10 free things to do in London: 7-13 May

1. Friday lates at the National Gallery

Calling all culture vultures – every Friday the National Gallery keeps its doors open until 9pm. Musicians from the Royal College of Music will be playing a concert in Room 41, while Room 62 will play host to brief talks on artists Mantegna and Giovanni Bellini.

The National Gallery lit up at night against a dark blue cloudy sky

6pm, Friday 11th May
The National Gallery, Orange Street, WC2N 5DN
National gallery.org.uk

2. Ben & Jerrys Core Tour

Fancy some free ice cream? What a stupid question – of course you do.

Ben and Jerrys are pounding the streets of London, dishing out their new ‘core’ flavours. Starting off in East London on 7th May, they’ll be found in North London on 8th, Central on 9th, West London on 10th and South London on 11th. There’s still time to influence Ben and Jerry’s route. If you’d like these ice cream folk to swing by your way, take a look at their Facebook app.

11am, Monday 7th May – Friday 11th May
London wide
Benjerry.co.uk

3. Covent Garden May Fayre and Puppet Festival

Did you know that Punch’s birthday is May 9th? Nope, neither did we. Apparently diarist Samuel Pepys first clapped eyes on Mr Punch on May 9th 1662, plonking the hunchback wife beater in British consciousness forever more.

To celebrate Mr Punch’s 350th birthday, St Paul’s Church gardens will open its gates to puppeteers, folk music, clowns and maypole dancers.

close up of punch puppet

10am, Sunday 13th May
St Paul’s Church Garden, 29 Bedford Street, WC2E 9ED
Punchandjudy.com/coventgarden

4. London Symphony Orchestra in Trafalgar Square

The first in a new series of annual open-air concerts, the London Symphony Orchestra will be taking up residency at Trafalgar Square this Saturday. This Stravinsky special will also feature 100 young musicians from the LSO’s music education and community programme – LSO Discovery.

London Symphony Orchestra performing in Trafalgar Square

6.30pm, Saturday 12th May
Trafalgar Square, WC2N
LSO.co.uk

5. The Painted Grin

This Shoreditch comedy night features promising, up and coming talents. This Tuesday expect to see Chris Coltrane, Lee Russell, Michelle de Swarte, Matt Rees and Jayde Adams.

The Painted Grin flyer

8pm, Tuesday 8th May
Benny’s Bar, 119a Bethnal Green Road, E2 7DG
Thepaintedgrin.wordpress.com

6. Our Hobby is Depeche Mode

If you Just Can’t Get Enough of Depeche Mode, then it’s just A Question of Time before you should get yourself to the Hayward Gallery for Jeremy Deller’s new edit of his film Our Hobby is Depeche Mode. The film takes a look at the band’s fans in Germany, Romania, Mexico, Brazil, USA and Canada. You know… because People Are People and all that.

Depeche Mode at Madison Square Gardens

10am, until Sunday 13th May
Hayward Gallery, South Bank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Southbankcentre.co.uk

7. Board Games and Beyond

For all those who dabble in Scrabble and know their Cranium from their Cluedo – the Hackney Picture House is hosting board game lovers London wide.

close up of chess pieces

4pm, Monday 7th May
Hackney Picture House, 270 Mare Street, E8 1HE
Picturehosues.co.uk/cinema/Hackney_Picturehouse

8. Camden Crawl Crawlternative Media Expo

Bringing together the Alternative Press Festival, Poster Roast and Lexington Record Fair, the Camden Crawl Crawlternative Media Expo celebrates the best record collectors, underground music press and poster design.

1pm, Monday 7th May
St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, NW1 9NH
Thecamdencrawl.com

9. Johann Arens Apple and Pear

Marking the transition from corporate HQ of British Telecom to art space, this exhibition juxtaposes film, installation and office relics, with an air of artful abandonment.

1.30pm, until Friday 18th May
ASC Gallery, 128 Blackfriars Road, SE1 8EQ
ASCstudios.co.uk

10. We Will Pop You

Top of the Pops walks into Delorean and comes out the other side looking something a little like this. Expect some seriously cheesy pop tunes spanning the last few decades.

8pm, Friday 11th May
The Monarch, 40-42 Chalk Farm Road, NW1 8BG
See here for the Facebook group.

{Image: Maurice, Mr T in DC, scsmith, Craig Gobler, leeno, Mukumbura, badgreeb RECORDS}

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