Easter activities in Dorset


Gardens, parks, attractions and even houses will be scattered with Easter eggs this April as eagle-eyed youngsters go on the hunt for these oval shaped objects, and hope for a surprise and a treat! 




To read about Easter events and activities in Dorset click here... 



Easter egg hunts with a difference:

The Easter Egg Hunt is usually pretty-high up on the Easter activity list but what are the alternative options to searching for chocolate eggs?

Primary Times has been on its own ‘hunt’ for fun ideas that will get the kids active, listening and counting… Here they are:


Matching Sound Egg Hunt

Test your child’s auditory processing ability by creating a game that will encourage them to match a sound in an egg case to an image of the item that is making the sound (in the egg case) on a printed sheet of paper.

You can fill the egg cases with items such as coins or pasta shapes or seeds.

Once all the eggs and sounds have been matched, the children can be rewarded with a treat.



Make the kids work for their chocolate treats!

Lay on some fun energy-burning Easter egg hunts for the kids.

Simply hide several plastic empty egg cases around the house, garden or local park and fill them with little notes inscribed with a physical activity to complete.

Each egg has a fun mini exercise challenge for the kids. For example, this could be: do ten star jumps; run on the spot for 2 minutes, do a roly-poly.

After all that exertion, the kids will have earnt their chocolate treat!



Colour matching and maths Egg Hunt Game

This is a simple game where children hunt for coloured eggs.

You may wish to use mini chocolate eggs wrapped in different coloured tin foil and hide them around the garden.

Once all the eggs have been collected they can be separated by colour and counted – and then consumed!






Nature Hunt for Kids

It’s spring! That means it’s time to head outdoors and go on a nature hunt! See how many of these activities your child can tick off this spring:

  • Go cloud-spotting
  • Find a twig shaped like a letter
  • Search for animal tracks
  • Hunt for mini beasts and bugs
  • Look for a tree with blossoms
  • Count the daffodils
  • Follow the snail trails
  • Draw a picture of a wild flower
  • Search for spider webs
  • Look for a squirrel



Mums and dads: why not take photos of what you find on your nature adventures this spring and share these with our other readers on Primary Times Facebook Dorset?




Ultimate Dorset Checklist

Tick off these things when you see them in the countryside, in the woods, on the beach, at the local park or around the county:

  • Fossils
  • Yachts and Boats
  • Shells
  • Swings
  • Sheep
  • Castles
  • Big trees
  • Beach huts
  • Cliffs
  • Birds





Walks for Little Legs

Put a ‘spring’ in your child’s step and go for a family walk along the South West Coast Path.

You’ll find a variety of walking routes, to keep the whole family active this spring, on the South West Coast Path website – www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk - just search for ‘walk coast path, family walks’.

Detailed family walks are graded from easy, to moderate, to challenging, giving a wide range to accommodate different age groups.

Other springtime walks can be enjoyed in many of the local woodland areas which are often carpeted in bluebells at this time of year. Find a wood near you at www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods or visit the Forestry Commission’s website – www.forestry.gov.uk


National Walking Month - May

Families are being encouraged to step out onto the streets and paths in cities and towns during National Walking Month in May. Visit www.livingstreets.org.uk – national walking month 2017, sign up to the Walking Nation e-newsletter and join the urban ramblers! 


Find out what's going-on this Easter in Dorset here...

Easter Fun at Adventure Wonderland

With a resident White Rabbit, Adventure Wonderland is a perfect place to keep the kids entertained this Easter. There will be egg and spoon races and an Easter Egg hunt in the giant hedge maze everyday over the four days of the Easter weekend plus there's the chance to meet Paw Patrol's Skye and Marshall on the 19 April.

The park, opposite Bournemouth Airport, is an ideal location for the kids to let off some steam. Open every weekend in March, the rides and attractions include Turbo Teacups, Curvy Caterpillars, Wild Bill’s Runaway Train, the ever-popular Cuddle Corner Farm and the largest natural hedge maze in the South.

Plus, catch storytime and new shows in the weather beating Happydrome Theatre. Visit adventurewonderland.co.uk or call 01202 483444 for further details, and book online for a 10% discount.


Discover Hidden Wonders at Seaton Jurassic

Become an explorer and experience ancient landscapes, face scary monsters and get shrunk down to the size of a shrimp at Seaton Jurassic this spring.

Be the Captain of the timeship and travel through Jurassic seas and discover if you have got what it takes to survive the giant rock pool.

With surprises and hundreds of things to see, touch and do, inside and out, Seaton Jurassic has something for time travellers big and small whatever the weather. Visit www.seatonjurassic.org or call 01297 300390.


