The bumper Muddy Easter What’s On Guide!
It’s come around fast don’t you think, but begads we’re prepared for you, Easter hols! Muddy Stilettos will not be defeated by children or boredom (or, um, both) and so here, for your delectation, is the definitive, comprehensive, curated, totally indispensable Muddy Guide to the Easter holidays.
No need to thank me, just buy me a very large champagne martini…
Edmondson Interiors Showroom Open Evening Event, Goudhurst, Thurs 14 Apr
That surprised you didn’t it? No Easter bunnies here! Before we get stuck into the choccie / chick fest that is Easter I thought I’d flag up something delicious for the grown ups, so you’ve got plenty of time to stick it in the diary. An event that I will definitely be attending because a) I love free canapés and b) I’m all about multi-tasking. Here, together in one spectacular sparklingly new showroom, there’ll be a team of Edmondson Interiors experts to talk you through the house of your dreams (I’ll take that kitchen, above, thank you) as well as Vinorium’s wine expert introducing some of his favourite flavours, a spring-inspired cooking masterclass from kitchen legends Gaggenau and fab table decorating tips as demonstrated by gorgeously original florist Astilbe and Sorrel. It’s the ultimate line up for perfecting your hosting skills – and all totally free of charge. See you there!
6pm – 9pm, Edmondson Interiors Showroom, Hammonds Farm, Smiths Ln, Goudhurst, Kent, TN17 1EU, Tel: 01580 212934, edmondsoninteriors.co.uk.
Easter Egg Hunt, Chartwell, Westerham, 25 Mar – 10 Apr
Charlie the chick has just emerged from his egg but there’s an egg beside him still waiting to hatch. Explore the garden while meeting some of Bunny’s 1920s family who all have their own ideas about how to make the egg hatch. Your efforts will be rewarded with a Cadbury chocolatey goody at the end. If you have younger children you can take the shorter, buggy friendly route.
£2 per trail, normal admission fees apply. Chartwell house & gardens, Mapleton Rd, Westerham TN16 1PS, Tel: 01732 861161, nationaltrust.org.uk/chartwell
Alice in Wonderland, Groombridge Place, Tunbridge Wells, 25 Mar – 10 Apr
Visitors will be met by a magician when they enter Groombridge Place before being given a map by Tweedledum and Tweedledee. The map and sign posts will guide children to the magic keyhole for the start of their journey. No those magic mushrooms aren’t repeating on you. Those really are giant flowers and teapots scattered around the Enchanted Forest and Gardens and yes, that really is the Mad Hatter’s tea party (home-from-home for my Mudlets). Once found, each character will give the children clues to help them find the eggs which they can give to the Queen in return for a yummy treat with special bonus prizes! There are also three theatre performances by the Alice cast every day.
Adults £14.95, children & concessions, £10.95, family ticket £45. Groombridge Place, Groombridge Hill, Groombridge, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN3 9QG. Tel: 01892 861444, groombridgeplace.com
Flower Fairy Hunt, King John’s Nursery & Gardens, Etchingham, 20 Mar – 10 Apr
Calling all fairy fans, young and old. This gorgeous place, just over the border, is such a find. Hidden away down a sleepy country lane, a nursery, garden and café lie nestled within the oaks of the High Weald of East Sussex. The nursery was created out of two derelict 1950s chicken sheds and the owner’s passion for growing plants, but has evolved into an escape from the usual. An eclectic range of things to buy in the shop, a beautifully styled rustic café and a stunning garden make it a special place to visit and well worth the detour. The fairy walk will be open every day over this period as well as a display all about fairies with some *genuine* fairy artefacts found in the garden.
Costs £1.50 per child, normal garden tickets for adults. King John’s Nursery & Gardens, Sheepstreet Ln, Etchingham, East Sussex, TN19 7AZ. Tel: 01580 819220. kingjohnsnursery.co.uk
Easter Family Fun, Hever castle, Edenbridge, 19, 20 & 23 Mar – 10 Apr
Now this one’s ticking all the boxes. Start your day with a Lindt Gold Bunny Trail then hop along to the Bonnet Making Workshop (make mine an edible gold and chocolate tiara…) and then enter your creation in the Bonnet Parade & Best Bonnet Competition. I’m game if you are!
