Things To Do In London In The Easter Holidays 2024

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Last Updated 07 March 2024

Things To Do In London In The Easter Holidays 2024
Folk Dance Remixed hosts a ceilidh jam at Southbank Centre. Image: Chris Walshaw

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 while school's out.

School holiday dates vary from borough to borough and school to school, but the Easter holidays fall roughly between Friday 29 March and Sunday 14 April 2024 for most schools. Easter Weekend is 29 March-1 April 2024.

Easter holiday events in London

Train to be a pirate on board the Golden Hinde.

ZOONORMOUS EGG HUNT: Take your family to see the animals at London Zoo during the Easter holidays, and there's the added bonus of a Zoonormous Egg Hunt to keep younger visitors entertained — it's included in your entry ticket. As you wander around, solve riddles and unscramble clues on an animal theme to find your way to the secret golden egg. There are also Easter craft activities throughout the holidays. 29 March-14 April. Also at London Zoo, the new Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians experience opens, taking you on a trip through eight different habitats to see and learn about some of the most unique species on earth. From 29 March

PADDINGTON IN CONCERT: Take the family along to watch Paddington Film in Concert at Southbank Centre. The 2014 film based on Michael Bond's book is shown on the large screen, accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra playing the score live. Age 7+. 30 March

PIRATE TRAINING: Got a budding Captain Jack Sparrow in the family? Take them along to the Golden Hinde, which is offering pirate training sessions throughout the Easter holidays. The 45-minute sessions are for 5-10 year olds and their families, and you'll learn essential pirating skills including singing sea shanties, hauling the anchor, firing a cannon and fighting with a cutlass (1-14 April). The same venue also hosts an Easter treasure hunt, with chocolate coins to be found, on 31 March

THE BRICK PEOPLE: Here's one for Lego fans: The Brick People pitch up at Artsdepot in Finchley for a day of activities themed around the plastic bricks, including speed building sessions, a timed tower building competition and exhibitions of Lego creations made by fans from all over the world. Recommended age 3-12. 9 April

A panther chameleon sitting on a branch
The Secret Life of Reptiles and Amphibians opens at London Zoo. Image: Ben Tapley/London Zoo

Family-friendly exhibitions in the Easter holidays

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY: Older kids and teenagers — especially those who love animals or are handy with a camera — might enjoy Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. It's one of our annual favourites, and this year more than 100 stunning snaps are on show from all over the world. Until 30 June

DINOSAURS: The Horniman Museum's current exhibition, Dinosaur rEvolution features five large animatronic dinosaurs, and highlights discoveries from recent decades which have changed the way we picture dinosaurs — with an array of colours, feathers, quills and spikes, instead of as scaly green reptiles. Until 3 November

Family-friendly shows in the Easter holidays

Dragons and Mythical Beasts at Southbank Centre. Image: Robert Day

MUSICALS: A few of London's long-running musicals are great for family theatre trips, including The Lion King, Frozen (which closes later this year...) and Matilda. Older kids and teenagers might enjoy Mamma Mia!, Wicked, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

SWAN LAKE: English National Ballet and English National Ballet School offer performances of My First Ballet: Swan Lake, at the Peacock Theatre. It's a reimagined version of the famous ballet created especially for children (age 3+), shortened to an hour in length, with a narrator to help you follow the story. 4-13 April

DRAGONS AND BEASTS: Aimed at ages 3+, Dragons and Mythical Beasts bring creatures such as the Stone Troll, the mysterious Indrik, the Baku, the Tooth Fairy, a unicorn and a griffin to life on stage, using giant, lifelike puppets. Takes place at Southbank Centre. 3-7 April

ARTSDEPOT: The wonderful Artsdepot in North Finchley offers an impressive programme of family-friendly theatre all year round, but particularly during school holidays. This Easter, offerings include musical show The Singing Mermaid (age 2-8, 30 March-1 April); puppetry show Dogs Don't Do Ballet (age 2-6, 2-7 April); and The Showstoppers' Kids Show, an improvised musical which takes ideas from the audiences and uses them to create a live show (age 5+, 11 April).

