Top ten things to do for Easter 2012
Family activities throughout the Easter holidays, featuring Galoshins, The Gruffalo and more
Travel in time
The Scottish Mask and Puppet Theatre resurrects the ancient Scots drama Galoshins for Easter, complete with wise magicians, beautiful princesses and courageous knights. Performed with the aid of live folk musicians, singers and traditional glove puppetry.
Scottish Mask and Puppet Centre, Glasgow, 0141 339 6185, Sat 21 Apr, scottishmaskandpuppetcentre.co.uk
Make your own chocolate treat
Real Life Science Kitchen – Food of the Gods
Skip the mass-produced supermarket fare and let the kids make their own chocolate eggs and bunnies. After learning the secrets from professional chocolatier Nadia Ellingham, they can proudly carry their sweet creations home, if they can avoid eating them on the spot. There’s a tasting session as well, which seems a bit superfluous to us – we know chocolate tastes good, right? Ages 8+. Part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, 0844 557 2686, Sun 8 Apr, rbge.org.uk
Hunt for Easter eggs
Various events around the country
There are loads of different venues offering interesting spaces for kids to crawl about and hunt eggs in. The Almond Valley Heritage Centre offers a farm, complete with cute wee spring chickens; Traquair House in Innerleithen has a genuine old-school hedge maze; and the Cadbury Easter Egg Trail takes place at historic locations across the country (including Gladstone’s Land in Edinburgh and Greenbank Garden in Glasgow), with chocolatey prizes available at the end.
Almond Valley Heritage Centre, Livingston, 01506 414957, Sat 31 Mar–Mon 16 Apr, almondvalley.co.uk; Traquair House, Innerleithen, 01896 830323, Sun 8 Apr, traquair.co.uk; Cadbury Easter Egg Trail, various venues, Fri 6–Mon 9 Apr, eastereggtrail.com
Create a living cell
A break from school is no reason to take a break from learning, as long as it’s the fun kind provided by the Edinburgh International Science Festival. Let your junior biologists enter a real medical lab to build their own cell and examine its DNA; or create a virus to see how and what diseases it may cause. They’ll also be able to make a DNA bracelet to match their eye and hair colour. Part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
City Art Centre, Edinburgh, Mon 2–Sun 14 Apr, sciencefestival.co.uk
Reach for the stars
Egg Drop Challenge
To demonstrate that Edinburgh doesn’t get all the safety-goggled fun in April, the Glasgow Science Centre is running its own Easter events with a scientific edge. The Egg Drop Challenge encourages budding physicists to construct a secure ‘pod’ for their eggs, before it’s launched from a great height. Even if the design isn’t wholly successful, there’ll still be a satisfying splat at the end.
Science Centre, Glasgow, 0141 420 5000, Sun 1–Fri 6 Apr, gsc.org.uk
Take them Downton
Junior Downton Abbey Experience
Kids get the chance to experience both sides of Edwardian life in an old country pile at this interactive drama workshop. They’ll start off by donning a servant’s apron to make biscuits and lemonade in the kitchen, before heading to the grand rooms upstairs to sample the highlife of the landed aristocracy.
Lauriston Castle, Edinburgh, 0131 529 3963, Mon 2 Apr.
Have a giggle
James Campbell’s Comedy 4 Kids
If ‘stand up comedy for kids’ sounds a tad oxymoronic to you, check out James Campbell’s performance. Designed specifically for a younger audience, it involves dancing oatcakes, badger hurdling and discussions on essential topics such as how to make parsnips interesting and why owls don’t like Easter. Adults are invited to come along and learn a funny thing or two as well. Part of Glasgow Comedy Festival.
Citizen’s Theatre, Glasgow, 0844 395 4005, Sat 31 Mar, citz.co.uk
Bring fiction to life
Funky Puppet-Making Workshop
Under the careful tuition of Puppet Stew, attendees are given access to mountains of bright, colourful, furry, fuzzy and shiny bits and bobs to create their own puppet pal. They can recreate one of their favourite TV or story characters, or just whip up something from their own wild imaginations. Part of the Puppet Animation Festival.
Various venues, Edinburgh. Mon 2–Fri 13 Apr, puppetanimationfestival.org
Get your hands dirty
National Mining Museum Scotland
A family-friendly attraction that’s absolutely free for kids, the National Mining Museum provides a compelling insight into the lives of miners in times past, with the aid of ex-miner tour guides. There’s a dedicated Kids Zone too, packed with games and activities.
Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, 0131 663 7519, nationalminingmuseum.org.uk
Meet the monster
Julia Donaldson’s most fearsome creation sets forth again this spring, challenging the bunny’s status as traditional Easter animal. The kids needn’t be worried though – that crafty mouse is sure to have a trick or two up his sleeve to keep the Gruffalo’s terrible teeth and poisonous nose wart at bay.
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, 0131 529 6000, Fri 6 & Sat 7 Apr, fctt.org.uk; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, 0844 871 7627, Thu 10–Sat 12 May, atgtickets.com/glasgow