The best spring activities for kids in London

Give little ones a new lease of life this spring with these wonderful family-friendly London outings

1/10

In the Night Garden Live

They've clearly spent a lot of time at Night Garden HQ thinking about how the show translates on to the stage and they've opted to have two versions of each character – one full size and one a small puppet brilliantly controlled by puppeteers. The puppets all come out first and do a little bit of posing, then dash off and within seconds full-size Iggle Piggle takes the stage. As in the TV shows, the story is simple and easy to follow, the music playful. A great introduction to theatre for under-fives.

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2/10

Covent Garden May Fayre & Puppet Festival

Punch and Judy professors from around the country join together for a day of jolly old-fashioned fun. There's a procession led by a brass band with a toast to Mr Punch, a church service with Mr Punch in the pulpit and an afternoon of puppet shows and workshops, with folk music, maypole dancing and clowns.

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3/10

Sensational Butterflies

Since it was first manufactured in Denmark in 1949, Lego has become both a firm playtime favourite and an arch nemesis of the bare foot. This interactive show will feature workshops with professional brick builders and Lego designers, a brick market place (where you can pick up new and second hand Lego) and impressive displays from around the world. Themed areas should provide some inspiration for visitors who will have opportunities to do some building themselves, just don’t take your shoes off.

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4/10

Canalway Cavalcade

This colourful gathering of canal boats makes a great family outing. It’s a properly English affair, complete with real ale, morris dancers and lots of activities for children. The event sees 130 boats moored along a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. Sailors deck their vessels to the nines to take part in the after-dark pageant of illuminated boats on the Sunday, and there are bands, boat trips, stalls and refreshments for landlubbers to enjoy over the three days.

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5/10
© Johan Persson

London Children's Ballet: Nanny McPhee

To celebrate its twentieth anniverary, the London Children's Ballet is presenting this new family ballet based on Emma Thompson's 'Nanny McPhee' film. The company offers young dancers aged nine to 16 the chance to perform as part of a professional production. This lively show centres around an eccentric nanny who magically appears to heal a widower's unruly, troubled children, and features an original score perofrmed by a live orchestra.

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6/10
© Barry Pells

Daydreams and Diaries: The Story of Jacqueline Wilson

Jacqueline Wilson is one of Britain's best-loved children's authors, serving as Children's Laureate (2005-2007) and - perhaps even the Queen's a fan - being made a Dame in 2008. More importantly, her nearly 100 books have sold 35m copies, so such characters as Tracy Beaker, The Suitcase Kid and Hetty Feather - all featured in this exhibition - are probably familiar. But interestingly, the exhibition also focuses the author's life and inspiration.

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7/10

Easter at Kew Gardens

Kew has teamed up with The Roald Dahl Museum & Story Centre, and the West End 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory' musical, to make 2014 the most chocolatey Easter ever. The Easter Egg hunt will likely be the biggest draw for children during Kew's Easter festival, and there’s plenty more for kids to enjoy, from a Create your own Willy Wonka-inspired chocolate bar workshop to visiting the Inventing Room to come up with crazy recipes for Willy Wonka’s everlasting gobstopper.

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8/10

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Opening

In another exciting development on the Olympics site, the southern section of the park opens on April 5, making public all of the remaining parkland on the site, with children's play areas, four walking trails, a couple of dozen public artworks, plus the attraction of ascending Anish Kapoor's 376ft-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit (£15; £7-£12 concs; £40 family).

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9/10

London Museum of Water and Steam

The Kew Bridge Steam Museum is renamed the London Museum of Water and Steam, and reopens on March 22 after a £2.3 million refurbishement. It tells the story of how the Victorians cleaned up London's water supply and paved the way for the modern city. There will be two new laboratory areas where kids can examine clean and dirty water, and an outdoor Splashzone where they can make jets of water travel to heights of 5 metres using a network of pumps and pulleys. Take a change of clothes!

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10/10

Vikings: Life and Legend

The British Museum's new Sainsbury Exhibition Gallery opens this March, and along with it, so does the museum's first collection on Vikings in more than 30 years. Artefacts dating between the late eighth century and the early eleventh century will be on display, including a life-size replica of the Roskilde 6 war ship made using a stainless steel frame and 20 per cent of the original timbers, which have been conserved and reassembled.

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The whole family can get a spring in their step this season when there's all this fun to choose from. Browse our list of London's best kids activities this spring to find a day out that everyone will love.

London Museum of Water and Steam

The Kew Bridge Steam Museum is renamed the London Museum of Water and Steam, and reopens on March 22 after a £2.3 million refurbishement. It tells the story of how the Victorians cleaned up London's water supply and paved the way for the modern city. There will be two new laboratory areas where kids can examine clean and dirty water, and an outdoor Splashzone where they can make jets of water travel to heights of 5 metres using a network of pumps and pulleys. Take a change of clothes!

Read more
London

Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park Opening

In another exciting development on the Olympics site, the southern section of the park opens on April 5, making public all of the remaining parkland on the site, with children's play areas, four walking trails, a couple of dozen public artworks, plus the attraction of ascending Anish Kapoor's 376ft-tall ArcelorMittal Orbit (£15; £7-£12 concs; £40 family).

Read more
Olympic Park

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London is full of places where you can indulge your child’s great passions and inspire that dream job More fun for little ones in London Top ten half-term activities Spend the week doing some of the coolest and quirkiest activities London has to offer Free things to do with the kids in London Keep children entertained without opening your wallet with these free family outings 13 things to do in London before you're 13 Sorry, grown-ups – some experiences in this city are just for kids. Here are the best things to do in London while you’re still young Having it tiny: clubbing for kids What happened when generation rave had kids? They kept on raving, of course Half-term in London Stuck for things to do with the kids this half-term? Panic over, we've got plenty to keep them sweetVISIT OUR GUIDE TO FEBRUARY HALF-TERM Find more great kids' activities Top ten half-term activities Spend the week doing some of the coolest and quirkiest activities London has to offer Free things to do with the kids in London Keep children entertained without opening your wallet with these free family outings 13 things to do in London before you're 13 Sorry, grown-ups – some experiences in this city are just for kids. Here are the best things to do in London while you’re still young Having it tiny: clubbing for kids What happened when generation rave had kids? They kept on raving, of course London venues kids will love Natural History Museum The handsome Alfred Waterhouse

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