The best free things to do in town this month
by Jen (follow Jen on Twitter: @JenBarnes207)
I think London is having an identity crisis but I’m not complaining- this summer has been glorious! August is full of happenings that will keep your love of summer alive and kicking because you never know when the weather will turn! Don’t forget to fill the bank holiday with as much as you can handle (it’s the last one until Christmas sob) As always, some of my fellow BrokeinLondoners have some more ideas for you in the Free Entertainment in London section.
#1 Beach East | Until 31st August
If you can’t be bothered to leave the capital to find a real beach, just head to Beach East at Olympic Park for the next best thing! There’s no sea…but there’s 2,200 square metres of sand, funfair rides and booze (and let’s face it, you wouldn’t get in the water anyways). Head down for the “biggest beach party in London” over the bank holiday weekend to say goodbye to summer.
When: Until 31st August, 24 hours!
Where: Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London E20 2ST
#2 Camden Locks Summer Night Markets | Every Thursday in August
I stumbled across Camden Locks Summer Night Market last summer and had the pleasure of listening to the Turbans as the sun was setting. It’s a great atmosphere and while the food isn’t free, the entertainment and entry is so it’s a pretty good deal, all things considered. Head along after work for that pint you were going to buy anyways and it will all even out!
When: 6th August – 3rd September, from 6pm
Where: Camden Lock Place, London NW1 8AF
#3 London Dust | All Month
Rut Blees Luxemburg is a German artist who has a lot to say about London and the changes it’s been going through lately. Her latest exhibition, London Dust at the Museum of London is a critique on the direction the city is going, focusing on the difference between the monumental glass tower blocks popping up in the skyline and the realities of street level London. If you live in London, you have an opinion about this- so go see it.
When: Daily, 10am-6pm
Where: The Museum of London, 150 London Wall, London EC2Y 5HN
#4 Notting Hill Carnival | 29th August -31st August
No list of free events in London in August is complete without the Notting Hill Carnival– it’s a classic for a reason. If you haven’t experienced it yet, get yourself West for a weekend of colour, sound and sensory overload. If you have experienced it- I don’t need to convince you to go back. Pro tip- bring some loo roll just in case!
When: 29th – 31st August
Where: Notting Hill
#5 Free Boris Bikes | 22nd – 23rd August
Tfl has pledged that on the 22nd-23rd August that Boris Bikes will be FREE across the capital. That’s free for both first-time users and for regular users! So if you’ve been meaning to try cycling in London, this seems like a good time to start. If Boris can ride one, I’m betting that you can too.
When: 22nd-23rd August
Where: Boris Bikes Everywhere!
#6 Tall Ships Festival | 27th – 31st August
If you like really big boats, the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich is definitely for you. Not only are there 15 REALLY BIG BOATS dropping anchor, there’s also fireworks every night at 915pm and a festival on the Saturday that includes funfair rides, vintage cars, roving entertainment, a bandstand and more. Sounds like a grand day out to me!
When: 27th – 31st August
Where: Greenwich, London
#7 The Bridge | 9th August
The Bridge is your typical summer hip-hop party underneath Hungerford Bridge at the Southbank Centre. You can expect live graffiti artists and dancers, killer DJs and a social dance jam. There’s a teaser video from last year’s event and it looks like a great excuse to dance in public, laugh and be schooled by kids half your age.
When: 9th August, 12 noon- 10pm
Where: Under Hungerford Bridge, Southbank Centre, London SE1 8XX
#8 Free Film Festival at Paddington Central | 5th – 29th August
There’s a big screen popping up in Paddington Central showing all of your favourites for free. The lineup includes: The Devil Wears Prada, Mission Impossible, Frozen, Jumanji, Dead Poets Society, Flubber, Tangled and MORE! I might not trek all the way to Paddington for it, myself, but it’s a pretty great list if you live close by!
When: All Month, Check Lineup!
Where: Sheldon Square, London W2
#9 John Luther Adams : Across A Distance | 23rd August
Music is meant to be experienced as well as heard- and John Luther Adam’s Across A Distance takes a more literal interpretation to this than most. 64 professional and amateur horn players will be playing separately, outside, around the Southbank Centre so that listeners can discover the music as they wander through the brutalist architecture.
When: 23rd August, 2pm and 6pm
Where: Southbank Centre, Belvedere Rd, London SE1 8XX
#10 First Thursdays | 6th August
First Thursdays happen every month, but this month you get the added bonus of the London Open at the Whitechapel Gallery. Think Summer Exhibition, but for Londoners. It’s an open call exhibition that features 48 artists spanning photography, printmaking, sculpture and multi-media. Once you’ve finished there you can check out a handful of the other 150 galleries open late- I dare you try to get to them all!
When: 6th August, Until 9pm
Where: Check the Map!
You may also want to check our Entertainment category.