Hop over for fun with Peter Rabbit at Saxon Square

Everyone’s favourite and very mischievous bunny Peter Rabbit™ is hopping over to Saxon Square this bank holiday weekend to meet the children of Christchurch! He will be making personal appearances at intervals between 11am and 4pm, so don’t forget your camera! After all the excitement of seeing Peter Rabbit, why not pop into Costa Coffee or Caffe Nero for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Visit www.saxon-square.co.uk


Exciting new additions unveiled at Lemur Landings

After a winter of improvements, new installations and redecoration Lemur Landings has been transformed in to a fantastic new play environment for families to enjoy.

With a suite of brand new party rooms; a dedicated climbing zone with Sky Tykes low ropes course, 5m time trial climbing walls and fun and interactive Digiwall.

There’s an exciting new play frame for younger visitors, an extensive role play village called Leweyville and a sensory room for babies and those taking their first steps. There’s never been a better time to play at Lemur Landings. For full details visit www.lemurlandings.co.uk


Spring at the Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park

Hop along and join in all the Easter activities and discover what is new at the Dorset Heavy Horse Park this spring. Children can join in a tour starting at the new "Canal" display where they can collect feed buckets and help hand them out on 'Market Street' discovering which horses delivered what goods including; coal, milk, fruit and veg and more.

They can also join in the new 'Farmer’s Garden Tour' - digging, pulling and planting and finding out where food comes from. Of course, all the usual attractions will be on offer, including engaging shows and the Heavy Horse Carriage and Tractor Trailer rides.

There are exciting play areas for tots to teens, go-carts, vintage fairground rides, friendly farm animals, pony rides, exhibits from days gone by including the new Heavy Horse to Heavy Haulage display enlightening the vintage era. For details visit www.dorset-heavy-horse-centre.co.uk or call 01202 824040.


Gangsta Granny goes to the Lighthouse

David Walliams’ most popular children’s book, Gangsta Granny, will be on stage at Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts from Wednesday 24 to Sunday 28 May. This award-nominated show will be heading to the West End, so this is your chance to see it first! 

The story is about a young lad called Ben, who is not looking forward to spending his Friday night with his Granny, as he thinks it will be so boring. But Granny has a secret and Ben is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime with his very own Gangsta!  For tickets and information call 01202 280000 or visit www.lighthousepoole.co.uk


April Highlights at Pavilion Dance

Pavilion Dance South West’s Spring Season continues to offer an impressive array of dance delights, with April bursting at the seams with live performances and opportunities to get involved. Night at the Theatre, on Sunday 2 April, is an interactive family performance which mixes dance, theatre and storytelling as three friends become trapped in an abandoned theatre and soon become the stars of their own show.

Whilst on Tuesday 18 April, PDSW and Lighthouse Poole will be performing Pinocchio, promising a wonderful adventure for all the family. A cast of multi-talented dancers will guide audiences through the story of Pinocchio, a naughty wooden marionette who lies a lot, and who has much to learn before his biggest wish comes true; to become a real boy. To book visit www.lighthousepoole.co.uk or call 01202 280000; or call PDSW on 01202 203630 or go to www.pdsw.org.uk


Paintbrushes at the ready at Poole Pottery

Paintbrushes at the ready! Be inspired by the bright colours of spring and let your child’s artistic talents take hold at the Paint a Pot studio at Poole Pottery. The choice of ceramic items to paint is vast, from plates to mugs, from money boxes to figurines, and from vases to ornaments.

Prices start from just £7 – and further savings can be made – just look for the voucher in this issue of Primary Times to make a saving of 20%. Items will be glazed and fired in the Poole Pottery kilns, ready for collection a few days later. Call 01202 668681 or visit www.poolepottery.co.uk



Fun in the fresh air at Farmer Palmer’s

Escape into the fresh air this spring at Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park and help unleash your child’s mind and energy with play, hands-on activities, cute animals, learning experiences and real adventure - all day!

Farmer Palmer’s understands that family is not just important - it is everything! So, the friendly folk at the farm park have created and evolved their facilities in a fashion that enables families to spend quality time together.

Their Annual Pass rewards savvy parents who want to squeeze a little more out of life, invest in the future, and save money. Take a look at their website for details about the annual pass. Find Farmer Palmer’s Farm Park at Wareham Rd, Organford, Poole, BH16 6EU. For details call 01202 622022 or visit www.farmerpalmers.co.uk


Go Wild about The Great Heath!

