The Best of Family Entertainment in April

Eva de Valk

With spring finally underway, there are lots of exciting outdoor activities happening this April. But not to worry: if another snow storm comes our way, there are plenty of warm, indoorsy things to keep the family occupied as well.

He might not come bearing chocolate eggs, but Peter Rabbit’s stay at Kew Gardens over Easter break should nevertheless delight the whole family. Kids can enjoy a bunny ear making workshop, attend storytelling sessions and find out more about how Mr McGregor grows his plants, while adults can take part in a monster vegetable growing class. All activities are included in the standard admission price, which starts at £16 for adults and £4 for children. Peter Rabbit will be in residence at Kew Gardens between 30 March -15 April.

An entirely different way to engage with the great outdoors this Easter break is taking part in one of the National Army Museum’s jungle survival skills workshops. In this day-long programme, families will discover their inner Bear Grylls as they learn what it takes to make it in the jungle. Included in the activities will be a survival essentials game, and the opportunity to design, build and test(!) your own waterproof jungle shelter. We reckon this one’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re up for the challenge, however, you can collect your free ticket for the workshop from the museum welcome desk upon arrival. Jungle Survival Skills runs daily from 30 March -15 April. 
From the hot, humid jungle all the way to Scandinavia: catering to a continued enthusiasm for all things Nordic, the V&A Museum of Childhood is hosting Nordic Design for Children 1900 to Today. Featuring Scandi favourites like Lego, IKEA and Moomin, this exhibition will explore how children have inspired the classic Scandinavian style we’ve come to know and love, and how social theories about children’s rights have influenced Nordic design. The exhibition will be complemented by a range of family workshops and activities. Nordic Design for Children will be on from 30 March -2 September, and admission is free.

One of the big events each April is, of course, the London Marathon. On 22 April, around 40,000 runners will be making their way from the three start lines in Greenwich to the finish on the Mall for this 37th edition. It truly is an impressive spectacle to behold, as well as a good opportunity for all family members to perfect their high five. Bring a funny sign or hand out sweets for bonus points. The route will be lined with big crowds of spectators, so pick your spot carefully. The streets close to the finish line are usually the most densely packed, and you’d be wise to steer clear of Tower Bridge as well.

Another icon having his birthday this weekend is William Shakespeare, and the Globe will be celebrating Will’s 454th with their regular family fun day-cum-birthday party. Head over to the Southbank to sign London’s biggest birthday card, tour the Globe’s outdoor theatre and more family friendly activities. Happy Birthday Shakespeare! is taking place on 22 April.

A more unusual way to spend this weekend would be an outing to Sonica, a festival of sound art taking place in the King’s Cross area. The highlight on the programme will surely be an installation called Slow Pixel, which features a choir of 176 snails who will serenade the audience. We’re not entirely sure how it works either, but aren’t you just dying to find out? Sonica is happening on 20 & 21 April, tickets are £4.50 with family options available.

For some slightly less experimental music, why not take a trip to the Royal Albert Hall to experience Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert. With a live orchestra accompanying the film, it can be a great introduction to classical music for newbies to the genre, as well as an entertaining evening out. Harry will be at home at the Albert Hall from 27 - 29 April, with ticket prices starting at £42.

So grab your wand, put on your hygge socks or don your best lycra for another month’s worth of family fun. 

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