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36 glorious things to do in London this Easter weekend

Alexandra Sims

It’s finally here. Not two, not three, but four whole days of Easter bank holiday weekend. And it’s all yours for the taking. When you’ve had your fill of sitting on the sofa pigging out on chocolate eggs, catch the Christathon pub crawl where a crucifixion-themed costume is a must, pay a visit to Ally Pally’s Spring Fest or dress up your dog to win a free pint at The Dartmouth Arms’s Dog Fancy Dress Competition. See you on the other side.


Christathon XI – the Fools’ Day oneMeet at The Trinity in Borough. Sun. Free. Worship at the altar of the pint on this crucifixion-themed pub crawl in which participants dress like Jesus and visit biblically-named pubs for charity.

‘The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist’. Trafalgar Square. Fri-Mon. Free. Get a glimpse of the new sculpture replacing David Shrigley’s big thumb on the famed fourth plinth. Unveiled this week, Michael Rakowitz’s winged god is a recreation of an Assyrian deity, which stood at the Nergal Gate in the city of Nineveh since 700 BC until being destroyed by Isis in 2015.

Anthea Hamilton. Tate Britain. Fri-Mon. Free. The new Tate commission is a squash-human hybrid which interacts with sculptures from the gallery’s existing collection. The pumpkin-friendly artworks are a shot of tequila in the white wine spritzer world of Tate.

Power UpScience Museum. Fri-Mon. £10, £8 children. Play everything from Minecraft and Mario to Pong and Pacman at this festival loaded with retro games and consoles. Bring your mates for a multiplayer showdown.

A Vote for Whom? V&A. Fri. Free. Take a closer look at the ‘Vote 100’ celebrations at this night of DJ sets from  Resis’Dance, storytelling and late-night exhibition openings at the V&A.

‘Isle of Dogs’ exhibition. The Store Studios. Fri-Mon. Free. Wes Anderson addicts can sneak a behind-the-scenes peek at his new mutt-filled film at this immersive exhibition curated by the man himself. See original sets and puppets or take a seat at the noodle and sake bars.  

5km Easter Egg Hunt and Mimosas. Regent’s Park. Fri. Free. Hunt for Easter treats of the tasty chocolate variety on this epic easter egg hunt around Regent’s Park. Once you've burnt up a sweat, sink some mimosas and bask in the glory of the four-day weekend ahead.

‘Flotilla’. Merchant Square. Fri-Mon. Free. See Regent’s Canal in full-on sparkle mode as a 180-strong flotilla of illuminated origami boats is released on to its waters.

BowWow Haus London. St Pancras International and Stratford International. Fri-Mon. Free. Does your pooch have property aspirations beyond its tatty dog bed? This display of extravagant kennels created by celebrities, renowned architects and artists (all in association with charity Blue Cross) will set them drooling.  

Mr Fogg's Easter Sunday Tipsy Tea. Mr Fogg’s, Mayfair. Sun, £45. Add some theatrics to your bank holiday weekend by booking a daffodil-covered table at this Phileas Fogg-themed pub. Tuck into Easter egg desserts, washed down with an ‘Easter Egg Cocktail’ while the pub’s resident harpist serenades you.



‘Caroline, or Change’. Hampstead Theatre. Fri,Sat & Mon. £25-£37 (some performances have return tickets only). See Tony Kushner’s oddball civil rights-era ‘musical’ – a semi-autobiographical work that picks over his childhood memories, exploring the injustices he was half-blind too. It mixes naturalism and flights of fancy with a rich tumbling score.

Dartmouth Arms, NW5 1SP. Our bar of the week is this boozer, which has been around for years, now given a new lease of life by the team behind The Chesham Arms in Hackney. The good vibes go beyond good booze – from a silly selection of board games to feelgood disco tunes.

Dog Fancy Dress Competition. The Dartmouth Arms. Sat. Free. While you're at our bar of the week, why not fix your hound into some Harry Paw-ter get-up, or your King Charles into a Chew-barker ensemble for this Easter doggy dress-up. Luxury dog baskets and free beer are up for grabs for the owners of sartorially splendid pups. 

Springfest. Alexandra Palace. Fri. £17. For a ninth, glorious year, Ally Pally will be transformed into a German beer hall complete with Bavarian waitresses and an oompah band. Visitors can also grab grub from street food vendors and hit the dance floor with Club De Fromage.

Vegan Easter Market. Blue House Yard. Sat. Free entry. Easter can be an alienating time for vegans, what with all the Sunday roasts and dairy products. But the plant-powered can indulge in all the seitan sandwiches, to-fish and chips, and chocolate they want at this market.

Angel Easter Floating Market. Regent’s Canal, Islington. Fri-Mon. Free entry. You’ll find the Village Butty bobbing merrily on Regent’s Canal over the long weekend. The cluster of boats comprises a floating bar stocked with hedgerow cocktails and shops selling vinyl, vintage clothing, herbal remedies and handmade jewellery.