Celebrate the great English wildlife of The Great Heath on St George’s Day at Dorset Wildlife Trust’s free family fun day! On Sunday 23 April, Upton Country Park, in Poole will be filled with activities for all ages. Youngsters can get up close to real wildlife, get their faces painted, discover more about the history and dragons of the heaths, have a go at arts and crafts and much more. A prize will be awarded for the best dressed knight, dragon or damsel. Plus, a free reptile ID chart will be given to youngsters signing up for DWT membership on the day. Visit www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk – wild about the great heath for more.


Fall down the rabbit hole at the Russell-Cotes this Easter!

Celebrating the magic of Victorian nonsense, the Russell-Cotes has a jam-packed schedule of Alice in Wonderland themed activities including crafts, trails, workshops, and competitions this Easter holiday. Go for a tea party, fight with a Jabberwocky, play croquet with flamingos – join in the madness at Bournemouth’s most decadent address, just don’t lose your head! For the full schedule of events and activities visit www.russellcotes.com or phone 01202 451820.



Discover the delights of Pamphill Dairy this spring

Pamphill Dairy in Wimborne is one of the best spots in Dorset to see the bluebells and make the most of the outdoors this spring. Ideally positioned by a large field near the cricket pavilion, children have the freedom to play games and ride their bikes. The Pamphill Dairy Parlour Café has a charming country style feel and caters for both inside and outside dining. The outside picnic tables overlook the large grass field and children’s play area. Plus, there’s a butchery and farm shop on site. For details visit www.pamphilldairy.co.uk or call 01202 857131.


Vintage Easter fun at Wimborne Model Town

From 1 April, Wimborne Model Town will be delighting local families with its vintage fun and in particular there will be an egg-citing Easter Egg Hunt Quiz to complete around the original 1950’s buildings from 8 April to 23 April. The Easter fun doesn’t stop there as there will be entertaining family shows, for no extra charge, on Tuesday 11, Thursday 13, Tuesday 18 and Thursday 20 April, at 12 noon and 2pm.

Aside from the seasonal antics there’s a new Wi-Fi audio guide and updated features in the garden, and children will love sitting in the massive Storyteller’s Chair and playing a game of Giant Chess. There’s a special railway weekend, from 29 April to 1 May, where children can drive the trains and look out for Thomas working hard on the nostalgic model railway with new lighting feature. See www.wimborne-modeltown.com or call 01202 881924 for more details.


Pitch up for the Big Wild Sleepout at RSPB Arne

On Friday 2 June and then on Friday 4 August, spend the night on the fantastic RSPB Arne reserve in Dorset, as part of the RSPB’s Big Wild Sleepout. Take your own tent to the reserve and pitch up in an idyllic camping spot in an area of the reserve that is not usually open to the public. The event runs from 5pm to 10am and includes a guided walk and a meal cooked over the fire. For more information and prices contact arne@rspb.org.uk or visit www.rspb.org.uk/arne


River Workshops at the Kingfisher Barn

Fun, awe-inspiring art workshops will be held during the Easter holiday at the Stour Valley Nature Reserve. Starting off at the Kingfisher Barn, children will get a taste of different artwork tips and techniques, including compositions, colour combinations and different mediums. There will be inspiration cards to use along the way to enable children to choose their own challenges. For details about the workshop on 9 April, visit https://riverworkshop9april.eventbrite.com. For details about the workshop on 18 April, visit https://riverworkshop18april.eventbrite.com


Easter Treats at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre!

From Good Friday 14 April to Easter Monday 17 April, Monkey World will be handing out chocolate Easter Eggs to the first 100 children in the park every day. Aside from eating some yummy eggs, visitors to the centre will be able to see over 250 rescued and endangered primates of 20 different species. Plus, the Kids Activity Centre will be open with a number of Easter activities taking place. Monkey World Ape Rescue Centre is now open every day from 10am – 5pm. Check the website www.monkeyworld.or/events for more information.


Explosive action this Easter at the Tank Museum

The Tank Museum brings history to life, with the world’s best collection of tanks and explosive live displays. See almost 300 armoured vehicles in the nine powerful exhibitions, witness the exciting Tanks in Action displays with realistic life-like explosions and expert commentary, and get the thrill of riding round the track in an M548 tracked vehicle. Plus, don’t miss “The Tiger Collection”, bringing the Tiger tank family together in a world first.

