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The bumper Easter holiday guide

Looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained this Easter? You're in luck - here are loads of cool things to do with kids over the holidays.

Dreading the ‘what are we doing today?’ whine these Easter holidays? We’ve got you covered: here’s how to avoid the Easter panic and enjoy the company of your egg-fuelled bundles of energy… or at least endure it until they go back to school again.
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GET ACTIVE
Easter Sports Academy, Canford School, 15-17 April

This Easter, Canford will host 3-day specialist cricket, golf or tennis coaching courses with the opportunity to play on Canford’s 1st XI pitch and grass nets, the school’s 9-hole golf course or our tennis courts set within 250 acres of spectacular grounds. The course is aimed at boys and girls in Years 5-7 who are who are keen to further develop their cricket, golf or tennis skills ahead of the summer season. Canford’s specialist coaching staff will provide clinics in core areas of the sports. www.canford.com

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Jungleparc, Lydiard Park, Swindon, Wilts, throughout April

Swing in the treetops at Jungleparc, with loads of activities suitable for children as young as three. And if you’re a big kid or adult – and are feeling extra brave – there is the Xplorer course which, be warned, is VERY high. jungleparc.co.uk

 

Koala Creek, Longleat, throughout April

This Easter, for the first time ever, you’ll get the chance to discover the wonderful world of Koala Creek, home to the Safari Park’s newest (and furthest travelled) residents; a group of iconic southern koalas and two endearing hairy-nosed wombats. They share their brand new abode with long-nosed potoroos; rabbit-sized, kangaroo-like, marvellous marsupials. Go on a journey through indoor and outdoor habitats where you can observe the wonderful and iconic Australian animals, and discover the down-under lowdown of the fascinating adaptations of the marsupials in the area. www.longleat.co.uk

 

Go Ape, Mallards Pike Lake & Beechenhurst Lodge, Forest of Dean, throughout April

 

There’s not one but two Go Apes, the treetop adventure playground for Tarzans and Janes, in the Forest of Dean, England’s largest oak woodland. The site at Mallards Pike Lake is home to the original Tree Top Adventure and Forest Segway, while three miles down the road, Beechenhurst Lodge is the place to go for a Tree Top Junior Adventure. The site was completely redesigned recently and now includes new obstacles including the Tank Trap, The Shuffle, Net Bridge and Itchen Crossing among the zip wires, Tarzan swings and rope ladders. And if you need a bit of rest after all that but still want to explore the leafy surroundings, you can hop on a forest Segway and go in search of wild boar, deer and birds of prey. goape.co.uk

 

Go East for Easter, Monkey World, Wareham, Sat 6 Apr to Mon 22 Apr

Monkey World are key players in helping sustain the monkey population around the world. This Easter the park will be fundraising to put six gibbon back into the wild from the sister sanctuary Dae Tien in Vietnam. Do your part by visiting the park and get involved in helping our wild cousins. www.monkeyworld.org

 

Activate Camps, Pinewood School, 8-12 April

A fab multi-activity camp for kids this Easter break. activatecamps.co.uk

 

Kids Combat Adventures, near Chippenham, throughout April

Enter the battlefield and get ready for a fight at Kids Combat Adventure. Outdoor laser tag will tick most kids’ boxes (and is a lot less painful than paintball apparently). jcompany.co.uk

 

Castle Combe Circuit, Castle Combe, near Chippenham, throughout April

This home of motorsport has been welcoming petrol-heads for 65 years with a whole load of driving experiences on offer, from rally driving to super-car fun. And kids don’t just have to be passengers – there’s an under 12 driving school where they can get behind the wheel themselves – eek! castlecombecircuit.co.uk

 

Puzzlewood, Coleford, Forest of Dean, Glos, throughout April

This beautiful woodland in the heart of the Forest of Dean is like something out of a fairy tale – or a film or the telly, literally; Star Wars: The Force AwakensDr Who and Merlin were all filmed here. Puzzleford’s unworldly, 14-acre forest has plenty of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, including winding vine paths and a willow maze. And if you want to stay for the weekend, you can even book your own cottage tucked away in the greenery and enjoy a weekend in your own little mythical utopia. puzzlewood.net

