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Easter 2015: 10 things to do in the North East during the Easter holidays

From eggs hunts and egg rolls to Basil Brush and the Emerald City, there's a wealth of family fun stuff to make the holidays go in a flash

There are plenty of egg hunts for kids to get involved in
There are plenty of egg hunts for kids to get involved in

Cinderella Ball, April 7, 11am and 2pm, Discovery Museum, Newcastle 0191 232 6789 or www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery

Easter holiday visitors are invited to join Cinderella, Prince Charming and her Fairy Godmother as they bring to life the magical fairy tale in what is being billed as a “spectacular interactive theatrical event” for little princes and princesses. Singing, dancing, fun, games, photo opportunities, party bags, craft activities and prizes are all on the menu alongside ‘happily ever after’. £15 per child (admits one adult). £6 for additional accompanying adults

Go Hopping Mad at Seven Stories, April 3-19, Seven Stories, Newcastle, www.sevenstories.org.uk

Stories of the long-eared variety will be royally celebrated at the National Centre for Children’s Books in the Ouseburn this Easter via a variety of storytelling sessions, drop-in activities - including a special egg-searching trail around Seven Stories in celebration of 20 years of the Guess How Much I Love You stories - and a special author event with Northumberland-born writer and illustrator Emily Mackenzie who recently had her first book, Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar published.

Easter at The Bowes Museum, until April 10, Barnard Castle, 01833 690606 or www.thebowesmuseum.org.uk

Egg-citement (sorry) is in the air at The Bowes Museum, with an eggs-cellent (apologies) range of family activities on offer throughout the Easter holidays.

Craft days will take place on April 1 and 2 (£4 per child, booking required); the Family Fun Day is booked in for April 6 from 11am to 4pm, during which time there will be bonnet and basket making and an egg hunt (normal admission applies); Conservation at the Bowes on April 7 and 8 offers a behind the scenes look at some of the musuem’s most fascinating artefacts; and an eggsploration (forgive me) of the Confected, Borrowed and Blue exhibition on April 9 and 10 will offer the chance to design your own ceramic coaster.

Easter egg rolling at Penshaw Hill and Herrington Country Park, Sunderland, April 3, www.seeitdoitsunderland.co.uk

The traditional egg rolling contests will once again be taking place to the delight of young participants - and this year fall on Good Friday. Children are asked to turn up ready to roll with a pre-decorated egg, clearly marked with their name and age. The downhill action will begin at 1pm and there’ll be a number of activities to get involved in, including an activity marquee in Herrington Country Park. If you haven’t done so already and are planning to be in with a shout, you’d be wise to pre-register your place in the race.

Cragside in Northumberland
Cragside in Northumberland

National Trust Egg Trails, various dates throughout April, North East National Trust properties, www.nationaltrust.org.uk/visit/north-east

For the eighth year running, chocolate gurus Cadbury are supporting the National Trust Easter Egg Trails, which very much do what they say on the wrapper. Trails will be taking place at Souter Lighthouse, Cragside, Gibside, Allen Banks and Staward Gorge, Cherryburn, Wallington, Washington Old Hall, Seaton Delaval Hall, Low Newton by the Sea and Lindisfarne Castle. Children will be given all the clues they need to find the chocolately egg head treasure.

I Believe in Unicorns, April 16-18, Northern Stage, Newcastle, 0191 230 5151 or www.northernstage.co.uk

Michael Morpurgo’s spellbinding and moving story is being retold on stage, courtesy of Daniel Jamieson, who adapted the story, and producers Theatre Alibi. The play tells the tale of Tomas whose aversion to books and stories is reversed with the arrival of the Unicorn Lady. But then disaster strikes and puts everything that matters most in Tomas’s life in terrible danger. Recommended age: 6-12.

Beauty and the Beast, April 1 and 2, Darlington Civic Theatre, 01325 486555 or www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

No need to check your calendars. We haven’t fast forwarded to panto season. This is an Easter pantomime telling of the tale as old as time with a line up including Lee Latchford Evans (of Steps fame) as the Beast (and Prince), comedy legend Bobby Davro as Silly Billy and Dani Harmer (seen on CBBC’s Tracy Beaker and BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing) as Beauty.

It may not be the traditional time for pantomime, but it sounds like a smashing place to start on the Easter eggs.

The Basil Brush Show, April 25, The Customs House, South Shields, 0191 454 1234 or www.customshouse.co.uk

The world’s most cheeky, irreverent, charming, kind, naughty, quick-witted, scheming and foxy fox is en route to South Shields.

Yes, having celebrated more than 50 years in the entertainment game, Basil is back on the road with TV chum Mr Stephen (aka Chris Pizzey).

Together they are promising a new live show filled with laughs, storytelling, songs and surely more than a handful of ‘boom booms!’

Wizard of Oz, April 9 and 10, Playhouse Whitley Bay, 0844 248 1588 or www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk

Ruby slippers at the ready, it’s time to click your heels, clap your hands and buy a ticket to Over the Rainbow in a new production of The Wizard of Oz. Britain’s Got Talent winners Ashleigh & Pudsey as Dorothy & Toto will be leading Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man along the yellow brick road to Whitley Bay as they make their way to see the grand old Wizard in the Emerald City - provided they can outwit the Wicked Witch of the West.

Horses at work at Beamish Museum
Horses at work at Beamish Museum

Easter Celebrations at Beamish, April 3-6, 0191 370 4000 or www.beamish.org.uk

From egg hunts and bonnet making to tasting delicious traditional food, Beamish are promising an egg-stremely (I’ll call a taxi) Easter-soaked few days.

As well as the aforementioned fun - which includes bonnet decorating in the dentist’s waiting room in the Town on Easter Sunday and Monday and a Good Friday fish supper from Davy’s Fried Fish Shop - there will also be egg rolling on Easter Monday and the chance to have a crack (not literally) at the traditional game of egg jarping at Pockerley Old Hall on Easter Sunday and Monday. Ooh, and did we mention there’d be hot cross buns, simnel cake and newborn lambs too?


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
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