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50+ eggcellent things to this Easter

Release the kids 'cos you're about to nail the Easter break like a parenting boss with 50+ cool things to do for all ages from toddlers to teens.

EASTER EGG TRAILS

Basildon Park house and grounds

Every venue across Berkshire is going chocolate crazy but my top tips include Easter Adventures in Nature at Basildon Park (8-25 Apr) and Cliveden (9-24 Apr) where you can explore these stunning estates in spring with a choccie egg at the end. Head to Highclere Castle‘s annual Easter Egg Trail and Bonnet Parade (16 April), and waft around Downton’s exquisite Capability Brown gardens and woodland in aid of The Murray Parish Trust.

Beale Wildlife Park’s Easter Egg Trail (an extra £1 on the entrance fee) is an egg hunt around the park with a chocolatey reward. Bucklebury Farm Park‘s Easter Eggstravaganza (16-18 April) has a giant egg hunt, plus art activities, games and storytelling. Wellington Country Park‘s Mega Egg Hunt (15-18 April) – just a great excuse to enjoy the grounds. Make them work for their egg at Cobbs Farm Hungerford‘s I-Spy Easter Trail (4-18 April. Follow the clues to get your egg.

Alice-and-Hatter Easter fun Newbury

Newbury town centre is hopping mad for Easter, hosting a three-day EasterFest (15-17 April). It’s a totally FREE event, kicking off with musical performances from Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts and Mad Hatter. There’s an Easter egg hunt, the Easter bunny will be reading stories and more.

Hop off to Dinton Pastures Country Park (9-22 April) for the First Days Easter Hop. It’s a pun-filled trail with an eggcellent chocolate treat at the end. If you’re looking for a chocolate free zone, with fresh air and fun guaranteed The Savill Garden, Windsor Great Park‘s Nature Detective Trail is on 8-24 April.

Tumblestone Hollow Stonor Park

A smidge over the Oxfordshire border near Henley, Stonor’s annual Easter Trail runs every day from 9 to 24 April. Let your kids go free range at Tumblestone Hollow – an awesome woodland adventure playground and in the Gardens at Stonor. Solve the puzzle there’s a treat at the end.

STAGE & SCREEN

A Thousand Clowns, Theatre Royal Windsor, 29 March – 2 April

Will_Young

Will Young’s theatrical homecoming. The Olivier-award nominated and multi-platinum singer will star in A Thousand Clowns – making his debut at the Theatre Royal Windsor. The production is a comedy-drama set in 1960s New York City. The film’s hilarious so high hopes for this. One Will-loving teens.

Alby The Penguin Saves The World, Reading Rep Theatre, 6-18 Apr

A return after the sell-out success of Alby the Penguin Saves Christmas, in partnership with Reading Libraries, he’s making a comeback for Easter. Suitable for kids aged 3-6, it’s a magical adventure in which Alby finds himself on a mission to help save his friends (and the world).

A Tale of Two Cities, Corn Exchange Newbury, 5-6 April

A-Tale-of-Two-Cities Newbury

If you’ve never read Dickens’ 1859 novel of revolution and excessive gestures of love, then this is the show for you. If you’ve never read Charles Dickens’ novel of revolution and excessive gestures of love, then this is the show for you. If you have read it, this might also be the show for you, depending on how well you remember it. Definitely one for the teens, especially if you’re trying to get them in the zone for their GCSEs and A Levels.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 13-14 April

Fee Fi Fo Fum! It’s a giant of a show, that loads of fun! This classic fairytale gets the Lyngo Theatre treatment so expect lots of surprises and beautiful images as Patrick Lynch (from Cbeebies) tells the gripping story of Jack who sells his cow for five magic beans and finds himself in the land above the clouds. It’s a show for the over 3’s (and their giants) with something for everyone – enormous shoes, tiny houses, showers of silver and gold and a big, leafy explosion!

The Amazing Bubble Man, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 19-20 Apr

The Amazing Bubble Man (1)

Go on, admit it. There’s still something quite fabulous about blowing bubbles, even as an adult. The Amazing Bubble Man has garnered world-fame for his amazing, science-defying creations made with just bubble mix. I dare you not to be as amazed as the kids.

Morgan & West: Unbelievable Science, South Street Arts Reading, 8-9 Apr

Morgan and west unbelievable science

Morgan & West present captivating chemistry, phenomenal physics and bonkers biology in this science extravaganza. Expect explosive thrills, chemical spills, and a risk assessment that gives their stage managers chills. Suitable for age 6 years +.