 

Easter Sports Camp, St Mary’s Calne, 6-12 April

Fun packed multi sport holiday camps for children aged 8-16. With lots of exciting competitions, games and sports, including football, tennis, water polo, badminton, basketball, rounders, junior athletics and inflatable sessions on The Obliterator. www.smcsports.co.uk

 

Cotswold Discovery Trail, around the Cotswolds, throughout April
We’ve just discovered the amazing Cotswold Discovery Trail, a really cool new way to explore the Cotswolds. Whether you want to walk with friends, family or kids, you’ll get a gorgeous map, plus 2 day-long trails (one in the north Cotswolds and one in the south) for you to follow by car and explore on foot. The maps are designed as treasure trails, with loads of information to uncover and clues to answer on your journey, so they’re loads of fun. cotswold-discovery-trail
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Wessex Raceway, Salisbury, Wilts, throughout April

This massive 700m indoor track is exactly what the doctor ordered for any rainy day during the October break. Completely weatherproof, it’ll burn off even the most hyper child’s pent-up energy. wessexraceway.co.uk

 

Lucas Jet Parties, throughout April

Photo courtesy of @Farelight Productions

Having a party this Easter? Bored of trampolining parks, pool inflatables, roller discos? A-ha, then you need Muddy Stilettos. Actually, you need Lucas Jet who we’ve snooped out for you, and their amazing, revolutionary, you-won’t-believe-your-eyes, PT Barnum eat-your-heart-out circus extraordinaire. lucasjetparties

 

JDR Karting, Gloucester, Glos, throughout April

Boy racers will absolutely love this one, and it’s a great option for a birthday party. Suit up ‘The Stig’-style, put the pedal to the metal and race around the amazing indoor track. You may even end up on the podium and bringing home a trophy at the end of the day. jdrkarting.co.uk

 

Jolly Roger Adventure, Swindon, Wilts, throughout April

Bouncy castles, arcade games, slides, and climbing nets – does a kid need anything more? One of the largest indoor play centres in the South West, this is a great day out for small and big kids alike, and, if you’re lucky you might meet the famous resident mascot, Charlie the parrot. jollyrogerplay.com

 

Far Peak Climbing Centre, Northleach, Glos, throughout April

There’s nothing like an adrenaline rush and Far Peak near Northleach has plenty of those on offer with its indoor climbing and bouldering (that’s climbing without ropes and harnesses for anyone who didn’t know, ie, me) and 15m outdoor tower that’s just waiting to be scaled. For Easter hols there are extended opening times (9.15am-10pm) and activities that cater for pretty much all ages. wildrockclimbing.co.uk

 

EGG HUNTS

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The Great Lydiard Park Easter Trail, near Swindon, Wilts, 20-22 April

Hop into Easter at Lydiard Park. The trail begins at the Coach House Activity Centre and you’ll travel
round the lakes, woodlands and lawns. Search for clues hidden around the park to claim your Easter surprise. lydiardpark.org.uk

 

Easter Bunny Trail & Afternoon Tea, Woolley Grange Hotel, Bradford-on-Avon, Mon 1 Apr to Wed 17 Apr

 

The stunning grounds of Woolley Grange Hotel are an absolute delight, especially in the spring as flowers begin to bloom, trees turn green and the sun shines brighter and warmer. Explore the Easter Bunny trail throughout the grounds, free for both hotel guests and those who are booked for afternoon tea. For guests staying with them over the Easter holidays (and spa members) they also have lots of fun activities planned from Easter egg painting to archery, dog walking with Rex and much much more! www.woolleygrangehotel.co.uk

 

Easter Egg Hunt with Ducklings Toy Shop, Marlborough and Wootton Bassett, Fri 5 Apr to Tues 23 Apr  

