March 25, 2024

Easter Holiday Special

From egg hunts to indoor gaming, Angelina Villa-Clarke finds the best fun-fuelled activities to keep all-ages entertained during the Easter holidays.

Best for toddlers:
The Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt at Hampton Court Palace

Let little ones explore the historic grounds of Hampton Court Palace to find Lindt gold bunny statues hidden away amid the palace’s spring blooms. Follow the trail of golden daffodils and rainbow-hued tulips (the Palace’s famous Tulip Festival also starts on 15 April) and when you find each bunny, you can match the names of influential characters from Henry VIII’s reign to the red ribbons found around their necks. 
23 March – 14 April; from £13.60 per child and £27.20 per adult, children under five go free;

Best for 5-10-year-olds:
Spring Family Fun at the Southbank Centre

This spring, the Southbank Centre comes alive with an imaginative calendar of theatre, music and nature events. The fantastical Dragons and Mythical Beasts (3-7 April, from £14, ages 3+) is an award-winning show, direct from the West End, that brings spectacular puppets of monsters and beasts to life. The family version of Simmer Down (29 March, free, for all ages) is a reggae-fuelled, daytime dance party in collaboration with Tomorrow’s Warriors, a leading talent development agency, specialising in jazz and musical fusion. In The Spring Garden (3 April, free, for all ages), meanwhile, is perfect for budding gardeners and artists, as it allows visitors access to the Southbank’s roof garden for spring-inspired outdoor activities.

Best for pre-teens:
Easter Trail at Polesden Lacey

With its manicured gardens giving views across the rolling Surrey Hills, Easter is the perfect time to explore the National Trust property that is Polesden Lacey. Keeping younger children happy is a new Easter trail: Cooking up a Feast with Grizwald the Griffin. Children follow the interactive path around the grounds, to ‘help’ Grizwald cook his feast, with plenty of fun activities on the way plus a chocolate Easter egg reward at the end. As well as the Edwardian mansion house to mooch around – once the country retreat of socialite, Margaret Greville – there is also the Kestrel Corner play area, with swings, tunnels and giant nests, for children to enjoy.
23 March – 21 April; £3 plus admission charge;

Best for 8-15-year-olds:
Ancient Rome Sleepover at the British Museum 

This special overnight event allows history buffs to snooze next to mummies or doze off by incredible painted tombs. Allowing youngsters an unforgettable night at the iconic British Museum, the event includes workshops, activities and storytelling designed to bring the past to life. The sleepover takes place in the Egyptian and Assyrian galleries, surrounded by kings and gods from the ancient world. In the morning, after breakfast, there’s the chance to explore the museum’s latest exhibition Legion: Life in the Roman Army, with a special Horrible Histories trail, before the museum opens to the public.
9-10 March and 13-14 April; all children must be accompanied by an adult; from £65 per child/adult;

Best for teens:
GoBoat, Thames Ditton

For those wanting a family adventure with a difference, GoBoat allows you to take to the water, letting you be the captain of your own ship. The company has a new base in Thames Ditton, from which you can hire your own electric-powered boat. Big enough for up to eight people, the boats are easy to sail, making it simple to navigate Surrey’s picturesque waterways. Sail along the Thames, passing by Hampton Court Palace, Thames Ditton Island and Teddington Lock, with herons and kingfishers as your natural companions.
£95 for one hour;

Best for older teenagers:
Toca Social at the O2

Aimed at groups of football lovers, the neon-lit Toca Social offers immersive pitches where players can take part in football skills challenges. Testing shooting accuracy and tactics, players can choose different ability levels and a variety of games and keep score on hi-tech screens. As well as a photo booth to record the merry memories, DJs to provide a soundtrack and an Americana menu for refuelling, (think: fried chicken, jerk burgers and loaded fries), Toca Social is all about super-charged holiday fun for groups of older kids, as well as younger ones accompanied by an adult.
From £12 per person;

Best for all ages:
Easter Classic Gathering at Brooklands Museum

A joy for classic car fans, this family event sees hundreds of iconic vehicles converge at Brooklands Museum. Soak up the collection of vintage motors, as well as modern sports cars and supercars, parked across the historic site. There’s live music, BBQ and food stations and a trader’s village to browse. Also taking place will be an Easter Egg Trail (29 March – 14 April). Each of the eggs is decorated with a letter which spells the name of a famous exhibit at Brooklands. Speed is of the essence.
30 March; from £10.45 per child and £24.95 per adult (includes admission to the museum);

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