Eight things to do with the kids during Easter holidays in Derbyshire

Parents across Derbyshire will be looking for ways to keep the kids entertained during the upcoming Easter holidays. This year’s two-week break falls between when county schools break up on Friday, March 31 and when they return on Monday, April 17.

With the cost of living remaining high, it’s unsurprising that parents are looking to find activities that are fun but don’t break the bank. It would be easy to assume that days out will ultimately cost a small fortune, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. In fact, there’s a plethora of indoor and outdoor activities for all ages on offer that families can attend for a reasonable amount.

We’ve put together a list of events and happenings in Derbyshire over that period to give you some inspiration as to where to take the little ones around Easter itself, Sunday, April 9. With offerings in Derby city centre and across the region, we’ll keep it updated as more come to our attention so you have the best set of options.

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Markeaton Park Easter Egg Hunt

The Derby park is hosting an Easter Egg hunt this year from Saturday 1 until Sunday, April 16. A variety of hidden “eggs” will be scattered around the park for eager eyes to uncover and each one will reveal the name of an animal.

Once competitors have found all of the names, they can fill in a form online with the names to be entered into a prize draw to win vouchers for Mundy Play Centre, based at the park. In addition, a “Golden Goose” egg will be hidden in the park and the first ten people to find it will discover a promo code for discounted tickets to this year’s pantomime at Derby Arena, “Mother Goose”.

Half-price activities at Springwood Leisure Centre

Springwood Leisure Centre is offering a half-price deal on all activities between Monday and Friday, 9am to 3pm during the holidays. Options include badminton, ping pong and squash, and five-a-side football.

Mums and dads can also benefit from a deal on soft-play sessions during the holidays, with sessions on Thursday between 9.30am and 2pm costing just £3.50 per child. There’ll also be a multi-sports activity day across the whole centre on Monday, April 3.

Dino Live at Derbion

Between March 31 and April 16, a dinosaur experience is coming to the Derbion shopping centre. Dino Live includes a free “Dino Trail” of twelve giant animatronic, realistic dinosaur figures around the centre to find and look at.

There will also be “Dino workshops” in Darwin Square, outside Boots and where the Christmas tree stands, that cost just £4 per child for a twenty-minute session exploring paleontology and excavating fossils. There’s also a free photo opportunity inside a replica dinosaur egg.

Tickets to the workshops can be purchased on the Derbion website now.

Dobbies Easter Bunny breakfast and Easter Egg hunt

Dobbies garden centres – in both Derby and Chesterfield – are hosting Easter events on Thursday April 6, Friday April 7, Saturday April 8 and Monday, April 10. Traditional breakfasts will be served, followed by child-friendly activities that include a “scavenger hunt” around the store and planting Easter bunny miniature carrots with a Dobbies mascot.

Breakfasts are included in the £9.99 price for children and £7.45 price for adults. Children will also get a Maltesers bunny to take home.

Cycling at Derby Arena

Cycle Derby is hosting a variety of events over Easter for youngsters of various ages. For four-to-eight year olds, there’s the “New to Two wheels” club, and for over 5’s there are Learn to Ride sessions.

For those who can already ride their bike, a holiday club is available for 6-12 year olds which includes a bike ride to and around Elvaston Castle. And for older children aged 9-16, there are track days planned at the arena through the two weeks.

Finally, on Tuesday, April 4 and Tuesday, April 11, there’ll be family track cycling sessions for all to enjoy. All sessions have to be booked in advance via the Cycle Derby website.

Pickford’s Garden

Derby Museums will be hosting two events at Pickford’s House on Thursday, April 6 and Thursday, April 13. The “Minibeast Safari” will take place on the former date and the “Nature Creative” event on the latter in the garden at the museum. More information can be found on the Derby Museums website.

Holiday Activity and Food Programme

The Derby Holiday Activity and Food Programme (HAF) is back for 2023. Derby City Council and Community Action Derby’s scheme offers activities and food to children who are eligible for benefits-related free school meals.

The programme is taking place at venues all over the city in a total of 31 places. More information is available on the Derby HAF website.

Storytime at Derby Libraries

Alvaston, Mickleover, Normanton and Riverside libraries will be hosting four “special edition” Storytime events based on the theme of kindness over the holidays. Children can listen to heart-warming stories about being kind and will also have the chance to decorate their own book bag which they can then use to take home books of their choice.

The events are free but booking is essential on the Derby Libraries website.

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