One of the reasons I moved back to London was because of the sheer amount and variety of things to do every week over here. The saying is definitely true – when you are tired of London you are tired of life. I may be tired, but I definitely am not tired of life – and I could never be tired of London.
I’m not going to list every event/festival/exhibition going on in London here. That would take far too long… Also, I’m not interested in every upcoming event – just those events that will be good for the kids, that you can take your kids along to or that you and your significant other can enjoy on a “date”.
Its Spring! After what has felt like the longest Winter ever, the sun has decided to finally make an appearance so its time to brush off the cobwebs and spring into action! With Mothers Day and Easter on this month, there are a whole host of events to get you moving (literally – which is just as well considering how much chocolate you’ll be eating this month). Check out what goodies are on offer here:
16 – 17 March 2013 – Tiger Tracks “Tiny Tigers” Weekend
St Pancras International is hosting the world’s largest public event to save wild tigers at Tiger Tracks. This weekend is full of free fun for the whole family where kids can learn about the majestic wild tiger and enjoy craft and dance workshops and performances, Indian drummers, face painting and even a tiger treasure hunt. There will also be a “Reading Jungle” with a rolling programme of readings by top children’s authors. You can’t go wrong here – support a good cause and entertain the kids at the same time!
17 March 2013 – St Patricks Day Festival
There is a special day in March that I forgot to mention in my intro for the month: St Patricks Day! This year, St Patricks Day falls on Sunday 17 March and you can celebrate it at the pub, or by attending the annual St Patricks Day Parade. If you have little Leprechauns, the parade might be a better bet! It begins at midday in Piccadilly and proceeds to Trafalgar Square where the whole family can enjoy the free St Patrick’s Day Festival until 6pm. There will be Irish dancing, a comedy tent hosted by the London Irish Comedy Festival, and a film tent showing film shorts by Irish filmmakers. If that’s not enough to entice you, there will also be a food market where you can have the chance to sample produce from the Emerald Isle. Look out for The Puca, a giant inflatable dragon, which will be winding its way through the streets during the parade!
21 – 24 March 2013 – The Vitality Show
If you find Spring has rolled around and you don’t quite have a spring in your step, then you may want to grab a few girlfriends for a bit of mummy time at the Vitality Show at Earls Court. With exhibitors and experts from the world of health and nutrition, beauty, fitness and wellbeing, this feel-good event for women, just got even bigger. There are hundreds of new beauty products to try, over 60 free fitness classes and more than 30 free hours of expert advice. Save 68% off your ticket here.
22 – 24 March 2013 – Chocolate Festival at Southbank Centre
It wouldn’t be Easter without a Chocolate Festival at Southbank Centre. This is a great warm-up to the big Easter long weekend of chocolate eating. Admission is free for the whole family, and once you’re in, you’ll be able to join free tutored chocolate tastings, discover how to make cocoa butter beauty products, create your perfect chocolate bar and basically, just eat chocolate, which really is the only reason why you would go to an event like this in the first place. Well, that would be my only reason. Although, with chocolatier greats like L’Artisan du Chocolat, The Chocolatier, Chocolate & Love, Hotel Chocolat, Demarquette, Rococo Chocolates and many more, you may want to pick up a few Easter treats for someone other than yours truly this Easter. How you’ll resist the temptation to tuck in on the tube on the way home, I don’t know…
23 – 24 March 2013 – The Telegraph Cruise Show
If you’ve ever considered going on a cruise, or if you are an annual cruise goer, then you may want to check out the Telegraph Cruise Show at London Olympia. You will be able to meet all the major cruise operators and specialists under one roof and save thousands of pounds with exclusive show only offers. Tickets cost £6 in advance here.
