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What's going on across Kent over the Easter school holidays

31 March 2014
by Jo Roberts

Astor Theatre
A puppet show for families at the Astor Theatre, Deal, will fuse the writing of Lewis Carroll with the world of Monty Python. Acclaimed theatre company Folded Feather showcase their unique approach in a show called Nice, which tells the story of a young girl and her puppet entering a strange world of giant chickens, talking pianos, and runaway clouds. Using puppets, live animation, and music, Nice is a story of friendship and the possibilities of the imagination. Suitable for age four and upwards, Nice comes to Deal’s Astor Theatre on Sunday, April 6, at 2.30pm. Tickets from £5. Call 01304 370220.

Nice - puppet fun for all the family

Nice - puppet fun for all the family

Lindt chocolatiers – the guys who make the best-selling gold bunny – are organising Easter egg hunts all over the county. They’re completely free to enter, so no spending is necessary (if you can resist). One such event takes place at Bluewater every day of the school holidays. Organisers say: “Visit the magical gold bunny warren at Bluewater, where children can hop through the hills and burrows, follow the paw track and find the gold bunny along the way. At the end is a prize for every child and the perfect moment for a photograph with the Lindt gold bunny.” There are around 30 similar events Lindt are staging around Kent from Saturday, April 5, including at Hever Castle. Visit and tap in your postcode for the list of nearest bunny-related activities.

Fowlmead Country Park
Come along to Fowlmead Children’s Cycle Club and join British Cycling coach Martin Bullock on rides through the woodland at Fowlmead Country Park and specialist cycling track in Deal, and learn a few tricks. Arrive at 10.45am on Saturday, April 5, to register for this one-off event which ends at 12.30pm. Cycle and helmet hire available. Call 01304 615390.

Join in the fun at Fowlmead Country Park

Join in the fun at Fowlmead Country Park

Hempstead Valley
Free craft sessions are being offered on an Easter theme for handy and creative children. Throughout next week 'Makendoo' is back by popular demand at Medway’s Hempstead Valley shopping centre. The painting and craft workshops will focus on making masks and hats using eggs, bunnies, flowers, birds and bees.These free sessions are suitable for all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, and will be held daily. Customers can just turn up on the day, no pre-booking is required. The workshops will be held inside the shopping centre, outside Boots. Children must be supervised. Makendoo sessions will be held from Monday, April 7 until Friday, April 11, beginning at 11am to 1pm and then from 2pm to 4pm.

Hop Farm
The revamped Hop Farm Family Park near Paddock Wood, has just reopened with a new soft play area, animal world, reptile house, birds of prey centre and a refurbished pub. It offers free entry to adults and children and holds Easter Fun at the Farm. Free attractions include an Easter fair, egg hunt and outdoor play area. Other attractions charged on a ‘pay and play’ basis between £1 and £3 are bumper boats, a 4D cinema, bouncy castles and more. As much of the park is under cover, the Hop Farm is a safe bet whatever the weather. The Hop Farm Family Park is open daily from 10am. Call 01622 872068.

There's fun inside and out and the Hop Farm

There's fun inside and out and the Hop Farm

Leeds Castle
At Leeds Castle an exciting quest will take you on a woodland walk in search of answers and clues. There will be questions for children to answer in reward for a small prize. An additional charge of £1 per child applies on top of the usual entrance fee. Under fours can join in with a free mini trail around the enchanting Pavilion Lawn. Throughout the holidays, brave knights and princesses can have a go at hobby horse jousting, mini battles and knight’s training. Annual tickets to Leeds Castle cost £24 for adults and £16 for children, with under fours free. Grounds open at 10am daily and the castle from 10.30am. Call 01622 765400.

Rediscover Leeds Castle this Easter

Rediscover Leeds Castle this Easter


There’s more animal magic at the Aspinall Foundation’s zoos, Howletts, near Canterbury, and Port Lympne, near Hythe. Embark on a safari or join the Easter egg hunt in the maze at Port Lympne. Howletts meanwhile promises cute new arrivals from their recent baby boom! Both zoos are open from 9.30am daily. Adult entry costs £23.95 and children £19.95. Call 0844 8424647.

Children can create their own T-shirts at Maidstone Museum throughout the Easter holidays. The St Faith’s Street venue will hold drop-in craft activities between Saturday, April 5 and Monday, April 21. Entry is £3.50 per child. Call 01622 602838.

Pig racing is back this Saturday, April 5, at the Rare Breeds Centre, near Ashford. The new season’s racers are a cross between Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot, chosen especially for their speed and agility in theory. Don’t miss this, it’s great fun and you could even be picked to run with the pigs! Open from 10.30am, adult entry costs £9.95 and children £8.50. Call 01233 861493.

Forget the Grand National - pig racing at the Rare Breeds Centre is this main sporting event this week

Forget the Grand National - pig racing at the Rare Breeds Centre is this main sporting event this week

The farmyard at Kent Life, just outside Maidstone, will be buzzing with new arrivals including goats, ducklings, calves, donkeys and alpacas. You could even bottle-feed a baby goat, and give the donkey rides a go during the Easter season. Kent Life opens from 10am daily and costs £9.25 for adults and £7.25 for children.
Call 01622 763936.

Spring activity packs to set youngsters off looking for their own fun are available at the National Trust’s Ightham Mote, near Borough Green. Titled ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 and 3/4’ it will set them off on a mission from the opening time of 10.30am. Tickets are £11.50 for adults and £5.75 for children. Call 01732 810378.

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