With Easter happening in March this year, the Half Term Break is sneaking up quickly. The good news is that there's a wide selection of Easter-related events happening around the UK, starting on Good Friday (29 March) and running all the way through the Half Term Holiday. These include indoor and outdoor activities - a perfect safeguard against our predictably unpredictable weather. Even though Spring officially arrives on 30 March, we all know this can still mean anything from cloudless, sunny days to foggy, winter-esque rain squalls - sometimes on the same day. Conservatively, everyone expects a bit of both, so you'll be able to take advantage of everything on this list.
Go On An Egg Hunt And Meet The Easter Bunny
Egg hunting is possibly the most exciting thing about Easter for children; you don't really understand how much kids love chocolate until you watch them digging for it in the garden. If you're not planning your own egg-hunt at home, visit your local council, church or tourism bureau website for event listings. There are egg-hunts taking place everywhere, and many of them are either free or very reasonably-priced for kids participating. It's also a really fun and healthy (except for all the sugar) way to enjoy the first weekend of Spring, along with the rest of your community.
One of the most exciting egg hunts taking place this year is the Great Peter Rabbit™ Hunt 2013, a charity event in the Lake District, Cumbria. Fifty limited edition ceramic eggs will be hidden around the most popular lakes in the area. Aside from the prestige of finding one, there are other big prizes up for grabs, including stays at some of the Lake District’s best hotels. Ultimately though, in 2013 it's about raising money for WaterAid, a charity that provides clean water to countries where it is needed. To take part, go to the www.hop-skip-jump.com/egg-hunt, download the map and make a minimum donation of £2 to WaterAid.
The second-most exciting thing about Easter is seeing the Easter Bunny – an A-list celeb in the world of toddlers, alongside Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. You'll find dozens of listings with minimal research.
*note: Most of the events mentioned further down in this article have an Egg Hunt or a chance to see the Easter Bunny listed on their itinerary, so keep reading for more info.
There are fifteen national parks in the UK, plus thousands of public parks and natural heritage sites, all open throughout the year. Most of them are hosting Easter events and offering promotion prices for visitors during the upcoming holiday period. To give you an idea of what's available, we've listed a few examples.
The brand new Tamar Trails Centre is offering a free Taster Day on Saturday, 30 March, which includes arts and crafts, face painting, games and an exciting Egg Hunt for young chocolate fiends. The centre is the start point for the trails through the Tamar Valley of Outstanding Natural Beauty - an immaculate beauty that straddles the River Tamar, bordering Devon and Cornwall. There's also a Spring Trail Festival running from 28 March to 7 April. Attendees can get stuck into some ziplining, tree-surfing and panning for gold around the old mining trails.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust, one of the world's largest wetlands conservation organisations, is hosting Easter festivities at all of its nine centres across the UK. Aside from the Egg Hunts, den-building and arts and crafts on offer, this is a great opportunity for you and your family to witness nature embracing the new season. The WWT puts it well on their website:
"Easter isn’t all about chocolate eggs wrapped in colourful foil, it’s also the time when Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) Centres across the UK come alive. Celebrate the thrill of new life as eggs begin to hatch and cute ducklings, cygnets and goslings emerge. They signal the start of the Easter holidays and a fun-packed programme of activities and events at WWT centres for all the family to enjoy".
For more information, check out: www.wwt.org.uk and look out for their venues at Carmarthenshire, Barnes, Lancashire, Tyne & Wear, Dumfriesshire (Scotland), Castle Espie (Northern Ireland), West Sussex, Castle Espie, Gloucestershire and Norfolk.
Take A Staycation On The Coast
The downside to school holidays is that they only apply to kids. As big a travesty as this is, at least grown-ups still get the bank holidays off, which gives everyone an extra long weekend. While you might not be able to go too far from home in four days, there's still enough time to take a short 'staycation' on the coast. Spring is an excellent month to hit the beach - it’s not too crowded, peak-season prices haven’t kicked in yet and there’s still plenty of accommodation.
If you're looking for a safe bet, Haven's range of holiday parks, camp sites and self-catering accommodation options are always well-worth it; they offer fantastic facilities, excellent venues and very reasonable prices. Over Easter Weekend, there are beach games, egg hunts and other fun activities for kids, teenagers and adults - who need a break from the daily rigmarole of work the most. Five of Haven’s parks are situated on the Jurassic Coast, Britain’s seaside World Heritage Site - a must-see for everyone who enjoys unique landforms and beautiful beaches.
Keep Your Eyes Open For Something Different
Between the estimated 2,500 museums across the UK, hundreds of art galleries, historical sites and murals, there are some pretty interesting places open to the general public, which don't always get the foot traffic they deserve. Time, more than often, is what stops everyone from visiting. The upcoming Half Term Holiday is full of interesting and quirky exhibitions and events that'll take more than a few days to get through.
In Leicestershire, Snibston Discovery Park has the Retro Computer Museum, which pays homage to the computer and game consoles of the last three and a half decades. According to the Retro Computer Museum's website, they “have systems ranging from the early Pong consoles through the Sega and Nintendo console wars and the home computers of the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64s and Amigas”. Adults who grew up in the 70s, 80s and 90s will get a bang out of their kids' responses to the virtual entertainment of yesteryear.
The National Forest, which consists of 200 square miles of Midland territory, is putting on a few Easter/Spring related events that are well-worth checking out. It all starts with the 2020VISION photographic street gallery in Delph Market Square, Swadlincote. This features more than 100 photos taken at various locations across the UK, all celebrating wildlife, nature and people working together - the 'spirit of regeneration'.
The National Waterfront Museum in Swansea is having an Easter Extravaganza, hosted by the Mad Hatter. This Alice In Wonderland-inspired family day will be filled with kids' activities and a Looking Glass Trail, which leads to chocolate prizes at the end. If anything, it's a great way to persuade your kids to go to the museum.
Take A Cheeky Ski Trip
If you are in a position to take some leave from work and you’re able to jet away for the Half Term Holidays, March/April is a great time to cash in on late season ski deals. All the major ski resorts in Europe are still running at full tilt, although the crowds will have thinned out from February/early March madness. That said, Easter Weekend will still be pretty busy, but the week afterwards is a golden opportunity to make the most of the best conditions all year. Even locally, Glen Coe and the Nevis Range still run until May (weather permitting), which is great news for those who live close enough to make the trip up there. To make sure your family holiday is covered against any mishaps, comprehensive Ski Insurance is essential.
Last Updated: March 2013