The kids break up for the Easter holidays on or around Thursday 29 March 2018, and won’t be back to school until Monday 16 April 2018 – that’s two whole weeks to keep them entertained! The Resident picks out some of London’s most fun things to do for families this Easter…
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1 Easter Weekend Opening at Chiswick House & Garden
30 March-2 April
In the year of the suffragette, take the whole family to discover the women who made Chiswick House this Easter, as kids go free during the Easter Weekend opening. On Saturday, Dorothy Boyle, Countess of Burlington from 1699-1758, will welcome you to the house and show you the fabulous fabrics she chose for the rooms and portraits of her family. She was Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Caroline, a prestigious position at court waiting upon and entertaining the Queen. On Monday, there’ll be family crafting drop-in sessions throughout the day, where you can make colourful teapot decorations inspired by Georgian tea parties. While there, do check out the annual Camellia Show, too, running till 29 March.
Burlington Lane, Chiswick W4 2RP; chiswickhouseandgardens.org.uk
2 Rowing Classes at Team Keane, Chiswick
2-6 April & 9-13 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. Camps runs from 2-6 April and 9-13 April for £250 per week (everything included). 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.
81 Harrington Road W4 3TU; teamkeane.com
3 Kids Eat Free at Pomona’s, Notting Hill
30 March-6 April
Feed those tiny tummies for free at Notting Hill’s neighbourhood restaurant Pomona’s this Easter. With a brand new menu created by new head chef and local favourite Wolfe Conyngham, kids can enjoy a tasty free meal when dining out with mum and dad between 30 March and 6 April The kids menu includes roast chicken breast with broccoli and French fries/polenta chips; fishcake and peas; and cottage pie with garlic bread, sweetcorn, peas and fries/mash. Dessert options include a chocolate brownie and banana split. Meanwhile, mum and dad can tuck into main dishes from the restaurant’s à la carte menu, like the popular Iberico pork pluma with braised fennel and salsa verde. Terms: One child eats free per dining adult; offer valid on kids menu dishes only.
47 Hereford Road, Notting Hill W2 5AH; pomonas.co.uk
4 WrestleMania at Kidzania London, Shepherd’s Bush
30 March until 15 April
WrestleMania takes over the city at KidZania London – the indoor city run by kids – this Easter. To celebrate WrestleMania 34, which airs on Sky Sports Box Office and the WWE Network on 8 April, KidZania is encouraging young explorers to design and create their own WrestleMania Superstar and pose in the ring at the WWE Academy. Across the rest of the city, full coverage of the WrestleMania activities will be making headlines at the Global Radio Studio and Metro Newspaper while, over in the theatre, WWE fans can see what it takes to create a live show, experimenting with lighting, sound, costume and performance. There’s also the new KidZania National Library, a permanent fixture following the World Book Day activities launched in partnership with Little Tiger Group. Recommended for ages 4-14-year.
Westfield London, Ariel Way W12 7GA; kidzania.co.uk
5 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’s also the Oxygen School of Trampolining, where kids can work on their tucks, flips and splits with a British Gymnastics qualified instructor – 30-minute taster sessions are running throughout the Easter Holidays for £7. Plus, under 5s can take part in a Little O toddler trampolining session with an adult to supervise them.
Vision Industrial Park, Kendal Avenue, Acton W3 0AF; oxygenfreejumping.co.uk
6 The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace is hosting a family weekend from 5-8 April. Family activity bags will help young visitors immerse themselves in the extravagant art, music and fashion of Charles II’s court, while workshops will give children the chance to create their own coronation music for the King, learn the silly songs of the Restoration court, and print their own personalised playing cards (11am-3.30pm). Also, on Wednesday 4 April, families with additional learning needs can join multi-sensory tours of the exhibition Charles II: Art & Power. After exploring the exhibition, which brings the sumptuous court of Charles II to vivid life, children can have a go at creating their own masterpieces during arts-and-crafts workshops (11am-4pm).
