Follow an Easter trail or hunt for eggs
If you’re looking for a freebie – and followed Winchester BID’s Spooky Winch Word Hunt and Christmas Gingerbread Trail – families will love the Bunny Hop Trail, which runs from Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 April. Collect a trail sheet from the visitor information centre on the ground floor of The Guildhall, The Arc on Jewry Street, Winchester City Museum in The Square or download a copy here and explore the city to find the nine Easter-themed words. Return your completed sheet to receive an Easter treat and be entered in to the prize draw to win an Easter-inspired hamper.
Journey outside the city to Gilbert White’s House and Gardens in Selborne to enjoy their Garden Birds Egg Hunt, which runs from Saturday 2 to Sunday 24 April. Find ten eggs hidden around the garden while learning about native birds and their nesting habits, and spot the odd one out to claim a chocolate egg.
Visit Hinton Ampner country house, near Alresford, for their Easter egg hunt from Saturday 9 to Sunday 24 April. Pick up a trail pack and complete activities at ten points throughout the gardens and grounds, record your journey and collect a chocolate treat at the end. Plus, celebrate the return of cherry blossom across the estate, March through to May. Alternatively, if you have a dog take them for a walk and admire the flowers of Chawton House from Wednesday 13 to Sunday 24 April as you follow their Easter egg trail. Find all the eggs and collect a prize at the end.
From Friday 15 to Monday 18 April follow The Great Easter Bonnet Hunt through Jane Austen’s House and cottage gardens in Chawton to bring you closer to an Easter treat. After you’ve found them design your own bonnet for the Bonnet Wall of Fame! You can also download the bonnet sheet to colour in and get crafty at home!
Or visit Bishop’s Waltham from Saturday 16 to Friday 22 April for their Where’s Henry Trail, as part of the market town’s celebrations marking 500 years since Henry VIII visited to sign the Treaty of Waltham. Pick up a trail sheet and explore the town to find 20 models of Henry VIII ‘hidden’ in shop windows, answer each model’s question, complete the sheet to receive a badge and sweet treat. All correct answers will be entered in to a prize draw, with the three winners of two tickets each to the town’s two-day Tudor Experience in July, announced on Saturday 23 April. Click here for more.
Have a T-Rexcellent Easter!
From Friday 1 April until Sunday 4 September Marwell Zoo plays host to more than just giraffe and rhino with 55 giant dinosaur sculptures popping up as part of BRICKOSAURS! Evolution. This world-first event features over 20 species of dinosaur and uses more than 2 million toy bricks. Look out for dinosaur facts and build stats, a fossil zone and plenty of photo opportunities including a giant dinosaur egg.
Step back in time…
On Saturday 9, Sunday 10 and Friday 15 to Monday 18 April the Watercress Line, at Alresford, comes to life for ‘Fun On The Line In ’39’. Characters at each station will share stories about the role the railway played during World War II. From the station master whose garden contributed to the war effort to the female volunteers who made sure that child passengers had their evacuee tags. Enjoy unlimited train travel throughout the day and more.
See a show!
A number of attractions across the district have exciting shows to enjoy this month, including Winchester Science Centre and Planetarium. Planet Protectors, running until Sunday 8 May, looks back at how sustainable fashion became a hot topic in the noughties when fashion designers and scientists teamed up to create sustainable fabrics. Alternative fuels were used to manufacture and ship clothes and people became aware of the waste from fast fashion.
Theatre Royal Winchester has shows for kids and their parents. On Monday 11 April little ones will enjoy Sooty’s Magic Show with impossible magic tricks and jokes. On Tuesday 12 April the two brothers, the Mr P’s, bring to the stage their award-winning education podcast – Two Mr P’s in a Podcast. In this live show they share funny stories from the frontline of teaching and reminisce about their own school days. Finally, from Monday 18 to Wednesday 20 April, the Olivier-award nominated musical play, The Tiger Who Came to Tea – based on the beloved children’s book by Judith Kerr – returns. Sophie and her mum are sitting down to tea when a tiger rings their doorbell! Expect magic, sing-along songs and chaos.
The Arc, next door to the theatre, plays host to Little Red Riding Hood on Monday 18 April. A magical wardrobe opens up a path to a snowy wood for a fun adventure for children aged 3 – 8, with songs and puppets. Click here to watch a trailer. Or to enjoy another well-known story, visit Gilbert White’s House on Tuesday 19 April for The Mad Hatter’s Picnic Party. Enjoy a performance based on the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland while tucking in to a BYO picnic lunch. Follow Alice through the gardens before taking your seat to watch and interact with the characters as the story unfolds around them. Includes live music, singing and audience interaction. Plus, children visiting the house on Wednesday 20 April can sit down for story telling session, Wildflowers for the Zig Zag Path. Gilbert’s aunt is planning a birthday surprise for her nephew by planting flowers on the path. Help her identify the plants and animals he describes.
Step outside to enjoy the fresh air
On Saturday 23 April join Chawton House’s photographer Claire Lewis for a Spring Flowers Photography Workshop for parents and their children aged 10+. Ideal for all abilities, bring a camera (digital, analogue, smartphone, iPad) and capture stunning images of Spring flowers in the gardens. Includes a light lunch. Or learn about the amphibians and reptiles you might find in your garden and come face to face with live creatures with a Family Talk and Pond Dipping at Gilbert White’s House, also Saturday 23 April.
Be reminded of the Easter story
Winchester Cathedral is hosting a series of Holy Week and Easter services starting on Sunday 10 April with a Palm Sunday Procession departing from Winchester Castle outside The Great Hall to Winchester Cathedral, with a donkey, palms and hymns. On Sunday 17 April, celebrate Easter Sunday with the story of Jesus’ Resurrection. All principle services will be streamed online so that people from around the world can join in.
Whatever you do make sure to stop for a bite to eat. Winchester is packed with independent coffee shops and restaurants serving up delicious snacks and meals. Enjoy stacks of pancakes, burgers and thick shakes at Josie’s on Jewry Street, fish and chips and gelato from Shoal on the ground floor of the Guildhall, comically named pies from Piecaramba on Parchment Street and many more. For more inspiration, click here.