Easter 2017 – Head for the big smoke this Easter
A trip to London could be just what the doctor ordered. Move over healthy bracing walks, farm parks and country pubs, bring on the bright lights, thumping music, sexy cocktails, 5 Hertford Street, Loulous…Sorry, got a bit carried away there. As the kids are off school and most likely in tow, how about clashing swords at the Tower of London? Fighting fire at the Museum of London? Stuffing your face at The Chocolate Museum? Now that’s more like it..
Armoury in Action, Tower of London, throughout April
Shoot arrows, build firearms, brandish swords, stick your youngest in the dungeon, all that good stuff. We at Muddy Wilts hadn’t been to the Tower for years but it was way better than we remembered. We even managed the crown jewels and the exact, the exact, mind, spot where Anne Boleyn met her headless end. 1000 years of history neatly packed into an afternoon out. Tick.
Fire, Fire! Museum of London, to 17 April
We’re going to London, to buy Heat Magazine! We’re going to….OK, OK, it’s for an exhibition. But this is a goodie – a fab temporary exhibit showing how London rose from the ashes of the Great Fire 350 years ago. Step into Pudding Lane and see what life was like for ordinary Londoners in the 17th century, see how the flames spread across the city, experience the destruction through the eyes of people who were there at the time, all that good stuff. I’ve got my tix and I ain’t missing this one.
The Chocolate Museum, throughout April
The Mudlets can follow a chocolate filled interactive trail (yum), experience a sensory-stimulating journey through the evolutionary world of chocolate (double yum), even join a chocolate making workshop and take home a handmade Easter egg (triple…you get the picture.) The museum’s raison d’etre is to inspire a passion for learning about chocolate, the history of chocolate, even memorabilia of sweet treats, but forget about that, what about giving me SOME OF IT TO EAT? Panic not – there’s a cafe and a shop selling oodles of it so you can stuff your face.
Cartoon Museum, throughout April
Dandy, The Beano, Rupert the Bear, Dan Dare, Judge Dredd…’Before my time!’ you hear me cry. Even if I proclaim (ahem) not to have heard of these treasures, I reckon the kids will love it. There’s a whole new satire section at this fab museum, and they are holding children’s animation workshops throughout the Easter hols.
The Story of Royal Chocolate, Hampton Court Palace, to 16 April
Find out how kings and queens enjoyed their chocolate (not sure how it’s different from you or me), hunt for golden bunnies around the palace and grab yourself a bunny prize. There’s chocolate involved…surely that’s all you need to know.
Science Museum, throughout April
Masses on at this ever brilliant museum – spend the whole day here – including the new exhibit of Tim Peake’s Spacecraft – Soyuz TMA-19M. Also on is a brand new exhibition Robots, which reveals our 500-year quest to make machines human, from a 16th century mechanised monk to some of film’s most iconic robotic creations and the very latest humanoids. Finally, your kids will love Wonderlab, the newest and most spectacular interactive gallery in the world.
Sensational Butterflies, Natural History Museum, throughout April
Is it a butterfly? Is it a moth? Escape into the tropical butterfly house and get up and personal with these incredible critters, usually found in the tropics of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
My First Ballet: Cinderella, The Peacock Theatre, 11-22 April
Everyone’s favourite rags-to-riches story, in a beautifully adapted ballet version for children aged three upwards. Cinderella is tormented by her stepsisters and she can only dream of attending the Prince’s glamorous ball. Abandoned to an evening of drudgery, she is visited by her Fairy Godmother who transforms her into a glittering Princess. The Peacock Theatre at it’s pirouetting, prancing, dancing best.
Annie, Piccadilly Theatre, London, from 23 May
Heads up on this one – tickets are going fast so book yours now to see comedy megastar Miranda Hart high kicking, falling over and passing out as Miss Hannigan. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some legwarmers to put on…
Adventures in Moominland, Southbank Centre, to 23 April
An immersive, interactive exhibition of the Moomin family – join Moominpappa, Moominmamma and all the little Moomintrolls through Moominland. This one is cool – you can actually clamber through forests, huddle in caves or set sail on the high seas. This exhibition has been a roaring success, but it’s got to end soon!
