Things To Do In London In The Easter Holidays 2019

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Looking for family-friendly things to do in London in the Easter holidays? Check out our guide to Easter fun in the capital. From exhibitions to stage shows to craft activities, there's plenty going on in London while school's out.

Note: exact holiday dates vary from borough to borough and even school to school, thanks to pesky Inset days — the dates below should cover the majority of schools though.

Events throughout the Easter holidays

The Magic Garden reopens at Hampton Court Palace

MAGIC GARDEN: Mysterious topiary, intriguing towers and helter skelter slides are just some of the attractions in The Magic Garden at Hampton Court Palace. The adventure playground reopens for the summer just in time for the Easter holidays. Just don't wake up the dragon sleeping in the sandpit. Hampton Court Palace, included in Palace admission, or for maze and garden only it's £8/£6, booking recommended, from 30 March

BANK MUSEUM: Head to the Bank of England Museum for heaps of Easter fun on top of the usual treasures (including the chance to pick up a real gold bar). Go hunting for six colourful eggs around the museum — there's a tasty prize for anyone who finds them all — plus decorate Easter-themed masks to take home, or put on a show with homemade sheep, chick, and bunny rabbit finger puppets. Bank of England Museum, free, just turn up, 8-18 April

BRICK WONDERS: Some of the wonders of the world — as well as some more local attractions — have been recreated using more than 50,000 Lego bricks. The museum's legendary stuffed walrus has been reincarnated in plastic, along with the old London Bridge, the Great Barrier Reef, Egyptian pyramids and Greek temples — and there are plenty of play spaces for your kids to create their own masterpieces. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £8/£4.50, book ahead, until 27 October

RAPUNZEL: The Dugdale Centre continues its Easter panto tradition with this rendition of Rapunzel, featuring all the trademark singing, dancing and comedy... and audience participation too. Dugdale Centre (Enfield), £14.50, book ahead, 6-22 April

BEASTS OF LONDON: London's animal residents past and present are the subject of multimedia exhibition, Beasts of London. Celebrities including Brian Blessed, Stephen Mangan and Joe Pasquale voice the creatures as they narrate their lives. Several events are going on throughout the Easter holidays to coincide with the exhibition launch. Museum of London, £4/£8, book ahead, 5 April 2019-5 January 2020

POTION ROOM: Wands at the ready as you tuck into a Potion Room afternoon tea. Attend a class at the secret School of Wizarding Alchemy, and enjoy a sweet and savoury afternoon tea paired with the potions you make. Age 8+. Cutter & Squidge (Soho), £49.50 (£39.50 kids), book ahead, until December 2019

A Lego walrus in Brick Wonders at Horniman Museum

FAMILY DAYS OUT: Bored of trudging round the same old museums and parks? Try one of these seven alternative family days out in London, featuring caves, windmills and more. Or visit a budget-friendly alternative to the big attractions. Take a look at our map of where you can see animals in London — whatever the weather.

WHERE TO EAT: Finding somewhere to eat out with kids can be tricky, but these child-friendly restaurants in London offer more options than just pizza and chips. The boozer may seem like an inappropriate suggestion, but bear with us — we've rounded up the best family-friendly pubs in London. See if your local made the list. Alternatively, try out these restaurants where kids eat for free.

CULTURE VULTURES: You may think art galleries and theatres are a no-go when you've got little ones in tow, but these London theatres are great for kids shows, and these family-friendly art galleries will keep children happy — and have plenty for mum and dad too.

Saturday 6 April

Watch The Wind In The Willows at Underbelly Festival

WIND IN THE WILLOWS: Classic children's book The Wind in The Willows is brought to life on stage, with puppetry and music used to tell the story of Mole, Ratty, Badger and Mr Toad. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £9.50, book ahead, 6-7 April

ELMER ELEPHANT: Patchwork elephant Elmer — a favourite from our own childhood — makes a comeback in this stage show. It stays true to the original story of an elephant who tires of being different and tries to blend in with the herd, only to realise the value of his unique characteristics. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 6-10 April

TABBY MCTAT: Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s children's book Tabby McTat has been transformed into a show, with oodles of lively songs thrown in. It's the story of a cat and his best friend Fred, who enjoy singing  together with Fred's guitar, until one day Fred goes missing. Southbank Centre, £16/£12, book ahead, 6-13 April

LITTLE MERMAID: Sing along to 1989 animated Disney film The Little Mermaid as this special screening, where the lyrics are provided on-screen and fancy dress is encouraged. There's a special pre-show to get your vocal cords warmed up. Prince Charles Cinema (Leicester Square), £13.50, book ahead, 6.10pm

NIGHT VOYAGE: 6-11 year olds and their families are invited to spend the night on board the Golden Hinde II, a replica of Sir Francis Drake's ship. See if you have what it takes to become an Elizabethan sailor, then tuck into a Tudor dinner before bedding down for the night. The Golden Hinde (Borough Market), £45, book ahead, 7pm

