What happened to 2014?!
by Jen (follow Jen on Twitter: @JenBarnes207)
Winter arrived quickly this year- but I think the random warm days are over and we’re stuck with the bitter cold until the Spring. I don’t know about you- but 2014 went a little too fast for my liking. Here are the Top 10 free events in London in December to take your mind off of another year gone and to prepare you for 2015! As always, some of my fellow BrokeinLondoners have some more ideas for you in the Free Entertainment in London section and this month there’s a special Ten Best Christmas events article as well!
#1 Cockpit Arts Open Studios | 5th December
Cockpit Arts is an incredible social enterprise in Deptford that supports designers and provides studio spaces. Twice a year they open up to the public and on Friday night entry is free! It’s a great opportunity to view some amazing products and an even better place to find unique presents at all price ranges! There’s textiles, jewellery, clothing, accessories, homeware, etc. Even if you can’t afford to buy, it’s a lovely way to spend an evening window shopping!
When: 5th December (Free), 6-7 December (£3)
Where: Cockpit Arts, 18-22 Creekside, London SE8, 3DZ
#2 Holiday Movie Screenings | All Month
Bermondsey’s Biscuit Factory is a fantastic complex in South London that’s home to Trispace Gallery, an innovative and fresh gallery, bar and venue. This holiday season they are screening a selection of your childhood holiday favourites including The Snowman, The Polar Express, Love Actually and The Muppets Christmas Carol. There will be mulled wine, popcorn and lots of holiday cheer.
When: All Month, Check website for times
Where: Trispace Gallery, The Biscuit Factory, Drummond Rd, London SE16 4DG
#3 An Ode to A Rebours | All Month
An Ode to A Rebours is an incredible group exhibition of contemporary British craft and design at the new Gallery at Foyles. Gorgeous jewellery, including a Shaun Leane Swarovski head-dress previously seen on the red carpet, and beautiful design pieces from the likes of Studio Swine, Glithero, Alice Cicolini, Fabien Cappello, Jason Marks, Leigh Cameron, Timorous Beasties, Peter Saville for Dovecot Studios, Emma Yeo and Tom Price.
When: All Month
Where: Foyles, 107 Charing Cross Rd, London WC2H 0DT
#4 Free Burritos for Cheesy Jumpers | 6th & 13th December
Ok, so I know I’m supposed to be giving you a list of free cultural events…but I think there’s an argument to be made that eating burritos is a cultural event in itself. Londonist swear that on the 6th and 13th December Chipotle will be giving away free burritos to customers wearing Christmas jumpers. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to suffer a bit of embarrassment for free Mexican food! See you there!
When: 6th & 13th December, 4-6pm
#5 The Institute of Sexology | Until 20th December
Have you visited the Institute of Sexology at the Wellcome Collection yet? Spice up your December with more than just mulled wine. There are over 200 items spanning art, rare archival material, erotica, film and photography. It’s the first time the pioneers of the study of sex have been brought together in the same exhibition. It is truly not to be missed.
When: Until 20th December
Where: Wellcome Collection, 183 Euston Rd, London NW1 2BE
#6 Christmas Markets | All Month
The best parts of the holiday season are the lights and the Christmas markets. There’s a handy list of Christmas Markets in London to help you find the one closest to you- or perhaps to help you explore somewhere you’ve never been. There’s something magical about fairy lights, mulled wine and overpriced nibbles- don’t you think?
When: All Month
Where: Across London
#7 London Pantomime Horse Race | 14th December
This might be my favourite free event that I’ve ever discovered- it’s a Pantomime Horse Race (yes- you heard me right)! Greenwich makes for a great day out anyways, but when paired with a race of costumed runners-led by a battalion of Storm Troopers and bugle players- it just might be the best day of your life (or at least the most random!)
When: 14th December, 11am-230pm
Where: DeVere Devenport Hotel, King William Walk, London SE10 9JW
#8 Small Stories at V&A Museum of Childhood| From 13th December
The holiday season is about magic- and there’s nothing as magical as a doll’s house! Small Stories- At Home in a Doll’s House is an exhibition that tells the stories of 12 dolls’ houses from the past 300 years. You can meet the residents, learn about their lives, discover the politics of the age and uncover crimes. Get in touch with your inner child – you know you want to!
When: From 13th December
Where: V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Rd, London E2 9PA
#9 Spin Xmas | 5th – 7th December
Spin Xmas-London’s famous cycling festival is back this Xmas and as always, entrance is free. It’s the best place to find the latest in cycling, fashion and design and it’s sure to cross a few presents off your list. Tis the season so there will be mulled wine, craft beer, coffee and maybe a few mince pies!
When: 5th-7th November
Where: Rochelle School, Arnold Circus, London E2 7ES
#10 NYE Fireworks | 31st December
London has done a terribly cheeky thing- they’ve started charging for the New Year’s Eve fireworks! That being said- the fireworks are massive so you can see them for free from all over on a clear night. Head to a friend’s roof or find pub with a heated garden and look to the sky on New Year’s Eve this year.
When: 31st December
Where: Southbank and along the Thames- on a roof somewhere- get creative!
You may also want to have a look at the Free film screenings in London in December 2015.