Robot Zoo, Horniman’s Museum, London SE23, until Sun 29 Oct
It doesn’t get much cooler than a robotic zoo. Let’s be fair it needs to be impressive to schlep deep into south east London. But it’ll be worth it to see a robotic rhino, a squid with 18-ft tentacles and a mahoosive house fly with a vacuum cleaner for a mouth at the Horniman’s Museum in Honor Oak. All the robot animals are made from everyday machines and gadgets. Through interactive games and challenges the creations will reveal how real anatomy works. How cool is that? Plus this museum with its quirky exhibits and large cafe and terrace is a big favourite with families at any time.
Ocean Invaders, Sea Life London Aquarium, London SE1
The London Aquarium never disappoints. The beautiful, bonkers and plain ugly get the full point and stare treatment. This month jellyfish joins the celebrity gold fish bowl with a new permanent exhibition dedicated to Ocean Invaders’. Discover the most dangerous species and create our own digital jellyfish. It’s cheaper to book in advance, £19.50 for adults, £14.50 under 16s and under 3s for FREE!
The Sherlock Holmes Experience, London
Sherlock fans are gonna love the new Sherlock Holmes Experience at Madame Tussaud’s in London – it’s a brilliant, interactive and visually stunning, live walk-through adventure that’s been developed with the super-cool theatre company, Les Enfants Terrible. What’s not to like!
Tall Ships Regatta, Greenwich
Over the Easter weekend, 13 – 16 April, more than 30 majestic sailing vessels will be in action along the Greenwich and Woolwich riverfronts at the Tall Ships Regatta, with some ships open for visitors to get on board to look around and talk to the crew.
Two new reasons to visit the amazing London Zoo: Land of the Lions is a brand new immersive exhibit with walkways from where you can explore Indian-themed areas – including a train station, crumbling temple clearing, high street and guard hut. Between 1 – 17 April, there’s a special celebration of 35 years of Rod Campbell’s cult kids’ book Dear Zoo with interactive trails and activities and storytelling. No extra charge – it’s all included in entry to the Zoo.
Forbidden Forest at Harry Potter, Warner Brothers Studios
Brand new in time for the Easter Holidays, the Forbidden Forest sounds magical – filled with 19 trees with diameters of over 12 feet, you can wander arounds the giant entwined roots, meet a full-sized model of Buckbeak, and even control the weather using techniques created by filmmakers. The Forbidden Forest’s included in the ticket price and you can easily spend a day here. Sarah who helps me on Muddy found it one of the best day trips she’d ever done for her whole family, and there are a couple of decent cafes as you go round to sustain you through the tour.
The Moomin Easter Festival at Kew Gardens
Look for Moomintrolls in the trees at Kew on the interactive Moomin trail from 1 – 17 April among spring daffodils and crocuses ending at a magical ‘Moomin Camp’ in the wild woodland of the Conservation Area. Lots of tasty delights at pop-up shops and restaurants there just for the festival and a Moomin Lindt chocolate trail on Easter Sunday.
Jurassic Kingdom at Osterley Park, Middlesex
From 1 – 17 April, the grounds of Osterley Park will be the first stop for the UK tour of Jurassic Kingdom, Amongst the grounds and gardens, there’ll be 30 full-sized, animated dinosaurs with electronic moving part including jaws opening wide with roaring sound effect!
Urban Festival, Southbank, London
Breakdancing battles, dance residencies, workshops, lots of free family events, workshops and parties at the South Bank Centre’s Urban Festival showcasing the best in street culture from 1 – 17 April.
Staying closer to home? You’ll need our Muddy Guide for Wiltshire this Easter