Sunday 7 April

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

COMEDY CLUB: Aimed at age 6+, Comedy Club 4 Kids is exactly what it sounds like — an amusing show for young minds. Happily, most of the jokes are likely to elicit a laugh or two from adults as well. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 12pm/2.30pm

SHAKESPEARE: Your teenagers might not be convinced on the appeal of William Shakespeare, but The Reduced Shakespeare Company could make them think differently. They perform The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged), a rollercoaster ride through all of The Bard's plays. Age 12+. Chickenshed Theatre (Cockfosters), £18/£15, book ahead, 7pm (repeated 14 April)

Monday 8 April

PHOTOGRAPHY: Got a budding David Bailey in the family? Take them along to this photography day. They can learn how their camera works, how to use different settings and practise on the spring colours in bloom around Greenwich. Age 8-13. Royal Museums Greenwich, £60 per adult + child, book ahead, 10.30am-4pm

ANIMALCOLM: Comedian David Baddiel turned his attention to younger audiences to write AniMalcolm, the story of a young boy who doesn't like animals, until he goes on a school trip to a farm. This performance, at Underbelly Festival, combines puppetry, physical theatre and storytelling, and is aimed at ages 5+. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £11.50, book ahead, 11.15am

Tuesday 9 April

Kaleidoscope at Southbank Centre

KALEIDOSCOPE: Immerse yourself in a world of mirrors, lights, colours and sounds, all based on how a baby's sight develops. Installation Kaleidoscope is aimed particularly at ages 6-18 months, and special educational needs. Southbank Centre, £7, book ahead, 9-11 April

LOTIONS AND POTIONS: Find out how plants can be used as medicine — as well as how they can be poisonous, at Chelsea Physic Garden. Discover how to make your own lotions and potions and see the medicinal plants and poisons being grown on site. Chelsea Physic Garden, £15, book ahead, 10.30am-2.30pm

MORSE CODE: Kids can pretend they're spies and have a go at learning and using Morse code at this free craft workshop. They should be able to spell out their own name in Morse code by the end of it. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2.30pm

Wednesday 10 April

Time-travelling magicians come to east London

MAGIC SHOW: Hocus pocus (or whatever the magic word is these days). Time-travelling magicians Morgan & West perform a show for kids and childish grown-ups, featuring magic, tricks, and hyper-reality. Wilton's Music Hall, £2-£8.50, book ahead, 10-12 April

SPRING FLAVOURS: The Horniman Museum hosts a family-friendly morning of activities, centred around what's growing in the museum's impressive gardens at the moment. Here's hoping for plenty of beautiful flowers. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), free, just turn up, 10.30am-3.30pm

MARVELLOUS MAMMALS: Learn about some of the mammals that live in the Royal Parks, including the hedgehogs of Regent's Park. Find out how they're cared for, go in search of mammal tracks, and hear stories about the creatures. Hyde Park, free, book ahead, 11am-3pm. Repeated tomorrow.

Thursday 11 April

THE GRUFFALO: Oh help! Oh no! It's a Gruffalo! If that's a familiar refrain in your house, treat the kids to a trip to see the Gruffalo on stage, along with author Julia Donaldson's other characters, including Room on the Broom and The Magic Paintbrush. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £11.50, book ahead, 11-13 April

DINNER WITH DINOSAURS: Got a dinosaur fan in the family? Take them along to this Triassic event where they can find out what the dinosaurs would have eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There's also a chance to create a Mesozoic garden-terrarium to take home. Chelsea Physic Garden, £15, book ahead, 10.30am-2.30pm

SHAKESPEARIENCE: Introduce them to the work of The Bard from a young age — Shakespearience is aimed at anyone age 5+. The show is a  fast-paced, lively run-through of some of Shakespeare's most famous works, including Macbeth and Romeo & Juliet. Udderbelly Festival (South Bank), from £11.50, book ahead, 11.15am (repeated tomorrow)

Friday 12 April

BAT WALK: Stay up after bedtime to go in search of the resident bats in Horniman Museum's grounds. Learn all about the creatures first, before setting off armed with a bat detector to see which species you can find. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), £5/£3, book ahead, 7pm-9pm

Saturday 13 April

Spectacular science at Lauderdale House

TIGON AND LIGER: Cute new theatre show The Tigon and the Liger is aimed at 3-7 year olds, with an underlying theme of appreciating your differences rather than being embarrassed by them — as demonstrated by Tyler the tigon, whose dad was a tiger, and his mum a lion. Chickenshed Theatre (Cockfosters), £7, book ahead, 13-18 April

SCIENCE SHOW: Fireballs, fire tornadoes and chemical reactions may sound like hell to parents, but kids are bound to love them. Watch them explode into life at this Spectacular Science Show — you might even learn a thing or two. Lauderdale House (Highgate), £8.50, book ahead, 10.30am

RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET: We're great fans of Barbican's Family Film Club, and this week it's showing 2018 Pixar film Ralph Breaks The Internet, about a pair of kids who end up inside a Wi-Fi router and find themselves in a whole new world. Barbican Cinema, £3.50, book ahead, 11am

