The Easter holidays are nearly upon us and it’s time to get our thinking caps on for some good days out to keep the kids entertained.
If you live in or near Plymouth you’ll know what a fab place it is and how much there is for children to do. But just in case you aren’t sure of just how much there is on offer, I thought I’d put together a few ideas for you.
If you see me at Saltram, it’ll probably be the 5th time in a fortnight I’ll have done the Easter Egg Hunt… But hey, chocolate’s chocolate, right?
Easter Days Out:
Easter Football Roadshows
The Argyle Community Trust at Plymouth Argyle are running a series of football roadshows across Devon and Cornwall – including Plymouth, (obviously) during the Easter holidays. They are for boys and girls aged 5 to 15 of all abilities. The courses, from 10am to 3pm, are aimed at developing footballers in a fun environment. Tiny tots courses are from 10am to 12pm. For more information, have a look here.
The Association of Barbican Businesses are bringing back its free family Easter Trail and it seems the Easter Bunny and his friends have been eggsploring the cobbled streets. Children of all ages can follow their paw prints in shop windows around the Barbican – each one will have the name of the naughty bunny that left them. All you have to do is collect all eight names and take them to the Tourist Information Centre for an Easter treat. You can also enter the prize draw to win your own Easter Bunny. The Tourist Information Centre is open Good Friday 10am to 4pm, Saturday 9am to 5pm, Sunday 10am to 4pm, and Easter Monday 10am to 4pm. Find out more here
Eggstreme Easter at Woodlands
It’s all going on at Woodlands this Easter. The Easter Bunny has been joined by lots of new friends to offer activities for all ages. There will be a chance for kids to travel through chocolate heaven in the Woodland’s Easter Bunny’s Grotto – the first of its kind in the South West. There will also be Easter egg hunts, craft workshops, zoo farm activities, falconry displays and special event days on Friday April 12 and Friday April 19 when visitors will be able to watch Fizz Pop Science slime making and science shows. Find out more here.
Easter at the Miniature Pony Centre
If you fancy something a bit different this Easter holiday, head to the Miniature Pony Centre on Dartmoor. There will be a Unicorn and Dragon Day on Wednesday April 10 where visitors will be able to meet and greet the centre’s resident unicorns, a dragon egg treasure hunt, have your hoofs painted, hear stories by Unibrights, take part in a shield-making workshop or ‘dragon hunter’ training session. And for this day only the ponies children can ride will be transformed into unicorns.
The centre is also holding a My Little Pony themed day on Wednesday April 17. My Little Pony characters will be putting in appearances throughout the day, and there will be themed games and a My Little Pony trail.
Then on Good Friday the centre is running a whole load of Easter activities including an egg hunt and Easter crafts. There will be the normal daily activities such as pony rides, storytelling, pony herding and grooming. And Dan the Hat will be entertaining the crowds at 3pm. Find out more here.
River Dart Country Park
An ‘egg-straordinary’ Easter Egg Hunt is taking place at the River Dart Country Park over the weekend of April 19 to 22. The Easter Bunny himself will be putting in an appearance and children will be able to bounce to their hearts content on bouncy castles. They can then explore the park with a clue sheet and track down the hidden eggs to win a prize. More information can be found here.
The Creation Station craft sessions
The Creation Station Plympton and Plymstock have teamed up with Plymouth City Centre Company and are running free Easter-inspired arts and craft sessions on three different days throughout the Easter Holidays. They will take place at:
- The Ground Coffee House, Beckley Point on Tuesday April 9 from 11am to 3pm
- Rumpus Cosy, Derrys Cross on Friday April 12 from 11am to 3pm
- Ground Floor of House of Fraser, on Wednesday April 17 from 11am to 3pm.
Adults must remain with their children at all times. Find out more about it here.