Grab your trail map from Duckling Toy Shop and get hunting. Collect all the stickers from independent retailers or cafes down the high street to complete the map, and you’ll be rewarded with special Easter prizes on completion. www.ducklingstoyshop.co.uk

 

Easter Eggstravaganza, Cotswold Farm Park, Cheltenham, Sat 6 Apr to Sun 28 Apr

You’ll be skipping and jumping into the spirit of spring with an egg hunt around the Park this Easter with a prize for every child. There will also be craft activities and a puppet show to entertain the little ones, as well as all of the usual Farm Park fun – stroking bunnies and holding chicks, bottle feeding the lambs twice daily and the opportunity to feed those greedy goats! They’ll still be lambing in the Animal Barn too, which is not to be missed, with new arrivals due every day of the holidays. All activities included in the cost of admission. www.cotswoldfarmpark.co.uk

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Bowood’s Big Spring Adventure, Bowood House, Calne, Sat 6 April to Sun 22 Apr

The Easter Bunny has been busy getting ready for his big spring adventure, and all around the gorgeous Bowood estate, clues have been hidden, with plenty of yummy chocolate treats to find. NEW for 2019 – crack the secret code alongside their BIG Easter Eggs to unlock the Easter basket. www.bowood.org

 

Easter Fun, Kings Farm Wood, Wroughton, 11 April

Complete a nature themed treasure trail to earn your chocolate egg. www.wiltshirewildlife.org

 

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, Mompesson House, Salisbury, 19 April

Visit Mompesson House this Easter and take part in the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. Follow the clues left by bunny around the garden to complete the trail and claim your delicious Cadbury chocolate treat. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

 

Easter Egg Hunt, Glove Factory Studios, Holt, 22 April

The Easter bunny returns for an Easter Egg Hunt 2019. The mysterious rabbit will be up early and hopping about to hide the fiendish clues to a word puzzle. Do you have what it takes to spot them in the bushes and trees around the fields? Can you find every single clue to reveal a hidden word… www.thefieldkitchen.com

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GET CREATIVE
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The School of Wizardry, Cheltenham Ladies College, 15-18 April

 

A spellbinding week of magic and wizardry awaits courtesy of the Cheltenham Academy of Music and Dramatic Art’s wand-erful School of Wizardry. Kids will walk into the pages of Harry Potter and be immersed in a Hogwarts-style environment for four days where there’ll be music to sing, stories to act out and, of course, spells to be cast taught to them by bona fide magicians from The Magic Circle. Email the Magic Team at info@camda.org or call 07545 345655. www.camda.org

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Splash of Colour, Salisbury, throughout April
Easter holiday painting for all age groups at this gorgeous pottery painting stop. splashofcolourcafe.net
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Victorian Easter Festival, Holst Birthplace Museum, Cheltenham, Sat 6 Apr to Tues 23 Apr

Holst Birthplace Museum hosts a Victorian themed Easter Festival with special events dotted throughout the whole of April. Kicking off is ‘Bake Back in Time for Easter’ enjoy some delicious treats from a time gone by. Or join in the craft sessions, spring cleaning workshops and floristry courses. holstmuseum.org.uk

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Family Cooking Together, Daylesford Cookery School, Daylesford, Stow-on-the-Wold, 19 and 21 April

These Family Cooking classes are a wonderful opportunity for parents and children to join together in the Daylesford Cookery School for a fun-filled day of cooking and eating. Food and cookery is a wonderful way to bring families together in the kitchen, but this time you won’t have any washing up to worry about! Throughout the course there will be a selection of delicious, inspiring recipes for you to enjoy creating together with us, as well as back at home.  daylesford.com 

 

Mini Chefs and Young Chefs, Vaughan’s Cookery School, 27 April

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This is one the Mudlets will love – Austrian Knodel and Sachertorte. Vaughan’s Kitchen Mini Chefs is designed to give your youngster a firm foundation that will provide them with the skills and knowledge they need to grow into competent and confident cooks. It is also lots of fun and they will bring home the results of the session to share with the family. www.vaughanskitchen.co.uk

 

