The kids break up for the Easter holidays on or around Friday 5 April and won’t be back to school until Monday 22 April 2019. To keep the little ones entertained for the two-week stretch, The Resident picks out some of London’s most fun things to do for families this Easter…
Lead image: Easter Extravaganza at Buckingham Palace (photo: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2019)
1 Easter at Hamleys, Regent Street
Always a cracking destination, Hamleys Regent Street is promising daily fun this Easter. As well as the Hamleys’ Easter Egg Hunt, where kids can win their next birthday party, there will be interactive Easter puppet shows, and story time from 1pm on the first floor. Bunny Bear will also be in store, alongside all the favourite Hamleys characters as they hop through the store for the daily Easter parade at 4pm. A series of heroes will be dropping in too, there’ll be Captain America on 18 April, Iron-Man on 19 April, Black Panther on 20 April, Spider Man on 22 April, Jett from Super Wings on 14 April, and, from 6-22 April, Freya and Ralph from Sylvanian Families and Doh-Doh from Play-Doh.
188-196 Regent Street, Soho W1B 5BT; hamleys.com
2 Easter Extravaganza at Buckingham Palace
20 & 22 April
Families visiting The Queen’s Gallery on Easter Saturday (20 April) can follow an Easter-themed trail to explore works of art from Royal Collection in the Russia: Royalty & the Romanovs. After taking inspiration from the dazzling Fabergé diamond eggs on display, budding young artists can use paint, glitter and sequins to decorate their own Fabergé-style eggs (11am-3pm). Then, on Easter Monday (22 April), head for the Palace’s Royal Mews, Rex the corgi and royal horses Majesty and Scout have been up to no good, hiding pictures of themselves among the carriages for children to find. Kids can dress up as a footman in specially created livery, learn how to harness a horse and find out what it feels like to ride in a royal carriage before claiming an Easter egg to take home (11am-3pm).
Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster SW1A 1AA; rct.uk
3 Polar Adventure at SEA LIFE London, South Bank
From 15 April
Last Easter, SEA LIFE London launched the interactive Rainforest Adventure, but this year, a big freeze is on the way with the launch of the state-of-the-art Augmented Reality Arctic experience, Polar Adventure. Journey above and below the icy tundra and come face-to-face with giant polar bears, an inquisitive orca whale and other creatures from the Arctic, all brought to life using amazing Augmented Reality and 3D technology. Sensory effects like an interactive ice-covered environment, chilly polar breeze and the Northern Lights bring the Arctic to chilly, brilliant life, while you follow in the footsteps of a polar bear and brave a cracking ice crevasse. Later this year SEA LIFE London will also become home to the UK’s largest living coral formation in the new Coral Kingdom. Tickets from £27.
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; visitsealife.com
4 Aardman Adventures at The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum has paired up with the minds behind Wallace and Gromit to offer A Grand Day Out this Easter. Kids can make their own Shaun the Sheep or Gromit model with an Aardman expert model maker (9 & 18 April, ages 5-11), watch a family-friendly screening of a Wallace & Gromit favorite (9 & 18 April, all ages), design their own tote bag (13 April, ages 5-11), create their own stamp-inspired selfie sculpture (11 April, ages 5-8), or join a themed Easter Egg Hunt (20 & 21 April, all ages). Activities take place from Tuesday 9 April to Sunday 21 April 2019 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis (most activities are drop in, but the model-making workshops and film screenings need to be booked online. All activities are included in the price of a museum ticket.
Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell WC1X 0DA; postalmuseum.org
5 Illustrating London at London Transport Museum
London Transport Museum is hosting Illustrating London over the Eastre holidays, where kids can meet some of the illustrators who have captured their favourite London Stories in this year’s Poster Prize for Illustration exhibition. Listen to illustrators share their stories – have you heard of the bunny that hopped around London on the Underground? Or the bus that leaped over Tower Bridge? – and take part in themed crafty activities, from constructing characters to sketching on the spot. All family events are free with museum admission and kids go free (most suitable for aged 3-12 but all ages are welcome).
Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB; ltmuseum.co.uk
6 Family Cinema Screenings at South Place Hotel, Moorgate
This Easter, curl up in cosy fur-lined chairs in the pretty new Secret Garden at South Place Hotel for a screening of Roald Dahl’s chocolate classic, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. There’ll be something for all the family, with homemade hot chocolate for the children and the Sweet Samadi Easter cocktail for the parents, as well as delectable chocolate eggs from Maison Samadi. Tickets are priced at £20 and can be booked here. The annual Easter egg hunts are also back for another year on Good Friday (19 April) and Easter Sunday (21 April). Embrace your inner kidult by solving riddles to find South Place Hotel prizes and Easter treats from Maison Samadi. Tickets are priced at £10 for adults and children and can be booked here.
