Easter events and activities for children in Devon
Gardens, parks, attractions and even houses will be scattered with Easter eggs this March and April as eagle-eyed youngsters go on the hunt for these oval shaped objects, and hope for a surprise and a treat!
Easy to Make: Easter Wreath
Christmas isn’t the only time of year when people dress their doors with decorative wreaths. A recent trend has seen many people sprucing up their front doors with displays of bright colour and spring materials in the shape of an Easter wreath! Creating one is really simple and something the children can add an extra special little touch to. Take a look at Pinterest for some inspiration on materials and design.
Easy to Make: Easter Bunny Bunting
Decorate the walls and window frames with these bright little bunnies. To make: buy a variety of patterned card, place a basic bunny template on top of each piece of card and draw around it. Cut this out and glue on a small ball of cotton wool for a tail. To finish, attach each bunny to a natural piece of string using mini wooden pegs.
Easy to Make: Eggy Lambs
These funky-looking lambs will look a treat perched on a mantelpiece or sideboard. Plus they’re so easy to create – simply roll small pieces of cotton wool into balls and glue these to the surface of the egg. Cover the whole egg with cotton wool, leaving a space at the front where you can add a funny face!
Easy to Do: Painting Easter Eggs
Very young children may wish to use hard-boiled eggs, whilst slightly older-children may use hollowed-out eggs. Cover the smooth glass-like surface of egg with acrylic paint. Using a mixture of soft brushes, coat the egg in a base colour. To add detail, use a fine brush dipped in paint or glitter, or use finely-tipped pens.
Easy to Make: Easter Nest Cakes
You’ll need some nests to cradle all those tasty eggs this Easter. So how about making these equally tasty nests:
Ingredients: Shredded Wheat; Cooking chocolate; Milk Chocolate Mini eggs
Crumble up the Shredded Wheat in a bowl. Then melt the cooking chocolate in a separate bowl placed in a pan of boiling water. Carefully remove the bowl and slowly pour the melted cooking chocolate over the crushed Shredded Wheat. Combine together. Then get the kids to shape the mixture into nests in the cake cases. Finish, by placing 2 or 3 chocolate mini eggs onto the top of the cooled down nests.
So, why is Easter on a different date each year?
Have you ever wondered why Easter falls on a different date each year? Well, the reason for this lies with the decisions made by the first council of the Christian church, also known as the Council of Nicaea, in the year 325 AD.
This council used a complex formula to calculate the future dates of Easter.
The council decided that Easter should be celebrated on the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on, or just after, the spring equinox.
The church set a fixed date for the spring equinox as 21 March and established that Easter can take place between 22 March and 25 April. This year, Easter Sunday is on 21 April.
Yet, this year, the full moon and the spring equinox actually occur on Wednesday 20 March. So, shouldn’t Easter be held on Sunday 24 March instead?
Astronomically speaking, yes it should.
However, the ancient calculations did not consider lunar motions for our times. The key point here is that an ecclesiastical full moon does not necessarily happen on the same date as the actual full moon.
In 2019, the first full moon after 21 March occurs on 19 April, so consequently Easter will be celebrated on Sunday 21 April.
Easter egg hunts with a difference:
The Easter Egg Hunt is usually pretty-high up on the Easter activity list but what are the alternative options to searching for chocolate eggs?
Primary Times has been on its own ‘hunt’ for fun ideas that will get the kids active, listening and counting… Here they are:
Matching Sound Egg Hunt
Test your child’s auditory processing ability by creating a game that will encourage them to match a sound in an egg case to an image of the item that is making the sound (in the egg case) on a printed sheet of paper.
You can fill the egg cases with items such as coins or pasta shapes or seeds.
Once all the eggs and sounds have been matched, the children can be rewarded with a treat.
Make the Kids Work for their Chocolate Treats!
Lay on some fun energy-burning Easter egg hunts for the kids.
Simply hide several plastic empty egg cases around the house, garden or local park and fill them with little notes inscribed with a physical activity to complete.
Each egg has a fun mini exercise challenge for the kids. For example, this could be: do ten star jumps; run on the spot for 2 minutes, do a roly-poly.
After all that exertion, the kids will have earnt their chocolate treat!
Colour Matching and Maths Egg Hunt Game
This is a simple game where children hunt for coloured eggs.
