April is typically the month of showers, but it’s also the month that spring really starts to bloom, as more and more flowers and tree blossom make an appearance. This year Easter falls towards the end of April and many schools have opted to have their usual two week break in the first two weeks of the month, before Easter weekend.

As a result, much of the month is packed with events that are suitable for the whole family, including an abundance of Easter egg hunts. That being said, there is plenty to appeal to those without children, including exhibitions, music nights, and guided walks.

April at the Rheged Centre, Penrith

Rheged has pulled out all the stops this April to bring a packed programme of events for visitors to the indoor arts and shopping centre. The centre’s cinema will be screening various blockbusters, such as Captain Marvel, along with live theatre screenings, a 40th anniversary edition of Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, and family favourites including the latest Peppa Pig movie.

The Comics: Explore & Create Comic Art exhibition continues this month, offering visitors an opportunity to explore how comics are created and design a comic themselves. There are various workshops throughout the Easter holidays aimed at children, including Animal Encounters, Build Your Own Bunny, Archery, Circus Skills, and Mini Canadian Canoe Building.

There are also a number of shows, including a science show with local celebrity Professor Pumpernickel, Pongo’s Party, a puppet show ideal for younger children, and a Peter Pan pantomime. Plus much, much, more.

  • Date: Various dates in April
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information: rheged.com

April at the Theatre by the Lake, Keswick

Keswick’s lakeside theatre has a delightful mixture of shows performed on stage this month. The newest adaptation of Creditors by August Strindberg continues its spring run, telling the tale of Adolph and his wife Tekla. The theatre continues to pay homage to Strindberg with performances of Miss Julie, a play about a scandalous love affair that ends in tragedy.

Oscar Wilde’s celebrated novel The Picture of Dorian Gray is brought to life in a gripping and bold new adaptation, whilst Willy Russell’s award winning comedy Educating Rita will undoubtedly warm your heart. The Fire Raisers is a dark comedy that explores how easy it is to become taken in by evil, through the tale of the respectable Biederman family and their entanglement with an arsonist.

There’s a music performance by the Carducci Quartet and at the end of the month the Keswick Amateur Operatic Society will be performing their version of The Addams Family. For families, there is a family friendly performance during the Easter holidays of In The Willows, a new British musical packed with song and dance, based on the classic tale The Wind In The Willows.

  • Date: Various dates in April
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Varies
  • Tickets / More Information: theatrebythelake.com

April at the Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

If you are in the south of Cumbria this April and looking for some indoor fun then head over to the Brewery Arts Centre. The cinema has various screenings throughout the month, including classic films and ‘stage on screen’ performances. Theatre offerings at the Brewery include Vulvarine, a new, hilarious musical about feminist superhero Bryony Buckle, Mischief & Mystery In Moomin Valley, a family friendly performance based on the Moominland characters, and Unsung, a show that explores the feats of four pioneering women. There is also an interactive show with children’s illustrator Nick Sharratt, who will be on stage teaching the audience how to draw, with audience members invited to bring their own pencils and paper.

The Brewery has plenty of comedy nights for those in need of a good chuckle, including a performance by Kieran Hodgeson, Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show nominee 2018. For music lovers, there are multiple live music nights, including and Elvis tribute night, and performances by Irish vocalist Cara Dillon and the Electric Swing Circus, plus others.

If you want to get creative this April then the centre has numerous workshops to choose from. Sculpt a ceramic hare, hone your photography skills, create your own piece of jewellery, learn how write your own songs, or develop your skills in watercolour and portrait painting. This is just a small selection of the workshops that are available this month.

Finally, if you need to keep young minds occupied this month, the centre has various activities lined up for kids, including dance workshops, circus skills workshops, pottery and art classes, plus much more.

April at Whinlatter Forest, Near Keswick

Get active this April at Whinlatter Forest, where every day between 30th March and 22nd April families are invited to complete an Easter themed orienteering course, covering around 1 mile with a moderate ascent involved. The course map is available for £2. On Thursday 4th April, families are invited to a tree planting day, with the opportunity to plant a tree for future generations to enjoy.