Marianna Simnett. Zabludowicz Collection. Fri-Sun. Free. Feast your peepers on gory, surreal films about the body and a seriously panic-inducing installation. Art doesn’t often take your breath away, but Simnett’s will leave you gasping for air.



Easter Weekend Vinyl Emporium and Practical Synth WorkshopLibreria. Fri-Sat. Workshops £40 - £75. Celebrate a different kind of resurrection at Libreria's Analog Weekend: a two-day vinyl sale and DIY synth workshop, curated by NTS Radio in one of our favourite East End bookshops.

Pop Up Makers MarketV&A Museum of Childhood. Fri. Free entry. Fill your Good Friday with feelgood vibes, art, prints and homeware from independent designers, plus crafty Easter workshops.

An Egg Hunt Through Time and Space. Time Run. Fri-Sun. £35. The humble Easter egg hunt meets an escape room challenge for this special edition of Time Run, where you'll be challenged to seek out golden eggs that have disappeared through a time portal.

Easter Day PartyPitch. Sat. £4-£8. Top DJs, street food kiosks, a glitter station, big ol’ bean bags for lounging in and a healthy dose of inflatables are on the bill. See you on the disco terrace!

Homerton International Festival of Beer and Bar Snacks. Adam & Eve. Fri-Mon. Free entry. Go for bites made by Smoking Goat and stay for live music from Nadine Shah.

Easter Pickled Egg Eating Competition. Long Arm Pub & Brewery. Sun. Free. Not got a sweet tooth but don’t want to miss out on the egg action? Gorge yourself silly on the pickled variety instead at this bitter battle.

Ballie Ballerson Easter Special. 97-113 Curtain Rd. Sun. £16.65. Jump into a pool of youth long past at this kidult emporium where you will be rewarded with prizes for finding rubber chickens in a colourful Easter ballpit. 

Bike Jumble. Look Mum No Hands! Sun. Free entry. Pick up bike parts, sell bits you no longer need, and buy other parts for future projects. Food, craft beer and Square Mile coffee will on hand while you browse wheels and make deals.

At Your Beat Easter Open Day. The Castle Centre. Mon. Free. Test drive a selection of At Your Beat’s most popular classes and work off the obscene amounts of chocolate you’re guaranteed to eat this Easter.




Free Easter Party. Pop Brixton. Sun. Free. Big and little kids can test their agility at a breakdancing class, or their concentration on a hip hop jigsaw puzzle. Stay to see The Doctor’s Orders take over the decks for a grown-up party on the Pop rooftop.

Smoke & Salt. Pop Brixton. Our restaurant of the week is this small-plates joint in a former shipping container. Dishes are witty without being wacky and designed to make you happy. We gave it a whole five stars out of five.

Backyard Cinema: ‘Mission to Mars’. Mercato Metropolitano. Fri-Mon. Backyard Cinema is back and what’s in store is absolutely stellar. The latest theme for the immersive cinematic experience is ‘Mission to Mars’, meaning film lovers can zoom into a cinematic sci-fi universe where they’ll catch both classics and new releases.

Easter Sunday Disco Festival. Oval Space. Sun. £6-£20. Don your best disco shirt and get your wiggle on to the likes of Norman Jay and Jazzie B at this all-day party brimming with street food and cocktails.

Independent Music MarketPeckham Springs. Sun. Free entry. Spend Easter Sunday bagging beats from over 25 of the UK’s coolest record labels including Let’s Go Swimming, Far Out Recordings, Vinyl Deptford and YAM Records.

Horniman Easter Fair. Horniman Museum. Sat-Sun. Free entry. Get stuck into an Easter trail, go on a bat walk, settle in for family-friendly theatre, join a creative workshop or just sit back and relax while someone paints bunny whiskers on your face at one of our favourite London museum’s Easter celebrations.




‘Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008-2018’Design Museum. Fri-Mon. £10.90. The Design Museum’s colourful, noisy exhibition is filled with political graphic design, starting with the global financial crash. Hong Kong umbrellas, Parisian ‘Je Suis Charlie’ paraphernalia and Jeremy Corbyn T-shirts all feature, as the show sweeps together news stories of the past decade.

‘Misty’. Bush Theatre. Fri-Sat & Mon. £10-£20. This subversive show about the stories black men tell is delivered with physical swagger and grime-like flow by actor-playwright Arinzé Kene. The question of who gets to tell stories is tackled head-on here, with wit, exuberance and visual flair.

Chiswick House Easter Weekend Opening. Chiswick House Fri-Mon. £7.50, children free. Have an Easter weekend fit for a royal at Chiswick House, where they're using the bank holiday to highlight the women who lived and worked in this Jacobean building, including Dorothy Boyle, Countess of Burlington and Lady of the Bedchamber to Queen Caroline.

Beyond Words: Photomontage Workshop. Design Museum. Sat. £60. Create your own political graphics using a photomontage technique with the help of artist and activist Noel Douglas. Just check the news for some quick inspiration. 

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Main image: Anna Heath/ Flickr

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