There's always plenty to do at Easter in London so I've put together this list of the best for 2013. The Bank Holiday weekend for Easter 2014 is Friday 18 April to Monday 21 April but activities often take place over two weeks.
Easter is a Christian festival which gives the UK two bank holidays: Good Friday and Easter Monday. UK schoolchildren get two weeks off school so expect the major London attractions to be busier. Most people celebrate Easter by eating far too many chocolate Easter eggs but here are some other ways to enjoy this springtime holiday.
Easter is technically a religious event, although it may be hard to see that these days. You could attend an Easter Service at one of the landmark places of worship such as Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's Cathedral, or St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square which usually has live choral and orchestral music during holy week.
What do we want? Chocolate! When do we want it? Now! OK, you can't get away from the chocolate Easter eggs every year. Hotel Chocolat produces Extra Thick Chocolate Easter Eggs which are simply yummy. Check out the Easter Egg Sandwiches (Buy Direct) - what a fantastic idea! I've also got lots of tips on Where To Buy & Try Chocolate in London.
If you miss traditional sweeties go to Hope and Greenwood in Covent Garden for all your old favorites.
Zippos spend Easter on Blackheath each year, and there's often a fun fair on site too. For 2014, Zippos Circus presents Unchained with new acts from around the world including aerial acts, contortion, juggling, clowning and feats of unimaginable strength and skill.
Also, back by popular demand is one of the stars of Zippos’ 2013 show, the astonishing strongman Hercules. And, as ever, the show is presented by the one and only Norman Barrett MBE accompanied by his world famous budgies – seriously, I love that part of the show!
Follow the trail to find the chicks and egg hidden in the Bank of England Museum. You can then create and decorate your own basket to take home. There's a chocolate egg for every child and prizes to be won.
Dates: 7-11 & 14-17 April
Bunnies on the Run at the London Eye
Family favourite Edwin the Easter bunny is back in his burrow at the London Eye this Easter with ‘Bunnies on the Run’. From Saturday 5th to Monday 21st April children can help Edwin find his bunny pals who have gone on strike and taken all of the Easter eggs with them!
Adults can indulge in a Hotel Chocolat Tasting Experience or an Afternoon Tea Experience with an Easter twist.
Tickets for the London Eye and London Eye River Cruise will be available as usual, with savings to be made on combination tickets. Visit www.londoneye.com
Hot Cross Bun Ceremony
The Widow's Son pub in Bromley-by-Bow in east London has a bizarre Easter Bun ceremony on Good Friday. Every year a sailor adds a hot cross bun to the collection in honor of a widow who baked a bun for her only son who died at sea. You might like to try this Bow walking tour while in the area.The Widow's Son, 75 Devons Road, Bow Common, London E3 3PJ Tel: 020 7515 9072
The London Harness Horse Parade is an annual event that takes place every Easter Monday (so, Monday 21 April is the 2014 date). It is a wonderful opportunity to see working horses such as the Friesian horses from Harrods. The London Harness Horse Parade is actually held a short train ride south of London. Find out all the details on the London Harness Horse Parade Visitor Information.
Still to be confirmed for 2014 but traditionally the The Easter Skate Eggstravaganza starts at 7pm on Good Friday with the Long Good Friday Night Skate - a 3 hour skate past London's most-loved visitor attractions. The Easter Bunny Stroll on Easter Sunday starts at 2pm and is the one to get dressed up for. Bunny girls (and boys) will strut their stuff on an 8 mile relaxed roll on a high profile route around London’s West End. As it is Easter Sunday, after the skate there's an Easter Bunny Party for boogieing bunnies!
Family Activities at London Attractions
All of London's major attractions have special events for children over the Easter holiday. Some may have egg hunts or decorating eggs which are fun pastimes. Try the V&A, National Gallery, Tate Modern, and the British Museum. I've already tried the Science Museum on Good Friday and found loads of free fun for the holiday.
With The London Pass you can pack in loads of sightseeing without spending a fortune. Whether you are taking the whole family or plan to cram in loads of sights on your own The London Pass gives you the freedom to try hundreds of locations for a set price.
Now the weather is better(!) why not try a walking tour of London? You could join a guided tour or download a tour if you prefer to be independent. The City of London - the financial district - is a good choice over the Easter weekend as it will quiet without the workers. It is full of historical architecture so is good to see.