Top ten things to do for Easter 2012

Family activities throughout the Easter holidays, featuring Galoshins, The Gruffalo and more

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Top ten things to do for Easter 2012

Travel in time

Galoshins
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

Mini Scientists
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

The Gruffalo
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

James Campbell's Comedy 4 Kids

The master of kids' comedy presents a show packed with proper laughs, without the rude bits. For ages 6+.

The Gruffalo

Hugely successful theatre version of Julia Donaldson's clever and colourful book about a resourceful mouse and, of course, the terrible Gruffalo. Expect a dancing fox, a moustachioed snake and plenty of other interesting animals.

Cadbury Easter Egg Trail

Children's entertainment and an exciting Easter trail with chocolate eggs and prizes to be won at the end.

Galoshins

Sokobauno Theatre, aka Alasdair Roberts and Shane Connolly, performs Galoshins, a traditional Scots mumming play from Fife, with sword fighting and miracles aplenty. Ages 5+.

Mini Scientists

A chance for kids to try out life as a medical research scientist, examining DNA, building cells and even creating viruses. Ages 7+.

Real-life Science Kitchen

Interactive cooking demos from top chefs and leading scientists, with the opportunity to ask questions as they cook. Ages 8+. Part of Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Puppets! Puppets! Puppets!

Join the Puppet-Stew crew for some creative school holiday fun. Booking is essential.

Almond Valley Heritage Centre

Millfield, Livingston Mill Farm, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7AR

A family-friendly museum on a peaceful riverside site, with woods and fields extending for almost a mile. The traditional farm buildings and working watermill are home to many friendly farm animals, including highland cattle, rare breed sheep, and…

Glasgow Science Centre

50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow, G51 1EA

Situated on the site of the 1988 Garden Festival, Glasgow's £75 million Science Centre features hundreds of interactive exhibits. It also includes the ScottishPower Planetarium, Science Show Theatre, Climate Change Theatre and the 127m Glasgow Tower.

Lauriston Castle

2a Cramond Road South, Edinburgh, EH4 5QD

The 16th century tower house of Lauriston Castle looks over the Firth of Forth from its beautiful manicured gardens, which include the Japanese garden and several croquet courts. A number of events are held at the castle throughout the year, including…

National Mining Museum Scotland

Lady Victoria Colliery, Newtongrange, Midlothian, EH22 4QN

Just nine miles outside Edinburgh stands the Scottish Mining Museum at Newtongrange. The museum includes massive machinery exhibits, a hands-on operations centre as well as interactive displays, reconstructions, sound and visuals to describe the history…

Traquair House

Innerleithen, Scottish Borders, EH44 6PW

The oldest continually occupied castle in the UK, Traquair House, home to heirs of Scottish Kings, was built around 1107. It is home to the Traquair House Brewery and stages regular events such as medieval fairs, as well as offering accommodation for…

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