We’re about halfway through the Games but the excitement is still here! There’s a lot of tough competition expected at Olympic Park, but for those who don’t have tickets to any main inside events, we bring you our top picks of free London 2012 attractions this week.
Haven’t yet visited an Olympic country house? Check out our video preview of some of the best, and read about others below.
Location: 29-35 West Ham Lane, Stratford; nearest tube is Stratford
Open: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Kenya’s Tourism Days continue through Monday 6 August, but on the 7th and 8th, the country will showcase its rich heritage through a display of the world famous Turkana Boy. There are also cultural performances, award-winning Kenyan films screened, and a taste of authentic Kenyan cuisine. Aug. 9 to 11 are sports days, when you’ll have the chance to win a holiday trip to the beautiful country. As if everything weren’t exciting enough, celebrate the country on Aug. 12 at Kenya Day.
Location: Business Design Centre, Islington; nearest tube is Angel
Open: Monday to Saturday: 10 a.m. to 12 a.m., Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Visitors on Aug. 6 and 7 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. will see indie rock band Please the Trees perform. Make sure you arrive early to ensure you have a great viewing spot. There will be continuing 3 on 3 basketball tournaments on Aug. 7 that you won’t want to miss! Check the Czech House website for more details.
Later in the week on Aug. 8, special guest Yelena Isinbayeva, Russian pole vaulter and double Olympic champion will visit The Czech House. That same day at 7:30 p.m. see DJ and Czech Radio 1 presenter Martin Mikulas play a wide variety of music including Latin, electronic, soul, jazz and funk, while enjoying a colorful musical cocktail.
Location: St Katharines Docks; nearest tube is Tower Hill
Open: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
The Vikings are coming from Aug. 6 to 8, and they’ll bring their favourite mode of transport: a 17.3 meter long replica of a Viking ship from the Roskilde Viking Museum. This presents a great opportunity for young and old alike to learn about Viking culture, history, and of course the chance to hop on board the fully-armed ship and have their photo taken with a real Danish Viking! This week 25 Vikings are taking over St. Katharine Docks, doing fun activities such as re-enactments, street theater, concerts, fashion shows, Viking handcraft and traditional Viking activities like rope-pulling. There will even be a real Viking tattooist there to perform his native art on a brave Viking!
Location: O2 Arena, Greenwich; nearest tube is North Grenwich
Open: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
At Jamaica House, it’s always a party! There’s live music from the reggae state most nights. This week, enthusiasts can take in Messenger — The Bob Marley Exhibition, which was recently on display at The Grammy Museum in Los Angeles for over three months. This exhibition will give visitors a peek into Marley’s private life as a performer, spiritual man and artist who used lyrics to give a voice to the disenfranchised and who has inspired legions of fans since his death.
Also happening at Jamaica House, natives will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s independence in style inside London’s Indigo2 venue on 6 August. The country will feature some of the most iconic reggae, ska and dub artists on-stage.
Royal Opera House
Location: Covent Garden; nearest tube is Covent Garden
Open: 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Want to learn more about the history of the Olympics? BP and the Royal Opera House have teamed up with the Lausanne-based Olympic Museum in and created a free, unique exhibit illustrating the Olympic story through the achievements of ancient and modern Olympians. The exhibition will include film, summer Olympic Medals since 1896, summer Olympic Torches since 1936, artifacts from athletes through the ages, audio and film. This exhibit is free and open to the public daily, but be warned, there may be long queues.