Things To Do This Easter Weekend In London: 29 March-1 April 2024

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All weekend

Two young girls picking up a Lindy bunny in the Hampton Court Palace courtyard
Hunt out the bunnies at Hampton Court Palace © Historic Royal Palaces.

EASTER BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND: It's Easter weekend. Make the most of it with our guide to spending a bank holiday weekend in London. We've got you covered, come rain or shine, whether you want culture, the great outdoors, or fantastic day trips. We've also got a guide to special Easter weekend events too. 29 March-1 April

EASTER HOLIDAYS: And of course, with Easter weekend comes the school Easter holidays. Exact dates vary from school to school, but here's a guide to family-friendly holiday events in London over the next couple of weeks, including several this weekend.

LINDT GOLD BUNNY HUNT: Hampton Court Palace hosts an Easter Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt. Follow the clues to find the bunny statues, and match each one with the name of an important person from the palace's history. Aimed at ages 3-12 and their families. 23 March-14 April

An actor playing Jesus, wearing a white robe, in Trafalgar Square
See the Easter story performed in Trafalgar Square. Image: Wintershall

PAWS ON THE WHARF: London's latest free sculpture trail is Paws on the Wharf, which sees individually designed sculptures of dogs dotted around Canary Wharf in aid of Guide Dogs. The free trail is in situ for six weeks, after which the artworks are auctioned off to fundraise for the charity. One to bear in mind for keeping children entertained on the cheap during the school holidays! FREE, 25 March-17 May

ENZO MARI: The Design Museum opens a new exhibition dedicated to the life and work of 20th century Italian designer Enzo Mari on Friday. His projects ranged from furniture, children's books and games to product and graphic design, and more conceptual installation-based works. The exhibition gives an insight into his research and creative process. 29 March-8 September

CHOCOLATE HOUSE: Also opening a new exhibition is the Old Royal Naval College, which explores how chocolate was involved in the revival of Greenwich. Chocolate House Greenwich looks at the impact it had on Georgian society when it started arriving from South America, and includes a recreation of the Tosier Chocolate House which was located in nearby Blackheath. 29 March-3 November

Good Friday 29 March

Norman Jay
Norman Jay comes to Southbank Centre. Image: Dean Chalkley

PASSION OF JESUS: Every Good Friday, Trafalgar Square is packed out with thousands of people gathering to watch The Passion of Jesus, a free retelling of the Easter story, with 100 actors taking part. Everyone's welcome, but it involves — spoiler — a crucifixion scene so may not be suitable for younger kiddies. Get there in plenty of time to get a space, as it's always a very popular event. FREE, 12pm/3.30pm

FISH FRIDAY: Fried seabass, steamed red bream, fish cakes and an array of other coastal Caribbean fare is on the menu at the Windrush Generation Legacy Association in Croydon's Whitgift Centre this afternoon, for their Friday Lunch Club. The meal is followed by Carnival-themed fun with music, rum punch and more delicious food — this goes on till early evening. Meal 12pm-1.30pm; Carnival fun 2pm-6pm

MESSIAH ON GOOD FRIDAY: For the 148th time, the Royal Choral Society performs Handel's Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall on Good Friday — a tradition that's only ever been interrupted by the Blitz and Covid. 150 singers are conducted by the choir's music director Richard Cooke, and accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and a quartet of soloists. 2.30pm

DRAG COMEDY CABARET: BBC New Comedy Award shortlisted drag comedian Lady Bushra hosts Drag Comedy Cabaret at the Queen of Hoxton. Hear about life in Bradford from a South Asian drag queen perspective, in a theatre/cabaret style setting. 7pm

NORMAN JAY: Notting Hill Carnival legend Norman Jay takes the party inside at Southbank Centre. The dance music pioneer is joined by other icons of the genre as well as a live band and soul and disco singer Jocelyn Brown — for a lively evening celebrating the UK's music scene. 7.30pm