3 South Place, Moregate EC2M 2AF; southplacehotel.com
7 Kidzania London, Shepherd’s Bush
27 March-5 May
KidZania London – the indoor city run by kids at Westfield London, Shepherd’s Bush – has launched a top-secret creative pop-up with Nike for Easter. Nike’s Department of Unimaginable at KidZania, running from 27 March until 5 May, is a top-secret division that explores the really out-there ideas to innovate the next big thing. DOU agents have set up a portable lab in KidZania to gather ideas from kids who want to help shape the future of Nike Air. For ages 8-14. Also, from 30 March until 22 April, KidZania London is calling all WWE fans to design and create their own WrestleMania Superstar and pose in the ring at the WWE Academy, ahead of the broadcast of WrestleMania 35 on Sunday 7 April.
Westfield London, Ariel Way W12 7GA; kidzania.co.uk
8 Power UP, Science Museum, Kensington
This Easter the Science Museum welcomes back its phenomenally popular interactive gaming event Power UP. Returning for a fourth year, this hands-on video game extravaganza features the very best video games, computers and consoles from the past four decades. This year will take both gaming fans and novices on an interactive journey covering four decades of gaming history with 160 consoles and hundreds of games, from retro arcade classics through to the latest in VR technology.
Exhibition Road, Kensington SW7 2DD; sciencemuseum.org.uk/powerup
9 Now Play This at Somerset House
6-14 April 2019
Now Play This is Somerset House’s annual games festival celebrating the latest in experimental game design from around the world. Part of the London Games Festival, the nine-day festival showcases exciting hands-on gameplay for all ages, from solo games to multiplayer collaborative experiences. Make sure you tackle the Octopad by Patrick LeMieux – a classic Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) from the 1980s with eight controllers featuring only one button each, which means you’ll have to cooperate with others to play. There will also be two free outdoor games, open to all visitors of Somerset House. Tickets £8 (concs £6.50, weekend pass £25).
Strand WC2R 1LA; somersethouse.org.uk
10 Sadler’s Wells Family Weekend
Sadler’s Wells’ Family Weekend, an annual two-day festival of family-friendly events, sees the theatre transformed into a magical space for children and families with an array of free fun, games, crafts and activities taking place before and after the main show – Aracaladanza’s Play. This enchanting show, full of puppetry, balloons, music, movement and fantastical costumes, will transport your family to a dreamlike universe, filled with imaginative possibilities.
Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell EC1R 4TN; sadlerswells.com
11 Oxygen Freejumping, Acton
Oxygen Freejumping has 150 interconnected trampolines, a mega airbag to practice your moves, a super squishy foam pit to leap into, ninja warrior course, volleyball and dodgeball courts. There are two floors to explore: the first floor has a Giant Airbag, Ninja Warrior Course, Dodgeball Court, Reaction Walls, Inflatable Air Mountain and Foam Pit Obstacle Course, while floor two has a Mega Freejump Zone and Volleyball Court. Tickets from £13. Plus, under 5s can take part in a Little O toddler trampolining session with an adult to supervise them. Tickets £6 per toddler, £6 per adult.
Vision Industrial Park, Kendal Avenue, Acton W3 0AF; oxygenfreejumping.co.uk
12 North End Road Market, Fulham
Chill out to some smooth sounds, taste some sensational foods from around the world and shop till you drop at the spring edition of the North End Road Sunday Market. Following the success of its previous seasonal showcases, this award-winning street market in Fulham will welcome spring with more than 150 stalls lining a traffic-free street, as well as entertainment from busking pods and four live music areas that will play host to some 20 up-and-coming bands and musicians.
North End Road, Fulham SW6 1NW; lbhf.gov.uk
13 The Mouse and His Child at NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula
Until 28 April
The Mouse and His Child at NOW Gallery on Greenwich Peninsula is extending an invitation to all to pop in, pick up a book and relax on the huge reading rug. The installation, developed by Studio Morison, transforms the gallery into an immersive sculptural reading room inspired by Russell Hoban’s children’s novel of the same name. Central to the exhibition will be a huge raspberry swirl rug for reading, lit by a floating sculptural form and bespoke stools and reading tables. The installation will be free to enter and open to both children and adults alike.
