The Sadler's Wells annual Family Weekend is the perfect place to enjoy Easter with fun activities for people of all ages. This time around multi award-winning dance company Aracaladanza takes Leonardo da Vinci's ideas about flight, drawing and human anatomy as inspiration for its new dance theatre production for families, Vuelos. Using wings, horses and playing with perspective, choreographer Enrique Cabrera creates a visually stunning dance that's especially appealing to children. The main show for this year's annual Sadler's Wells Family Weekend, before and after the performance there are free Vuelos-inspired family craft activities using feathers, shapes, paper and colours, suitable for children aged 5 and grown-ups alike.
Easter Family Fun in London
Ballet and free family craft activities using feathers, shapes, paper and colours.
Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Tube: Angel Station
Dates: Friday 14th and Saturday 15th April 2017
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, Holborn, London, WC2A 2HT
Dates: 11th to 22nd April 2017
English National Ballet has partnered with English National Ballet School to produce the My First Ballet series, a number of special performances aimed at children as young as three to introduce them to ballet through the magic of fairytales. Cinderella, the charming tale of rags-to-riches, is performed to music by Prokofiev and accompanied by narration. Tormented by her evil stepsisters, Cinderella dreams of the day she can escape and attend the Prince's enchanting ball. One night, when she's been abandoned for yet more cleaning, Cinderella is visited by her Fairy Godmother and her dreams begin to come true.
Children can watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
Dates: 31st March to 17th September 2017
From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Natural History Museum comes alive this summer with the erection of a tropical butterfly house on the museum lawn. Visitors to Sensational Butterflies will be able to take on butterfly challenges, try out games and activities as they explore one of the planet's most amazing life cycles and experience the magic of walking among hundreds of free-flying tropical butterflies. Not only offering the chance to see butterflies and moths usually seen in Africa, Asia and South America, the display also has a hatchery window where visitors can watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
Hula hooping, bubble blowing and break dancing... it's in a day at the circus.
Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA
Tube: Highgate Station
Dates: 12th - 13th April 2017
Charming circus show from Finnish troupe the Race Horse Company, known for their "madcap brilliance" (Evening Standard), Around is their offbeat new production for children aged 4 and over. Showing at Jacksons Lane in Highgate during the Easter holidays, on 12th and 13th April, it takes us through a day in the life of a circus troupe. Juggling, sword swallowing, hula hooping, bubble blowing and break dancing are performed to a live soundtrack of 80s electronica, banging buckets, guitar and a baritone ukulele. Around is part of Jacksons Lane's Sirkus Finnish Showcase, which celebrates the centenary of Finnish independence.
See if you can master a robotic arm.
National Army Museum, Royal Hospital Road, London, SW3 4HT
Tube: Sloane Square Station
Dates: 1st to 17th April 2017
This Easter head to the newly reopened National Army Museum and see if you can master a robotic arm. The 45-minute sessions are free and, although fun, you'll also discover how the army uses technology. There are three missions to try. Collect Easter eggs using the robotic arm, master the controls and fill a basket without breaking your eggs. Level up and try using a spoon with your robotic arm to fill the basket. Lastly, create a piece of art with the robotic arm. It's the Easter holidays so book early to guarantee a space.
Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB
Tube: Kew Gardens Station
Dates: 1st to 17th April 2017
Coinciding with Adventures in Moominland at the Southbank Centre, the Moomins come to Kew Gardens this April. Moomin Adventures is a three-week Easter festival that sees the Moomins getting up to all sorts of mischief and fun. Among the activities will be an interactive Moomin trail, inviting young visitors to embark on a magical Moomin mission through Kew Gardens to find Hemulen's missing plants. There will also be a Moomin Festival Camp, where you can meet a real-life Moomin costumed character; Marvellous Moomin workshops, from den building to courgette planting; and face painting, providing the chance to get traditional Easter or Moomin themed design. There will also be a specially designed Kew Moomin App to enhance the experience.
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
Dates: 18th October 2011 to 15th October 2017 - 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. You'll be humming the songs for weeks afterwards and if you're not already scared of the inimitable Miss Trunchbull, you will be! All together now, "Bruce, Bruce, Bruce!"
A flotilla of ships, street performers and a grand fireworks finale.
Greenwich, , London, SE10 9HF
Tube: North Greenwich Station
Dates: 12th to 16th Apr 2017
A huge Parade of Sails sees around 30 Tall Ships sail down the Thames in convoy on the Sunday of the Tall Ships Festival which runs over the Easter weekend, from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th April 2017. This year, the festival forms part of the Canadian Confederation 150th anniversary celebrations, with ships sailing from Greenwich to Quebec, passing through Sines, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bermuda and Boston. Over the five days there will be a series of activities in Greenwich, Woolwich and on the River Thames while on Sunday 16th April ships, street performers and a grand fireworks finale will take place. It's a wonderful family day out where children can board some of the ships usually off limits to the general public.
Take the kids to see life-size LEGO models this Easter.
Doon Street Car Park, Upper Ground, London, SE1 9PP
Tube: Temple Station
Dates: 1st March to 15th October 2017
A life-size Batmobile, built from half a million LEGO bricks, is just one of the 120 models on display in The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes. Superman, Wonder Woman and all the super heroes are here, in a specially built space in the Doon Street Car Park on the South Bank. DC Super-Villains the Joker, Harley Quinn and others have all been built out of LEGO by former lawyer turned artist Nathan Sawaya who, like so many of us, started playing with LEGO toys at an early age but he has taken his hobby one step further and his touring exhibitions have been seen by millions of visitors worldwide. Visitors also have a chance to create their own masterpieces in an Interactive Zone - on seeing Sawaya's creations you're sure to be inspired.
Discover the 500-year story of humanoid robots at this major exhibition.
Science Museum, Exhibition Road, London, SW7 2DD
Tube: South Kensington Station
Dates: 8th February to 3rd September 2017
Showcasing the evolution of modern robotics from a 1582 iron manikin to one of the first walking two-legged robots, the Science Museum's new exhibition explores the deep-seated drive to recreate ourselves and how robots have been shaped by religious belief, the industrial revolution, 20th century popular culture and dreams of the future. Robots will reveal the remarkable 500-year story of humanoid robots with over 100 robots on display, 12 of which will be working models that you might get to interact with. In addition to the exhibition, the Science Museum has also launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £35,000 to rebuild the UK's first humanoid robot, Eric. If successful, Eric will form the centrepiece of the Robots exhibition.
Get an up close and personal view on what it's like to be an animal.
Horniman Museum, 100 Road, London, SE23 3PQ
Tube: Denmark Hill Station
Dates: 11th February to 29th October 2017
The Robot Zoo, which had a successful UK debut here in 2009, returns to the Horniman to give us an up close and personal view on what it's like to be an animal. There are eight larger than life mechanical creatures at the zoo, and each comes with a fun, hands-on way to help kids get to know them better. You'll get the chance to camouflage yourself like a chameleon, hang like a bat and see how a squid uses its suckers. You can use a computer to colour the chameleon or the trigger gun to activate his sticky, insect-grabbing tongue. It's a great way to learn about nature, without seeing the real thing - after all, getting this close to a live rhinoceros would be a bit risky. The Horniman is also putting on a series of special events around the exhibition including free half term crafting sessions and an adults only late night opening on Thursday 2nd March.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Sadler's Wells Family Weekend: Aracaladanza - Vuelos
My First Ballet: Cinderella
Race Horse Company: Around
Robotics Easter Challenge
Matilda the Musical
Royal Greenwich Tall Ships
The Art of the Brick: DC Super Heroes
The Robot Zoo
Easter in London 2017
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