VARIETY CLUB: Comedy, circus, magic and music are just some of the things to see at Variety Club 4 Kids. Headed up by cabaret star Mat Ricardo, the acts are aimed at ages 6+ and are bound to leave kids giggling and gasping. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £10.25, book ahead, 1.15pm

Sunday 14 April

YOUNG HERBERT'S HORRORS: A wannabe pirate, Young Herbert lives on a boat — but it's grounded until he learns to tidy his room and eat his greens. Hear his story in this spoken word show for kids, which relies on the cautionary tales of Great Uncle Albatross to keep Young Herbert in line. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 10am/2pm

JOURNEY THROUGH JAZZ: Anyone age 7+ is welcome at Journey Through Jazz, an afternoon of Lindy Hop, Charleston and other dance steps from the Jazz Age. Experts are on hand to guide the whole family through the steps. Underbelly Festival (South Bank), from £11.50, book ahead, 1.15pm

Monday 15 April

The Chit Chat Chalk Show at ArtsDepot

CHIT CHAT CHALK SHOW: Interactive theatre performance The Chit Chat Chalk Show puts the audience among the set and performers, with kids in the audience playing an essential part of the story. ArtsDepot (North Finchley), from £9, book ahead, 11am/2pm (repeated tomorrow)

Tuesday 16 April

WILD EXPEDITION: Compass skills, treasure maps and a hunt through the park all feature on this wild expedition day in Hyde Park. Once they've trekked through the park on a treasure hunt, they recreate their route on a giant map, using clay, pencils and natural materials. Hyde Park, £20, book ahead, 10am-3pm

CHOCOLATE TUESDAY: Chelsea local and benefactor of Chelsea Physic Garden Sir Hans Sloane is said to be responsible for introducing hot chocolate as we know it. He brought the recipe back from a trip to Jamaica, and today 6-11 year olds can learn more about the history and geography of chocolate and cocoa, through craft activities, a garden tour... and of course, chocolate tasting. Chelsea Physic Garden, £15, book ahead, 10.30am-2.30pm

Wednesday 17 April

SPRING TO LIFE: As spring comes to life around us, the Lookout Centre hosts a day of free activities, including a free nature trail, a chance to visit the wildlife garden, pond dipping sessions and interactive storytelling. Hyde Park, free, book ahead, 11am-3pm (repeated tomorrow)

Thursday 18 April

We don't know of anything particular going on today — take a look at the "throughout the holidays" section at the top for ideas.

Good Friday - 19 April

Watch The Railway Children at Museum of London Docklands

PASSION OF JESUS: On Good Friday every year, the Wintershall Players perform the Easter story for free, in an open-air show in Trafalgar Square, as an Easter gift to Londoners. It gets very busy so get there very early to secure a spot — and be aware that it contains scenes of the crucifixion, so may not be suitable for the very youngest Londoners. Trafalgar Square, free, just turn up, 12pm/3.15pm

RAILWAY CHILDREN: All aboard for a free performance of The Railway Children, E.Nesbit's beloved book about a family forced to move from London to a Yorkshire village. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 1pm/2pm/3pm

Saturday 20 April

A Moomins film is screened at Barbican

EASTER FAIR: Head to the top of Forest Hill for an abundance of stalls, food and drink options, craft activities, face painting, animals and other ways to amuse the family — all with fantastic views over the London skyline. Horniman Museum (Forest Hill), free entry, just turn up, 20-21 April

MOOMINS: Those bizarre hippo-type creatures are the stars of this week's Family Film Club at Barbican Cinema. In Moomins and the Comet Chase, a cloud of grey dust has descended on Moominvalley, and the sky had turned red. Barbican Cinema, £3.50, book ahead, 11am

GRAPHICS: 13-15 year olds with a creative streak can take part in a digital design workshop in the V&A's digital studio. Inspired by 1960s designers and the Mary Quant exhibition, they can use programmes including Photoshop and Illustrator to make their own graphic art poster. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £20, book ahead, 11am-4pm

Sunday 21 April

The great egg roll at Lauderdale House

EGG ROLL: One of London's great Easter traditions, the Lauderdale House Great Egg Roll sells out every year. Kids can decorate their own eggs before taking part in a competition to see which one rolls furthest. There's also an egg hunt and other seasonal activities. Lauderdale House (Highgate), £8.50/£6.50, book ahead, 11am

READ ALL ABOUT IT: Wapping used to be the epicentre of London's newspaper printing industry, and today children and their families can learn about the history, as well as creating their own newspaper headlines, at a free craft workshop. Museum of London Docklands, free, just turn up, 12pm/2.30pm

HARRY POTTER: If your kids are massive Harry Potter fans — and aren't back at school for a couple of days — how about watching all eight Harry Potter films in one marathon session. It's an event best reserved for older kids — and those with an excellent attention span — as the event lasts almost 24 hours. Prince Charles Cinema (Leicester Square), book ahead, 8.30pm-5.25pm