Easter Family Fun in London

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Matilda the Musical

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Matilda the Musical
Sensational Butterflies
Sadler's Wells Family Weekend
Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic
English National Ballet: My First Ballet: Swan Lake
A Big Day Out With Peter Rabbit
Colour: The Rainbow Revealed
A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures
Bengali Spring Festival
Bengali Spring Festival
The Giant Jam Sandwich
The Singing Mermaid
Easter activities at Shrek's Adventure! London
Zippos Circus: Legacy


Looking for something fun to do this Easter? Treat the family to a bank holiday egg-stravaganza! Here's a list of what's going on this Easter in London, so you can get out and about and spend some quality family time together. From musicals and museums to ballet and bricks, there's a whole lot more to Easter than bunnies. So get cracking!

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Sadler's Wells Family Weekend

Terrific two-day festival for families introducing dance to a new generation.

Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: Friday 30th and Saturday 31st March 2018


Spilling out into the foyer, the Family Weekend really opens up Sadler's Wells to a new generation of dance lovers. Not just for kids, the annual two-day dance festival is aimed at audiences aged 4 to 104 and in 2018 a fantastical fairy-tale adaptation of Rumpelstiltskin, suitable for children aged 7 and older, is presented by the brilliant balletLORENT. The story of the shunned outsider is one of two main shows (the Lilian Baylis Studio performance is yet to be announced). These shows are complemented by fun activities taking place across the entire building including dance workshops for parents and children, a stay and play session with the performers and free arts and crafts activities in the foyer.


A Big Day Out With Peter Rabbit

Build a warren, play giant food card games, make bunny ears and plant seeds pots to take home.

Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB

Tube: Kew Gardens Station


Dates: 30th March to 15th April 2018


Peter Rabbit comes to Kew Gardens this spring for a bunny-themed Easter festival. Visitors will be able to join Peter Rabbit and all his furry friends on an adventure in the Royal Botanical Gardens, where there will be a packed schedule of games, crafts and storytelling inspired by Beatrix Potter's iconic tales. Follow a Peter Rabbit trail, take a trip to Mr McGregor's potting shed, transform into your chosen character for the day, get stuck into giant food card games and get a selfie with a giant Peter Rabbit board. Also at Kew this Easter, Here Be Dragons starts from 30th March 2018. Kew Palace hosts an exhibition and sculpture trail to mark the reopening of the Great Pagoda at Kew this summer - see if you can spot five fearsome dragons around the gardens.


English National Ballet: My First Ballet: Swan Lake

A lovely introduction to classical ballet for young audiences from three years old and up.

Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT

Tube: Holborn Station , Covent Garden Station, Temple Station


Dates: 29th March to 7th April 2018


English National Ballet continues its tradition of presenting its My First Ballet series at The Peacock Theatre with an adaptation of Swan Lake. This traditional ballet offers audiences as young as three the chance to see a performance created just for children. A partnership between English National Ballet and the English National Ballet School, it has been shortened from the original length and a narrator will guide the young audience through the story of princess Odette, who was turned into a swan by the evil magician Rothbart. It will be performed by second year students from the English National Ballet School.



A magical journey from Geppetto's workshop to Pleasure Island.

National Theatre: Lyttelton Theatre, South Bank, London, SE1 9PX

Tube: Temple Station , Waterloo Station


Dates: 1st December 2017 to 7th April 2018


After co-writing Matilda the Musical, Dennis Kelly brings Pinocchio to life at the National Theatre, a magical journey from Geppetto's workshop through alpine forests and on to Pleasure Island. The enchanting production is directed by John Tiffany, of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child fame, and features songs and score from the Walt Disney film, including I've Got No Strings, Give a Little Whistle and When You Wish Upon a Star. As an added treat House Restaurant, within the National Theatre, has created a 'Hi-Diddle-Dee Tea' which includes finger sandwiches, stromboli calzones, blue fairy cakes and candyfloss lollipops, timed so you can eat just before the show. Sign up for the special Afternoon Tea and Backstage Tour (35 per person) and you'll get a 90 minute backstage tour revealing everything from rehearsals to props and costume-making.


