Free And Cheap Things To Do This Week In London: 4-10 September 2023

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

Markfield Road Festival is back for a second year of culture in Tottenham. Photo: Matt Hass

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.

Gaze out from London’s newest viewing platform

50 floors up on 8 Bishopsgate, you’ll find The Lookout — a brand new public viewing platform. From here you can gaze over much of London — and down on a lot of other skyscrapers (that that Tower 42). It’s open every day and doesn’t cost a thing, although you’ll want to book a ticket in advance.

Free, open daily

Find out what could have been, in a new exhibition

Artsdepot in North Finchley opens its new, free exhibition on Tuesday. All The Women We Could Have Been features artworks by disabled female artists over the age of 50, exploring what life might have been like for them, had the limitations of their disabilities not existed.

Free, 5-28 September.

Have a giggle at Top and Bottom Comedy

Need a laugh, but can’t afford to splash the cash? Top and Bottom Comedy at The Book Club in Shoreditch brings together new and upcoming acts, trying out brand new jokes or tightening up their existing material. Benjamin Lovell and Alexander Pankhurst host, and entry is just three quid.

£3, 6 September. Age 18+.

Find out about the lives of Black Georgians

Other than a few notable exceptions, such as writers and abolitionists Olaudah Equiano and Ignatius Sancho, little is known about the Black people who lived in Georgian England. Historian Kathleen Chater gives a free talk at London Metropolitan Archives about what life was like for lesser-known Black people in England, at a time when thousands of African people were brought over to England via the transatlantic slave trade. You can watch the talk in person or online.

Free, 6 September.

Dress up in your PJs for a free breakfast empanada

That free empanada is in this photo somewhere…

There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there IS a free breakfast in the offing, should you dare to grace Gaucho Covent Garden in your nightwear this Thursday. Anyone wearing a dressing gown or PJs between 8.30am-11am will be treated to a breakfast empanada — filled with bacon, eggs, onion, tomato and chorizo sausage — on the house, as well as a free hot drink. No bookings, first come first served.

Free, 7 September

Get stuck into the Markfield Road Festival

Taking place in South Tottenham, Markfield Road Festival is a free arts and music festival for all ages, celebrating creativity in the local area, and it’s back for a second year after a successful launch in 2022.

Visit open arts studios, watch short film screenings and live music performances, take part in workshops including life drawing, watch a carnival procession featuring local school children, and let your kids enjoy bouncy castles and face painting.

Free entry, 8-10 September.

Sing your heart out at Bearpit Karaoke

A phenomenon which started in Berlin, Bearpit Karaoke returns to London for the final time 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. Your free tickets gets you entry to a prize draw, with local meals, drinks, show tickets and more up for grabs.

Free, 9 September.

Watch a weekend of free performances at Dancing City

The piazzas, parks and waterfronts of Canary Wharf are the backdrop for two days of free dance performances. A dozen different productions are part of Dancing City, which has a theme of ‘Acts of Hope’ this year, so you can stroll around the area enjoying al fresco shows throughout the weekend.

Dancing City is part of Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, which has a whole programme of free events and performances in east London, and runs until Sunday this week.

Free, 9-10 September.

Float your boat at the Classic Boat Festival

Image: St Katharine Docks

All manner of vintage vessels moor up at St Katharine Docks (next to the Tower of London) for the Classic Boat Festival, part of Totally Thames. Even if you don’t know your port from your starboard, it’s a fascinating spectacle, with around 40 preserved vessels on display.

Free, 9-10 September.

Get your fill of Milk before it closes

Got milk? Wellcome Collection certainly has — its current exhibition on the white stuff looks at how the science and marketing of milk is woven into our cultural history, from ‘breast is best’ to the advertising of milk’s nutritional value, and whether milk moustaches will become a thing of the past.

Milk features over 100 objects, including items used in farming and infant feeding, historical advertising, public health posters, and contemporary artworks — and this is the final week to see it, as it closes on Sunday.

Free, until 10 September.

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