THE GREATEST MAGICIAN: Head to Fairfield Halls in Croydon to see magician James Phelan — who famously once 'predicted' the Lottery — in action in his new show. Magic runs in the family — he's the nephew of the late Paul Daniels, whose final theatrical project was directing this show. 7.30pm

BLOODY MARY LIVE: Comedian Olivia Miller performs in one-woman show Bloody Mary: LIVE, assuming the role of the teenage queen to tackle the issues in her life such as divorced parents, sibling rivalry and religious purges. See it at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington. 8pm (repeated tomorrow)

HIVE MIND: Catch the final performance of Hive Mind at Soho Theatre. The interactive, gameshow-style event sees comedians Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Tarot crowdsourcing their way through a show. Special guests TBC. 9.15pm

SISTER MIDNIGHT: The team behind Sister Midnight, a community-owned music venue in Lewisham, throw a fundraising party in aid of their new radio platform Sister Midnight FM. DJ duo Village Cuts headline, with Rohan Rakhit, Ri Mistry, Limi and Soph also on the line-up. 11pm-4am

Saturday 30 March

Various Cantonese dishes served on a table
Tuck into a Shanghai-inspired brunch at Hakkasan

KEW THE RUN: Kew the Run is a 10K or half marathon route finishing in Kew Gardens. The 10K course (Saturday) is entirely contained within the gardens, while the half marathon (Sunday) starts and ends in the gardens, meandering down to Ham House in Richmond and back. 30-31 March

GUARDS MUSEUM: Ever been to The Guards Museum on Birdcage Walk? Today's an excellent time to do so, as it's offering half-price entry for its Women's History Month celebrations. Events throughout the day include a chance to meet the women currently serving in Wellington Barracks, and try on a genuine Guardsman uniform. 10am-3.30pm

SPRING FAIR: The gardens of Forest Hill's Horniman Museum are taken over by stalls and entertainment for its annual Spring Fair. Enjoy live music, an Easter bonnet parade, child-friendly craft workshops, food stalls and more. 11am-4pm

NERDVERSE: Dugdale Arts Centre in Enfield hosts anime and gaming festival NerdVerse. Live panels, gaming tournaments and cosplay competitions take place throughout the afternoon, along with a live recording of the Nerd Council podcast, a DJ, street food, and more. 12pm

LOST IN SHANGHAI: Head to Cantonese restaurant Hakkasan Hanway Place for a Lost in Shanghai brunch, celebrating the Asian city. There's a set menu with a side of theatricality — think dim sum served among dry ice, a crispy duck salad, and stir fry black pepper rib eye with merlot. Cocktails and wine are available throughout, and there are live DJs and performances going on around you, evoking the spirit of Shanghai. 12.30pm-4.45pm

PADDINGTON IN CONCERT: Charming 2014 film Paddington is shown on a large HD screen at Royal Festival Hall, while the London Concert Orchestra performs the score live. In case you need a refresher, Paddington, a bear from Peru, moves in with the Brown family in London, proceeds to cause all kinds of havoc, and ends up in a face-off with a taxidermist. Age 7+, though it's one of those films that's as enjoyable for adults as it is for kids. 2pm/5.30pm

BOAT RACE: The Oxford-Cambridge Boat Races take place today. They'll be broadcast on TV as usual, but if you're keen to see them in person, get down there early to grab your spot — particularly if you're having to bag a pew at one of the pub gardens along the route. FREE to watch, 2.46pm (Women's) and 3.46pm (Men's)

WIFI WARS: Live comedy game show Wifi Wars takes place at Artsdepot in Finchley. Take along your tablet or smartphone and play along with the rest of the audience in games and quizzes, with prizes up for grabs. The afternoon session is for age 6+, and the evening session is for age 11+. 3pm/7.30pm

Easter Sunday 31 March

The Boat Race going beneath a bridge on the Thames
Saturday is Boat Race day. Image: Benedict Tufnell /Row360 for The Gemini Boat Race

CLOCKS CHANGE: A reminder that the clocks go forward an hour in the early hours of 31 March (which also happens to be Easter Sunday). The bad news is that we lose an hour, but the good news is that it heralds the start of lighter, brighter days.