You may wish to use mini chocolate eggs wrapped in different coloured tin foil and hide them around the garden.
Once all the eggs have been collected they can be separated by colour and counted – and then consumed!
The Story of the Easter Egg
The humble egg is the food most synonymous with Easter. It symbolises the start of new life, rebirth and fertility. Many people associate the egg with Christian values at Easter, yet the egg also played a role in lots of pre-Christian festivals celebrated by the Ancient Egyptians, Persians and Romans.
In the Middle Ages when people were unable to eat eggs during Lent they began to decorate and store them for Easter Sunday and the tradition of the egg hunt began.
The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in France and Germany in the early 19th Century, and in 1873 the first British chocolate Easter egg was produced by Fry’s.
Cadbury quickly followed producing a chocolate egg in 1875 and by 1892 produced 19 different types of eggs.
Today, the UK chocolate Easter egg market is worth more than £220 million with sales growing every year. Cadbury’s Crème Egg is the most popular and over 500 million eggs are made every year.
Easter trails, scavenger hunts, egg and spoon races, bottle-feeding lambs, beach cleans – you name it – there’s plenty of adventures to be had this spring.
Easter Egg Hunts are usually a big hit with youngsters who simply love becoming mini-explorers and what’s more, this fun activity can be affordable.
You have the choice of hosting an egg-citing Easter Egg hunt in your back garden or local park, or alternatively head to a local attraction and enjoy the novelty of the occasion with lots of other families.
During the Easter school holiday, should the weather allow, go outdoors each day for some free fun.
It’s easy to distract children with uncomplicated activities such as spotting and naming clouds, searching for mini-beasts or seashore critters, visiting and perhaps bottle-feeding newborn lambs, watching a spider weaving a web, and following slimy snail trails. It’s all great fun and doesn’t cost a penny!
South Devon Railway
A Day Out With Thomas
Join Thomas, the number one blue engine, at the South Devon Railway, Buckfastleigh, from 23rd to 25th May for a train ride unlike any other. Thomas has come from the Island of Sodor for three days of family fun. The Fat Controller will also be on hand to make sure that Thomas is being a really useful engine. Meanwhile, the South Devon Railway is open every day with steam train trips between Buckfastleigh and Totnes Riverside. A first class experience for children – and grown-ups too!
Find out more here: www.southdevonrailway.co.uk/
Peter Rabbit to launch Easter at Guildhall Shopping and Dining
On Wednesday,1 April, everyone’s favourite rabbit will be visiting Guildhall Shopping & Dining in Exeter to officially launch Easter in this free family event. At 30-minute intervals between 12am and 4pm, Peter Rabbit will be meeting his fans inside the centre as well as posing for photos. As an extra treat, Peter will be officially launching the centre’s Easter trail which will be running from the 1st throughout Easter with hundreds of free Easter eggs up for grabs! Shoppers will need to find hidden clues across the centre for a chance to win! Shoppers will also have a chance to WIN a fantastic Easter hamper filled with an array of Easter goodies from popular stores and restaurants across the scheme.
Find out more at www.guildhallshoppingexeter.co.uk
Eggstreme Easter at Woodlands Theme Park, Devon!
Join in with Easter egg hunts and animal activities. Travel through a land of chocolate heaven to meet the Easter Bunny in his grotto*! The Fizz Pop Science Team will be here, with exciting slime and science workshops on Friday 3rd & Saturday 11th April. Don’t miss Titan the Robot on Thursday 9th April. PLUS, Hey Duggee is visiting on Friday 10th April! He will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day. Don’t forget your camera!
Please visit woodlandspark.com for full details. *T&C’s apply.
Find out more here: www.woodlandspark.com/
RHS Rosemoor partners with the new The Secret Garden film for a special event!
From 21 March until 3 May, Rosemoor will be hosting a wonderful garden trail which takes families around the garden until the final clue leads visitors to Rosemoor’s ‘Secret Garden’ that visitors will not have seen before. Weekdays during the Easter holidays (30 March – 10 April) there will be special drop-in family workshops too.
Check out our preview of the film on page 5 and visit Rosemoor’s website at
Easter fun at Becky Falls
This Easter holiday there are lots of activities planned at Dartmoor’s famous Becky Falls; including their Easter themed children’s Quiz – there’s a prize for every child who takes part, including a go on the tombola to win Easter eggs galore! They will also be offering hands-on Animal Encounter Shows, Meet the Keeper Sessions, Children’s Stamp Trail and Explorer Backpacks. All shows and activities are included in your entrance fee.
