Top 5 FREE galleries
As admission prices sky rocket, here are five suggestions for an Easter trip that won't cost anything!
Head to the wonderful weird Wellcome Collection. Their latest exhibition, Milk, is a fact-filled delight. From contemporary art to the cost and ethics of milk, colonialism to breast feeding, it is rammed with dairy detail.
Nalini Malani and The Ugly Duchess at the National Gallery
The National's blockbuster show After Impressionism: Inventing Modern Art is fab but adult tickets start at a hefty £24 (U18s are free). There are however two excellent free exhibitions running. Make sure you book gallery tickets in advance. They are free but you need your slot.
Re-think how you look at art with Nalini Malani: My Reality is Different - Malani, an Indian artist, has taken a selection of works from the National's collection (and a couple from Holborne Museum in Bath) and overlaid them with animations (done on an Ipad). 25 animations run consecutively on nine video projections creating a fascinating new way to look at Caravaggio, Zoffany and more. A series of free Family Workshops are running in conjunction with the exhibition from 4–13 April.
Older children may be interested to pop into The Ugly Duchess: Beauty and Satire in the Renaissance - Quinten Massys' An Old Woman is iconic as the face that inspired the illustrations for the Duchess in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Go beyond the fairytale and see how, even back in 1516, centuries before fillers and filters, older women were desperate to keep their youth and beauty, and being ridiculed for it. Plus ça change.
Best of British Photos
January saw the opening of The Centre for British Photography. On Jermyn Street, a block away from Fortnum & Mason’s (if you are looking for a chocolate-y Easter treat afterwards), it is free to visit. Punchy colour-saturated photos fill the ground floor exhibition, Headstrong: Women and Empowerment. The space extends over three floors and also includes a second temporary show, The English at Home. Both run to 28 May. The latter features some moving black and white images of working-class families from the 1930s. Ages 10+.
Get Messy at Tate Britain
The Millbank Tate is often a lot less packed than its Bankside sibling and The Walk Through British Art is one of our favourite to do with kids. Inspired by the Henry Moores on display, throughout the holidays you can join a session at the drop in Clay Studio daily 1–16 April, 10.30am–4.30pm.
Gilbert and George
April Fool's Day sees the opening of The Gilbert & George Centre in Spitalfields. The inaugural exhibition, The Paradisical Pictures, promises a psychedelic jungle landscape of rotting vegetation and staring eyes. Expect a good dose of anarchic humour from the erstwhile enfant terribles of British Art. Whatever it's like, it's free and you are in a fun part of town to be at the weekend. Open Fri–Sun, 10am–5pm