It felt like a very long winter but with the arrival of blue skies and sunshine (not to mention the cherry blossoms on the trees) it feels like Spring is finally here.
The big news for April in London is that Easter is taking place this month. There are lots of fun things to do for Easter in London from nature trails and Easter egg hunts to a fun spring fair and even a duck trail to follow. Spoiler: a lot of these events involve a lot of chocolate!
The longer and warmer days mean more time for sightseeing. If you haven’t see Big Ben yet then do take a walk by. The famous Palace of Westminster clock tower, and its more famous bell, disappeared under scaffolding four years ago but the scaffolding is nearly all removed now and the famous London landmark looks incredible.
If you’re in the area then it’s worth booking a tour to peek inside the Houses of Parliament; multimedia tours are available for family-friendly visits. If you’re visiting with teens then join one of the guided tours. It’s a great way to learn more about the inner workings of the British Government.
Of course other big London attractions are open to visit during the month of April including family favourites such as Madame Tussauds, the Natural History Museum, the London Eye and Covent Garden. Spring is also a good time to book afternoon tea; rumour has it that a new one is launching at St Ermins Hotel very soon!
The Changing of the Guard is also back taking place regularly; check the website for dates in April. We often get asked where the best places are to watch the Changing of the Guard from. The reality is that because the ceremony spans three locations (Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace and Wellington Barracks) there is no one single spot where you can see the entire Guard Mount. Personally, we like to arrive early and nab a spot near Buckingham Palace.
Traditionally April is the month when the London Marathon takes place but this will be happening in October this year.
Outside of the Easter weekend, there are still lots of great things taking place. If you’re wondering what to do in London in April, then here’s our pick of the top events, exhibitions, free things to do, and general all round fun stuff to enjoy this month.
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April 2022 events in London
Small is beautiful, Miniature Art
This amazing exhibition opens in London in April, showcasing the work of 32 local and international miniature artists. On display will be 130 miniature artworks showcasing the incredible talent and creativity of these artists – figures playing tennis on a watermelon for example, or skateboarding down a ramp made from coloured pencils.
This is very much a family-friendly event with children DIY workshops on offer and a pop-up shop.
When: The exhibition opens April 15 and is open Tuesdays – Fridays from 10am to 8pm and from 10am to 9pm on weekends.
Where: 79-85 Old Brompton Road in the district of South Kensington; £13/Adult, £11.50/child (6-12yrs)
Now Play This at Somerset House
London’s leading festival of experimental games is back at Somerset House this year. The festival, which showcases the latest in independent and experimental game design from around the world, is a great thing to do in London with teens. The theme for this year’s festival is the relationship between democracy and game design.
When: April 8 – 10, 2022
Where: Somerset House; Adults £9, concession £6.50, family ticket £25
Cutty Sark Rig Climb Experience
One of the best things to do in London in April is to head to the Cutty Sark. For the first time since arriving in Greenwich in 1954, visitors will be able to climb the famous masts of the Cutty Sark.
‘The Rig Climb Experience’ launches on 2 April 2022 and allows those brave enough to step up from the main deck onto the ship’s ratlines and climb up its shrouds, just as hundreds of sailors did during the Cutty Sark’s heyday at sea. Once at the top, climbers will experience a controlled descent from the rigging down to street level aside the ship. Those who make it to the top will be rewarded with some of the best views in town looking out over St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and The Shard.
When: The Rig Climb Experience opens on April 2, 2022
Where: The Cutty Sark, Greenwich; Standard Rig Climb prices start from £41 for adults and £26 for children, Plus prices start from £51 for adults and £36 for children. These prices include general admission to Cutty Sark, meaning you can take part in the climb and explore the ship on the same day. Tickets also include all safety equipment and free storage of personal items.
One of the best ways to get to the Cutty Sark is by Uber Boat by Thames Clippers along the River Thames.
Power Up at the Science Museum
Take par in a hands-on, fully interactive gaming event at the Science Museum this April. This event features the best video games and consoles from the last five decades and includes everything from Pong to Pacman. You can play against friends in multiplayer showdowns or parents can rediscover their childhood favourites.