EASTER FAMILY DISCO: Kids bouncing off the walls? Take them to Big Penny Social in Walthamstow, where there's a family Easter disco, complete with puzzles, interactive games, prizes and more. The first session of the day includes an Easter egg hunt too. 11am-4pm

EASTER TRAIL: Alternatively, run off steam at the Easter trail at Lauderdale House in Highgate. Solve riddles around Waterlow Park as you seek out the giant bunny, using a treasure map to help you. FREE, 11am-4.30pm

GOSPEL MOTOWN BRUNCH: The Anthologist near Bank launches a Gospel Motown Brunch. Tuck into brunch dishes such as fried chicken waffles, a mezze board, or fish and chips, with the option to add on 90 minutes of bottomless drinks (Aperol spritz, bloody marys, mimosas or rum punch). Meanwhile, a live gospel choir and Motown singers perform — with audience participation very much encouraged. 12pm-4pm

BLACK HISTORY BUS TOUR: Take a three-hour bus ride around London, viewing some of its top tourist attractions from an African/Caribbean perspective. The Black History Bus Tour starts in Brixton, and covers topics including Black-owned nightclubs, Black Tudors, Windrush arrival points, Nelson Mandela, Trafalgar Square and the Anti-Apartheid movement, the Bank of England's secret West Indian wealth and plenty more. 2pm-5pm

PIANO RECITAL: British pianist Viv McLean is the performer at today's Sunday Concert at Conway Hall. Enjoy a programme of music spanning three centuries, including works by Scarlatti, Beethoven and Chopin. 6.30pm-8.30pm

Easter Monday 1 April

Exterior of Covent Garden tube station
Join a walking tour around Covent Garden. Photo: Matt Brown

LORD OF THE RINGS: The legendary Prince Charles Cinema once again screens all three Lord of the Rings films (extended versions, natch) back to back, in an event lasting more than 12 hours. Ideal place to head if you're not a fan of Easter. Or daylight. 10.30am-11pm

BERMONDSEY HISTORY WALK: Parents and carers with babies are invited on a history walk around Bermondsey. Bring Your Baby walks build in stops for feeding and changing your little one along the way, and this one covers the area's food history, a former leather market, a Victorian murder, the old Bermondsey Abbey, and plenty more. 11am-2pm

CHAIR LIFT: The Blackheath Morris Men are doing the rounds in Greenwich once again — dancing outside various landmarks (many of them pubs) and performing the ancient ritual of chair-lifting. FREE, 12pm-5pm

COVENT GARDEN TOUR: Over the other side of the river, there's a walking tour around Covent Garden, open to all, and focusing on the lesser known parts of the area. Footprints of London guide Joanna Moncrieff takes you past a burial ground and workhouse, the site of a leper hospital and ghost signs hinting at the area's past. Hear secrets including pubs allegedly linked by their cellars. 2pm-3.30pm

FAMILY FILM CLUB: There's a special edition of Barbican Cinema's Family Film Club, screening 2020 Pixar animation Soul, set in the place where souls are born and looking at how we become ourselves. All children must be accompanied by an adult, and vice versa. 2.30pm

BASEMENT ORCHESTRA: 50-piece musical group Basement Orchestra rock up at Big Penny Social for a lively afternoon of music in a relaxed setting. Though the concert is designed for adults, under-18s are welcome. 3.30pm-5pm

ASTLES: "Honest, heartwarming, heartbreaking and grandiose" is how Astle's music has been described, and you can listen to these cinematic string-soaked songs for free at the Sebright Arms in Hackney tonight. Support comes from Noah Samuel and Dan Edery. FREE, 7.30pm