23 Easter Things To Do Guide
Here's your totally indispensable Muddy Guide to 23 of the best things to do these Easter hols - no matter the weather!
Are you ready to roll? The Easter bunny is rubbing his little fluffy ears, the chicks are breaking out of their pretty shells and Muddy readers are reaching for their hipflasks (what, kids off school AGAIN??!)
Fear not, here’s our EASTER MUDDY GUIDE to see you through the next two weeks. Let’s do this!
Ultimate Activity Camps, Tunbridge Wells & Sevenoaks
Kids activity camps are BACK! If your child is 4-14 years, let Ultimate Activity Camps do the heavy lifting. During the Easter hols, kids can enjoy brilliant facilities and over 40 sports and activities at the camps, held at Rose Hill School in Tunbridge Wells and The New Beacon in Sevenoaks, with qualified teaching staff, and Covid-safe booking. Tempted? Too right. Check out the local camp locations and dates and remind me to tell you ‘I told you so’ when your kids rave about it afterwards.
Bodiam Boating Station, Bodiam, from Mon 29 March
This lesser-known gem is a brilliant river activity centre 6 miles from Rye and 8 miles from Cranbrook and a real Muddy favourite. Perfect for a family day out, group trip or adventure with your girlie mates – with every kind of boating you can imagine on offer. Amble up the River Rother at your own leisure in one of the rowing boats, kayaks, tandem kayaks, Canadian Canoes or SUPs. Click here for more information on what you can hire.
You’ll find Bodiam Boating Station smack bang on the border of Kent and Sussex near to the village of Robertsbridge, is not far from the A21 that runs from north Kent down to the coast. Refreshments are provided in their gorgeous, rustic café. Opening for boat hire and takeaway food from Mon 29 March and for food on outside tables from Mon 12 April – this is one not to miss!
FREE: Virtual Secret Sketch Party, Secret Art Parties, Every Thurs
With the face-to-face Art Parties put on hold temporarily during Lockdown, like many other local businesses, the creative folk behind Secret Art Parties had to adapt. And they did so brilliantly – launching the FREE – fun and informal – weekly Secret Sketch Party.
These are taking place via Zoom every Thursday evening, 6.50pm – 8pm. And they’ve built over 1,000 Followers on their Secret Sketch Party FB Group. The sessions are perfect for all ages and levels, in just one-hour you’ll learn stunning sketching techniques in a refreshingly clear, simple and uplifting way. Go on! Get your teens involved and find out more about the free sign up here.
Don’t miss their 3 Day Art Challenge ‘From Real to Feel‘ on Mon 29 March – Thurs 1 April! The challenge is £7 to enter and you’ll receive a step-by-step guide to go from realistic sketches of flowers to full-blown explosions of abstract flower-like-spring-tastic images! Wake up your creativity and get stuck in! Enter the challenge here.
Emmett’s Garden, Sevenoaks, Mon 29 March – Sun 18 April
The best time of year to visit Emmett’s Garden is coming up! Every year the hillside is smothered with bluebells and the 7,000 pink, red and black tulips will flower underneath the cherry blossom mid-late April – it’s a sight you won’t want to miss! There’s lots of activities to get involved with this Easter, from spotting egg-shaped objects to taking in the sights and sounds blossoming all around you. Collect your trail packs from the visitor centre upon arrival, fill in the activity sheet and you’ll get a delicious reward at the end! Runs 29 March – 18 April, 9am-5:30pm. Book your timed entry slot here.
Penshurst Place Gardens, Penshurst, Re-opening 29 March
Penshurst Place Grounds and Garden’s are re-opening from 29 March which includes their Adventure Playground and Woodland Trail! Perfect for Easter half term fun. Their Adventure Playground is filled with a giant zip wire, swings, slides and is the perfect place to let the kids run wild. Then follow the Woodland Trail which is an encompassing 1km loop where you’ll be able to experience and the enjoy the nature around you – look out for the bluebells which will soon appear! Book your entry ticket here.
You don’t need to go in Penshurst Place to enjoy it! Their estate is one of the largest privately owned in the South East of England with 2,500 acres of parkland, woodland and farmland, there’s so many public footpaths and walking trails to enjoy all year round. Plus located just outside Penshurst Places’ visitor entrance and car park, Porcupine Pantry is open for takeaway 9-5pm every day! It’s the perfect pitstops for walkers or cyclists with benches and tables dotted all around with lovely views of Penshurst Place.
Chartwell, Westerham, Mon 29 March – Sun 18 April
Oooh! Look at all that lovely Spring colour! Follow the trail at Chartwell through Sir Winston Churchill’s gardens and get to know the animals and wildlife all over the estate. Don’t forget to fill out your activity sheet and collect your chocolate egg when you finish! Running from Mon 29 March til Sun 18 April, 10am – 5pm. £3 per trail. Tickets are released every Friday so don’t forget to book your entry time slot before you go.
