Easter is upon us, and if you’re looking for something to do out and about in Wandsworth we’ve got some suggestions. Whether it is standing on the river bank watching two University crews slug it out for rowing honours in the world’s most famous boat race, taking time with the children to discover and learn about wildlife and conservation, or just making time at home to spend with the family.
Stroke – Stroke – Stroke
By far and away the biggest event on the Thames over Easter is the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. Now in its 162nd year (they began in 1829, but became an annual race from 1856) equality has finally caught up with this old institution and there are two races taking place on Sunday 27th March. The first is the Women’s race (only the second ever to take place on the same day) going off at 3.10pm, whilst the Men’s race gets away at 4.10pm.
From the start in Putney, the 4mile, 374 yard course takes the crews around peninsula of Barnes, south of Hammersmith and Chiswick and under Hammersmith and Barnes bridges, before the finish at Mortlake, just before Chiswick bridge. It’s a gruelling race that takes a little less than 15 minutes to complete. In the men’s event the overall balance of power is pretty close – with things set 79 – 81 in Cambridge’s favour. Oxford have been on a bit of a roll, winning the event over the past three years. The current course record of 13 minutes 32s was established in 1998 and is held by Cambridge. In the women’s race the wins are nothing like as close – with the stats showing 29 – 41 in Cambridge’s favour.
There are plenty of places to watch along both North and South banks – but expect it to be busy. An estimated 250,000 people turned out to watch the race last year. The official boatrace website tells you all you need to know.
City Farms & Nature Reserves
London has an amazing number of City farms and nature reserves and they’re always a popular destination for the children. Open space for the kids to run around and plenty of animals for them to see and learn about, make for a fun day out. Even better, you’ll also find they host some special Easter events.
Take the London Wetland Centre – who will be offering a Giant Easter Duck Hunt. All you’ve got to do is get yourself up to their fabulous facility in Barnes – that describes itself as an Urban Oasis for wildlife and people – between 25th & 27th March. Then let the title ones loose to find those ducks – in amongst all the other amazing spring things happening around the Centre.
Entry requires admission to the centre and a further £1 for the activity pack and prize. For more details see the WWT website.
If Farm Animals are more your family’s thing, then Wandsworth’s Dean City Farm have some fantastic holiday programmes. The first (£20) is Young Farmer Day – where 8-12 year olds can step into the boots of one of the farm’s livestock staff. The second is Own a Pony Day – for 8-15 year olds. They’ll get to take part in everything from mucking out to feeding, grooming and culminating in a 1/2 hr ride in the afternoon.
Find out more on the Dean City Farm website.
The team at Open Air fit are running kids summer programmes in the Easter Holidays on Clapham and Wandsworth Commons. If you want to keep your brood active through some of the easter break it’s worth considering one of these sporty sessions. Open to children from 4 – 14 years there are three camps: 29th March – 1st April, 4th – 8th April, and 11th – 15th April. There’s a wealth of sports on offer too – including Lacrosse, Football, Tag Rugby, quick cricket, mixed martial arts and athletics. You never know, you might discover you’ve got the next Jess – Ennis-hill or Mo Farah in your family.
Find out all about Open Air Fit Kids Camps over on their website.
Staying in – Get cooking
Alternatively, you might choose to stay in over Easter. And if you do, what better way to spend time with the kids than to cook with them. You might choose to make a cake, prepare dinner or – if Dad’s got time off – surprise Mum with a special Easter treat. Get your recipes sorted, turn off your internet devices and have some fun weighing, mixing and baking.
BBC Good Food have got plenty of Easter recipes to choose from. The Savoury take on Hotcross Buns with Cheddar and Parmesan sound particularly good.
Whatever you do, wherever you do it, we hope you have a great time over the Easter break.