Spring at Waddesdon
(Brownie points for not spelling it ‘eggstravaganza’?) It’s that time of year again: spring colours, burnished displays of marzipan, and children pinging off the walls with sugar. Time for a series of chicken-, rabbit-, and egg-themed activities from the family attractions of Bucks and Oxon. Let’s take a gander through the options, shall we?
First up, from 2-24 April there’s Easter Family Fun at Bletchley Park, with lots of extra family activities to while away the hours and novelty Easter trails to follow.
Then, don’t miss the Big Easter Bunny Hunt at Waterperry Gardens, near Wheatley, running 7-24 April. This pretty much does what it says on the tin: it’s a big hunt, with a big Easter bunny (and a prize for every child).
Of course, we’re spoilt rotten for egg hunts round these parts. Another one is the Egg Hunt at the River and Rowing Museum in Henley, which takes place 7-21 April.
For something that really packs an Easter-y punch, don’t miss Stonor Park‘s Easter Trail from 9-24 April. The annual (and really rather good) Easter trail is bolstered this year by new kit at the adventure playground Tumblestone Hollow, as well as a brand new shepherd’s hut serving soft-whip ice cream and wood-fired pizzas. That’s a rare adult and kid win.
Over at Odds Farm Park, near Beaconsfield, Spring Into Easter is taking place 9-24 April. This involves baby animals, farm activities (goat bottle-feeding, egg collecting, rabbit petting, you know the drill), as well as an Easter egg hunt, arts and crafts, and more.
From 9-24 April, there’s another Egg Hunt through the formal gardens at Cliveden. The site also offers an adventure trail, Easter decorations and crafts, pictured above, and hands-on nature workshops to boot.
Meanwhile, from 14-18 April at Dobbie’s Garden Centre in Aylesbury, you can get a Peter Rabbit Easter breakfast (celebrating the little guy’s 120th birthday — doesn’t he look great for his age?). This involves a full breakfast (kid and adult portions) as well as a Peter Rabbit toy, plus the obligatory Peter Rabbit activities for the children to get stuck into afterwards.
Blenheim Palace‘s Easter events run from 15-18 April. These involve an egg hunt (big surprise), activities like circus skills, balloon modelling, bubble performances and bungee trampolines (!), as well as special appearances from the Easter Bunny throughout the weekend.
Waterstock Riding School, just outside Oxford, is running half-day Pony Easter Egg Hunts on 15 April and 18 April. Open to all abilities, these sessions see the children following clues to different activities and stable management sessions, followed by a horse ride searching for Easter eggs. You have to register to book the event.
More Easter activities, you cry! In Aylesbury at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre you can catch a slew of Easter Events on 17-18 April. We’re talking egg hunts and elegant decor alongside the standard steam train passenger rides, fire engine demonstrations, and vintage vehicles.
A few bunny-hops out of county? We’ll allow it: the spectacular Highclere Castle has an Easter Egg trail on 16 April with egg hunt, Easter bonnet parade (best get glueing now!), bouncy slide, and farm animals.
ACTIVITY CAMPS & WORKSHOPS
Want to get them off your hands? You can’t deny the appeal! The big one for activity camps in our ‘hood is Camp Beaumont, with camps at Beaconsfield High School in Bucks, as well as ones across the border in Berks at St George’s in Windsor and Leighton Park School. Check out our insider test drive of Camp Beaumont here.
If you can’t get Beaumont, try an Easter Camp at The Little Gym in High Wycombe, for active tornadoes aged from 3 to 12 years. Running from the 11-24 April, you can sign your little one up for morning camps, full-day camps, or afternoon cartwheel/ninja parkour bootcamps.
Another sports club, this time running in Oxford, Bicester, and Witney, is Ignite Sports, which has general sports clubs as well as girls’/boys’ football skills, game tech, and art smash, suitable for ages 4-16, running 11-22 April.
Or, try Oxford Active Camps for Ofsted-regulated adventures, team-building exercises, and activities for ages 6-14, with camps to choose from in Aylesbury and then 11 different ones across Oxfordshire. There are also a range of Buckinghamshire locations and Oxfordshire locations for Super Camps, which cover all your standard activities (go-karting, swimming etc).
More thespian than sportsman? Try a Shrek The Musical workshop at the Wycombe Swan, suitable for ages 7-11, on 11 April. Singing, dancing and acting… what’s not to like?
Or, there are the children’s pig-keeper days with Kew Little Pigs in Amersham for ages 9-16, which take place on 4-6 and 11-13 April. This offers a full day of activities, biscuits and drinks, a piggy pack to take home including soft toy and certificate, and an all-important ice cream at the end of the day.
On 23 April, there’s a Spring Family Fun Day at the MK Gallery, involving an afternoon of play celebrating spring with the artist Natalie Zervou. Kids will create a giant, collaborative parachute game and also enjoy collaging and giant stitching.
It’s also always worth checking out the Creation Theatre’s at-home drama workshops, with different sessions for kids aged 5-16.
The Science Oxford Centre has a Spring Family Day on 9 April. This involves access to the ‘Exploration Zone’ which, thrillingly science fiction-y name aside, is a space full of interactive exhibits, puzzles, and activities. There’s also a ‘Water Lab’ outdoor exhibit to get stuck into, a café, and a woodland to explore.
Over at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, there’s a Living History Festival on 9-10 April. Created in partnership with YouTube and TikTok sensation Living History UK, this will tell the story of 200 years of British soldiers, with plenty to immerse the kids in.
