So finally the long Winter months of trying to think of exciting indoor family activities have ended, and it’s finally time to enjoy the outdoors to their full potential! Indeed, the prominent theme of many of this month’s family events appears to be interacting with nature. From Easter egg trails through to conserving hedgehog habitats, there are plenty of fun, cultural events to see you through the entire Easter Holiday and beyond.
At the start of the month on the 2nd April is International Children’s Book Day. To celebrate, Keats House in Hampstead will be holding an afternoon of story time featuring some of the best-loved children’s characters, as well as the chance to make a book and encourage the kid’s creativity by writing stories together.
In Forest Hill, the Horniman Museum are continuing the literary theme by holding some magical Alice in Wonderland themed Easter events, including an Easter Egg trail, crafty workshops and a storytelling puppet performance of the surreal Lewis Carroll classic. There’s also pond dipping along the museum park’s nature trail (the oldest in London) and a mini beast safari where the family can hunt for creepy crawlies in the undergrowth.
Photo credit: S Pakhrin
Over in Hyde Park, take part in a Discovery Day in this famed London green space as the flowers begin to bloom for Spring. Create a clay bird and eggs, explore the wildlife garden and get involved in plenty more nature-based arts and crafts – all for free. And if you haven’t heard, there’s unfortunately a nationwide decline in hedgehogs at the moment. Learn more about these adorable animals at Hedgehog Heroes, where you can try out some of the scientific equipment used to survey hedgehogs, design a hedgehog friendly habitat and even create a clay hedgehog to live in it.
The Natural History Museum, ever the ideal destination for families, are bringing back their butterfly exhibition, Sensational Butterflies, this Spring. See hundreds of butterflies as they whizz past you in the tropical butterfly house, and spot caterpillars and chrysalises amongst the colourful foliage. The kids can use a magnifying glass to get up close and see the detail of these vibrant and fascinating creatures.
If you’re a family that can’t get enough of animals, consider a day celebrating the Oxford/Cambridge boat race with the, um, Oxford and Cambridge Goat Race. Yes you heard it right, two goats representing the university towns will race along Spitalfields City Farm in the most nail-biting competition of the year.
The Acton London Underground depot, a hub of the bus and tube network, will be opening its doors to the public on 22/23 April forSecrets of the Underground. Here the whole family can explore the hidden spaces and stories of the underground, with over 320,000 objects on display. Kids will love going on the miniature railway rides, handling objects and even playing conductor by issuing their own tickets.
Further West, Kew Gardens are once again offering up some fantastic activities for families this April, with a special Moomin themed Easter festival Moomin Adventures. There will be an interactive Moomin trail through the gardens to find Hemulen’s missing plants, a festival camp with a real life Moomin character greeting you, face painting, den building and courgette planting.
Photo credit: Moomin Characters
Over at Sadlers Wells on the weekend of the 14 April, award-winning company Aracaladanza will be staging their visually stunning show Vuelos, a production inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s quest to make man fly. Dancers recreate the movements of horses and jump around the stage in enormous fluttering wings, in an imaginative show that will teach children more about the storytelling abilities of dance and wow the entire family.