Crafty Easter Activities, Pound Arts, Corsham, 9-15 April

Join The Pound to make, stick, craft and create. Work with Mel to create Easter themed stencils to design personalised cards and wrapping paper and other glorious Easter artwork. www.poundarts.org.uk

 

THEATRE

Horrible Histories, Wyvern Theatre, Swindon, 3-7 April

 

We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead. So it’s time to prepare yourselves for two amazing shows with Horrible Histories live on stage. Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, these two astounding shows are guaranteed to thrill you and your children. Historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips! swindontheatres.co.uk

 

Dinosaur World Live, Swindon, 8-9 April

Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World Live in this roarsome interactive show for all the family. Grab your compass and join our intrepid explorer across unchartered territories to discover a pre-historic world of astonishing (and remarkably life-like) dinosaurs. Meet a host of impressive creatures, including every child’s favourite flesh-eating giant, the Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Triceratops, Giraffatitan, Microraptor and Segnosaurus. A special meet and greet after the show offers all our brave explorers the chance to make a new dinosaur friend. swindontheatres.co.uk

 

Zog, Swindon, 10-11 April

Large in size, and keen in nature, Zog is so eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Zog tries so very hard, perhaps too hard, and he bumps, burns and roars his way through years one, two and three. Luckily, the plucky Princess Pearl patches him up ready to face his biggest challenge yet…a duel with Gadabout the Great! Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved Zog comes to life in Mike Shepherd’s (founder and Artistic Director of Kneehigh) magical adaptation with Johnny Flynn’s (award-winning actor and singer-songwriter with The Sussex Wit) sumptuous folk score featuring live musicians. Katie Sykes’ design lifts the book from the page and creates a real and fantastical world. From the team behind Tiddler and Other Terrific Tales and Tabby McTat, Zog promises to be roaring fun for all ages. swindontheatres.co.uk

 

Around the World in 80 Days, Salisbury Playhouse, 23-27 April

Returning to Salisbury prior to a U.S. tour, Theresa Heskins’ celebrated production – ‘highly entertaining’ (The Times) – features a hugely talented cast of eight playing over 125 characters in this imaginative, high-spirited escapade that includes six trains, five boats, four fights, three dances, two circus acts and an elephant! www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk

 

The Bodyguard, Bristol Hippodrome, to Sat 6 April

Secret Service agent turned bodyguard, Frank Farmer, is hired to protect superstar Rachel Marron from an unknown stalker. Based on the flick of the same name. Read our review.

Tickets

 

Matilda The Musical, Cambridge Theatre, throughout April

Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, Matilda revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dares to change her destiny. uk.matildathemusical.com

 

Aladdin, Prince Edward Theatre, throughout April

Breathtaking sets, mind-blowing special effects, over 350 lavish costumes and a fabulous cast and orchestra bring the magic of Disney’s Aladdin to life on the West End stage. Featuring all the songs from the classic Academy Award®-winning film including ‘Friend Like Me’, ‘A Whole New World’ and ‘Arabian Nights’, prepare to experience the unmissable ‘theatrical magic’ (Daily Telegraph) that is Aladdin. aladdinthemusical.co.uk

 

Lyric Hammersmith, dates in April

13 April – Out Of The Hat! When Doris and Delilah wake up to find something strange and sparkly has fallen from the sky, they are inspired to put on the world’s greatest magic show. But will the conjuring trick work and will anything ever come out of the hat? 20 April – The Three Billy Pigs. Once upon a time there were three little pigs, and now it is time for them to leave home. They set off to build their dream houses. But then these homes are put to the test by a misunderstood wolf who has a little bit of a problem. 27 April – Hansel and Gretel. Deep in an enchanted forest, everybody’s looking for something to eat. Hansel and Gretel are lost, searching for a way home, only to find themselves on the menu of a sweet-toothed witch. www.lyric.co.uk

 

