Ten things to do for the Easter holidays
Need a cultural fix that has something entertaining for kids too? These venues have something for the whole family to enjoy, ideal for a school holiday outing.
Looking for fun for all the family? These ten cultural venues are not only stunning places to visit as an adult, but also somewhere kids can let their imagination run wild and find fun ways to learn about history, science and art. Many run extra activities for children over the school holidays so do check their websites for details nearer the time of your visit.
Ten things to do for the Easter holidays
This grand ducal palace set in rolling parkland is home to an impressive art collection shaped by 14 generations of Cavendish family members. As well as the chance to explore the house and works on display, Chatsworth hosts fun family activities on its farmyard, including animal handling, birdwatching and arts and crafts, or children can explore the huge outdoor playground with slides, swings, a trampoline and a zip wire. There is also a wide range of food at various cafes and restaurants located around the estate.
This Grade I listed villa houses an interesting collection of 17th and 18th-century paintings and decorative art and is surrounded by intimate pleasure gardens where Jane Austen once walked. More recently the exterior of the museum has doubled as the home of Lady Danbury in the Netflix series 'Bridgerton'. All ages are catered for with free family museum trails, family activity bags and creative activities based around the museum's exhibitions in the Sackler Discovery Centre.
The museum's eclectic collection of over 350,000 objects spans anthropology, natural history, musical instruments and an aquarium. Favourites include the famous overstuffed walrus and impressive musical instrument gallery, plus a garden with views across London.
Winner of Best Large Museum in the Kids in Museums’ Family Friendly Museum Awards 2021, the Horniman engages children in many ways, from arts and crafts, to Busy Bees workshops and the play area. They also have an online virtual group for eco-conscious children called the Environment Champions Club.
Take the family back in time and explore 500 years of history in this wonderful Tudor building crammed with arms, armour and tapestries. Inside you can dress up in Tudor costumes and armour, outside there are plenty of opportunities to tick off activities from the National Trust's '50 things to do before you're 11¾' list. You can bring a picnic or enjoy sweet treats in the Victorian Tea Room.
Wander around this living museum in the Ironbridge Gorge and experience what it was like to live in a town in East Shropshire around 1900. Interact with costumed actors, visit the shops, buy fish and chips and pies with shillings and pence and see plumbers, tinsmiths and plasterers ply their trades. Children can make souvenirs to take home in special workshops, play old-fashioned games or even try out the rides on a traditional funfair.
The museum holds over a million objects that tell the story of the City of London from prehistoric times to the present day. Wander around the permanent collections and temporary exhibitions and take part in a huge variety of workshops, enjoy interactive tours and family walks or download and print activity sheets to complete in your own time as you make your way around the museum.
Explore the whole world in one museum, from Egyptian mummies to casts of dinosaur bones. An underwater adventure awaits in the aquarium with starfish, an octopus and immersive projections, then explore outer space via the full dome planetarium which has extra showings during the school holidays.
Through its collection of more than 300,000 objects, the Science Museum tells the story of over 300 years of Western science, technology and medicine. Take advantage of the daily tours, live events, science shows and interactive exhibits the museum has to offer, as well as simulator rides and an IMAX 3D cinema. The Wonderlab caters for children aged 7-14 who have an interest in science and maths, and budding pre-teen and teenage engineers can test their skills in the Engineer Your Future free interactive gallery.
Unlike in many traditional galleries, here kids can get up close to the internationally acclaimed sculptures. Children can run around freely in the fresh air, or sit and watch the scudding clouds from the comfort of James Turrell's Deer Shelter Skyspace, commissioned by Art Fund in 2007. YSP runs family workshops over the summer and also has a shop with items for kids including home pottery kits and educational wooden construction toys.
Cornwall's museum dedicated to boats and all things marine is the perfect way to spend a day out with the family. Five floors of fun including the RNLI Rescue zone, a boatbuilding workshop and the tidal zone where you can look underwater through two large windows and learn about creatures of the deep.
There is also a lookout tower where you can use telescopes to zoom in on views of Falmouth, a kids play zone based around Treasure Island and a pool for racing model boats. The museum often provides extra activities for children during the school holidays, including half term breaks.
The more you see, the more we do.
The National Art Pass lets you enjoy free entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, while raising money to support them.