When: Saturday 2 April to Tuesday 19 April, check website for timings
Where: Basement Gallery, Science Museum; £8 / person, advanced booking necessary.
Storytelling at the V&A Museum
Storyteller Wendy Shearer will be taking children on a nature adventure at the Victoria and Albert Museum this April. Kids are invited to delve into a fascinating world of forests and explore the animals and landscapes within them.
When: Thursday 14 and Friday 15 April; Sessions are 40 mins long and start at: 11.00, 13.00 and 15.00 each day.
Where: The Victoria & Albert Museum, South Kensington; free event
Family workshops at the Globe Theatre
There are a number of family workshops taking place at the Globe Theatre this April. These include exploring Macbeth together as a family, family sword fighting demonstrations, a Romeo and Juliet family workshop, and much more! Check the website for details and dates. The best thing about the workshops at the Globe is that there is something for all ages.
When: Various dates through April, check the website
Where: The Globe Theatre on the South Bank; these are paid-for events
The Tower of London
It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year so where better to kick off celebrations than at the Tower of London. The big Jubilee event, the Superbloom, takes place later in the year but you can still visit now and get up close and personal to the Crown Jewels. Meet the Yeoman Warders and ravens and learn all about this iconic London landmark that has acted as a fortress, royal palace and prison.
Superbloom, when the Tower’s moat will be transformed into a colourful field of flowers, opens on June 1 and runs until September 18. Also coming up is the Gunpowder Plot, an immersive experience that launches on May 2022. Tickets are on sale now.
When: Crown Jewels open for visits daily; Superbloom takes place June 1 – September 18; The Gunpowder Plot starts in May. Tickets available to book now.
Where: The Tower of London; check website for ticket prices and booking
The Tower Bridge Cat Trail
Join Bella the Tower Bridge Cat along with characters from the award-winning children’s books as you explore London’s famous Tower Bridge. You can meet the Bridge Master and Bella’s team including Hannah the Cook, Poppy the Painter and Stan the Stoker. These characters will be on hand to help you learn all you need to know about how and when Tower Bridge lifts.
Children can stamp the answers in their Training Record; get everything right and they could become part of Bella’s Tower Bridge Team.
The event is being held to coincide with the launch of the new family trail and the release of The Tower Bridge Cat and the Missing Button.
When: Saturday April 2, 2022, 10am to 5pm.
Where: Tower Bridge; included with admission tickets.
Discovery Days in the Royal Parks
With school holidays about to start, bookmark your calendar with the Discovery Days at the Royal Parks. These take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school holidays at the LookOut Discovery Centre in the heart of Hyde Park.
Activities can include pond dipping, bug hunting or discovering an underwater world.
Discovery Days run from 11am to 3pm and you can drop in at any time.
When: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the school holidays from 11am to 3pm.
Where: The LookOut Discovery Centre, Hyde Park; free event.
Flower Craft at Westminster Abbey
Celebrate new life and new beginnings this spring by taking part in an unfurling flower craft activity at Westminster Abbey. Children are invited to create a blooming flower with a hidden message that will be revealed when placed in water.
When: Saturday April 2, 9, 23 and 30 from 10am – 1pm
Where: Westminster Abbey; activities are free to join when you purchase a ticket to the Abbey.
Football: Designing the Beautiful Game at the Design Museum
Football fans should head to the Design Museum this April. Opening on April 8 is Football: Designing the Beautiful Game, an exhibition that explores the design stories behind the world’s most popular sport. On display are more than 500 objects, films and interviews in sporting performance, kit development, stadium design and more.
When: The exhibition opens Friday April 8, 2022
Where: The Design Museum; Adult tickets from £16.80, student tickets from £12.50, family tickets from £27.00
Family Events at the British Museum
The British Museum is running a series of family-friendly events in April. These include Making masks: Aztecs, where kids are invited to design a mosaic mask inspired by the Aztec gods. Prehistoric Europe: makers, bakers and stargazers, is another fun event for kids that explores the world of Stonehenge. Also taking place during April is the chance to create an Egyptian-themed family photo.
