Strange objects will be appearing from top hats and coins from behind ears at the top people's store today when the toy department gets a touch of magic courtesy of Marvin's, Europe's leading magic company. The idea, one imagines, is that money will be magic-ed into the store's tills, but there's plenty to enjoy gratis, including four live magic shows, complimentary gifts (for as long as stocks last) and a competition to win a visit to the new Magic Circle HQ.
Free House, Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road, London SE3 (0181-463 0100) today 10am-6pm, admission free
Recently saved from threats of closure, this renamed venue (they've dropped the word "concert", presumably to get rid of their dickie-bow image) is holding an open house today with dozens of free music and dance shows and workshops for the whole family. For children, there's a workshop followed by a performance from The Drones, who make music with teapots and other household objects.
Free Concert, Soho Square, W1 (0891 774775) today and tomorrow, noon-6pm
As part of the annual Soho Jazz Festival, which kicked off on Thursday and runs until next weekend, there will be free concerts both today and tomorrow in the park in the middle of Soho Square, as well as gigs outside various bars and cafes in the surrounding streets. Bands playing - including The Drones (above) -will range from traditional jazz to R'n'B, funk and classical. If it's raining, the Soho Square concerts will take place at Taylor's in nearby Soho Street.
... AND BEYOND
Weald Woodfair '98
Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, Halland, Nr Lewes, East Sussex (01825 840573)
This annual event celebrates wood in all its different forms. As well as craft stalls, there are lots of family activities including a woodland trail and tree climbing. The admission price also entitles you to look around Bentley estate.
Medieval & Country Food Festival
Denny Abbey and Farmland Museum, Waterbeach, Cambs (01223 860489) today and tomorrow, noon-5pm. Adults pounds 3.30; children pounds 1.20
The 800-year-old abbey will host demonstrations of medieval recipes, while the museum next door will feature beekeeping, a folk duo Big Apple Pie singing food-related songs and a children's quiz.