What’s on locally this Easter? We know
Slowly, slowly things are opening up. Here’s where to take the family locally over the holidays for a very welcome change of scene.
No sooner did we get them back into school, Easter creeps up on us and they’re home again – but this time fuelled by chocolate. No need to adopt the brace position, simply pack the fridge with wine and gin (standard), here’s 36 things to do with the kids covering everything from courses, culture, chocolate and cool days out. Yeah I know, Muddy amazeballs!
Ultimate Activity Camps, various locations
Our kids have spent been enough time at home to last a lifetime. So free your fed-up offspring and book them in at an Ultimate Activity Camp. They will run this Easter at St Gabriel’s School in Newbury, LVS Ascot, Reading Blue Coat School in Sonning, Luckley House School in Wokingham, Crosfields School in Reading and Cranford House School in Wallingford, offering 40 activities from football and inflatables to combat archery and roller racing. It’s £49 per day / £222 per week with the ability to throw on early drop-off and late pick-up for another £7,
A brand new Easter drama and film course for kids, offering everything from animation and circus skills to drama and screen make up. If you’re raising the next aspiring Emma Corrin or Rége-Jean Page or just have a child who wants to be creative and have fun, the Junior Film and Drama Company could be just the ticket. Price from £85.
Where do kids get the energy, sometimes it feel like I’m raising a Duracell bunny. The Little Gym to the rescue. The brilliant team will take your 3-12 year olds off your hands, send them on exciting missions around the gym – running, rolling, swinging. Think Lara Croft or Indiana Jones without the jeopardy and with more story time, crafting and snacks. It’s all super Covid safe without compromising on the fun.
Has the TV and film awards season got your kids thinking about a career on stage or screen? Or maybe they’ve watched a fair bit of lockdown Netflix (hey, we won’t judge), and think they can do better? The Progress Theatre in Reading is running acting lessons via Zoom during the Easter break. Available for ages 7-14, the 45-min sessions on 3 Apr and 17 Apr with cover storytelling, improvisation and awards acceptance speeches (last one is a joke, obvs). Numbers are limited and it costs just £5.
Stop Motion Movie Madness, Norden Farm Online, Fri 2 Apr
So you wanna be in the movies? Here’s your chance. Budding directors can create your very own stop-motion Toy Story with the tips and tricks they’ll learn via this online course. All they need is a loads of toys (Lego’s a good option), a tablet/ computer and lots creativity and enthusiasm. Suitable for ages 5+, £6 per household.
Multi-water sports, Bray Lake, Maidenhead
You may think Easter’s a bit brrr for watersports, but that’s what wet suits and hot chocolate are for. Bray Lake Watersports offer a number of courses for kids during the school holidays. Suitable for ages 8-15, they can do multi-sports, windsurfing, paddlesports, dinghy sailing and windsurfing – over a week or daily £85 per day or £350 for the week.
Caversham Lakes, Reading
A new water park in Reading – Caversham Lakes officially opens on the 2 Apr for all your adrenaline-fuelled fun – inflatable aqua obstacle course, paddleboarding, kayaking and open water swimming are all on the agenda. Plus a more chilled family beach for sunny days with a gin in a tin. Go wet and wild, from £15.
Kitchen Capers, Wokingham and Maidenhead
A two-hour workshop in which the kids will cook three Easter dishes, decorate their own aprons and get a swag bag of goodies to take home too. Suitable for 5-12 year olds.
Chocolate Lollipop Making for Kids, Norden Farm Online, 2-17 Apr
Mould, decorate and package your very own chocolate lollipop at home! Simply order your kit from Rosie’s Chocolate Factory, collect it from Norden Farm and then get creative in the comfort of your own kitchen. Suitable for ages 4+, £7 per kit. Hide in a cupboard and brace yourself for the sugar rush.
Reading FC Soccer School, various locations, 6-16 Apr
Can you kick it? Yes you can. Once again Reading FC is running its ridiculous popular Soccer Schools. All age groups are catered with three, four and five day courses running at Madjeski Stadium 4G pitch; The Dome in Reading, Henwick Playing Fields in Thatcham and Emmbrook School in Wokingham book up really quickly. From £55.