On Friday 12th April, the forest will be hosting a special first aid training course designed for children aged 7-11. Booking is essential. Finally, on Sunday 21st April there’s a family fun run that is suitable for children aged 7 and up. Costing £2.50 per person, participants will be given a pair of bunny ears to wear during a 2K run through the forest following the Easter bunny, with a small chocolate egg given at the end as a reward.

  • Date: Orienteering available daily until 22nd April; Tree planting day 4th April; First aid course 12th April; Easter fun run 21st April
  • Time: Tree planting day 11am to 3pm; First Aid course 10.30am to 12.30pm; Fun run registration 9.30am, race starts at 10am
  • Cost: Tree planting day free; First aid course £10 (includes book); £2 orienteering; £2.50 fun run
  • Tickets / More Information: forestryengland.uk/whinlatter/venue/events-whinlatter

April at Lowther Castle, Near Penrith

There is so much going on at Lowther Castle this Easter it may be difficult to choose a date to visit! Throughout April until the 28th visitors will be able to take part in the annual egg hunt around the gardens, with chocolate prizes for those who complete it. In addition, there are a plethora of activities taking place during the school Easter holidays as listed below. Advanced booking is required for most of these events.

  • Monday 1st April – Sword & Mallet Making Workshop: £14 per child (includes sword or mallet plus entry to the castle).
  • Tuesday 2nd April - Easter Mini-Wreath-Making Workshop: Parents can accompany children to make a wreath together as a family. £20 per wreath. Does not include entry to the castle.
  • Thursday 4th April – Egg-splosive Easter Science: A 60 minute interactive science workshop. £10 per child (includes an Easter catapult to take home, plus entry to the castle).
  • Wednesday 10th April – Campfire Cookout: Pancakes & Dragon Sneezes: Practical workshop on campfire cooking for children and adults. £11 per child, £12 per adult, includes castle entry.
  • Thursday 11th April – Pewter Casting: Children over 8 and adults can mould a beautiful pewter object to take home. £16 per child, £17 per adult, includes castle entry.
  • Friday 12th April – Dragon Tales with Ian Douglas: This celebrated story teller will lead you on an enchanting journey with tales of dragons and Easter. £2 per person, castle entry not included.
  • Sunday 14th April – Archery: Archery sessions in the castle grounds with a local adventure company. 3 arrows for £1 (castle entry not included). Private ½ hour sessions can also be booked costing £30 for a family of four.
  • Saturday 20th April – How To Make A Dragon’s Egg: Children can create a stunning dragon egg using clay and jewels. £11 per child (includes castle entry).
  • Saturday 20th April – Bugs, Beasts, and Ladybirds: A guided walk with the castle’s wildlife ranger to seek out the minibeasts that inhabit the castle’s grounds. £10 per child, includes castle entry.
  • Saturday 20th & Sunday 21st April: Face Painting. Get your face painted on these dates between 11.30am and 4.30pm. Costs between £3 and £5, castle entry not included.

For those seeking to visit the castle outside of the school holidays, there is a special garden tour taking place on Thursday 25th April with the castle’s head gardener. The tour will focus on the spring bulbs in the garden and ends with a question and answer session in the café. The tour costs £20 per person and includes castle entry plus a traybake and tea / coffee in the café.

  • Date: Throughout April
  • Time: Opening times 10am to 5pm; Workshop times vary
  • Cost: Normal Entry Fee Adults £9, Children 3-15 Years £7
  • Tickets / More Information: lowthercastle.org/to-do/whats-on

April at Dove Cottage & The Wordsworth Museum, Grasmere

Starting this April, the team at Dove Cottage are taking Wordsworth on tour. There will be a series of pop up sessions at various venues across Cumbria that will explore the life and works of William and Dorothy Wordsworth. The team will be bringing items from the collection at the museum to the talks, and there will be an opportunity to explore the links of the Wordsworth family to the towns and villages where the talks are taking place.

