Welcome to the Future!
by Jen (follow Jen on Twitter: @JenBarnes207)
Well, we made it to 2015: the “future” in Back to the Future II. Unsurprisingly, we don’t suddenly have flying cars and hover-boards everywhere, but we do still have some pretty great free things to do in London this month! The back to work blues are awful at this time of year so I’m hoping some of these events will cheer you up and remind you that there’s more to London than your terrible job! As always, some of my fellow BrokeinLondoners have some more ideas for you in the Free Entertainment in London section.
#1 Astronomy Photographer of the Year | Until Feb 1st
It’s your last chance to take in the awe-inspiring images of our galaxy at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich. This collection of beautiful images is guaranteed to remind you that the world (and outerspace) is an enormous and magical place full of wonder! After being reminded about how small you are, you can wander around Greenwich Park and visit the deer!
When: Until 6th February
Where: The Royal Observatory, Greenwich
#2 Winter Sun | Until 11th January
Winter Sun is a gorgeous installation that is only up for a few more days – you don’t want to miss it. Visit after dark to experience a warming ‘hearth-like commission’ that creates a unique event space and bar in Granary Square. 12 glowing ‘suns’ emulate natural light and it’s a perfect antidote to the terrible Seasonable Affective Disorder that all Londoners must suffer from in the Winter.
When: Until 11th January, After Dark
Where: Granary Square, Kings Cross
#3 Mapping the City | 22nd January – 15th February
I don’t know about you, but I LOVE maps and mapping. Judging from the popularity of #maps on Twitter- I’m willing to bet I’m not alone. Mapping the City at Somerset House looks like it’s going to be a great free exhibition that showcases works by emerging street artists- how great is it to see street art finally being taken seriously!? There are accompanying films and workshops as well so take a look at what’s on offer.
When: 22nd January – 15th February, 10am-60m
Where: Somerset House, The Strand
#4 Natural History Museum Late | 30th January
The Natural History Museum are jumping on the late-night opening bandwagon again. Basically, you get to party with dinosaurs- which sounds pretty great to me. Entrance to the Central Hall and the Images of Nature gallery will be free, with bookable discussions and purchasable drinks. It’s such a beautiful building- what better way to end the month?
When: 30th January
Where: The Natural History Museum
#5 The Art of Possibility | 14th January, 730pm
Art & Yoga- surely exercise and culture made it into your New Year’s resolutions, yes? The Art of Possibility at the Saatchi Gallery lets you experience both! There’s a free yoga class run by Lululemon from 730pm that runs on a ‘first come first mat’ service, and the gallery will stay open until 1030pm for drinks and canapés. I hope more galleries open their doors for free yoga classes- seems like a match made in heaven
When: 14th January, 730pm
Where: Saatchi Gallery
#6 Deer Stroll | 18th January
Embrace the rain and the cold with this en-deer-ing nature walk in Epping Forest. One of the Forest Keepers will teach you about the deer that roam around you while you walk off all those mince pies from the holidays! The walk is free but you can book in advance by calling 020 7332 1911. Let’s make this the most popular Deer Walk they’ve ever had!
When: 18th January
Where: Epping Forest
#7 Fiona Banner selects from the V-A-C Collection | All Month
If you haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Fiona Banner’s curated exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery– you really are missing out. It’s more than just art on the walls, it’s a multi-sensory experience- visual art and theatre. I think the less you know the better, so just head to Whitechapel and experience it for yourself.
When: All month long
Where: Whitechapel Gallery
#8 Moving Pictures at Rich Mix| 20th January, 8pm
Here’s one for the documentary lovers- Rich Mix is hosting Moving Pictures, a short film screening event that aims to tackle the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health issues. This event screens the 4 documentary short films that were created throughout the project. Scripts were written by individuals with lived experience of mental illness.
When: 10th January, 8pm
Where: Rich Mix
#9 Coolwalks Film Locations in Southwark | Saturday 10th January & Thursday 29th January
Do you love London? Do you love films? Join Coolwalks for a leisurely 1.5-mile walk around Southwark that follows in the footsteps of Dickens, Bridget Jones and Harry Potter. Discover all those hidden places you fell in love with on the screen. Take the walk once, and then you can take a date on your version sometime for a date that doesn’t break the bank!
When: 10th & 29th January, 12:30pm
Where: Meet at John Harvard Libary
#10 Monday Night Jazz Sessions | Mondays in January
Have you been known to tickle the ivories in your day? Or maybe play some saxophone? Head down to Streatham on Monday evenings to play to your heart’s content. The Jazz Workshop tutors take the night off and let anyone who’s willing take to the stage. Even if you don’t play, it seems like a great excuse to get together with your friends for some free jazz! Jam starts at 9pm.
Where: Hideaway Jazz, Streatham
You may also want to check out the Top 5 Free events at Rich Mix in January 2015.