Stuff You Can Do With The Family For Easter & Half Term Break
Easter and the school holidays are nearly here and as London revs up for spring, there’s plenty of fun family things to do in the capital during the break. From puppetry to gaming exhibitions, here’s The Resident’s guide to what’s on over Easter for families…
Photo: Polka Theatre
1 Half-Term Fun at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich
From space-related workshops to shows on Chinese Astronomy (April 16), there’s lots on at the Royal Observatory guaranteed to engage curious young minds. Children aged 7 and older can learn about our moons and solar system in astronomy workshops ( April 5,6,12,13; ages 7+), while kids aged 4-7 can join Ted the bear on a journey around the solar system in a planetarium show and interactive workshop (April 8,15). Children on the autism spectrum can explore the sky too in a session tailored to their additional needs (April 11).
When: Throughout April; session times vary
Price: from £5/£10 child/adult
Address: Blackheath Avenue SE10 8XJ
2 Hampton Court Palace Tulip Festival, Hampton Court Palace
See more than 120,000 blooms fill the courtyards and gardens of Hampton Court Palace at the UK’s biggest tulip festival as you stroll around the palace’s grounds and immerse yourself in spectacular displays. This year’s event features more than 60 rare, historic and specialist varieties of the flower, inspired by Mary II’s famous 17th century collection at Hampton Court Palace. From April 2-18, the palace is hosting a Lindt gold bunny hunt around the grounds, if tulips aren’t your thing.
When: April 12-May 2
Price: £26.10/£13 adult/child; concession and group tickets available, members go free
Address: Hampton Court Way, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9AU
3 Cats and Dogs Exhibition & the Spring Fair at Horniman Museum and Gardens, Forest Hill
Discover more about your furry friends in this interactive family-friendly exhibition that offers a pets-eye view of the world. This immersive exhibition explores the scientific, social and cultural role that cats and dogs play in our world, and invites visitors to go on an exciting, sensory journey, exploring what it’s like to be a cat or a dog. The museum also has its Spring Fair on April 16, which is a day hosted by comedian Jame Allerton filled with craft workshops, the Spring Bonnet parade, music, performances and garden tours.
When: Cats and Dogs runs until October 30; Spring Fair April 16
Price: £9.50/£5 adult/child; group tickets available
Address: 100 London Road, Forest Hill SE23 3PQ
4 Biscuiteers, Belgravia & Notting Hill
For adults and kids alike, Biscuiteers has Easter holiday fun for the family to enjoy. Daily, throughout April, the informal Easter DIY icing sessions (£18pp) give you the chance to freestyle your own Easter creations after a quick tutorial – and you can book or just turn up. The Kids Easter Icing Classes (£30pp) run for an hour and come with an Easter egg hunt too. There’s also the School of Icing; a workshop that’s a little more involved (£90pp), Icing Lates, that come with a glass of prosecco (£58pp), and a Spring Afternoon Tea filled with a host of sweet treats (£35pp).
When: Throughout April
Address: 14-15 Eccleston Yards, 21 Eccleston Place SW1W 9AZ; 94 Kensington Park Road W11 2ES
5 Stonor Park’s Easter Trail, Henley-on-Thames
One for an easy daytrip, Stonor Park and its historic house and adventure playground are just 45 minutes or so away from west London, near Henley-on-Thames. The estate’s Easter Trail sees clues and puzzles scattered around the grounds and comes with a chocolate at the end. The trail ticket also includes admission into the the adventure playground, Tumblestone Hollow that boast lookout decks, bridges and walkways. On Easter Sunday and Monday and on April 24, visitors have the chance to step inside the 850-year-old house to discover its Gothic Hall, 12th century chapel, and the archives of the 29 generations of Stonors who lived at the house.
When: April 9-24; 9.30am-5pm
Price: From £9
Address: Stonor Park, Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire RG9 6HF Website: stonor.com
6 The Art of Banksy, Seven Dials
On loan from private collectors, this colossal collection which has already been displayed in Australia, Israel, Europe and America, and the London run of Art of Banksy has just been extended. The exhibition includes some of Banksy’s lesser-known works, alongside iconic favourites. While the exhibition hasn’t been created in collaboration with Banksy himself, and as a concept a bit of a contradiction (when does street art stop being street art for a start?), it is an opportunity to see a load – and I mean a load – of his works. And they are great.
When: Booking through to September 2022
Price: From £25/£17.50 adult/concession
Address: 50 Earlham Street, WC2H 9LJ
7 How To Hide A Lion & Other Shows at Polka Theatre, Richmond
There’s a handful of shows on at the Polka Theatre in Richmond that are set to entertain young imaginations. Helen Stephens’ children’s tale, How to Hide a Lion, comes to life with playful humour and stunning puppetry and is suitable for kids aged 3-6-years-old. (March 11-April 24). There’s also Akademi’s Plastic Drastic Fantastic, a South Asian dance show for older children which uses theatre to focus on big issues (April 6-May 8).
Dates: Shows through to April 24
Tickets: From £9
Address: 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB
8 Harry Potter’s Magical Mischief Tour, Warner Bros. Studio, Leavesden
Calling all Potter fans and film buffs: The Warner Bros. Studio Magical Mischief Tour reveals the cinematic trickery behind the Harry Potter film series and highlights magical pranks and mishaps. As you learn how magical moments were brought to life, you’ll see the Great Hall, broomsticks and costumes, and discover the camera work behind the invisibility cloak and you’ll make your own origami howler, just like the one Mrs Weasley delivered to her son in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as well as the costumes and beards accidentally burnt.
