There's something for every member of your troupe at the Family Weekend at Sadler's Wells, an annual two-day dance festival aimed at audiences aged 4 to 104. For the 2015 festival there are two main shows, Varmints, a dance piece based on the award winning book by Helen Ward, and Constelaciones, a new piece inspired by the work of Barcelona born painter Joan Miro. These shows on the Sadler's Wells and Lilian Baylis Studio stages are complemented by fun activities taking place across the entire building including a specially added interactive post-show discussion and family dance workshops exploring some of the images, themes and movement motifs from the Miro show.
Easter Family Fun
Two-day dance festival aimed at audiences aged 4 to 104.
Sadler's Wells Theatre, Rosebery Avenue, London, EC1R 4TN
Tube: Angel Station
Dates: 03rd - 04th April 2015
Children can watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London, SW7 5BD
Dates: 2nd April to 13th September 2015
From chomping caterpillars to beautiful butterflies, the Natural History Museum comes alive this summer with the erection of a tropical butterfly house on the museum lawn. Visitors to Sensational Butterflies will be able to take on butterfly challenges, try out games and activities as they explore one of the planet's most amazing life cycles and experience the magic of walking among hundreds of free-flying tropical butterflies. Not only offering the chance to see butterflies and moths usually seen in Africa, Asia and South America, the display also has a hatchery window where visitors can watch butterflies emerging from their chrysalises.
Beautiful ballet perfectly pitched at audiences as young as three.
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street, London, WC2A 2HT
Dates: 02nd - 12th April 2015
English National Ballet continues its tradition of presenting its My First Ballet series at The Peacock each spring with an adaptation of Swan Lake. This traditional ballet offers audiences as young as three the chance to see a performance created just for children. English National Ballet's Associate Artist George Williamson has choreographed the production which is performed by second year students from English National Ballet School.
The fascinating stories behind some of the UK's best-loved doll's houses.
V & A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London, E2 9PA
Tube: Bethnal Green Station
Dates: 13th December 2014 to 6th September 2015
Small Stories: At Home In A Dolls' House at the V&A Museum of Childhood reveals the fascinating stories behind some of the UK's best-loved doll's houses. Visitors will be taken on a journey through the history of the home, everyday lives and changing relationships of 12 doll's houses from the past 300 years, including country mansions, a Georgian town house, suburban villas and high-rise apartments.
An immersive nautical adventure on the high waters for children under 12.
National Maritime Museum, Park Row, London, SE10 9NF
Dates: 28th March to 31st August 2015
Punchdrunk Enrichment's largest production to date, Against Captain's Orders: A Journey into the Uncharted gives 6 to 12 year old visitors to the National Maritime Museum a theatrical journey through the museum's collection of maritime artefacts. Harnessing the heroics of Grace Darling, who launched a daring rescue mission of shipwrecked sailors, the intuition of Captain Bligh, who journeyed over 4,000 miles with the help of just a sextant and compass after being abandoned by his crew, and the intellect of Sir Francis Drake, one of the first men to circumnavigate the globe, audiences will don life jackets and board HMS Adventure for their very own nautical adventure.
A darkly magical folk story, designed specifically for a family audience.
Linbury Studio Theatre, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD
Dates: 04th - 11th April 2015
Opera North and The Wrong Crowd present Jonathan Dove's family opera, Swanhunter, for everyone from children aged eight to adults. The Nordic story of Lemminkainen, a ladies' man determined to travel to the icy north in search of a bride, against his mother's wishes, is told through a beguiling blend of music, puppetry and visual storytelling. Jonathan Dove, "one of Britain's most prolific opera composers" (Telegraph), has written the score in collaboration with the librettist Alasdair Middleton, thus reuniting the team of Opera North's 2007 hit, The Adventures of Pinocchio. Both works were written with a young audience in mind and offer those over seven an ideal introduction to opera.
Take part in a special Easter Egg Hunt before the matinee on Saturday 4th April.
King's Cross Railway Station, Euston Road, London, N1 9AP
Tube: King's Cross Station
Dates: 16th December 2014 to 6th September 2015
Ticket holders for the 2.30pm performance of the Olivier Award-winning production of The Railway Children on Saturday 4th April 2015 can take part in a special Easter Egg Hunt. Egg Hunters of all ages will need to report to The Great Northern Hotel, Kings Cross St Pancras Station, to begin the trail and receive the first clue. The hunt takes you into The Kings Cross Theatre following train-themed rhyming riddles from The Railway Children cast and staff along the way. Once you've completed the quest, you'll receive a treat before taking your seats for the afternoon's performance. And with 25 per cent off ticket prices for the under 16s, it's a good time to treat the family to a theatre outing over the Easter holidays.
