), free, just turn up, 5pm-10pm

ANIMAL MATTERS: If you prefer the company of four-legged friends to human ones, this is the talk for you. A panel of academics ask what our relationships with other animals mean for our understanding of issues as diverse as ethics, art, friendship, and — perhaps most crucially— ourselves. Wolfson Theatre, LSE (Holborn), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

DEATH CAFE: This pop-up eatery isn't as ghoulish as it sounds. Royal Trinity Hospice invite you to drink tea, eat cake, and discuss life's great inevitability in a safe and supportive setting. Mulberry Place, Royal Trinity Hospice (Clapham), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

Wednesday 16 May

Meet fellow creatives at a laid-back networking night.

BLACK BRITAIN: See fascinating archival footage that charts stories of Black migration, community and the struggle for equality throughout 20th century Britain. The National Archives (Kew), from £4/£5, book ahead, 2pm-3.45pm

CHANNELING CHAPLIN: Silent film star Charlie Chaplin spoke volumes without ever having to open his mouth much. Discover how his accomplishments as an actor, filmmaker, composer, and social and political commentator inspired generations of artists at the British Academy. British Academy (St James's), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

RYE HERE RYE NOW: Calling all creative types. Share your latest project with your peers, do a bit of doodling, and maybe even meet your next collaborator at a uniquely chill South London networking event. John the Unicorn (Peckham Rye), free, just turn up, 7pm

VANS SESSIONS: Let House of Vans introduce you to the newest acts making waves on the indie music scene. Tonight, mellow shoegazers Swimming Tapes and self-proclaimed psychedelic-sex-punk act The Nectars take to the mini stage. House of Vans London (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 7pm-10pm

Thursday 17 May

Get physical at the NPL's open lab.

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: Guildhall Library are exploring London in four suits. First, they're paying tribute to the finer things in life with a chat all about diamonds. From Hatton Garden to Saville Row, you'll encounter both understated elegance and down right vulgarity. Guildhall Library (Aldermanbury), free, book ahead, 2pm-3pm

LABORATORY OPEN DAY: Get a behind-the-scenes look at a scientist’s daily grind at the National Physical Laboratory’s open house. You’ll meet the team, discover the impact of their research, and check out sophisticated measurement devices including optical atomic clocks and the UK's copy of the International Prototype Kilogram. National Physical Laboratory (Teddington), £3/free for kids, book ahead, 2pm-8pm

RAW COMEDY: See a riotous mix of experienced acts trying out new material and young hopefuls losing their stand-up virginity at Angel Comedy RAW. You get to be both supportive and judgemental — like a kinder version of Simon Cowell. The Camden Head (Islington), free, just turn up, 7.30pm-10pm

DAS BRASS: From The White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army to the Countdown theme, ten-piece brass band Das Brass are here to funk it up. It’s free entry, and students get 10% off drinks. Grow (Hackney Wick), free, just turn up, 8pm-11pm

Friday 18 May

The Pumphouse Pavilion pops back up at Battersea Park.

SENSE OF SPACE: It's your last chance to check out Exchange Square's multi-sensory pop up installation. Enter an ode to a Japanese blossom garden, see the human-activated art of Mr Doodle, and visit a tranquil Zen room. Exchange Square (Broadgate), free, just turn up, 9am-7pm

TOM DIXON OPEN HOUSE: See the brand new headquarters of self-taught British designer Tom Dixon at his open house. You'll get a sneak peak at next season's trends, an insider's look at their design process and the chance to work a shift at factory. The Coal Office (King's Cross), free, just turn up, 10am-7pm, until 19 May

PUMPHOUSE PAVILION: Battersea Park's zany pop up pavilion returns to bring you a range of creative alfresco activities for all the family. Today, you can explore the physical boundaries of personal and public space by making your own unusual modular structures. Pump House Gallery (Battersea Park), free, just turn up, 11am-5pm, until 20 June

BANK NOTE AND BULION: Just because you're feeling thrifty, it doesn't mean you can't have a taste of the flashier things in life. Get hold of a genuine bar of gold at the Bank of England Museum and discover secrets from its 300 year history. Bank of England Museum (Bank), free, just turn up, 5.30pm-9pm

Saturday 19 May

Sufi mysticism meets Zen meditation in a dazzling dance display.

SHOW AND TELL: Curate a tiny exhibition all about you with the help of storyteller Anita Wadsworth. One-on-one, you'll calmy search through your bag or a never before emptied pocked to see what our stuff can tell us about ourselves. Whitgift Centre (Croydon), free, book ahead, 9.30am-5pm

CHELSEA PHYSIC GARDEN: You are cordially invited to witness the biggest wedding of the year at Chelsea Physic Garden, which is throwing open its gates in celebration of the union of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Even if you're not too fussed at catching the event on their outdoor screen, it's a rare chance to explore London's oldest botanic garden for free. Chelsea Physic Garden (Chelsea), free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

SUFI DANCE DISPLAY: The rapturous intensity of Sufi mysticism is juxtaposed with the stillness of Zen meditation at this free outdoor dance performance choreographed by Gauri Sharma Tripathi. Bell Square (Hounslow), free, just turn up, 3pm/8:30pm

URBAN TREE TALK: Want to do your bit the make London greener? The Urban Tree Festival will tell you all you need to know about urban husbandry, with planting enthusiasts sharing their knowledge and aspirations. Waterloo Creative Studio (Waterloo), by donation, book ahead, 5.30pm-7.30pm

Sunday 20 May

Visit an edible garden at Chiswick House.

KITCHEN GARDEN OPEN DAY: Follow a wild beast trail, check in ot a hotel for bugs and get inspired to grow your own food at Chiswick House's Kitchen Garden. If all the fruits and veggies leave you feeling peckish, their homegrown produce will be available to purchase on the day. Chiswick House and Gardens (Chiswick), free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

WORLD BEE DAY: Celebrate World Bee Day at Ally Pally's garden centre, which is buzzing with talks and demos from professional beekeepers. See a selection of live hives, let the kids try on beekeeper suits and get tips for attracting pollinators to your garden. Alexandra Palace Garden Centre, free, just turn up, 11am-4pm

URBAN VILLAGE FETE: Your typical summer fete gets a contemporary makeover at the Greenwich Peninsula. Gilles Peterson leads a stellar line-up of music, there's art and design workshops for all ages and talks hosted by BBC Radio London's Robert Elms through the day. The Gateway Pavilions (Greenwich), free entry, just turn up, 11am-7pm

PARALLEL LINES: The Guildhall's Ubu Ensemble perform an extensive musical programme that celebrates the friendships and connections between composers and visual artists, featuring the work of Erik Satie, Bruno Maderno and many more. Drawing Room (Elephant & Castle), free, just turn up, 2pm-6pm

Last Updated 15 May 2018