Spring is officially here but we all know that April is the month of showers and that the British weather will never be the most dependable in the world. That’s why our round-up of April things to do during your stay at our King’s Cross hotel aims to give you plenty of ideas whatever show Mother Nature decides to put on.
The musical one
Talking of putting on a show, our guide to the best things to do in April starts with a cult icon. If you’ve never heard of Tanita Tikaram, we’ve got to ask where you were in the 1980s and then we’ll tell you why you might still want to head on over to Hall One at Kings Place at on April 14.
Even if you haven’t heard of Tanita herself, you might still know some of her tracks. Twist In My Sobriety is just one of her many songs that have been covered by loads of artists, including Liza Minelli. Now, you’ve heard of her haven’t you?
The show coincides with the release of Closer to the People, a new album for 2016. If you like your music on the eclectic side, this might well be one for you. Billed as being influenced by everyone from Anita O’Day and Philip Glass to Thelonious Monk, the sound is honest and un-commercial, but what else would you expect from an artist typically described as the British ‘star that got away’.
Back in 1988, her melancholy album Ancient Heart sold no less than four million copies. 28 years later, Tanita’s ninth studio album probably isn’t going to set the world on fire, but the Kings Place show does offer a rare chance to see her performing live in the UK.
Tickets cost between £14.50 to £29.50, with savers on offer for £9.50. Not a bad price for getting up close and personal with a bona fide cult figure!
Kings Place is also home to the Pangolin Gallery, one of our favourite galleries near King’s Cross.
The funny choice
Want a jolly alternative to ‘moody’ music? How about The Museum of Comedy in Bloomsbury; an interactive venue full of comedy props and artefacts founded by Martin Witts, a well-known Leicester Square director?
The museum at The Undercroft at St George’s Church in Bloomsbury Way is not far from the British Museum and is an easy 25-minute walk from Kings Cross Station (get directions from the venue’s website). If that sounds a bit too much like hard work, grab the tube to either Holborn or Tottenham Court Road; it’s only a six-minute walk from either.
You can just take a trip to the museum to see the general artefacts and exhibitions on show, or pick a date for one of the regular special events. Like magic? April 17 is the day to plan a trip if you want to see Romania’s Vlad Grigorescu: LIVE in LONDON.
We’ll be honest, we’ve never seen his show, but a similar event proved popular in London last year and the Romanian crowds certainly seem to like him. This one isn’t suitable for under-12s and tickets for the 60-minute show cost £20 plus any booking fees.
General admission to the museum is £5 for adults and £4 for concessions. Under 12s must be with an adult and, just be aware, it’s closed for archiving until April 12 inclusive.
If you do go, look out for the Spitting Image heads, the stuffed bear from Steptoe and Son and the Tommy Copper magic props, not to mention Steve Ullathorne’s The Comic Collection exhibition.
Can’t make the show dates? Check out our guide to the best King’s Cross comedy shows for alternative local options.
The multi-functional one
The Barbican Centre on Silk Street is always a safe bet for entertainment, largely because of the sheer variety of events on offer. Recommending just one is a bit like telling people to only eat green Smarties because we think they’re the best, but if we had to pick our ‘unmissable’ for this month, it would probably be Strange and Familiar: Britain as Revealed by International Photographers. This runs all through April and May and until June 19.
It’s a safe choice because almost everyone in the world has some experience of photographs and the idea of using the work of snappers to look at the British identity is an interesting one. Well, we think it is anyway!
There are more than 250 pieces on show, so plan to spend at least an hour-and-a-half checking them out; unless you want to rush around them like Usain Bolt on an art trip, of course.
Standard tickets cost £12 but just be aware that you might have a set time limit if it’s particularly busy. Under 14s are free and you could also pick up a joint ticket at a reduced price for Strange and Familiar and Martin Parr’s Unseen City at the Guildhall Art Gallery. If you like what you see of Parr at the Barbican, then the trip to the second exhibition may be worth it, especially as it will only cost you £13 for the two.
Just one thing to be aware of: the security rules at the Barbican mean that you can’t go in with large bags or backpacks. To get there, take a stroll through central London or hop on the Tube to Barbican, Moorgate or St Pauls.
The Barbican also has an excellent cinema on-site and is a great choice for a rainy London day. You can find out more in our guide to the best cinemas near King’s Cross.
The natural choice
If the weather is kind, April is the perfect time to visit the two-acre natural beauty that is Camley Street Natural Park on the banks of our lovely Regent’s Canal.
It’s probably not what you’d expect to find sitting next to St Pancras’ Eurostar station but you should be pleasantly surprised by this great little reserve that offers a bit of a haven for Londoners and wildlife.
Take the kids to look for amphibians, butterflies and birds or head off for nothing more than a bit of peace and quiet between 10am and 5pm during the summer months, and until 4pm in the winter.
There’s plenty of space for a picnic and a visitor centre if you want to find out more about the different habitats and wildlife it contains. Our guide to playgrounds and parks near King’s Cross has more information, or check out our guide to travelling to Hyde Park and other green spaces if you fancy travelling a little further afield.
The one with all-age appeal
Whether you’re a die-hard Billy Fury fan or just like a bit of dance, the Billy Fury Dance Show at The Shaw Theatre might be worth the £27.50 to £33 entry price. Michael Parkinson’s show runs from April 14 until April 23, with performances starting at 7.30pm.
Not sure if there’ll be enough to keep you entertained? Did you know that he had as many hits at The Beatles during the 1960s? Feeling any more tempted now?
You can find lots of options for great theatre in our local area, head to our guide to King’s Cross theatrefor more inspiration.