Kids can release some energy in the outdoor and indoor play areas, plus the free family trails will keep their minds occupied with teasers and puzzles. Visit www.tankmuseum.org


The Blue Pool - Purbeck’s unique beauty spot

Located between Wareham and Corfe Castle, the Blue Pool is an oasis of peace and beauty. Once a clay pit, the Pool changes colour constantly as tiny particles of clay filter through the waters - sometimes green, sometimes turquoise - depending upon the diffraction of the light. Steps lead down to the water’s edge and up to views of the Purbeck Hills.

Children love the Blue Pool. The setting gives them the freedom to run around and discover secret places, in a safe and secure environment. There are three play areas, a marked trail to explore and plentiful opportunities to hunt for model squirrels hidden in the trees. Certificates are given out in the Museum for all squirrel hunters. Find the Blue Pool near Wareham (BH20 5AR). Discover more at www.bluepooltearooms.co.uk


Eggsellent Easter Fun at Lulworth

Looking for some eggsellent family fun this Easter? Then venture ‘down the rabbit hole’ at Lulworth Castle from 14 April to 17 April. This year, Lulworth Castle has been inspired by the fantastical story of Alice in Wonderland so, expect a range of egg-citing themed activities in this fairytale setting.

In the line-up, there will be themed trails, egg hunts, crafts, a bouncy castle (weather permitting, age 7+), soft play for the under 4s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits and Easter Eggs! Don’t forget to go and meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst you’re exploring. Tickets include free parking and cost £7 for adults, £5 for children, and the under 4’s go free. A family ticket (2 adults, 3 children) costs £25. Tickets can be bought online at www.lulworth.com/easter or on the day.


Babe, the Sheep-Pig goes to Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre

Adapted from Dick King-Smith’s much-loved children’s novel which inspired the Oscar-winning 1995 film, Babe, The Sheep-Pig will be brought to life on stage in an enchanting new production at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 April.

Featuring stunning puppetry, an original score and an utterly charming ‘baa-ber sheep’ quartet, Babe and the residents of Hogget’s Farm will visit the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre as part of a major UK Tour. Meet the lovable Babe in a heart-warming tale of friendship, adventure and bravery. To book tickets visit www.bournemouthpavilion.co.uk


Big Little’s two day ‘Performing Arts’ Easter Workshop

Help Willy Wonka bring the Chocolate Factory to life and join in with two days of singing, dancing, acting, scriptwriting, games, crafts and more at Big Little’s Easter workshop at Corpus Christi Parish Centre, Boscombe. Plus, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt over the two days, on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 April.

Big Little’s themed holiday courses are always very popular. Courses are open to children from ‘Reception’ age up to Year 6. The team caters for the younger and older ages by mixing groups, providing different material so that children are always challenged and have fun. The total cost for the two days is £55. Book early to avoid disappointment. For full details of all the holiday courses visit www.biglittle.biz or call 01202 434499.


Kids Camera Action’s Animation Workshop returns

The Kids Camera Action Animation Workshop returns this Easter, joined by an all new Virtual Reality and 360 Degree 2-day holiday workshop. The Term time Saturday School will give young filmmakers 11 weeks to shoot their own short film, screened at an exclusive Red Carpet Cinema Premiere for friends and family. And the 5 Day Summer School is back in the Summer holidays for a week of scriptwriting, filming, stunts and special effects. Check out www.kidscameraaction.co.uk for more information.


A Holiday Club for your Shining Stars

Run by theatre professionals, Shining Stars Holiday Club offers themed drama activities, dancing and arts and crafts for children aged 4 to 8 years. Over the Easter period, sessions will run from Monday 10 to Thursday 13 April, and from Tuesday 18 to Thursday 20 April.

During May Half Term, the club will run from Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June. The sessions, at Lollipops Play Café in Westbourne, start at 10am and finish at 4pm. Early drop off/late pick up options are available. For details contact the Shining Stars Holiday Club on 07966 026590


Eggstra special events planned for Brewery Square

This Easter, Brewery Square in Dorchester will be hosting a special performance by Mr. Bloom in the Square, for all youngsters to get their Squiggle on. Starting at 11am, on Friday 14 April, Mr. Bloom will be performing a 40-minute set for visitors to enjoy for free. ‘Tiddlers’ can win a meet and greet with Mr. Bloom after the show by entering the ‘Welly Squiggle’ competition. Plus, Brewery Square will be running a free Easter Egg Hunt from Good Friday to Easter Monday. The egg hunt will take place around the square from 10am until 4pm and forms can be collected from the Concierge Office. For more information about Brewery Square, visit www.brewerysquare.com.


Get childcare sorted with Funtastic this Easter

Funtastic offer very special out of school care, in a secure and stimulating environment, throughout the year. Its goal is to develop children’s self-esteem, values, skills and independence.

