Yay for Easter – it means Spring is finally here, daffodils are cheering up gardens everywhere and of course you can eat lots of chocolate without feeling guilty. My mum used to hide chocolate eggs all over the house on Easter Sunday and so I love an Easter egg hunt. I’ve been doing them with my little one since he could toddle around the garden but this year I think he’s old enough to enjoy a more adventurous Easter egg hunt. Here are some suggestions for some in West Essex and London as well as other Easter and Springtime activites to do with the children.
Explore the hidden depths of the Gardens on an interactive trail culminating at the magical Moomin camp in the wild woodland of the Natural Area. Take part in craft workshops while you sample the Moomins’ beloved pancakes and visit the Hemulens’ Herbarium to find out more about your favourite spring flowers and plant conservation.
Originally created in the 1950s, the Moomins are a family of adventurous and nature-loving creatures from the culturally iconic storybooks by Finnish writer and artist Tove Jansson.
In place of the Easter Sunday Easter Egg Hunt, this year we’ll be giving away delicious Lindt chocolate treats at the gates on Easter Sunday.
Dates & times: Saturday 1 – Monday 17 April
Price & tickets: Included in entry fee to Kew Gardens
Address: Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AE
More details: Kew Gardens website
EASTER EGG HUNT, ELMHURST GARDENS SOUTH WOODFORD
Community event run by volunteers with an Easter-themed egg hunt, craft stalls, quiz and story tent with local children’s author. Families are encouraged to bring a picnic.
Dates & times: 8 April, 10.30am – 1pm
Price & tickets: TBC
Address: Elmhurst Gardens, South Woodford, E18 1DR
Step into the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland at Valentines Mansion. With interactive outdoor theatre performances, craft activities, childrens rides, activity trails, movie time and much, much more. Suitable for 5 years plus
Dates & times: Sunday 9 April 11am-4pm
Price & tickets: £5 per child (activities included in the ticket price), free entry for under 5s (this does not include participation in some activities). Pre-booking essential. Free for adults (maximum 1 per child). Some activities may be chargeable. Valentines Box Office
Address: Valentine’s Mansion and Gardens, Emerson Road, Ilford, Essex, IG1 4XA
More details: Valentines Mansion & Gardens website
Explore the wow-world of colours with this curious little owl who is determined to stay awake to see what day light brings. From the warm pink glow of dawn through to a day filled with the bright colours of green leaves, blue sky, grey clouds and, finally, a stunning rainbow — ‘WOW!’. But despite the beauty of the daytime world, the little owl decides that the night-time stars are the most beautiful of all.
This acclaimed children’s book by award-winning author Tim Hopgood is brought to life with beautiful story-telling, puppetry and music.
Suitable for children ages 2 – 5 years old and duration is 35 minutes.
Dates & times: Thursday 13 – Saturday 15 April 11am & 2pm
Price & tickets: £8-£10
Address: Stratford Circus Arts Centre, Theatre Square, Stratford, London, E15 1BX
More Details: Stratford Circus website
Epping Ongar Railway’s beloved Bertie Bunny will be leading what is probably the longest Easter egg hunt in Essex. Running the length of the railway track, from Ongar through to Coopersale, the distance covered is equivalent to 131,579 eggs placed end to end!
Children will follow clues to find numbered eggs along the railway and will recieve a special Easter treat when they hand in their sheets. The Easter Bunny will be out and about on the stations and aboard some special trains during the day. There’s also face painting and a children’s disco at various times throughout the day at North Weald station.
Dates & times: 14 – 17 April
Price & tickets: Discounts for advance purchases Adults £13 (on the day £15), Children £7 (on the day £8), Family £34 (on the day £39)
More Details: Epping Ongar Railway website
Follow the nature trail through Hainault Forest, find clues to answer the puzzle at the end to gain your chocolatey prize.
Dates & times: Saturday 15 April 12 noon – 3pm
Price & tickets: £2 per child, free for accompanying adults and family. Booking essential.
Address: Meet at the Common Car Park, IG7 6EZ – opposite Chigwell Primary School
More Details: Woodland Trust website
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0330 333 5302
Family fun at Hopefield Animal Sanctuary this Easter with an Easter egg hunt, stalls, inflateables, live music, animal handling and the fantastic Crazy Legs providing the children with fantastic entertainment. Plus you get to see over 400 of their rescued animals.
Dates & times: Sunday 16 April 12noon – 4pm, Easter Egg hunt starts at 1pm
Price & tickets: £5 adults, £4 children and free for Under 3s, Easter Egg hunt is £2 per child
Address: Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood, CM15 9BZ
More details: Hopefield Fun Day event on Facebook
Children can see the Easter bunny and join in the Easter egg hunt while adults enjoy the spring flowers. There will be tea/coffee and homemade cakes available until 4.00pm and the gift shop will be open until the same time.
Dates & times: Sunday 16 April 2pm – 4pm
Price & tickets: Entry £5 per person, egg hunt 50p per child
Address: Copped Hall, Crown Hill, Epping CM16 5HS
More details: Copped Hall website
Some of the ducklings from Chigwell Meadows have gone walkabout and there are prizes to be won if you can help to find them.
Dates & times: Monday 17 April 10am-1pm
Price & tickets: £5 donation to Essex Wildlife Trust
Address: The Grange Farm Cebtre, Chigwell, IG7 6DP
More details: Phone 020 8500 3094 or visit the Essex Wildlife Trust website
Search Owls Play Centre and around Fairlop Waters Country Park looking for tokens which can be exchanged for special Easter treats. After the hunt little ones can enjoy the Owls Play Centre.
Dates & times: Monday 17 April The hunt will start at 10am, 12noon, 2pm & 4pm12 noon – 3pm
Price & tickets: £10 includes Easter Egg Hunt, special Easter treat and 1 hours play in Owls Tickets can be bought in advance from Owls.
Address: Owls Play Centre, Fairlop Waters, Forest Road, Barkingside, Essex, IG6 3HN
More Details: Owls Play Centre website
Easter fun at The View at the Chingford end of Epping Forest. There’s egg decorating, Easter crafts and Easter egg rolling at 2pm. There’s also an Easter trail where you can follow clues along the woodland trail to mee the Easter bunny.
Dates & times: Monday 17 April 1pm – 4pm
Price & tickets: Free, no booking required. Hard boiled eggs to decorate are £2 each
Address: The View, 6 Ranger’s Rd, Chingford, London E4 7QH
More Details: City of London website or call 020 73321911
And it’s a bit of a trek over to West London but the JURASSIC KINGDOM dinosaur exhibition at Osterley Park is brilliant and well worth a vist. It’s on until 17th April and you can read my review of Jurassic Kingdom here.
If you fancy an Easter activity at home instead, here’s my recipe for How to make Chocolate Easter Egg nest cakes.