The best of British Easter fun
Wherever you live in the UK, there's plenty to keep the whole family entertained during the school holidays. Simone Kane rounds up the best of the springtime festivities
Sunday 05 April 2009
Follow the story of cocoa and chocolate from slavery to fair trade, then try some flavours for yourself at the Museum of London in Docklands, which is running activities throughout the Easter holidays, including these Chocolate Tasting workshops on 12 and 13 April (12.30pm, 2.30pm). Book ahead (museumoflondon.org.uk).
Got the guts for gore? Then revel in the new Surgery: Blood and Guts exhibit at the London Dungeon, which opened yesterday. Enter the filthy operating room of the butcher-surgeon of Tooley Street, where you'll encounter fresh body parts and blood-splattered walls (thedungeons.com).
The biggest egg hunt in the North starts on Wednesday. Search for 100 ceramic eggs hidden across Cumbria in the Great Peter Rabbit Easter Egg Hunt, and if you find one of 10 special editions, you could win a prize, including a family break. For more information and to download your map, see golakes.co.uk/peterrabbit.
Traditional Easter drop-in activities are on offer at Norton Priory Museum & Gardens in Cheshire on 13 and 14 April, 1pm-4pm. Make a pecking hen, a pair of floppy ears, then hit the Easter Bunny Trail (nortonpriory.org).
Easter Eggsploits, including a Decorated Egg Competition, Egg Rolling Contest and a Cadbury's Egg Trail, will take place at Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Water Garden, North Yorkshire, on 13 April, 2pm-2.45pm. Bring your decorated egg and another hard-boiled one to race (nationaltrust.org.uk).
The National Museums Liverpool are putting on a huge variety of special sessions throughout the holidays. At the Merseyside Maritime Museum, Monsters of the Deep (12 April, 1pm-4pm) explores what's hidden in the murky waters, while Spotlight on the Titanic (daily, 11-15 April) examines the stories surrounding the sinking of the liner (liverpoolmuseums.org.uk).
As well as cracking activities such as egg throwing and rolling and an Easter panto, there's plenty of spring fun to be had at Down at the Farm, near Durham, throughout the holidays. Feed the newborn lambs, cuddle up with baby chicks or even wash the pigs (downatthe farm.co.uk).
The Bloody Vikings are invading York from Easter weekend onwards in a new multi-sensory experience. Enter the ransacked monastery and face the wrath of the bloodthirsty warriors who are on the rampage against the Saxons of York (thedungeons.com).
The Prince Regent will be holding court at the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, today, between 11am and 4pm. The Private Prince will transport you back to 1819 and Regency history will be brought to life: eavesdrop on royal gossip and meet Sake Deen Mahomed, said to be the first celebrity hairdresser (royalpavilion.org.uk).
If you're in north Devon between today and 12 April, join the Fantastic Fudge Hunt in Clovelly. Each day, 10 fudge stones will be concealed in different locations. Every one wins a prize, but if you find number 10 you'll be taking home a kilo of the famous fudge in eight flavours (visitdevon.co.uk).
There's an Easter Eggs-travaganza going on at Linford Manor Park, Buckinghamshire, on Tuesday. Follow the egg trails in the search for chocolate, make your own bunny ears, pair animals and birds with their offspring or eggs and decorate your own egg to take home (destination miltonkeynes.co.uk).
Feel the need for speed? Then zoom off to the British Superbike Championships, which take place at Brands Hatch, Kent, from 10- 13 April. Pit walks from Saturday to Monday will be an opportunity to get close to the rising stars of the sport (visitkent.co.uk).
Midlands and East
Fans of Lauren Child, author of the Charlie and Lola books, will love Green Drops and Moonsquirters, an exhibition celebrating her work. Interactive activities and children's workshops will be bringing the books to life at Nottingham Castle Museum until 26 April (nottinghamcity.gov.uk).
Throughout the holidays, the 10 museums in the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire, will host a huge number of activities and events for families. Don your best spring hat for the the Easter Bonnet Competition or try egg-dancing during a weekend of traditional celebrations at Blists Hill Victorian Town, 10-13 April (ironbridge.org.uk).
Let the kids get grubby while earning green credentials at the Centre for Alternative Technology in Powys, Wales. From interactive theatre and bug and slug hunts, to hands-on workshops and a video-kaleidoscope show, there's loads going on to keep the family occupied right through until 19 April (cat.org.uk/events).
It's all aboard for an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference, from 10-14 April, on the Llanberis Lake Railway, Wales. Get your ticket for the narrow-gauge steam train and hunt the eggs hidden in locations along the railway and in the stations – and look out for the white rabbit (lake-railway.co.uk).
Until 18 April the 21st Edinburgh International Science Festival takes over the seven-floor City Art Centre, in the Scottish capital. All ages are catered for, from the Wee Wonder World, suitable for all children up to six years old, to Ed and Oucho's Excellent Inventions, and Unwrapping the Mummy for older kids. Brochure and reservations are available (sciencefestival.co.uk).
It's a Frog's Life at Crathes Castle, Banchory, on Wednesday, 2.30 to 4pm. Children aged from five to 12 years can join the estate rangers for froggy games and crafts, as well as hunt for tadpoles (nts.org.uk).
Head to the Easter Family Day and Craft Fair at Castle Ward in Co Down on 12 and 13 April. there's activities and craft sessions for the whole family, as well as egg trails and a special Egg Hunt on Easter Monday (nationaltrust.org.uk). On 13 April, Bangor seafront comes alive with the splendour of the Easter Parade, with its themed floats, and lots of other family fun, from noon till 6pm. Catch the Novice Ireland Strongest Man contest and take a ride along the promenade on Lennie the Land Train (northdowntourism.com).
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