What’s on: Easter holidays
The Easter holidays are almost upon us, so it's time to fill the diary with lots of egg hunts and cute animal themed activities. Hop to it then!
Spring has sprung, the daffys are in full bloom and the Easter bunny is on his way, which must mean the holidays are coming… but don’t panic! We’re at your service with our guide to the best things going on near you keep those little ones out of trouble while school’s out.
TRAIL: Hertford Easter animal and bunny trails, from 30 Mar – 27 April
The Secret Society of Hertford Crafters have been busy knitting all sorts of spring creatures just in time for these special Easter family trails. Pick up a map at Hertford Tourist Information and explore the local shops with the little ones in tow to track down the hidden animals. If you complete the trail there’ll be a chocolate-y prize waiting at the end.
EXHIBITION: British Dinosaurs: From Fossils to Feathers, Natural History Museum, Tring, 5 April – 11 October
Dino-crazy kids will love getting their teeth into some fun facts at this special exhibition which celebrates Britain as the birthplace of dinosaur studies (bet you didn’t know that…) There’ll be lots to look at too, including casts and specimens of prehistoric skeletons, skulls and teeth (eww!), which have all been discovered around the British Isles. A wannabe paleontologist’s dream!
ACTIVITIES: Opening weekend, Hatfield House, 6 April
Hatfield House is hosting a load of family friendly events to celebrate coming out of hibernation for the season. There’ll be cupcake and Easter egg decorating, face painting, a chance to meet the resident lambs, story telling and craft workshops as well as a free-for-all Easter egg hunt in the Stable Yard from 3.15pm.
SPECIAL EVENT: Great Brick Safari, ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, 6 April – 2 June
If you’ve got a LEGO fan on your hands, this is an absolute must-visit! Imagine their little faces at spotting a life-size gorilla entirely made from their favourite building blocks, or an elephant that literally weighs a tonne of bricks! There’s also going to be a pit full of LEGO for kids to build their own animal creations. Sounds epic!
ZOO: Easter at the zoo, Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, 6 – 21 April
Along with a programme of Easter-y activities there are some brand new attractions opening this month, including a lion pride lands habitat, dino day care – where little ones can meet mini prehistoric creatures (call us sceptical…) – and some new mummy and daddy-sized roaring and moving dinosaurs, too.
TRAIL: Easter bunny fun, Woburn Abbey and Gardens, 6 April
While you enjoy a wander around the stunning gardens bursting with spring colour, the kids will be minding their own business looking for Easter bunnies which have been hidden around the grounds (genius!) Pick up a trail map from the gift shop and why not treat yourself to afternoon tea in the Duchess’ Tearoom, ‘cos it’s your holiday too, right?
FARM: Lamb and goat feeding, Foxholes Farm, Hertford, 6 – 22 April
Kids are invited to come and help the farmers bottle feed the itty bitty baby lambs and goats. All together now – awwww… There are two sessions for each throughout the day and it’s a good idea to book in advance. There’s a farm shop and tea room on site too, so you can make an afternoon of it.
HOLIDAY CLUB: Easter Activity Clubs, Abbott’s Hill School, Hemel Hempstead, 8 – 12 April and 15 – 18 April
If the school hols have scuppered you on the work front, why not book the kids into a holiday club? These ones for ages 5-14 are brand new and offer morning, afternoon or all-day sessions for a week at a time. There’s a huge variety of options in the programme for different age groups, from cookery to survival adventure skills and fun with science to photography. There are even wraparound options (8am drop off and 6pm pick up) to help out stretched parents. Aaaand breathe…
THEATRE: Honk! Jnr, The Place, Bedford, 19 – 20 April
Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale, The Ugly Duckling has been given a musical twist especially for young audiences. You can expect all the usual moral-of-the-story stuff as the odd one out of the cute duckling gang makes his amazing tranformation. Cue warm fuzzy feelings all round.
ACTIVITIES: Easter crafts (8 –12 April) and Cadbury Easter egg hunt (19 – 22 April), Ashridge Estate
Always a reliable go-to for a family day out, the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate is putting on a series of bird-themed events this Easter to celebrate the arrival home of our migratory feathered friends for spring. First up is a series of craft sessions – no need to book, just turn up on the day – then you can enjoy a nice walk in the woods over the Bank Holiday weekend while the kids help the Easter bunny complete the trail to win a chocolate egg. Just make sure they give you a bit, eh?!
ART AND CRAFT: Easter discovery days, British Schools Museum, Hitchin, 10-11 and 17-18 April
Head to this fab museum of educational history (it’s the home of the last remaining monitorial classroom, before the government made school free for all!) for a morning or afternoon session of crafty fun, where children (suitable for 4-11 year olds) will make bunny bookmarks, flower stencils and Easter cards to take home. Plus there will be an egg trail too.
WORKSHOP: Mixed media models, Henry Moore Studios & Gardens, Perry Green, 10 April
The popular Workshop Wednesdays kick off for the year with a special Easter themed sculpture session where littlies (and bigger kids) can create collages and scenes with a variety of materials. While you’re there, make sure you check out the new exhibition Henry Moore Drawings: The Art of Seeing, too, which opens on 3 April.
TREASURE HUNT: Lucky Gecko Discovery Day, St Michael and All Angels Church Hall, Amersham, 12 April
The clever people behind Lucky Gecko educational play boxes are hosting a swashbuckling treasure hunt designed to challenge and excite little minds. They’ll take part in games and activities first so the experts can figure out each of the kids’ individual strengths before they’re set to task in their pirate crews to solve the clues and find the treasure. Ooh arr, me hearties!
ART: Squidgy sculpture, Broadway Studio and Gallery, Letchworth, 14 April
Ceramic artist Katherine Roberts will run this Family Arts Studio session, where kids can get their hands mucky, squidging clay to create patterned Easter eggs inspired by the carpets on display in the gallery. Just don’t put them in their best clothes!
TRAIL: Easter trail, Knebworth House, 19-20 April
Find the hidden symbols and follow this trail through the flower gardens, around the Edwardian maze and amongst the 72 life-sized dinosaurs to claim a special prize. General admission tickets are just a tenner, which is not bad for a fun day out that’s got something for everyone, not just the kids! Trail sheets are £1 extra.