Shrek The Musical, South Hill Park Bracknell, 11-18 Apr

After the success of Shrek on screen I can only imagine what Shrek must be like in real life… Pretty big and green I suspect. Join Shrek and Donkey as they set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful Princess Fiona. Based on the story and characters from the DreamWorks Animation film, this hilarious and spectacular production intertwines magical fairy-tale and irresistible adventure for endless romance and laughs.

Dinosaur World Live, Corn Exchange Newbury, 12-14 Apr

giant dinosaur puppet of a t rex stage show Dinosaur World Live

Why can pre-schoolers reel off the names of flesh eating giants like T rex, Triceratops, Styracosaurus and Baryonyx but can’t say the word gloves? It’s a mystery, but there is no doubt they’ll LOVE the jaw dropping puppetry of these prehistoric superstars as they thud, stomp and roaaaaar onto the Newbury stage.

SLIME, South Street Arts Reading, 13 Apr

SLIME South Street Arts

The title alone should get kids excited. Who doesn’t love slime? Parents usually. And slugs definitely get a bad rep – urgh, gross. It’s the perfect set up for a LOL-filled visit to South Street Arts for SLIME. Slug and Caterpillar are starving, and the only leaf left in the garden is just out of reach. Slug thinks they should work together. Get the leaf, eat the leaf, play a game, be friends. Caterpillar has other ideas. Things could get sticky.

The Lips, Market Place Newbury, 23 April

The Lips Puppet and Gut Theatre Co

Giant lips singing It’s Raining Men, I’m So Excited, Single Ladies and Spice Up Your Life, where do we sign up? Creative theatre company Puppet & Guts will bring that magical big mouth mix tape to this Easter. In case you’re sitting on the fence, they’ve performed at the 2012 Olympics, a gig for Sir Paul McCartney, the theatre adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s War Horse, and the Harry Potter film series: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Starry.  

ARTY FARTY

Quest Family Fest, Norden Farm Maidenhead

‘Have-a-go’ Easter Holidays at Norden Farm’s Quest Family Fest. In addition to the brilliant theatre shows, there’s an opportunity for kids of all ages to try something new. From circus skills and digital animation to magic, chocolate making and wand making, there’s something to spark their imagination during the school hols. You can enjoy five minutes peace with a brew in the café.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year, The Base Gallery, Greenham Common, now – 3 Apr

WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER Storm-Fox_jonny-armstrong-wpy1
Image: Storm Fox by Jonny Armstrong

Last chance to see the Natural History Museum’s annual touring exhibition of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Wildlife photography requires patience, lightning reactions and a little bit of luck. But when they get the money shot… POW! The results are extraordinary. This year’s prestigious touring exhibition stops off at The Base at Greenham Common Business Park in Newbury. It’s an international showcase of 100 images taken by the very best in nature photographers around the world.

Pottery Taster Session, The Base Greenham, 2 April

Great Pottery Throwdown contestant Cait Gould resident artist at The Base Greenham Common Newbury

Got a future star of The Great Pottery Throwdown lurking in the family? Sign them up for as taster session with series two contestant Cáit Gould. Under her brilliant tuition, you’ll get to spin the wheel, make a trinket dish and decorate using paper printing.

Festival of Arts & Crafts, The Base Greenham, 9-18 April

Ellie-Kerr-Smiley

Muddy Award winner The Base will be hosting its very first Festival of Art and Crafts, celebrating our brilliant local artisans. Both weekends during the 10 day Festival will feature a craft market surrounding The Base building, with 2D artists displaying work for sale in the Gallery. Weekdays, visitors will have the opportunity to have a go at a range of workshops.

ACTIVITY CAMPS

The big one is Camp Beaumont, with camps at in Berks at St George’s in Windsor and Leighton Park School. Check out what to ask before you book a kids’ holiday camp here.

Zoo Academy, Beale Park, Pangbourne, 11-22 April

Beale Park Animals

Looking for a holiday club with a difference? Zoo Academy is a super-cool immersive experience for 5-12 year-olds at Beale Park. Your kids will be hands-on zoo keepers, with individual or multiple days available to book. It’ll book up fast, so sign them up pronto.

Play In A Week, The Watermill Theatre Newbury, 11-14 Apr

I love The Watermill Theatre (the arts programming is fantastic) and it has an awesome educational offering. The Play In A Week, is incredibly popular, immersive 5 day workshopped by The Watermill pros. Aimed at 8-16 year olds, the kids will write, direct and perform the play they create. No experience necessary just lots of enthusiasm. They are also running a musical theatre workshop for wannabe jazz handers. £80 for 5 days.