The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square SE10 0SQ; nowgallery.co.uk
14 Rowing Classes at Team Keane, Chiswick
8-12 April & 15-19 April
For a sport-filled activity over the Easter holiday, Team Keane sculling school is hosting Learn to Row or Racing camps for ages 10-18 years. Each day runs from 10am-3pm and all abilities are welcome, from beginners who want to learn to row to those who want to race. The area is renowned for its watersports, and if your kids are inspired by the huge Oxford vs Cambridge Boat Race, it’s a great way to get them into something new. £250 per week (everything included).
81 Harrington Road W4 3TU; teamkeane.com
15 Captain Marvel Experience at Madame Tussauds London, Baker Street
From 6 April
Hot on the heels of the global film release, Madame Tussauds London has unveiled a brand-new Captain Marvel experience. The trail-blazing Super Hero joins the likes of Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk and Nick Fury in the Baker Street attraction’s Marvel zone. Madame Tussauds London has worked with Marvel to capture the essence of Captain Marvel, alongside a multi-user AR experience that, using body-tracking sensors, will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into Carol Danver’s shoes and gained her incredible binary powers.
Marylebone Road NW1 5LR; madametussauds.com/london
16 The Eggsperience at Battersea Power Station
Battersea Power Station will become the ultimate playground for kids big and small this Easter, with a Sharky & George petting zoo, The Pied Piper – A Ratty Tale theatre performance by The Skewbald Theatre, Tales from the Easter Shed, a Chickenshed performance, and Easter Bunny Biscuit Decorating with Biscuiteers biscuit boutique. Adults also can browse the new riverside weekend Food and Craft Market, which will run from 19-22 April with street food, artisan bread, cured meats and farmhouse cheeses. There will also be mindful chocolate making and a free Easter Egg Hunt & Eggshibition.
Circus West, Battersea Power Station SW8; batterseapowerstation.co.uk
17 Peckham Levels Film Club
From 6 April
This Easter holidays, Peckham Levels is taking hosting its Film Club on weekdays as well as weekends to provide mid-day entertainment for the kids. People of all ages can head up to Peckham Levels’ Auditorium to enjoy kids favourites films such as Despicable Me (10 April, 12pm-3pm) and Inside Out (17 April, 12pm-3pm) – there’s no need to book, just turn up! While there, the little ones can also take part in an Easter Egg Hunt while playing Plonk Crazy Golf (10-11 and 17-18 April, 12pm-5pm).
Peckham Town Centre Carpark, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4ST; peckhamlevels.org
18 Easter Family Day at Market Hall Fulham
There’s a free Easter Egg Hunt on the ground floor from 11am-1pm with chocolate treats and special prizes including meal vouchers and Move Fitness Studio classes, followed by Biscuit Decorating from 2pm-3pm (free drop-in event for ages 3+). Then, up on the first floor from 3pm-3.40pm and 3.45pm-4.25pm, it’s time for the Action Amanda Easter Extravaganza featuring music and high-energy playful activities (£16 per child, booking required, ages 4 months to 5 years). 11am-4.30pm.
Market Hall Fulham SW6 1BY; markethalls.co.uk
19 Slime Planet’s Slime Surprise Egg-stravaganza, Loughborough Junction
Kids do love their slime; parents, not so much, so take the munckins to get messy at Slime Planet near Loughborough Junction, where they can create a Slime Surprise Egg. Better than the average Easter egg, this slime surprise egg, which kids can customise with glitter, foam beads and amazing scents such as bubblegum, cherry, and chocolate, comes complete with a surprise toy inside. The egg-cellent event ends with the kids working as a team to create a giant slime, and each child goes home with lots of slime to play with. Workshops take place at 11am, 1pm and 4pm. Tickets£12.50 per child (ages 2+, under 5s need parent supervision).
Arch 494, Rathgar Road, Loughborough Junction SW9 7EP; slimeplanet.co.uk
20 Spring Nature Trail, Hyde Park
On Wednesday 17 and Thursday 18 April, the LookOut Discovery Centre is leading a Spring Nature Trail where little ones can explore the wildlife garden and take part in pond dipping sessions, interactive storytelling in the gatehouse, and nature-based arts and crafts. The LookOut Discovery Centre is a great little hidden oasis in the middle of Hyde Park. 11am-3pm. Free drop-in.
Hyde Park W2 2UH. Click here to register your interest