The Easter holidays are here and the pressure is on to find ways of keeping the kids – and yourself – entertained over the spring break.
Relax. We’ve made things just that little bit easier for you and rounded up some fantastic attractions and events taking place across Scotland so you can start ‘hatching’ – sorry, I couldn’t resist – plans to make this Easter, held on 20 April in the Year of Homecoming 2014, one to remember.
Rapunzel by balletLORENT, His Majesty’s Theatre, Aberdeen - don’t miss this fresh take on the classic Brothers Grimm fairytale from 11 – 12 April. Scored by Doctor Who composer Murray Gold, this spellbinding ballet will delight children as much as adults. If you can’t make these performances, don’t worry. The production with be coming to the Edinburgh Festival Theatre from 19 – 20 September.
Marine Visitor Centre, Tobermory, Isle of Mull - learn all about the marine creatures that temporarily inhabit the saltwater aquarium for a month before being returned to Tobermory Bay. Watch them feed and even hold some of them.
Easter Festival, Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill - the grand home of the Duke of Buccleuch will be getting into the Easter spirit on 20 April with a festival of foodie fun and child-friendly activities. Expect a farmers’ market, an Easter egg hunt, a Mad Hatter’s tea party, kitchen demonstrations, arts and crafts, the Easter Bunny, and plenty more.
Kelburn Country Centre, Largs - banish the winter blues from 5 – 21 April in the sprawling grounds of Kelburn’s graffiti covered castle. Easter egg hunts on horseback, duck racing and the return of the Kelburn Panda are just some of the highlights of Easter Fun at Kelburn.
RSPB Mersehead Reserve, Southwick - search for clues at Easter Eggstravaganza on 20 April. Find the giant nest where the Easter eggs are hiding while taking in the sights and sounds of spring. Find out more about the Wild Spring Festival which features more than 100 wildlife events – many of them free – in Dumfries & Galloway.
Camperdown Country Park, Dundee - enjoy classic funfair entertainment at Easter Fun Day on 20 April. Learn the tricks of the trade at the “Wee” Big Top Circus Tent, meet the Easter Bunny, and watch an incredible acro-balancing magician act and Artizani’s surreally spectacular one-man street theatre show Desert Island Disks.
The Scottish Seabird Centre, North Berwick - from 5 – 21 April budding young naturalists can join Professor Egghead as he follows the remarkable journeys of Percy the Puffin, Tommy the tern and Teresa the turtle and discovers what it takes for them to survive in the wild.
A Magical Easter, Edinburgh Castle - magic and merriment awaits the whole family at this jam-packed Easter weekend at Edinburgh Castle from 19 – 21 April. Peter the Stonemason will pay a visit from the 14th century to show us how medieval builders constructed magnificent castles and abbeys, Kramus the Magical Wizard will be there to cast his wondrous spells, and an Easter Quiz will test the kids on how well they know the castle.
Edinburgh International Science Festival – young and old can expand their minds at venues across the city. On April 11 the good Dr Bunhead will be there conducting live experiments involving exploding Easter eggs, chocolate flame-throwers, and stunt bunnies fired into space.
Meerkat Egg Trail, Edinburgh Zoo - to celebrate moving into their new home, the meerkats will be leaving eggs stashed around the zoo from 17 – 21 April for young visitors to find. Armed with a special map, they’ll learn lots of interesting meerkat facts during their search and will be able to collect a chocolate treat upon completing the trail.
Easter Fun at the Falkirk Wheel - help the Easter Bunny look around the wheel for his friends, make your own bunny mask and Easter card, and meet birds of prey – including one very special guest – from 19 – 21 April.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow - discover all there is to know about Kelvingrove’s resident honey bees at Honey, Hives and Horticulture! Honey-tasting, flower-planting and print-making are just some of the activities on offer every afternoon from 7 – 21 April.
Highland Folk Museum, Newtonmore - spend the day with 18th century Highlanders when MacFarlane’s Company, a living history troupe based in the USA, come to visit on 15 April.
Deep Seaworld, North Queensferry - watch as an intrepid Easter Bunny armed with a basket takes the plunge in the Underwater Safari to collect shark and ray eggs. These will be displayed in the special nursery tanks where you can see them grow and – if you’re lucky – hatch!
A Stirling Easter, Stirling Castle - spend the day from 20 – 21 April at one of Scotland’s grandest castles where Pickles the bear and Hamish the Highlander are waiting to regale you with tales of Scotland’s past. See if you have what it takes the play the fool at royal court and take part in a medieval sports day.
Bo’ness and Kinneil Railway, Bo‘ness Station - hop aboard the Easter Steam Train at Bo‘ness from 18 – 21 April and enjoy a fantastic family day out on this heritage railway. Children wearing their very best Easter bonnet on board will have the chance to win a prize and there will be an Easter egg hunt in the Museum of Scottish Railways.
The Broch of Gurness, Evie, Orkney - more than a thousand years old and with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, this remarkably well preserved Iron Age settlement will fascinate children and grown-ups alike.
Eoropie Dune Park, Isle of Lewis - pack a spade and pail and head to this 4 acre playground located just a few yards from the beautiful sandy beach of Traigh Shanndaigh.
Scottish Crannog Centre, Loch Tay - celebrate Easter Sunday on 20 April by flipping pancakes Iron Age-style over an open fire. Choose from a mouth-watering range of authentic toppings and watch as molten chocolate is moulded into axes, spears and arrowheads.
Scone Palace, Perth - from 18 – 21 April the splendid grounds of Scone Palace will be the setting for an action-packed Easter weekend. There will be Easter hunts in the maze and Palace State Rooms, face-painting, visits from the Easter Bunny, outdoor games, egg-rolling down Moot Hill, and more.
Abbotsford, near Melrose - from 19 – 20 April head to the former estate of Sir Walter Scott and take part in an Easter egg hunt in the Walled Garden, hear stories inside a specially erected tipi, get creative with hands-on crafts, and take ranger-led walks through the woodlands.
Shetland Museum & Archives, Lerwick - get creative at workshops for children of all ages held every Friday and Saturday till 10 May. Mootie Mouse will be there to help out with plenty of hands-on activities.
These are just some ways to enjoy great family days out this spring.
Find out more about fantastic Easter breaks in Scotland and where to get your hands on the finest chocolate Easter eggs and goodies. If you’re really stuck for ideas you could always find a hill to roll your eggs down. Take a look at video below for some inspiration and have a Happy Easter break!