Category Archives: London Events

More places to take the kids at Easter

Did you read my previous post 5 Places to take the kids for Easter?
Well here are another 6 amazing places to take the kids at Easter

1. Shaun and his Flock come to Kew this Easter!

5 places to take the kids for easter
daffodils at Kew

28 March – 12 April 2015
Aardman’s much-loved, world famous sheep is starring in his first movie and is bringing a host of friends to Kew to celebrate.
Normal rates apply; free entry for children aged 16 and under.
Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AB
Opening Hours: Open daily from 9:30am.  Closing times according to the seasons. Admission fees apply
http://www.kew.org/visit-kew-gardens/whats-on/easter

2. What about an Easter Egg hunt at Cutty Sark?

Nelson, Navy, Nation - National Maritime Museum
The beautifully restored Cutty Sark can be seen in Greenwich

3-6 April 2015 – Admission fees apply
You could win a family ticket to Camp Bestival all participants get a free Easter treat at the Even Keel Cafe.

Address: Cutty Sark, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9HT
Opening hours: open daily 10.00–17.00
http://www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/events/easter-egg-hunt15

 

 

3. Hunt for Easter Eggs at Ham House!

Ham House - view of front garden from Long Gallery
view towards the river from the Long Gallery

“I’m Sam I am, I Am…I eat Green Eggs and Ham!” Dr Seuss
From 3 – 6 April – admission fees apply
Explore the spring gardens at Ham House, Richmond, as you hunt for a Cadbury chocolate prize..…and hopefully they’re not green 😉

Address: Ham House, Ham Street, Ham, Richmond, Surrey, TW10 7RS
Opening Hours: times vary according to the season –
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ham-house/opening-times/

4. A Giant Easter Duck Hunt at the beautiful Barnes Wetland Centre.

barnes wetland centre
giant yellow ducks!! Barnes Wetland Centre

28th March to 5th April 2015 – Admission fees apply
Missing ducklings! It would be hard to miss them – with BIG yellow ducklings to uncover! Discover them all and you win a Cadbury’s Freddo frog.
Address: London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth’s Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT
Opening Hours: from 9.30am everyday, 364 days a year – with seasonal closing times
http://www.wwt.org.uk/wetland-centres/london/

5. Museum of London
The Museum of London has a whole raft of things to do over the Easter Break. I’ve given you just a snapshot of what’s on offer, do check their website below for many more events.

museum of london city of london
Museum of London – the best museum in London

Victorian childhood
Saturday 28 March & Tuesday 2 April, 12.30-2pm, 2.30-4pm
Life could be very different for rich and poor children in Victorian London. Explore these differences and design a doll to take home.
Suggested ages: 5+    Event type: Art drop-in
Tuesday 31 March, Friday 3 & Saturday 4 April, 12.30-2pm & 2.30-4pm
How did the Victorians celebrate Easter? Take some inspiration from the Victorian hat shop and make some handsome head-wear to take home.
Suggested ages: 5+     Event type: Art drop-in
Granny’s attic
Friday 10 April 1-1.30pm, 2-2.30pm & 3-3.30pm
What happens when a special old box transports a child back to Victorian times? Find out through a journey of Victorian literature, songs and art at this storytelling session.
Suggested ages: 5+    Event type: Storytelling
http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/whats-on/family-events/holidays/

By rail: Liverpool Street, City Thameslink, Farringdon
By bus: 4, 8, 25, 56, 100, 172, 242, 521
http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/london-wall/visiting-us/getting-here/

6. Bank of England Museum
EGGonomics (7 – 11 & 14 – 17 April)
10:00am – 4:30pm     Admission and all activities are free.
During the Easter break the Museum presents EGGonomics, a special event to entertain the whole family.
There will be a treasure trail to find an egg and chicks hidden in the Museum, with a chocolate egg for every child who takes part.
Children can also indulge their imagination by creating and decorating their own Easter basket to take home.
A family fun day out is guaranteed with all the other museum attractions including banknote jigsaws, a roller ball game, interactive displays and the opportunity for some safe cracking.
You can also take the helm of our brand new interactive boat game and set monetary policy to keep inflation steady.
Visitors can even try to lift a genuine gold bar with a current value of over £300,000 -although, weighing 13kg, it will take many people by surprise!
Activity sheets for children of all ages are available at the Museum’s Information Desk, with a small prize for all those who take part.
Address: Bank of England Museum, Bartholomew Lane, London EC2R 8AH

http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/education/Pages/museum/exhibitions/easter.aspx

Nearest tube: Bank
Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk

Hoppity Easter from 3 Days in London, I hope you get to find lots of eggs and bunnies!   If you’re heading over to Twickenham, why not stop in at Sweetie Pies Boutique Bakery for tea and cupcakes

5 places to take the kids for easter
how could you eat a face like that!

