There is that song about Paris in springtime but forget it – London in springtime is the place to be. Daffodils are emerging; cafe tables are out and Londoners are in Spring cheerful mode – as long as you don’t stand at the top of tube escalators.
Britain does daffodils exceptionally well and there are plenty amidst crowded London streets. Most major parks – and many minor ones – are blanketed in daffodils during March and April. Some of the best London locations to view them are Green Park, St James Park and Regents Park. Then it’s time for the glorious blooms of tulips and other bulbs. Take time from the bustle of exhibitions and street life to stroll through a London park; you will be treated to a riot of colour. Often you can walk between sites through a park rather than taking the tube or bus. London is not as big as you think – it’s a highly walkable city.
This year’s art scene is especially vibrant with many special exhibitions. There is still time to catch the glories of Charles II’s art collection. He set about restoring the glory of the monarchy through art. As enjoyable as the art is, the exhibition offers great insight into how the monarchy perceived itself after the somber republic of Oliver Cromwell. Charles II: Art and Power is at The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace until 13 May.
It seems so obvious to explore the link between Monet and architecture that it’s surprising no major gallery has done it before. The National Gallery is showing 75 paintings of buildings depicted by the master from 9 April – 29 July.
Tate Modern is hosting two famous European artists: Modigliani until 2 April and Picasso 1932 until 9 September. Meanwhile, Impressionists in London is on at Tate Britain until 7 May.
The Hayward Gallery on the Southbank has reopened after its two-year restoration with a provocative exhibition of Andreas Gursky’s huge photographs. His interpretations of crowd scenes and huge structures bring the effects of modern life and globalization home.
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Easter school holidays are roughly throughout the first three weeks of April. London galleries and museums excel at keeping kids entertained. The British Museum has special activities related to its current exhibition, Living With Gods and also has Samsung digital workshops throughout April.
Bugs, as in superbugs are the big news at The Science Museum. We all know that antibiotic resistance is a huge worry in the medical community but what’s being done about it? This special exhibition looks at the global fight against superbugs. there are lots of live bacteria exhibits to properly gross children out. Over at the Natural History Museum , The Investigate Centre has activities targeted at families with children aged 5-14. Explore some 300 specimens. Then let butterflies flutter around you open in the Butterfly House which is open until September.
What better way to introduce kids to theatre than with shows tailored to them? If you have really little ones, try out Baby Show at the Unicorn Theatre which runs until 22 July and is only for babies from six-18 months. Toddlers can don white suits and become part of a light show in Sensacional until 1 July.
The Passion of Christ is re-enacted in Trafalgar Square on Good Friday by the Wintershall players, a theatre group dedicated to biblical stories. There are two free performances at noon and 3:15 pm with large screens to enhance visibility.
The Easter Bunny hides eggs over Easter weekend for kiddies to find amidst the animals at Battersea Park Zoo in south London. The Easter Bunny also visits Hampton Court Palace where he leaves Easter treats near the Chocolate Kitchen.
It’s just a short journey by tube or train to Kew Gardens in Richmond where there is an Easter event annually.
Londoners line the Thames between Putney Bridge and Chiswick Bridge at the end of March for the annual Oxford and Cambridge boat race (known as The Boat Race). It’s a huge event on the social calendar; thousands of people attend.
An offbeat alternative at the same time is the Oxford and Cambridge Goat race at Spitalfields City Farm. In addition to watching goats race, it’s a chance to see that famous British eccentricity in action.