Things To Do For Easter Bank Holiday 2017 in London
Easter bank holiday weekend is nearly here, landing on 14th April 2017. So if you're not escaping somewhere sunny in time for Good Friday and Easter Monday, then either stay in London or come for a visit - because there's loads going on. To help you plan for the Easter weekend and see in the first bank holiday since New Year's Day - we've brought together some of the best events in London.
Open air events
Trafalgar Square provides the atmospheric backdrop for The Passion of Jesus, the story of his last days on earth. The vast cast of the Wintershall production, including a donkey and horses, will don authentic costumes to produce realistic scenes of the crucifixion and resurrection. While around 10,000 people are expected for each show on Good Friday (12pm and 3.15pm), the play will also be shown on giant screens so you should get a good view of the actors (free but donations are welcome).
Easter sporting events
The Good Friday Meeting
One of the world's most historic cycling races (older than the Tour de France) will see the best riders pedal their way round the Olympic site at Lee Valley VeloPark. The Good Friday Meeting will see stars from Team GB appear as part of their Rio preparations - don't miss the 15k Golden Wheel scratch race at the finale (tickets from £22).
Things to do with the family for Easter
Extended due to popular demand, the Southbank Centre's Adventures in Moominland takes you on a journey to discover the world of Tove Jansson's iconic characters. Suitable for ages 7+, the exhibition forms part of the year long Nordic Matters Festival, and you can explore all sorts of Scandinavian things around the centre after the tour (Fri-Mon: 10am to 6pm. Tickets from £12: Book here).
You can also go Moomin-spotting at Kew Gardens, where the cuddly characters will be celebrating the arrival of spring by popping up among the flowers. You can also take part in craft workshops and snack on the Moomins' beloved pancakes (Fri-Mon: 10.30am to 4pm, included in entry to the Gardens)
The British Museum is a reliable holiday favourite. But on Good Friday, you can show the kids the collection in an entirely new way as THATMuse will be organising a fun and games-themed treasure hunt, giving you clues to solve by exploring the museum's vast collection. (Friday 5.30pm to 7.30pm, tickets £10-£15 from THATMuse's website).
V&A Museum of Childhood
The Museum of Childhood always puts on a full programme of Easter events in Bethnal Green. This year, you can take part in workshops, inspired by their Searching for Ghosts exhibition, or become a board game piece for an interactive tour/treasure hunt in the Game Plan exhibition (Friday 11am to 4pm, from free). Horniman Museum and Gardens The Easter Fair returns to the gardens. Hop around the grounds with the Horniman Bunny and take art in the Easter egg hunt, there's also street food and drink available and the Farmers' Market is there on the Saturday (Free. Sat-Sun: 10.30am to 4.30pm). You can also visit their latest exhibition, The Robot Zoo (until October 29. Tickets from £7 *concessions available).
Museum of London
Both branches of the MofL have Easter events taking place. In Docklands, take your kids along for a storytelling session, discover the archeology unearthed by Crossrail works, or a jewellery workshop (from free). In the City location you can catch the major Fire! Fire! exhibition in its last few days, and discover more with storytelling and hands-on sessions.
Battersea Park Zoo
Follow the Easter Egg Trail and see which animals have some special eggs in their enclosures (Apr 1-17. cost £1.50 + usual entrance fee)
Bank of England Museum
Follow the trail around the museum to find the giant golden egg in the Chick's Great Escape (kids come away with a chocolate egg) before having a go at creating an Easter animal mask (Apr 3-13th. Easter events and entry to the museum free).
See the spring flowers
Camellias, Crocuses, Daffodils and Magnolia are among the flowers blooming in March - here's our guide to finding Spring flowers in London.
