The whole weekend
EASTER WEEK END: Here’s our selection of London Easter events, from bunny hunts and adventure quests to spring fairs and live music. Don’t forget to check for transport disruptions before you go, as station and line closures and engineering works take place over the Easter weekend.
EASTER HOLIDAYS: Do you lack the means to occupy the children while they are not at school? You need our guide to spending the Easter holidays in London, which includes exhibitions, shows and other family activities for children of all ages.
HOLIDAY WEEKEND: If all the bunny and egg stuff isn’t quite for you, but you still have a long weekend to make the most of, check out our favorite things to do in London over the bank holiday weekend. It covers cultural outings, long walks, the great outdoors, sports, family fun and more.
DAY TRIPS: If you want to leave London altogether, take a look at our map which is full of day trip ideas. From seaside days to niche museums to nearby towns to explore, there’s plenty to inspire.
CHOCOLATE SHOPS: I don’t know if we mentioned it, but it’s Easter this weekend. If a supermarket egg isn’t enough, scour London’s best chocolate shops for cocoa-based treats to delight the recipient (or yourself…we won’t tell).
LAST CHANCE BACON: It’s the final weekend of Francis Bacon: Man and Beast at the Royal Academy of Arts, a heavy exhibition of the artist’s paintings that has had a lasting emotional impact on our art critic. Royal Academy, £22 to £24.50, Reserve in advance, until April 17
MAGNIFICENT CARDS: The new Magnificent Maps of London exhibition opens this week, showcasing maps of the capital from the 16th century to the present day, including the oldest complete map of London. Other cartographic gems on display include 19th-century engravings used to track the spread of diseases like cholera and a 1912 tube map. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, just show up, April 11-October 16
WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS: Ogle portrait, landscape, architecture, wildlife and street photography by talents from over 200 countries worldwide. Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition – it’s the first weekend of the show. Somerset House, £15, Reserve in advance, April 13-May 2
SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL: A exhibition dedicated to miniature art opens in South Kensington, with 130 small works of art on display, as well as photographs. Artists play with objects such as candies, toys and crayons to create miniature scenes. 79-85 Old Brompton Road, £16, Reserve in advance, from April 15
FREE BOOK FESTIVAL: The Free Books campaign – which aims to provide books by authors of color to those who cannot afford them – is organizing a Free Book Festival. Expect lectures, workshops and plenty of free books for all ages. Authors Caleb Nelson and Paula Akpan are among those making an appearance. Copeland Gallery (Peckham), free, Reserve in advance, April 16-17
saturday april 16
LEARN TO PLAY: Want to take up a new hobby? Yamaha Music London Deals free music lessons for one day, for people of all ages and abilities. Get a taste of the piano, drums, violin, guitar and bass, saxophone or trumpet during these free lessons given by professional teachers – you never know, you might discover a hidden talent you never knew you had. didn’t suspect. Yamaha Music London (Soho), free, show up (arrive early, as it’s first come, first served and will be popular), 10.30am-4.30pm (sponsor)
ANIMATED MOVIES: This week’s Family Film Club is a London International Animation Festival Special. Take the kids to watch a series of eight animated films, each lasting 6 to 16 minutes. Barbican Cinema, £3.50 adult / £2.50 child, Reserve in advance, 11 a.m.
DISCO POWER PEDAL: Take the whole family to a different nightclub – you power the music. Static bikes are installed at Southbank Center, and using them generates the power to keep the music playing – great if you’re looking for a way to tire your kids out (but beware, adults are welcome to pedal too). Southbank Centre, free, just show up, 11:30 a.m./2:30 p.m.