School of Rock, New London Theatre, throughout April

Based on the iconic hit movie, this irresistible musical follows Dewey Finn, a failed, wannabe rock star who decides to earn an extra bit of cash by posing as a supply teacher at a prestigious prep school. There he turns a class of straight A pupils into a guitar-shredding, bass-slapping mind-blowing rock band. But can he get them to the Battle of the Bands without their parents and the school’s headmistress finding out? schoolofrockthemusical.com

 

Wicked, Apollo Theatre, throughout April

Winner of 90 international awards, Wicked has been casting its magical spell over audiences of all ages across the world since 2003 and continues to be a record-breaking hit at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is has become the 13th longest-running show in West End history. wickedthemusical.co.uk
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The Lion King, Lyceum Theatre, throughout April

Disney’s musical phenomenon The Lion King continues to captivate audiences of all ages. Combining dazzling staging and highly imaginative costumes, masks and puppets, this astonishing show at the Lyceum Theatre uses breathtaking theatrical magic to tell the story of Simba – join him now in his epic journey to reclaim his kingdom. thelionking.co.uk

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FURTHER AFIELD

Beasts of London, Museum of London, from 5 April

 

The Museum of London’s next major experience, especially for families – Beasts of London brings to life the history of animals in the city told from the unique perspective of the animals themselves. You will be guided by various animal characters through time, from the Roman era through medieval London and right up to present day. Discover how animals – from lions and elephants, to horses, rats and pigeons – have shaped the city and its beastly history. This is definitely one not to be missed!

 

Easter at Brooklands MuseumBrooklands Museum, Mon 8 – Fri 19 April

There’s plenty going on at Brooklands Museum this Easter. The Easter Egg Trail is every day, and free with museum admission. No need to book. The car rides will be operating every weekday from 8-18 April, and the London Bus Museum will be operating bus rides around the local area. There are also kids’ tours on the Concorde at set times throughout the day. And Bertie the Brooklands Bear will make guest appearances. There are also a series of workshops for kids. brooklandsmuseum.com

 

Tudor cookeryHampton Court Palace, Sat 6 – Sat 22 April

From roast beef to spiced marchpane, discover some of the Tudor delicacies that would grace the tables in Henry VIII’s Palace as the team of historic cooks whip up some tasty Tudor treats. Included in Hampton Court Palace admission. hrp.org.uk

 

Armoury in Action, Tower of London, throughout April

Armoury in Action. A family friendly exhibition revealing the fascinating story of arms and the armoury at the Tower. From shooting arrows and assembling firearms to brandishing swords, a thousand years of history at the Tower is brought to life in this exciting, hands-on experience. www.hrp.org.uk/tower-of-london

 

Easter at Kew Gardens, 6-23 April

Loads of family activities for all ages during the Easter holidays, including exploring the colour spectrum and finding out what colour means to plants. www.kew.org

 

Underbelly Festival 2019, Southbank, from 5 April

Underbelly Festival’s biggest family programme ever kicks off with Family Fest (throughout the Easter holidays) which includes the acclaimed adaptation of The Gruffalo, and The Witch and The Warthog in which live readings from author Julia Donaldson bring her stories to life within a spectacular theatrical world. Other classic children’s tales include the mega hit Monstersaurus and a new theatrical adaptation of The Wind in the Willows. This year’s family programme includes ultimate family singalong Massaoke for Kids, the original adult and baby mixed bill comedy Screaming With Laughter and the wildly popular Fun Kids Radio Hourwww.underbellyfestival.com

 

Now Play This, Somerset House, 6-14 April

The annual games festival returns for its biggest edition ever, with more exciting hands-on gameplay for all ages to enjoy. From £6.50. Plus two free outdoor installations, including a large-scale labyrinth in the courtyard and an adventurous trail around the site. somersethouse.org.uk

 

A Pirate’s Life for Me, V&A Museum of Childhood, to 22 April

Developed in collaboration with children, the exhibition’s immersive and playful set design takes its young visitors into an imaginary swashbuckling world of adventure and exploration where they will travel from a moody coastal inn to a tropical treasure island in search of sparkling riches. At its heart a large-scale pirate ship inspires learning through active play. www.museumofchildhood.org.uk

 

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