The Velveteen Rabbit
The much-loved children’s book about a much-loved toy rabbit has become a much-loved play, and, such is its popularity, that this is its third run at the Unicorn Theatre since it transferred from Broadway.
The story of a toy rabbit, who longs to be real, has not diminished in charm since it was published in America almost a century ago, and the play’s fantastical super-sized nursery sets really help to propel the imagination.
- The Velveteen Rabbit, Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, London Bridge, SE1 2HZ
- Until 15 April
- Price: £12-£18; under 18s £8-£12
A kaleidoscope of colourful butterfly species from Central and South America, Africa and Asia fly overhead as you follow a trail through tropical flowers, vines and foliage, where you’ll also see glistening chrysalises and hungry caterpillars at feeding stations. Kids can learn about butterflies and study their incredible, intricate patterns under microscopes.
- Sensational Butterflies, National History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
- 31 March to 17 September
- Price: £5.85; family £19.80
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show
On the same subject (art imitating life and all that), Eric Carle’s iconic book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has sold more than 41 million copies, has been reimagined for the stage with his distinctive colourful paper-collage illustrations taking life in the form of 75 puppets.
The Arts Depot is also showing The Tiger Who Came to Tea on 8 to 10 April and a number of other wonderful, child-friendly performances.
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Arts Depot, 5 Nether Street, Tally Ho Corner, North Finchley, London, N12 0GA
- 1 to 6 April
- Price: £8-12
The Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt
Henry VIII’s Tudor Palace is hosting the Gold Bunny Hunt with Swiss chocolatiers Lindt. Visitors can explore the history of chocolate and learn that King George I had his very own chocolate chef at the palace.
Over the first two weekends, families can try their hands at making Georgian chocolate drinks.
- The Palace Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt, Hampton Court, East Molesey, Surrey, KT8 9AU
- 1 to 17 April
- Price: £23; under 16s £11.50
Moomin Adventures at Kew Gardens
Join the Moomins on a botanical adventure in an interactive trail that ends up at the Moomin Festival Camp in Kew’s wild woodland area. There’ll be craft workshops where you can sample Moomin’s beloved pancakes, and children can find out more about spring flowers and conservation in Hemulen’s Herbarium.
For anyone who likes their Easter activities to be chocolate flavoured, there’ll also be Lindt goodies being given away at the gates on Easter Sunday.
- Moomin Adventures at Kew Gardens, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, TW9 3AB
- 1 to 17 April
- Price: £15; children £3.50
London Fire Brigade Pop-up Museum
Inside the old London Fire Brigade workshop, children can check out fire engines, and create their own mini video animations, firemarks and greetings cards.
Given that most toddlers dream of being firemen, it’s a sure-fire hit (excuse the pun). Recommended for children aged over three-years old.
- London Fire Brigade Pop-up Museum, The Workshop, Lambeth High Street, Albert Embankment, London, SE1 7SP
- 5 to 12 April
- Price: Free
Urban Pram Jam
Pram Jam brings together performer Conrad Murray and early-years specialist dancer Laura Mercer for baby beat-boxing, urban music and movement. Recommended for children aged two to five.
- Pram Jam, The Clore Ballroom, Level 2, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth, London, SE1 8XX
- 5 to 12 April
- Price: £5 for one adult and up to two children
Sadler’s Wells Family Weekend
The theatre’s annual family takeover weekend sees the award-winning dance company Aracaladanza, which specialises in shows for younger audiences, take to the stage with Vuelos, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s flying machines and other flights of the imagination. Other activities, art classes and dance workshops will run in the lobby.
- Sadler’s Wells Family Weekend, Sadler’s Well’s Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
- 14-15 April
- Price: £18; children £12
The interactive exhibition features larger-than-life animals, which have been imaginatively created using a variety of familiar machine parts and gadgets. These are used to explain the animals’ unusual abilities, such as chameleons changing colour, bats seeing in the dark and grasshoppers’ ability to jump extraordinarily high. Children can try jet-propelled squid racing, shoot a chameleon’s ‘tongue gun’, and design their own ‘mutant’ robot creature.
- Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, London, SE23 3PQ
- Until 29 October
- Price: £7; children £4; family; £17
Cadbury Eggsplorers Easter Egg Trail
Using the proverbial carrot (or rather chocolate), The National Trust is luring families to its historic properties with over 250 Easter Egg hunts, which it is running in collaboration with Cadbury across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
- Find an Easter Egg hunt near you
- 18 to 21 April
- Price: varies
Easter Art Camp
For Easter fun that don’t involve a sugar rush, the Holburne Museum’s Easter Art Camp is packed with creative activities inspired by the museum’s artworks and exhibitions. Activities include making willow puppets inspired by the characters in Bruegel’s paintings, creating your own stained glass-effect artwork, and going on an animal-sketching hunt around the museum. Suitable for 5 to 11 year olds.
The museum is also running an Easter Eggstravaganza free family workshop on 9 April from 12pm to 4 pm.
- Easter Art Camp, Holburne Museum, Great Pulteney Street, Bath, BA2 4DB
- 10 to 13 & 18 to 21 April
- Price: £38 a day; £20 discount for booking of four consecutive days
Easter at the Eden Project
Easter is taken pretty seriously at the Eden project and its inventive and slightly bonkers games’ repertoire includes the egg scramble in an inflatable ball pool, slide eggs, which involves inflatable slides and egg targets, and nest ball, its very own version of netball.
There’ll also be fairground games, storytelling and the Golden Egg Hunt, with 12 gold-coloured eggs hidden across the Eden landscape every day. On 5, 11, 12, and 15 April, the Eden Project is offering sessions for children with autism spectrum condition, sensory and communication needs or learning disabilities.
- Easter at the Eden Project, Bodelva, Cornwall, PL24 2SG UK
- 1 to 17 April
- Price: £25; children £14; under 4s free; family £69
Easter Trail in the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh
The ‘Botanics Bunny’ has invented a chocolate bar with a very secret recipe, so the premise goes, and children must go on the quest to help him find the missing ingredients. The hunt culminates in the discovery of a chocolate tree in its famous glasshouses.
- Easter Trail at Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, EH3 5LR
- 1-17 April
- Price: £2
The ‘Where is Peter Rabbit? Treasure Trail
Search for one of 100 ceramic eggs created by local artist Sue Dunne and hidden across the Lake District. The treasure trail is navigated with the aid of an interactive map, and is run by The World of Beatrix Potter to raise money for WaterAid.
- The Where is Peter Rabbit? Treasure Trail, Lake District
- 12 April
- Price: £4 donation