VAISAKHI TRAFALGAR SQUARE: Vaisakhi — the Sikh and Punjabi cultural festival — takes place on April 14 this year, but London’s main celebration returns to Trafalgar Square today. The free festival features shows and performances, martial arts demonstrations, a showcase of Sikh art, as well as food and drink stalls. Trafalgar Square, free, just show up, 1pm-6pm
LONG GOOD FRIDAY: Footprints of London guide Rob Smith leads a walking tour of some of the locations from the 1980 film, The Long Good Friday, in which Bob Hoskins’ character, Harold Shand, offers his thoughts on the future of Docklands. Find out if everything went as he predicted. Tower Hill tube station, £12/£9, Reserve in advance, 2 p.m.
David Rodigan: Influential DJ, broadcaster and champion of reggae music David Rodigan headlines an evening of self-chosen tunes performed by the 25-piece Outlook Orchestra. Special guests include Horace Andy, Bitty McLean, Kiko Bun, Hollie Cook and Horseman. Southbank Centre, £35 to £55, Reserve in advance, 7 p.m.
ENCHANTED SEAS: Enjoy an evening of spellbinding stories, songs and songs by the water, led by professional storytellers, Dreamtime in London. It’s an outdoor event, so bring a candle or lantern and something to sit on. Dress warmly and wear non-slip shoes that you don’t mind being muddy. Rotherhithe Secret Location, £10, Reserve in advance, 7:30 p.m.
SISTER SESSIONS: Sister sessions is a live music night and platform for women and non-binary musicians. Performers this time include Sheffield-born, London-based Mauritian singer and percussionist Vanessa Rani, and fiancé and fellow musician, Wonky Logic – as well as bassist, vocalist and songwriter Isobella Burnham, and DJ Jana Saleh, musician, performer and producer from Beirut. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), from £8, Reserve in advance, 8 p.m.
HOW IT FEELS: Club night How Does It Feel To Be Loved celebrates its 20th anniversary, with tons of indie pop, Nordic soul and 60s girl band music. It’s another 20 years of this independent institution. The Phoenix (Oxford Circus), £6.60/£4 if you email in advance: [email protected], Reserve in advance, 9 p.m.
sunday april 17
THE UNEQUALED: Long before the chocolate Easter eggs we know today, artists hid secret images in their work, hoping others would discover and appreciate them. Sunday assembly welcomes Rina Atienza, a lecturer at the Kingston School of Art, to reveal some of these hidden “Easter eggs”. Conway Hall (Holborn), free, Reserve in advance, 11am-1pm
HEATH QUARTET: The Heath Quartet — whose members met at the Royal Northern College of Music — celebrates its 20th anniversary with a special concert of works by Janáček, Purcell and Schulhoff. Wigmore Hall (Marylebone), £16, Reserve in advance, 11:30 a.m.
THE TRAVIATA: ROH Live features an Encore screening of La Traviata, transporting audiences to 19th century Paris with Pretty Yende as Violetta, Stephen Costello as Alfredo Germont and Dimitri Platanias as Giorgio Germont. The production was filmed on stage at the Royal Opera House, and it is a recording rather than a live broadcast. Barbican 321 Cinema, Reserve in advance, 2 p.m.
Bill Murray: Not that Bill Murray. We’re talking about Angel’s legendary comedy pub. You can spend a whole Easter Sunday afternoon/evening laughing out loud at the shows here, like Joseph Parsons, Alison Spittle and yet-unknown lineup for the 8pm show. Bill Murray (Angel), various awards, Reserve in advance, from 3:30 p.m.
TRACKS ON THE TAP: Listen to new live music at a showcase event Tracks on tap, as it makes its debut in east London. Expect a mix of reserved sets and open mic slots to fill the night. Rich Mix (Shoreditch), from £4.50, Reserve in advance, 6:30 p.m.
KATSURA SUN: Japanese traditional comic storyteller Rakugo Katsura Sun brings this method of storytelling back to London, seated throughout the stage solo and using only a paper fan and a small cloth as props. 8 years and over. Leicester Square Theatre, £26.50, Reserve in advance, 7 p.m.
Looking for things to do on Good Friday or Easter Monday? You’ll find it in our Easter weekend guide.