Buckingham Palace Road, Westminster SW1A 1AA; royalcollection.org.uk
7 Rainforest Adventure at SEA LIFE London, South Bank
From 24 March
Are you ready to face the dangers of the Rainforest? Do you dare to enter the Amazon and discover all that lies within? SEA LIFE London launches its most interactive experience yet this Easter – Rainforest Adventure. Opening to the public on 24 March, Rainforest Adventure will invite guests to discover thousands of the Amazon’s most amazing inhabitants including the UK’s largest population of Piranhas, with the new attraction housing over 300 of the captivating, carnivorous fish. The immersive sensory experience will also bring you closer to hissing cockroaches, crocodiles, poison dart frogs, snapping turtles and the world’s largest species of spider – The Goliath Bird Eating Spider. The permanent addition to SEA LIFE London is included in the entrance price. Prices from £26 per adult, £21 per child (3-15 years).
County Hall, Riverside Building, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB; visitsealife.com
8 Pirates and Sunken Treasure at The Postal Museum
The Postal Museum has a packed programme of workshops lined up for families this Easter. The activities mark the launch of the museum’s new temporary exhibition, Voices from the Deep, exploring personal letters and other treasures shipwrecked at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean for 77 years and miraculously recovered. activities include mermaid storytelling (3 April), Message in a Bottle creative workshops (5 April), an Easter Treasure Hunt (7 & 14 April) and craft workshops on 10 & 12 April. Easter activities will take place on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from 3-12 April, are open to children of all ages and are included in the ticket price (except for tickets to Sorted!, The Postal Museum’s kids play space).
Phoenix Place, Clerkenwell WC1X 0DA; postalmuseum.org
9 Easter Family Fun at London Transport Museum
30 March-15 April
The London Transport Museum’s new Digging Deeper gallery and The Secret Life of a Megaproject exhibition has inspired a number of new family friendly activities to help young ones discover the fascinating world of STEM subjects in a playful, fun environment. There’s plenty for everyone, from building a tunnel using foam rings to creating new landscapes using recycled objects and immersive storytelling, as well as a SEN Early Explorer Morning session on Saturday 7 April, when families with Special Educational Needs can enjoy the museum at a quieter time with many of the gallery sounds switched off (8.30am-10am, advanced booking required, call 020 7565 7298).
Covent Garden Piazza WC2E 7BB; ltmuseum.co.uk
10 Easter at Fenwick, Mayfair
Fenwick of Bond Street is hosting a day full of Easter activities on 31 March. At 1pm and 3pm on the third floor, there will be an Easter egg hunt with some amazing prizes to be won. There will also be face painting at the Mini Edit Boutique and kids can eat free at the Bond Street Kitchen restaurant when you purchase an adult meal. Look out for the Instagram competition to win a Giant Charbonnel Egg too.
63 New Bond Street W1A 3BS; fenwick.co.uk
south west london
11 London Wetland Centre, Barnes
30 March-15 April
This urban oasis, where you can stroll among the lakes, ponds, gardens and wildlife, is a great place to visit in the spring as baby animals, bugs and buds blossom. At Easter, kids can join Dusty’s Giant Easter Duck Hunt around the nature reserve, using special detective skills to track them. Find them all and win a prize! £1 per trail. Kids can also join the team for a spot of Pond Dipping, or find out how to build a nest during a Wild Play session.
Queen Elizabeth’s Walk SW13 9WT; wwt.org.uk
Battersea Park SW11 4NJ. See sharkyandgeorge.com or book direct via billetto.co.uk
Pop Brixton will be making the most of the long Easter weekend with a free-to-attend Easter bonanza for kids and adults alike. Fun DMC will appear at Pop Brixton for the very first time with their infamous Hip Hop party for kids, which includes free activities like a kids graffiti train, a gold chain giveaway, hip-hop jigsaw puzzles and break-dancing classes. Competitive spirits will be raised with both a competition for the best junior hip-hop dancer and an adults dance off from (12pm-3pm). The party continues from 3pm for the grown-ups, with The Doctors Orders hitting the decks with a mixture of Hip Hop, R’n’B and grime until 12am (better call the babysitters in). Opens at 10.30am. Free entry.
