Whether celebrating Christ‚Äôs resurrection from the dead, the conclusion of Lenten sacrifices or simply foil-wrapped chocolate rabbits, there‚Äôs loads of Easter fun happening across the region this April.
The holiday isn‚Äôt until Sunday, April 16 but that won‚Äôt keep community groups from hosting their own Easter-related activities this coming weekend.
In addition to sunrise church services and family feasts, lots of colorful eggs will be hidden in backyards and parks around area towns over the next few weeks.
Others might consider heading to the Barnes Memorial Nature Center in Bristol the following Saturday, April 15, at 10 a.m. Easter here will be candy-free, environmentally-friendly and parent-friendly.
Volunteers will be hiding around 400 recyclable eggs in the field behind the facility, located at 175 Shrub Road.
Don‚Äôt expect to uncover sweet treats in these ones, however.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a candy-free event,‚ÄĚ Program Coordinator Fern Vaughn explained. ‚ÄúThere‚Äôs just so much candy out there and parents don‚Äôt enjoy having their kids hyped up all day.‚ÄĚ
Kids can collect up to 12 eggs, to turn in at the nature center for a prize gift.
All ages are welcome and there will be a separate collection area set up for the youngest searchers.
‚ÄúWe want the young ones to have a fair chance at finding eggs and be able to enjoy it as much as the big kids without being trampled or sabotaged,‚ÄĚ Vaughn pointed out.
Those who can‚Äôt afford a proper Easter dinner need not worry either. Several groups are stepping in to save the meal.
In Bristol, the homebound, handicapped and hard-up welcome meal delivery Easter morning from a hard-working group of volunteers. They‚Äôve gathered in the basement of the Zion Lutheran Church on Judd Street for the last 16 Easters, cooking up a storm. Several hundred meals are brought to the doors of families in need well before noon on April 16.
City resident Paul Eckstrom rallies up volunteers and keeps the kitchen assembly line running smoothly.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no better reward than the feeling you get from giving to someone who needs it,‚ÄĚ he says.
Those on the receiving end accept the ham, green beans, corn and mashed potatoes with a side of gratitude.
Perhaps the most spring-like occasion will take place Saturday, April 15, at the New Britain Youth Museum at Hungerford Park. Easter ‚ÄėEggstravaganza‚Äô will feature an Easter story, real live rabbits, hidden eggs, crafts, a bear cave and exotic animal encounters.
The event is set for 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and is free for members, $10 for all other children. Hungerford Park is located at 191 Farmington Ave. in Kensington.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a beautiful scene with the pond in the background and everything beginning to bud,‚ÄĚ Marketing and Special Events Manager Donna Veach said of the park. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a great place at this time of year. Spring is just beginning to spring and mother earth will be doing her thing.‚ÄĚ
As for why parents should choose this event over all the other egg hunts in the area, Veach says it‚Äôs an easy call.
‚ÄúIt really gives families an opportunity to connect outdoors and visit our indoor exhibits,‚ÄĚ she explained. ‚ÄúPlus we‚Äôre centrally located, really easy to get to, offer ample parking and are extremely affordable.‚ÄĚ
Trinity-on-Main in New Britain is hosting its own egg hunt the same day from 12 to 3 p.m. This one has pizza, face painting and a unique indoor search in the theatre. It will conclude with a family movie on the big screen. Tickets are $4 a person.
But that‚Äôs only the half of it.
Families without youngsters shouldn‚Äôt feel left out this Easter, because there‚Äôs plenty going on for adults, too.
The Doubletree by Hilton in Bristol is hosting an Easter brunch on Sunday, April 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Oaks Ballroom. The price is $39 per adult and $14 per child under age 12. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 860-584-7673. A full buffet will feature omelet, waffle and carving stations, along with honey glazed ham, baked cod, house made pastries and more.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.