As well as plenty of baby animals to meet, there are loads of Easter activities at Pennywell too. If you arrive early on Good Friday you can grab a free hot cross bun with every hot drink before 11am, and try out the Easter Quiz to win a chocolate treat. You can also enjoy two shows in the theatre from family entertainer Poco Drom. Then on Saturday, Sunday and Monday there will be Easter egg hunts and other Easter activities as well as more theatre entertainment. Details are here.
Well you all know where I’ll be most of the Easter holidays – Saltram! Luckily there’s a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt on from April 6 to April 22 from 10am to 4pm. You’ll have to spot the animal footprints around the garden to find the clues and collect your prize. Wondering how many times I can get away with doing this during the holidays…
Then after that a new Bingo trail is running from April 9 until the summer. You can pick up your Bingo card from the Welcome Centre and see if you can find a line or full house by spotting animals and plants in the gardens, or animals and plants on the paintings or objects inside the house. Find out more about both trails here.
If you love to take the kids to a National Trust garden, then head to Buckland Abbey for another Cadbury Easter Egg hunt, this time searching for Medieval bunnies which have been let loose. They have already been spotted causing mischief snail jousting and playing the bagpipes, so you need to find them before they get into even more trouble. Find them all along the mile-long pushchair-friendly trail (there’s also a short cut) to claim your chocolate reward. The hunt will be running from April 6 to 28, 10am to 4pm every day. There’s also Morris dancing and a Mummer’s Play on Sunday April 14. Click here to find out more.
There’s also an Easter Egg Hunt at Cotehele from April 6 to 28. You can join Bunny on an adventure around the garden, in search of items in the Tamar Valley market gardens for his weekly shop. Find all the items and enjoy your Cadbury prize. The hunts run daily from April 6 to 28. Find out more here.
As with all the other local National Trust sites, Antony House will also be taking part in the Cadbury Easter egg hunt. This year’s hunt follows the life cycle of the butterfly, and kids can hunt for clues around the garden, and dance amongst the ribbons under the walnut tree decorated with over 1,000 colourful eggs. A giant installation of the goddess of flowers and spring, Flora, will be on the lawn next to the house and children can add branches to her ever increasing skirt. Click here to find out more.
South Devon Railway
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Ashburton Branch, and the South Devon Railway at Buckfastleigh is holding a steam gala to celebrate the milestone from April 6 to 14. There’s going to be loads of activities throughout the week with visiting engines for your little trainspotters, and free children’s activities such as face painting, circus skills, balloon modelling, games, magic tricks, and an I Spy Trail with free gift prize. The Miniature Railway, Garden Railway and Vintage Fairground will be open in the gardens at Buckfastleigh. There are more details here.
Royal William Yard Spring Market
World-famous performers, The Invisible Circus will be appearing at the Royal William Yard’s Spring market on Sunday April 7. Included in the entertainment will be a troupe of performers bringing the era of The Greatest Showman to the Yard, with acts on stage and throughout the Yard including stilt walkers, a cycling pianist, balloon modelling and more. The Greatest Showman himself P.T Barnum, aka Invisible Circus frontman Doug Francisco and his Bristol-based theatre company will entertain crowds with acts such as upside down acrobat Felicity Footloose, aerial hoop dancing and stilt walking by the Stripy Twins, knife throwing by Pete Dobbs, comedy juggling from Daryl J Carrington and cycling pianist Rimskis.
The entertainment will take place at the Royal William Yard’s Good Food and Craft Market from 10am to 3pm. As well as offering seasonal spring produce and Easter treats, there will also be circus-themed craft activities and the chance to meet some of the performers. Find out more here.
Moo Music Cafe
If your little one loves a boogie and play, then head to the Moo Music Cafe on Mutley Plain throughout the holidays. The popular baby, toddler and pre-schooler group uses puppets, props, music and movement to learn, develop and have fun, and is now based at a fantastic new play cafe. So mums can enjoy a coffee, cake or spot of lunch whilst their under 4s explore the soft play. Sessions are running on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the holidays, and the cafe is open Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (last service at 4pm). Find out more and to book onto a pay as you go session here.
