Easter fun: sorted!
Here's your totally indispensable Bumper, Thumper Muddy Guide to 25 of the very best things to do these Easter hols...
After what feels like a verrrrry long winter, begads we’re pleased to see you, Easter hols! And since Muddy Stilettos will not be defeated by children or boredom (or, um, both) here, for your delectation, is the definitive, comprehensive, curated, totally indispensable Bumper, Thumper Muddy Guide to 25 of the very best things to do this Easter.
No need to thank me, just buy me a very large champagne martini.
Chiddingstone Castle, Alice in Wonderland at the castle, 12 – 14 Apr
Chiddingstone always put a lot of effort and imagination into their holiday activities and this one is no exception. You are cordially invited to a fantastic tea party with the mad hatter. Yet, to guarantee your place at the table, you must meet and impress the Mad Hatter’s equally bonkers co-hosts, The Queen of Hearts, Alice, The White Rabbit and Tweedledee and Tweedledum, by taking part in some crazy activities across the castle grounds. You could also win a prize for ‘Best Dressed Guest’ and ‘Craziest Newcomer to Wonderland’ awarded by the Mad Hatter himself! This tea party is best suited to kids from 6 to 10 years old.
Bunny Hunt, Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Weds 28 Mar – Mon 2 Apr
I took my mudlets here last Easter and we had a lovely time in the stunning gardens hunting for clues. Even better, if you have a four-legged friend like us, they are very welcome too (on the lead). A firm family favourite – come and hunt for hidden bunnies amongst the blooming rhododendrons and earn yourself a chocolate egg reward, from 10.30am – 4pm.
Bewl Water, Easter Eggsplorer, 29 Mar – 8 Apr
Collect your map and explore the Bewl Trail to see if you can find the 12 hidden eggs. As Eggsplorers you’ll need to match the numbers you find on the hidden eggs around the Bewl Trail, hurry back and unscramble the code to collect your eggtastic prize.
Leeds Castle Easter Quest, 30 Mar – 15 Apr
Aw, is there a more picturesque spot for an Easter egg hunt? Visit lovely Leeds Castle and seek out clues hidden around the grounds on a fun quest for children of all ages. Answer each of the questions and receive a chocolate treat as a reward. There is an additional £1 charge for the Easter Quest.
Gulbenkian, family films, various dates
The Gulbenkian is the University of Kent’s Arts Centre and puts on loads of great stuff in the holidays. Watch a brilliant version of The Wind in the Willows on screen – it was recorded live from the London Palladium show. Featuring eye-poppingly beautiful design, this production brings exuberant choreography, a gloriously British score, comedy, heart and thrills. With a stellar cast and Join Ratty, Badger, Mole and the impulsive Toad as they embark on a series of riotous adventures spiralling from Toad’s insatiable need for speed! Or catch family films like Trolls, Monster Family or The BFG.
Children’s Storytime, Sevenoaks Book Shop, Tues 3 Apr
The Sevenoaks Bookshop does some really great events, like featuring local children’s author and illustrator, Philippa Leathers, who will be reading from her new picturebook The Tiptoeing Tiger (perfect for children aged 3 to 5 and must be accompanied, starts at 10.30am).
Bedgebury National Pinetum Habit Trail and Spring Photo Snapshot Activity, 9 – 13 Apr
Sling the stilettos and grab your welly boots…Discover the fascinating wildlife of Bedgebury Pinetum as you stroll along the habitat trails and improve and test your skills as wildlife spotter. There’s no need to book, just pop into the visitor centre between 10 am and 2 pm. £2 per child and adults go free!
Evolution Tennis Easter Camp, Tonbridge 3 – 6 Apr or Brenchley 9 – 13 Apr
This is an award-winning tennis coaching company headed up by LTA Kent Coach of the Year Dave Von Ribbeck. My own Mudlets have tried it and loved it – and so do I because it always gets them out the house and out of my hair! Caters for every ability, only as competitive as you want to make it – the main priority here is having fun. The two venues are running on separate dates – visit the website for more details or to book.