Colour: The Rainbow Revealed

Peer through a giant human eyeball to discover how we see and interpret colour.

Horniman Museum, 100 Road, London, SE23 3PQ

Tube: Denmark Hill Station


Dates: 10th February to 28th October 2018


Red and yellow and all the colours of the rainbow are explored in an award-winning, family friendly exhibition at the Horniman Museum. Be amazed by how colours are made and perceived in Colour: The Rainbow Revealed which reveals how animals use colour to attract and hide. See how different colours mean many different things for people across the planet. Play interactive games on Art Machine which helps you create your own vibrant masterpiece, visit the Mood Room with multi-coloured lights and the Colour Cafe where you can learn why only certain colours whet our appetites.


Zippos Circus: Legacy

Clowning around: Zippos celebrates the 250th anniversary of circus.

Blackheath Common, Shooters Hill Road, London, SE3 0UA

Tube: New Cross Station (East London line closed. Bus service operates)


Dates: 29th March to 10th April 2018


Celebrating the 250th anniversary of circus entertainment Zippos Circus pays homage to Englishman and impresario Philip Astley. Fittingly, the man who invented circus in 1768 set up his first circus not far from Blackheath. The show, which comes to south east London this Easter, shows the amazing horse acts which thrilled people back in Georgian times, now performed by master equestrians The Khadikov Riders. There's clowning fun from Totti and his wife Charlotte, the brilliant comic acrobat Paulo Dos Santos, daredevil Pablo who will perform high in atop a dazzling space rocket plus Cuban acrobats the Hermansito Troupe, showing off their springboard and Russian Bar skills, and foot juggling from Romy. Perhaps most daring of all will be Alex Michael, the fearless Brazilian aerialist who swings and walks upside down 30 feet above the audience with no safety nets or wires. It's all presented by ringmaster Norman Barrett MBE, with his colourful fun-loving budgies, a perennial hit with adults and children.


Sensational Butterflies

Children can watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.

Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD

Tube: South Kensington Station , Gloucester Road Station


Dates: 29th March to 16th September 2018


From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Natural History Museum comes alive at summer with the arrival of the tropical butterfly house on the museum lawn. A popular family outing for the past 10 years, Sensational Butterflies adds more diversity every year - offering the chance to see the Blue Morpho and butterflies and moths usually seen in Africa, Asia and South America - so even regular visitors can spot new additions. Take on butterfly challenges, try out games and activities as they explore one of the planet's most amazing life cycles. Look into the hatchery window and watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises and experience the magic of walking among hundreds of free-flying tropical butterflies.


The Singing Mermaid

Julia Donaldson's glittering book becomes a stage show for children aged three to eight.

Little Angel Theatre, 14 Dagmar Passage, London, N1 2DN

Tube: Angel Station


Dates: 9th February to 22nd April 2018


Taking Julia Donaldson's glittering picture book, The Singing Mermaid, and turning it into a stage show for young people aged between three and eight, this enchanting story is brought to life at Little Angel Theatre, London's home of puppetry, with music by Barb Jungr. Our golden voiced, fish tailed heroine is tempted away from her home at Silversands to join a travelling circus. But the poor mermaid was tricked; instead of the swimming pool she was promised, she is kept in a small tank by the wicked circus master Sam Sly. Will she return to the freedom of the sea? Most Julia Donaldson fans will know the answer but it certainly won't stop them from coming to see the show.


A World Inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and Other Creatures

Take a trip into the brilliant world of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Discover Children's Story Centre, 383-387 High Street, Stratford, London, E15 4QZ

Tube: Stratford Station


Dates: 21st October 2017 to 15th September 2018


Think there's no such thing as a Gruffalo? Well, there is at Discover where A World inside a Book: Gruffalos, Dragons and other Creatures brings your favourite Axel Scheffler and Julia Donaldson characters to life. Over the Easter weekend, from 30th March to 3rd April 2018, Discover is running film screenings of Donaldson and Scheffler favourite The Highway Rat, voiced by David Tennant and Rob Brydon. You can also explore the immersive walk-through world - enter through a mystery porthole and meet the characters from Charlie Cook (curled up with his favourite book) to The Smartest Giant in Town. The settings include a scaled down town so children can feel like giants, a humungous cow to squash and squeeze around and The Highway Rat's cave with cave paintings and creatures in rocks.