Find out more here: https://www.beckyfalls.com/
Easter Holiday Fun for all the family at Devon Railway Centre
Enjoy a day out at the Devon Railway Centre, Bickleigh with fantastic indoor and outdoor facilities.
Attractions include a soft play area, a model village and funfair with push buttons to make things move, a huge model railway exhibition where you control the trains and two large indoor play coaches with a sand pit, ball pool and wooden railways. You can also ride as many times as you like on two separate railways at no extra charge.
Enjoy a picnic alongside the River Exe or next to the outdoor play areas, visit their Victorian tea rooms and enjoy a cuppa whilst the kids enjoy a round of Crazy Golf on the railway themed course.
Check out the Easter Egg Hunt (April 10th – April 13th) where children can follow the Bunny Trail, find the Easter Eggs and meet one of their railway friends, Betsy Bunny!
Find out more here: https://devonrailwaycentre.co.uk/
Easter explorations at The Donkey Sanctuary
Spring has sprung (finally!) and the sanctuary’s wildlife has woken from its slumber, so follow the Nature Trail around the sanctuary to spot the different animals within their habitats and WIN a tasty Easter treat on completion! Along the way, discover how this wildlife and their habitats help contribute to the health and wellbeing of the donkeys. Plus with talks and tours, scenic walks, engaging exhibits, award-winning gardens, fun hedge maze and, of course, hundreds of adorable donkeys, there’s so much to explore with your own herd, whatever the weather. Open every day from 9am, entry and parking is free. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
Find out more here: www.thedonkeysanctuary.org.uk/sidmouth
Get prehistoric this half term at Affinity Devon
This half term experience a Jurassic Adventure on the 7th –8th April at Affinity Devon, Bideford. Come face to face with Europe’s friendliest T-Rex, interact with baby dinosaurs, enrol in a Ranger Training course and more; all of which is completely free of charge!
For more information visit affinityoutlets.com/devon.
The Miniature Pony Centre reopens!
Back for 2020, the Centre will be opening its door again, reopening to the general public on Friday 20th March.
Since 1986, they have welcomed customers to closely interact with their beautiful ponies as the only true and original Miniature Pony Centre. Fall in love with their heavy horses, mammoth donkeys, miniature ponies and foals, miniature pigs as well as many more animals.
They will be running our popular Unicorn & Dragon day on 2nd April, a Wizards day on 8th April and going “sweetie mad” on Good Friday and Easter Monday with their Candyland theme. Dan the Hat will be there providing entertainment and they will be running their Easter egg hunt. It will be a fun filled holiday for all the family with new activities to entertain you, indoor and outdoor play areas, a café and Unicorns.
For more information please visit :www.miniatureponycentre.com
Ticket discounts available for Exeter Rainbow Run early-birds
Families are being invited to get their tickets for ‘Exeter’s brightest’ 5k charity fun run, in aid of Children’s Hospice South West at Westpoint this on June 20th Registration is open with a 25% discount available for sign-ups before April 1 and anyone aged five and above can take part. Get involved in colourful fun in support of hundreds of children with life-limiting conditions and their families.
The event village will be open from 11am, with face painters, a bouncy castle, fun tents with games and tombolas, music from Radio Exe, food and drink and plenty of colourful rainbow merchandise.
Early-bird tickets are £15 for adults and £9 for children and available until April 1. Tickets purchased after this date will be £20/£12, and £30/£15 on the day of the event. The suggested sponsorship target is £30 for adults and £20 for children.
To find out more; visit www.chsw.org.uk/rainbowexeter
Join Bernaville Nurseries for free fun this Easter
Bring the family along and complete their Easter trail in-store. The first 100 children to complete the trail will receive an Easter egg! The trail will run Saturday 28th March through to Sunday 5th April, from 10am - 4pm. Why not stay for lunch in their Lilypond restaurant or fit in a little bit of springtime shopping.
Find out more here: www.bernaville.co.uk/
Bring your kids to meet the kids at World of Country Life Exmouth this Easter!
There are so many cute adorable new kid goats and lambs at World of Country Life in Exmouth this Easter waiting to meet you - there really is no better place to get up close to the animals!
