Fun Things to Do in London This April 2022
The days are longer, the sun is stronger, and the capital is well and truly waking up from hibernation this month. Get amongst the action at one of these top events taking place this April in London…
Photo: Kew Gardens
1 Punchdrunk presents The Burnt City, Woolwich Works
Set across two Grade-II listed buildings, The Burnt City is an immersive theatre show that tells the story of the Greek tragedy, The Fall of Troy, set in a future parallel world. A promenade performance and a kind of choose-you-own-theatrical adventure, audiences are free to explore the dystopian landscape, which takes you from the majesty of royal palaces to the pulsating underworld of Troy. You can follow characters, lurk in the shadows or explore the site to uncover its mysteries.
Date: April 11- August 28
Time: Staggered starting times, from 6pm
Cost: From £66
Address: One Cartridge Place, Royal Arsenal SE18 6ZR
2 Crispin x Pidgin Collaboration Dinner, Spitalfields
Award winning Hackney restaurant Pidgin join forces with modern British restaurant Crispin for a special guest chef collaboration dinner. Crispin’s head chef Lewis de Haas and Pidgin’s head chef Drew Snaith join forces in the kitchen at Crispin to offer a five-course set menu feast that showcases British produce at its best. On the menu, you’ve got the likes of cured monkfish, with citrus and broad-bean falafel; skate, mussel, nettle and guanciale emulsion; and Paddock Farm pork tenderloin, faggot, white sprouting broccoli and peas. Vegan and vegetarian menus are available on request.
Date: Tuesday, April 19
Time: 6pm or 8pm
Cost: £55pp; wine pairing additional
Address: White’s Row, Spitalfields, E1 7NF
3 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
4 Cellars Present… Peckham Cellars, Peckham
Cellars Presents… is a new, monthly warm weather party night at Peckham Cellars kicking off this Easter bank holiday. Expect food collaborations with south London chefs (this time it’s Sam Tarneberg of Taco Queen) and local selectors on the decks (first up is DJ Miche of Spiritland and King’s Cross’s Supermax). Future foodies lined up include Ruben’s Reubens, Two Hot Asians and Mystic Borek. No booking ahead, just rock up.
Date: Thursday April 14
Time: 7pm – late
Cost: Free entry
Address: 125 Queen’s Road, Peckham SE15 2ND
5 Spring Dance of the Sea at Sexy Fish London, Berkley Square
For the following two Fridays, the swanky Sexy Fish London is celebrating spring with its latest party series, Spring Dance of the Sea, in partnership with The House of Suntory. These underwater extravaganzas will see you deep dive under the ocean with light displays, DJs, live musicians, dancers and singers. Throughout the evening, there will be performances, food and theatrical cocktails to set you on your way.
Date: Friday April 8, 15
Address: Berkeley Square House, Berkeley Square W1J 6BR
6 Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race, Barnes
Back again, the Oxford-Cambridge University Boat Race is on. Cheer your crew on or just bask in the atmosphere. Boats drop into the Thames at Putney Embankment where the races begin. The races finish near Chiswick Bridge. Perch near one of those bridges or at the Barnes or Hammersmith Bridge for prime viewing, or you can watch on the big screen at Bishop’s Park and Furnivall Gardens. Alternatively, enjoy the day at a Thames side watering hole such as The Bulls Head, Sam’s Riverside, The Old Ship Hammersmith, or The Dove.
Date: April 3
Time: Races start from 2.23pm; BBC broadcasting from 1.50pm
Address: Bishop’s Park: Bishop’s Avenue SW6 6EA; Furnivall Gardens: 52a Rutland Grove W6 9DG
7 Family Easter Chocolate Workshop & Trail & Plant Fair, Chelsea Physic Garden
Chelsea Physic Garden has opened up for spring. 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. The garden also has a plant fair this month with a variety of plants available. there will also be street-food, talks and workshops as well as the chance to see the garden’s collection of indoor plants in its Victorian glasshouses.
Date: Chocolate workshop: April 7&12; Easter trail April 15-18; Plant Fair April 23
Time: Workshop: 11am-1pm; trail 11am-4pm
Tickets: Chocolate workshop £20; trail £5 + entry; fair £7
Address: 66 Royal Hospital Road, Chelsea SW3 4HS
8 How To Hide A Lion and 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). Also coming up is the classic tale The Emperor’s New Clothes, told through music, puppetry, BSL and storytelling. (April 28-May 22). This show is for children aged 3-8-years-old.