49 Brixton Station Road SW9 8PQ;popbrixton.org
1 & 2 April
Fulham Palace is hosting a range of fun arts and crafts activities for all ages on Easter Sunday, from Easter wreath making to finger painting and Emu puppet making. Other activities include Teddy’s Tune Time, where kids can sing his colour song, play musical instruments, pop some bubbles and dance; Tiny Toes Ballet, where little ones can dance with the Very Hungry Caterpillar; Easter crown decorating and finger painting with PaperBirds London; and the chance to dress up in Victorian costumes or join in a Georgian chocolate making workshop with the Leighton House Museum. 11am-3pm. Chocolate making workshops £5.50pp, all other activities are free. On 2 April, it’s time for the Easter Trail, where kids can follow the clues in the museum and garden to win a chocolate egg (12pm-3pm, £3 per child).
Bishop’s Avenue, Fulham SW6 6EA;fulhampalace.org
2-4 April & 9-11 April
Flip Out trampoline park in Wandsworth is hosting Easter Action Camps featuring one-hour free-run lessons with Flip Out ambassador PRO Chima Akenzua, focusing on balance, jumping, landing, vaulting and – most importantly – flipping! This is followed by a two-hour skateboard lesson with Flip Out’s PRO coaches, where you’ll learn to push and navigate, pump on the ramp and drop in. The first class, for ages 7-10, runs 9am-12pm; the second class, for ages 11-15, runs 10am-1pm. Daily or weekly bookings available and a three-hour workshop is £38pp per day (all skate equipment provided; extras lunch boxes available for £5).
Bendon Valley, Earlsfield SW18 4LZ;flipout.co.uk
south east london
30 March-1 April
O2 customers ordering via the Priority app can get half price tickets this Easter. Get active and burn off those Easter eggs with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across one of London’s most iconic landmarks (you can burn up to 450 calories – the equivalent to running for 3.5 miles or swimming 1000m-breast stroke). The viewing platform – 52m above ground level – grants brilliant views of the city, not to mention some epic selfie opportunities. Dressed in full explorer attire, climbers as young as 9 can journey across the 350-metre walkway, sloped at 30-degrees, with an experienced guide on hand to talk them through every step of the way. Prices start from £30 for adults and children (over 9 years) but O2 customers can get 50% off via the Priority app.
To book seetheo2.co.uk/upattheo2
31 March & 1 April
The Horniman Museum & Garden is hosting a weekend-long Easter Fair with an Easter trail, workshops, face painting and family activities across the gardens. Highlights include The Ugly Duckling Storytelling Performances by Sandal Sticks Theatre (£5 per child, £1 per adult), Animal Corner with Wild Fangs, where you can say hello to Zebedee the 7ft Boa Constrictor and Santi the fury Chinchilla, handle Giant African Land Snails, Stick Insects and a bearded Water Dragon (£3 per person), and Lindy Hopping Dance Workshops where you can hop around the Bandstand like the Easter bunny (free). 10.30am-4pm.
100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ;horniman.ac.uk
30-31 March & 4 & 11 April
There’s always plenty going on at Greenwich Market. Head to London’s only historic market set within a World Heritage site on Easter weekend for everything from Easter egg decorating (Saturday 11am-4pm), face-painting, glitter tattoos and art craft workshops (Friday & Saturday 11am-4pm). During half term, Wicked Wednesdays (4 & 11 April) will host free children’s yoga (12pm-1pm), art and craft workshops (11am-4pm), woolcraft fun with Natty Peeps (11am-4pm) and facepainting (11am to 4pm).
Greenwich Market SE10 9HZ;greenwichmarket.london
6 & 7 April
Benjamin Britten’s Noye’s Fludde is the most famous opera ever written for community performance. It tells the story of Noah’s family, who build an ark big enough to rescue themselves and one pair of every animal on Earth, to escape an apocalyptic flood. The Blackheath Halls Children’s Opera gives local children from all backgrounds the opportunity to participate in an opera alongside professional singers and musicians. This year, the Children’s Opera is a co-production by the fantastic Multi-Story Orchestra. Performances at 2pm and 6pm. Adults £12, under 12s £6. Look out for Captain Cauliflower & Marvin the Mischievous Moose by Mad Etiquette on 14 April, too.
Great Hall, Blackheath Halls, 23 Lee Road SE3 9RQ; blackheathhalls.com
3-4 April & 7-8 April
44a Sydenham Road SE26 5QF;spontaneousproductions.co.uk
21 Fluffy Bunnies at South Place Hotel, Moorgate
South Place Hotel is hosting a range of special activities this Easter, and on Easter Sunday the hotel will be home to real live bunnies visiting from Spitalfields City Farm, which champions best practice in animal welfare. The fluffy little bunnies, even better than the Easter Bunny himself, will be spending the day at the hotel for cosy cuddles. Find them on the ground floor from 12pm-4pm. The hotel has plenty for grown-ups too, with Paul A Young chocolate cocktails and a screening of Chocolat followed by a two-course dinner at Chop House (£49pp).