As part of this tour, the team will also be visiting libraries and other venues around the county to deliver story telling and song singing sessions to children, with a focus on Wordsworth and the theme of spring. The dates and venues for these sessions are available online and these events are free of charge.

In addition, on Good Friday (19th April), the museum has teamed up with the national park authority to create a guided walk from Aira Force to Glenridding, starting with a steamer ride from Glenridding to Aira Force. During the walk, you will explore some of the landscapes that inspired Wordsworth. This walk is free and will take around four hours, but booking is essential.

  • Date: Various
  • Time: Various
  • Cost: Events listed are free; Normal admission rates apply when visiting the museum
  • Tickets / More Information: wordsworth.org.uk/whats-on

April Aboard the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

Over in the west of the Lake District children who are accompanied by a teddy bear and a full fare paying adult can ride on the Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway for free this April until the 22nd. There’s a special teddy bear trail to follow available from the station. On the 26th April there is a special evening service.

Guests are invited to depart Ravenglass at 6pm aboard the train, and at Dalegarth station they will be served a delicious fish and chips supper before returning to Ravenglass at 8pm.

  • Date: Teddies Go Free Daily Until Monday April 22nd; Fish & Chip Train Friday 26th April 2019
  • Time: A full timetable is available online; Fish & Chips train departs at 6pm
  • Cost: Fares vary according to journey chosen; Fish & Chips train costs £18 per person and includes meal
  • Tickets / More Information: ravenglass-railway.co.uk/events

Easter Fun at Walby Farm Park, Carlisle

Walby Farm Park are celebrating Easter in a big way this April. From 1st April – 12th April during the school holidays there will be various Easter related activities for visitors to take part in, including a daily Easter egg hunt, a new show performed by Professor Wilbur Walby, a Chocolatiers’ Kitchen where you can decorate your own chocolate treat, and live lambing in the barn.

Then, over the Easter weekend visitors can meet the Easter bunny, decorate Pasche eggs, do a special Eggs-cavation in the sandpit, and do an Easter egg hunt. Plus throughout April there will be all the usual fun including indoor and outdoor play, animal encounters and much more.

  • Date: Monday 1st April to Friday 12th April & Friday 19th April to Monday 22nd April, 2019
  • Time: 10am to 6pm
  • Cost: Adults £9.45, Children £9.95
  • Tickets / More Information: walbyfarmpark.co.uk/event

Time To Get Up! Beacon Museum, Whitehaven

A new interactive exhibition aimed at children launches this month at the Beacon Museum just in time for the school holidays. Time To Get Up! Has been created by Seven Stories, a centre for childhood learning and reading promotion, and it breaks down a typical day for a child and magnifies every aspect of it, such as waking up or eating dinner, with giant buttons to press and lots of items to play with.

Storybooks are an essential aspect of the exhibition, and you will find artwork and prints from much loved children’s authors, including Lauren Child and Julia Donaldson in the exhibition, plus plenty of reading and drawing areas. Furthermore, during the school Easter holidays there will be hourly story telling sessions.

In addition to this new exhibition, the museum will be offering special print making workshops for children from 1st – 7th April. These workshops are suitable for children aged 7 and up and cost £5 in addition to the standard museum entry fee.

  • Date: Time To Get Up! launches 30th March and runs until mid June; Story telling sessions available 30th March to 14th April; Print making workshops between 1st April and 7th April; The museum is closed Mondays outside of the school holidays
  • Time: 10am (11am Sundays) to 4.30pm
  • Cost: Adults £6.50, Children £3.25
  • Tickets / More Information: thebeacon-whitehaven.co.uk/timetogetup

Green Door in Grasmere, Grasmere Village Hall

Green Door are a not-for-profit artists’ co-operative with around 100 members from around Cumbria and North Lancashire. They aim to make the artwork of local artists accessible to the residents and visitors and work together on events throughout the year to achieve this.

This April, around half of the groups’ members will be exhibiting their work at Grasmere Village Hall in their first exhibition of 2019. There are stunning landscape paintings as well as other forms of artwork such as ceramics, print-making, and woodwork.