When: Various dates, check the website for details.
Where: The British Museum; free, drop-in events
The Queen’s Birthday on April 21
Although Her Majesty officially celebrates her birthday in June, her actual birthday is April 21. On April 21 a 41-gun salute will take place in Hyde Park. The basic salute is 21 founds, fired at ten second intervals, but in Hyde Park an extra 20 rounds are fired owing to its status as Royal Park.
When: April 21
Where: Hyde Park
Inspiring Walt Disney at the Wallace Collection
Opening on April 6 is an exhibition at the Wallace Collection held in collaboration with New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Inspiring Walt Disney: The Animation of French Decorative Arts displays American 20th-century hand-drawn animation alongside French 18th-century art and reveals the connections between these two artistic movements.
The exhibition is definitely one for older children or teens in London who have an interest in art and animation.
When: Opens April 6, 2022
Where: The Wallace Collection; £14/Adult, £10/Student, £5/young person (12-17), Under 12s free
London Games Festival in Trafalgar Square
Taking place on the first weekend in April is the London Games Festival in Trafalgar Square. This exhibition is free to attend and is part of the wider London Games Festival (that runs from April 1 – 10 across the city and online).
A series of outdoor exhibitions featuring photos and artworks from across video games will be displayed around Trafalgar Square in central London. In addition to Ensemble, which showcases games creators from Black, Asian and underrepresented ethnicities, the exhibition will also showcase LGF’s Official Selection of 40 new games from around the world.
When: April 1 – 3
Where: Trafalgar Square, free
Vaisakhi Festival in Trafalgar Square
Taking place in Trafalgar Square on April 16 is the Vaisakhi Festival, one of the most important events in the Sikh calendar and the one that marks the start of the Sikh New Year. Visit during the day and discover Sikh and Punjabi culture, tradition and heritage. Try Langar (Indian tea) while here and watch demonstrations of Gatka (martial arts). Families can take part in arts and crafts activities, including turban tying.
When: April 16, 2022
Where: Trafalgar Square; free
Flowers and Butterflies at Kew Gardens
Spring is a wonderful time to visit Kew Gardens . You can wander through the gardens’ bluebell woods (the best time is from mid-April to May) and take a stroll through the Japanese cherry blossoms. FYI Kew Gardens handily updated their Instagram page to show when their cherry trees are in bloom. Elsewhere, crocuses and daffodils are in full bloom.
Kew Gardens are also hosting a Butterfly Garden Family Learning Workshops. Held daily from April 2 to April 18, the workshops teach kids more about these beautiful creatures and how to encourage butterflies to visit your garden or windowsill by growing a butterfly garden.
Kew are also hosting a special event based on the Very Hungry Caterpillar over the Easter holidays.
When: Easter family events are taking place from April 2 to April 18; the spring flowers are open to see daily
Where: Kew Gardens; events included in ticket price
Family events at that National Maritime Museum
There are a host of events planned at the National Maritime Museum over the Easter long weekend including Canaletto Family Days. Held from April 12 – 14, the museum is hosting a series of free workshops inspired by the new exhibition Canaletto’s Venice Revisited.
Make your own Venetian mask and learn more about Venice’s incredible history.
When: Events are being held over the Easter holidays; the Canaletto Family Days take place April 12 – 14
Where: Free with a ticket to the museum
Celebrate Earth Day at Somerset House
Earth Day will be celebrated on April 22 and to mark the occasion, Somerset House is unveiling its new courtyard exhibition. ‘The Arks of Gimokudan’, is by Philippine artist-designer Leeroy New and consists of a fleet of three ships constructed using reused and recycled materials and plastic waste.
The enormous sculptures force audiences to think about the scale of single use plastic waste in both the UK and around the world. All the plastic used in the installation will be collected and recycled at the end of the exhibition.
When: April 5 to 26, 2022
Where: Fountain Court, Somerset House; free event