Normal admission prices apply. Lindt Gold Bunny Trail (no extra charge), 10:30 – 16:00; Bonnet Making Workshop (£1), 11:00 – 16:00; Bonnet Parade & Best Bonnet Competition (no extra charge), 13:00 & 16:00. Hever Castle, Hever Rd, Hever, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 7NG, Tel: 01732 865224, hevercastle.co.uk
The Big Easter Break, Penshurst Place, 25 Mar – 10 Apr
I’ve got one Mini Muddy that just loves listening to stories and one that enjoys nothing more than searching for grubby things that live under the ground. So this could do them both nicely. The garden trails encourage children to look ‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ for animals and plants that thrive underground. If that’s not your bag you can hop on over to the Old Coach House to craft a pop-up rabbit puppet or swing by The Buttery where Aardvark Productions will be sharing a very silly tale about the Easter Bunny.
‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ Garden Trails 10.30am – dusk, Crafts running daily from 12noon – 4pm, Easter Stories by Aardvark Productions, suitable for smaller visitors, as well as the young at heart on 27th and 28th March from 2pm – 4pm. Penshurst Place, Penshurst, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 8DG UK. Tel: 01892 870307, penshurstplace.com
Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks
More Easter egg hunting in this pretty hillside National Trust garden. Explore the beautiful grounds and race around looking for Easter Characters. Run rabbit run!
Emmetts Garden, Ide Hill, Sevenoaks TN14. Tel: 01732 751509, nationaltrust.org.uk/emmetts-garden
Kids Holiday Sessions, Bedgebury National Pinetum, Tues 29 Mar – Thurs 14 April
Fancy keeping your stilettos mud-free just this once? Book your mudlets into these kids group sessions and they’ll disappear off into the distance on a guided ride through Bedgebury forest during which they will get suitably mud-splattered and tired out. Giving you two hours free to sip coffee in the sunshine.
Tuesday and Thursdays 10-12 noon, £10 per child ages 8-13years, additional bike hire available at a discounted rate of £10. Bedgebury National Pinetum at Bedgebury, Park Ln, Goudhurst TN17 2SL, Tel: 01580 879842, quenchuk.co.uk
Easter Eggstravaganza, Kent Life’s Farmyard, Maidstone, 25 Mar – 17 Apr
This one’s a goodie – there’s an amazing amount on offer here. Help the farmer bottle feed the lambs, meet rabbits, guinea pigs & chicks in Cuddle Corner, take a tour on the tractor, design your own ceramic Easter egg and paint it… If that’s not enough wander into the Brundle’s Big Top Entertainment tent and enjoy a huge range of live entertainment where you’ll find everything from TV’s ‘Animal Man’ Nick Spellman to Sublime Science demonstrations and learning new skills with the Kinetic Circus Workshop (juggling and so on) – all at no extra charge! Phew! Too. Much. Fun.
Farm opening times, 10am – 6pm. Nick Spellman ‘Animal Man’ appearing in shows throughout the day on 25 Mar. Kent Life, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent, ME14 3AU. Tel: 01622 763936, kentlife.org.uk
Easter Quest, Leeds Castle, 25 Mar – 19 Apr
Yet more Alice in Wonderland and more eggs! Interactive sketches across the grounds will introduce you to a chatty caterpillar, Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, a tumultuous tea party and a giant game of croquet. You may even meet the Queen and Alice herself.
Normal admisstion prices and an additional charge of £1 per child applies for the themed trail. Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1PL. Tel: 01622 765400, leeds-castle.com
Lindt Gold Bunny Warren, Bluewater, Sat 19 – Mon 28 Mar
Jeez, it’s like Where’s Wally I swear there’s meant to be a Lindt Gold Bunny hiding in here somewhere… If you’re heading out on a shopping spree and want something to bribe the kids with let them count the Gold Bunny figures, crawl through a grass-covered warren and of course enjoy the essential chocolate treat from Lindt. On Friday 25th and Saturday 26th March, you can meet the Lindt Master Chocolatier who will be show casing their skills in a live presentation. Also putting in an appearance at Bluewater this hols is a Little Pony Friendship Bus which can be found in the M&S carpark, from 1st to 3rd April. (Rainbow) Dash over to let your kids enjoy some crafty fun and games on board – don’t be (Flutter) shy. See what I did there?!
Film School, Zylo Performance, East Sussex
High energy family fun from that master of arts Mister Maker for his first-ever live theatre tour. They’ll be singing, dancing and, of course, loads of amazing crafty creations. And, yes, the dancing Shapes.