Illuminated Lettering Two Day Workshop, Coniston Water

Swallows & Artisans is an arts studio that sits next to Lanehead, former home of artist William G Collingwood, and it hosts various workshops throughout the year. This April, artist Sarah Lace will be leading a two day workshop that will teach participants how to create illuminated lettering.

This style of lettering, where the text is enhanced with decorative illustration, dates back to Roman era, though it is probably best associated with manuscripts from the medieval period. It is now considered an “endangered skill” as only a handful of people currently practice this form of art.

During the workshop, you will learn about the history of this art form and learn the basic techniques and skills that will enable you to create your own work. The course fee includes lunch, cakes, and hot drinks on both days, as well as the materials required. Accommodation may be available in Lanehead if required.

  • Date: Wednesday 3rd to Thursday 4th April, 2019
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: £150 (plus booking fee)
  • Tickets / More Information: eventbrite.co.uk

The Ullswater Way Challenge – Pooley Bridge

Have you got what it takes to take on the mighty Ullswater Way? This 20-mile route begins at Pooley Bridge and heads past Aira Force before arriving at the southern shore of the lake at Glenridding. From there, the route goes through a fairly remote part of the Lake District along the eastern shore of Ullswater, and then back to Pooley Bridge.

This guided walk from adventure company Mountain Walks is open to just ten people and will cover 20 miles in around ten hours. The walk will be led by an experienced professional and take you to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. You will need to have a good level of fitness in order to take part, and booking is essential.

Easter Holiday Outdoor Activities with Path to Adventure, Coniston & Langdale

Path to Adventure are an outdoor adventure activity company who offer a range of outdoor experiences such as ghyll scrambling, canoeing, and climbing all led by experienced and qualified professionals. The team usually offer bespoke experiences but during the school holidays they are hosting a series of organised activities that children can book onto.

There are ghyll scrambling sessions in Langdale on the 6th, 9th, 18th, & 20th April, and canoeing sessions on Coniston Water on the 9th and 18th of April. These sessions are suitable for children aged 10 and above, and children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. On the 21st of April, the team are heading to Grizedale Forest to offer a bushcraft session combined with an Easter egg hunt, which is suitable for children aged 5 and up. Booking is essential for all activities.

Create a Textile Landscape, Carlisle & Kendal

The Cumbria Wildlife Trust and local artist, Penny Hillier-Evans, have teamed up to provide two workshops this April that will help budding artists celebrate the beautiful Cumbrian landscapes. During these workshops, participants will learn various felt and textile techniques to create their own image inspired by the spring landscapes of the Lake District. Booking is essential and places are limited. There will be plenty of cake available during the workshops.

April Adventures at Eycott Hill Nature Reserve, Near Penrith

On the eastern edge of the Lake District, Eycott Hill is a nature reserve that is managed by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. On Wednesday 10th April, the reserve is welcoming families for a wild family adventure day, during which families will be taken on an expedition to search for wildlife and mini-beasts, with plenty of games and learning activities.

Suitable for children aged 6 and up, booking is essential. On Tuesday 16th April, visitors are welcome to join a guided walk with one of the Trust’s rangers to learn more about this special nature reserve. Good footwear is needed as the ground can be wet and uneven.

  • Date: Family Fun Day 10th April; Guided Walk 16th April
  • Time: Family Fun Day 1pm to 3.30pm; Guided Walk 2pm to 4pm
  • Cost: Family Fun Day suggested donation £5 per child; Guided Walk suggested donation £5
  • Tickets / More Information: cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/eycott-hill

A Bugs Life, Little Explorers Kid’s Club, Westmorland Shopping Centre, Kendal

This April, William Wormsworth, a poet worm, Bobby Burrows, and Morag McCaw can be spotted at the Westmorland Shopping Centre in Kendal where they will be offering a day of fun inspired by the natural world. During this free event, children will be able to play games, listen to stories, take part in craft activities, and join in with an Easter themed treasure hunt.

