Days out in Kent this Easter holiday, including egg hunts, nature trails, spring gardens and outdoor theatre

by My Kent Family reporter

Whether you’re looking for ways to keep the kids entertained or just want to get out and about during the Easter holidays, we’ve got you covered with some great ideas for the whole family…

Enjoy family time together this Easter. Picture: iStock
Enjoy family time together this Easter. Picture: iStock

Barn Farm Shop, Canterbury

Getting to grips with nature this Easter. The fresh foraging experience at Canterbury’s Barn Farm Shop helps visitors explore a more eco-friendly approach to food with a wildlife walk. Expect to leave with a helping of hand-picked ingredients such as herbs, salad greens and edible flowers, all under the guidance of an experienced forager. The group will return to the farm shop, where you can add to your fresh food with local produce from the store.

The foraging experience takes place on Saturday, April 16 from 10am to 12pm. Tickets start from £20 per adult and must be pre-booked by emailing forthandforage@gmail.com.

The Beaney, Canterbury

Discover mythical dragons and hidden treasure with The Beaney’s egg hunt. Visitors will be able to search the building high and low on the hunt for dragon eggs, as well as checking out the museum’s art and history exhibitions along the way. As you dig around for dragon eggs, you might just find a few tasty treasures of your own to take home…

The dragon egg hunt is at The Beaney from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, April 17, from 10am to 5pm. The museum is closed on Mondays. Prices start from £2.50 per trail.

Kent Mining Museum opens this spring. Picture: Betteshanger Park / Pillory Barn
Kent Mining Museum opens this spring. Picture: Betteshanger Park / Pillory Barn

Betteshanger Country Park, Deal

It’s been years in the making, but the Kent Mining Museum finally opens to the public this Easter. The museum, built on the former Betteshanger Colliery site, will display a unique collection from the East Kent coalfield community and demonstrate the history of British mining. The museum’s interactive underground space, which opens with Pride & Protest: Art and the Unions exhibition, even shows visitors what it was really like to mine below the earth’s surface. There will also be a host of activities running throughout the school holidays, including drama sessions, poetry and craft workshops and Meet a Miner talks.

The museum opens on Saturday, April 2 and will be open every day from 10am throughout the Easter holidays, except opening day when the public are welcome from 1pm. Tickets start from £3.50 per vehicle. Book online here.

Children can take part in indoor and outdoor trails at Bluewater this Easter. Picture: Supplied by Bluewater
Children can take part in indoor and outdoor trails at Bluewater this Easter. Picture: Supplied by Bluewater

Bluewater, Dartford

When the kids start complaining about being dragged to the shops, you can easily cheer them up with Bluewater's Burrowing Bunnies Easter trail. There will be eight bunnies hidden around the shopping centre, and families can follow the free trail map to help find them all. Once the furry friends have all been found, you can collect your well-deserved Easter treat. If it's a sunny day, you can also head outside and follow Bluewater's Very Hungry Caterpillar nature trail, with audio recordings which tell the story along the way.

The Burrowing Bunnies trail will be open from Friday, April 1 to Monday, April 18. The trail is free and no pre-booking is needed.

The Easter trail takes visitors through Brogdale's spring orchards. Picture: Brogdale (55632019)
The Easter trail takes visitors through Brogdale's spring orchards. Picture: Brogdale (55632019)

Brogdale, Faversham

Spend your Easter weekend strolling through the beautiful orchards at Brogdale. Grab your map and worksheet and follow the Easter egg trail to find the hidden Easter letters, which will be hanging in and around the flowering fruit trees. The blooming springtime blossoms in the orchards bring with them birds and insects, so expect plenty of seasonal British wildlife - and perhaps even an Easter bunny.

The Easter egg hunt takes place from Friday, April 15 to Sunday, April 17 from 10am to 12pm and 1pm to 3pm. Adult tickets start from £6. Book online here.

Central Theatre, Chatham

Keep the kids entertained during the school holidays with a trip to the theatre. Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and all their fairytale friends are back, and this time they’re hitting the stage in Shrek the Musical. Join the lovable green ogre for this spectacular show, based on DreamWorks’ 2001 blockbuster and including the film’s trademark humour and catchy songs, that will have audiences of all ages on their feet.

Shrek the Musical is at the Central Theatre from Thursday, April 7 to Saturday, April 9. Adult tickets cost £18.50. Book online here or call 01634 338 338.

From food and drink to children's activities, there's so much to do during the Easter school holidays. Picture: iStock
From food and drink to children's activities, there's so much to do during the Easter school holidays. Picture: iStock

Chatham Dockside Outlet Centre, Chatham

Get your hands on some Easter prizes at this fun-filled outdoor event. The outlet shopping centre will be transformed into a fair of food stalls, craft stalls, funfair rides and a licensed bar, as well as their usual offering of discount shops and delicious restaurants. There will be an Easter egg hunt for the whole family to enjoy, with prizes for both the kids and adults.

