What's on in London this April 2018 near Kensington
This month starts with Easter and it's a popular time to visit London. There's lots of Easter fun at the museums and often special meals at restaurants. Do note, large shops are closed on Easter Sunday (1 April) but attractions are open.
NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
A new opening this month, on the East Lawn in front of the Natural History Museum, is Sensational Butterflies. This annual delight is back for its tenth year and here until 16 September 2018.
Inside the Museum’s tropical butterfly house you can watch the crawling caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies. This immersive exhibition is filled with life, colour and beauty and features species found in the tropical forests of Central and South America, Africa and Asia.
On until 13 May, visitors encounter some of the world's most venomous creatures and discover their surprising connection to human health. Get up close to all kinds of specimens, from snakes, centipedes, snails and scorpions to the unassuming platypus.
You get to see the world through the eyes of both predator and prey and explore the effects of venom and the role it plays in the natural world. And find out how across cultures and time, humans have found creative ways to neutralise and harness the properties of venom, and how today some of nature's deadliest venoms are actually saving lives.
From 3 to 8 April (and with special events on 27 and 28 April), there's a free Frankenstein Festival at the Science Museum. The festival celebrates the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein or the Modern Prometheus with a free festival exploring the science behind this cultural phenomenon.
Through immersive theatre, experimental storytelling and hands-on activities visitors can examine the ethical and scientific questions surrounding the artificial creation of life. And you can step into Doctor Frankenstein’s shoes, creating a creature and bringing it to life using stop-motion animation.
As part of the festival, visitors can meet researchers at the cutting-edge of science – from biochemists who manipulate DNA to engineers creating artificial intelligence – and discover fascinating scientific objects which could have influenced Shelley.
Over the Easter holiday, the Science Museum also welcomes back its phenomenally popular interactive gaming event Power UP. Returning for a third year, this hands-on video game extravaganza features the very best video games, computers and consoles from the past four decades.
Power UP runs from Friday 30 March until Sunday 15 April 2018.
If you would like to introduce younger children to the delight of watching ballet at the theatre this is an excellent event. English National Ballet and English National Ballet School present My First Ballet: Swan Lake at the Peacock Theatre from 29 March to 7 April.
It's a new version of the well-known classic as part of the My First Ballet series created especially for children as young as three. Adapted to an hour in length and with a narrator to help young audiences follow the story, it's the perfect introduction to the magic of ballet.
Kew Gardens has A Big Day Out with Peter Rabbit from 30 March to Sunday 15 April. There's lots of family fun from activity workshops and games to storytelling and an interactive trail inspiring children to connect with nature.
Join Peter Rabbit and all his furry friends on a botanical bunny adventure inspired by Beatrix Potter's iconic tales. And as spring will be well and truly underway, the Gardens will be filled with the dazzling colour of blooming crocuses, daffodils and magnolias.
The picturesque Kew Palace at Kew Gardens opens for the year on 29 March, and 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the death of Queen Charlotte at the Palace.
A new display offers a personal look at her life and interests. Her last surviving dress is on show along with examples of fine porcelain (which she was a patron and great collector of) and the diary she kept during her lifetime.
This thought-provoking display aims to also explore her intellectual pursuits, and includes mathematical books from her personal library. Most poignantly of all, the chair in which Charlotte died remains at the Palace, and will be displayed within the very room she died.
At the Warner Bros Studio Tour there's The Goblet of Fire from 30 March to 23 September. This special feature, dedicated entirely to the fourth instalment of the magical film series, reveals secrets behind the characters, costumes and props that made it so special.
The Goblet of Fire is being returned to the Great Hall for the first time since filming wrapped in 2010. You can see a live special effects demonstration in the Great Hall showing how the Triwizard Champions' parchments were expelled from the Goblet, even receiving a souvenir parchment to remember your visit.
There's also the iconic Prefects' Bathroom taps complete with multicoloured water running from each of the 53 spouts, just as seen on-screen. Plus many new props and costumes from the Triwizard Tournament are on display, including the boot Portkey that transported Harry and his friends to the 422nd Quidditch World Cup.
Lastly, visitors will see a new addition to the majestic Hogwarts castle model; a scale version of the Beauxbatons carriage complete with winged horses poised to land on the Hogwarts grounds for the first time ahead of the Triwizard championship.
Continuing the Harry Potter theme, the Royal Albert Hall has Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in Concert from 27 to 29 April. Hogwarts' finest returns to the Royal Albert Hall with a sensational live orchestral screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™.
Projected in high-definition on a 40-foot screen, you get to watch the movie accompanied by an orchestra performing John Williams' iconic score.
This event is the start of the Films in Concert series and there's lots more fun to come throughout the year.
BAT OUT OF HELL
Jim Steinman's Bat Out of Hell – The Musical returns to London's West End this month. The award-winning show is on at the Dominion Theatre from 2 April.
It's a romantic adventure about rebellious youth and passionate love, set against the backdrop of a post-cataclysmic city adrift from the mainland. Strat, the forever young leader of The Lost, has fallen for Raven, daughter of Falco, the tyrannical, ruler of Obsidian.
For the stage musical, Steinman has incorporated iconic songs from the Bat Out of Hell albums, including You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth, Bat Out of Hell, I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That) and Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad, as well as two previously unreleased songs, What Part of My Body Hurts the Most and Not Allowed to Love.
If you are planning a trip in London this April, check-out Fraser Suites Queens Gate special offers and promotions! We are located in the heart of Kensington and surrounded by tourist attractions.
Laura Porter writes AboutLondonLaura.com and contributes to many other publications while maintaining an impressive afternoon tea addiction. You can find Laura on Twitter as @AboutLondon and on Facebook as @AboutLondonLaura.
Required image credits: Science Museum, Power UP: © Benjamin Ealovega, Science Museum London | Natural History Museum, Red fire ant: © Trustees of the NHM, London | Sensational Butterflies: © The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London | English National Ballet School in My First Ballet: Swan Lake © Photography by ASH | Kew Palace: © RBG Kew | Peter Rabbit at Kew for Easter: © RBG Kew | Goblet of Fire: © Warner Bros | Bat Out of Hell: © Speculal