Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 28 May-3 June 2018

By Maire Rose Connor Last edited 10 months ago

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Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 28 May-3 June 2018

All week

Kids can transform themselves into pint-sized pilots this half term at the RAF Museum.

RAF HALF TERM HIJINKS: Hear the story of a heroic first world war pigeon, make your own flying goggles, and explore historic aircraft at The RAF Museum. They've got a week long programme of events to keep your little rascals occupied during the school holidays. The RAF Museum (Edgware), £4, book ahead, 28 May-2 June

WEIRD AND WONDERFUL WILDLIFE: Hang out with flying lizards, giant starfish, duck-billed platypuses, thorny devils and spiny anteaters. Don't worry, they won't bite — this is a natural history museum we're taking about. The Grant Museum of Zoology is hosting five days of hands on, specimen-based activities dedicated to nature's weirdos. Grant Museum of Zoology (Bloomsbury), free, just turn up, 1pm-4.30pm, 29 May-2 June

EVERYWOMAN EXHIBITION: Artists Silja Manninen and Riitta Hakkarainen have a dress that's bound to impress. Take a peek under the hem of their ceiling-suspended skirts at an exhibition that explores femininity and mortality. Norris Raymond (Dalston), free, just turn up, 29 May-3 June

Monday 28 May

Be honest, aren't you slightly tempted to swap your smartphone for that snazzy strawberry flip number?

SHANZAI ARCHAEOLOGY: It's your last chance to step into a world of techie inbreeding and counterfeit creativity at an exhibition of extraordinary Chinese knock-off mobile phones. Prepare for lots gold plastic and novelty noughties gear. Watermans (Brentford), free, just turn up, 10am-9pm

WAR HERO WALK: Follow the footsteps of thousands of City workers who marched off to fight in the first world war on this centenary stroll from Bishopsgate to Guildhall Yard. You'll learn about the first Pals' Battalion and honour the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross. Meet at Liverpool Street station, free, just turn up, 11am/1.30pm/2pm

BANK HOLIDAY STREET PARTY: Let your hair down this bank holiday Monday at The Star of Bethnal Green Street Party. There's face painting and a bouncy castle for the kids, while grown ups can get their groove on at the sparkly disco ball caravan. The Star of Bethnal Green, £5, book ahead, noon-2am

Tuesday 29 May

Make novel-ty boxes to stash your treasures in at the Bank of England Museum.

NOVEL KEEPSAKES: Your most treasured possessions deserve to be kept safe in style. Get the whole family together and create your own book-shaped keepsake box before setting off on the Bank of England Museum's literary trail. Bank of England Museum, free, just turn up, 10.30am-4.30pm, until 1 June

SPARTAN RIDDLES: So, you've seen Gladiator a couple of times and think you know ancient Sparta? Sorry Russell Crowe fans, but the civilisation remains a riddle wrapped in a mystery. Professor Paul Cartledge assesses just how peculiar Sparta might have been at this free lecture. Museum of London (London Wall), free, just turn up, 1pm

DEAD INTERESTING: How might learning to die teach us how to live? Is a good death possible? Lofty questions for a Tuesday evening, but if you're up for a bit of philosophising, head to London School of Economics for a panel discussion on kicking the bucket. Old Theatre (Houghton Street), free, just turn up, 6.30pm-8pm

Wednesday 30 May

Slide over to the Science Museum's home-themed late.

VET CLUB: Does your kiddo want to be a vet? Join the club — the Royal Veterinary College's Vet Club, that is. This time, they're focussing on art and anatomy, with one workshop for 7 to 11-year-olds, and another for teens. Royal Veterinary College (Camden), free, book ahead, 10am-12pm/2pm-4pm

VICTORIAN VOGUE: Today's aesthetic? Dickensian drama. Take the kids to the Ragged School Museum for a lesson in Victorian style. There's dressing up involved. Ragged School Museum (Mile End), free, just turn up, 10am-5pm, until 31 May

HYDE PARK DISCOVERY DAY: Get messy in a mud kitchen and hunt for detritivores that help turn dead matter in compost at Hyde Park. They've got activities for every age, with a carpeted corner for tiny tots and a bracing nature trail for everyone else. The LookOut DiscoveryCentre, free, book ahead, 11am-3pm

RIGHT AT HOME: Inspired by the much-loved Secret Life of the Home gallery, the Science Museum explores the history of the domestic sphere at their late. Get crafty using unlikely household items and prepare to be grossed out by the uninvited guests that can inhabit your pad. Science Museum (South Kensington), free, book ahead for some events, 6pm-10pm

Thursday 31 May

What does Joan Jonas see under the sea?