Hunt for giant Shaun the Sheep models around London town.
Broadgate, Broadgate, London, EC2M 2BL
Dates: 28th March to 25th May 2015
If your little ones go baa-my for Shaun the Sheep, who now stars in his own full-length feature film, from late March they can follow Shaun in the City and find 50 giant models of Shaun around London town. In the excellent Aardman film Shaun and his woolly friends go on an adventure to the big city. Now he's in the city in 'real' life! The Shaun in the City trail places giant Shaun sculptures designed by celebrities and artists - including Shaun the Sheep creator Nick Park - in iconic locations across the capital from 28th March until 25th May. Following the trail, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit's Children's Charity.
See all the CBeebies and Gigglebiz favourites live in action.
SSE Arena, Wembley, Arena Square, Engineers Way, London, HA9 0DH
Tube: Wembley Park Station
Dates: 04th - 05th April 2015
After a sell-out arena tour back in 2013, Justin Fletcher is back with his new CBeebies Live show Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble's Circus. Coming to the Wembley Arena on Easter weekend, the fun-filled show follows Mr Tumble's Circus as they're delayed on route. In a bid to get to the show on time, Gigglebiz favourites Keith Fitt, Dina Lady, Gale Force and Arthur Sleep will help Mr Tumble, Grandad Tumble, Andy Day and Cat Sandion to save the day. But, with Robert the Robot insisting that everyone do their chores and Little Monster just wanting to cause mayhem and mischief, will they get the circus to the town on time? With clever visual effects and lots of surprises, the show is a great way to keep the little ones entertained this Easter.
A perfect outing for little ones (and grown-ups) over the Easter holiday.
Unicorn Theatre, 147 Tooley Street, More , London, SE1 2HZ
Tube: London Bridge Station
Dates: 28th March - 26th April 2015
The Unicorn's adaptation of Margery Williams's popular children's story returns in time for Easter after a popular run here this time last year. Although first published over 90 years ago in 1922, the tale of a shy toy rabbit who longs for nothing more than to become real has stood the test of time and stands as a classic of American literature for children. The Velveteen Rabbit (or How Toys Become Real) has been given a contemporary adaptation directed by the Unicorn's artistic director, Purni Morell, to create "an utterly gripping and heart-wrenching piece of contemporary theatre" (The Guardian) for children aged four and over. "When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
Kew Gardens present lots of Shaun the Sheep themed family fun.
Kew Gardens (Royal Botanic Gardens), Kew, Richmond, London, TW9 3AB
Tube: Kew Gardens Station
Dates: 05th April 2015
On Sunday 5th April 2015 join Shaun the Sheep and his real life friends, on holiday from Wakehurst, Kew's sister garden in Sussex, for Kew's annual Easter Egg Hunt. Kew comes over all sheepish with Shaun's Madcap Meadow, a springtime meadow of British wildflowers, seasonal bulbs and grasses where they'll be hosting wellie wanging, the Sheep Hopper Maze, where kids can bounce around a maze of hay, and Bitzer's Sheepdog Trials where you can help herd, bounce and roll Shirley back into her pen. Pop-up stores in the meadow also give you the opportunity to create your own Shaun the Sheep with a Shaun the Sheep toolkit, and there's the Spring Lamb Springtime Trail where you can work out who Timmy, the baby of the flock, has been bouncing around with among the spring bulbs. A fun trail for kids and adults alike, see how many spring flowers you can identify and discover what is waiting for you at the end of the trail.
A fun exploration of the world of plants on a massive scale.
Horniman Museum, 100 Road, London, SE23 3PQ
Tube: Denmark Hill Station
Dates: 14th February to 1st November 2015
From giant seeds and exploding cucumbers to sun-seeking flowers and a huge crawl-through root system, Plantastic at the Horniman Museum explores the world of plants on a massive scale. The interactive exhibition provides visitors with the chance to get up close and personal with nature. Open just in time for February half term, from May 2015 there will be specially designed and themed outdoor displays including a mass planting of sunflowers, a floral picture of the anatomy of a flower, and a border planted out to attract pollinating insects - go and find out how a bee sees the world.