A wide selection of fun and exciting activities and workshops for all ages, take place both indoors and outdoors. On top of this, Funtastic also provide a healthy breakfast and hot dinner, with a tasty hot lunch included in the holiday club fees. Funtastic is based at Christchurch Infants School, Christchurch Juniors School, Twynham school and at Burton CE Primary School. To find out more, or to register, or to make a booking visit www.funtastic101.co.uk


Fancy dress Easter egg hunt at The Toy Barn in Sherborne

The Toy Barn is hosting an Easter egg hunt on Good Friday, 14 April. Children should come in fancy dress and can play on the largest display of climbing frames and trampolines in the south west between the Easter egg hunts, whilst parents enjoy tea, coffee and cake. Tickets cost £6 per child in advance. Adult entry is free. Buy tickets at toy-barn.co.uk, pop into the shop at Blackmarsh Farm, Sherborne, DT9 4JX or call 01935 815040.


Easter Treats


An Easter Egg Hunt Making a Difference

Orchard Park Garden Centre in Gillingham will be hosting a charity Easter Egg Hunt, between Saturday 8 April and Saturday 15 April, to raise funds for Greenfingers Charity who provide magical gardens for children in hospices.  Entry to the egg hunt costs just £1 and all money raised will be donated to Greenfingers.  Every participant will receive a yummy chocolate surprise on the day, and those who post an entry form into the Easter Bunny’s letter box, might win a fantastic hamper packed full of Easter goodies.  Find Orchard Park on Shaftesbury Road, Gillingham, SP8 5JG.  Call 01747 835544 or visit www.orchardpark.biz


Experience Easter at Honeybrook and Meet the Easter Bunny

Meet the newest of arrivals to Honeybrook Farm this Easter. See how many eggs you can find on the Eco-Egg hunt trail and learn something about nature along the way. Afterwards, be rewarded with a tasty chocolate treat. The daily drop-in sessions will have a particularly ‘egg-citing’ theme and will include activities such as making an Easter headdress and quirky basket. On the 13, 14 and 15 April, Honeybrook will be welcoming the Easter Bunny to join in with all the fun, so make sure you don’t miss him.  For more details www.honeybrook.org


Easter themed crafting at Bella Ceramics

Youngsters can embark on some Easter themed pottery painting at Bella Ceramics over the next few weeks.  An array of ceramic eggs, baskets, Easter bunnies and more, are ready and waiting for little hands to paint.  Looking for a bespoke keepsake or gift idea?  Bella Ceramics can print your child’s hand or footprints onto mugs, plates and photo-frames. Bella Ceramics also run regular ladies’ evenings - simply get some friends together, enjoy a glass of Prosecco and paint a piece of ceramic whilst listening to chilled out music in the lovely studio.  To keep informed of competitions, new events and specialist workshops ‘Like’ Bella Ceramics on Facebook.  Visit www.bellaceramics.co.uk or call 01305 780343


Easter Weekend at Kingston Maurward 

From Good Friday to Easter Monday, there will be a mass of Easter treats awaiting visitors at Kingston Maurward near Dorchester.  Easter activities include kids crafts, donkey rides, face painting, a birds of prey display, pony grooming, guinea pig fishing and an Easter hunt.  Visit www.morekmc.com


Cadbury Egg Hunt at Kingston Lacy

The Easter bunny has been hiding eggs again around the grounds at Kingston Lacy. Go along and discover how many can you spot.  The 1.5 mile route will take you on an adventure around the woodland walk. Call 01202 883402


Easter Fun at Corfe Castle

Seek out and discover the bunnies' nature clues at Corfe Castle from Friday 14 to Monday 17 April.  Once completed, claim a Cadbury chocolate treat.  Call 01929 481294


Cadbury Egg Hunt at Studland

Take a bunny hop, skip and jump into the rabbit warren of sand dunes at Knoll Beach, answering questions along the way.  This will eventually lead to a delicious Cadbury chocolate prize.  Call 01929 450500



Did you know?

  • Easter chocolate sales make up 10% of Britain's annual spending on chocolate.
  • The UK chocolate Easter Egg market is worth in excess of £220 million.
  • If you laid all the Cadbury Creme Eggs made in a year from end to end, it would stretch from Bourneville, Birmingham to Sydney, Australia.
  • Easter is the second most popular time of the year for eating chocolate.
  • J.S. Fry of Bristol produced the first chocolate eggs in 1873.




Why is Easter on a different date each year?

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that happens on or after the Spring Equinox on 21 March. That means Easter can be celebrated at any time between 22 March and 25 April.


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