Things to do outdoors with the family this Easter
- Credit: Archant
From Easter eggs hunts to family shows, riding a steam train to new spring arrivals down on the farm, there are plenty of things to do this Easter for all the family. SIMON PARKIN previews dozens of events and activities to keep the kids entertained.
Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, March 24-28/Market Place, Great Yarmouth, March 31-April 3
Norwich has long hosted an Easter fair and once again this year there is the chance to swing, slide and be whizzed around on the waltzer as the Showman's Guild take over Chapelfield Gardens. Plenty of thrills, plus Easter egg prizes. Great Yarmouth's annual Easter fair returns for four days with all sorts of rides and stalls on the Market Place, Fullers Hill Car Park and on Brewery Plain.
You may also want to watch:
Holkham Hall, March 25-28, 10am-5pm, hall, garden and exhibition entry £15, £7.50 children, £41 family, 01328 710227, www.holkham.co.uk
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Fun at Holkham includes meeting the Easter rabbit, who will have a chocolate egg for you and Easter decorations, fun with the Kiddy Cook team. Take the 'Easter Express' to the walled garden to make Easter crafts and visit the storyteller's magical yurt, plus games galore. Riddles to solve and eggs to find in the new 'Field to Fork' farming exhibition. You'll also find some cute animals to pet and play Little Bo Peep and help her search for our flock of lost sheep. Face painting and Easter Express additional charges.
Pensthorpe Nature Park, near Fakenham, March 25-April 10, 10am-5pm, included in normal admission price, 01328 851465, www.pensthorpe.com
Leap like a frog, hop like a hare and scramble like a spider as you weave your way around Pensthorpe on the self-guided trail. Make your own peg bug and be sure to take a picture with the Easter tree.
•Look Out Archery
Ickworth, Horringer, Bury St Edmunds, March 25-April 3, 11am-4pm, £3 for 7 arrows, 01284 736140, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Explore your inner Robin Hood, or is it Katniss Everdeen, with Lookout Archery. Test and develop your skills on the range for all ages. Full instruction will be given by qualified staff.
•Easter Adventure Quest
Framlingham Castle, March 25-28, 11am-4pm, £8.40 (£7.60 cons), £5 children, under-5s free, £21.80 family, 0870 333118, www.english-heritage.org.uk
Get hands-on with history. Meet characters from the past with stories of times gone by - maybe a king, a butler, a Roman centurion or even a monk. These honourable folk will be happy to help you on your quest as you explore Framlingham Castle and crack the clues. Rise to the challenge and win your chocolate reward.
•Easter Holiday Fun
Church Farm, Stow Bardolph, March 25-April 10, 10.30am-4pm, £7.50 (£6.90 cons), £6.90 children, £4.50 aged-2, under-2s free, £26.80 family, 01366 382162, www.churchfarmstowbardolph.co.uk
Lambing season is well underway at the 'maternity ward' at Church Farm. Have a go at bottle feeding the gorgeous orphan lambs and give them a cuddle (10.30am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm and 4pm). Hold a fluffy Easter chick (11.30am/1.30pm) or join feeding time for the pigs and the rest of the animals (3.30pm). Tractor ride around the paddock (£1 per person).
•Giant Duck Hunt
WWT Welney Wetland Centre, March 25-April 10, 9.30am-5pm, event free, normal admission prices, www.wwt.org.uk
Eleven naughty ducklings have escaped out onto WWT Welney, use your best hide and seek skills to find them all and collect a Freddo frog chocolate prize. You can also meet our super giant duck in the visitor centre. Whilst looking for the ducklings you can explore the reserve, pause for some pond dipping, spot the first insects of spring and find out about our summer wildlife by following our trails.
Strumpshaw Fen, March 25-April 10, 10am-5pm, £3.50 (£2.50 children (one child per family free), 01603 715191, email firstname.lastname@example.org
RSPB Strumpshaw Fen is a magical place for close encounters with wildlife. Take part in the Easter self-guided family trail. Follow the clues and take part in eggciting challenges. Charge £1 per trail sheet.
