To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
If you're stuck for something to do in London over 3 and 4 March, why not take yourself along to the Barbican Centre for a weekend packed full of entertainment, some of it free? Leave your inhibitions at home because you may have to join in with some of the events. This will form part of the London 2012 Festival.
Objects with Stories is part of an online collaborative process. You have to upload a picture of an object as well as a brief description of a memory it invokes. You might find your story included as part of an art project by the artist Song Dong. Use this link for uploading your memories. The event will go live between 11am and 6pm in the Barbican Foyer, by the Fountain Room, on both days.
Are you feeling artistic? Reza Ben Gajra will be demonstrating printing and painting techniques and encouraging you to design your own tag or stamp to put on a bag. This will take place in the Fountain Room between midday and 7pm on both days. Tag It! Bag It! is another free event.
Do your creative talents stretch to graffiti? Between midday and 7pm on both days Lumacoustics will make their YrWall Digital Graffiti Wall available to all budding Banksies. The wall comes with specially integrated software so that you will be able to record your work for posterity and save or upload it wherever you fancy. Don't miss this free fun event on the Mezzanine level.
In case you're wondering what happened to the music, the massed percussionists of the Barbican Guildhall Drummers will be providing some free noisy entertainment on 3 March at 12.00, 12.30, 13.45, 15.15 and 16.30.
Would you like to see some Free Running up close and personal for free? Free Running and Parkour Storm will show you how several times each day.
Do you enjoy hip-hop or Shakespeare? Perhaps you're not a fan of either but like to play with words and rhymes. The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company invites you to join in with their fun free workshop between 12.45 and 1.45 on 3 March and 3.15 and 4.15 on 4 March on the Club Stage. The only stipulation is that you are at least seven years old. They will also be giving free Shakespeare inspired performances on the Club Stage together with the THSC and anybody else who wishes to join in. Audience participation will be strongly encouraged.
Still on a hip-hop theme, Dizraeli and the Small Gods will be entertaining on the Free Stage with their own reinvention of this genre. You only have one chance to watch them and that will be at 5.45 on 3 March. They are working on their debut album, so catch them here first.
Returning to Shakespeare, Strangeworks Library will be organising an interactive theatre trail for the whole family. Snippets from Shakespeare will be spread around the Barbican and it will be your job to find the hidden stories and speak the words of the Bard. Join in between 12pm and 7pm on either day for some free fun.
Boy Blue Entertainment will be taking to the Club Stage between 2.15 and 3.15 on Saturday and between 1.15 and 2.15 on Sunday to teach some free street dancing. They will also be entertaining Barbican visitors to a free display on 4.45 on the Saturday.
Boy Blue Entertainment
If you manage to leave the children at home, or put them to bed early, enjoy yourself with some free dancing for adults on the Club Stage at 22.30 on 3 March.
If all of this leaves you feeling peckish, a selection street food will be available for purchase from Compass on the level G Foyer.
Other events, that won't be free, include Urban Classic. For this concert Feat. Fazer, Ms Dynamite, Devlin and Skepta will be joined by the BBC Symphony Orchestra for a 'unique mash-up of musical cultures' in the Barbican Hall at 7.30. Tickets cost between £10 and £20.
Cheek by Jowl's production of 'Tis Pity She's a Whore continues its run in the Silk Street Theatre and flörschutz & döhnert will be giving several performances of their show about falling and flying. This is aimed at children aged between 2 and 5 years and entry will cost £8. There will be free movement workshops after each presentation.
You could find yourself in for a busy weekend and enjoyable weekend.