30 things to do in Dorset for Easter 2017
PUBLISHED: 14:42 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:42 27 March 2017
©National Trust Images/Chris Lacey
Helen Stiles rounds up some fun things for families to do over the Easter holidays
6 THEATRE TREATS
Babe, The Sheep-Pig - 8-9 April
An enchanting family show, based on the classic novel comes alive with stunning puppetry and original music charting a piglet’s rise to become the world famous sheep-pig. Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000.
There and Back Again - 11 April
This show for older children and families is a real Easter treat. Inspired by The Odyssey, encounter giants, ghosts, Greeks and great adventure. Shows 11am & 2pm. Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole 01202 280000.
An Elephant in the Garden - 12 April
Adapted from War Horse creator Michael Morpurgo’s best-selling children’s novel set in 1945 Dresden, Germany. Lizzie, her mother and an elephant from the zoo, flee the Allied fire-bombing in the end-game of the Second World War. Shows 2.30pm & 7pm. Corn Exchange, Dorchester 01305 266926.
Egg and Spoon - 12 April
An interactive romp through the four seasons – aimed at 1-5 year olds - celebrating the wonders of nature. Shows 11am & 2pm. Sherling Studio, Lighthouse Poole 01202 280000.
Robin Hood - 14 & 22 April
Britain’s Got Talent Winner, George Sampson is Robin Hood, Dani Harmer (CBBC’s Tracy Beaker and Strictly Come Dancing) is Maid Marian in this swashbuckling, arrow-slinging, tights-wearing Easter panto! Shows 2pm & 6pm. 14 April: Weymouth Pavilion 01305 783225; 22 April: Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000.
The Tiger Who Came To Tea - 17 – 18 April
Based on Judith Kerr’s magical picture book, mayhem comes to the tea table when a big stripy tiger joins Sophie and her mummy for tea. Bournemouth Pavilion 0844 576 3000.
NATIONAL TRUST EASTER EVENTS
Studland - 7 – 23 April
Follow the Easter trail around the nature reserve and see the world through a bunny’s eyes 10am-3pm.
Kingston Lacy - 8 – 23 April
How many Easter eggs can you spot on this 1.5 mile route around the woodland walk? 10am-3pm
Golden Cap - 14 – 15 April
Hop along to Stonebarrow Hill for this self-led, Easter egg hunt starts at Stonebarrow shop. 11am-3pm
Easter Egg Hunts - 14 – 16 April
• Brownsea Island 10.30am – 4pm
• Clouds Hill, Wareham 11am – 4.30pm
• Hardy’s Cottage, High Bockhampton 11am – 4.30pm
• Max Gate, Dorchester 11am – 4.30pm
• Corfe Castle 10.30am – 4.30pm
Cost £2.50 per child. More on all events at nationaltrust.org.uk.
Medieval Archery at Corfe Castle - 8–13 April
The Wolfshead Bowmen set up a medieval encampment at Corfe Castle and demonstration hand-to-hand combat, archery, talks on the longbow and have-a-go sessions.
Low Ropes & Archery Day - 10 April
Join the outdoor centre team for a session of archery or low ropes on Brownsea Island. Sensible clothing and sturdy footwear essential. Sessions 1pm & 2pm, pre-book 01202 707744 or book on the day.
Pike & Shot at Corfe Castle - 14 - 23 April
Take a step into the world of King Stephen when Corfe Castle was under siege. Combat and skilled archery displays, talks on the longbow and have-a-go sessions.
EASTER EGG HUNTS
Easter Trail at Moors Valley Country Park - 8 – 23 April
Buy a £1 trail card at the Visitors Centre between 10am – 3.30pm and go on a hunt through the forest to discover the Easter word and enter the prize draw. moors-valley.co.uk.
Easter Magic Shows - 11 April
Join Mervyn Cole, at midday & 2pm, for his Easter themed magic show at Wimborne Model Town. wimborne-modeltown.com.
Giant Easter Egg Hunt at Abbotsbury - Events happening 14-17 April
Find a golf tee and exchange it for a chocolate bunny. Find a golden horseshoe and win a giant chocolate Easter Egg. Also bouncy castle, face painting, and magic shows. abbotsbury-tourism.co.uk.
Alice in Wonderland Easter Egg Trail
The gardens at Forde Abbey are transformed into a fantasy landscape with elegant tea parties, a fretful white rabbit and the maddest of Hatters. fordeabbey.co.uk.
Easter at Lulworth Castle
Expect themed trails, egg hunts, crafts, bouncy castle, soft play for under 4s, crazy golf and, of course, white rabbits and Easter Eggs. You may even meet the Mad Hatter in the Castle whilst you’re exploring! lulworth.com/easter.
OTHER EASTER EVENTS
Mad Science Easter Holiday Camp - 10 – 13 April
Mad Science Wessex runs this hands-on Easter holiday camp at Trinity First School in Verwood. Ideal for 4 -11 year olds who like the idea of making slime, or are mad about machines! 10am – 3pm. Cost: £30 per day/child or £110 for 4 days. Booking essential wessex.madscience.org.
Children’s Mountain Biking - 10 & 13 April
Introduction to mountain biking for young children (8 – 9 years), using off road tracks and trails at Moors Valley Country Park & Forest led by qualified mountain bike instructors (9.30am – 12.30pm). Session on 13 April more advanced and suitable for 10 -11 years . Cost £15 per child. Booking essential 01425 480811 or moors-valley.co.uk.
Craft Academy at Dorset County Museum - 12 & 19 April
Free activities from 10.30am-12.30pm. Suitable for 5-11s, accompanied by an adult. dorsetcountymuseum.org.
Elephant Puppet Workshop - 13 April
Inspired by Michael Morpurgo’s story An Elephant in the Garden, create a moving elephant puppet in this workshop at Dorchester Town Hall. Runs 10am – midday. Suitable for 8 -14s. Cost £7/£5 for siblings. Booking 01305 266926.
Adventure Extravaganza at Lulworth - 14 – 17 April
Join the Lulworth Rangers at Lulworth Cove Visitor Centre for a whole host of energetic activities including off-road biking, archery and orienteering across the Estate. Call 01929400155 or visit lulworth.com/easter.
Roller Disco - 16 April
Get your skates on at the Roller Planet roller disco at Weymouth Pavilion. Sessions 2pm - 4pm/ 4.30pm - 6.30pm. Skates available to hire. Box office 01305 783225.
Easter Events at Brewery Square, Dorchester
Starting on Good Friday, Brewery Square hosts a 40 minute performance at 11am by Mr. Bloom in the Square, for all youngsters to get their Squiggle on. Win a meet and greet with Mr. Bloom on Brewery Square’s Facebook page by entering the ‘Welly Squiggle’ competition. Free Easter Egg Hunts around the square (10am - 4pm, Good Friday to Easter Monday) for children up to 15 years old. Pick up a form from the Concierge Office, hunt for the eggs and return the form for a free Easter prize. brewerysquare.com.
Fall down the rabbit hole at Russell-Cotes
The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth has a jam packed schedule of Alice in Wonderland themed activities including crafts, trails, workshops, and competitions. Dress up as your favourite character, and come for a tea party, fight with a Jabberwocky, play croquet with flamingos and follow the Alice in Wonderland themed trail around the house and garden. Drop in events: 8, 11-13 & 18 – 20 April (10am -1pm). Visit russellcotes.com for more details.