Enjoy a day out with the family
A chocolate workshop
Let the kids create their own tasty treats over the Easter weekend (12-18 April) at Blenheim Palace by booking a Hotel Chocolat workshop. Not only will they have lots of fun, but they will also have the chance to learn the fascinating history of cocoa beans. Taking place within the Palace’s Walled Gardens, the hour-long workshop costs £15 per child and includes a drink as well as their individual chocolate creations. Adults be warned – it may get a little messy, and advance booking is recommended, as spaces are limited. As well as the workshops, youngsters can meet the Easter Bunny, enjoy fairground rides, watch puppet shows, meet Conk the Clown and learn circus tricks, play mini golf, go trampolining, and watch bubble blowing performances! No Easter is complete without a traditional egg hunt (April 15-18), and parents and children alike will have the opportunity to search the Palace’s Formal Gardens for giant wicker eggs to win chocolate treats.
The four-day event is included as part of Palace, Park and Gardens ticket, priced at £31 for adult and £17.50 for children, or to those with an annual pass. Visit Blenheimpalace.com
Jump aboard the steam train at the Llanberis Lake Railway and enjoy a five-mile return journey alongside Lake Padarn in the heart of Snowdonia. The wonderful locomotive takes you past the 13th century Dolbadarn Castle and Llanberis’ twin lakes. From Llanberis, the train runs non-stop through the Padarn Country Park, joining the 1845 slate railway route to run along the shores of Lake Padarn to Penllyn, giving stunning views along the way of Snowdon, the highest peak in England and Wales.
There’s a short stop at beautifully tranquil Cei Llydan, which is ideal for a relaxed lakeside picnic, and at Gilfach Ddu, where you can visit the National Slate Museum, watch the driver stoking the fire and the huge engine taking water.
Over the Easter weekend, you have the option to join the annual Easter Egg hunt and help find all the treats the white rabbit has hidden around the station.
Book a compartment ticket (for up to six people) for £26 at Lake-railway.co.uk
Explore the outdoors
Have a Hoppy Easter at BeWILDerwood, the curious treehouse adventure. With parks located in both Cheshire and Norfolk, there’s plenty of egg-cellent fun to be had for the whole family! The WILD woods are home to slippery slides, extra-long zip wires, muddled mazes, den building, and lots, lots more. Join the Pesky Bunnies of BeWILDerwood this April and enjoy a brand-new show at the Storytelling Stage, make your very own bunny ears at the Big Hat craft tent, and get your face painted like a bunny, too! All activities are included in the ticket price.
Tickets start from £13.50 per person. To book, visit BeWILDerwood.co.uk
Dino Kingdom comes to London!
Gunnersbury Park is the chosen location for the epic, outdoor prehistoric collection that really brings these intriguing creatures back to life.
Among the 100 incredible beasts waiting to greet you will be the “King of the Tyrant Lizards” and the most famous dinosaur of them all – Tyrannosaurus Rex – standing 16 metres from head to tail. The biggest installation, the Apatosaurus, towers above the rest of the Kingdom at 18 metres long!
There will also be smaller dinosaurs to seek, including hatching babies, as well as other interactive beastly beings lurking among the woodland, such as crocodiles, frogs, bees and spiders.
Budding palaeontologists will love the excavation sandpit, dinosaur eggs, fossils, volcanoes, a giant dinosaur skeleton head and a walk-through fossil tunnel!
Dino Kingdom will take place from 1-18 April and advance tickets are priced at £17 for adults, £13 for children (under three’s are free) and £49 for families of two adults and two children. Book at Dinokingdom.com
Find an Easter trail
Sitting high above the Needles at the western tip of the Isle of Wight, with bird’s-eye views of the Solent straight and stunning unspoilt countryside, is the Needles Old Battery.
This atmospheric Victorian fort has two huge original guns hauled up from the sea below, an underground tunnel to explore, a signal tower tea-room, and exciting stories about the soldiers who once lived there.
Behind the Old Battery is acres of beautiful downland to explore and, during Easter, there’s a fun trail where kids big and small can search for signs of nature and activities around the parade ground. Additionally, there’s a giant blackboard to decorate with spring colours, a lighthouse bug hotel, and a “track the bats” challenge.
Normal admission plus £3 per trail, includes a chocolate Rainforest Alliance Easter egg. Delicious!
Visit Nationaltrust.org.uk/easter for more information about this and other trails.