What the Dickens? At Barnet libraries it’s all things Dickens this Easter, with a range of family activities to promote the capital’s City Read 2012 scheme to spread the love of reading with Oliver Twist. Look out for the travelling display of Oliver Twist in Barnet at East Barnet library on April 2-8, Chipping Barnet library on April 10-11 and Hendon library later in the month, from April 20 to 29. Or follow the Discover Barnet trail to see Barnet as it was in Dickens’ time and discover lots of fun facts about Barnet, starting from Chipping Barnet library.
Children aged eight to 12 are invited to join comics and manga creator Karen Rubins to create their own characters and comic strips based on Oliver Twist.
For details of all of these and more Dickens-based activities, visit www.barnet.gov.uk/libraries or www.cityreadlondon.org.uk.
Art in the garden Camden Arts Centre in Hampstead are holding a range of artist-led family activities themed around the garden, including drop-in activities in the garden and drawing studio, building a diorama based on natural landscapes and modelling new and exotic plant species in clay. Families are invited to make costumes and props in order to camouflage themselves as they wander around the garden among the interactive installations and study the plants through periscopes.
Taking Root Holiday Weekend is taking place at Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead on April 7 and 8 from 12-5pm. Details: www.camdenartscentre.org/talksandevents.
Egg-citing trail Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without a chocolate egg hunt, and there can’t be many more lovely surroundings to scramble about looking for them than in the grounds of Fenton House in Hampstead. Follow the trail round the walled garden with its abundance of fruit trees and its kitchen garden and be the first to find the egg.
Easter Egg Trail at Fenton House, Hampstead Grove, Hampstead is on April 6-9 from 11am to 4.30pm. Details: 020 7435 3471, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/fentonhouse.
On an egg hunt Or head along to the great Easter Egg Hunt at Avenue House in Finchley. Children over eight can follow the mystery trail from the house and all around the gardens. The trail runs throughout the afternoon. For the younger ones, there’s a more traditional Easter egg hunt which starts at 4pm near the playground.
Easter Egg Hunt is at Avenue House, East End Road, Finchley on Sunday, April 1 from 2.30pm. Details: www.friendsofavenuehouse.org.
Granddad stories There’s a charming family show coming to artsdepot in Finchley this weekend. Travels with Granddadd tells the story of eccentric traveller and storyteller extraordinaire Granddad. Enter his battered Bedouin tent and be swept up in his magical tales of adventure in real and imaginary worlds.
The Clock That Stopped Time, The Violin Princess and The Most Beautiful Thing in The World are brand new, old fashioned fairytales crafted by Toby Hulse from the imaginations of primary school children he has worked with. With evocative sound and exquisite puppets, this will enthral and delight the whole family.
Travels with Granddad is at artsdepot, Tally Ho Corner, Nether Street, North Finchley on Sunday, April 1 at 12pm and at 3pm. Details: 020 8369 5454, www.artsdepot.co.uk.
Off to see the Wizard Follow the Yellow Brick Road all the way to the Radlett Centre this Easter for a magical performance of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. This participatory show features all-new songs and is family theatre at its very best.
Proceedings start with an easy, light-hearted rehearsal, during which a number of children from the audience are selected to perform while the rest of the audience is taught the choruses of the songs, with the whole thing coming together for the final performance.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is at the Radlett Centre, Aldenham Avenue, Radlett on Wednesday, April 11 at 11am and 2pm. Details: 01923 859291, www.radlettcentre.co.uk.