The Easter egg hunt takes place from Friday, April 15 to Monday, April 18. No booking needed.

Chiddingstone Castle is a great day out when the sun shines. Picture: Darryl Curcher Photography
Chiddingstone Castle is a great day out when the sun shines. Picture: Darryl Curcher Photography

Chiddingstone Castle, Sevenoaks

This year, Chiddingstone Castle welcomes a brand new theatre programme to entertain visitors in the picturesque castle grounds. Working with the Walking Theatre Company, the castle will host a series of family-friendly interactive theatre shows, including productions of the White Rabbit’s Wonderland Adventure and Treasure Island. Audiences will be guided along a gentle walking route through the gardens to explore the grounds while being thoroughly enthralled in live theatre for a truly unique and immersive experience.

The White Rabbit’s Wonderland is showing on Sunday, April 17 and Monday, April 18 at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Treasure Island is showing on Tuesday, April 19 at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Adult tickets start from £22 for adults. Book online here.

Take part in the Doddington Place egg hunt. Picture: Alan Langley
Take part in the Doddington Place egg hunt. Picture: Alan Langley

Doddington Place Gardens, Sittingbourne

Help raise money for a good cause this Easter with Demelza. The children’s hospice will be hosting an egg hunt among the gardens of Doddington Place, and each child’s ticket includes a special gift to take home. Once you’ve found all of Cotton Tail’s friends hidden around the gardens, you can enjoy a number of family activities, stalls and refreshments.

The Easter egg hunt takes place on Friday, April 15 from 1pm to 3pm. Adult tickets cost £1. Book online here.

A half term Easter quest at Dover Castle. Picture: English Heritage
A half term Easter quest at Dover Castle. Picture: English Heritage

Dover Castle

Explore the secrets of the historic Dover Castle with a special Easter Adventure Quest. This beautiful English Heritage site is hosting an exciting trail where visitors can undertake missions and answer questions to win themselves a chocolate egg, all the while learning about the castle and its past. There will be games, quizzes and treats for the whole family to enjoy.

The Easter Adventure Quest takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, April 24 from 10am to 5pm. The quest costs £2 in addition to the standard entry price. Book online here.

Take part in the National Trust nature trail at Emmetts Garden. National Trust / James Dobson
Take part in the National Trust nature trail at Emmetts Garden. National Trust / James Dobson

Emmetts Garden, Sevenoaks

The new Easter trail is here for spring for visitors to spot signs of new life at Emmetts Garden. The trail shows off the area’s natural wildlife, with a hunt for footprints from the creatures living in the garden and a bug hotel with tips on how to make your own at home. The trail should inspire you to spend more time in the great outdoors but, if not, at least you’ll get a chocolate egg out of it.

The Easter trail takes place from Monday, April 4 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 4.30pm. The trail costs £3 in addition to the standard entry price. Book online here.

Godmersham and Crundale Village Hall, Ashford

Grab the popcorn and settle down for an afternoon in front of the big screen. Peter Rabbit, the 2018 film starring James Corden as a rebellious rabbit who protects his family from the grumpy farmer, will be screened courtesy of the Roaming Cinema Company. Afterwards, film fans can venture outside and find their very own Easter bunny as they hunt for chocolate treats.

Peter Rabbit is being shown on Sunday, April 3 from 2pm to 5pm. Tickets start from £11.25. Book online here.

Children can explore the adventure playground this spring. Picture: Groombridge Place
Children can explore the adventure playground this spring. Picture: Groombridge Place

Groombridge Place, Tunbridge Wells

Figure out the clues and win a sweet treat with the help of Groombridge Place’s giant rabbits. Once you find the rabbits and solve the puzzle, you can tuck into your prize while exploring the rest of the estate, including children’s play area, enchanted forest, bird of prey displays, canal boat rides and, as long as the sun is shining, a tasty outdoor BBQ.

The Easter egg hunt takes place from Thursday, March 31 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 5pm. Adult tickets start from £8.95. Book online here.

Spring is in bloom at Hever Castle. Picture: Vikki Rimmer
Spring is in bloom at Hever Castle. Picture: Vikki Rimmer

Hever Castle, Sevenoaks

If you’re looking for a full day of activities to keep the whole family busy, Hever Castle has got you covered. From the colourful carrot trail through the castle grounds to the traditional Easter egg hunt (including dairy-free options), the seasonal schedule is bursting with things to do. There are also free craft workshops, audio-guided castle tours, blossoming spring gardens, woodland walks and a gift shop stocked with Easter goodies - enough to wear you out until Christmas!

Easter activities take place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 11am to 5pm. Adult tickets start from £16.35. Book online here.