FIRE BRIGADE POP UP: As part of London History Day, London Fire Brigade invites you to come and explore its past at a pop-up museum. Be transported back to the Great Fire of London by dressing up in current and historic LFB uniforms. London Fire Brigade Pop-Up Museum (Lambeth High Street), free, book ahead, 10am-3pm

LONDON HISTORY TRAIL: Delve into the archives and find out how humans and cows alike came together to fight for the survival of Epping Forest at this guided indoor history trail. Take stroll into these gorgeous woods beforehand, and you'll realise why it as such a worthy battle. The View (Chingford), free, just turn up, 11am-4.30pm

ART HISTORY APERITIF: Enjoy a post-work pint in the name of culture with the help of Art History in the Pub. Filmmaker and author Michael Smith will peel back the layers of London though the lens of art history before a screening of his East End film trilogy. The Star of Bethnal Green, free entry, book ahead, 6.30pm-8pm

JOAN JONAS: Combining live drawing, readings and film projection, Joan Jonas's multi-layered performance piece about ocean life certainly makes a splash. Join her for an exploration of the poetics and ecology of the sea in the Tate's Turbine Hall. Tate Modern (South Bank), free, book ahead, 9pm-10pm

Friday 1 June

Have a sparkling evening out with Rosa Bloom.

SUSTAINABLE FOOD FEST: Sample lovingly upcycled leftovers and get the low-down on reducing food waste at London Sustainable Food Festival. Celebrity chef Cyrus Todiwala will be in the house for a cookery demo featuring the top ten edible items that end up in the rubbish bin. Mercato Metropolitano (Elephant and Castle), free (£10 fully refundable deposit), book ahead, 12.30pm-3.30pm

PUTNEY BURIAL GROUND: What, or rather who, lies beneath Putney's 200-year-old burial ground? Find out on a guided walk among Grade-II listed tombs, as part of Wandsworth Heritage Festival. Meet next to Daley Thompson Fitness Centre (Putney), free, book ahead, 2.30pm

GLITTER MAKEOVER: Add some sparkle to your Friday with a free biodegradable glitter makeover at Rosa Bloom's new pop-up shop. You'll also be one of the first to lust over their new collection of sequin-drenched garms, before debuting your new look with a cheeky selfie in their human mirror ball booth. Rosa Bloom Pop Up Shop (Shoreditch), free, just turn up, pop up open until 10 June

THE DROP: Jump-up grooves meet down and dirty bass at this reggae band's mesmeric stage show. Get ready for The Drop live in Brixton. Hootananny Brixton, free before 10pm/£5 after, just turn up, 9pm-3am

Saturday 2 June

Resist the urge to recreate this outdoor spectacle next time you're in Tesco.

BIOBLITZ: Join forces with a crack team of naturalists and wildlife watchers to find and identify as many species of birds, plants, and creepy crawlies as possible before the clock runs out. Not only will you find out what's living on your doorstep, your findings will help local and national databases keep tabs on Morden's wildlife. Morden Hall Park, free, just turn up, 10am-4pm, until 3 June

TROLLEY DANCE: The most exciting shopping trolley action since the glory days of Supermarket Sweep is coming to Hounslow. Part contemporary dance, part ballet, five guys on supermarket trolleys spin, glide and slide in a high-octane outdoor performance set to a pounding electro-acoustic score. Bell Square (Hounslow), free, just turn up, 1pm/3pm

SEWING MACHINE MUSEUM: Get a blast from our industrial past with Ray Rushton's vast collection of beautiful vintage sewing machines. It's open for just one day each month, so don't be spoolish — get down there while you can. London Sewing Machine Museum (Balham), free, just turn up, 2pm-5pm

CUPID'S ARROW: Pulling is apparently guaranteed at The Three Compasses' singles night. If you do end up being unlucky in love, though, you've the chance to drown your sorrows, with free shots awarded to those who compose the best love letters and romantic poems. They've even roped in Cupid to personally deliver amorous notes to the object of your affections. The Three Compasses (Dalston), free, just turn up, 8pm-12.30am

Sunday 3 June

Go potty for pottery at an indie ceramics market.

CROYDON AIRPORT OPEN DAY: Head to the world's oldest air traffic control tower where you'll find a micro-museum dedicated to the long-defunct Croydon Airport. Here, interactive exhibits chart the history of the airport from first world war airfield to glittering international airport, to little-known relic of old world aviation. Croydon Airport Visitor Centre, free (donations welcome), just turn up, 11am-4pm

CERAMICS MARKET: (Carefully) browse the delicate work of over 60 ceramicists and DIY potters at the Independent Ceramics Market. Featured studios include Turning Earth, The Kiln Rooms, and Ceramics Studio Co-op. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

OLD YORK ROAD UNPLUGGED: Bad news for motorists hoping for a smooth journey through Wandsworth, but great news for fans of acoustic music and local artisan wares. Old York Road is shutting down traffic for a day of live music, bargain hunting and a special appearance from Sammy the Southside-asaurus. Old York Road (Wandsworth), free, just turn up, 12pm-6pm

CHOUMERT SQUARE: Explore 46 mini gardens known as the Floral Canyon while dining on homemade cakes and Pimm's at Choumert Square's open day. This narrow private lane boasts an overwhelming amount of greenery and is open to the public for just one day a year, so come on down and rub shoulders with the shrubbery. Choumert Square (Peckham), £4/free for kids, just turn up, 1pm-6pm

Last Updated 25 May 2018