Easter days out in Essex

PUBLISHED: 15:47 03 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:47 03 April 2017

Easter eggs hand painted on wooden background

Easter eggs hand painted on wooden background

amixstudio

Ideas to keep your little ones entertained and have a fun-packed Easter holiday for all the family

Epping & Ongar Bunny TrainEpping & Ongar Bunny Train

The key to a stress free, successful Easter holidays is keeping the kids occupied – and we’ve got lots of ideas for you whatever the weather. There are a host of activities right on your doorstep from egg hunts to crafts and cycling.

ANIMAL FARM

For budding vets, there’s the chance to feed baby lambs at Lee Valley Park where, once again, they are expecting lots of new arrivals this spring. There’s also the chance to pet some of the smaller of the park’s 300 animals, including guinea pigs, rabbits and even exotic creatures like snakes. With both an outdoor and indoor play area, playtime is weather proofed. After they’ve burned off some energy, take a trip on Tex the Tractor to the working dairy farm before heading to the Bumblebee Café for lunch and delicious homemade cakes.

Epping Ongar Railway vintage busEpping Ongar Railway vintage bus

The park is open daily from 10am to 5pm and admission is £9.50 for adults, £8.50 for children and under-twos go free.

For the perfect family day out, pack a picnic and take to one of Lee Valley’s 30 walking routes or over 20 cycling routes. If you’re keen to improve your teamwork skills, the park’s organised an Easter ‘Eggspert’ Family Orienteering Competition on April 5, giving you the chance to work together, navigating, collecting stickers and answering riddles with a certificate and prize for the winning family.

Epping Ongar Railway BunnyEpping Ongar Railway Bunny

EASTER HUNT

When it comes to Easter Egg Hunts there is a wealth of opportunities to have some fun. Lee Valley is hosting its hunt on Sunday April 16th at the Whitewater Centre in Waltham Cross.

Fabulicious Easter bakingFabulicious Easter baking

Epping Ongar Railway also has a very special Easter Egg Hunt planned, starting at Epping underground where a vintage London bus will collect you and transport you to North Weald Station to begin your journey. All children will be given a series of riddles to help them track down the 10 eggs hidden around the railway, including both stations and the length of the line, and the Easter bunny will also be on hand to help. After a busy search, kids can finish their day with a children’s disco and face painting at North Weald station.

GET ACTIVE

If you’re looking for something a little more active, Lee Valley has a range of cycling activities at the VeloPark in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Kids can choose between track cycling at the iconic velodrome to racing on the road circuit. There will also be the chance to tackle mountain bike trails and the BMX track, and little ones can put in some practice with both VeloBalance and Pedal Up! Sessions in the centre of the track.

Fabulicious Easter bakingFabulicious Easter baking

CRAFTY KIDS

For creative little hands, Queen Elizabeth’s Hunting Lodge at The View, is welcoming budding artists for an Extraordinary Eggs Arty Afternoon of Thursday April 6. This is a free event, with just a small charge for papier mache eggs, which your youngsters can transform into painted, speckled eggs.

Lee Valley baby animalsLee Valley baby animals

Then, on Monday April 17, there will be egg decorating and Easter crafts along with an Easter trail, with clues hidden along the path. The event is free and no booking in necessary.

Adventurers can join Baby Bushcraft on Friday April 21, for a morning of den making and marshmallow toasting for three to five-year-olds in Chingford, just £3.50 a child, you’ll need to book in advance.

Lee Valley baby animalsLee Valley baby animals

Fabulicious Baking School in Loughton is encouraging kids to get creative in the kitchen with a range of Easter-themed classes, from snail biscuits to carrot cake cupcakes. All classes cost £12, and are suitable for children aged over five, ingredients are provided so you just need to provide an apron and container to transport their delicious goodies home.

HOME ACTIVITIES

You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home to enjoy some Easter fun. Small children especially love an egg hunt which is easily organised whatever the weather. If the sun is out, hide eggs in your garden, and if it’s cold and wet, hide them around your home.

easter timeeaster time

Alternatively enjoy some egg painting, another quick and easily arranged activity that can keep little hands occupied for hours. Hard boil as many eggs as you need then, once cooled, encourage your little ones to get busy with paint, glitter and glue to design their own works of art.

Fabulicious Baking School

eggs for Eastereggs for Easter

Easter Biscuits, April 4, 10am - 11.30am.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes, April 6, 10am - 11.30am.

Snail Biscuits, April 7, 10am - 11.30am.

£12 per session; 251A High Road, Loughton, IG1 1AD; 020 3129 5451

'Partial top view of child kneading dough for cookies'Partial top view of child kneading dough for cookies

Easter ‘Eggspert’ Family Orienteering Competition

Wednesday April 5, 1pm - 3pm

£4.50 in advance, £5 on the day; Abbey Farmhouse, Abbey Gardens, Waltham Abbey, EN9 1XQ; To book visit www.visitleevalley.org.uk or call 03000 030610

Extraordinary Eggs Arty Afternoon

6 April 2pm–4 pm

The View, 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH

FREE (papier mache eggs cost 35p to 75p each)

The London & Essex Railway Easter Egg Hunt

April 14-17, 9.45am - 4.35pm

North Weald Station, Station Road, North Weald, CM16 6BT

Ongar Station, Station Approach, Ongar, CM5 9BN

Visit www.eorailway.co.uk or call 01277 365200

Advance tickets: £13 for adults, £7 children, £34 for family. On the day: Adults £15, Children £8 and family £39

Easter Fun

April 17, 1pm - 4pm

The View, 6 Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH

Egg decorating, crafts and an Easter Trail. Also egg rolling at 2pm.

FREE (hard boiled eggs cost £2 each). No booking required.

Baby Bushcraft

Friday April 21, 10am to noon.

Connaught Tennis Club car park, off Rangers Road, Chingford, E4 7QH

Den making and marshmallow toasting for three to five-year-olds. All children must be supervised by an adult. Please dress for weather.

£3.50 per child. Booking required, call 020 7332 1911

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