Visit the Eggcellent Easter Trail for the (human) kids to enjoy and of course all the usual fun daily activities and take part in the ‘Eggcellent’ activities* throughout the Easter Holidays. Look out for the extraordinarily large rabbits and chickens as they will be getting up to all sorts of mischief over the Easter Weekend.
Check out www.worldofcountrylife.co.uk for full details and times.
Dinosaur Adventures at Crealy: 30 March to 13 April
Join Crealy this Easter holiday for a Jurassic adventure with their Eggo-Saurus Dino Hunt. Intrepid explorers will be challenged to find all of the dinosaur eggs by solving clues and riddles to win an egg-ceptional chocolatey prize. Participants will need to keep their eyes out for the ptero-FACT-yl pop ups on their journey to learn more about their favourite prehistoric creatures.
Find out more at www.crealy.co.uk
REGISTER NOW FOR ROWCROFT’S SLEEP WALK ON 4 JULY 2020
Registration for Rowcroft’s all American-themed Sleep Walk 2020 is now open. Get 20% off when you sign up for South Devon’s greatest girls’ night out at www.rowcroftsleepwalk.org.uk − using discount code PRIMARYW20 before May 11.
Ladies can choose between a five or ten-mile night walk, starting and finishing at Torbay Leisure Centre. This year’s star-spangled event falls on the 4th of July and the theme is ‘Party in the USA’: think red, white and blue tutus, pom-poms, American flags, stars and stripes, and of course lots of glitter!
To sign up for The Rowcroft Sleep Walk today, visit www.rowcroftsleepwalk.org.uk.
Make a splash at Cofton
Spring is around the corner. Are you ready for lighter evenings and warmer temperatures? Cofton certainly are! With outdoor playing areas, their donkey duo and woodland walks you’ll have plenty to keep the family entertained! When the English weather is unpredictable, take shelter within their leisure complex. Take a dip in their indoor pool, relax on the hydrotherapy loungers and let the little ones have a splash! Their dining facilities are second to none and a visit to Cofton isn’t complete without a sumptuous Sunday carvery in the Warren Retreat or indulgent meals served in Amelia’s Pantry all day
Find out more at https://www.coftonholidays.co.uk/
Easter Holidays at The Bear Trail 28th March - 19th April
Join The Bear Trail - Devon's award winning family assault course this Easter. Tackle their mighty mud run together; it's outrageous outdoor family fun! Scramble over the bear nets, zip down the zip wire and tumble through the tunnels. Be one of the first to try out their awesome Water Walkerz - new for 2020 (extra charges apply). Don't forget to take part in their awesome Easter Treasure Hunt. Open every day during Easter Holidays. Between Exeter and Cullompton.
For details visit www.thebeartrail.co.uk
Easter holiday activities at RAMM
There’s even more for families at RAMM during the Easter holidays. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children. 15 galleries, awesome objects, intriguing stories and fun, hands-on things to do, along with a cafe and shop make for an unforgettable experience. Extra activities include dressing up, making shadow puppets, wrapping up an Egyptian mummy and lace art. Museum entry free. There are charges for some special activities.
Find out more at: www.rammuseum.org.uk
Time for you; wellness at Princesshay this spring -3 and 4 April
Princesshay is kick starting spring with its spring refresh on Friday 3rd April – Saturday 4th April. Shoppers will be treated to a wellness themed programme including interactive workshops, beauty demonstrations, storytelling and yoga sessions. Green fingered shoppers can learn how to make their own terrarium and craft enthusiasts can take part in a paper flower workshop. The centre will also host acts who will be walking around entertaining families including giant hugging sloths and walking life size trees. There will also be a host of in-store activities though out the two days.
Find out more at www.princesshay.co.uk
Did you know?
- Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain's annual spending on chocolate.
- The UK chocolate Easter Egg market is worth in excess of £220 million.
- If you laid all the Cadbury Creme Eggs made in a year from end to end, it would stretch from Bourneville, Birmingham to Sydney, Australia.
- Easter is the second most popular time of the year for eating chocolate.
- J.S. Fry of Bristol produced the first chocolate eggs in 1873.
Why is Easter on a different date each year?
Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that happens on or after the Spring Equinox on 21 March. That means Easter can be celebrated at any time between 22 March and 25 April.
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For Easter egg hunts with a difference click here