Bright Sparks Science is running egg-themed, day-long science holiday camps for 5-11 year olds across Oxfordshire: Oxford (12 April); Wantage (13 April); Woodstock (14 April); Witney (19 April); Didcot (20 April); and Abingdon (21 April).
For budding linguists, 4-8 year olds can join in the French Easter Fun Workshop running from 11-14 April at Alliance Française in Oxford: four mornings packed with Easter-themed vocab, creative crafts, French songs, and more.
On 12 April, the Muddy-Award-winning Mrs Bun the Baker is running an Easter cooking session at Cholsey pavilion, near Wallingford, from 10-12. The kids will make spring lamb cupcakes (that’s decorated like lambs not, you know, stuffed with meat), a cannelloni dish, and Easter bread, to be taken home afterwards. That’s dinner sorted, then! If your kids are over seven you can leave them there and grab two blissful hours on your tod, though if they’re younger you have to stay.
If you can’t make it to Cholsey, there are also some online classes: hot cross bun loaf and asparagus pasta (6 April); lamb/veggie shepherd’s pie and simnel cake (8 April); sticky toffee pudding and custard (11 April); and fish pie and spring lamb cupcakes (14 April). See details and booking here.
Not enough cooking for you? Try heading to The Five Arrows at Waddesdon for its Kids’ Easter Bake on 21 April, where six to 12 year olds will learn to make focaccia, cupcakes, and Easter eggs, while you kick back in the bar and restaurant. Ticket price (£30) includes tickets to Waddesdon Manor grounds.
For something artier, don’t miss the MK Gallery‘s child-friendly exhibition tours of Ingrid Pollard: Carbon Slowly Turning, running 23 April – 28 May. There are options for child tours as well as toddler tours.
OUT AND ABOUT
Little naturalists, unite! The spring blossom’s out in full force. Check out our list of the eight best places to see nature bloom here.
Then from 8 April, the MK Gallery is offering ‘Bramble Ramble’ kits, which you pick up from the gallery to enjoy in Campbell Park. They’re entirely free, and full of sweet ways to get stuck into nature and the outdoors.
On 12 April there’s a Family Easter Trail at the Sutton Courtenay nature reserve, near Didcot, courtesy of the Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust. The concept is helping a mother fox finding her lost fox cubs — dead charming, and with obligatory chocolate treat at the end.
Head to Waddesdon Manor this Easter to see the best of spring with the new adventure trail from 13-24 April, involving lots of daffodils and nature discoveries as well as a celebratory chocolate egg. You can also pick up a seasonal picnic box to enjoy in the grounds.
Over at the Chiltern Open Air Museum, Easter weekend (15-18 April) means the chance to learn about some Easter traditions, admire the lambs, and take part in an Easter trail. With 45 acres to wander through and an adventure playground, you won’t get bored.
At the Bekonscot Model Village and Railway in Beaconsfield, you can try your hand at some traditional fairground activities on 19-22 April. Think hook-a-duck, skittles… who needs a Nintendo Switch, eh?
The Little Trip Boat narrowboat will also be running trips on the Aylesbury arm of the Grand Union Canal every day in the holidays. Lasting about an hour and a half, these are a charming excursion with plenty of wildlife to spot and some information on the history of the canal as you go, as well as hands-on opening of the locks.
C’mon, get ’em up off the sofa! Ignite Sports camps are suitable for kids up to 16 and will be running 11-22 April, see details in the Activity Camps section above.
Staring down the barrel of exams? On 11-12 April there are GCSE French revision workshops at Alliance Française in Oxford, running 9.30-12.30.
But hey, it’s shouldn’t all be revision! If your teen fancies themselves a joker, why not try a Comedy & Clowning workshop on 12 April at the Wycombe Swan, suitable for ages 11-16, which explores the techniques of physical comedy and sketch.
Or is your teen a bit more indie? Impress those literally-cool-kids with tickets to see The Vaccines at Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on 13 April.
Teens who like musicals will definitely want to be in this room where it happens: the Hamilton Theatre Workshops take place at Flintlock Theatre in Oxford from 19-22 April. For ages 8-15, this is a four day musical theatre course featuring all the favourite songs and scenes from Hamilton. It’s also worth noting that the Creation Theatre’s at-home drama workshops cater for up to 16 year olds.
Flintlock Theatre School
Meanwhile, the Oxford Playhouse has a cool online interactive experience taking place 20-24 April called England Expects, suitable for ages 14+. Lasting two and a half hours, a team of actors in costume remotely weave you into a story of a 1940 naval battle, requiring coordination, tactics, and intelligence from your teammates to protect the fleet and stay afloat. Very intriguing!
Horse mad? Waterstock Riding School, just outside Oxford, has an Adult/Teen Ickford Hack (horse ride) on 22 April. For intermediate/advanced riders, this will be a two and a half hours’ ride along pretty Oxfordshire bridleways, with galloping depending on conditions. You have to register to book the event.
Or, if you fancy heading to the big smoke, teens will probably get a kick out of Fashioning Masculinities, running at the V&A in Kensington, particularly since Harry Styles is the poster boy. Strutting through centuries of fashion, this exhibition explores how designers, tailors and artists have constructed and performed masculinity throughout the eras.
And while you’re in the city, it’s really worth taking your older teens to see Mark Rylance and Mackenzie Crook in the highly acclaimed Jerusalem, which was not for nothing dubbed “the greatest British play of the century”, and previously ran for 420 record-breaking performances in 2009. A comic romp poking fun at contemporary politics, it will be playing at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue from 16 April.
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