If you were hoping the start of the Easter school holidays would signal an immediate chocolate-fest think again… there’s an entire two weeks to fill before Easter Sunday. So it’s a good job that we are on-hand to give you some ideas for Easter fun in the build up to official egg eating (and some of it involves chocolatey treats anyway)…
Heritage site activities
Our heritage sites are throwing themselves into the Easter holidays with events exploring history, commemorating anniversaries and offering a chance to get creative.
Lincoln Castle is celebrating its third birthday since the major refurbishment with a Castle Fool’s Day on April 1-2.
Peterken the Fool is heading along to provide entertainment for families, and costumed characters will tell tales in the Victorian prison. Peterken will be performing at 11.30am, 2pm and 3.30pm. The event runs from 10am-4.30pm. Free admission to the castle grounds. Normal admission applies for the castle attractions.
Every day of the school holidays, younger visitors can also take on the challenge of the Easter Quest – see pages 2-3.
Eleven-year-old Jack Bowles from the Southdown Sheep Society will also be arriving with his Easter lambs and sheep, with the chance for attraction ticket holders to say hello. The Easter lambs and sheep will be at the castle on Sundays, April 2, 9 and 16.
The first of the new Early Morning Explorers Sessions at the castle will take place on April 8. Families with young children with autism can explore the site an hour before opening, when it will be adapted to create a more suitable environment.
To find out more, visit.
Visitors to The Collection around the corner can enjoy an Egyptian Easter during the holidays with a trail and craft activities taking place throughout the museum and rarely displayed Egyptian artefacts in the Orientation Hall. Trail maps cost £2.
On April 4, keen archaeologists can examine ancient Egyptian treasures that are only fit for a Pharaoh, in a special family activity day. The event takes place from 10am to 3.30pm with small charges for craft activities. More details here.
The Museum of Lincolnshire Life will be holding a magical day of craft activities based around fairytale forests on April 6 and 7. Visitors can create their own jewelled trees, fairies, trolls and other woodland creatures. Join in from 10am to 3.30pm – free admission, charges for craft activities. Visit.
Ever fancied getting up close to a Hurricane, Spitfire or the UK’s only flying Lancaster? Visitors to the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight can experience the historic aircraft at RAF Coningsby throughout the holidays. Visit.
Otherwise, if you fancy yourself as a spy, Gainsborough Old Hall will be hosting a special trail from April 1-17. Younger visitors can test their skills and try to crack the code to find the missing treasure. Prizes will be given to all successful code breakers. The trail is included with normal admission.
The Old Hall will also be hosting two sessions of the Friday Fun Club over the holidays on April 7 and 14, with printing and lantern making. Its free entry to the craft room, with a cost of £1 per craft. Find out more at here.
BBC Get Creative Weekend
As part of the nationwide BBC Get Creative Weekend, artsNK is offering free, family friendly arts activities at the Nettles Green Space in Sleaford on Saturday, April 8.
People of all ages are encouraged to head along to try creative activities including willow-weaving and cyanotype printing (creating photo prints using the light of the sun). Drop in between 11am to 1pm to have a go at making a willow fish or creating your own print using natural materials.
The event will also celebrate the launch of a map for the new ‘When in Sleaford…’ arts and heritage trail, which features 18 detailed cast bronze roundels inspired by Sleaford’s heritage. These trail artworks act as way-markers, mapping out pathways through and around the town, and leading to existing public artworks, historical sites and green spaces (including The Nettles).
Families can complete a sticker trail and, for this day only, children who collect all the stickers for the trail by 4pm will be rewarded with a prize of sweets. Maps and stickers are available to collect from The National Centre for Craft and Design, Cogglesford Mill, Sleaford Museum and Navigation House.
In case of bad weather activities will move to Unit 9, Navigation Yard (by NCCD). Event time: 11am-1pm. Free event. The Nettles Green Space (adjacent to Sleaford Leisure Centre, along the riverside path to Cogglesford Mill).
National Centre for Craft and Design
If you are looking for a place to let young imaginations run free this Easter holiday, the National Centre for Craft and Design in Sleaford has arranged a wide range of activities for all the family.
Over the two-week break there will be a series of exclusive 3D printing pen workshops with artist Grace Du Prez. On Saturday, April 8 Grace will be performing a free live demonstration in the Main Gallery, creating an artwork to be displayed in the 3D printing exhibition. On Sunday, April 9, Grace will be leading a 3D printing pen millinery workshop and a session for budding artists and designers on Monday, April 10.
Ceramicist Kate McBride also returns over the holiday with her popular workshops where you can either decorate cafe crockery in a free drop-in session on Monday, April 17, or pay a small fee and decorate your own crockery to take home on Saturdays, April 1 and 15.