South Place Hotel, 3 South Place, Moorgate EC2M 2AF;southplacehotel.com
22 Easter at The Museum of London
The Museum of London is inviting families to create the future of the capital. With a series of a workshops, performances, walks and events exploring everything from inventing, alternative travel and even cyborgs. On Wednesday 4 April, there’s a special event celebrating the release of the new Little Miss Inventor. The creator of this new delightful book, Adam Hargreaves, will draw your favourite Mr Men character especially for you to take home. Tickets £3.99, including a copy of the book and a special goodie bag (10.30am-2pm). Other events include the Balloon-ing Around workshop, where you can put yourself into the shoes of an inventor and design a cool gadget to keep Londoners on the move in the future (12.30pm & 2pm, 31 March-9 April, free, drop-in) and Back to Future Playtime, where you can learn how children’s toys have changed over the years and turn a classic children’s toy into a robotic version for children in the future (12.30pm & 2.30pm, 7-8 April, free, drop-in).
150 London Wall EC2Y 5HN; museumoflondon.org.uk
23 Easter at Westfield Stratford
There’s plenty going on for families at Westfield Stratford this Easter. Foyles the bookshop is running Easter-themed storytelling sessions on 30 March from 3-4pm, as well as Story Hour with local picture book author and illustrator Karl Newson on 6 April from 2-3pm, when Karl will be reading aloud from his books, Here Comes the Sun and A Bear is A Bear, and showing you how to draw. There’s also a daily Easter treasure hunt from r your hidden favourite friends, including Peter Rabbit, Peppa Pig and Winnie the Pooh, while the Disney Store will run an Easter Egg Hunt. Don’t miss the chance to meet Peter Rabbit, too! With the family favourite finally hopping onto the big screen, Peter Rabbit – in person – is headed for Vue Cinema on 31 March, from 11am-4pm. this Easter weekend!
Montfichet Road, Olympic Park East E20 1EJ; uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity
24 The Singing Mermaid & Junk at Little Angel Theatre
Until 29 April
The Singing Mermaid, aimed at ages 3-8, tells the tale of a singing mermaid tempted away from all of her sea creature friends to join a travelling circus. But instead of the swimming pool she was promised, she is kept in a small tank by the wicked circus master Sam Sly, and she soon longs to return to the freedom of the sea… (running until 22 April). For older kids, aged 7-12, there’s Junk, an interactive, immersive puppetry experience where you can discover what happens to all the things we throw away – in rubbish bins and recycling boxes across the country, something strange and exciting is happening every day! Running until 29 April. Both productions cost £13.50 for adults and £11.50 for kids.
14 Dagmar Passage, Angel N1 2DN; littleangeltheatre.com
25 Holiday Courses with Perform, Islington & Tufnell Park
Perform, which has various venues in and around Islington, runs a number of holiday courses combining live music, dance and improvisation, working with an energetic team of theatre professionals to ultimately stage a mini-performance with colourful costumes and props on the last day. Different holiday courses aimed at different age groups, running from three to five days, run during the school holidays. This Easter, Perform is offering Mr Toad’s Wild Adventure for 4-7 year olds. Courses run 4-11 April, 10am-3pm, and cost £200 (sibling discount available).
26 Sadler’s Wells Family Weekend, Clerkenwell
This Easter weekend, Sadler’s Wells foyers will be bursting with an array of free activities. Get stuck in with the little ones and take part in Rumpelstiltskin-inspired arts and crafts activities, from screen printing to paper jewellery making and weaving. The foyers will be transformed by artist Charlotte Austen, who will transport you to Rumpelstiltskin’s tower, created in a signature fairytale style. There will also be a family-friendly menu served in the Fox Garden Court Cafe. Activities will be available from 11am-4.30pm on Friday and 10am-4.30pm on Saturday. Free. No need to book.
Rosebery Avenue, Clerkenwell EC1R 4TN; sadlerswells.com