Riverhill Himalayan Gardens, Sevenoaks, 31 March – 18 April
Lots of fun to be had at Riverhill Himalayan Gardens this Easter! With 12 acres of historic gardens with their woodland paths and breathtaking views, you won’t want to miss out. Their much-loved Bunny Hunt is still going ahead from 31 March – 5 April, 9-4pm. Let your little find the bunnies amongst the rhododendrons in their beautiful Wood Garden. Then kicking off from the 7 – 18 April (Weds-Sun, 11am-4pm) is their Easter Holiday Fun! They’re not spilling what is going on just yet but we know it’ll be packed with family fun.
If you’ve visited Otto’s along Sevenoaks High St then you’ll know just how fab their coffee is! Grab your snacks from Otto’s Pop-Up Cafe at Riverhill who will be bringing their usual exceptional food and drink. Open for takeaway only but there’s plenty of benches around to sit. They are completely single-use free so don’t forget your keep cup. No keep cup, no coffee! Their words not ours. Book your timed entry tickets now.
FREE: Hot Cross Buns Class, Kent Cookery Class, Thurs 1 April
Don’t miss out on this fab class! The Kent Cookery Club are hosting a free live session next Thursday at 5pm! Learn how to make, shape and bake some delicious hot cross buns. Either cook along with them or bake them the next day as you can watch anytime you like! Join the event here.
Elmley Nature Reserve, Isle of Sheppey, From Thurs 1 April
Who needs to leave the country for a safari holiday when you have Elmley Nature Reserve waiting in Kent for you? We are not talking lions and tigers and bears (oh my) but since 1991, Elmley has been deemed a National Nature Reserve and is an internationally recognized site for the the conservation of rare birds, plants, animals and insects.
With 3,200 acres, Elmley provides the perfect place for your little ones to explore and get closer to nature. It’s a family-run farm with approximately 700 cattle grazing the pasture each year plus chickens, ducks and tractors to admire! Their Wildlife Tours are resuming from Mon 29 of March, and the Reserve will be open every day over the Easter holidays. Yippee! Book your day ticket here.
EASTER DISCOUNT: Online Cooking Classes, The Cooking Apple
Dust down your apron and get cooking! The Cooking Apple will fill you with with culinary confidence, these virtual cooking classes are perfect for bored teens needing a bit of encouragement in the kitchen or why not get the whole family involved?
Run by the super approachable Pip Porter, she organises Online Group Classes plus Private Classes for adults or for 11-18 year olds going solo or for those with slightly younger with an adult helper on hand (9+ is a good starting age). PLUS if you book a private class over Easter Weekend, get 20% OFF! What are you waiting for?! To book email Pip here.
Easter egg hunt, Canoe Wild, Fri 2 – Mon 5 April
This Easter Weekend why not take part in an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference? Canoe Wild invites you to paddle a stretch of the beautiful River Stour, whilst hunting for colourful Easter Eggs. Whether by Canoe, Kayak or Paddleboard you can enjoy a river-based Easter adventure whilst spotting what the Easter Bunny has left behind. All general hire paddles over the Easter Weekend will include the Easter Egg Hunt with chocolate treats for those that give it a go. Book your adventure now.
Hever Castle, Hever, Fri 2 – Sun 18 April
Follow clues to find a variety of ‘things that hatch’ as you walk through the grounds on Hever’s Garden Easter Trail! Learn about how each creature starts life in an egg and what environment they live in after. You won’t want to miss the gardens which will have a beautiful display of spring blooms, expect daffodils to hyacinths, camellias and tulips. Don’t forget to print off the map and trail before you visit!
The adventure playgrounds at Hever will also be open over Easter Half Term, let the big ones (7-14 years) explore Tudor Towers with its own moat, drawbridge and three turrets. Let the little ones (under 7 years) explore the natural explore area, Acorn Dell with it’s 2-metre high living willow structure, giant sandpit, mound with tunnels to clamber in and a climbing frame. Plenty of fun to be had!
Bewl Water, Lamberhurst, Open Every Day
As an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, in the heart of the High Weald, Bewl Water is a beautiful place to visit. Walk (or cycle!) around the reservoir and let the little ones loose in their Adventure Playground. The Waterfront Café is open for takeaway and has a large terrace looking out over the water with plenty of picnic tables, making it the perfect location to take in the views.
PLUS their Aqua Park will be re-opening from 12 April! If you haven’t been yet, it’s basically 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun – consisting of two trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboards, overhang climbing frame, giant iceberg… You get the idea. Book the kids in now.
Leeds Castle, Maidstone, Open Every Day
We’re so lucky to have some of the UK’s most incredible landmarks right on our doorstep here in Kent. Often described as ‘the loveliest castle in the world’ Leeds Castle‘s grounds, gardens, playground and takeaway kiosks remain open! So walk around the grounds, visit the beautiful gardens and head to their Adventure Playgrounds for a day filled with lots of fun.
