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Easter’s big joy (and its biggest challenge!) is that four-day weekend to play with. Add in the school holidays – those little ones will need entertaining – plus some (fingers crossed) glorious spring weather, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect, if potentially hectic, week.
But there’s no need to worry, thanks to the amount of family-friendly activities taking place across the network over the Easter break. We’ve put together some of our favourites below – from London’s amazing Southbank Centre to the heart of Dorset.
What’s on this Easter in London
London always keeps us entertained, and the Easter weekend is no exception. There’s plenty on to keep kids and adults alike entertained!
Zog and the Flying Doctor at the Southbank Centre
Southbank Centre, five minutes’ walk from London Waterloo, southbankcentre.co.uk
Freckle Productions return to the Southbank Centre this easter with Zog and the Flying Doctor, in a family show based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.
Zog, super keen student turned air-ambulance, still lands with a crash-bang-thump. Together with his Flying Doctor crew, Princess Pearl and Sir Gadabout, they tend to a sunburnt mermaid, a unicorn with one too many horns and a lion with the flu.
However, Pearl’s uncle, the King, has other ideas about whether princesses should be doctors, and she’s soon locked up in the castle back in a crown and a silly frilly dress! With a bit of help from some friends and half a pound of cheese, can Pearl make her uncle better and prove princesses can be doctors too?
Take time to reflect at St Paul’s Cathedral
St Paul’s Cathedral, 15 minutes from London Waterloo, stpauls.co.uk
There’s plenty of events to enjoy over the Easter Weekend in London. With Easter being one of the biggest religious events in the UK, there’s no better time to take a moment to reflect and reconnect.
At St Paul’s, as you’d imagine, there’s a lot going on. The whole list is here and it includes three hours of readings and Prayers on Good Friday, where people are invited to come and go as they please from midday, and the Eucharist on Easter Sunday at 11.30, celebrated under the dome with people from around the world.
Join the Very Hungry Caterpillar at Kew Gardens
Kew Gardens, 15 minutes’ walk from Kew Bridge station, kew.org
Based on Eric Carle’s much-loved book, wind through Kew’s stunning landscapes discovering fruit sculptures and following the Very Hungry Caterpillar’s journey to becoming a beautiful butterfly!
While on your wander, you’ll be able to digest facts about the wonder of nature and the close connections between plant and insect life on Earth. You can also explore the seasonal plants in the Gardens, with tulips, bluebells, magnolias, and cherry blossom all bursting to life.
What’s on this Easter in the south west
Go hunting for signs of spring on Brownsea Island
Brownsea Island, 30 minutes from Poole station, nationaltrust.org.uk
Brownsea Island brings the wonder of the wild to life in spring, and a trip to Poole Harbour is even more rewarding than normal as you can enjoy hunting for spring with the National Trust! Use your senses to look and listen to the signs of the island as spring awakens, meet the trees and get active in the outdoors through a series of fun challenges – and claim your chocolatey reward at the end!
Make your own chocolate treats at Spinnaker Tower
Spinnaker Tower, five minutes’ walk from Portsmouth Harbour, spinnakertower.co.uk
Join chocolatier and expert Isabel van Haperen a hundred meters above Portsmouth Harbour as you learn about chocolate-making, and even make your own chocolate lollipop complete with selection of tasty toppings! To finish, you can enjoy the chocolate fountain, as well as the selection of treats to dip into it while enjoying the incredible views from the viewing deck.
Look out for the Easter Detective at Beaulieu
National Motor Museum, 15 minutes by taxi from Brockenhurst station, beaulieu.co.uk
History comes to life at Beaulieu, with a mix of activities for all ages at the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu House. The Easter weekend sees fun easter activities available for kids, with the Easter bunny themselves there to hand out wildflower seeds that you can grow at home! You can also pick up an Easter activity trail on arrival to help you explore, or head to Palace House and discover life in the 19th century with costumed guides and Easter bonnets to try on.
Head to AFC Bournemouth for an Easter Family Fun Day
Vitality Stadium, 15 minutes’ walk from Pokesdown station, afcb.co.uk
AFC Bournemouth’s Easter family fun day returns with guided tours, Easter trails and a Junior Fanzone – as well as a selection of tasty food options and the opportunity to meet birds of prey with Xtreme Falconry.
So, if you’re planning an Easter trip for the family, it’s easy to find a day out that works for you. And with great value fares available, it doesn’t have to break the bank. You can even save a third on grown-ups and 60% on kids fares with the Family and Friends Railcard!