The sun is shining and spring is finally here! The clocks go forward this weekend and the Easter holidays are upon us. If you have children and are wondering if anything is actually open for the spring break then read our blog to see what fun you can have to keep little ones amused.
Meet another household for a picnic
With lockdown restrictions changing from Monday 29 March, some families will be able to get together again. Groups of six people or two households are allowed to gather outside, socially distanced. This includes parks and gardens. With the weather looking fine for the next couple of weeks it couldn’t be better timed for some picnics and maybe even a BBQ!
Do some outside sport
Outdoor sports facilities such as golf courses, tennis, basketball courts can reopen. You could try some crazy golf at Stonham Barns, opening again on 29 March. Or from 29 March Ipswich Borough Council will re-open the all weather areas and grass pitches at Whitton and Gainsborough sports centres and Ransomes Sports Pavilion for sports teams. The athletics track at Northgate Sports Centre for athletics clubs will also open, enabling children to restart their club activity. Further information can be found on the Ipswich Fit website.
If your child is into football, the Ipswich Town Community Trust are offering fun inclusive for all football sessions, aiming to develop sporting and social skills, confidence, self-esteem and mental well-being. They are running a range of Soccer Schools during the Easter holiday, across a variety of locations including Portman Road, St Joseph’s College and Maldon Saints. These are a great opportunity for children to get active and back socialising with friends in a safe environment following the third lockdown. Visit www.itfctrust.co.uk and click ‘Book Now’.
They are also running a free taster session for disability youth on Saturday 10th April at Portman road 10-11am. This is purely to showcase their session for participants to join in and for us to talk and engage.
Go on a ferry
A day trip on a ferry makes for a fabulous day out on the water and the Harwich Harbour Foot and Bicycle Ferry is up and running from Monday 29 March. It has been completely refurbished for 2021 and you can book your tickets online to secure your space and receive free priority boarding. Plus little ones will love seeing the cranes of Felixstowe docks, you could always take bikes and go for a little cycle ride. Visit www.harwichharbourferry.com for more information.
Alternatively Butley ferry will be resuming ferry operations from Easter Saturday, 3rd April 2021. Kids will enjoy being rowed across the peaceful Butley River and fares are just £2.00 for adults and £1.50 for children under 12 and for bicycles so it makes a cheap day out. There are a number of circular walks and cycle routes which include the ferry and allow you to experience the unique landscape of the Alde and Ore Estuary. Visit www.aldeandore.org/ for more.
Join a free online creative workshop
Rock Paper Scissors are offering free online creative workshops for children, celebrating Suffolk Archives’ “Pride in Suffolk’s Past” exhibition. These exciting small group online workshops will explore what it means to be an ally, what makes us all different, and how we identify the things which make us special individuals. We will also celebrate people from the LGBTQ community who have made Suffolk so great throughout history and in the present. They also have free art materials for families who need them, just let them know. The sessions are aimed at two difference age groups, 8-11 and 12+. To book visit: www.rockpaperscissors.org.uk/shop
Spot signs of spring
Head outside, get some fresh air and see if you can spot the first signs of Spring! Read our Student Blogger Lily’s blog about spotting the signs of spring. Ipswich Borough Council has new Wildlife Activity Packs you can download. They are filled with things to do, so children can have fun and learn about their local wildlife at the same time. Make flowers from recycling, learn how to press flowers, create an origami fox, test your knowledge of butterflies and birds, act out your favourite animals, complete wordsearches, and much more. You can get them here.
Why not walk through the grounds of a stately home. Spring is a lovely time to visit Kentwell Hall's Gardens as you can see daffodils, hellebore, sculptural topiary, primroses, violets and forget-me-nots adding lovely colour. From 27 March to Thur 1 April and Tue 6 April to Sun 11 April, Kentwell Hall has a Nature and Wildlife I-Spy Trail to keep younger visitors occupied. Visit www.kentwell.co.uk/events/eastertide. Bressingham Steam Museum outside and garden space is open from 27 March, although the steam trains are not until 14 April.
Alternatively go on a trip to a local farm to hopefully see some lambs. Easton Farm Park is reopening on Monday 12th April, where you can see cows, chickens, goats, pigs and horses.
Go on an Easter Egg hunt
The National Trust Easter trails will be back for 2021. Visit Flatford Mill where children can enjoy an Easter trail next to the River Stour. From April 2-5, pay £3 for a trail pack and the kids will love exploring the historical surroundings of Flatford, and their chocolate treat at the end. Visit Ickworth House from March 29 to April 11, and enjoy the Easter themed activities with a chocolate egg for the kids at the end. Sutton Hoo and Melford Hall are also hosting trails.
In the chocolate box village of Lavenham, from March 31 to April 5, then April 7-11, Lavenham Guildhall will be putting on an Easter trail that leads around the higgledy-piggledy buildings of Lavenham with a chocolate egg at the end.
Between 29 March – 18 April some English Heritage sites are hosting outdoor Easter Adventure Quests. Explore the outdoor trails, crack the clues and search for dragon eggs to win your chocolate reward. You can start your quest at Audley End House and Gardens or Framlingham Castle every day of the school holidays. It costs just £1.50 per child. Visit https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/easter/ for more information.