Theatre Royal Plymouth
Children aged three to seven are invited to join Peter Rabbit and his friends at an Easter Workshop at the theatre on Thursday April 11 and Monday April between 11am and 12.30pm. Kids will love the storytelling, face painting, and Peter Rabbit mask-making, and it’s a great way for parents, grandparents and carers to get involved as a family. There are only 10 spots available for each session so booking is essential. The cost is £8 per child.
And if you fancy taking your little ones to see a show during the Easter holidays, there are a few to choose from:
- The Worst Witch is being performed from Tuesday April 9 to Saturday April 13, aimed at children aged seven and older.
- Woodland Tales With Granddad is in the Drum from Monday April 15 to Thursday April 18, aimed at children aged three and older.
- We’re Going On A Bear Hunt is in the main Lyric theatre from Thursday April 18 to Saturday April 20, aimed at children three and older.
To book a show or workshop place, click here here.
Cel-eggrity Easter Egg Hunt
Stashes of mini chocolate eggs are waiting to be found in the Plymouth city centre’s Cel-eggrity Easter Egg Hunt. Follow the map around the trail to find 16 locations of well-known children’s characters found on giant eggs in selected businesses’ windows in the city centre. Find the giant eggs and claim your chocolate prize. The hunt runs from April 8 to April 12. Find out more here.
The grounds and museum at Crownhill Fort will be open from 1pm to 5pm on Good Friday. A schedule will be published on the Fort’s facebook page one confirmed and tickets will be on sale via Devon Museums. Admission is £5 for adults, £2.50 for children, a family ticket (up to 2+4) is £12. There will be free parking on a first come first served basis, and a small selection of drinks and snacks will be available from the Guard Room. Find out more here.
Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary
The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge are holding an Easter family fun day on Good Friday from 10am to 3pm. There will be an all-weather Easter Donkey Trail, the chance to help the Easter Bunny find all his lost eggs in a word trail, and a Donkey Quiz to win prizes. There will also be a craft corner, Easter Goodies Tombola and raffle, as well as the Donkey World shop selling donkey inspired gifts – including special items to celebrate the sanctuary’s 50th birthday. Visitors will get to meet the sanctuary’s resident herd including adoption donkeys Pooh and Eeyore. Children will be able to see them interacting in the yard, get to know their personalities and learn about how the sanctuary looks after them. Free entry and free parking. Find out more here.
A children’s Easter egg hunt is taking place at Mount Edgcumbe on Sunday April 14 at 12.30. The event starts from Cremyll Gate in the Lower Park and is £3 per child which includles a medium sized egg. The start is just two minutes walk from the Cremyll Ferry and bus stop. There will be refreshments available, there’s no need to book, and it goes ahead rain or shine! For more information visit here or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Life Centre activity camps
Youngsters in school Years 5-12 can join in one of the Life Centre’s activity camps from Monday April 8 to Thursday April 18. Activities will include arts and crafts sessions, parachute games, team games, sports and swimming. To find out more and book, check out the details here.
There’s a whole host of fun and crafty activities taking place across Plymouth libraries throughout the Easter holidays. These include Lego club, coding and digital making, rhymetime, family games session, storytelling, scrabble and chess club, Easter egg hunts, arts and crafts, author visits, Easter card-making, film shows, Chatterbooks reading groups, robot-making, Dungeons and Dragons games session, doggy tales with the Dogs Trust, sunflower-planting and plant pot decorating, and biscuit decorating. Rather spoilt for choice, I’d say! Find out dates, times and locations here.
Out and About
And if none of the above take your fancy, get your picnics packed and get out and about – let’s hope for some more sunny weather. Head to Mount Edgcumbe, the new swish park at Central Park, West Hoe Park, the Hoe itself, the beach, the moors.. we live in such an awesome place. Happy Easter!
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