On Tuesday, April 11 a family workshop Play Patches is inviting everyone to take in or wear clothes with small holes in and then make some fun patches to repair them in the session.
Throughout the duration of the Easter holidays 3D MakerBot from the University of Lincoln will be in attendance, head along and see 3D objects printed, handle them and even take some home.
And if you don’t already feel inspired enough to join in, 3D printing pen company 3Doodler have donated a 3D printing pen kit as a giveaway to one lucky workshop participant. So everyone who takes part in one of Grace Du Prez’s jewellery, millinery or young people’s workshops will be entered into a prize draw to win this prize.
For more information or to book onto a workshop call 01529 308710.
Free events with Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project
Children can get involved in putting on their own play as part of free events being run by the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project for all ages over the Easter holidays.
On April 4 (10am to 3pm) youngsters can put on a ‘Play in a Day’ at North Thoresby. In the morning, experienced theatre staff will work with children to take on the parts of different characters in a specially-written tale about life on a chalk streams. In the afternoon, the children will perform their play in front of families.
April 11 (10am to 2pm) sees a community activity day at Belchford playing field. The event has been organised to help local residents improve the habitat of the River Waring for water voles, otters and other wildlife species which depend on healthy chalk stream habitats. This event will be led by Will Bartle, monitoring officer, who says: “Wildlife such as water voles are under threat nationally and depend on healthy streams and rivers for their survival. This community day will involve tackling bankside vegetation that over-shades the stream and stream dipping to check for water quality.”
Youngsters will be enthralled by Rhubarb Theatre’s tale of creatures living on a chalk stream at a story telling morning for children in Horncastle on April 12 (10am-11.30am). The story will be followed by a crafting session.
Booking essential for events. Visit or call 01522 555780.
Make and create at Hartsholme
As well as the Easter Egg Hunt at Hartsholme Country Park (see pages 2-3), the Lincoln venue will also host events for youngsters to have a go at making Bottle Rockets (April 4, 1pm-2.30pm, £3.50), Kite Making (April 6, 1pm-2.30pm, £3.50), and Lantern Making (April 13, 1pm-2.30pm, £3.50). There is also a chance to join in some Easter Crafts on April 11 (1pm-2.30pm, £3.50). Get creative with a workshop to make anything from an Easter bonnet to an egg decoration to hang at home. All children must be accompanied by an adult. This activity is aimed at children aged 4 to 13 years. Visitor Centre, Hartsholme Country Park, Skellingthorpe Road, Lincoln. Booking essential, call 01522 873735.
Craft activities inspired by ‘Treasures’ of Lincolnshire have been organised by the Society for Lincolnshire History and Archaeology. You can join in at Market Rasen Library (Mill Road) on April 7 (10am-noon). Make a face-pot, create some jewellery and decorate a treasure box. Admission free, £1 for some activities. Children must be accompanied.
A Transport Festival on Easter Sunday, April 16, will offer you the chance to go behind the scenes at the Lincolnshire Road Transport Museum. Visitors will be able to access ‘hidden’ areas of the museum, which is home to the Lincolnshire Vintage Vehicle Society. Take a look inside the workshop and see some of the vehicles awaiting and under restoration, which are not normally on public display. Visitors will find a refreshments stand, as well as several visiting stalls.
There will also be a selection of visiting vehicles for the day – from motor cycles, cars, small commercial vehicles and large commercials, buses and coaches. Many of the museum’s own cars and buses will take to the road for the day as well. Some might even be offering rides. A number of visiting buses and coaches from around the country join in with the museum’s own fleet to offer free rides – the Easter event usually sees around 20 to 25 buses ‘in service’. Find out more at here.
Little ones can hit the dance floor this Easter as Natural World Centre gets ready to launch its new Duckling Discos for children aged 7 years and under. The first disco will take place on Friday, April 7 (2pm to 4pm downstairs in the Cygnet Suite). You can look forward to disco lights and bubble machines as well as the tunes and dancing of course. Parents can have a boogie themselves or watch and relax with refreshments available from the bar to purchase. There will also be taster sessions on the day from Precious Moments Baby Massage and Yoga and Caterpillar Music. Tickets for the disco cost £3.50 per child with free juice and biscuits. Parents go free. Booking is essential. For more information or to book contact the Natural World Centre by calling 01522 688868.
A visit from Paddington
Youngsters visiting Hildreds Shopping Centre in Skegness during the Easter break will be able to see a display featuring a life size model of Paddington Bear. Shoppers will see the famous bear with his suitcase standing alongside Henry Brown – a life-size animated story teller – who will be reading Paddington Bear stories for passersby. Once again, the Easter display has been created to help raise money for Marie Curie and can be enjoyed from Saturday, April 8 to Sunday, April 23.
