10 free things to do in London: 9-15 April

1. The Psychedelic Curiosity Shoppe

This Friday evening, head to Dalston for a ye olde shoppe… with turntables. Steam punk, vintage and psychedelica come together in a clubbing experience with a Victoriana twist.

Victoriana clock in a steam punk style

8.00pm, Friday 13th April
Junction Room, 578 Kingsland Road, EN8 4AH

2. Guerrilla Gardening at the News from Nowhere Club

For horticultural prowess with a big social agenda, get to the News from Nowhere Club on Saturday to hear some words of wisdom from the founder of GuerrillaGardening.org.

Daffodil growing in an urban setting against grey concrete slabs

7.30pm, Saturday 14th April
Epicentre, West St, E11 4LJ
Newsfromnowhereclub.org

3. Station Sessions Festival

This spring, Kings Cross St Pancras Station is playing host to the Station Sessions Festivals. Over six weeks, four stages and eighty live music acts will be performing in the newly renovated home of Platform 9 3/4.

Best of all – every gig is free.

Bearded singer playing the guitar singing into a microphone in Kings Cross St Pancras station

This Wednesday, the festival organisers have told us there’ll be a ‘secret session’ taking place. So someone’s either pulled out last minute, or there’s a rather exciting act on the line-up. Could be a worth a visit either way.

5.30pm, Wednesday 11th April
Kings Cross St Pancras Station, Euston Road, N1C 4QP
Stpancras.com

4. Tapescape

It’s been a sad old decade for Blockbuster, whose directors probably go to sleep shaking their fists at all those gosh-darned it interweb places where y’all can see a movie on the line.

broken video cassette washed up on a beach

There once was a golden age, where we all knew the rules about capitalising proper nouns (whatever have you done iTunes) and we had to rewind films before viewing. To honour these times gone by and the former reign of the VHS tape, artists and performers are taking up residency in the now empty Catford Blockbuster. Expect installations, screenings and talks about the once mighty sovereignty of the video cassette.

12 noon – 11pm, Wednesday 11th April – Sunday 15th April
Catford Blockbuster, 95/105 Rushey Green, SE6 4AF
Platform-7.com

5. Short Film Showcase

For short films, animations, free popcorn and two-for-one cocktails, get yourself to Brick Lane for a celebration of independent bite-size cinema. Schmooze afterwards with other film makers, movie buffs and industry types.

close-up of a film reel

5.00pm, Wednesday 11th April
93 Feet East, 150 Brick Lane, E1 6QL
Click here for the Facebook event.

6. Holland House Dutch Festival

Start raiding your wardrobe for all things orange. To mark the Dutch Queen Mother’s birthday, the Holland House Dutch Festival (or Koninginnedag) takes over Trafalgar Square every year. Expect live music, Dutch food and drink, traditional Dutch games and displays of just how flippin’ darn good Dutch people are at cycling to work. For the arty-farty amongst you, knowledgeable types will be running free tours of the Dutch paintings in the National Gallery.

close-up of orange t-shirt with Holland slogan across the front

12 noon, Saturday 14th April
Trafalgar Square, WC2
Holland.com/uk

7. Brassroots at Rich Mix

Brassroots are going back to their…well… roots in East London. Less marching band more jazz-funk fusion, these festival regulars will be playing their first London gig of 2012 at Rich Mix this Wednesday.

Member of Brassroots playing the trumpet while lying on the floor

7.30pm, Wednesday 11th April
Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA
Richmix.org.uk

8. The Makers of Modern London

Discovering the inventors, campaigners, engineers, and philanthropists behind the development of modern London, this free guided walking tour reveals the secrets behind historic Clerkenwell.

Crown Tavern in Clerkenwell London

3.00pm, Sunday 15th April
Farringdon Tube Station, 39 Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BY
Footprintsoflondon.com

9. Sarah Lucas ‘Make Love’

If you’re feeling low on your erotic art intake for the week, you could do worse than to head down to Situation for Sarah Lucas’ spicy surrealism. Think concrete cast thigh-high boots, tights in the shape of boobs and soft-porn with confetti.

Erotic art by Sarah Lucas

Situation
4 New Burlington Place, W1S 2HS
Sadiecoles.com

10. Give Up Clothes for Good

Feeling charitable? Show your support for Cancer Research UK by raiding your wardrobe, bagging up those unwanted items and dropping them off at your nearest TK Maxx. Take part and you could be in with a chance of winning £1,000.

High street with close up of red TK Maxx store sign

TK Maxx Stores, London wide
Tkmaxx.com

{Images: Steampunk Family the von HedwigsJens Hofman Hansen, Phil Rogers, Ronan C, Jeremy Reid, Garry Knight, Katchooo, Ewan Munro, Steve and Sarah Emry}

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2 thoughts on “10 free things to do in London: 9-15 April

  1. Moving to London in the Summer. Thanks for the great ideas. Any tips on looking for a cheap place to live. I’m 23, going to be working in London Bridge, but happy to travel by tube. Was thinking Hendon, Kilborne etc. What you think?

  2. Hmmmm it really depends on how long you want your commute to be. Look at bus routes as well as nearby tube stations – you don’t want to be stuck out in the sticks, unable to get home after the tubes have stopped running. Hendon and Kilburn are great, but be prepared to broaden your horizons. Given that you’ll be working around London Bridge, it might be an idea to also look south (Clapham, Oval, Brixton, Kennington for example).

    Whatever you do, check out the area – ideally during the day and at night. Get a feel for the place. Would you feel comfortable there?

    Good luck with your house search!

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