Out & About
How to have a cracking Easter
by Emily Sparkes
Anyone else get thoroughly egg-cited for Easter? The days are getting longer, brighter and warmer. Lambs are skipping about in the fields and flowers are starting to bloom. Perhaps my love of Easter is also rooted in the fact that there’s an abundance of egg-shaped chocolate on the shop shelves. For some reason, chocolate just tastes so much better when it’s egg-shaped. With Easter also comes another school holiday and it’s the first Easter break for two years without Covid restrictions. What are we all going to do? Well, here are some ideas…
Visit a Farm
Nothing says Easter like baby animals, right? Luckily, there’s no shortage of them to be found on our doorstep. Why not pop along to Wroxham Barns for one of their lambing weekends (17 April-20 May) for the chance to see a live birth and meet the brand new rare-breed lambs? The Fun Park is also well worth a visit, boasting attractions such as jumping pillows, a train ride and mini golf. The combined ticket for the Junior Farm and Fun Park works out to be great value. You could even treat the children (and yourself, obviously!) to an afternoon tea whilst you’re there.
Easton Farm Park will also be hosting their Spring Babies Carnival (4-24 April) celebrating all things spring and baby animals. Personally, I can think of nothing better! As well as an abundance of cute baby animals, there will also be an opportunity for little ones to meet the Easter bunny and take part in the Easter Egg Quiz Trail.
Soak in some Spring
You’ll know by now that I’m a big fan of getting outdoors all year round, but spring really is the best time to get outside and enjoy nature. Nothing’s better for the soul than a stroll through the countryside with the sun on your face, the birds singing and the foliage bouncing into life.
Felbrigg Hall, Gardens and Estate is a great place for all the family to immerse themselves in nature. The estate comprises of 520 acres of woods, parkland and a lake with waymarked paths suitable for dogs and pushchairs, making it a family-friendly destination for a wander. There’s also an Easter Trail running from 2-19 April consisting of 10 nature inspired activities with an Easter egg at the end. I’d say it’s definitely worth a visit over the Easter break.
Easter bonnet making
Easter bonnet making is a wonderfully creative Easter activity. Traditionally at Easter, people would wear new clothes and new hats to symbolise the new life and rebirth associated with the festival, hence the emergence of the Easter bonnet. Many primary schools still host Easter bonnet competitions but even if yours doesn’t, you can still get involved.
The beauty of this activity is that you can make it as simple or as intricate as you like. If you don’t feel like channelling your inner Kirstie Allsopp, simply draw outlines of hats on pieces of paper and encourage the kids to decorate them using felt tip pens or even scraps of tissue paper and cut-outs from magazines or newspapers.
I’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t almost implode with excitement at the prospect of baking. Thankfully, nest cakes are essentially baking but without actually baking. There’s none of that faffing around measuring flour or trying to hunt out where you’ve stored the electric whisk. Just melt some chocolate in the microwave, or over a bain-marie if you’re feeling posh, and get the children to mix in some corn flakes or rice crispies. Spoon the mixture into some cake cases and decorate with Mini Eggs before popping in the fridge to set. Simple… and not a soggy bottom in sight.
Another Easter tradition that has become increasingly popular in the UK in recent years is the Easter Tree. Originating in Germany where it’s known as Ostereierbaum meaning ‘Easter egg tree’, it’s rooted in the idea of eggs symbolising new life.
Have a look on social media and anyone who’s anyone appears to have an Easter tree. They’ve never been so in vogue but thankfully they can be exceptionally easy to make. Get the kids to collect a few twigs and arrange them in a vase before spending some time decorating blown-out eggshells. If you don’t fancy the mess, you can also pick up ready-to-decorate egg decorations (that might also be a little more robust) from craft shops like Hobbycraft.
It’s not Easter without an Easter Egg hunt. However, if you’ve got toddlers, pets or a child with allergies, you’ll know that there’s nothing practical about hiding chocolate eggs out in the open. How about hiding decorated eggs or even egg-shaped cardboard cut-outs that can be traded for chocolate eggs at the end of the egg hunt? If you’ve got older children, you could even leave a trail of clues for them to follow to an Easter treat and make the event into more of a scavenger hunt.
Egg and spoon race
Eaten your body weight in Cream Eggs and need a way to burn off those calories and an outlet for all the children’s sugar energy? How about an egg and spoon race? Traditionally reserved for primary school sports days, it seems an
egg-propriate activity for this time of year.