Easter Muddy Guide Wk 2: Fri 11- Mon 21 April
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Well, how’s it been for you so far? Here’s another week of fun and frolics over the Easter Hols to keep you and yours out of mischief.
Ashmolean Museum: Easter Bunny Trail, Find the rabbits hidden along the trail and then collect a certificate when you finish. Basildon Park: Eggtastic Fun. Look for Eggs in the house and win a prize by solving the Easter trail. Hours: Monday to Sunday 10am-5pm Waterperry Gardens: Bunny Hunt; Join the big Easter Bunny Hint to find bunnies hidden around the gardens. Find 10 bunnies and win a prize. Mead Open Farm: Easter Bunny Bonanza; Meet the Easter Bunny, real Easter Chicks, visit the Lamb nursery, bottle feed lambs, and earn a treat from “Hoppy’s Hamlet”.Odds Farm Park: Easter Family Fun; Follow the Easter Bunny Trail and get a treat, Bottle feed lambs, and meet the new Easter babies on the farm. Hughenden: Easter Egg Trail; Join the biggest ever egg hunt in Hughenden gardens and make Easter fun crafts from 11am-4pm.
General interest events on all week:
The Natural History Museum’s butterfly house has just reopened for a sixth year to a specially constructed tropical enclosure on the Museum’s east lawn.
History of Science Museum, central Oxford. Family-friendly drop in, where those 7+ can challenge themselves to a Mathematical Mystery Trail.
Legoland: New Pirate Shores ride, and everything else spangly clean for the newly started season.
Warwick Castle (from 5 April). 1100 year old celebrations this year1 New shows for Easter include the Treuchet Fireball Spectacular with the largest working siege machine in the world, the Flight of the Eagles with the UK’s only free-flying Andean Condor, the return of the Horrible Histories Foul Fayres and every other attraction ‘enhanced’.
Charlie’s Chocolate Adventure, Kew Gardens: (starting Sat 5 – 21 April) In association with the Roald Dahl Museum, there’s loads of chocolate-inspired activities going on, including making a Willy Wonka – inspired chocolate bar, listening to disgusting poetry, facepainting and going on the Kew landtrain. A dead cert.
Harry Potter, Feathers and Flight, at WB Studio Tour Watford (4 – 27 April). A selection of owls, ravens, special effects equipment and feathered animatronics will fill the attraction as part of WB’s first ever Feathers and Flight feature. Pose for a photo with Hedwig, watch how the birds are taught to ‘act’, learn how the animatronics team made the fake birds so realistic, see the broomsticks and so on, and so on.
Whipsnade Zoo (5 April onwards): A new interactive kids Hullabazoo Farm opens, with little ones able to meet and greet miniature donkeys, pygmy goats, Gloucester old spot pigs and piglets, sheep and lambs, bunnies, guinea pigs, ferrets, and newly-hatched chicks. The zoo has a new baby hippo, baby giraffe and tiger cubs, plus penguin feeding.
Blenheim Palace: (7-11 April) Active Adventure Kids Camp; Specialist outdoor pursuits during school holidays in an utterly bucolic landscape. Ages 7 -16, 9am – 5pm.
Longleast Safari and Adventure Park: (starting 12 – 21 april) Deadly 360’s Steve Backshall is back at Longleat for daily live shows, doing a spot of juggling and other party tricks with some of the world’s deadliest creatures.
Longridge: Family Activity Days; Day includes 3 activities which start at 10:30 and finish at 16:00, suited for ages 8 and upwards but a parent must participate. For those who don’t want to join in the activities themselves these activities are also available to sign children up for through School Holiday Activity Days.
Friday, 11 April:
Waddesdon Manor: Children’s RSPB Wildlife Day; Find out all about birds and their amazing nests at the Aviary Grotto. Find out how they build their nests by building your very own. Mummy & Me Cookery Class, Sanctum Beaconsfield, suitable for 2-5 year olds, making Bunny Buns and sugar paste carrots, plus some stories at the end. River and Rowing Museum: A Great Big Art Extravaganza’ Join Mr. Toad in an art extravaganza with lots of activities with a Wind in the Willows theme. Then hang your work in Mr. Toad’s Gallery.
Saturday 12 April
Sean Lynch sculpture exhibition at Modern Art Oxford. Looks interesting for adults and kids for an hour, plus there’s a great cafe space if you want to ponder the relevance of modern art over a coffee. Chiltern Outdoor Museum is showing off its lambs, demonstrating the lambing traditions of the Victorian Chilterns. Heritage Motor Centre starts its Easter programme today with Lego Technic Tuesdays, Wheelie Lego Wednesday, Shaun the Sheep themed Family Crafts on Thursdays and, to keep the under 5s entertained, Mini Movers on the last Friday of the holidays.
Go for a day trip to Bowood House for the falconry displays (also Sunday) feed the lambs and see the chicks hatch in the Farm, visit the house itself with items such as Queen Victoria’s wedding chair to Napoleon’s death mask and an extensive art collection, or enjoy the 100 acre Capability Brown-designed grounds. Fairytale Academy Easter Workshop, Sanctum Beaconsfield, from 2.5 – 5 year olds. Easter bonnet decoration, animal masks, dressing up Fairytale experience and general cuteness. Kingston Blount Point to Point, first race 2pm. Just drive up with your picnic, and settle down for three hours of this popular country horse racing event.
