If you’re planning on spending Easter in London, here’s our guide to some of the best ways to keep the family happy over the school holidays. From bunny hunts and lions to goblin banks and gaming, these are our suggestions for things to do in London at Easter. Let me know what I’ve left off!
Beasts of London at the Museum of London
From 5 April. Family tickets available from £20
A star-studded cast including Kate Moss, Brian Blessed, Pam Ferris, Nish Kumar, Stephen Mangan, Angellica Bell and Joe Pasquale, bring history to life at Museum of London, near Barbican in central London. The actors narrate the story by giving voice to creatures that have lived in the UK capital: foxes, lions, elephants, horses, rats, pigeons and more. They show how these animals have helped shape London, from the Roman era through Medieval London and right up to present day.
Gringotts Wizarding Bank at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
From 6 April. £43.00/£35.00 children/£140.00 family ticket
Harry Potter fans will love the new 16,500 sq ft extension to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, where the wizardry behind the making of the films is unveiled. The Leavesden attraction’s a magical place, as we discovered when we went to see Hogwarts in the Snow at Christmas, which you can read about here. From 6 April visitors can walk through the new wizarding bank of Gringotts and the Lestrange vault. The masks worn by Bogrod, Griphook and other goblin bankers will be on display, as will the Sword of Gryffindor and Helga Hufflepuff’s Cup.
Robbery at the Tower of London
6-22 April. Free to Historic Royal Palaces members, or £24.70/£11.70 children/£44.40 or £62.90 family saver ticket (online prices)
The historic Tower of London makes for a great family day out any time of year. You can read about our afternoon at the Tower of London here. This Easter, families can help King Charles II try to stop the dastardly Colonel Blood and his henchman from stealing the Crown Jewels. After you’ve done your bit to protect the national treasures, you can go to see the stunning jewels and regalia worn by monarchs through the centuries, down to the present day.
Easter trail at the Horniman Museum
20 & 21 April, 10.30am-4.30pm. Free
South London’s Horniman Museum and Gardens invite families with childen over 3 to join in with their Easter trail, create a masterpiece in one of their workshops, listen to some storytelling, have their faces painted and join in with the other Easter activities in the Gardens. As well as the Easter Saturday and Sunday fun, the Horniman offers an aquarium and butterfly house, and their current exhibition is Brick Wonders, showcasing wonders of the world made out of Lego.
Flowers and Dragons at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich
7-18 April. £12.15/£6.30 children
A trip to see 19th-Century sailing ship the Cutty Sark makes for a fun day out at any time of year. A cast of characters from the ship’s life bring its stories to life: Captain Woodget, the ship’s master; Jock Willis, the man who built Cutty Sark; Nannie, the ship’s figurehead; and the ship’s cook, James Robson. Depending on when you visit over the Easter holidays, you might also be able to celebrate the Cutty Sark’s journeys to Wales by making a daffodil, or create your own dragon inspired by the Cutty Sark’s voyages to China.
Easter events at the Southbank Centre
6-22 April. Prices vary, with some events being free
The Southbank Centre, London’s cultural arts hub that includes the Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room, will host a collection of family-friendly events. Parents looking for things to do in London with toddlers will love Soundpit, an interactive musical display of giant sandpits brought to life with graphics, sounds, and motion sensor technology. Or Kaleidoscope, where children are immersed in colour, inspired by research into how a baby’s sense of sight develops.
Tabby McTat, a theatre performance based on the Julia Donaldson/ Axel Scheffler book, will play at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, as well as a host of free music events, where children can learn to dance hip hop or listen to bands playing folk, soul, Afro, Latin or dub.
Underbelly Family Fest on the Southbank
5-22 April. Prices vary
2019 marks the eleventh year of Underbelly Festival on the Southbank. It’s one of the biggest multi-arts offerings in London, with over 100 shows programmed over six months. For the first time this year, Underbelly will host Family Fest, on every day of the Easter holidays.
This feast of theatre, circus, music, comedy and variety performance includes A Simple Space , a stunning display of stripped-back acrobatics with a sense of fun; the acclaimed adaptation of The Gruffalo, The Witch and The Warthog with Julia Donaldson in which live readings from the legendary children’s author bring her stories to life; and a new theatrical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. It features a couple of our own personal favourites: The Showstoppers Kids’ Show, and, later on in the Underbelly season from 26th May-28th Jul, Monski Mouse Baby Disco Dance Hall.
Bunny Hunt at Kensington Palace
6-22 April. Free to Historic Royal Palaces members, or £17.50/£8.70 children/£32.50 or £43.90 family saver ticket (online prices)
The gardens of Queen Victoria and William III and Mary II at Kensington Palace will be dotted with golden Easter bunnies made of chocolate. After you’ve solved the clues to complete the treasure hunt and chomped your way through your prizes, there’s a chance to ‘meet’ King William III, dress up as a Georgian courtier and play coits or croquet.
Now Play This at Somerset House
6-14 April. £8.00/£6.50 concessions
Now Play This is part of the London games festival. At Somerset House, in central London just off the Strand, visitors will be able to try out solo and multiplayer games, like the award-winning Florence, and 1980s-style Octopad. Many of the games will never have been seen by the public before. Two outdoor games are free to play for anyone who visits Somerset House.
The Crystal Maze LIVE Experience London
From 29 March 2019. £54.99+ per person, depending on the dates required
The all-new London Crystal Maze opens on 29 March, and children can now join in with the fun so long as they’re over 13. The experience is based on the 90s TV classic. In teams of eight or less, families battle it out fo 75 minutes in the maze’s four themed zones: Aztec, Medieval, Industrial and Futuristic. A charismatic and eccentric Maze Master leads the teams, and it looks an awful lot of fun.
Family weekend at Sadler’s Wells
19 & 20 April. £18.00/£12.00 children
This Easter, Family Weekend at Sadler’s Wells sees Spanish dance company Aracaladanza transform the theatre into a space where children and families can explore the themes of freedom and fun in a performance, Play. As wells as having fun with puppets, projections, balloons and costumes on stage, families can explore the games, crafts and activities taking place at Sadler’s Wells before and after the show.
The Tiger Who Came to Tea at the Discover Children’s Story Centre
Until September 2019. £1.50 in addition to a Discover Day Pass (£6.50 per person)
This immersive exhibition of the world of Judith Kerr’s creatures has been a best-seller at Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford, east London. It’s bound to entrance children up to the age of eight, and older children are welcome, too. Included in the Discover Day Pass are storytelling sessions. For Easter a fab new Elmer’s Walk session will run for children aged three and under.
What would you add to this list of things to do in London this Easter? Tell me in the comments, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All images are from Pixabay.
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