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Chinese New Year Festival, London 2015

chinese new year london 2015
Chinese Year of the Sheep/Goat

The 2015 Chinese New Year aka the Spring Festival in London was, as always, a riotous kaleidoscope of colourful parades, amazing costumes, traditional drumming, dragon and lion dancing; fabulous acrobatics that take your breath away and leave you cheering for the daring escapades of the extraordinary lion!!

 

The festival starts with a parade through the streets of the West End; from Trafalgar Square along Charing Cross Road, past China Town finishing on Shaftesbury Road in Soho.

At the head of the parade is the Chinese God of Wealth aka the Money God followed by the Dragon dancing (a form of traditional dance and performance in Chinese culture), the dancing Lion (most often seen in festive celebrations) prances and dances through the crowds accompanied by drumming,

chinese new year london 2015
traditional drummers

cymbals and cheers from the crowds, characters from Chinese legends in traditional dress,

colourful floats, weird animal characters representing the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, while various dancers and singers bring up the rear of the parade!

2015 is the Year of the Goat or Sheep.

chinese new year london 2015
Year of the Sheep 2015
King Hei Fat Choi

After the parade the crowds surge towards Trafalgar Square for the Opening Ceremony that starts with firecrackers at precisely 12 noon.

chinese new year london 2015
Trafalgar Square – Chinese New Year 2015

Firecrackers are used to signify the start of the new year and drive away evil spirits.  After this there are the speeches (usually 30 minutes), the Dotting Eye Ceremony after which we get to see

the fabulous acrobatic Flying Lion Dance; by far and away the best performance – a feat of agility, strength, balance and timing…simply breath-taking!!

and then the magical Dragon Dance. This is followed with variety performances; singers, dance troupes and martial arts performances. The finale at 5:45pm is usually an extravaganza of martial arts, opera and pop sounds from the Voice of China.

Fortunately this year the rain held out till after the dragon dances!!
Trafalgar Square and surrounding streets are lined with gift and food stalls and this event, the 7th such festival in London, drew huge crowds, a mix of London’s diverse cultures.

The Dragon dance is often performed on auspicious occasions, especially during the Chinese New Year. A team of experienced and well-practised dancers manipulate a long and fragile, colourful flexible figure of a dragon using poles positioned at regular intervals along the length of the dragon that mimics the movements of the river spirit in a sinuous, undulating manner.

Chinese dragons, a symbol of China, are believed to possess qualities that include great power, dignity, fertility, wisdom and auspiciousness to bring good luck to people and the community; the longer the dragon in the dance, the more luck it will bring, it wards off evil spirits and welcomes good fortune. The movements traditionally symbolize power and dignity.

chinese new year london 2015
The Chinese Dragon

Colours are used to symbolize different aspects of the spring festival: green symbolizes a great harvest, red represents excitement while yellow symbolizes the solemn empire, and golden or silver colours symbolize prosperity, while the scales and tail are mostly beautiful glittering silver colours which provides a feeling of a joyous atmosphere.

Performed during the Spring festival street celebrations to pray for good luck, the lion believed to be an auspicious animal that brings good luck.

chinese new year london 2015 (26) -
Dancing Lion

The Lion dance, a Chinese folk art, is performed during the Chinese New Year and other Chinese traditional, cultural and religious festivals. The ‘lion’ is usually two dancers with one acting as the head and the other the body, who dance to a drum, cymbals and a gong, while on the head of the lion is mirror so that evil spirits will be frightened away by their own reflections.

Chinese New Year will always fall between January 21 and February 21, with the first rule of thumb to calculate the date being that the Chinese New Year should be the new moon closest to the beginning of spring (in the northern hemisphere), known as Lìchin.