Dates: Shows through to May 8
Tickets: From £9
Address: 240 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SB
9 SAMPLE Urban Design Market, Greenwich
Returning to Greenwich Peninsula for one day, SAMPLE is a treat for fashionistas, foodies, leisure-seekers and families. The market brings together London designers and creators working in fashion, food, homeware, beauty and wellness as well as DJs and food vendors. Housed in the Design District, SAMPLE aims to provide a platform for start-ups and young businesses to make the leap into retail destinations of the likes of Selfridges, Net-a-Porter and Coal Drops Yard. There’s also workshops on things like how to darn a jumper. These are free, but you’ll have to register.
Date: Sunday April 2
Address: The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula SE10 0SQ
10 Alfresco dining, terraces, beer gardens & rooftop terraces, London-wide
Basically, spring is here, and take any opportunity to enjoy the warmer weather and longer days any way you can. London has a wealth of terraces, rooftops and alfresco dining options, however, also try Hush Mayfair with its Amalfi Coast-inspired courtyard, Pantechnicon in Belgravia with its glass-roofed open terrace and Nordic-inspired menu, and Borough Market’s Turnips with Thomas Lidakevicius, for a superb meal under the arches at the back of a greengrocers. Want a beer garden to bask in? Try the Crooked Billet in Hackney, Homeboy Embassy Gardens, the Dove Hammersmith, or The Alwyne Castle in Islington.
11 London Games Festival
One for gamers and those who don’t like being outside, London Games Festival kicks off this week. Events for gaming professionals and for bedroom gamers will be 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
12 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
13 God’s Garden at Chameleon, Marylebone
Set in a stunning neo-classical church in Marylebone, Chameleon’s God Garden has opened in time for the warmer weather. The alfresco-dining spot is split between two tents, behind a pathway dressed in colourful foliage and features live music from 8pm. The venue’s flower-festooned greenhouses remain open should you want a cosy, intimate setting for a group of up to 22 people. Either way, both options are a great way to enjoy spring and Chameleon’s Tel Aviv and Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates.
Time: God’s Garden: Dinner served Thursday to Saturday, lunch on Sunday. Greenhouses: Dinner served Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Saturday
Address: 1 Marylebone Road, NW1 4AQ
14 Brunches, London-wide
Now is also the time to get stuck into some weekend brunching, and again, London has no shortage of places to go for a sublime mid-morning meal. Try Idris Elba’s wine bar Porte Noire if in King’s Cross, Bulgari Hotel’s Sette, in Knightsbridge has a three or four course brunch menu which you can make bottomless or enjoy with one of the several bloody Marys available from the restaurant’s bloody Mary bar. Quaglino’s has a bottomless champagne brunch on the weekends, or for something more laid-back, try The Buttery in Belgravia, Gunpowder in London Bridge, or The Barbary Next Door in Covent Garden.
15 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
16 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
17 Roasts, London-wide
It’s also the month to try out a new place for a Sunday roast. Chelsea’s Le Petit Beefbar has a new Sunday roast menu launching April 17, with decadent dishes such as Creekstone sirloin steak and potatoes cooked in Wagyu beef fat on the menu. Michelin starred brothers Chris and Jeff Galvin have a new, elegant take on the traditional Sunday lunch at Galvin Bar & Grill in Russell Square. Nose to tail restaurant temper in Soho has relaunched its Sunday roast menu offering smoky chicken, pork, beef and lamb dishes as well as Mexican-inspired starters and snacks. Lastly, it may not be your traditional British Sunday roast, however Manteca Sundays at Shoreditch’s nose to tail restaurant Manteca, is serving a family-style Sunday meal made of dishes like traditional lasagne, bollito misto and herbed porchetta.
18 Kew Gardens, Richmond
It may be great day out any day of the year, but come spring, Kew Garden really shines. There’s cherry blossom, tulips, bluebells and magnolia to bask in, as well as yoga in the Temperate House, forest bathing and tai chi. For the kids, The Very Hungry Caterpillar arrives in time for Easter and there are short courses on organic gardening and vegetable growing as well. Also, April is the last month to see Zadok Be David: Natural Reserve exhibition which includes a space-specific installation containing more than 17,000 steel etched flowers assembled by hand.
Address: Richmond, TW9 3JR, TW9 2DF, TW9 3AB and TW9 3AF
19 Yoga at Sky Garden, the City
Sky high yoga is back, running six days a week. Led by yoga instructors from TruBe, Sky Garden’s yoga is a one-hour dynamic vinyasa flow class suitable for all levels and abilities. The instructor will guide you through your poses and stretches before you rush off to work, or enjoy a leisurely post-class breakfast or snack at the Darwin Brasserie. Book ahead, especially on for weekend sessions, as classes book out quickly.
Date: April 5, Tuesday to Sunday
Time: Tuesday to Friday 7am-8am; Saturday and Sunday 9am-10am
Cost: Tuesday to Friday £20; weekends £25
Address: The Fenchurch Building, 1 Sky Garden Walk EC3M 8AF