THE ODYSSEY: It's never too early to start them on the Greek classics... Unicorn Theatre offers an adaptation of Homer's classic story The Odyssey, pepped up with soul and pop tunes, and mystical creatures, dangerous monsters and two talking sheep thrown in. Ages 8-13. 17 March-21 April

Free things to do in London in the Easter holidays

Jesus returns to Trafalgar Square. Photo: Wintershall

THE PASSION OF JESUS: One of London's annual traditions is the Wintershall Players' free open-air performance of The Passion Of Jesus, taking place in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday. It tells the story of the last few days of Jesus's life and it's very popular — thousands of people usually turn up to watch so it's well worth getting there early for good view. It features a crucifixion scene, so may not be suitable for younger kids. We chatted with the guy who plays Jesus back in 2019 — though a new actor has now taken on the role. FREE, 29 March

TAIL TRAIL: The Museum of London Docklands has a free family-friendly (age 3+) trail through its galleries. Help city rat Riley Ratcliffe learn about some of her ancestors on display in the museum. There are various other children's activities on certain dates through the holidays too — check the website for info. FREE, 30 March-14 April

SPRING GARDEN: Cross your fingers for good weather for Southbank Centre's day of spring activities in its roof garden. Drop in for creative workshops led by local artists, and pop-up performances throughout the day. FREE, 3 April

CEILIDH JAM: Head to the Riverside Terrace at Southbank Centre for a family ceilidh jam, centred around a traditional maypole. Learn the dance routine to live music, mixing traditional maypole dancing with street dance moves. FREE, 7 April

PLAYGROUNDS: If the weather's playing nice, few things bring a smile to children's faces like a playground — and they're usually free, so it's a win for parents and carers too. Check out our map of playgrounds in central London — there are more than you might think, and many are located handily near tourist attractions so you can burn off excess energy on a day out.

A hedge-maze in Hanwell
Have an a-maze-ing Easter weekend. Image: Londonist

FILM STATUES: If you find yourself in central London, and need something free to entertain the family, head to Leicester Square and let them hunt out these bronze sculptures of film stars. Sure, you might have to explain Gene Kelly or Laurel & Hardy to younger members of the family, but Paddington, Bugs Bunny and Mary Poppins should charm them.

MUSEUMS: Plenty of London's museums are free entry all year round, and while you may have to pay for temporary exhibitions, there's generally plenty to entertain all ages in the permanent collections. Try Science Museum for aeroplanes and space, Natural History Museum for animals, and Museum of London Docklands for the Mudlarks interactive gallery.

FREE MAZE: Ever been to the Brent Lodge Park Millennium Maze? The labyrinth is constructed of 2,000 yew trees (see image above), has been around for more than two decades, and is free to visit. It's a 10-minute walk from Hanwell station on the Elizabeth line, and there's a free playground and Hanwell Zoo (small entry fee) right next door.

Family-friendly activities in London in the Easter holidays

An outdoor pool in an urban setting
Image: Matt Brown/Londonist

SWIMMING: A kiddie favourite, London has plenty of options for swimming, whatever the weather. From an Olympic venue to local leisure centres, these are some of London's best indoor pools (we also have our pick of London's outdoor pools and lidos — but maybe save that one for the summer holidays, eh?)

ICE SKATING: Forget waiting until Christmas — London has year-round ice skating rinks, including one slap bang in the middle of the Central line.

DAY TRIPS: Fancy getting out of London for a day or two? Take a gander at our Beyond London section for inspiration. Particularly child-friendly is a visit to the real-life Hundred Acre Wood, as featured in AA Milne's Winnie the Pooh books. Wellington Country Park is also an excellent bet for energetic kids. Otherwise, wear them out by sending them searching for the dozens of frogs hidden down this back street, or the entire solar system within sight of the M25.

AUTISTIC KIDS: Looking for things to do over the school holidays with autistic children? Check out our guide, which includes museums, theatres, sensory rooms and more.

TEENAGERS: Older kids and teenagers can be trickier to entertain, but have a read of our things to do in London with teenagers, covering everything from museums and exhibitions to shopping trips, a little-known neon art gallery, street art, and more adventurous days out.