by Jen (follow Jen on Twitter: @JenBarnes207)
As the days get shorter, the weather gets colder and the rain never stops – we could all use some cheering up. Luckily Bonfire Night is around the corner and nothing makes people smile like fireworks. As always, if nothing on my list tickles your fancy, some of my fellow BrokeinLondoners have some more ideas for you in the Free Entertainment in London section.
#1 | Bonfire Night | 5th November
Remember, remember the 5th of November – which this year falls on a Saturday, hurrah! Get to Southwark Park or Blackheath Common for free displays complete with funfairs and overpriced food and drink. Tip – if it’s cold, bring a flask of mulled wine to enjoy! Check out the top 7 Free firework displays in town.
When: 5th November
Where: Locations across London – check links above
#2 | The Lord Mayor’s Show | 12th November
It’s a bit cheesy and over the top – but it’s a tradition dating back to 1215. The Lord Mayor’s Show happens every year with a grand parade going from Bank to Aldwych. After the parade, the Lord Mayor’s carriage will be on display at the Museum of London until next year.
When: 12th October, parade 11am – 230pm
Where: City of London – from Bank to Aldwych
#3 | Conservation Couture | Until 9th November
If you thought you’d seen every room in the V&A, think again! A never before seen room is opening up to exhibit a collection of fabulous couture animal-inspired masks designed by the likes of Chloe, Jimmy Choo, Burberry and Preen. Conservation Couture: The Animal Ball Collection is in partnership with the charity Elephant Family ahead of their fundraising event.
When: Until 9th November
Where: V&A Museum, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL
#4 | Free Tea Day | 2nd November
Who doesn’t love a giveaway? On 2nd November Teapigs will be giving away FREE CUPS OF TEA across London. If you don’t catch them in the morning at your station, they’ll also be riding around in a teapigs routemeaster bus so you might be able to flag them down for a cuppa as well. Tweet them with #teapigsfreeteaday and they may stop by your office!
When: 2nd November 7am -930am (all day at Paddington)
Where: Stations: Waterloo, Kings Cross, Paddington, Gunnersbury, High Street Kensington, Charing Cross, Liverpool Street, Kings Cross
#5 | Regent Street Motor Show | 5th November
If you like cars, you need to get down to the Regent Street Motor Show, the UK’s largest free-entry motoring extravaganza! You’ll find race cars sharing lanes with classics and new eco-friendly cruisers – all for you to admire! Regent street is closed to traffic from Piccadilly Circus to Oxford Circus for you to enjoy on foot so you can get up close and personal to your favourite vehicles.
When: 5th November, from 1030am – 4pm
Where: Regent Street, London W1B 5AH
#6 | Remembrance Day: Silence in the Square | 11th November
Remembrance Day, Armistice Day, Poppy Day – however you know it, it’s an important holiday in Britain. As Visit London explains: “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the guns of the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare during the First World War.” Join thousands of strangers at Trafalgar Square’s Silence in the Sqaure to commemorate the lives lost in the war with music readings and a moment of silence led by The Royal British Legion
When: 11th November, 10am – 1115am
Where: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN
#7 | Regent Street Christmas Lights | 17th November
It might be a wee bit early, but Regent Street is getting ready to turn on the Christmas lights this November. They haven’t released many details, but it’s pretty satisfying to watch the whole street light up at once. Keep an eye on the Regent Street website for details but you might as well pop along after work because there’s always free live entertainment, too.
When: 17th November, from 6pm
Where: Regent Street, London W1B 5AH
#8 | Lygia Pape | 1st November – 19th November
Light and art go hand in hand, and more and more artists are experimenting with light these days. Brazilian modernist Lygia Pape has an exhibition at Hauser & Wirth right now that doesn’t disappoint. The installations steal the show but don’t miss the drawings!
When: 1st November – 19th November: Tues – Sat 10am – 6pm
Where: Hauser & Wirth, 23 Savile Row, London W1S 2ET
#9 | Antony Gormley | Until 6th November
It’s your last chance to check out Antony Gormley’s exhibition at White Cube, Bermondsey closing on 6th November. You probably know Antony Gormley from the Angel of the North, but this new exhibition isn’t what you would expect. Each room has self-portraits of some description that forces you to think about your own body. It’s a good opportunity to escape the hectic London streets and escape into your mind.
When: Until 6th November
Where: White Cube, 144-152 Bermondsey St, London SE1 3TQ
#10 London Jazz Festival | 11th – 20TH November
The London Jazz Festival is a highlight in the London events calendar – and you don’t have to break the bank to go to gigs. In fact, they offer a whole calendar of free performances throughout the whole festival. The weekend of the 11th -12th they are hitting The Streets and performing in public spaces in your neighbourhood! Keep your eyes and ears peeled for surprise concerts.
When: 11th -20th November
Where: Various Venues, check listings here