I had a wonderful day, the Chinese New Year festival is one of my favourite annual events in London, and as I was born in the Year of the Sheep, this year was a particularly special.  I was also on assignment for Mustard PR to capture the fun, the excitement and the enjoyment of the crowds for a project they are working on.

In all a fabulous event on the London 2015 calendar.

2015 london calendar
scenes of London – the 2015 calendar

Keep an eye out for the 2016 calendar; pre-order yours in September 2015

things to do with 3 days in london
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Chinese New Year celebrations in London 22 February 2015

Chinese New Year in London 22 February  2015

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Dragon Dancing; Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year in London is one of the most spectacular in the West with hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the celebrations across the capital last year.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Wardour Street Soho

This year, the Year of the Sheep, Chinese New Year falls on February 19th and the London celebrations take place on the Sunday following, 22nd February 2015, with a number of activities taking place in Chinatown, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and Trafalgar Square.

Festivities begin at 10am with a parade beginning at Duncannon Street, moving along Charing Cross Road and Shaftesbury Avenue.

What to expect at London’s Chinese New Year celebrations

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Trafalgar Square – Chinese New Year

An official opening ceremony then takes place in Trafalgar Square from 12noon with speeches from special guests. Once officially opened, the real celebrations kick off with Dragon dancing, music and performances on the Trafalgar Square stage.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Chinese New Year – Shaftesbury Place

Join the crowds in a stall-covered Chinatown for fun and firecrackers on and around Gerrard Street, Lisle Street and Shaftesbury Avenue; impromptu parties, food stalls and lion dancing.

London’s Chinese New Year celebrations are the largest outside Asia. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people descend on the West End to wish each other “Kung Hei Fat Choi” (or Happy New Year).

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Happy New Year

where to watch chinese new year london 2015The main stage in Trafalgar Square will feature visiting artists from China. There will also be lion teams circulating around Chinatown, local artists performing on a stage at the end of Dean Street and traditional food and craft stalls.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
a really fierce dragon!!

With plenty of activities and celebrations to get involved in, while you’re there, sample the delights of London’s Chinatown; famous for an abundance of Chinese restaurants.

About Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year, based on the lunar and solar calendars, is celebrated with huge festivals amongst Chinese communities in London and around the world. The actual date of Chinese New Year varies, but generally falls between late January and mid February.

chinese new year london
Chinese Horoscope

The Chinese calendar is represented by one of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.

London will be celebrating Chinese New Year on Sunday 22nd February 2015. See official website for full events schedule. http://www.chinatownlondon.org/

The celebrations, with Chinese arts and entertainment from international and home-grown artists, plus food, firecrackers and fireworks, transforms the West End; Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Shaftesbury Avenue and London’s Chinatown, as visitors welcome in the New Year; 2015 is represented by the Sheep.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Kung Hei Fat Choi

Highlights include:

– Festivities generally begin at 10am with the fantastic New Year’s parade around the West-end. Passing through Chinatown, Shaftsbury Avenue, Charing Cross Road and Rupert Street the parade will reach its final destination of Trafalgar Square at 12pm

– An official opening ceremony takes place in Trafalgar Square from 12pm with speeches from special guests

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
Good Luck Dragon; Chinese New Year

– Once officially opened, the real celebrations kick off; Dragon dancing (not to be missed – ensure you get there early to secure a good spot), music and performances on the Trafalgar Square stage from 12pm-6pm

– A second stage on Shaftesbury Avenue hosts performances from a range of local community groups and schools, also from 12pm – 6pm

– Meanwhile Chinatown plays host to a parade by Lion dancers as well as a range of stalls selling traditional produce throughout the day.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015
lucky charms for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year dates are determined by the luni-solar Chinese calendar, which means the date changes every year. This year; 2015 Chinese New Year falls on 19 February, with festivities and celebrations on Sunday 22nd February 2015.

For further information closer to the time, please check their website:

http://www.chinatownlondon.org/

Please be aware that pickpockets and criminals operate in large crowds at these events, please keep your personal belogings safe.