Holiday Workshops
, Brickies Club, Windsor and Wokingham, 4-22 April

Brickies Stop Motion

Call all builders. This is your time to shine. Brickies Club in Wokingham run fun workshops for kids. There are three-hour master builders workshop for ages 9-14 and Lego Coding Robots for ages 10-14. Fun, creative and gloriously screen free.

FREE FUN

bayeux-Tapstry Reading Museum

Turns out you’re never too old to draw some wonder from drawers of preserved beetles and butterflies and the occasional stuffed deer. Reading Museum, with its full size Victorian copy of the Bayeux Tapestry, has more than its fair share of stuffed animals, art and biscuits. Eton College’s Natural History Museum (17,000+ exhibits) and the West Berkshire Museum with its Greenham Common Peace Camp collection and Woolly Mammoth tusks are a fascinating and free way to spend an hour (donations are welcome).

The ancient city walls of the Roman town of Calleva Atrebatum, Silchester England

The Romans are coming! Well actually they have been and gone. But head over to the village of Silchester and you’ll find one of Berkshire’s hidden gems – the Silchester Roman City Walls and Amphitheatre. After the Roman conquest of AD 43 it became the large and important town of Calleva Atrebatum. Unlike most Roman towns, it was never reoccupied or built over after it was abandoned in the 6th or 7th century. The complete circuit of the Roman walls and remains of the amphitheatre still stand.

Juror-chairs-Runnymede_1000x666

Art, History and Politics lesson rolled into one. Runnymede is home to the Magna Carta, the cornerstone of liberty, democracy and freedom. Speaking for all us right now. Head to the ancient Ankerwycke Yew (rumoured to be the spot where Henry VIII courted Anne Boleyn), Hew Locke’s art installation of 12 engraved bronze chairs, The Jurors and the JFK Memorial – set in a acre of land that is officially US soil. School’s out, without doubt it’s an interesting stroll.

Changing of the Guard, Windsor

CHANGING OF THE GUARDS WINDSOR

Don’t miss this very British tradition – The Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle. The parade takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 11am. The new guard set off from Victoria Barracks on Sheet Street and march through the Town Centre to the Queen’s des res. The ceremony takes place inside the castle and then the old guard head back to barracks at 11.25am. Always a fabulous site that brings this town to a standstill. If you live in the Windsor and Maidenhead Borough and in possession of an Advantage Card you can have a Through The Keyhole moment and nose around Windsor Castle for free. Everyone else needs to pay an entrance fee or you’ll be sent to the tower.

Statue of King George III on Horseback in Royal Windsor Great Park in England

That’s said, there’s plenty to see in Windsor. Check out The Crooked House (previously home to jewellers, Jersey Pearl). Windsor also has the shortest street in the world. Charlotte Street is just 16m long and conveniently takes you to a  pub and you’ll also find the UK’s only blue post box in town – erected in 1911 to mark the first UK airmail flight. Also don’t forget to make the most of the Queen’s backyard. Start at the castle gates at the end of Park Street and walk to the Copper Horse – an imperiously camp statue of (mad) King George III on horseback. 

SPORTS

Mountain Bike Trail, Swinley Forest Bracknell

Mountain biker riding on flow single track trail in green forest, POV behind the bars view of the cyclist.

Dust the cobwebs off that old mountain bike you’ve been hiding in the shed and get out in the woods. Swinley Forest in Bracknell has a number of free trails to suit beginners and more advanced riders. Although you have to pay for parking, use of the trails will not cost you a penny. There’s also a free children’s woodland play area and several walks marked out – the Forest Walk, the Heritage Trail, The Nature Trail and Ramblers Route

Kids Yoga, Swan at Streatley, 14 and 21 Apr

YOGA KIDS

Release the tension! And what better place to send them than kids yoga at Swan at Streatley. Two creative yoga workshops for different age groups (4-8 yr olds at 1.15pm, where they’ll get to release energy and hit the reset button. You can work on your own tension in the cafe/bar – coffee? wine? Choose your poison and relax.

The Little Gym, Windsor, 11-24 April

The Little Gym Windsor Holiday camp

If you can’t get to Beaumont, try an Easter Camp at The Little Gym in Windsor, for active tornadoes aged from 3 to 12 years. You can sign your little one up for morning camps, full-day camps, or an afternoon cartwheel bootcamp.

