HOW did Easter egg hunts get so popular? Not so long ago, it seems, the Easter Bunny was content to stash a few Cadbury’s Creme Eggs among spring buds around the garden. Today, they’re multiplying like ... erm, bunnies. Here’s some of the best.
Airfield has just reopened after a €11m redevelopment. The reboot fulfils the vision of its former owners, the Overend sisters, who left Ireland’s largest urban farm to the State with a mission to reconnect people with food and the land it comes from. It’s got food gardens, a café, interactive heritage centre, play area and milking parlour. Visitors over Easter weekend can join an egg hunt and felt-making workshops with artist Joanna Kidney.
airfield.ie; €10/€5pp (family rates available).
The Girls’ Club Cork cancer support group has an Easter Egg Hunt planned at Ballincollig Regional Park from 2-5pm this Sunday. A bouncing castle, face painting and lots more surprises are planned, and the €5pp entry fee goes to a really great cause.
Meanwhile, the Irish Guide Dogs HQ is hosting an Easter egg hunt (€5) on Cork’s Model Farm Road. It runs from 12-2pm on Easter Monday, with lots of children’s entertainment to boot.
It’s 1,000 years since Brian Boru banished the Vikings during the Battle of Clontarf. Anniversary celebrations see living history re-enactment in St Anne’s Park, the largest ever held in Ireland with 40,000 visitors expected to watch some 500 modern-day vikings on the rampage. The Dublin suburb isn’t the only Irish location with links to the famous king. Killaloe & Ballina were the seat of Brian Boru’s Kingship in Ireland (1001-1014AD), and Easter sees a Welcome to the Vikings Weekend (April 19-20) with events including a Guinness World Record attempt at hosting the most Vikings in one place (bring your costume and horns!).
A Brian Ború Easter Egg Hunt should slake that chocolate craving.
Edward Cecil Guinness and Queen Elizabeth are among the famous faces to have stayed at Farmleigh, but this weekend, Bugsy the Rabbit is in residence. The house and gardens host a series of cracking events including a magic show and face painting, as well as an Easter Egg Quiz Hunt with Bugsy at 3pm.
Leahy’s has a monster egg hunt running this weekend, with the Easter Bunny dropping eggs continuously over Saturday, Sunday and Monday — so no matter what time you arrive there should be something to find. Another pet farm offering a little egg-stra this Easter is Stonehall in Kilcornan, Co Limerick. It invites children to search for chicks, which they can trade for Easter eggs.
leahysopenfarm.ie; €9pp stonehallvisitorfarm.ie; €8pp
Limerick’s Strand Hotel has a good deal this Easter, with two nights’ B&B, one dinner, kids’ check-in with an Easter egg and a day pass to Bunratty Castle Folk Park bundled together from just €115pp, with kids under 12 going free. Accommodation is in a family room (490 sq ft), and you’re close to the Milk Market, where a Mad Hatter Tea Party on Easter Sunday (11am-4pm) includes an egg hunt, face painters, DJs, and loads of games.
Sometimes, an egg just isn’t enough. If you’re looking for a real splash, check out the two-night Easter Break on offer at Hayfield Manor. The five-star Blue Book property has a chocolate and bubbles gift awaiting in your luxury bedroom on arrival, a four-course meal in Orchids or Perrott’s Garden Bistro, and there’s an Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning.
hayfieldmanor.ie; from €496 per room