London's Royal Parks host a huge range of activities in their beautiful and varied grounds every spring across the capital.

And despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and associated restrictions posing a number of challenges to the typical format, 2021 promises to be a bumper year for them and the wondrous joys of spring they bring.

This year the media team at Royal Parks put together a plethora of activities for kids and grown-ups to enjoy while taking all the necessary Covid safety measures.

And so, without further ado...

1. Free Easter holiday activities for kids and parents

Royal Parks line-up of family friendly activities this year runs April 6-April 16, includes a host of flora and fauna-based fun from nature trails, pond dipping and butterfly spotter guides to gardening tips, with plenty of arts and crafts to get stuck into too.

Live animated storytelling and nature-themed games and activities are also available with a load of online resources to use at home.

2. Van Gough Alive exhibition

News Shopper: Van Gough Alive Van Gough Alive

One of the most hotly anticipated art exhibitions of the year is coming to Kensington Gardens. 

"At Van Gogh Alive you don’t just look at his paintings, you step inside them and feel their power" one tagline for the exhibit that's generating international headlines reads.

Vana Gough Alive has already dazzled over 7 million visitors in 65 cities worldwide, and is making its anticipated debut for an exclusive four month run from June 4.

3. Listen to the sounds of spring

While the rest of the city sleeps join the blackbirds, wrens, chaffinches, robins, goldfinches, dunnocks, blackcaps and thrushes as they join together in full-throated song to greet the new day.

To that end, the latest episode of the brilliant 'Hidden Stories of the Royal Parks' podcast features bird experts sharing their stories of the unique birds that can be found in the Royal Parks, and includes a special sighting of a Red Throated Diver.

4. Cheer on the Royal Parks Half Marathon runners online

News Shopper:

On Sunday April 11, the Royal Parks Half Marathon, presented by Royal Bank of Canada is happening.

The park authorities said the event would see millions of pounds raised for worthwhile causes, and is also using it to promote some of the UK's best-loved green spaces this year.

You can cheer on everyone taking part online by tagging @royalparkshalf in your social media posts.

5. More than Bugs walking trail in Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

Royal Parks insect specialists, Mission:Invertebrate, are introducing a number of self-led walks that people can take at their own pace through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens and find a genuinely astounding amount of stuff from beautiful invertebrate-themed sculptures to marvellous rare minibeasts themselves and their intricate habitats.

6. Learn how to forage for wild food in nature

This is the time of year for fresh salad greens, tasty spring flowers, shoots, and even some medicinal plants.

From wild garlic to stinging nettles, learn how to identify common edible spring plants as well as the rules you need to follow when on a foraging adventure.

In this 1 hour online session running on the evening of April 21, a Royal Parks expert guide will not only share their favourite foraging recipes with you, but will teach you the ins and outs of wild plants and some folklore that surrounds them.

7. Spring Tree Photography Competition

News Shopper: The Isabella PlantationThe Isabella Plantation

Run by the ever-awesome Friends of Richmond Park, this competition is calling for the best shots from amateur and pro photographers alike running now until May 31.

The overall theme is images that show the character of the Park’s trees. Entrance is free and there a prizes for the winners up for grabs.


In spring you can expect a kaleidoscope of colour from charming pink blossoms to dashing yellow daffodils and more, and there are no better places to soak them all up in London than our Royal Parks.

From the Isabella Plantations jaw-dropping array of bluebells, evergreen azaleas and rhododendrons to Kew Gardens tunnel of Cherry blossoms, make sure you catch them while they are still in bloom.

9. Imaginative Royal Parks playgrounds

News Shopper: Image: Karen Bryan via Flickr ccImage: Karen Bryan via Flickr cc

A great option for when things at home get a bit too stuffy for the kids, there are a number of surprisingly thoughtful playgrounds on offer at the Royal Parks that really come into their own as the weather improves.

Most notable among them are the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Playground, which was inspired by J.M. Barrie's stories of Peter Pan. It includes a wooden pirate ship moored on a beach to real tepees and sensory trails.

10. Listen to ‘Music for Trees’

The next time you’re in The Regent’s Park, take the time to explore as you listen to original music composed for individual trees. The specialist app plays compositions by hugely talented students from the Royal Academy of Music, whose creations are an interpretation of the trees’ different characteristics.