The Easter bunny is coming and it's time to hunt down some chocolate to make up for all the treats you, (ahem), didn't eat during Lent!
Combine a great Easter break in Ireland with some cracking family fun at one of the many egg-citing events around the country. Here are ten great Easter activities - but hop to www.discoverireland.ie/whatson to check out lots more Easter action!
1. Join the Big Egg Hunt in Dublin!
For a cracking good time join the Big Egg Hunt 2013 in Dublin (running until March 15th). Explore the city and search for 100 uniquely crafted, two-and-a-half-foot high, fibre glass eggs designed and ‘laid’ by leading artists and celebrities around the city. Egg hunters get an ‘i-spy’ book, with maps and clues to help in their quest. On March 15th all the eggs will be gathered and put on display before being auctioned. If you find 20 or more you enter a draw for a giant chocolate egg – with a pair of diamond earrings inside! All proceeds to The Jack & Jill Foundation www.thebigegghunt.ie.
2. Munch in Mullingar!
Go hunt for an egg - or three! – at historic Belvedere House in Mullingar, Co Westmeath, (March 31st and April 1st). With three different egg trails through its 160 acres of glorious park and woodland, there’s one to suit kids of all ages. The Easter Bunny will be on hand to give out prizes and the little ones will adore a visit to the Easter Chick Farm! www.belvederehouse.ie.
3. Have an eggs-citing Easter in Mayo!
Westport House in Co. Mayo has an eggs-citing line up of Easter events! This year sees the return of an old favourite who was a feature of the house from the 1960’s to the 1990’s, Pinkie Rabbit! He will lead the Easter Egg Treasure Hunt on Easter Sunday, with hundreds of eggs and great spot prizes. Visit the Pirate Adventure Park on the grounds after! www.westporthouse.ie.
4. Go on Egg Watch In Wexford!
Take a trip back in time and join the Big Easter Egg Hunt at the Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford (March 29th and 30th). Young and old are invited to roam ancient dwellings looking for clues to where the chocolate is stashed! You can explore the history of Irish life over 9,000 years and see how people lived, worshipped and buried their dead www.inhp.com.
5. Easter frolics in Ardagh!
Easter fun and frolics are promised for all the family at Creative Ardagh at Ardagh Heritage and Creativity Centre in Co. Longford (March 20th – April 1st). As well as an Easter egg hunt in the woods, the Easter themed arts and crafts workshop will keep the little ones happy! Ardagh is a beautiful picturesque stone walled village and well worth exploring www.creativeardagh.blogspot.ie.
6. Have a cracking time in Clare!
Combine some adventure with serious Easter egg hunting at Nevsail’s Watersports and Rock Climbing Centre in Kilkee, Co. Clare (March 30th) with lots of spot prizes including free watersports lessons, www.nevsailwatersports.com. At the Craggaunowen 'The Living Past Expierence' in Bunratty, Shannon Heritage has organised lots of Easter Sunday fun with bouncy castles, Easter chicks and real live bunnies distributing yummy eggs! www.shannonheritage.com.
7. Have an egg-ceptional time in Kilkenny!
Seek out lots of chocolate treasures during the Easter Egg Hunt at one of Kilkenny's most beautiful settings, the Nore Valley Park, (March 23rd and March 25th). Visit the Pet Farm and see adorable real life rabbits, lambs, chickens, ducks, deer, ostriches, and ponies. Mums and dads can have a tea or coffee and home baked treats from the farm shop www.norevalleypark.com.
8. Have a crafty Easter in Kerry!
Come to the Kingdom for Easter fun at one of Ireland’s biggest children’s events, Tír na nÓg in Tralee, (March 29th – April 1st). There will be lots of family friendly entertainment including a funfair, a teddy bear’s picnic and an Easter Bonny Baby competition. Also in Tralee the annual Arty Bits Easter Craft Fair on Easter Sunday features an Easter Egg Hunt and crafts for children, all free of charge! www.tralee.ie.
9. Laugh it up in Co. Louth!
For pure ‘poultry in motion’, don’t miss the National Poultry Races in Carlingford, Co. Louth, (April 1st). While it takes place on April Fool’s Day this is no joke! Anything that lays an egg is eligible to take part – and children are required to shoo the birds to the finish line. The races include the Scrambled Egg Stakes, guaranteed to crack you up! www.carlingfordandmourne.com
10. Hop-along in Galway
The secret walled garden of Kylemore Abbey in Co. Galway is the perfect place for the Easter bunny to hide its eggs, (March 30th)! Let the kids hunt through six magical acres for chocolate prizes while grown-ups hop along to the tea house for their treats! www.kylemoreabbeytourism.ie. In Galway City there will be also be lots of chocolate to be discovered at the Galway Food Festival (March 28th – April 1st) www.galwayfoodfestival.com.
Whatever you’re into, have a cracking good time this Easter with www.discoverireland.ie/whatson.