Easter activities at Shrek's Adventure! London

Help deliver the newest addition to the dragon nursery this Easter.

Shrek's Adventure, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB

Tube: Waterloo Station , Westminster Station


Dates: 30th March to 23rd April 2018


Head to Shrek's Adventure! London this Easter to help deliver the newest addition to the dragon nursery where you'll also have the opportunity to bottle feed the baby dragon. During your tour of Far Far Away, you'll come face-to-face with a newly hatched dragon, brought to life by clever puppetry, special effects and a sprinkle of magic. You'll get the chance to capture this rare experience on camera with a selfie before the baby dragons learn to fly away. You can also design your own dragon egg biscuit with a little help from the resident Viking and take inspiration from the Dreamworks movie How to Train Your Dragon, from the deadly Nadder Dragon to the fierce Night Fury.


The Giant Jam Sandwich

What happens when one small village is invaded by four million troublesome wasps?

Pleasance Theatre, Carpenter's Mews, North Road, London, N7 9EF

Tube: Caledonian Road Station


Dates: 4th to 8th Apr 2018


An all-time favourite picture book, first published in 1972, The Giant Jam Sandwich is the madcap tale of the eccentric little village of Itching Down which is invaded by four million troublesome wasps. This colourful and interactive production has been adapted for the stage by New Perspectives Artistic Director Jack McNamara from the book by Janet Burroway and wasp-allergy-sufferer John Vernon Lord. This year the book celebrates its 45th year and this first stage adaptation, suitable for children aged three and above, will ensure it's discovered by a new generation of parents and children when it comes to the Pleasance this Easter.


Matilda the Musical

A magical and multi-award winning West End show guaranteed to delight the whole family.

Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Soho, London, WC2H 9HU

Tube: Covent Garden Station , Leicester Square Station, Tottenham Court Road Station


Dates: 18th October 2011 to 10th February 2019 - Various Times


Roald Dahl. The Royal Shakespeare Company. Tim Minchin. Put them together and what have you got? Matilda the Musical! Based on Dahl's iconic children's book, created by the Royal Shakespeare Company and with lyrics from eye-linered funny-man Minchin, this is truly one of the best shows on at the West End at the moment. Matilda is a five year old with a difference - she can move things with her mind. With horrible parents and an even worse head-mistress, Matilda has to learn to control her gift to turn her life around - as well as the lives of her fellow school children and lovely teacher Miss Honey. No pressure! Laugh-out-loud funny with impressive turns from a young and talented cast, this is guaranteed to delight the entire family - even the grumpy teens. For more West End Shows for Kids see our top picks of the best productions.


Bengali Spring Festival

Free family festival celebrating Bengali culture with live music, dance and henna tattooing.

Museum of London Docklands, No 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, London, E14 4AL

Tube: Canary Wharf Station


Dates: Saturday 31st March and Sunday 1st April 2018


This Easter at the Museum of London Docklands a free family festival celebrates Bengali culture and the upcoming Pahela Baishakh festivities with live music, dance and henna tattooing. Author Shahida Rahman, creator of the award-winning historical novel Lascar, explores the historical links between Bengali travellers and London's Docklands. Short documentary, The Legend of the Loom, reveals the history Bengali fabric. Other family-friendly activities include spring headdress making, printing workshops, Bengali storytelling, poetry workshops and chanachur snack making classes.


Winnie-The-Pooh: Exploring A Classic

Your last chance to see the inspiration behind the Bear of Very Little Brain, closes on 8th April 2018.

Victoria and Albert (V & A) Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL

Tube: South Kensington Station


Dates: 9th December 2017 to 8th April 2018


The V&A invites visitors to experience the timeless and universal appeal of Winnie-the-Pooh with its new exhibition, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic. The exhibition will look at how the much-loved bear has retained its popularity through countless generations and delve into the story behind the creative partnership of A.A. Milne and E.H. Shepherd. Visitors will be able to look through sketches, letters, photographs, cartoons, ceramics and fashion that all contribute to the story of everyone's favourite honey-guzzling bear.

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