20 great things to do this Easter weekend

Will it be the Boat Race, or the goat race? A walk in the wild, or a close encounter with robots? There are hundreds of fantastic activities around Britain to keep the family entertained. Here's our selection of spring delights
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The Independent Online

Oxford vs Cambridge Goat Race

Spitalfields City Farm, tomorrow, 4.30pm

Last year Cambridge, a pygmy goat, stormed to victory in front of a crowd of 400. This year's competition will be even fiercer since the two goats involved – Bentley (Oxford) and Bramble (Cambridge) – are twins. Features bookies and a market selling goat- related merchandise. Money raised goes towards the upkeep of the farm.

spitalfieldscityfarm.org; 0207 247 8762; £3.

Spring Into Easter

Leeds Castle, Kent, today until Monday

The picturesque grounds of Leeds Castle add a touch of grandeur to the traditional Easter activities on offer. There is a craft marquee for bonnet-making and an Easter trail through the stunning grounds, with chocolate rewards for children.

leeds-castle.com; 01622 765400; adults £17.50, children £10.

Kirklees Light Railway

Huddersfield, today until Tuesday

A seasonal twist on steam train excursions. Passengers will be transported from the station in Huddersfield to an adventure playground in Shelley. Here they will be joined by the Easter bunny for an egg hunt and egg and spoon races.

kirkleeslightrailway.com; 01484 865727; adults £8.50, children £6.50.

Walk Scilly 2010

Isles of Scilly, Cornwall, until Sunday

Catch the last few days of this wildlife festival on the beautiful Isles of Scilly. Wander through fields of narcissi or stride along the cliff tops against the Atlantic breeze on one of 30 guided walks run by experts throughout the week-long event, with themes as diverse as archaeology, boats and bats.

simplyscilly.co.uk; 01720 424 031; £7 per walk.

Thackray Medical Museum

Leeds, Sunday & Monday

Its Easter exhibition, "Eggs, Guts and Goo" provides a fun and informative insight into eating, digestion, and er, flatulence, apparently.

thackraymuseum.org; 0113 244 4343; adult £6.50, child £4.00, family Ticket £19.00

Dorset Wildlife Trust sea creature egg hunt

Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve, today, 2pm

Help monitor Dorset's marine wildlife by hunting for the eggs of sea creatures on the shore and receive a chocolate egg reward. Local experts from the marine reserve are on-hand to offer advice on anything you ensnare.

dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk; 01929 481044; £2 per person

Decode: Digital Design Sensations

The Porter Gallery, Victoria & Albert Museum, ends 11 April

A mechanical eye and digitally growing plants are just two of the futuristic offerings at this exhibition, which includes works by artists such as Daniel Brown and Golan Levin.

vam.ac.uk; 0844 2091770; £5 adults, £4 concessions.

Jimmy's Farm Farmers' Market

Near Ipswich, Suffolk, tomorrow, 10am–2pm

Get everything you need for a delicious Easter lunch, while the children play on the farm. As part of a special range of Easter activities they can feed the lambs, and learn how to build a den.

jimmysfarm.com; 08444 938088; free.

Kew Gardens

Richmond, from today

Your children could be among the first to play in the new Treehouse Towers. While they fly down zip wires and test their courage on rope bridges, you can explore the gardens or take the less adventurous to various Easter-themed craft workshops.

www.kew.org; 020 8332 5655; £13 adults, children under 17 free.

Edinburgh International Science Festival

From tomorrow until 17 April

Even the fussiest child will find something that appeals at this huge science festival, which opens this weekend. Now in its 22nd year, it offers football-playing robots and the chance to go behind the scenes at a video games workshop. There's plenty for adults too, including a talk by award-winning wildlife photographer Steve Bloom.

sciencefestival.co.uk; 0131 553 0322; ticket prices vary according to event.

Walk through Watersmeet East

Exmoor National Park, today until Monday, 10.30am-3.30pm

Weather permitting, stroll through one of Britain's most dramatic areas of national park, featuring one of the nation's deepest river gorges, and providing a haven for butterflies, otters, birds and salmon. Make sure you visit Watersmeet House, a 19th-century fishing lodge.

nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-watersmeet; 01598 741101; Free. entry

Chester Food, Drink & Lifestyle festival

Sunday until Tuesday

A treat for gastronauts, featuring chef demonstrations, free cooking classes and a small fairground to keep the children occupied. You can even stay the weekend if have a camper van at your disposal.

chesterfoodanddrink.com; 01244 355474; adults £6, children under 12 free.

Chocolate Bunny Hunt

Foundling Museum, London, Sunday, 11am-5pm

The clues will teach them about the museum's history, and they'll be rewarded with chocolate bunnies. You might want to confiscate them though – they're handmade by local chocolatiers Chocolat Chocolat.

foundlingmuseum.org.uk; 0207 841 3600; £7.50 adults, free for children.

London Bridge Experience

Easter Head Hunt, Monday to Wednesday

Learn about Romans, Vikings, and the history of London Bridge and its environs by seeking out a number of "severed heads" specially concealed around the museum.

Londonbridgeexperience.com; 0844 847 2287; from £13.95.

Heritage Motor Centre

Warwick, Friday until Monday

Roary the racing car hosts an Easter quiz around the museum for younger ones while under-17s can have learner driving lessons. There is also an exhibition charting the 50-year history of the now defunct Longbridge car plant.

heritage-motor-centre.co.uk/; 01926 641188; adults £9, children £7.

The Boat Race: Cambridge vs Oxford

River Thames, London, tomorrow, 4.30pm

Not to be confused with the goat race (see above). Oxford are this year's hot favourites. Watching with a picnic on the banks of the Thames is the ideal way to spend a Saturday, providing it stays dry of course. If not, the sofa is always an option.

theboatrace.org; Putney Bridge Tube; free.

Easter at Cadbury World

Birmingham, today until Monday

Spend your weekend in style – surrounded by chocolate. In addition to the obvious lure of watching Cadbury's chocolate being made, children can take part in a giant Easter egg hunt or Easter bonnet making.

cadbury.co.uk; 0121 451 4444; adults £13.90 children £10.10; family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) £49

Hallelujah for Easter

Handel House Museum, 25 Brook St, London, Sunday, 12pm-6pm

Live harpsichord music, will provide the soundtrack to an Easter egg trail through the home of the great baroque composer.

handelhouse.org, 020 7495 1685; £5 for adults, free for children.

Hoxton Hall

The Laurel and Hardy Palace of Varieties, London, today until Monday, times vary

Screenings of two Laurel and Hardy classics, before a production of the play One Night: Stan, a tribute to Stan Laurel.

hoxtonhall.co.uk; 020 7684 0060; £13.50 adults, £10 concessions.

Easter Egg Trail at Lyme Park

Cheshire, Sunday and Monday, 11am-4am

You can do your best Lizzie Bennett impression in the grounds of Mr Darcy's "Pemberley" (the BBC's Pride and Prejudice was filmed here) as the kids hunt for Easter eggs. Facepainting and storytelling too.

nationaltrust.org.uk; 01663 762023; £1.50 for the trail, plus standard National Trust entry fees.