Date: Booking through to June 2022
Tickets: From £49.95/£39.95 adult/child; concessions available
Address: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden WD25 7LR
9 Sky High Easter Biscuit Decorating Workshops at the O2, Greenwich
For an Easter crafting session with a bit of a twist, climb the O2 to decorate Easter biscuits while overlooking London and the Thames. After you reach the summit of the roofwalk – 52 metres above ground – you can decorate a selection of festively shaped treats, and learn a few fun facts about the O2 and the surrounding area. All climbs are led by expert guides. Suitable for 8+.
Date: April 4-8 &11-15
Time: workshops take place 10am & 10.15am
Address: Peninsula Square SE10 0DX
10 Family Easter Chocolate Workshop & Trail, Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea
Chelsea Physic Garden has two festive things for the family to enjoy this Easter. At one of the garden’s Easter-themed chocolate workshops, learn how cacao beans grow, how it is made into chocolate, and design your own chocolate treats with a provided selection of herbs, flavourings, and spices. Suitable for children aged five and older. Or, take a self-led trail, designed to take you through the four-acre garden to discover more about the beautiful plants that call it home. Participants also receive a chocolate treat or prize at the end, and this one is suitable for all ages. Book ahead for both.
Date: Chocolate workshop: April 7&12; Easter trail April 15-18
Time: Workshop: 11am-1pm; trail 11am-4pm
Tickets: Chocolate workshop £20; trail £5 + entry
Address: 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS
11 The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Kew Gardens, Richmond
The much-loved classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar arrives at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst for Easter 2022 with a brand-new interactive adventure for curious minds, whatever the age. Based on Eric Carle’s best-selling children’s book, the trail will recreate the journey of the caterpillar from egg to butterfly though a series of 3D installations, including a variety of fruit, a cosy chrysalis, and a bright, beautiful butterfly, each recreating the signature aesthetic of the much-loved book.
Date: April 2-18
Time: All day
Tickets: From £15/£5 adult/child; concessions available
Address: Richmond, TW9 3JR, TW9 2DF, TW9 3AB and TW9 3AF
12 London Games Festival, various venues around London
London Games Festival has events for gaming professionals and for bedroom gamers alike, held online and in real life, One of the hero events is a three day, large-scale exhibition showcasing new talent and archive material in Trafalgar Square. There’s also a night of stand up raising funds for Games Aid and an exhibition showcasing work from black, Asian and underrepresented ethnicities.
Date: April 1-10
Cost: Passes start from free
13 Power Up at the Science Museum, South Kensington
Another one for the gamers, Power Up arrives at the Science Museum this April, bringing with it more than 160 consoles, Mario Kart, Pac-Man and Guitar Hero. From Sonic and Super Smash Bros to FIFA and Gran Turismo, from adult-only evening sessions to a sensory-friendly relaxed morning session, there is something to suit everyone, whether you’re a parent looking for family-friendly Easter holiday activities or a games aficionado who wants to revel in the classics. This interactive gaming extravaganza will feature the latest VR technology as well as retro arcade classics like the Atari and visitors will be able to see how gaming has evolved over the years, and what’s in store in the future.
Date: April 1-19
Time: Wednesday to Sunday 10am-6pm
Tickets: from £8
Address: Exhibition Road, South Kensington SW7 2DD
14 Craft and Design Workshops, Peckham Levels
Artist, designer and animator Alexandra Ramirez has put together a programme of hands-on workshops for budding artists. Children aged between 7 and 10-years-old can try their hand at making a Bauhaus-inspired poster, experimenting with colour, geometric shapes and typography. The same workshop will be re-run for teenagers aged 13-years-old and older. There’s also a comic and zine-making workshop, where participants will collage, draw and come up with short stories to great as mini graphic novel. Alexandra is running two of these workshops well, one for the younger kids and the other for teens.
Date: April 7, 14 , 23, 30
Tickets: From £15
Address: Peckham Levels, 95A Rye Lane SE15 4ST
15 Easter at Borough Markets, London Bridge
Come gaze at Borough Market’s four-metre Tree of Hope adorned with more than 200 festive wooden eggs decorated by local schools, charities and friends of the market. The tree will also be decorated with drawings and messages of hope in an effort to lift people’s spirits during these dark, strange days. The market is also putting on an Easter trail for families to do, complete with edible prizes. The trail also features eight giant eggs hidden amongst market vendors, which trail participants need to find in order to answer a quiz.
Date: Tree on display April 13-19; trail April 13-16
Time: Good Friday 10am-5pm; Easter Saturday 8am-5pm
Address: 8 Southwark Street SE1 1TL
16 Easter at Battersea Power Station, Battersea
Head to Battersea Power Station these holidays for plenty of free half term fun. The Grade II listed power station will be home to a petting zoo with rabbits, chickens, Pygmy goats, lambs and sheep, expertly cared for by The Mini Farm, and guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s faces this Easter. Entertain the little ones with an Easter egg hunt in which you will follow clues, spot eggs and rabbits hidden around Circus West Village and stand a chance of winning great prizes. There will also be a maze on The Coaling Jetty too and plenty of outdoor games
Date: April 9-10, 15-18
Address: Circus Road West, Nine Elms SW8 5BN