Tennis Camp, 6-18 Apr
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, £35; or £150 for the week. Camps are also running at Wokingham Tennis Club and Crowthorne Tennis Club.
Outdoor Adventure Games, Newbury Racecourse
Will you make it to the winners’ enclosure? Newbury Racecourse has partnered with The Escape Games Company to launch a new immersive outdoor adventure game. Set in the woodland on the racecourse grounds, you and your mates will need to solve puzzles, dodge booby traps and use a tablet to find and scan evidence as you hunt down the mischievous jockey attempting to sabotage the race season. It opens on 15 April with a money back guarantee should Covid restrictions change. Prices from £14pp in a family group.
Go Ape, Bracknell
Aaaaarraaaagh! Tarzan incoming. Time to get high on life at Go Ape Bracknell – a forest adventure for all ages that will test your balance, bravery and dignity. There’s a 1hr Junior Tree Top Adventure (suitable for kids 1m+) with wobbly bridges, intricate crossings and a zip wire finale… Fancy something more challenging, tackle the 2-3hr High Ropes Course (ages 10+ and 1.4m+ tall), that takes you 30m off the ground to endure high speed zips, swings and crossings that’ll make your knees knock. Adrenaline junkies will love it.! From £20. Booking essential.
I’m not sure Roger Moore would approve of this amphibious motor, but then you won’t get many passengers in his water bound Lotus Esprit. Good job we have the Duck bus to whizz around the historic streets of Windsor for dunking into the river. Rain or shine, this is fun history lesson/ sightseeing adventure. Duck Tours start up again on 12 Apr, tickets £21.
Wild Paddle, Newbury
Test your sense of adventure and your balance on a SUP tour of the Kennet & Avon Canal. Wild Paddle Berkshire is sightseeing with a difference. The difference being you’re on a paddle board and there’s a risk of getting wet.. Run by Lara and her expert team, the tours set off from both Newbury and Kintbury locks and are perfect for beginners through to advanced. It’s a unique and tranquil way to see this beautiful part of Berks and Lara’s a dab hand at keeping her groups dry and having fun.
Go With the Flo Paddleboarding, Wargrave
Reopening just in time for the Easter break, wetsuit up and wobble on the water in Wargrave. Go With The Flo Paddleboarding, run by Nick Judd, offer family paddles, night adventures, SUP pilates, group and 1:1 lessons. Having tried this sport, the bit where you look elegant is hard to achieve. But OMG I’ve never laughed so much. From £50.
Springwatch Paddle, Dinton Activity Centre, Hurst
Channel you inner Kate Humble with a dash of Helen Glover. Springwatch is taking to water at Dinton Pastures Country Park. On the 18 Apr, hop onto a paddleboard (standing or sitting) and look out for ducklings, signets and goslings, plus colourful dragonflies. Don’t worry you will be rewarded with cake. £30pp.
Re-Load Lazer Clay Shooting, Reading
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. £60 for 1hr for up to six people. Reopens on 12 Apr.
David Walliams’s Billionaire Boy Drive-In Tour, Newbury and Windsor
David Walliams’ Billionaire Boy is off on a Drive In Tour and it arrives at Newbury Racecourse (12 Apr) and Windsor Racecourse (13 Apr) this Easter. Packed with humour for the grown ups, it’s all about 12-year-old Joe, the richest boy in the country WHO receives £100,000-a-week pocket money (don’t go getting any ideas, kids). Tickets from £52. Click here for tickets.
Horrible Histories – Gorgeous Georgians and Vile Victorians, Windsor Racecourse, 22 Apr
Buckle up, kids. Drive in theatre is back and you’re travelling back in time to Georgian and Victorian times with a live stage show by Horrible Histories The production promises to uncover centuries of grisly history – and is perfect for kids with a thirst for all things awful and amusing (so that’s all kids then!!). See it at 4.30pm and 7pm, from £42. Click here to book.
Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain, Newbury Racecourse, 13 Apr
Love Horrible Histories and watch it without the kids (don’t judge, it’s hilarious). Car Park Party’s Drive In showing ofBarmy Britain is the dinner party you’d never want to host. HH bring back the dead so you get to meet all the faves from Britain’s barmy past – from Richard III to the Samuel Pepys! Tickets are selling fast at Newbury Racecourse for shows at 2pm and 5pm on 13 Apr. Tickets from £42, Click here to book.