Their Knight’s Stronghold Playground (suitable for 6-14 years) is a wooden replica of the Castle with climbing walls, fireman’s poles, giant cargo nets and zip wires. The younger ones can have fun in the Squires’ Courtyard Playground (suitable for 6 years and under) with turrets, zip lines, sand pits and slides. Book your time slot now.
Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Open Every Day
Spring is in the air! Explore the grounds and gardens this Easter at Scotney Castle. Join the egg trail to discover seasonal flowers and new features on the estate – don’t forget to collect your delicious chocolate reward at the end. Book your ticket before you go!
Bateman’s, Burwash, Fri 2 – Sun 18 April
Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, Bateman’s 17th-century house, former home to Rudyard Kipling, is a fabulous place to visit for you and the whole family. Follow the trail through the grounds and gardens, complete all the activities and collect a delicious prize! Trail lasts til 18 April, 10am – 5pm. £3 per trail. Tickets are released every Friday so don’t forget to book your timed entry slot before you head off!
Bodiam Castle, Robertsbridge, Fri 2 – Sun 18 April
We love this stunning, riverside 14th century moated castle which is now a fantastic and fun-filled day out for the entire family. Discover Bodiam Castle and embark on a fun Easter trail! Finish your mission and claim a chocolatey reward. The trail runs 2 – 18 April, 10am – 5pm. £3 per trail. Tickets are released every Friday so don’t forget to book your time slot.
Bore Place, Chiddingstone, Thurs 8 & Fri 9 April
Bore Place‘s holiday clubs are BACK by popular demand! So drop the kids off for some healthy, outdoor holiday time exploring and enjoying the beautiful Bore Place organic farm estate. Their friendly and welcoming education team will ensure your children have fun, make friends and learn through doing.
Wildlife Warriors on Thurs 8 April 9am – 4pm, will see your little ones hunt for mini beasts and net butterflies, create their own clay pot, plant seeds, play woodland games and much more! Or there’s Den Building & Camp Fire Fun on Fri 9 April 9 am – 4pm which is an action-packed day filled with bushcraft activities, den building, campfire making, all finished off with a toasted marshmallow, hot chocolate and a farm tour. They’ve currently got a few spaces left! So be quick! Book now.
Wildwood, Canterbury, Reopening Mon 12 April
Our favourite family day-out Wildwood are due to re-open on 12 April! Positioned just outside Herne Bay, you can get to know over 200 native animals set in 40 acres of beautiful ancient woodland. Expect to see bears, wolves, Arctic foxes, bison, owls, wild boar, lynx, wild horses, badgers and beavers – that’s just 10 of those 200! There’s plenty to see and do this Easter, stroll through the woodland, admire the bears who have just come out of hibernation plus there’s a tree trail for the kids as they’ve planted 100’s of new trees during lockdown so a good way to educate little minds. Book your day ticket now!
BOOK AHEAD: Dermot O’Leary Live Reading, Thurs 22 April
Join Dermot (and Toto) for some mysterious after school fun! To launch his fourth and latest book Toto the Ninja Cat and the Mystery Jewel Thief, Dermot will be hosting a Livestream Event with Sevenoaks Bookshop on Thurs 22 April at 4:30pm. Toto is no ordinary cat and she can’t wait for you to join her on her FOURTH ninja adventure! Book your ticket now
RAINING? JUST WANT TO STAY AT HOME? HERE’S SOME MORE IDEAS…
Art & Craft Packs, Heart Smart Arts
We love these art and craft packs, inspired by Art Therapy and designed by a Qualified Art Therapist and Primary School teacher, Harriet. The packs will suit children aged between 4 and 15 years old (and are aimed at all kids, although they can be particularly effective if you’re worried or struggling with your child’s emotional behaviour). Some of the packs can be done in an hour or two, some could be done over a few sessions spanning a couple of weeks. They aim to promote connection and calm. Genius. Shop here.
Activity Packs, Timeout Bags
These award-winning, home activity packs for kids are crammed with screen-free, fun things to do – designed to inspire young creators, engage busy minds and support independent play. Created by Mum of two, Alix Porter (former Harvey Nichols Marketing Executive), each brilliantly-put-together pack contains a unique formula of 8 or 10 handpicked ‘hero’ products in a 100% cotton drawstring bag. Each activity is carefully selected for its educational and emotional benefits. Bags can be bespoke or ready-made and include everything from Mindfulness Packs to Lockdown Birthday Boxes (selection suitable for kids aged between 3-10 years). Check them out here.
Learn French Online with Les Puces
You’ll love these fun online French classes for kids aged 3 – 11 years from Les Puces. The course is a mixture of the cute, colourful pack of materials you receive in the post (bilingual book, progress card, worksheets and a buildable project to fire up their imagination) married with pre-recorded online classes to really stimulate them and encode the learning. There are also Group or Private Zoom Classes available (Group Classes have a maximum of four in a class). You can also buy the bilingual ‘Flip-It’ books in the online shop. Let them enjoy learning a language or learn together!
Need more ideas? Why not dig out your hamper and waterproof blanket? Here’s 10 picnic spots with walks you should try.