Easter Egg trail, Mount Ephraim Gardens, 1 & 2 Apr
On Easter Sunday and Monday this gorgeous small and perfectly formed venue is opening its Gardens with a fantastic family day. It’s a children’s Easter Egg trail (of course) and you follow the clues to win a chocolatey prize (come on you know the drill by now!) Tea Room and Gardens open between 11am and 5pm (usual garden entrance applies: £7 adults and £2.50 children aged 4-16)
Canterbury Tales, Canterbury, Fri 6 Apr
In partnership with Cantebrury Christ Church University and Waterstones Canterbury, this medieval England attraction brings you two exclusive events in one day. Saturn’s Fury a unique puppet show performed in Waterstone’s (entry is free) – Saturn the Dragon has lost his roar! Follow Saturn on his journey to find his voice and meet helpful friends along the way… Also The Campfire Tales is a unique storytelling around the campfire in our Medieval Story Garden, at The Canterbury Tales Historic Attraction (pre-booking is as spaces are limited, £10 adults, £8 children. Tickets released soon).
Knole House, Sevenoaks, 30 Mar – 6 Apr
Nestled inside Kent’s last medieval deer park, with more than 500 deer living in the grounds this hidden Narnia makes a great family day out. You can follow the trail though Knole Park and learn about wildlife as you go. Solve the clues to claim your chocolate prize (you knew it was coming). There are different trails available for children aged 3-5 years and 7-12 years.
The Festival of Steam and Transport, Chatham Dockyard, 1 – 2 Apr
The Festival of Steam and Transport is back for its 16th year – steampunks, funfair, demonstrations and running trains will be thundering through the streets of the Dockyards. And this year there’s a new feature: The International Food & Drink Festival which is celebrating a variety of cuisines from around the globe, so you certainly won’t be leaving hungry! (There is also 25% off online tickets too).
Easter Fun, The Hop Farm, Paddock Wood, 1 – 17 Apr
This Easter, enjoy a super outdoorsy day action-packed day at the Hop Farm. There’s crazy golf, a chance to blow off some steam in the outdoor play area, (think Giant Jumping Pillows and The Magic Castle). There’s also pony grooming, a chance to meet the ferrets and watch the orphaned lambs being fed. Horse and cart rides are on offer too.
Savage Skills, Betteshanger Park, Mon 2 – Sun 8 Apr
Betteshanger Park, sits between Deal and Sandwich, in open landscape overlooking the Kent coast. Go and watch the UK’s leading freestyle mountain biking stunt team, Savage Skills show off their spectacular, jaw-dropping stunts, death-defying back flips and crazy balancing skills. This high adrenaline, action-packed event runs performances every hour from 12 pm through to 3 pm and is free.
Alice in Wonderland, Assembly Halls, Tunbridge Wells, 13 April – 15 Apr
You’ll want to catch this HARE-larious Easter holiday production, showing at the Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells, this Easter. Join Alice as she takes a tumble down the rabbit hole into the wonderful world of, er, Wonderland. Grin along with your mudlets like a pack of Cheshire cats as you go on this epic adventure, meeting zany new friends along the way.
The Easter Break & The Feverishly Fickle Friend, Penshurst Place, 30 Mar – 15 Apr
The Easter Rabbit’s best springtime friend is hiding in the garden but he won’t tell us who it is (apparently). Find the hanging Easter eggs and use your knowledge of some of Britain’s most-loved woodland mammals to reveal the clues to help us uncover their identity. Then why not hop on over to the Old Coach House and try your hand at some fantastic seasonal crafts, including Easter Rabbit masks.
