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Have a cracking time! Fun ideas for the Easter holidays

29 March, 2018

Crack clues and find eggs at Kenwood House

• Fancy yourself as a bit of Sherlock? Kenwood House is hosting an Easter egg hunt that relies a little more on brain power than simply turning over, looking behind and peeking under. They’re challenging you to crack the clues in a special Easter quest at the Grade I-listed house. Starting in the Orangery, follow the trial and decipher the answers relating to Kenwood’s history to claim your chocolate prize. The event runs every day over the weekend and the final entry time is 3.15pm. Kenwood House, Highgate, NW3 9JR, 0370 333 1181,

•Calling all dogs – and dog lovers, dog owners, and bemused passers by! Brilliant Dartmouth Park boozer, the Dartmouth Arms in York Rise, NW5, is hosting a fancy dress competition for the area’s swankiest mutts on Saturday (March 31). The show starts at noon and if the Dog Show at the pub’s street party, which takes place in September, is anything to go by there will be some serious competition for the best heeled, four-legged friend out there. The Dartmouth is a top community pub with delicious food and lovely drink – so kick back with your little ones and watch a parade of hilariously decked out pooches strut their stuff on the pub’s cat – or should that be dog – walk.

• Head down to King’s Cross over the weekend where the bright and starry-eyed students of Central St Martin’s have designed what sounds like London’s coolest, trendiest and most arty egg hunt (Good Friday, 12-3pm). Add to the mix a flock of sheep and face painting and you have every thing you need to welcome in the Spring – including the gorgeous Handyside canopy covering much of the area. So if the British weather conspires to turn the day into a traditionally wet British bank holiday, it won’t dampen the fun. And across the weekend, the marvellous House of Illustration is inviting people in to create their own Easter Bunnies from Easter themed fabrics (Fri-Sun 12-2pm). On top of all this, there is a market to entice you into buying plenty of chocolate eggs… Check out the website to see everything on offer:

• Heading a little north, Camden Market is hosting a number of child friendly events, including a full catalogue of dance and exercise classes right through to children’s healthy eating workshops to work off the choc. Hosted by Camden Council and Camden Street Moves, it runs from Wednesday April 4 to Friday April 6 in Camden Market.

Other events around and about:

Library Legends, April 12, 11am-12.30pm.

Kevin Graal leads a storytelling session on April 12

Families are welcome throughout the year to engage in creative activities inspired by the British Library’s collection and exhibitions. Everyone’s welcome and they boast that they won’t ever ask you to keep the noise down. As part of the Library Legends series, on April 12 visitors can join Kevin Graal for a fun storytelling session. Enjoy a mesmerising mix of fact and fiction with a close-up look at some of the Library’s collection, from treasures of the sound archive to books, stamps, maps and manuscripts, all with extraordinary stories to tell. Free / drop in / Ages 5-11. No need to book but places are limited to 40 people per workshop and allocated on a first come, first served basis.
• Library Legends, April 12, 11am-12.30pm in the Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre at The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB. Admission free, 01937 546546, Details of all family events at:



The Palace of Westminster is open for tours of the Commons Chamber, Lords Chamber and medieval West­min­ster Hall. They include 90-minute family-guided tours in the company of a Visitor Assistant – which are aimed at the 7 to 12 age group. All children go free (adults £18.50/£16 concessions). Upcoming family-guided tours take place from April 3-13. See the website for full details of ways of getting to know what happens inside Parliament.
Back for Easter is Unlock Parliament “immersive experience”  – Mysterious ‘Agent N’ will set a series of puzzles and clues which have to be solved in order to move a new Bill through Parliament. This is a fun activity designed for families with children. It runs from April 3-7 (10.30am, 12 noon, 2.15pm and 3.45pm) and kids go free (adults £18.50). Details at:
• Full details of all visits and to book, call 020 7219 4114, online


Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine: Pirates of the Carabina
Roundhouse, April 3-15

Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine at the Roundhouse

Part of CircusFest 2018, this Roundhouse show is exhilarating and funny, with an animated set and live score. Relentless Unstoppable Human Machine delves into the fantastical lives of two fated neighbours. In the course of a day’s misadventures, they journey beyond the routine of everyday existence, discovering surprising new connections with the world, and with each other. Featuring vertical-swinging trapeze, never-ending ropes, a spinning carousel, and a temp­era­mental staircase, this is a parable about the futility of grand plans and the joys of giving in to imagination..
• Roundhouse, Chalk Farm, NW1 8EH, 0300 6789 222, Ages 5+, under-16s must be with an adult,
Ducketts Common, Haringey
Roll up! Roll up! Daredevil performers from around the globe are merging Las Vegas traditions and contemporary styles with extreme strunts and classic clown escapades in the Big Top in neighbouring Haringey.
• Circus Vegas is in Ducketts Common, Turnpike Lane /Green Lanes, Haringey N4, until April 8. Box office 07904 428555 and 07904 424848,

Transformation: Free Easter holiday activities (age 2-16), April 4-6, 10.30am-4pm

Make insect wings and enjoy the Geffrye garden. Photo: Geffrye Museum

The Geffrye is changing and so is the natural world around us – especially at springtime, when gardens burst back into life. Enjoy free creative activities on the theme of transformation: make a butterfly tote bag, mini museum, metamorphosis animation or insect wings to flutter around the garden with!
The main museum is now closed for a transformational development project but the beautiful front gardens remain open. Activities will take place in a tent in the garden or in the art room – but please be prepared for the weather. A family-friendly food and drink pop-up will be outside – or bring a picnic to eat on the lawn. Full details on the website:
Drop-in activities, no need to book. Places for timed workshops are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes before each activity. Children under 11 must be with an adult.
• Geffrye Museum, 136 Kingsland Road, Hoxton, E2 8EA. Hoxton Overground station directly behind the museum., 020 7739 9893,
Wonderlab: The Statoil Gallery

Experiments to spark amazement at Wonderlab

See lightning strike before your eyes, play with forces on giant slides, travel through space under a canopy of stars… this interactive gallery houses more than 50 exciting exhibits, shows and demon­strations across seven different zones, with lots of opportunity to get hands-on with real scientific phenomena.
• Science Museum, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, SW7, open daily 10am-6pm, day passes from £8, 0333 241 4000,


Inspired by Nature, April 2-13, 11am-4pm.
Young visitors to the museum can be inspired by the colours and shapes of flowers and plants, explore different natural materials for crafts and enjoy folk stories from Nordic countries.
See the website for details of drop-in and bookable workshops for all age groups.
While you’re there catch the new exhibition Century of the Child: Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today, which runs till September.
• Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2, 9PA, Admission free, open daily,

Creating thrills and skills for life

Reach for the stars at the Pauline Quirke Academy

The Pauline Quirke Academy is a weekend performing arts school for 4 to 18-year olds – and the newest Academy is opening in King’s Cross on Saturday May 12. Students spend three hours rotating through hour-long sessions in Comedy & Drama, Musical Theatre and Film & Television. Specialist modules, packed full of tips that Pauline has learnt from over 50 years in the business, will teach you everything you need to know to act, sing, dance or direct like a professional.
• PQA Islington is holding a free open day on Saturday May 12 from 8.45am-12pm at the brand new studios in Pentonville Road in King’s Cross. More information at or call 020 8017 1085.

• Looking ahead to the summer holidays, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts is running Summer Boot Camps in Acting and also in Musical Theatre, from July 23-August 10. Mountview has trained many of top stage and screen actors including Ken Stott, Brendan Coyle, Eddie Marsan and Douglas Henshall. The training weeks are aimed at the 17-plus age group. More details at or call 020 8826 9217.


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