Centre manager, Steve Andrews, said: “We are also putting on an Easter egg hunt with a difference, this time it will be marmalade sandwiches which are Paddington’s favourite snack. Paddington has misplaced them in the centre and would like shoppers to find them for him. They will be placed around the centre, in shop windows and on ledges in the mall, even stuck to lamp posts so visitors will have to look high and low and make a note on the special entry forms. Simply list where and how many sandwiches you find and one lucky winner will win a fantastic prize.”
As an extra treat for children visiting the display, there will be a colouring competition to win Easter goodies.
On Thursday, April 13 from 10am to 4pm another event titled Plash of Gold Art with Steve Gould will be open to all ages and is free. Steve will be in the mall painting Paddington Bear masks and helping children with other arts and crafts. For more information call 01754 764899.
Get your binoculars at the ready this Easter and follow the explorers at Whisby Nature Park as they guide you through long wavy grass and thick squelchy mud whilst you hunt for bear clues. You can join CountrysideNK as they take on you a bear hunt on Wednesday, April 5. Will you find all the clues and crack the mystery code? Walks will last around 30 to 45 minutes and will be approximately 1.3 miles long. Event time either 10.30am or 12.30pm. £4.50 per child. For more information or to book contact the Natural World Centre by calling 01522 688868.
Costumed re-enactors at the National Civil War Centre
Can you imagine Oliver Cromwell as a party animal?
Costumed re-enactors will present the character of Cromwell in a different light to what we are used to in family performances at the National Civil War Centre in Newark during the Easter holidays.
Cromwell’s reputation as a puritan and straight-laced killjoy is not accurate say the experts. Head along and see a new side to the fearsome Lord Protector, a world away from his stern, no nonsense, reputation.
Although he supplanted King Charles I as England’s supreme ruler during the 1650s, he loved dancing and was a joker who turned his daughter’s wedding into a fun-filled food fight and flicked ink at his collaborators to break the tension as they signed the monarch’s death warrant.
Setting the record straight with family performances between April 1 to 17, are Stephen Dennis and Adam Nightingale, who will take on the role of Cromwell’s best friend Edmund Ludlow.
Michael Constantine, manager of the National Civil War Centre, said: “Cromwell was a man of big contradictions and yes he clamped down on Christmas and Easter, but we know from Ludlow that he liked to drink and hunt and told some terrible puns. It’s not the stereotype puritan we are used to and in fact he’s more of a party animal.”
The performances are repeated between 11am and 3pm and are part of a fortnight of Easter activities at the centre including children’s drop-in sessions to make civil war dice, play period board games and conceal a secret message in an Easter Egg.
For full details visit. The National Civil War Centre is open 10am to 4pm daily (5pm from March 31). Entry is £8 adults, £7 concs, £3.50 children (under 5s free).
Easter at Burghley
Easter at Burghley House, based in the Georgian stone town of Stamford, sees the return of a Fine Food Market as well as the popular Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday in the Gardens of Surprise.
There will also be special craft workshops plus a chance to wander the normally closed South Gardens with their magnificent seasonal displays of spring bulbs at the Elizabethan house over coming weeks.
Based on a “trick” garden design by Elizabeth I’s closest minister, William Cecil, the first Lord Burghley, the Tudor-inspired Gardens of Surprise, which boasts more than 30 water features, becomes the setting for a family treasure hunt on Easter Sunday – with the chance of a chocolate prize from the Easter Bunny at the end. Full egg hunt listing here.
From Monday, April 3 to Friday, April 21, drop-in Easter Craft Workshops will offer visitors a chance to have a go at crafts including decorating eggs in the Sculpture Garden Classroom. Admission is free with a House and Gardens or Gardens only day ticket (2pm to 4pm Monday to Friday, excluding Good Friday and Easter Monday).
Burghley’s Fine Food Market will see traditional market stalls spring up in the cobbled courtyard, where around 30 local suppliers will be selling regional produce. Visitors will find handmade cheeses, artisan breads, organic vegetables, luxury sweet treats and rare breed meats (Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9, 10am to 4pm).
There will also be a special treat with an opportunity to wander the Private South Gardens, with its 19th century yew hedges and recently restored fountains, magnificent seasonal displays of Narcissi and spring bulbs, as well as sweeping views of the ‘Capability’ Brown designed parkland and Lion Bridge. On Saturday and Sunday, April 8-9 the gardens will be open as part of the National Gardens Scheme, but then remain open until Monday, May 1 (11am to 4pm, last admission 3.30pm). Admission included with a House and Gardens or Gardens only ticket or by donation.
For full details of opening times, all events and to book online tickets at discounted prices, visit.