Working parents: The hunt for a fun Easter starts here

Children have a feast of entertainment to choose from over the holiday. Amanda Suttie finds the best

School's out, and giving children a fun time over Easter has never been easier, with many places holding special events. Children can try their hand at traditional peg-making, throw a Saxon pot, make an Easter bonnet - even mint their own money.

Forward planning helps to make an outing a success. Take into account the ages of your children, and call first to check details of special events.

If your child wants to participate in a workshop or other activity, bear in mind that these are popular and can get crowded. Some require adults to stay and join in. Tickets (even to free events) may need to be collected in advance.

Use our guide to find out what's on near you. Soak up some culture and history - and have a great day out.

London

The Natural History Museum has a new exhibition, Myths and Monsters. From 5 April you can take a breathtaking journey from ancient times to the present. Daily workshops for children include story sessions, making monsters and monstrous investigations (most are for seven-to-11s, but some are suitable for younger children). Cromwell Road, SW7 (0171-938 9123).

Starting on 7 April, the Bethnal Green Museum of Childhood is featuring Alice, The Wonderland of Lewis Carroll. See the white rabbit and join the Mad Hatter's tea party. From 7 to 9 and 13 to 16 April, children can take part in the Mad Hatter's trail (suitable for five years and up). Creative workshops at weekends from 11 April (minimum age three). Cambridge Heath Road, E2 (0181-980 2415).

From 31 March, the Geffrye Museum is showing The World Service, created around a ceramic tea service. Each piece tells a story. Workshops for children, 14-17 April, include cookery and ceramics. Children are divided into age groups, six-to-nines and over-10s. The museum's walled herb garden is also open. Kingsland Road, E2 (0171-739 9893).

Find out about Saxon London at the Museum of London. Easter workshops and performances include minting your own money, weaving on a Saxon loom, jewellery-making, pottery, carving and storytelling. Suitable for six years and up. London Wall, EC2 (0171-600 3699).

The V & A Museum. Activities for children, three to 12, include art, poster-making, Easter bonnet workshops. South Kensington, SW7 (0171-938 8500).

The National Theatre's family fun day on 16 April features magic, comedy, face-painting, clowning, fire-eating and story readings. For all ages. South Bank, SE1 (0171-928 2033).

Around the country

The National Trust is holding many Easter egg hunts with quizzes, woodland trails, edible prizes. Contact your local NT property, or call 0181-315 1111.

Legoland's Easter adventure quest is held 10-13 April. Children will be given clues and a chocolate reward. Windsor, Berkshire (0990 04 04 04).

Leeds Castle is holding A Celebration of Easter, 11-13 April. Watch maypole and Morris dancing; sample hot cross buns and simnel cake. Children's activities include egg-painting, mask-making, face-painting. Maidstone, Kent (01622 765 400).

Visitors can see the King arrive at Warwick Castle, 10-14 April. Step back to the 15th century: watch the grand procession; join the medieval dancing. Strolling minstrels, birds of prey, court jester, rat catcher. Warwick (01926 406 600).

Cadbury World holds its children's Easter egg hunt from 10 to 13 April. Easter bean fun, activities and lots of chocolate goodies. Bournville, Birmingham (0121 451 4180).

A traditional English fair will be held at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum's Victorian Town at Blists Hill, 10-13 April. Ride on a steam carousel, have your fortune told, try your hand at peg-making, see historic and Gypsy caravans. Ironbridge, Telford, Shropshire (01952 432 166).

Longleat's Easter hot-air balloon fiesta, 11-13 April, also has Easter egg hunts in the adventure playground. Warmister, Wiltshire (01985 844 400).

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