Dino Days return to the Hop Farm Family Park this Easter. Picture: Hop Farm
Dino Days return to the Hop Farm Family Park this Easter. Picture: Hop Farm

The Hop Farm Family Park, Tonbridge

There's lots of outdoor fun to be had at the Hop Farm Family Park. If you feel like being playful, you can let loose in the adventure play park or with a round of crazy golf, or simply burn off your energy following the Easter trail over the bank holiday weekend. Take a break from all the activity to visit the animals, including donkeys, llamas, alpacas and rabbits, as well as the adorable spring lambs and piglets. The park also sees the return of Dino Days this April, where you can get up close and personal to the prehistoric creatures.

Easter activities take place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 4.30pm. Adult tickets cost £4. Book online here.

Enjoy Easter activities with the National Trust trail at Ightham Mote. Picture: National Trust / James Dobson
Enjoy Easter activities with the National Trust trail at Ightham Mote. Picture: National Trust / James Dobson

Ightham Mote, near Sevenoaks

If you fancy a spot of fresh air during the school holidays, a trip to Ightham Mote could be just the ticket. With fish swimming in the moat and an outdoor play area teeming with local wildlife, your children can get lost in nature. The Easter trail includes butterfly-spotting, story writing, weather watching and a chocolate egg for each adventurer who takes part.

The Easter nature trail takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 11am to 5pm. The trail costs £3 in addition to the standard entry price. Book online here.

Easter activities at Kent Life include meeting the animals. Picture: Matthew Walker
Easter activities at Kent Life include meeting the animals. Picture: Matthew Walker

Kent Life, Maidstone

Get creative at Kent Life’s Paint-a-Pot studio, just in time to make the perfect Easter gift. You can also catch an Easter show inside the Big Top, join the Easter bunny’s egg hunt and visit the baby animals born on the farm this spring. Don’t forget to take home your hand-painted pot as a memento of the day!

Easter activities take place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 5pm. Adult tickets start from £12. Book online here.

Leeds Castle has plenty to keep you busy in April. Picture: Visit Kent
Leeds Castle has plenty to keep you busy in April. Picture: Visit Kent

Leeds Castles, Maidstone

This April, Leeds Castle invites visitors to marvel at its magnificent birds. You can follow the Easter nest trail, where you can discover six giant bird nests and find out more about the birds that live in them, all in pursuit of a tasty chocolate egg. You can also head over to the falconry area to watch the daily birds of prey display, which is sure to thrill both adults and children, or walk through the spring gardens to see the birds and other natural wildlife living in the castle grounds. For those who aren't so interested in finding feathered friends, you can always visit the castle itself, which has been transported back to the 1930s and tells tales of the decade's most glamourous parties.

The Easter trail takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 6pm. The trail costs £2 in addition to the standard entry cost. The falconry displays take place daily at 2pm. Step Into the 1930s is open daily from Wednesday, April 13 from 10am to 4.30pm. Book online here.

Meet a host of Easter characters at Lullingstone Castle. Picture: Alan Graham
Meet a host of Easter characters at Lullingstone Castle. Picture: Alan Graham

Lullingstone Castle, Dartford

Bring your best trivia brain for the Easter quiz at Lullingstone Castle. Visitors can explore the World Garden and castle grounds, where green-fingered guests will find an array of unique plants and flowers, to find clues, answer questions and spot Easter characters - all in exchange for a surprise gift at the end.

The Easter quiz takes place from Saturday, April 16 to Monay, April 18 from 11am to 5pm. Adult tickets cost £10. No pre-booking is required.

Watch out as dinosaurs take over the streets of Maidstone. Picture: One Maidstone
Watch out as dinosaurs take over the streets of Maidstone. Picture: One Maidstone

Maidstone town centre

If you've got a budding paleontologist or Jurassic Park fan in your family, you might want to pay a visit to Maidstone. There will be a dino egg hunt taking place throughout the school holidays, with a whopping 20 eggs to find. Each egg holds a clue and if you crack it - the clue, that is, not the egg - then you can grab a prize from the Maidstone Museum. There will also be animatronic dinosaurs based at the Mall and Fremlin Walk, but watch out - if the films have taught us anything, it's that dinosaurs have a habit of breaking loose...

The dino egg hunt takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Saturday, April 16. The animatronic dinosaurs will be in town on Saturday, April 9. No pre-booking needed.

Margate Caves reopened in 2019 and is welcoming guests this Easter. Picture: Margate Caves
Margate Caves reopened in 2019 and is welcoming guests this Easter. Picture: Margate Caves

Margate Caves, Thanet

Delve deep underground and explore the hidden wildlife of the Margate Caves. The caves, which began welcoming visitors in 1863, were originally part of an 18th century chalk mine and are now a fascinating tourist attraction. The wildlife trail opens specially for the Easter holidays and is an underground adventure which teaches guests about the critters living in the caves. This is then followed on select dates by various creative activities themed around the local wildlife and ecosystems.