Oldilocks and the 3 Bears, Norden Farm online, 3 Apr
(online event), Norden Farm, 3rd April 2021 and 4th April 2021, 11.30am and 2pm, Live Stream Event, £10. Click here for more information.
Berkshire’s going chocolate crazy but my top tips include The Easter Egg Trail at Basildon Park and Cliveden – zip around the stunning gardens, solve the clues and, ta-da, chocolate reward (£3 per egg); Crocus at Dorney is running a Scrambled Egg Hunt (1-18 Apr, £4 per child). No booking required, just rock up, the kids can run wild and you can ogle the Dorney Court and its starring role in Bridgerton.
Tumblestone Hollow, Stonor Park, nr Henley
As magical as Hogwarts but it comes with very necessary coffee for the spectators (in the form of the cafe at the visitor’s centre), Tumblestone Hollow is on the edge of woodland in Stonor Park and inspired by the stone circle found in the estate grounds. The wooden playground, designed for 4 to 12-year-olds, has high level walkways, climbing nets, look-out decks and bridges, all connected to a gnarled central tower. And if it couldn’t get any more magical, it comes with its own fairytale book, The Legend of Tumblestone Hollow. It opens on Fri 2 Apr, 10am-5pm and until the 18 April, tickets include a puzzle trail around Stonor’s grounds with a prize for each child. Pe-book online, From £9 (kids under 92cm free).
If your kids are sick of walks, a walk, picnic and play with an alpaca may just entice them off the sofa. How can you say no to that face?! The Walk & Picnic costs £38 (two people per booking), Picnic & Play with the alpacas – £65 (up to six people). Various times / dates available at Mortimer Alpacas. You can also book private sessions for groups / birthdays.
Wellington Country Park, Riseley
Sack the digital nanny and head outdoors to the biggest outdoor play in Berkshire. Wellington Country Park Is 350 glorious acres of fresh air and freedom. There’s a swashbuckling pirates ship, the HMS Duke of Wellington, a superb adventure play area, fun splash zone, a miniature railway, animal farm, mini golf and dinosaurs roaming (ok not roaming) the grounds. If that doesn’t tire them out, reading the list of activities should do it.
If you’re still up for another walk, spring is a lovely time of year to get out and about. Load up on vitamin D and step away from the screen. It can be an assault on the senses – vivid colour, fresh scent and an early bout of hayfever. See the best displays of blossom; pretty picnic spots and the best strolls that pass a coffee shop.
You have to hand it to Legoland for continuing to come up with ways to sell the Lego dream to under-10s in ever-inventive new ways. This year’s attraction is Mythica – a brand new world in a parallel universe (including three new rides), where LEGO creatures come to life. It doesn’t open until 29 May, so you’ll have to make do with Ninjago World, DUPLO Dino Coaster , Haunted House Monster Pasty, Lego Miniland, which took three years to complete and all the other favourites. Opens 12 April.
Thorpe Park, Chertsey
This theme park is catnip to thrill-seeking teens with the Saw – The Ride, Nemesis and The Walk Dead rides upping the fear factor. New for spring 2021 is the Black Mirror Labyrinth – a twisted, sensory-defying maze that puts you at the core of the Black Mirror universe and it wants to keep you there. Gulp. Tickets from £35.
For wild animals that aren’t of your own creation, head to Longleat for the zoo’s drive-through safari. It’s ideal for social distancing (just watch out for the monkeys – they have been known to steal sandwiches) and is guaranteed to captivate the kids for an afternoon thanks to the tigers, rhinos, zebras and lions. Booking essential.
Warwick Castle, Warks
Warwick Castle and the Knight’s Village will be reopening on the 12 Apr with some serious chain-mailage. It’s al fresco only for the time being but there’s plenty to see and do, including an exciting new 3D interactive trail starring Zog the lovable dragon – brand new for 2021. Tickets from £17.
Dennis & Gnashers Big Bonanza, Kew Gardens, London, 31 Mar-18 Apr
Run free my pretties but watch out for the plants and pranks. To celebrate Dennis the Menace’s birthday, a brand new comic strip has been created for Jew and an interactive story trail around the Gardens.