•Fairhaven Easter Holidays
Fairhaven Woodland and Water Garden, South Walsham, March 25-April 10, 10am-5pm, garden entry £6.50 (£5.90 cons), £3.75 children, under-5s free, 01603 270449 www.fairhavengarden.co.uk
Fairhaven has a busy programme of events over the Easter holidays. There's a daily Scavenger Hunt and the annual Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday. A special Dawn Chorus boat trip (April 9, £10, £5 children), round Fairhaven's private broad will get you close to the garden's wildlife. Forest Night Adventure (April 9, 8pm-10pm, £8.50, £5.50 children) is a chance to experience the magic of the woodland garden at night with Jon Tyler, an adventure with astronomy, wildlife and sensory discovery - rounded off with just a touch of night magic. Pre-book special events.
•Mad as a March Hare
RSPB Titchwell Marsh, March 26-April 1, 10am-3pm, £1 per child, 01485 210779, www.rspb.org.uk
Take the 'wild and weird' challenge as you spook a spider or ignore a worm. Older children can decode our secret messages around Titchwell reserve using their very own cipher wheel. On March 26 there will also be a natural play workshop where families can have fun making crazy clay creatures or marvellous mobiles and lots of other wacky fun things to do.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, March 28, 10am-5pm, £14.50 (£13.80 cons), £11.60 under-18s, under-4s free, £49.30-£37 family, 01362 869263, www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk/gressenhall
An Easter celebration of the arrival of the new season. Marvel at the skills of Sarah Jenkins and her border collies as they round up a gaggle of geese. Get crafty and create a stunning Easter Bonnet or Spring Crown to show off in the Grand Gressenhall Parade. Step in time to the tunes of the Smokehouse Blue Marching Jazz Band. Enjoy folk with the Broadside boys who have a catalogue of songs inspired by their experience of country life in the East of England. Be entertained by the lively dances of the Golden Star Morris and don't forget to be on time for lessons under the beady eye of the Victorian School Master. Meanwhile, spring is in full swing on Gressenhall Farm, from the spring flowers to the new lambs and chicks. Watch the museum's Suffolk Punches and other visiting teams of heavy horse carry out the seasonal tasks in the fields. Also homemade produce, crafts and plants.
•Wild Animal Tracking
Sheringham Park, March 29, 10.30am-12.30pm, £4.75 children, £2.75 accompanying adult, pre-book 0844 2491895, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Foxes, badgers and deer live in Sheringham Park but are seldom seen. Learn how to follow the trails these animals make and spot the tell-tale signs they leave behind. Make a plastercast print and check the camera trap to see animal activity from the night before
•Exciting Exploration/Dyke Dipping
NWT Ranworth Broad, March 29, 10.30am-12pm, £3.50, pre-book 01603 625540, www.norfolkwildlifetrust.org.uk
Two Easter holiday events at NWT Ranworth Broad. Meet us at our majestic oak, at the entrance to NWT Ranworth Broad and explore the reserve in search of wildlife. Learn how to use your senses to identify natural history objects and strange sounds and smells. Learn about the wonderful wildlife that can be found in the dykes. The experts will be on hand to help you tell your boatmen from your beetle larvae.
•Family Survival School
Sheringham Park, March 30, 10.30am-3.30pm, £10, pre-book 0844 2491895, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Has your family got what it takes to survive in the wild? Hone your survival skills on this bite-size bushcraft adventure. Build a shelter, light a fire and learn how to navigate with a map and compass. Make your own weatherproof shelter and get a fire started without using matches. Be prepared for a full day out in the Norfolk backwoods. Ages 9+
•Wild in the Woods
Oxburgh Hall, Oxborough, near Swaffham, March 31, 10am, £7.50 per child, 08442 491895, www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Can you survive a day in the woodland? Using hand tools you will have a go at the traditional way of managing a woodland through coppicing. The wood will then be used to help you survive in the wild and build your own waterproof shelter. Enjoy your own picnic lunch followed by some more bush craft activities including cooking a snack over an open fire.