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Easter Duck Hunt, © WWT London Wetlands Centre

The Best Things To Do In London With Your Family This Easter

23 March 2016 Lydia Cooper

As the Easter holidays loom, you might be wondering what you can do to keep your kids entertained for two entire weeks. Luckily, we have a solution: a handpicked list of the best events on this Easter, including ones that are free, outdoors, indoors, educational, and, of course, chocolate-related.

Free family events

Over Easter Weekend (Friday 25 - Sunday 27 March, 2-4pm), the V&A Museum of Childhood will be holding free screenings of classic children’s films on a drop-in basis. The marathon will include back-to-back screenings of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s animated shorts, including the Clangers, Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine. There will also be free craft workshops inspired by these magical characters.

Westminster Abbey will be running a free Shakespeare-themed event over the holidays, on Tuesday 29 March and Thursday 31 March at 11.30am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Entitled ‘Bloody Noses and Crack’d Crowns: Shakespeare and the Abbey’, it will give children the chance to explore the real spaces and characters from Shakespeare’s plays. The event is suitable for ages 7+ and must be booked by emailing educationUK@westminster-abbey.org. They are also hosting an ‘Easter Crafts’ series, where ages 3+ can decorate eggs to take home and celebrate Easter.

At the Southbank Centre on Sunday 27 March 11am-4pm, children can take part in a free hip-hop dance workshop with b.supreme, the only UK organisation to purely represent women in hip-hop. There’ll be break dance at 11am, popping at 12pm, and locking at 1pm, with a performance from the pros at 3pm.

 

Outdoor activities

At the Chelsea Physic Garden, children can take part in a workshop about poisons and potions on Thursday 7 April, 10.30am-3pm, suitable for ages 7+. The Shakespeare-themed event will explore the world of herbology and Elizabethan apothecaries, and their charms and curses, maladies and remedies in the setting of the garden. Tickets are £15, including plants to take home. On Tuesday 29 March, they are also running a Spectacular Seeds event in the garden.

Throughout Easter, the WWT London Wetlands Centre are running ‘early bird openings’ on Saturdays, with the hides and café open from 8.30am (with the main buildings opening at 9.30am). They’ll also be hosting an Easter Duck Hunt - look for the giant inflatable ducks to win chocolate prizes! The trail is £1 per person, plus admission to the Centre.

 

Chocolate surprises

It wouldn’t be Easter without copious amounts of chocolate being consumed, but why not take things a step further and make it yourself? Several places are running chocolate making workshops for children, including BOXPARK Shoreditch and Cinnamon Square. BOXPARK’s class is on Sunday 26 March, 1.30pm-4pm, for ages 6+, and costs £15 per child accompanied by an adult (£12 extra for other children). Children will shape, dip and decorate chocolate truffles and marshmallows, and then personalise and decorate an Easter egg. At the end, all of the treats will be packaged for them to take away. The Cinnamon Square workshop costs £30, and children will learn how to temper and mould chocolate in order to create chocolate bunnies and heart shaped lollipops, as well as chocolate cupcakes. The price includes the chocolate treats and recipe sheets to take home for inspiration.

There are also lots of Easter egg hunts taking place across London. Battersea Park Children’s Zoo are running an Easter Egg Trail from 25-28 March, in which children can try to spot brightly coloured Easter eggs in the animal enclosures to win a prize (costs £1.50 plus usual entrance fee).  From 19 March - 10 April, Kew Gardens are running Chocolate Sensations with Lindt Gold Bunny, an Easter Festival where you can follow a trail of clues through the Garden to win a Lindt prize. The price is included with entry to the gardens. At Cutty Sark London, you can also head on an Easter egg hunt through the ship to win chocolate - and if you’re lucky, a family ticket to Camp Bestival. The hunt is free with standard entry, and runs from 25-28 March.

 

For rainy days

Luckily, there are several children’s films being released in time for Easter, including Norm of the North, which focuses on a polar bear who can talk to humans, Kung Fu Panda 3, which came out earlier this month, and Zootropolis, a film about a bunch of animals living in a fictional city, which opens on Good Friday.

There are plenty of family-friendly theatre shows on this Easter too. Snow White is at the Polka Theatre 23 March - 10 April, a story for ages 4-8 told from the perspective of two sisters who cook for the royal household: expect catchy tunes and cooking disasters. Tickets £13.50 (£10 conc.). You can catch an alternative production of Snow White at Sadler’s Wells as part of their Family Weekend, where balletLORENT present the classic tale with a twist. For children who relish scary stories, Roald Dahl’s The Witches is on at the Rose Theatre 29 March - 10 April.

 

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