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Different Ways to Enjoy Easter in London

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by Sandra Lawson (subscribe)
To paraphrase Dorothy: 'There is no place like London.' I hope I can convince you of that here. Also check out my blog at damselwithadulcimer.wordpress.com and my theatre reviews at www.playstosee.com
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Whether we are adults or children, Easter always seems to mean chocolate these days. It's difficult not to be a chocoholic as the entire celebration has become incredibly commercialised. So why not give in to your urges and indulge yourself a little over the Easter weekend in and around London? Some events are outdoors, but, as we can never guarantee our weather, some will take place undercover, and not everything includes chocolate.

Most events have something to do with chocolate so to get you in the mood you could visit the free Southbank Chocolate Festival over the weekend before the holiday. This event will even teach you about the healthy aspects of chocolate, so your conscience and taste buds will be free for further indulgence.

You could also get a head start on fuelling your chocolate addiction if you visit Kew Gardens between 31 March and 15 April. In addition to everything else these botanical gardens have to offer you can enjoy a Maya chocolate experience. You'll have the chance to learn about the history of chocolate as you follow the adventure trail. There will also be chocolate making workshops and face painting, and a chance to drink chocolate as it was invented by the Mayas. If you visit on Easter Sunday you will be able to join an Easter egg hunt and possibly win a chocolate egg from Kew's Easter bunnies.

Tickets cost £13.90 for adults and children under 17 are free. The event starts at 9.30 and finishes when the Gardens close.

Easter 2012
Maya Chocolate Adventure at Kew Gardens


You can put all your eggs in one basket at the Bank of England over two weekends. Between 10am and 4.30pm on 2,3,4 and 5 and again on 10, 11, 12 and 13 April you can hunt for eggs, take home a free chocolate egg and have an opportunity to decorate an Easter basket. There will also be other activities such as assembling a banknote jigsaw and cracking safes. Admission is free.

You can hunt for more eggs around the animal houses at Battersea Park Zoo between 31 March and 8 April. Zoo admission costs £7.95 for adults and entry to the egg hunt is £1.50, which includes a prize. The zoo is open from 10am until 5.30pm.

On a slightly different (musical) note there is a Hallelujah for Easter live music and Easter egg trail at the Handel House Museum on 8 April between 12pm and 6pm. The resident musicians will entertain the adults whilst the children hunt the eggs. There will be free chocolate prizes. Admission is £6 for adults and children under 16 are free.

The Ham House Easter Egg Hunt will be home to hidden Cadbury's Easter eggs between 11am and 4.30pm over the entire weekend. Admission prices are £3.30 for adults and £2.20 for children, and it costs a further £3 to enter the hunt.

Near to London Bridge you can search for Lindt Gold Bunnies at Potters Fields. The Lindt Gold Bunny will be celebrating its 60th birthday this year and you can hunt for yours between 10am and 4pm on 7 April. You'll also be able to create an Easter bonnet or have your face painted at this free event.

Easter 2012
Easter Egg Hunt at Potters Fields


In Hampstead you can hunt for more eggs in the garden of Fenton House. You'll also be in for a chance to win a chocolate prize courtesy of Cadbury's over all four days of the weekend. Admission is £6.50 for adults and £3.00 for children, with an extra £3 for the trail sheet.

Out at the London Wetlands Centre the emphasis is on nature's real live chicks and spring flowers. You can learn about the ducklings and watch them take their first swim. You can also go for a springtime walk and identify flowers and plants. Entrance is £10.99 for adults and £6.10 for children.

Easter 2012
London Wetlands Centre


Finally, if your tastes extend to something beyond chocolate you might like to consider Le Beat Bespoké Weekender. There will be an entire weekend of live music taking place over Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The events are a pick and mix of whatever you fancy and ticket prices vary depending on what you choose.

Easter 2012
Le Beat Bespoke Weekender


If your tastes are even more exotic, and perhaps a little naughty, why not attend the Torture Garden Easter Ball on 5 April? Their website explains that this is a fetish event for a 'gargantuan gropetastic affair, which is hugely popular with show-offs, goths, industrial punks, burlesque beauties and circus freaks'. Further information can be found on the website, and all tickets need to be booked in advance.

Easter 2012
The Torture Garden Easter Ball


Finally, let's not forget that Easter is a religious festival and the Easter story will be celebrated in Trafalgar Square via Passion in the Square. This will re-enact Christ's betrayal, arrest, trial, crucifixion and resurrection. This is a free event that will take place twice on Good Friday, 6 April (at 12pm and 3.15pm), depicted by a cast of more than 70 actors and relayed by large screens and radio microphones. Each performance lasts for ninety minutes.

Easter 2012
Passion in the Square


I hope there's something for all tastes here, whether chocolate, musical, religious or otherwise. Have a happy weekend, whatever you decide to do.
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Why? To enjoy Easter in several different ways
When: Variable, depending on the event
Where: Various venues in and around London
Cost: Some events are free, others are chargeable
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