Reading FC Soccer School, various locations, 21-25 Feb

Reading FC Soccer Schools Holiday courses

The Royals are running their incredibly popular half-term soccer school for boys and girls to learn the Reading FC way. Courses are Emmbrook School or The Dome Reading. Sign up for 1 to 5 days depending on the location and event. It’s worth checking the website to see what suits. My kids love it.

Climbing Centres, Reading and Wokingham

Climbing walls Oakwood Climbing Centre Wokingham Berkshire

Kids driving you up the wall? Send them up one instead! Reading Climbing Centre and Oakwood Climbing Centre in Wokingham both offering taster sessions in bouldering, climbing and abseiling. Prices starts at £20.

Absolutely Karting, Maidenhead

Absolutely Karting Maidenhead karts racing around the track

Adrenaline junkies and F1 fans will love the chance to burn rubber and tear up the track. Absolutely Karting in Maidenhead has a fun two tier track, you get the usual video briefing, lots of essential info on flags, lights and expected behaviour on the track, ‘rev her up’ and off you go in a 270cc petrol kart, reaching speeds up 45 mph. It’s suitable for ages 8+. So a good option  if you have slightly older kids and teenagers.

Reload Lazer Clay Shooting, Reading

reload LAZER CLAY SHOOTING

Mention laser tag or fairground target shooting and cue much eye rolling – they’re waaaaay to old for that. Reload is funky shooting range where you practice hitting targets without using live ammunition – good for hand eye co-ordination and gets them away from Fortnight for a few hours. The laser clay guns used fire harmless infra-red beams. No loud bangs, no recoil bruising, eco-friendly and and cheaper than traditional shooting. £50 for 1.5 hrs for up to 5 people.

Ozone Ice Rink, Bracknell

Ozone Hockey Wokingham

Blades of glory in Bracknell! Ozone Ice Rink is a new, totally state of the art rink. They offer learn to skate classes in groups, 1-2-1 lessons and camps, from the age of 3 to adult, plus mixed SEN sessions too. It’s also the HQ of the Bracknell Bees ice hockey team, and they offer learn to play sessions for all ages, hockey camps, stick and puck practice, female development, and we’re loving the use of VR in the off ice studio.

Roller Disco, Braywick Leisure Centre, Maidenhead

colorful roller-skates

Get your skates on! The roller skating is huge and the roller disco is making a comeback. On Saturdays that’s how we roll… at Braywick Leisure Centre in Maidenhead who offer scoot and skate sessions for total beginners and littlies, plus family and friends too. Expect a live DJ, disco lights, and there’s skate hire if you can’t find that pair you last wore in the 80s… Not exactly glam but definitely up their in the quirky/hilarious/nostalgia stakes.

Slough Ice Arena, Slough

Closeup of unrecognizable girl holding figure skates over shoulder leaving ice rink after sports training, copy space

An ice rink that’s used for ITV’s Dancing on Ice and it’s right on our doorstep! The coaches will help wannabe skaters learn the basics before tackling that triple toe loop in their ice dance routine. If all you want to do is twirl on the ice, slip and slide to the fun side at a skate disco or try your hand at ice karting.

Tennis Camp, Windsor Tennis Club, 5-21 April

Game set and match, learn a new sport or improve your technique and co-ordination, but more importantly have lots of FUN!! Windsor Tennis Club offer half day sessions from 9am – 12pm, £30; or full day sessions from 9am – 3pm, £45. active-tennis.co.uk Camps are also running at Bradfield Tennis Centre (8-18 April), Wokingham Tennis Club (11-14 April) and Crowthorne Tennis Club (8-18 April).

FIT & FRESH

Heath Pond Simon's Wood Finchampstead Berkshire

Spring has spring and local walks are an explosion of colour. We’re loving the selection picked by the National Trust in Berkshire for a good old romp in the countryside. Head out on the Centenary Walk – an easy 1.3 mile stroll (perfect for little legs) in the historic Simons Woods in Finchampstead. Or there’s a bookish 3-miler through Cookham Dean that passes the boyhood home of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows and continues through Quarry and Fultness Woods, which were the inspiration for Badger’s ‘Wild Wood’. 

Been there, walked that? Make it your resolution to tick off these headline local walks – with the best views, landmarks or history, or if you’re walk needs to end with reward (check!) then we’ve found these walks near coffee shops and these walks within striking distance of a good pub.