Hampton Court Palace
The gardens of King Henry VIII's favourite palace already have a mysterious maze, thousands of trees and plants and a record-breaking grape vine, however debuting at Easter is a brand new family garden. The Magic Garden, created by Chelsea award winning landscape architect Robert Myers, has been built in His Majesty's former Tiltyard. It includes mythical beasts, battlements, towers and a secret grotto - all inspired by tales of Royal yore.
Easter Music events
Celebrate the long weekend by having a big night out on Thursday. ANTS sees Ibiza club night The Colony come to the Brixton Academy, with a DJ line-up headlined by Eats Everything and Groove Armada (Thurs: Book tickets here).
London International Ska Festival
Brasserie Zedel's Crazy Coqs club is one of Soho's more intimate and elegant concert venues. For a week from Good Friday, it will be staging its first ever musical. Created specially for the venue by Katie Lam and Alex Parker, After You is a modern-day romance, starring Liam Doyle and Laura Tebbutt - who have previously appeared in the likes of Wicked and Les Miserables. (Thursday 13th-Sunday 22nd, £20: Book tickets here).
Take afternoon tea
We've already put together a list of the some of the best afternoon teas in the UK for you to try over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, but there are also several special teas to be found around town.
The May Fair
If chocolate eggs aren't quite enough to satisfy your sweet tooth, head to the May Fair Hotel, to try the Charbonnel et Walker afternoon tea, which gives the May Fair Kitchen's signature Mediterranean-inspired tea a very chocolatey twist (throughout April and May, from £35).
Hotel Cafe Royal
Regent Street's elegant Hotel Cafe Royal will be serving up all sorts traditional Easter treats from their patisserie, from limited edition gateux to simnel cakes and handmade chocolate eggs.
Or grab a bite to eat
The Jam Tree's 6th Birthday Bash
The Chelsea based-bar is turning 6 on Thursday, and will be celebrating in style with a complimentary bellini and hog roast reception, and a DJ set from Made in Chelsea's Alex Mytton. The perfect excuse to start the long weekend a little early. (Thursday 7pm to 2am)
The Cocktail Trading Company Brunch Club
The Cocktail Trading Company will be serving up brunch with a bit of a difference at their Brick Lane branch. Expect a twist on classic breakfast dishes, and delicious Morning Glory cocktails. (Sat-Sun)
Croydon's new Boxpark market is a bit of a foodie destination, and its traders will be offering plenty of Easter specials (we've got our eyes on The Breakfast Club's Creme Egg Pancakes). There'll also be a selection of activities going on over the weekend, with a petting zoo, baby disco and soft play area for the kids, and a performance from the London Street Orchestra, Vinyl Exchange, workshops and talks for music lovers.
Southbank Centre Market
This foodie market is open across the Bank Holiday weekend. Expect the usual artisan produce (Fri: 12pm to 8pm, sat: 11am to 8pm, Sun-Mon: 12pm to 6pm).
Take a walking tour
A springtime wander through the streets of London might be in order this Easter, and you can learn about all things Art Deco over the bank holiday weekend. Tour guide, Yannick Pucci has three different Art Deco tours (Art Deco in the Strand, Sat: 26, Art Deco in Bloomsbury, Sun 27 & Art Deco in the West End, Mon 28) to choose from, and he promises to uncover the secrets behind some very famous buildings. If you'd like to learn about other parts of the city, have a read of our best London walking tours to give you a steer.
Or go on a day trip
If you fancy escaping from the city - check out our 50 day trip ideas from London - you can discover some new places by car or by train. Head down to the seaside town of Margate, its less than two hours by train, and visit one of the oldest pleasure parks in the world, Dreamland (which reopened in 2015 after a major refurbishment).
Essential information for Easter Bank Holiday 2017 in London
For all the latest news and travel, visit the Transport for London website. If you’re planning on spending more than a day in London, then we have plenty of places to stay. Remember to check out the weather forecast – If the sun has its hat on you could make time for a bank holiday booze-up in one of these London beer gardens or if the weather is less kind, we have a plenty of ideas for things to do in London when it rains.