Fairytales Gone Bad: Grannylocks/ The Monstrous Duckling, The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, Wed 5 Apr
If all these cutesy bunnies are driving you crazy then here’s an alternative. Discover the true stories behind the fairy tales you thought you knew! Perhaps the ugly duckling wasn’t really ugly, but monstrous? Maybe the tale of Goldilocks is really about a thieving granny…? Performance poet Joseph Coelho, twists the traditional into the contemporary for an afternoon of unnerving fun for all the family.
Easter family fun and Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt, Hever Castle, 24 Mar- 15 Apr
Follow in the paw prints of the Lindt Gold Bunny, to claim your very own delicious Lindt choccie. There’s also a chance to show off your artistic flair in the Easter Bonnet workshop and a chance to win prizes in the ‘Best Bonnet’ parade. Or you can test your knowledge of Easter with the just-for-fun quiz in the Castle. The new Tudor Towers adventure playground is open too, and try not to get too lost in the Yew Maze. Sure to put a *cough* spring in everyone’s step…
Medieval Easter Weekend, Dover Castle 30 Mar – 1 Apr
For something a little different and a change from Easter egg hunts, head to the Medieval Weekend at Dover Castle. Travel back in time and rub shoulders with medieval knights and princesses. Watch St George battle with the evil dragon from horseback and there are fire eating jesters too!
Circus Fun, Leeds Castle, 30 Mar – 2 Apr
This Easter holiday ‘Tarzanna’ (I think that’s a female version of Tarzan…) presents a fantastic, adrenaline filled outdoor aerial theatre show, climbing, jumping and swinging through the air before your very eyes. You too can perfect your circus skills, including learning to balance on a trapeze and tightrope. How very Greatest Showman.
Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt & Spring colour trail, Emmetts Garden, from Fri 30 Mar
Emmetts Garden is an Edwardian estate, standing on one of the highest spots in Kent, with panoramic views over the unspoilt Weald. And this Easter you can explore the garden to find Lubbock the Lamb’s flock and discover their favourite spring colour on plants and trees. See if you can spot Lubbock the Lamb along the way, and afterwards collect your delicious Cadbury chocolate treat (I think we know the drill by now).
Easter holiday family fun & Cadbury Easter egg hunt, Ightham Mote, from Fri 30 Mar
This romantic moated manor house has been owned by medieval knights, courtiers to Henry VIII and high society Victorians dontcha know. The house is surrounded by peaceful gardens with an orchard, water features, lakes and woodland walks and with spring in the air their Cadbury Easter Egg hunt takes on a nature theme. And from Tues 3 Apr, keep the kids entertained during the holidays with their house quiz, craft activities, garden trail and the chance to go wild in our natural play area.
Doddington Place Gardens, Sittingbourne, 1 & 2 Apr
Visitors can enjoy family fun and a traditional riddle treasure hunt at Doddington Place Gardens on Easter Sunday and Monday. Combine a stroll round the 10 acre landscaped gardens, which will be springing into life, with a fun family riddle hunt. There will be two Easter hunts – one for younger children, and a more puzzling hunt for older children (and adults who like a challenge) – and (you know what’s coming) there’s a chocolate prize for each child taking part.
Discover Easter, Brogdale Farm, Faversham, 30, 31 March & 1 April
If you want to cuddle something cute and fluffy then here’s a chance to meet baby animals, live hatching chicks and hunt for giant eggs in the orchards of this lovely quirky venue that is home of the nation’s largest fruit collection. Have a go at feeding the adorable lambs throughout day and get up close to these friendly little animals. You can also get your face painted and create some Easter crafts. A real bouncy-baby-lamb kinda treat.
Roar-some Dino Trail, Bluewater, 3 Apr – 24 June
And finally, if you happen to be popping into kate spade of Mint Velvet over in Bluewater these Easter hols and need something to bribe the Mudlets with you might like to whizz them around the Dinosaur Trail. Kids will come face to face with roar-some dinosaurs in and around the mall, whilst discovering interesting facts along the way. You can pick up a trail map from the concierge desk outside M&S on the lower mall and once all the dinosaurs have been found, they’ll receive a prehistoric prize.