27 March – 7 April 2013 – My First Cinderella
Run by the English National Ballet, My First Cinderella is part of the My First… series of ballets, designed to introduce children to the world of ballet. Each production has been created specifically with children in mind and are simplified versions of the classic fairytales. My husband and I took our then 1 year old and 3 year old girls to My First Sleeping Beauty last year and it was a huge hit! The girls dressed up in their ballet costumes and sat still for the whole performance. They were absolutely mesmerised by the magical settings and lavish costumes. So were we! A bit of culture for the whole family, a family ticket for groups of 4, including at least two children cost £55 (£49 on previews). Children under 2 go free. Book here.
28 March – 31 March 2013 – Free chocolate at the London Eye
Well, its not exactly free, you still have to pay to go on the London Eye, but if you do, you can score a free chocolate egg courtesy of Hotel Chocolat. Kids will love Edwin the Easter Rabbit who will welcome you aboard with his very own Chocolate Easter Egg Factory. If you haven’t been on the London Eye, then this would be a good time to take the whole family!
29 March – 1 April 2013 – Easter Egg Trails
Who can resist an Easter Egg hunt? Not me! Cadbury and the National Trust team have teamed up to offer Easter egg trails at over 250 National Trust sites across the UK. These trails are perfect for the whole family – while the kids are off hunting for eggs you can meander through the beautiful heritage properties. A win-win! For the closest trail near you, check out the website here.
29 March – 1 April 2013 – Cutty Sark Easter Egg Hunt
The Cutty Sark in Greenwich has a free Easter egg hunt for all visitors (admission fee). The Cutty Sark’s chickens have been laying their eggs in some strange places…how many can you spot around the ship? Why not make a day of it and check out the National Maritime Museum, the Old Royal Naval College and the Greenwich Market! A great day out for the whole family (weather permitting!).
29 March – 1 April 2013 – Easter fun at the V&A Museum of Childhood
Take your pick from Bunny stories, games, Easter egg basket making and the obligatory egg hunt over the long Easter weekend. For more information check out the website here.
29 March – 14 April 2013 – Easter at London Wetland Centre
If the London Wetland Centre has never really appealed to you, maybe it will now that there may be a bit of chocolate involved. Kids can go an Easter egg hunt, get creative and design their own eggs or wander the centre’s paths to discover the nesting and spawning secrets of wetland wildlife. Games include a life-cycle relay race, egg and spoon race and egg rolling. There’s also ‘Life Under the Surface Project’ (April 3-5) led by the Froglife team who will help you create a pond scene sculpture with aquatic animals and plants.
29 March – 14 April 2013 – Clapham Common Easter Funfair
If your kids have had a bit too much chocolate to eat at Easter, then you may want them to run off their sugar fueled frenzy at the Easter Funfair at Clapham Common. A great day out for the whole family, the kids will have a fantastic time riding the dodgems, a carousel, T cups, a Disney train, inflatable slides and if they’re game, the big apple coaster! With its new value for money wristbands, parents can pay one upfront fee and children can go round and round until their hearts content (or until their stomachs can’t take any more!). Wristbands cost £7.99 for riders over one metre tall, £5.99 for those under one metre. Rides are free for wristband wearers. Entry for those without a wristband who don’t want to ride is £2.50. If you want to combine the fun of the fair, with a bit of history (and Punch and Judy), you may want to take the kids to the “Great” Easter Fair at Hampton Court which is on from 29 March to 2 April.
29 March – 14 April 2013 – Easter Events at Kew Gardens
The Easter celebrations continue, this time at Kew Gardens where the whole family can discover the history of chocolate. Children will learn how chocolate originated in the Mayan and Aztec civilisations and how it was introduced to Europe. Tickets cost £16 for adults and children are free. If history isn’t really your thing, but chocolate is, make sure you take the kids to the Easter Egg Hunt on 31 March where they can collect tokens from around the Gardens to pick up their prize (a delicious chocolate treat from the Easter Bunny!). For 50% off tickets for entry to Kew Gardens until 31 March, check out this offer until 6 March from Time Out here.
Easter long weekend sorted.