MUSIC

James Morrison, The Hexagon Reading, 5 Apr

james morisson

James Morrison is back on the road with his greatest hits tour and stops in Reading. It might be off the radar of your too cool for school teen, but we reckon it could be a fun night out, with school run flashbacks of embarrassing singing to the radio.

Nick Cope Spring 2022, Corn Exchange Newbury, 9 Apr

CRAFT-Nick-Cope-Family-Music(1)

Nick’s not your average children’s musician – he was lead vocalist and guitarist in Britpop band The Candyskins and now the star of CBeebies’ Popcast. He’s been writing and recording his totally unique songs for kids and their families for over 10 years, he performs with his guitar and animations to sell-out crowds all over the country.

Family Concertini with Yolanda Brown, Norden Farm Maidenhead, 12 April

CONCERTINI EASTER

Join world renowned saxophonist, star of CBeebies and multi MOBO award winner YolanDa Brown for an inspirational Concertini exploring a fusion of Reggae, Jazz and Soul. YolanDa has toured with the Temptations, Diana Krall, Courtney Pine and Billy Ocean and has collaborated with artists such as Mica Paris, Julian Marley and as part of Jools Hollands Rhythm and Blues orchestra. Suitable for ages 4+.

DAYS OUT

Beale Wildlife Park, Pangbourne

Let your kids go free range in 350 glorious acres in West Berkshire. Beale Wildlife Park has a staggering 160 wildlife species from all over the world for you to see. Plus there’s a miniature railway (always a big hit), stunning gardens and a cafe right next to the top notch adventure play area. During the Easter holidays there will be animal-inspired event and activities for the family to enjoy. It’s a brilliant day out and now open all year.

Windsor Castle, Windsor

Windsor Castle Long Walk

Have a nose around the castle and enjoy an Easter hunt for the Queen. It’s unlikely you’ll see Her Maj, but she’s laying on loads of fun-filled, activities and workshops her mini subjects to enjoy. If the sun shines bring a picnic to enjoy in the yard.

Bucklebury Farm, Bucklebury

Bucklebury Farm Park never gets old. Fresh air, furry animals, fun and there’s a fab café for refuelling. The guys have been busy over the winter prepping the play areas and looking after their menagerie of deer, goats, alpacas , rare breed Berkshire pigs, donkeys, Shetland ponies, chickens and more. They’re all super-excited to see visitors again and there’s Easter activities and an egg hunt on during the hols.

Escape Hunt, Reading

Escaoe Hunt reading puzzle game

Escape rooms are a huuuge, so Escape Hunt in Reading should be an easy sell for your hard-to-please teens. Here there are five rooms, each with a different theme  – Wild West, Blackbeard’s Treasure, The Last Vikings, Alice in Puzzleland and the Dr Who themed Worlds Collide. Locking up your teen for a few hours, testing the grey matter, sounds like a brilliant idea.

Circus Wellingtonia, Wellington Country Park Reading, 15-18 Apr 

Wellington Whats on

Roll up… roll up… the circus is back at Wellington and on the 16 and 17 Apr you can have some fun and learn new circus skills. Try juggling, plate spinning, hula-hooping, diablo, floor-based acrobatics and tight rope-walking. Suitable for 5+ years with an adult, 3pm.

Go Ape, Swinley Forest Bracknell, open all year

Go Ape tree top adventure first adventure course

One of only a handful of places that caters for all ages. If you want to get outdoors, get some fresh air and have some fun, head to Swinley Forest and tackle the Go Ape course. You’ll enjoy a fun-filled hour exploring the canopy, trailblazing and tackling obstacles – finishing on the zip wire. The Junior Adventure is aimed at 6-12-year-old Tarzans, but if your child is under 6 but over a metre tall they can still join in. Treetop Plus is suitable for 6-16, Treetop Challenge is for ages 10+ and the relatively new axe throwing is for ages 16+.

Junkyard Golf, Westgate Centre, Oxford 

Teen catnip right here. Under 18s need to be accompanied by one paying adult and can enter Sunday to Wednesday before 7pm (last entry is 6pm) where you can give them a whipping at crazy golf like you’ve never seen it before. There are 3 tongue-in-cheek courses (Bozo,  a creepy clowny one; Pablo for junglists; and Gary, for shellsuit wideboys/girls), a restaurant serving nachos, burgers, hot dogs and all the things that Jamie Oliver has night sweats about, and a bar if you need anaesthetising against all the teen excitement.

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