Sunday 13 April
Highclere Castle reopens! But with all pre-booked tickets sold out already thanks to Downton Abbey, you’ll have to take a punt on the day. I’m told early morning at 10am or after 2.30pm are the best times, and the sunnier the day the better your chances.Phoenix Picturehouse: Showing of the RSC’s Richard II starring David Tennant. Performances: 4pm 13 April & 8pm 17 April. Waddesdon Manor: Mustang Car Day; Mustangs from the 1960’s to present day gather for an informal judging. 10-5pm. The Story Museum: Reading Allowed!; Philip Pullman reads the opening chapters of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. All Ages.
Monday 14 April
Wycombe Swan: Science Museum Live: The Energy Show; Explosive family theatre for curious minds produced by the Science Museum in London. Ages 7+. Shows available 14 April – 15 April. Brand new at The Barbican Centre, London, Jean Paul Gaultier’s first fashion retrospective, from early days to Madonna cone corsets, Eurotrash and beyond. Crocodiles of the World, the UK’s only crocodile museum, now rehoused in much bigger grounds in Brize Norton. Loads of American alligators, Cuban crocodiles and the UK’s only pair of black caimans. Oxfordshire Museum, a highly rated local museum in Woodstock, with dinosaur this-and-that for older kids and arts and crafts for the littlies in this family drop in session.
Tues 15 April
Sulgrave Manor: Easter Opening; Children’s fun and family activities, with special Easter themed tours where you can find out about the tradition of Easter. Available from 15 April – 21 April; 111am-4pm. Harcourt Arboretum: Easter Egg Hunt, begins at 10:30am. Spring into Easter 2 from 1 -4pm. Roald Dahl Museum: Swishwiffling Spring Gardens; Create a miniature Roald Dahl garden, complete with his Writing Hut. Workshop times: 11:00 am, 13:00 pm, and 15:00 pm. Boys only! Dance day for 11+ at Chipping Norton Theatre. Bust some moves blood (or whatever).
Weds 16 April
Botanic Garden: Get Growing!; Celebrate National Gardening Week by sowing and growing activities and crafts. 11am – 1pm. Milton Keynes Theatre: Kids Magic Workshop; 2 hour show with Dick and Dove from MK Magic, 10:00 am. Chenies Manor House: newly reopened for the season, today and tomorrow you can see is the tulip display is at its best (2-5pm), home made tea and plants for sale.
Thurs 17 April
New Theatre, Oxford: Dinosaur Zoo; From Australia. Prehistoric creatures come alive on stage, Tickets available from 17- 19th. Shows available at 11 am and 14:00. Waddesdon Manor: Windmill Hill Archive Public Drop In; Enjoy contemporary art and home to the Rothschild Foundation. Have a unique opportunity to view the inside of the amazing building designed by Stephen Marshall architects. Open from 2-4pm. RSC Stratford: Story Garden; Become an actor and tell the story of one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. Be prepared to make music, dress up, and join the fun. Ages: 4 – 8, 11-11.45am, 7 April and 22 April. Tate Modern Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, begins today, the most comprehensive exhibition ever devoted to the artist’s paper cut-outs made between 1943 and 1954. It brings together around 120 works, many seen together for the first time, in a groundbreaking reassessment of Matisse’s colourful and innovative final works.
Friday 18 April (Good Friday)
Great Missenden Food Festival: Easter Bank Holiday Weekend 18 – 21 April; Cooking Classes, Children’s Cookery School, Kids Food Laboratory, Mini Chilli Festival, Craft & gift area, and more.Lodge Park and Sherborne Estate: Easter Weekend; Egg trails, games, dress up box, Easter tea and cake, outdoor walks, picnics outside. Daily from 18 April – 21 April, 11 – 4pm. Southbank Centre: The World Street Food Festival; Available from 18 – 21 April. Woburn Safari Park offers a VIP behind the scenes experience, exploring animal houses and getting amazingly close to lions, rhino, antelope and elephants, even meeting them face to face. Visit Rest for Horses, the equine charity now housed in 200 acres of stunning Bucks countryside. Stroke the horses, have a cake! (open Thurs-Sunday)
Sat 19 April
Mapledurham House: Mapledurham at War; Come join Mapledurham in a re-enactment of World War II. For the Children a GT-combat has been booked. Event lasts all weekend 19 – 20 April. Bletchley Park: 1940’s Boutique; Come for a day of 1940’s glamour and learn how to style your hair and make-up for the iconic Forties look. 9.30am – 5pm. Visit Rest for Horses (see Friday)
Sunday 20 April (Easter Sunday)
The gorgeous Broughton Castle, near Banbury, reopens. Blenheim Palace: 10 Years of Peppa Pig; Celebrate with Peppa Pig and Family and Fireman Sam. Also has Crafts, Bouncy Castle and Traditional Fairground rides. Waddesdon Manor: Easter Sunday Lunch at the Five Arrows; Traditional Sunday lunch is served from 12 noon to 15:30 pm. Easter eggs are given to all children with lunch. . Visit Rest for Horses (see Friday)
Mon 21 April (Easter Monday)
Bletchley Park: Easter Eggstravaganza; Easter trail around the park for all ages, other activities include a hands-on workshop where you learn how to make an Easter-themed moving toy, a special guided tour for children, and the popular spy and codebreaking workshop. Chenies Manor: Easter Monday (2-5pm); Egg and races, sack races, Easter Egg spotting throughout the house. Sulgrave Manor: Family Holiday Monday; Hours: 11:00 – 16:00.
Anything brilliant I’ve left off? Get in touch at [email protected] or leave a comment below!
Additional research: Katharine Dick