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Easter 2016 in Kent: things to do from Maidstone to Chatham and Dover to Thanet

By Angela Cole

Looking for what to do during the Easter school holidays? From dinosaurs to discovering nature and getting active: here's our round-up for things to do across Kent.


The park has a range of activities throughout the holidays, including spring trails, activity days, a cycle club and a fossil hunt throughout the break. Visit www.betteshangercountrypark.co.uk for details.

Easter fun at Hever Castle and Gardens
Easter fun at Hever Castle and Gardens


Bake some goodies and get crafty at the house throughout the Easter holidays. Easter fabric crafts will give you a chance to screen print and tie dye with natural dyes, and enjoy a tour of the dairy farm, to Wednesday, April 6 between 10am and 1pm. It costs £10 for the first child and £6 for further children. Enjoy Easter baking on Tuesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 7 between 10am and 1pm when you can make hot cross buns, Easter biscuits and your own Easter eggs. It costs £15 for the first child and £8 thereafter. To book call Becky Baldock on 01732 463255 or email BeckyB@Boreplace.org. For details visit www.boreplace.org


Incubated chicks will be hatching over the Easter period while children may also have an opportunity to volunteer to feed the lambs.
Elsewhere the tractor trailer will take children up into the orchards for an egg hunt while Easter crafts and the outdoor playpark will also keep youngsters busy.
For more details and admission prices visit brogdalecollections.co.uk


Discover Easter characters from the 1920s era on an old fashioned adventure around the grounds, winding through play areas and ending with a choccy treat. Daily until Sunday, April 10 between 11am and 4pm. Normal admission charges apply, egg hunt £2 per person.


Digger-themed fun will delight youngsters all year round. There’s a Sky Shuttle which gives you views across the park, and kids can hang on tight on Spin Dizzy or dig in a six ton digger. There are some height restrictons for some rides. For details call 08712 277007 or visit www.diggerland.com


The park’s nautical-themed Easter programme, Hoist the Main Sail, runs until Sunday, April 10 between 11am to 6pm.
Land lubbers can join a treasure hunt daily, with bands on the bandstand and Fun Fairers dishing out prizes, plus a petting zoo. Or you could go on a treasure hunt, solving clues and puzzles to meet sea-faring characters. Young visitors are encouraged to come dressed up in their nautical best. They can also meet park mascots Teddy and Betty daily on the bandstand and their special guest, Ozzie the Octopus. The park between 11am and 6pm Sundays to Thursdays and 11am to 9pm Fridays and Saturdays. For details visit www.dreamland.co.uk/easter

Hang out at Go Ape this summer
Hang out at Go Ape this summer


Let your tribe live life to the limit with a trip to Go Ape this Easter. Children as young as six can release their inner Tarzan with a junior route and older children can fly through the sky on a zip wire, race through the forest on a Segway or try a Tree Top Adventure. For details visit goape.co.uk/


Stumble down the rabbit hole like Alice, and end up in Wonderland. Until Sunday, April 10 the venue will play host to its biggest Easter event yet, with 15 characters from the Lewis Carroll novel out and about in the gardens each day return to delight visitors. Head to the Draftsman’s Lawn where you can find life size flamingos and giant playing cards, and look out for the Mad Hatter and friends playing croquet. Alice and friends will perform a 45 minute spectacle twice a day and Tweedledum and Tweedledee will be teaching children different dance routines. Plus there will be a craft tent and face painting throughout each day. Tickets cost £14.95, £10.95 for children. For details go to www.groombridgeplace.com


Hop through the castle gardens on the trail of the Lindt gold bunny to win a chocolate treat. The bunny hunt will be held until Sunday, April 10. Hear the magic tinkle of the golden bell and spy the flash of the gold ears among the flowerbeds as you hop along the Lindt trail, uncovering clues as you go. There’s also family entertainment throughout the holidays to Sunday, April 10. There will be daily craft workshops to make an Easter bonnet for £1 on top of entry fees and children can show off their creations in a parade in front of the castle each day. You can also take a quiz and visit the adventure playground. Admission £16.50, visit hevercastle.co.uk for details or call 01732 865224.


Get cooking in the lab with some cool science experiments in Doc Yard’s Secret Lab, with family-friendly activities running throughout the holidays and until Sunday, April 17. Entry tickets are valid for a tear. For details visit thedockyard.co.uk


The family fun runs until Sunday, April 17 with Easter games as well as animal displays and children’s attractions from bumper boats to bouncy castles and Hopper’s Animal World. For details visit www.thehopfarm.co.uk


Join the birthday party for two special lemurs at the park over the Easter holidays. Until Sunday, April 10, there will be free activities focusing on Gasy, a black lemur and Teddy, a red bellied lemur, as they turn nine and 12. Visitors can make a lemur mask, follow a lemur trail and join lemur-themed games, or hear about the animals and see animal feeds daily. You can also join a Treetop Challenge or an Animal Adventure Challenge for younger visitors. Entry tickets have been reduced to £15.95 and £12.95 for children. For details visit www.aspinallfoundation.org


