The end is nigh for these long dark nights. The clocks will be springing forward soon, supermarket shelves are brimming with hot cross buns and the daffodils are in full bloom – Hello Easter! Whether you’re heading down to London for an Easter treat or you already live in this glorious city. You need this post in your life.
Already spent too much money on chocolate bunnies? Fear not! London needn’t be as depressingly expensive as people make out. Its oozing with secret delights you can enjoy for absolutely free, you just need to know where to find them! Armed with this guide you can explore the big smoke and give your credit card a well deserved rest.
Leaving you more money to spend on chocolate eggs if you haven’t already OD’d on them (I promised to save you money not watch your waistline). Here are my top seven fabulous freebies:
1. Geffrye Museum
If you love nosing around other people’s homes you’ll love this museum. Housed in a restored 18th century almshouse, it offers a vivid history of English interiors. Providing a glimpse into people’s lifes and discovering how homes have changed over the past 400 years. The series of living rooms date from 1630 to present day. The lovely rear gardens, illustrate the different historical styles of home gardens over the past four centuries. There is also an airy restaurant overlooking this oasis in the middle of Hoxton.
The museum is also offering a host of free Easter holiday activities as part of their ‘Spring has Sprung’ season. From decorating cushions, printing garden inspired canvas bags, decorating wooden bird boxes and baking yummy chocolate treats to name a few. There is something for everyone. Check the website for more details, as some activities are age specific.
When: Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th April (10.30am – 12.30pm & 2 – 4pm)
Where: Geffrye Museum | 136 Kingsland Road |London | E2 8EA
Nearest Tube: Hoxton
2. Bank of England Museum
Housed within the impressive walls of the Bank of England this interesting museum tells the story of the Bank of England from its origins in 1694 to its role in todays economy. Ever wanted to see a one million pound note? Well you can here! There’s even a rare chance to get your mitts on a 13kg gold bar (under the beady gaze of Mr CCTV of course!).
You can join in the ‘EGGcellent’ Easter Adventure’ – A treasure trail around the museum for a giant golden egg and three little chicks, with a chocolate egg for every child that takes part. They can also get creative and decorate an Easter mask of their choice.
There’s plenty of other activities to keep you entertained – safe cracking, banknote jigsaws and a roller ball game
When: Tuesday 29th March – Friday 8th April (10am – 5pm)
Where: The Bank of England Museum | Bartholomew Lane | London | EC2R 8AH
Nearest Tube: Bank
3. Granary Square @ Kings Cross
London’s newest square is now the heart of Kings Cross and the area has plenty to keep you entertained. The fountains in Granary Square are always popular. An incredible 1,080 choreographed jets are each individually controlled and lit. The squirting jets provides endless joy for kids – Just remember to bring a towel and change of clothes! (changing facilities are available on the grounds)
There are tables dotted around the square, so bring a picnic or indulge in the amazing nearby restaurants – Caravan, Dishoom, Yum chaa and The Grain Store.
On top of all this action there are two fabulous events going on over Easter.
Easter Treasure Hunt
Here’s one with a difference. Challenge the kids to find eleven poems hidden around the Kings Cross estate and fill in the missing words. Once your little detective has solved the clues. The maps can be handed into the Visitor Centre for a well deserved Easter reward. The trail starts in Lewis Cubbitt Square and you can download the Easter treasure hunt trail map here
Start this Easter extravaganza at King’s Boulevard where you board the train for a day of family fun. First stop is Granary Square where the giant bunnies are roaming with tasty Easter treats. There’s even a chance to show-off your creative skills and take part in the Japanese kawaii-inspired Easter egg decorating competition. Next is stop is Kings Cross Pond for a Easter egg hunt. The final destination is Skip Garden, where you can meet the resident chickens and you can enjoy one of the garden tours between 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm.
The Easter Train will run from 10am – 4pm. All the events are free, and no booking is required.
When: Thursday 24th – Saturday 2nd April (Easter Treasure Hunt) & Saturday 26th March ONLY (Easter Express)
Where: Granary Square | King’s Cross | London | N1C 4AA
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross
4. Easter Petting Zoo
Paddington – Sheldon Square
A fantastic experience for the whole family. You can get up close and personal to lambs, owls, parrots, South African hedgehogs, meerkats, rabbits and Tony the Pony! You will have a chance to meet and chat to the keepers. A wonderful opportunity to ask all your burning questions!
When: Wednesday 30th March (12 – 2pm)
Where: Paddington Central | Sheldon Square | London | W2 6PY
Nearest tube: Paddington
Dr Zoolittle is in town for two days only! There will be reptiles and creepy crawlies as well as the cute furry guinea pigs, rabbits and cheeky meerkats. A great opportunity to learn about the animal kingdom from the specialist team. An exciting and educational experience for children of all ages and a fun day out.
When: Wednesday 6th – Thursday 7th April
Where: Angel Central | 21 Parkfield Street | Islington | London | N1 0PS
Nearest tube: Angel
5. Fairy School @ Liberty London
My favourite department store of all time is the place for all the little Tinkerbells out there. Fairy School is landing at Liberty’s this Easter. It’s a free event and there will be Easter bonnet making, storytelling and games hosted by a team of fairies full of magical fun.
Plus there will be live illustrating with Niki Groom AKA Miss Magpie Spy on the 22nd & 24th March to book your child’s place for an illustration please call Liberty London on 0207 734 1234.
Like you need an excuse…
When: 22nd, 24th, 29th & 31st March (2 – 4pm)
Where: Liberty London | Childrenswear | Third Floor | Great Marlborough Street | London | W1B 5AH
Nearest tube: Oxford Circus
6. V&A Museum of Childhood
Fancy a trip down memory lane? From 19th century rocking horses, 80s Star Wars figurines to the first Game Boy in the 90s (and everything in between). It’s a guaranteed nostalgia fest.
Over Easter to celebrate the new Bagpuss and Clangers exhibition currently running at the museum which features sets, storyboards, photos and much more. Small Films are hosting a marathon of Peter Firmin and Oliver Postgate’s animated classics. You can get cosy and watch back-to-back screenings and reminisce with Clangers, Bagpuss, Noggin the Nog and Ivor the Engine.
There are also many workshops running throughout the Easter holidays. There is a charge of £5 a child. Please click on the website for more info.
When: Friday 25th – Sunday 27th March (2 – 4pm)
Where: V&A Museum of | Cambridge Heath Road | London | E2 9PA
Nearest tube: Bethnal Green
7. Easter Chocolate Market
Not technically free as you’ll probably want to buy a truckload of these goodies once you’ve sampled them. A decadent Easter chocolate market takes over Duke of York Square for the third year running. There will be plenty of favourite brands and also an opportunity to discover independent artisans. You can feast on treats Diana David’s cranberry and orange slabs, Ameila Rope’s sea salt caramel truffles and pale rose bars or indulge in Hans Sloane’s creamier than creamy hot chocolate made from his dark chocolate hand-made easter eggs.
The chocolate market will run alongside the regular Fine Food market.
When: Saturday 26th March (10am- 4pm)
Where: Duke of York Square | 19 Duke of York Square | King’s Road | SW3 4LY
Nearest tube: Sloane Square
I’d love to know what you get up to this Easter and if you enjoyed any of my top seven Easter freebie treats. Happy Easter all!