Nearest tube stations: Charing Cross – TfL & National Rail; Leicester Square – TfL

Plan your journey: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/

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Kung Hei Fat Choi

Happy New Year! To all our Chinese citizens, residents and visitors, 3 Days in London wishes you a happy and auspicious new year.

where to watch chinese new year london 2015

The next cycle of the Chinese New Year starts on 19 February 2015; the Year of the Sheep or Goat.

chinese new year
Chinese New Year 2015

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac calendar and the Goat comes 8th .  According to Chinese astrology, each year (starting from Chinese New Year) is associated with an animal sign, occurring in a 12-year cycle; the animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

2015 is a year of the Goat.

Each year central London plays host to the Chinese New Year events that take place in Soho, China Town and Trafalgar Square with parades, dragon dancing, fire-crackers, food and lots of colourful costumes, noise and fun!

Be sure to join in the fun in London on 22 February 2015

things to do with 3 days in london
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‘Flipping’ Fun on Pancake Day 17 Feb 2015

It’s Shrove Tuesday on the 17th February and that means just one thing……PANCAKES!!! :)

Pancake day venues london
Pancake Day

As usual there are a number of events around London that you can head over to watch …they’re always good fun.  All these events are FREE to watch.

Better Bankside Pancake Day Race

Date: 17 February 2015 – Time: The races will start at 12:30pm and finish at around 2.00pm

Location: The races will be held in Borough Market’s Jubilee Place just off Winchester Walk.

There will be pancakes. There will be music. There will be food from the one of the world’s best markets. There will be fun. There will be one winning team.

Event website: http://www.betterbankside.co.uk/events/17-february-better-bankside-annual-charity-pancake-day-race

Nearest tube: Southwark

Flipping Marvellous Pancake Race

Date: 17/02/15 – Time: 12:30 – 14:00

Location: The Scoop at More London, Queen Elizabeth Walk. 

Event website: http://www.morelondon.com/events/calendar/flipping-marvellous-pancake-race/

Nearest tube: London Bridge

pancake day london
the 2013 Pancake Day Races at Guildhall

Inter-Livery Pancake Races in Guildhall Yard (organised by the Poulters’ Company) 

Date: 17 February 2015 – Time: 11am-2pm

Location: Guildhall Yard, Gresham Street, City of London EC2V 7HH

See Masters (or their substitutes) compete to run from one end of Guildhall Yard to the other and back again – tossing their pancakes at fixed points…. without dropping them!

pancake day london
the 2013 Pancake Day Races at Guildhall

Event website: http://www.poulters.org.uk/events/

Nearest tube: Bank

2014 Pancake Day at Leadenhall Market
2014 Pancake Day at Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market Pancake Races

Date: 17 February 2015 – Time: 12noon – 2pm

Another year of the famous Leadenhall Market Pancake Race! Teams of 4 will battle in out in a fantastic display of coordination and speed. Flipping a pancake filled fry pan up and down the market fastest!

Event Website: http://www.lambtavernleadenhall.com/events.php

Nearest tube: Bank

The Great Spitalfields Pancake Race 2015

Date: 17 February 2015 – Time: 12:30pm

Location: Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane,Whitechapel, London E1 6QL 

Teams of four, pan in hand, race along Dray Walk on Brick Lane while tossing their pancakes.

Event website: http://www.alternativearts.co.uk/events/4581216299

Nearest tube: Liverpool Street

westminster pancake day
Pancake Day at Westminster – racing for Rehab 2014

Parliamentary Pancake Races

Date: 17 February 2015 – Time: 10am-12noon approximately

Location: Victoria Tower Gardens, Millbank, Westminster, SW1P 3JA

Watch MPs, Lords and members of the press flipping crepes for charity.

westminster pancake day 2014
Pancake Day at Westminster – racing for Rehab 2014

I went to watch this last year. It’s free to watch and usually thronged with professional and amateur photographers eager to capture the honourable members flipping pancakes while wearing silly hats.

Event website: http://www.rehab.ie/pancake-race/index.aspx

Nearest Tube: Westminster

Plan your journey http://www.tfl.gov.uk

Shrove Tuesday marks the last day before Lent. Traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with clearing your cupboards of goods such as sugar, fats and eggs, it’s commonly known as Pancake Day because it represents a good opportunity to use such ingredients ahead of the fasting period.

Pancake Day takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday. Because the date of Easter Sunday is dictated by the cycles of the moon, Pancake Day can occur anytime between February 3 and March 9.  The date for 2015 is February 17th.

Have a great time if you go. Be sure to tag me in your photos on instagram 

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