  • Date: Wednesday, 10th April, 2019
  • Time: 11am to 4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information: westmorlandshopping.com

A Very Special Evening with Russell Watson, Coronation Hall, Ulverston

Classical singer, Russell Watson, will be performing at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston this April for one special night. He will be accompanied by his pianist and a guest choir, and will be performing a mixture of some of the best loved songs. Watson is one of the UK’s most popular performers having previously performed for the Queen and he has sold over seven million albums around the world.

Incandescence: Turner in Venice – New Exhibition, Brantwood, Coniston Water

At Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin, April will see the start of a new exhibition featuring works by JMW Turner. Turner visited the Lake District on several occasions, including Coniston Water where Brantwood can be found, and he painted several scenes here.

During this exhibition, the artist’s unfinished piece, Venice: the Piazetta with the Ceremony of the Doge Marrying the Sea, will be on display, along with a collection of watercolours that portray the movement of light on a landscape throughout the day that were painted during Turner’s visit to the area in 1840.

The Boy and the Mermaid, Rosehill Theatre, Whitehaven

Looking for family friendly theatre this Easter holiday? Head over to Whitehaven where at the Rosehill Theatre there is a one-off performance of The Boy and the Mermaid, a delightful show based on a story by writer Alex Kanefsky. The show tells the story of a boy who lives with his Grandma in a small fishing town, where he strikes an unusual friendship. The show is performed through songs and puppetry, and is suitable for children aged five years and up.

  • Date: Daily from Thursday 11th April, 2019
  • Time: 1pm
  • Cost: Adults £10, Children £8
  • Tickets / More Information: rosehilltheatre.co.uk

Prom Art on the Glebe, Bowness-On-Windermere

Prom Art is one of the largest arts and crafts fairs in the region, and it has been held regularly on the promenade at Grange-Over-Sands since 2005. This month, the team behind the fair are bringing this popular event to Glebe Road in Bowness-On-Windermere.

It’s a chance for visitors and residents to see work from some of the most talented artists and craftspersons in area. There will be a number of stalls set up with items for sale that include original art, prints, pottery, jewellery, textiles, and much more. In addition, many of the artists will be demonstrating their skills on the day. Best of all, it’s totally free.

  • Date: Sunday, 14th April, 2019
  • Time: 10am to 4pm
  • Cost: Free
  • Tickets / More Information: promart.info

Easter International Market, Carlisle City Centre

Carlisle’s pedestrianised city centre will once again play host to an international market this Easter. There will be a collection of stalls selling gifts, crafted items, artwork, and delicious treats from around the world. It’s a fabulous opportunity to buy a gift for those upcoming birthdays or weddings, or perhaps to give yourself a spring time treat.

Teddies Go Free at Muncaster Castle, Ravenglass

This Easter weekend, children with a teddy will receive free entry into Muncaster Castle, providing they are accompanied by a full entry fee paying adult. The castle grounds will have plenty of family fun over the Easter weekend, including free children’s crafts, an Easter egg trail in the gardens with prizes for completion, and a giant Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday and Monday. The hunt starts at 12.30 on both days and participants must register and pay a small fee by 12.15 on the day to take part. All participants will receive a prize.

  • Date: Friday, 19th to Monday, 22nd April, 2019
  • Time: Castle opening times 10.30am to 5pm
  • Cost: Normal entry fees apply for adults - £15; Children with a teddy go free, otherwise £7.50; Small charge for Giant Easter Egg hunt applies
  • Tickets / More Information: muncaster.co.uk/easter-muncaster-castle

Easter Egg Weekend, Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway, Near Ulverston

During Easter weekend, all children who take a train ride aboard the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Railway will receive a free Easter egg. Don’t forget that you can get combined tickets for the railway and a whole heap of attractions, including the Windermere steamers, the Lakes Aquarium, and the Lakeland Motor Museum.