This fantastic storytelling centre in Stratford runs Story Trails, Easter basket making and a new exhibition.
383-387 High Street, Stratford, Stratford, London, E15 4QZ
Tube: Stratford Station
Discover, a fantastic storytelling centre in Stratford East, is open every day over the Easter holidays with their current exhibition Once There Was... The Wonderful World of Oliver Jeffers and the return of the Where's Wally? Weekend, where children are invited to search the Story Trail to find the real Wally. There will also be visits from author and illustrator Emily Hughes and poet Joe Coelho (of CBeebies Rhyme Rocket). On the Easter bank holidays the centre will celebrate the 20th anniversary of beloved picture book Guess How Much I Love You with the chance to make an Easter basket and follow the Easter Bunny's trail to find a chocolate treat.
Events at Discover Children's Story Centre
26th to 30th May 2015 - 2.30pm-4.30pm | £5, concs £4.50, family £18, under 2s Free
Make and decorate your own kite to make fly.
25th to 31st May 2015 - 10am-5pm | £5, residents £4.50, family £18, under 2s Free
Join our Story Builders for a week of your favourite Oliver Jeffers stories.
27th to 31st May 2015 - 2.30pm-3.30pm | £5, concs £4.50, family £18, under 2s Free
Inspired by Oliver Jeffers' book 'The Great Paper Caper', join Discover's first Paper Airplane Making Competition!
Saturday 30th May 2015 - 2.30pm-3.30pm | £5, concs £4.50, family £18
Join debut author Rob Biddulph, Penguin Blue and his friends and go on.
27th September 2014 to 31st August 2015 | £5, child £5, family £18, concs £4.50
A sweet theatre treat for all the family.
Theatre Royal Drury Lane, Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5JF
Dates: 22nd May 2013 to 4th June 2016
We are spoilt for choice with not one but two Roald Dahl dramatisations on the London stage. After the successful transition of Dahl's Matilda The Musical to the West End, this equally joyous and bizarre tale has become a welcome addition to Theatreland. Who could forget the heart-warming tale of forlorn little Charlie Bucket and his poverty stricken family? His four grandparents huddled together for warmth in one double bed and his parents struggling to feed the family. The tale takes a dramatic turn when Charlie pulls back the wrapper of his favourite chocolate bar to reveal a life-changing golden ticket. This much loved Roald Dahl story was recently revived in a Tim Burton movie starring Johnny Depp, and now makes the bold move from screen to stage in a new production directed by Sam Mendes, with original music from Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Since it started at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in May 2013 this sweet theatrical treat has been filling the auditorium with "dazzling light displays and projections" (The Telegraph), a surreal mix of giant lollipops and human blueberries. But "by far the greatest fun is to be had from the Oompa Loompas," says The Telegraph. "They alone are worth the price of admission." Tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory are on sale now.
Children will love the hugely successful show based on the Roald Dahl book
Cambridge Theatre, Earlham Street, Seven Dials, Soho, London, W1D 7DY
Dates: 18th October 2011 to 29th May 2016 - Various Times
The hugely successful show based on the Roald Dahl book about a little girl with special powers won an unprecedented seven Olivier awards last year and continues to draw in audiences young and old. Directed by Matthew Warchus and adapted by seasoned playwright Dennis Kelly and the award-winning Australian musical comedian Tim Minchin, Matilda has been described by WhatsOnStage as "a piece which is by turns riotously funny and gut-wrenchingly poignant". The Telegraph theatre critic Charles Spencer gave Matilda five stars, claiming it was "the best British musical since Billy Elliot that will surely be the toast of the West End. I predict that this show will be unstoppable." With a Broadway production due to open this Easter, he's been proved right.
27th May 2015
IN THIS ARTICLE
Sadler's Wells Family Weekend
English National Ballet: My First Ballet: Swan Lake
Small Stories: At Home In A Dolls' House
Against Captain's Orders: A Journey Into The Uncharted
Opera North/The Wrong Crowd: Swanhunter (Over 7s)
The Railway Children
Shaun in the City
CBeebies Live! Presents Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble's Circus
The Velveteen Rabbit: Unicorn Theatre (Over 4s)
Easter at Kew: Shaun the Sheep
Discover Children's Story Centre
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Matilda the Musical
Easter in London 2015
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