The wildlife trail is open from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 and is included in the price of admission. Creative cave sessions are held from Monday, April 4 to Friday, April 4 and Monday, April 11 to Thursday, April 14 and cost £1.50 per child. Book online here.

MidKent College, Gillingham

Try your hand at some unique activities for free this April. Whether you want to learn African drumming, experience a mindfulness session or fancy a family fitness class, Medway Voluntary Action have a host of fun things for you to do. The MVA, along with five other charities, are encouraging people to meet their community, get involved with local organisations and look after their mental health at MidKent College.

The family fun sessions take places on Thursday, April 14 from 10am to 2pm. Entry is free, no pre-booking needed.

Aardvark Productions are performing an Easter panto during the holidays. Picture: © Penshurst Place and Gardens
Aardvark Productions are performing an Easter panto during the holidays. Picture: © Penshurst Place and Gardens

Penshurst Place, Tonbridge

Inspired by Queen Victoria’s supposed love of Easter egg hunts at Kensington Palace, Penshurst Place is hosting its own royal Easter weekend. Children can dash through the colourful gardens looking for Victorian-style eggs and, on Easter Monday, the team at Aardvark Productions are performing a Hunt for Easter Island panto. The show follows a fearless rabbit who embarks on a sea voyage to find eggs from a far-away place, and is the perfect tale to close the holidays.

The Easter egg hunt will take place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 10am to 5pm. Hunt for Easter Island is showing on Monday, April 18 from 11.15am to 3.15pm. Adult tickets start from £13.50. Book online here.

Rede Common, Strood

Rede Common will be welcoming visitors for an exciting egg hunt and egg decorating sessions. Get in the mood for the Easter weekend and create your very own festive egg to take home, along with your chocolate stash from the hunt. There will also be a fundraising raffle, and a chance to spend time at the nature reserve and meet the volunteers.

The Easter egg hunt takes place on Saturday, April 16 at 11am. No pre-booking needed.

Enjoy family days out at National Trust destinations this Easter, including Sissinghurst Castle. Picture: National Trust / James Dobson
Enjoy family days out at National Trust destinations this Easter, including Sissinghurst Castle. Picture: National Trust / James Dobson

Sissinghurst Castle Garden, Cranbrook

The Easter trail in this world-renowned garden weaves throughout the vast estate. Packed with fun, sensory activities, including wildlife spotting and seeing the orchard blossom in the vegetable garden, there’s lots to see and do as you meander through. And, of course, the trail ends with a chocolate egg for each visitor.

The Easter trail takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Monday, April 18 from 11am to 5.30pm. The trail costs £3 in addition to the standard entry price. Book online here.

Enjoy an Easter train ride with Spa Valley Railway. Picture: Spa Valley Railway
Enjoy an Easter train ride with Spa Valley Railway. Picture: Spa Valley Railway

Spa Valley Railway, Tunbridge Wells

Join Little Red Riding Hood as she tries to find the perfect chocolate egg for her grandmother on the Spa Valley Railway. The show begins at Tunbridge Wells West train station, where visitors will meet Little Red Riding Hood and her friends, and follows passengers onto the train, where the performance continues throughout your journey. With slapstick comedy, magic tricks and plenty of audience participation, this is sure to be a train ride you’ll never forget.

Little Red Riding Hood’s Easter train rides take place from Friday, April 15 to Monday, April 18 from 10.30am to 4.15pm. Adult prices start from £15. Book online here.

Embark on an adventure at Walmer Castle. Picture: English Heritage
Embark on an adventure at Walmer Castle. Picture: English Heritage

Walmer Castle, Deal

Find out the fascinating history behind Walmer Castle this half term. Take on the castle's Easter Adventure Quest, where your family can compete in traditional Easter games, complete secret missions and answer questions in order to win a well-deserved chocolate egg. As you venture through the castle grounds, you can hear tales of the site's thrilling past and take in the beautiful surroundings that make this such a worthwhile attraction to visit.

The Easter Adventure Quest takes place from Saturday, April 2 to Sunday, April 24 from 10am to 5pm. The quest costs £2 in addition to the standard entry price. Book online here.

Woodville Theatre, Gravesend

Step into the colourful world of Oz and follow Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion down the yellow brick road. The Wizard of Oz Easter panto at the Woodville in Gravesend is an all-singing, all-dancing family show, starring TV personality Kerry Katona, Blue Peter's Barney Harwood, the X Factor's Lauren Platt and Coronation Street's Brian Capron.

The Wizard of Oz takes places on Monday, April 11 at 2.30pm and 6.30pm. Adult tickets cost £16.50. Book online here or call 01474 337 500.

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