  • Date: Friday, 19th April to Monday, 22nd April, 2019
  • Time: Trains run throughout the day
  • Cost: Fares vary according to journey chosen
  • Tickets / More Information: lakesiderailway.co.uk/events

The Cadbury & National Trust Easter Egg Hunt, Various Locations

The Cadbury Easter Egg hunt returns to National Trust properties across the country this April, and here in the Lake District we have some of the best, including outdoor challenges at Buttermere, a steam boat ride at Coniston, and a fairytale castle adventure at Wray Castle.

As usual with these hunts, there is a small charge (usually £2 per person) to take part that is in addition to the normal admission rates, and every participant is rewarded with a chocolate treat. The full list of venues participating with the dates and times are below, but it’s worth checking a couple of days before to confirm as all properties rely on volunteers to run these events and therefore the dates could change. Visit easter.cadbury.co.uk for more information.

  • Sizergh Castle, Near Kendal, Easter Monday, 10am – 4pm
  • Townend, Near Windermere, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 1pm – 4pm
  • Wray Castle, Near Ambleside, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10am – 4pm
  • Fell Foot Park, Near Ulverston, Easter Sunday, 11am – 4pm
  • Beatrix Potter’s Gallery, Hawkshead, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10.30am – 3.30pm
  • Allan Bank, Grasmere, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10.30am – 4pm
  • Tarn Hows, Near Coniston, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10am – 2.30pm
  • Steam Yacht Gondola, Coniston Water, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 11am – 4.15pm
  • Hill Top, Near Ambleside, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 10am – 3.30pm
  • Wordsworth House & Garden, Good Friday, Easter Saturday, Sunday, & Monday, 11am – 4pm
  • Buttermere Village Green, Near Cockermouth, Good Friday, 11am – 2.30pm
  • Bowness Knott at Ennerdale Water, Easter Sunday, 11am – 2.30pm
  • Derwent Water, Lake Road, Keswick, Easter Monday, 11am – 2.30pm
  • Wellington Lodge, The Candlestick, Whitehaven Coast, Easter Saturday, 11am – 2.30pm

Beginners’ Navigation, Keswick & Bowness

More Than Mountains are a family run company offering outdoor adventures in the Lake District. The company offers Beginners Navigation courses throughout the year and this month there are two dates available, one in starting in Keswick and one starting in Bowness-On-Windermere.

This course is ideal for those who are complete beginners to navigation and will cover a number of key areas including map symbols, how to locate your current position, route planning and navigation strategies, and what to do in an emergency.

The courses are run with a maximum of four participants to ensure everyone gets good quality tuition and support. You will need to be fit enough to be out walking all day, albeit slowly with plenty of stops, and you will need adequate clothing, equipment, and refreshments. Advanced booking is essential.

The Loweswater Beer Festival, Kirkstile Inn, Near Cockermouth

The 11th Loweswater Beer festival takes place this month at the delightful Kirkstile Inn in Loweswater, near Cockermouth. The pub is the birth place of the Cumbria Legendary Ales brewery, producers of Loweswater Gold and other local favourite ales.

Along with beers created by the pub’s brewery, this festival will feature around 20 ales sourced from breweries across the country. To help patrons absorb the beer the pub’s famous tatie pot (a Cumbrian stew) and hop bread will be available along with the pub’s normal menu. Entry is free.

Ulverston Walk Fest, South Lakes

2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Ulverston Walk Fest, a festival that encourages walkers of all ages to get out and explore the countryside around Ulverston and the southern Lake District. All walks are guided and cost £3 per person, with children under 16 going free.

There’s no need to book in advance but you do need to ensure that you have the appropriate footwear, clothing, and refreshments for the walk. Walks range in difficulty from an easy 2 mile stroll around Ulverston to a 12 mile trek with some gradient. In order to celebrate the 20th anniversary, this year’s festival has a few more unusual walks, including a “Silly Hat Walk” to mark the start of the festival, a history walk, and a “Spectacular Trees” walk.

  • Date: Saturday, 27th April to Monday, 6th May, 2019
  • Time: Varies
  • Cost: Adults £3, Children Free
  • Tickets / More Information: ulverstonwalkfest.co.uk