Like receiving money from the tooth fairy and staying awake to catch a glimpse of Father Christmas, Easter egg hunts are some of those pivotal fairytale moments in a person's childhood. Now they're all the more magical with large-scale Easter egg hunts, which offer hours of fun for children and parents. We've chosen our five favourites for 2011, ranging from a treasure hunt in an Irish cave to a competitive egg race at the White House.
Peter Rabbit Easter Egg Hunt in Cumbria
1. Aside from baby pandas, nothing is as adorable as Beatrix Potter's beautifully-drawn characters, and Peter Rabbit always takes the center stage among these. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of The World of Beatrix Potter Attraction, this Easter Egg hunt is bound to be a massive kiddie-magnet. 100 hand-crafted Peter Rabbit eggs will be hidden across the Lake District.
Each person who finds an egg will receive more free Beatrix Potter goodies. 10 lucky winners will also stand a chance of winning a family-break on the shores of the exquisite Lake Windermere.
Top secret: In celebration of the Japanese year of the Rabbit, another Peter Rabbit hunt has been scheduled in a secret location in Tokyo at the same time.
Follow @peterrabbiteggs on twitter to stay ahead of the hunt.
Easter Eggstravaganza at Chatsworth House
2. Take a grand old house and add the Easter bunny, a host of recreational activities and a horde of excitable kids with their faces painted and you'll get an idea of Chatsworth's Easter plans. The Easter egg hunt will take place in the farmyard from Good Friday to Easter Sunday, and there will be plenty of opportunity for spotting the famous Easter bunny. The farmyard itself offers animal handling sessions and a water play area for when youngsters have had their fill of chocolate and egg-painting. For the parents, there are cafes and guided tours of the historic property to help you escape the mob.
Visit the beautifully laid-out Chatsworth website for more information: www.chatsworth.org
The Great Easter Egg Roll at the White House
3. More of an Easter egg race than an Easter egg hunt, this entertaining tradition deserves a place on our list because of its venue and host - The First Lady at the White House.
In a tradition that dates back to 1878, lucky winners of the Easter Egg Roll lottery will participate in a competition that involves rolling an Easter egg to the finish line with a long-handled spoon. Live music and story-telling will accompany the much-anticipated event and White House personalities have been known to parade around in Easter bunny costumes. Local children also have the opportunity to try their hand at designing the winning poster for the event. In a campaign towards healthier living, the activities on offer are in accordance with the First Lady's (Michelle Obama) Let's Move initiate to combat childhood obesity.
More information at www.whitehouse.gov/eastereggroll
Aillwee Cave Eggstravaganza in County Clare, Ireland
4. The Eggstravaganza is a treasure hunt where festoons of chocolate eggs are hidden in and around a pre-historic cave! On Easter Sunday and Monday at the Aillwee Cave, residents and visitors alike can bring their children to participate in this popular local event. Children receive a map of the Treasure Trail with clues and they may even receive a little help from the Easter bunny, who is likely to make a guest appearance. During lunch time, there will also be a dramatic display of the cave's resident birds of prey in flight. The Road Train will be running around the area to transport guests past the various attractions. Don't forget to savour the spectacular view of Galway bay as you leave the venue.
More information at www.aillweecave.ie
The Bendigo Easter Egg Hunt, Australia
5. If you love Cadbury's chocolate, as we know you do, and you fancy taking your kids to look for Easter eggs down under, the Bendigo Easter Egg Hunt in central Victoria is for you. One of the biggest and best Easter egg hunts in Australia, it will take place on Good Friday and costs $8, all of which is donated to a charity to help the blind. Organisers will hide a total of 75,000 Cadbury's chocolate eggs and will set the stage for several hunts to accommodate different age groups.
More information at www.visionaustralia.orgmore blog posts