Be creative with your Easter holidays. Make your own giant pebble creature; make some casts of seaside objects and make a sculpture at the centre.
Pebble Creatures – inspired by Whitstable’s famous Crabzilla will be on Tuesday, April 5 between 2pm and 3pm. Cost £5 for five to 12-year-olds. Make a seaside cast memory on Wednesday, April 6 between 11am and noon, £10 for sevens and up; or make a wire drawing sculpture on Thursday, April 7 between 11am and noon, £8, also for sevens and up. For details and to book call 01227 281174, or email info@thehorsebridge.org.uk


Pick up an activity pack, join craft activities and play in the natural play area daily until Sunday, April 10, between 11am and 3pm each day. Normal entry charges apply, 50p for each activity pack.


Kids ride for just £1 over the Easter holidays until Sunday, April 10, on the railway, which runs over 10 and a half miles between Bodiam and Tenterden. They can also try a new activity book with crayons while on the train. The offer runs until Sunday, April 10. Tickets are £17 and normally £11.50 for three to 15-year-olds. When buying an adult ticket during the holiday up to three children can travel for £1 each. For details visit kesr.org.uk

The Kent and East Sussex Railway is running its Kids for a Quid offer over the Easter holidays
The Kent and East Sussex Railway is running its Kids for a Quid offer over the Easter holidays


The farming attraction will be buzzing with excitement for its Easter Eggstravaganza until Sunday, April 17, with games and races, tractor rides, animal feeding sessions, trails and prizes, plus the chance to meet new chicks and lambs. Children’s entertainer AnimalMan, Nick Spellman, will have live animal displays and giving fun presentations AnimalMan – Nick Spellman will be bringing his show to Brundle’s Big Top at noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm on Good Friday and Easter Monday. There will also be fun science shows and circus workshops. For details about what’s on offer at the Lock Lane site call 01622 763936, email enquiries@kentlife.org.uk or visit kentlife.org.uk.


There are lots of soft toy leopards hidden around the house: look for them among the furniture, paintings and four-poster beds, daily to Sunday, April 10, noon to 3.30pm. Normal entry charges apply, with £3 for the egg hunt, while the house trail is free.


See the castle through the looking glass with an Alice in Wonderland-themed Easter quest until Sunday, April 10.
Running throughout the two weeks, there will be a themed trail across the estate for children, with a small chocolate prize at the end. It costs £1 on top of normal admission fees. Book online to get 10% off. Visit leeds-castle.com

Leeds Castle will present Easter Through the Looking Glass this Easter
Leeds Castle will present Easter Through the Looking Glass this Easter


Spotting bunnies, learning about wildlife and making puppets are all on offer during the house and gardens’ Big Easter Break.
Down the Rabbit Hole garden trails, looking at animals and plants which thrive underground will be held daily to Sunday, April 10 between 10.30am and dusk, with crafts also running daily between noon and 4pm. For details visit penshurstplace.com


The eagerly-anticipated park's Dinosaur Forest is now open, as part of the celebrations for its 40th birthday. See life sized dinosaurs and hear the story of their lives from the park's team of rangers. One of the largest collections of life size dinosaurs in Europe - with more than 100 on show - each model will be authentic and anatomically correct. For details go to aspinallfoundation.org

See newborn lambs over Easter at Brockhill Park lambing weekend
See newborn lambs over Easter at Brockhill Park lambing weekend


Meet the animals, see falconry displays and have your face painted during the holidays. Visit www.rarebreeds.org.uk for details.


Armed with your treasure map, you can search the corners of the garden and castle to find lost Easter eggs among the ruins and rhododendrons. Find them all; collect letters and work out the secret word to claim your Cadbury-flavoured prize. Fit in a chance to build a den and enjoy some outdoor play at the natural play trail while you’re there. The hunt costs £2.50, in addition to normal entry fees.


There’s buried history in them there cliffs and you can help reveal it! The Easter bunny’s treasure trail means digging out clues, hidden artefacts and learning about the lighthouse and its grounds – while working towards getting a chocolate treat at the end. Daily to Sunday, April 10. Normal parking charges at the White Cliffs apply, plus the egg hunt costs £3.


Take a ride into history on the Spa Valley Railway throughout the holidays. Visit www.spavalleyrailway.co.uk for details.


The park near Canterbury has opened its dinosaur attraction, which has almost 30 life-sized robotic dinosaurs in a special “enclosure”.
As well as a T-Rex – complete with a Jurassic Park-style Jeep – you can also see scary raptors and a huge diplodocus among the prehistoric predators and leaf eaters.
Kids can dig for dinosaur bones in a sandpit and have their picture taken peering out of a giant dinosaur egg. For details visit winghamwildlifepark.co.uk

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